10 Minute Toughness by Jason Selk


“The formula is 6-2-7: breathe in for six seconds, hold for two, and breathe out for seven seconds.[…] I have found that if players take a deep breath that lasts fifteen seconds, they will in fact get air into the diaphragm, and the heart rate will slow. My personal findings indicate that attaching time to the centering breath is more effective than monitoring oneself getting air into the diaphragm.” – Jason Selk
Proper breathing is definitely one of those things that are so simple to practice, but often overlooked. By breathing deeper, you’re able to exhale even more which really helps your muscles relax. I’ve also been told that your heart also slows down when you improve your breathing.
This technique has been mentioned in a few of Brian Johnson’s PN and I’ve been incorporating it to my meditation practice.. Well that’s not necessarily true, I started with using that technique to practice deeper breathing while meditating and now I guess I just take longer deeper breaths without really counting. Of course my normal breaths are still somewhat short, but my goal is to eventually get my natural breathing to naturally become deeper.


“If you determine what you want to accomplish in any given situation then lock your mind on what it takes to achieve that goal, you will have a much better chance of reaping the rewards. This is true in any setting—business, sport, or even social. As often as possible, choose to think about the path to success rather than the obstacles in your way.” – Jason Selk
Another very important concept to practice. There is a saying that goes along the lines of you are what you think – so if you want to become successful, start thinking about how to get to your goals as opposed to the challenges that you will face getting there. My daily thoughts are always how do I get to where I want to be. When challenges come up, instead of thinking of the worst case scenario, I find ways to overcome it. This allows me to not only find answers faster, but keeps me in a much better mood.


“Giving your best effort means doing anything that will help you become the slightest bit better, and the research clearly confirms the benefit inherent in using goals.” – Jason Selk
Selk goes on to talk about the seven principles for optimal effectiveness. I’ve summarized what the PN has:

  1. Process over product – focus on the “what it takes” to achieve your product goals
  2. No excuses – take full accountability for your own growth by not allowing excuses
  3. Go public – write down your goals and tell others; it makes it so much harder to give up (that’s what I do and why I plan on going public with my monthly goals on this blog)
  4. Keep goals alive – take a small step towards your goal daily
  5. Vision integrity – have goals aligned to who you want to be and how you want to live
  6. Personal reward preference – create awards for yourself for each milestone you hit
  7. Work hard – give 100% of your efforts to your goals when you’re working on them and commit another 20% of your energy to outwork your competition

According to the PN, there is a goal setting exercise in the actual book


“Gradual improvement over time brings about vibrant and sustainable growth. I have observed that when individuals emphasize improvement over perfection, their progress accelerates. We frequently get confounded by how much work it will take for our problems to be completely resolved. We become paralyzed, unable to take action toward improvement. You do not need to arrive at perfection; you need to slowly but surely make things better.” – Jason Selk
Always keep moving, taking one step at a time. A few examples of goals I had for this month is to complete 4 books and improve my physical flexibility. For the books, I had a goal to finish one book each week and so I broke it down such that I had to read a certain amount of pages each day, and each day I read at least that many pages. For my flexibility, I was terrible at the beginning of the month (you would think that I was not trying when I tried to reach my toes). But each day (well every few days since I have a couple of physical goals that I rotate through) I just go after an inch more. I might not always get that inch, but now my fingers touch the floor. I can’t wait to be able to have my whole palm on the floor!
A suggestion for those big goals that you have: give yourself 30 minutes each day to work towards it – you will be surprised how far you can get over a course of a month.


“Lanny Bassham, an Olympic gold medal shooter calls this handy precept the “ready, fire, aim” principle. Lanny claims that in sports and in life, people spend too much time aiming at the bull’s-eye and not enough time shooting at it. Rather than placing so much emphasis on getting ready and aiming, go ahead and take a shot. Taking the shot gets you started and also lets you gauge how far off the mark you are. Make adjustments, but keep shooting until you get closer and closer, and eventually you will hit the bull’s eye.” – Jason Selk
Having the perfect plan and not executing is far worse than taking a shot with a somewhat good plan. I’m notorious for this – people always say that I’m rash, that I should take my time to figure it out. It’s true – I’m sure it could’ve gone better if I spent some more time, but most of the times, I am able to learn my lesson and pivot to get to my goal. A really cool concept that I recently heard / read is if your goal is years out, it’s okay to take months or years to prep. It’s a concept I never really thought about and the way it was presented really resonated with me, but I’d still say that even when planning, I would have to try out parts along the way to make sure that I’m always moving.

My Take Aways

The 10 Minute Toughness is full of great concepts that I practice daily. The breathing technique put me on the path of trying to change a subconscious thing that I’ve had since birth which is pretty cool. The other big ideas are also super powerful and if I hadn’t found these concepts earlier. I see myself putting this book on my to read list, but I would be skimming the table of contents to look for other ideas that I may not be as familiar with. If this summary got you thinking, I think the10 Minute Toughness would be a good read for you. You can purchase the book at Amazon through this link (please note that I will be getting a small amount from Amazon, though it does not affect how much you pay – Amazon just makes less money than if you were to go onto the website yourself). I also suggest you check out the actual Philosopher’s Notes (note they even have courses that consolidate many of the concepts in the books that Brian Joshnson covers and puts them into videos that are really easy to digest). This is the first program that I’ve signed up for and am definitely getting my money’s worth!

Which one of these concepts do you feel like you really want to learn more about?


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