158 episodes

It is no longer necessary to sacrifice your health (and your sanity) in order to be successful. P90X creator Tony Horton...American Ninja Warrior superstar Kevin Bull...Productivity guru and inventor of the GTD system David Allen...World-famous biohacker Ben Greenfield. These are just a few of the many experts ready to inspire you to step outside your comfort zone so you can reach your full potential. Hosted by Zack Arnold (award-winning Hollywood film & TV editor, documentary director, American Ninja Warrior in training, and father of two), the Optimize Yourself program helps creative professionals, entrepreneurs, weekend warriors, and even professional athletes better manage their time, energy, and attention so they can maximize their focus and creativity and minimize burnout. Learn how to combat the negative effects of working a sedentary job...become a productivity ninja...eat better...sleep better...and learn what it really takes to land your “dream job.” You ready? Let’s start designing the optimized version of YOU.

Optimize Yourself Zack Arnold: Hollywood Film Editor, Documentary Director

    • Self-Improvement
    • 4.0 • 5 Ratings

It is no longer necessary to sacrifice your health (and your sanity) in order to be successful. P90X creator Tony Horton...American Ninja Warrior superstar Kevin Bull...Productivity guru and inventor of the GTD system David Allen...World-famous biohacker Ben Greenfield. These are just a few of the many experts ready to inspire you to step outside your comfort zone so you can reach your full potential. Hosted by Zack Arnold (award-winning Hollywood film & TV editor, documentary director, American Ninja Warrior in training, and father of two), the Optimize Yourself program helps creative professionals, entrepreneurs, weekend warriors, and even professional athletes better manage their time, energy, and attention so they can maximize their focus and creativity and minimize burnout. Learn how to combat the negative effects of working a sedentary job...become a productivity ninja...eat better...sleep better...and learn what it really takes to land your “dream job.” You ready? Let’s start designing the optimized version of YOU.

    Ep122: 'Superfood Hunter' Darin Olien On How To Be Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome

    Ep122: 'Superfood Hunter' Darin Olien On How To Be Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome

    With health (and more importantly maintaining strong immune systems) at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days, we’re all looking for simple ways to boost our immunity and increase our energy levels. Whether you are unemployed, working from home or back at the office, or just trying to juggle home-schooling the kids while maintaining your own sanity, the thought of implementing healthier nutrition and fitness habits is daunting at best (and horrifying at worst). Luckily today’s guest is here to simplify the process for all of us no matter where you need the most support.
    Darin Olien, a.k.a., “The Superfood Hunter,” is the co-star of the hit Netflix docu-series Down to Earth alongside Zac Efron. Darin has traveled the globe for decades studying food and nutrition and has uncovered some of the healthiest superfoods known to man. He is also a supplements formulator, the creator of Shakeology (which many of you know is my go-to meal when I’m short on time but unwilling to sacrifice on nutrition), and he’s the author of the New York Times bestseller “SuperLife: The five fixes that will keep you healthy, fit and eternally awesome.” And he’s also responsible for discovering my favorite brain food snack, Barukas. This nut is like a supercharged peanut with less fat and calories…it’s what I often refer to as my “Brainstorming nut” as every time I need something crunchy to get my brain going in the afternoons, this is my go-to. And they sure beat a bowl of M&M’s.
    If you’re looking to learn about what simple yet profound steps you can take to either get started with your wellness journey or take it to a completely differently level, Darin is a wealth of knowledge on nutrition and health and graciously provides an abundance of advice and tips on how we can stay active, be creative, and keep our bodies fueled with the best food possible.
    Here’s What You’ll Learn: The story of what Darin does and how he got coined as “The Superfood Hunter.” How he turned injury into opportunity in college, and how that set him on his path to health and nutrition. Why Darin is passionate about what he does and why it matters for your health. What a “fatal convenience” is and why it is killing us. Darin’s list of foundational practices that anyone who works a sedentary job can do to improve their health and creativity. The profound connection between the thoughts and beliefs in your mind and the physical health of your body. MORNING ROUTINES: What Darin does first thing in the morning to set himself up for a healthy and energetic day. The surprising culprit that is sapping your energy (and the simple solution to fix it). The fascinating details of how water works in the body and how it produces energy for your brain and creativity. The number one habit to implement for increasing energy and better health. What toxins your refrigerator water filter is leaving in your water. Budget friendly and effective water filtration recommendations. Simple advice for good nutrition that doesn’t require following any diet plan. The superfood that Zack calls his brain food snack and how eating it is not only good for your health but supports sustainable practices for the environment and indigenous people.
    Useful Resources Mentioned: Shakelogy
    Barukas.com
    DarinOlien.com
    Instagram SuperLifeLiving
    Darin Olien on Facebook
    Darin Olien on Twitter
    Continue to Listen & Learn Ep10: Fueling Your Brain For Optimal Creativity | with Mark Sisson
    Ep84: How to Use ‘Intuitive Eating’ To Change Your Relationship With Food | with Melissa Costello
    Ep09: Everything You Need to Know About Food Shopping, Nutrition, and More | with Mira and Jayson Calton
    Ep98: P90X Creator Tony Horton on Covid-19, Staying Healthy During Quarantine, Boosting Immunity, & More
    Ep06: Defining Your Purpose and Living Large | with Tony Horton
    O

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Ep120: The Ninja Warrior Mother-Daughter Dynamic Duo, Part 1 | with Ginny MacColl, ANW

    Ep120: The Ninja Warrior Mother-Daughter Dynamic Duo, Part 1 | with Ginny MacColl, ANW

    Have you ever wanted to pursue a passion your whole life that’s well outside your comfort zone…but felt like you missed your opportunity and now you’re “too old?” Maybe you always dreamed of running a marathon, or maybe you wanted to earn your black belt in martial arts, but somehow life always seemed to get in the way. If this sounds familiar, today’s guest Ginny MacColl has some sage advice to share with you:
    “It’s never too late to get stronger.”
    Ginny is an actress (Poms, Stars Fell On Alabama, Outcast), a former Broadway dancer, and at age 68 has added competing on American Ninja Warrior to her long list of accomplishments. She is also the mother of two, her daughter being Jessie Graff who is the record-breaking female athlete and stunt woman also on American Ninja Warrior who has served as her inspiration.

    In this interview, you will hear how Ginny went from being at the top of her acting career during the ’80s, working on Broadway and acting in national commercials (all while being a mom) to getting divorced, aging out of the good roles, and having to leave New York City to start all over again as a single mom.
    Ginny is a MASTER at understanding how to summon the right mindset to overcome any adversity, both on the ninja course and in real life. And in today’s world, knowing how to find opportunity amidst endless challenges is as important as ever. She is also an absolute machine when it comes to being consistent, and she demonstrates that determination and perseverance will take you a lot further than natural ability or talent. If you’re feeling stuck, uninspired, or that you are just frankly “too old” to get back in shape, Ginny will help you break out of the molds you’ve trapped yourself in and encourage you to push beyond what you ever believed was possible.
    And by the way, the second you’re done listening to this interview, I highly encourage you to jump right into Part 2 where I interview her daughter and American Ninja Warrior legend Jessie Graff.
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    Here’s What You’ll Learn: The advice she got from her daughter Jessie when she told her she wanted to get stronger. How it took her a year to get strong enough to do a single pull up. Her best strategy for getting through ANY obstacle. How you can turn nervous energy into an ally in any situation. How blizzards, bats, and cross-country skis taught her valuable life lessons about determination and conquering challenges. The mind trap she won’t fall prey to when it comes to skipping training sessions. How she reversed osteoporosis. What the key to accomplishing your goals in life and in training is. KEY TAKE AWAY: Setting attainable goals plus accountability is what keeps you on track. Her tips for getting started with an exercise program (no matter your age or fitness level).
    Useful Resources Mentioned: American Ninja Warrior
    Our Generous Sponsors: Struggling With Real-Time Remote Collaboration? Meet Evercast
    As work begins to slowly trickle in again, perhaps the most pressing challenge we as creative professionals face in our post-pandemic reality is real-time collaboration. Zoom is great for meetings, but it sure doesn’t work for streaming video. Luckily this problem has now been solved for all of us. If you haven’t heard of Evercast, it’s time to become acquainted. Because Evercast’s real-time remote collaboration technology is CHANGING. THE. GAME.
    » Click here to be the first to gain early access to the new Evercast
    P.S. It’s (finally) priced for freelancers and indie creatives like us!
    This episode is made possible for you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation. The Topo is super comfortable, an awesome conversation starter, and

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Ep121: The Ninja Warrior Mother-Daughter Dynamic Duo, Part 2 | with Jessie Graff, ANW

    Ep121: The Ninja Warrior Mother-Daughter Dynamic Duo, Part 2 | with Jessie Graff, ANW

    If you’ve been listening to this show for any amount of time, you know that I love breaking seemingly impossible goals down to small, manageable steps. I’m all about creating tiny habits and incrementally building upon them to progress gradually - hence playing chess with your life instead of checkers. This is one of the key elements in my coaching and mentorship program and it’s also the foundation that today’s guest has used to build herself up to one of the top competitors in American Ninja Warrior (which is frankly being modest - she’s a LEGEND).
    Jessie Graff, also known as the modern-day Wonder Woman, is the first woman to finish stages 1 & 2 in the Las Vegas finals of American Ninja Warrior, she is an accomplished stunt woman in Hollywood working on such films as G.I. Joe, Transformers, Wonder Woman, and Alita: Battle Angel (to name a few), and she is also the daughter of fellow American Ninja Warrior and recent podcast guest Ginny McColl.
    In today’s conversation, Jessie and I go deeeeeeeeeep into the inner psychology that drives her to compete and perform with such consistency and at such a high level. We talk about the practices and habits that have led to her success as well as the struggles, injuries, and the challenges she has overcome both as a child and an adult. And most importantly we discuss how she developed the mental toughness and fortitude that has led to her becoming the badass she is today (spoiler alert: Her mom had a lot to do with it).
    But don’t let all of that scare you away...Jessie is also one of the nicest, sweetest, and down-to-earth “celebrities” I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.
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    Here's What You'll Learn: The story of how a chicken dress opened a new career door for her in stunt work. What she learned from her mom that she carries with her into Ninja training. How she keeps herself inspired even through injury. The secret to tackling any obstacle you encounter. The embarrassing story of what happened in Season 7 of ANW and the drastic change she made in her training after that injury. How she accidentally learned about the career of stuntwomen and became inspired to be one. The mindset shift she uses to avoid disappointment when she doesn’t achieve a goal. What obstacle she conquered that made her scream, “Anything is possible! I did it!” The exact method and approach she uses to mentally and physically prepare herself for each obstacle. Why Jessie thinks confidence is the number one Ninja killer. The different levels of commitment required for training to build up strength and experience while staying safe. What magic phrases Jessie has printed on a sign that hangs in her workout room to keep her accountable and inspired to do her dreaded squats. Jessie’s best advice for achieving impossible dreams.
    Useful Resources Mentioned: Ep120: The Ninja Warrior Mother-Daughter Dynamic Duo, Part 1 | with Ginny MacColl, ANW
    Epic Chick Fight Video
    Epic Chick Fight (Live Action Chicken Fight)
    Jessie Graff: First Woman to Finish Stage 1 - American Ninja Warrior
    Our Generous Sponsors: Struggling With Real-Time Remote Collaboration? Meet Evercast
    As work begins to slowly trickle in again, perhaps the most pressing challenge we as creative professionals face in our post-pandemic reality is real-time collaboration. Zoom is great for meetings, but it sure doesn't work for streaming video. Luckily this problem has now been solved for all of us. If you haven't heard of Evercast, it's time to become acquainted. Because Evercast's real-time remote collaboration technology is CHANGING. THE. GAME.
    » Click here to be the first to gain early access to the new Evercast
    P.S. It's (finally) priced for freelancers and indie creatives like us!
    This episode is made possible

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Ep119: [Case Study] Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, Better Managing Your Time, And Making the Most of This Pandemic | with Ariel Fujita, Kristi Shimek, and Maxton Waller

    Ep119: [Case Study] Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, Better Managing Your Time, And Making the Most of This Pandemic | with Ariel Fujita, Kristi Shimek, and Maxton Waller

    Having spoken to and worked with hundreds of people worldwide over the last six months, if there’s one constant to the ever-changing landscape of 2020, it’s that this global pandemic has been a magnifying glass amplifying every tiny little detail about our lives (and society at large) that just wasn’t working. For many this intense awareness has been paralyzing while for others it’s been a motivating call to action.
    So what’s the difference for those who feel stuck versus those who take action and see results?
    Maybe you’re sick of being stuck on the wrong career path and feeling desperate to pursue your true passion, but you’re too afraid to take action because you’re waiting to “see how things work out?”
    Maybe you’re anxious about work swallowing up what semblance of life you have outside your career…especially now that you’re stuck working from home?
    Or maybe you are so overwhelmed about all the uncertainties and unknowns that you feel paralyzed and unable to focus on anything but just getting through another day. Yes, pandemic-induced procrastination is indeed a thing.
    If any of these sound like you, I have three amazing guests on today’s show that know exactly how you feel. Ariel Fujita is an unscripted editor making the transition to colorist. Maxton Weller is a sound editor and composer for films and video games, and Kristi Shimek is an indie film editor transitioning to scripted television. This episode is a case study where I speak candidly with all three who are members of the Optimizer community who have successfully navigated the challenges of being an introvert, who have battled the perfectionism that holds us back from accomplishing our goals, and who can relate to how imposter syndrome keeps us stuck in the wrong career path. And we discuss the strategies and methods they all implemented to work through these common pitfalls to feel confident and clear, not only about what they want in life but more importantly, how to actually live it. All three guests have recently completed my coaching & mentorship program, put in a lot of hard work, and have achieved amazing results…while by the way, living through a global pandemic.
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    Here’s What You’ll Learn: The serendipitous timing of how Maxton ended up starting coaching with Zack when he needed it most. The separate but eerily similar stories of how Ariel and Kristi both almost skipped Zack’s Networking for Introverts seminar because they were too shy and scared. Why Ariel struggled with burnout and the mind-set shift she had to make to overcome the endless cycle. KEY TAKEAWAY: Learning to ask the right questions will improve the quality of your life and the connections you make. Why building confidence requires a deep dive into your psychology and your motivations. The number one thing you need to get better at before you can even start networking. How to stop waiting for focus to magically appear and instead learn to train it. What you need to implement systems to improve time management and keep you accountable. What a brain dump is and why doing it regularly will alleviate stress and anxiety. Why doing a daily wrap up is essential for setting boundaries especially when working from home. How Kristi got back her nights and weekends by setting expectations at the start of a job. What Maxton’s IMDB spreadsheet revealed to him and how it led to a relationship with a composer he’s admired for years. Maxton’s revelation about outreach emails: “It’s not IF people want to help you, it’s CANthey help you” What transformed Kristi from being afraid to send outreach emails to doing it every single week and getting a 100% response rate. The magic formula to writing successful outreach emails. The Ben Franklin Effect: what

    • 1 hr 36 min
    I Said No to a Job (A Good One)…During a Pandemic

    I Said No to a Job (A Good One)…During a Pandemic

    This episode is a reading of guest author, Debby Germino's article: I Said No to a Job (A Good One)…During a Pandemic
    » Read the full article here
    Continue to Listen & Learn: The “Passion Tax” - Why Artists and Creatives Are Exploited, And How To Say ‘No’
    How to Handle Transition Times and Increase Your Resilience
    How to Stay Productive (and Stop Procrastinating) During Your Next Hiatus | with Debby Germino
    Ep48: Feeling Lost? It’s Time to ‘Find Your Why’ | with David Mead
    Happiness in Training Publication on Medium by Debby Germino
    Focus Yourself Online Course
    This is The Best Training Tool for Happier Living
    Finding Happiness in the Impermanence of Life
    Can Giving Thanks to Suffering Increase Your Happiness?
    How Note Taking Will Make You Better at Life
    The Four Types of Creative Jobs (and The Secret To Knowing Which Is the Perfect Fit For You)
    Finding Your ‘One Thing’ | with Jay Papasan
    Are You 'Productive' or Just 'Busy?' Answer These 5 Questions Honestly to Find Out.
    The Zen-like Art of ‘Getting Things Done’ | with David Allen
    Apply for Optimizer Coaching & Mentorship

    • 23 min
    Ep118: Legendary Editor Walter Murch On Optimizing Creativity, Productivity, and Well-Being In Hollywood For 50+ Years

    Ep118: Legendary Editor Walter Murch On Optimizing Creativity, Productivity, and Well-Being In Hollywood For 50+ Years

    When you think of film editors, let’s face it - healthy habits and good physical conditioning are not images that immediately come to mind. But with a pandemic upon us, and with the high cost of the ‘Passion Tax’ we constantly pay as Hollywood creatives, healthy living is no longer an option - it’s a necessity. If we want strong immune systems and creative minds that are resilient to high-stress environments, it is imperative we adopt healthier habits like eating better and moving more throughout the day. While it might seem as though these are new concepts, today’s guest proves these ideas have proven successful for decades.
    Legendary and Oscar-winning Hollywood film editor Walter Murch (who has edited such films as Tomorrowland, Cold Mountain, The English Patient, Apocalypse Now and The Godfather III, to name a very select few) knows just how important it is to be health-conscious and physically fit in order to do the intense creative work that’s required to edit critically acclaimed films and documentaries. Walter has spent years not only honing his craft but also honing his most valuable assets: His body and mind. And for those unaware, Walter is THE leading pioneer in the standing desk movement (I just amplified his work, but he started it).
    In today’s conversation, Walter shares his secrets for maintaining his health and energy levels while working long hours on feature films. He dives deep into the neuroscience of why our brains work better when our bodies are moving more and the strategies he uses for incorporating movement throughout the day. We talk in detail about his specific creative process, the long-standing issue of burnout and excessive working hours, and how he feels about editors being classified as “below the line.” While this was originally a conversation from the ‘Fitness in Post’ days, there is an abundance of timeless wisdom to be gleaned from the legend himself who has survived well over four decades in a brutal industry where when people start dropping like flies, the executives simply reply, “Then get more flies.” (as Walter tells it)
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    Here's What You'll Learn: Zack’s favorite passage from the book, Behind the Seen (which he calls "porn for editors”) that became the inspiration for his healthy lifestyle and this podcast. The tragic story of Walter’s motivation to incorporate movement into his workday. Walter’s exact process for getting his body and mind prepared for any new project (and how you can adopt the same process). The importance of capturing ideas when they strike and his secret weapon to ensure he never misses one. The crucial task every editor should do to understand the script and inhabit the story better. Walter’s best advice for adding more movement throughout the day. What a short-order cook, composer, and brain surgeon have in common with editors and how he’s adapted his working habits to be more like all three of them. HINT: Standing is involved. Why skipping lunch breaks is not only bad for your health but bad for your productivity. Two tricks Walter uses to prevent low back pain when using a standing desk. How a sedentary lifestyle is shortening your lifespan and the ways neuroscience recommends reversing it. Why Walter only eats breakfast and lunch and avoids dinner. The amazing power of sleep and how it enhances your creativity. What the essence of being an editor is and what Walter believes are the essential skills necessary based on the technology today. How Walter approaches cutting documentaries versus scripted films and what the major similarities and differences are between them. KEY TAKEAWAY:  The seasick feeling or 'hiatus flu' that editors experience at the end of a project is completely natural, so be aware and do not make any

    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Brock5555 ,

Optimize Yourself - The Swiss Army knife of podcasts!

If you were ever stuck on a desert island, trapped in the middle of nowhere, or at a crossroads with no idea what to do next, “Optimize Yourself” would be your compass to lead you in the right direction in balancing your professional and personal life. This is the Swiss Army knife of podcasts! Zack Arnold’s “Optimize Yourself” is an audio library housing a wealth of knowledge in subjects like health, nutrition, productivity, sleep, film, and all things creative from guests at the top of their respective fields. I migrated from Zack’s previous podcast “Fitness In Post” to “Optimize Yourself,” and each day as I took a long walk, I listened to this podcast and let it change my life. It’s a roadmap to a healthier, enhanced version of “you,” a total life-changer! If you put each piece of advice given in the episodes to the test, the results will delight you. “Optimize Yourself” has given me new and healthy habits for building focus, energy, and staying attentive in a sedentary environment. As a film editor, I can say with deep gratitude that Zack’s advice and the advice of those he interviews has made such a positive and consistent impact on my creativity and the way I manage the pressures of tight deadlines in the post-production world.

I cannot recommend this podcast enough – it has exceeded all my expectations and I guarantee it will exceed yours. An absolute must-listen!

TwoCabs ,

Relatable, informative and important.

I love this podcast. It's relatable, informative and so important for people who want to start making changes. Positive mental health and good work/life balance are so closely related so I'm so glad a podcast like this exists to look at them both and promote achievable changes that I, a creative, can relate to and understand.

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