OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson features the best Big Ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time to help you live your greatest life. (Learn more at
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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time





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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 28, 2015

This is an introduction to our newest Master Class: Greatest Year Ever 101: How to Make 2016 the Best Year of Your Life and Create an Unending String of Such Awesome Years. :) Get instant access to the full class plus a ton of other goodness as a member. Sign up here:

Dec 17, 2015

Carol Dweck tells us we can have 2 different frameworks to approach intelligence and achievement. Each has its own goal. Here they are. (P.S. Choose wisely!)

Dec 15, 2015

Creativity and anxiety go together. Anxietivity. Let’s remember that a meaningful life in which we’re flourishing and giving ourselves most fully to the world involves stress.

Dec 14, 2015

Want to learn about the science of successful learning? Then this is the book for you. Written by a story-teller and two of the world’s leading cognitive scientists who have dedicated their careers to mastering memory + learning, the book is packed with wisdom on what works and what doesn’t. Big Ideas we explore include mastery vs. fluency, the power of active retrieval (aka “the testing effect”), explaining stuff in your own words and the wisdom in the adage that whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.

Dec 12, 2015

Deep Work. It’s the key to how you get So Good They Can’t Ignore You—which, of course, is the title of another one of Cal’s great books. Big Ideas include Deep Work vs. Shallow Work, how to give your neurons a workout, cleaning up attention residue, the four rules of deep work, finding the routine that works for you and learning how to shut down completely.

Dec 11, 2015

Eat Move Sleep. The simple, powerful keys to optimal health and well-being. We talk about these fundamentals ALL the time and this is my new favorite book on health. Big Ideas we explore include 10,008 hours and 36 minutes (the magic # of elite performance), candy for cancer cells, the power of measuring whatever it is you want to improve, how to buy willpower at the store, and a vaccine for the common cold.

Dec 10, 2015

Naive passion is *great*!! Right up to the first obstacle. Then our hero tiptoes out the back door. We need the courage of informed passion.

Dec 9, 2015

Are you fully charged? Tom Rath tells us it’s all about what we do DAILY and that if we want to improve the quality of our lives (and sense of aliveness!), we need to focus on optimizing three key conditions: Meaning + Interactions + Energy. Big Ideas we explore include the meaning equation, doubling down on your talents, embracing the 500 million moments of our lives, and The iPhone Effect.

Dec 8, 2015

Malcolm Gladwell tells us some difficulties can be desirable. How about yours?

Dec 7, 2015

This is the second of the three books currently in 99U Book Series. (We cover them all.) Big Ideas we explore in this one include putting yourself into permanent beta, making a decision and then working hard to prove yourself right Peyton Manning style, expanding the amplitude of the waves you make and becoming the Better You.

Dec 4, 2015

This is the third installment in 99U’s book series on the “missing curriculum” for creative leaders. Like the other two, it’s a collection of short essays by great leaders + creators + writers. The content is organized in four domains: 1) Defining your purpose + 2) Building your product + 3) Serving your customers + 4) Leading your team. Big Ideas we explore include purpose, eating your own dog food (aka making something YOU are excited to use), serving profoundly, character as your #1 asset and the power of just getting started!

Dec 3, 2015

The ability to hold two contradictory beliefs in your mind simultaneously while accepting both of them AND knowing when to bring the right one to the surface while casting the other aside. It's a powerful tool.

Dec 2, 2015

Imagine a ceramics teacher splitting a class in two: One group is graded for quantity, the other for quality. Which one do you think creates the bet stuff? (Hint: Think quantity. :)

Dec 1, 2015

Here's a quick look at how to Spark + Sustain + Amplify your motivation as you optimize and actualize. Remember: Ambition + Expectancy + Attention + Effort + Attitude + Environment = Super powerful.

Nov 30, 2015

If you’re looking to optimize your day-to-day-productivity, this collection of wisdom from some of the world’s leading creative gurus via 99U is a fantastic place to start. Big Ideas we explore include the importance daily routines, the most important thing you can do to boost your productivity, how screen apnea leads to things you don’t want and why rats love to check email.

Nov 29, 2015

Mindsight. It's the seventh sense you didn't know you had! Can you pay attention to the inner workings of your own mind? That's what Dr. Dan Siegel, one of the world's leading neuroscientists + psychotherapists, helps us do in this phenomenal book. We'll explore Big Ideas ranging from the basics of brain hygiene to the power of integration and how to live with more flexibility and coherence as we leverage the best of modern neuroscience.

Nov 28, 2015

If you’re looking for a smart, grounded, funny and well-written introduction to the Paleo movement, this is the perfect place to start. Big Ideas we explore include the five ages of our origins (Animal + Paleolithic + Agricultural + Industrial + Information), poisons vs. fountains of youth, the importance of meaning (and how to dial it in) and alarm clocks for bed time.

Nov 27, 2015

Do you want to reach your potential? If you’re reading this then the answer seems clear. The path to do so is pretty obvious as well: We must grow. And, as Maxwell advises, we must be intentional about it. Big Ideas we explore include a couple uber-powerful questions, Discipline as the bridge btwn your goals and accomplishments, trade-offs, and the magic of “Do it now!”

Nov 26, 2015

Want a big win? Then small wins are where it's at. Build your momentum. Make progress!

Nov 25, 2015

Carol Dweck is one of the world’s leading researchers on the science of motivation. This book is a collection of brief essays on various aspects of “self-theories.” It’s essentially a bridge between her extensive academic research studies and her popular book Mindset. It’s amazing. Big Ideas we explore include the two frameworks (entity vs. incremental) and their two goals (performance vs. learning), attributional retraining (aka learning the best way to respond to failure!), and moving from contingent self-worth to wholehearted self-esteem.

Nov 23, 2015

Little bets. Peter Sims tells us they’re a LOT wiser than bet-it-all-and-pray big bets. He shows us the wisdom of the little bets approach via fascinating stories highlighting the extraordinary success of everyone from Chris Rock mastering a performance to Pixar creating their ingenious films. Big Ideas we explore include how to build our growth mindset muscles, going from suck to unsuck, smallifying, creating small wins and doing things to discover things.

Nov 22, 2015

Your brain only weighs around 3 pounds. That's 2-3% of your total body weight. Yet... Your brain is hungry. It consumes 20-30% of your total caloric intake. So, eat wisely!

Nov 21, 2015

It’s a LOT easier to get fired up to do something with a strong YES!! What’s your WILDLY awesome goal that’ll help you crowd out all the shallow distractions?

Nov 20, 2015

Art and fear. (You may have noticed they go together.) This is a quick-reading (122 pages), witty, real look at the process and challenges of making art. Of course, I think the biggest art project all of us can ever engage in is the creation of our own optimized and actualized lives, so we’ll be focusing on Big Ideas we can apply to our lives today including: quitting vs. stopping, fast vs. slow, 50 lbs, the importance of progress, naive passion vs. informed passion and how to get work done like a PRO!

Nov 19, 2015

Tony Schwartz is the CEO and founder of The Energy Project, which helps companies fuel sustainable high performance by better meeting the needs of their employees. Drawing on the multidisciplinary science of sustainable high performance, Tony’s abiding passion and lifelong commitment is to change the way the world works.

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