Living Heroically

Two weeks ago, I hit an emotional high as I completed the Flying Pig Marathon in 3:12:16. That time was 7½ minutes faster than my previous personal best. I looked forward to ramping my mileage back up faster than ever, a rare two-day onsite client engagement, and a great week.

Twelve hours later, I hit an emotional low as my first COVID symptoms emerged. I had to cancel my client engagement, I could not run, and I reacquainted myself with the discomfort of isolation. Thankfully, no one else in my household got sick.

I prioritized sleep and recovery. I ate well. By Thursday, I felt close to normal; by Saturday, I was off and running (literally). The following week, my energy and mental clarity were 10 out of 10. I felt fantastic and logged nearly 60 miles.

I have written about the Heroic* platform before. It has been instrumental in my ability to bounce back from life’s challenges. Today, I’ll share why I love this app and some insights on how you could leverage it.


Before Brian Johnson founded Heroic, he was distilling ancient wisdom and modern science into practical, useful summaries and analyses in his Philosopher’s Notes (PNs). These PNs are available in the Heroic app – over 600, with at least one new one added weekly. This is how I first discovered Brian and, ultimately, Heroic. Most books that make it to my “to read” list are in his catalog. I find his 20-30 minute summaries incredibly helpful to learn about the big ideas in the book and decide if I want to read the entire book. These are more than just book summaries. Brian connects the dots between many great teachers and identifies common themes and patterns.

As Brian’s journey unfolded, he began synthesizing this wisdom into a common approach to support everyone’s journey. His mission is to help create a world in which at least 51% of humanity is flourishing by 2051. When Brian says flourishing, he is fulfilling your purpose and being the best version of yourself every day.

My mission is to accelerate the evolution of humanity individually, collectively, and globally. These missions go hand-in-hand. And we both see the pursuit of Arete to be foundational to flourishing.

A hallmark of the Heroic approach, based on Brian’s research, is to optimize three areas of our lives:

  • Energy – we optimize our physical, mental, and spiritual health to show up as our best version of ourselves.
  • Work – we connect with our purpose and conduct ourselves with excellence in our work.
  • Love – we value and cherish our social connections and demonstrate love.

What I have shared so far scratches the surface of all the goodness in the Heroic app, including daily Heroic +1s from Brian to give you a shot of dopamine and a library of 50 practical 1-hour classes to support your journey.


The theory is excellent, and I love the resources this app offers. But theory is just the first step. As Brian repeatedly says, we must move from Theory to Practice to Mastery. I get the most benefit from my simple daily practices with the app.

Heroic recognizes that each of us has different values and paths to mastery. The app gives you a flexible framework to specify what virtues matter to you across Energy, Work, and Love. My configuration is shown here. For example, my tagline for Energy is “Captain Arete.” I see myself embodying Captain America’s integrity and excellence while embodying Arete. The virtues that resonate for me with Energy are:

  • Alive
  • Balanced
  • Self-Mastery
  • Present
  • Antifragile

Within each area, I set specific targets I want to achieve each day to optimize my Energy, Work, and Love. I can select as many targets as I wish, and the top three targets in each area affect my Soul Force Score. Hitting all nine daily targets increases your score by 1, to a maximum of 101.

Each morning I wake up, feed my cat, meditate, write in my gratitude journal, then open the Heroic app and make my daily commitment. Then I watch today’s Heroic +1. A video is worth more than 1,000 words here. I’ve recorded my daily commitment if you want to see it in action.

At the end of the day, I return to the app and check off all the targets I have achieved. It’s a great way to close out my day and celebrate how I followed through on my commitments.


This app’s strength is how the daily commitment has enabled me to change my behaviors over time. This is neuroplasticity in action – setting and hitting these targets helps me rewire my brain to unlearn the behaviors that no longer serve me and learn new ones that serve me better. I move different targets into my top three when I want to make a particular area a priority for change, such as exercise, sleep, or being fully present with my clients. As I write this, I’ve committed daily in the Heroic app for over 400 days in a row 🤯.

For those who want to double down on what Heroic has to offer, they also have a Heroic Coach program and a Heroic Mastery program. Am I a Heroic Coach? Well, sort of. Josh is to Heroic Coach as Luke Skywalker is to Jedi Master in The Empire Strikes Back. I began my training, learned some powerful tools, and then my hero’s journey called me back early. So I am no Yoda, and I am not a certified Heroic Coach, but the Force is strong within me. Someday I will return and complete my training.

Putting It Into Practice

Are you dominating your day? Are you flourishing? If you are looking for strategies to strengthen your Energy, Work, and Love to be your best self daily, try the Heroic app. If you would like a thought partner to help set your virtues and targets, schedule a Heroic consultation with me

Want to comment? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

* The Heroic Public Benefit Corporation made history by being the first public benefit corporation to raise $5 million in crowdsource funding after the Federal government raised the limit. I am proud to have participated in that achievement and am a Heroic investor. I may receive compensation if you join Heroic using the links in this article.

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