I recently completed a 300 day “Optimize Coach” certification course. The program consists of the intense study of ancient western and eastern philosophies and combines that knowledge with today’s modern science.
Striving for a Life of "Excellence" or “Arete”
The main goal of the Optimize program is centered on the ancient Greek concept of “Arete”.
Arete means “the aggregate of qualities [such] as valor and virtue, making up good character.” (Dictionary.com) In other words, "Arete" means living a life of excellence and moral virtue.
We become the best versions of ourselves (i.e., have good character) by reducing our “vices” (a.k.a. – bad habits) and focusing on our virtues (a.k.a. -- good habits).
Reducing or eliminating our bad habits is very hard to do. No one is perfect – we mess up all the time.
We have to develop the ability to recognize the stimulus that leads to a “bad habit” response pattern that is always running on autopilot in the back of our minds controlling most of our actions, thoughts, and words.
Once we discover what these bad habits are – we work on recognizing the moment we are triggered to do them and then interdicting that bad habit with a more positive response -- ultimately changing those bad habits into good habits. Not Easy!!!
Being an “Optimizer”
In order to obtain the Optimize Coaching Certificate, I had to complete 150 hours of various online training as well as commit to a daily practice regime of journaling, gratitude practice, meditation, movement, nutrition and sleep.
The 300-day Certification Course focuses on living more virtuously in three areas of life: Energy, Work and Love. Improving these three areas of life helps reduce anxiety and increase happiness.
Here are the five virtues I personally worked on during the 300-day program:
Being Kind (to others and most importantly to myself)
Being Impeccable (with my words)
Note: I am still working on incorporating these five virtues in my life on a daily basis - it is always a work in progress . . .
The Masterpiece Day Leads to a Masterpiece Life
We focus on having a “Masterpiece Day” – living virtuously day by day, moment to moment – being grateful for what we have – even with the challenges and set backs we face in life.
We understand that there are things we have control over and there are things we don’t have control over.
We love our friends and family and our community to the greatest extent possible, but yet we are not attached to them or try to control them.
If you string enough Masterpiece Days together you have a Masterpiece Life. We know there will be ups and downs – good days and bad days. Yet, we are always working to “spiral up” to the next higher version of ourselves as we go through this process.
Today and the Next Day . . . and the Next Day . . .
About half of the participants that go through the Optimize Coaching Program actually want to become professional “coaches” and teach others these concepts and tools. The other half just want to improve themselves and become shining examples to those around them.
I did this to help myself feel better on a daily basis and to be a better person for my family, friends and estate planning clients – and to help the Ritchie Law Office, Ltd. be the best law firm it can be.
What I hope to develop as I continue down this “Optimizing” path is the mental
toughness of a Spartan Warrior, the mindfulness of a Buddhist Monk, and the sense of humor of Chris Farley – Ha! Setting the bar high!
Here is to Optimizing!!
This article is a service of Attorney Chad A. Ritchie and the Ritchie Law Office, Ltd.
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