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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 optimize.me.)
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OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time
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Now displaying: November, 2015
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.

Nov 18, 2015

This is a great little book packed with gems on the creative process we can apply to both our work AND our lives. As per the sub-title, Austin gives us “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Big Ideas we explore include the need to start copying, the importance of taking care of ourselves and establishing a routine as we set creative constraints and amassing a body of work as we consistently show up.

Nov 17, 2015

This is Austin Kleon’s second masterful little book on optimizing creativity. The first? Steal Like an Artist. After learning how to get our creativity on, we’re ready to become the artist whose ideas *others* steal. Big Ideas include chain creating, micro sabbaticals, playing till the 9th inning, troll pooper scoopers, and the #1 way to get more followers.

Nov 16, 2015

What do you think about excellence? Do you think it’s primarily driven by natural, inborn talent? Or, do you think that it’s primarily driven by effort? Matthew Syed tells us that’s a very important decision that has a broad impact on how we show up and shows us how to Bounce into our highest potential. Big Ideas we explore include: the iceberg illusion, 1 million balls, doublethink and the importance of purposeful practice + the growth mindset.

Nov 15, 2015

Failure. Some of us lean into it and learn as much as we can from it, and some of us prefer to avoid thinking about it and/or pretend it never happened. As you may guess, one approach leads to dramatically better performance over the long run. (Hint: Seeing failure as feedback + learning opportunities is a very wise idea.) Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the aviation vs. health care industries, the importance of quantity of work if you want quality, marginal gains, cognitive dissonance and pre-mortems.

Nov 14, 2015

Robin Sharma is one of the world's leading authorities on leadership, greatness and living an extraordinary life. Join us for an inspiring chat about some of his top Big Ideas on how to optimize and actualize!

Nov 13, 2015

John Maxwell is one of the world’s authorities on leadership. He’s sold over 25 million (!) books. This is a quick-reading 127 pages packed with wisdom and Big Ideas on Maxwell’s eleven essential types of thinking—ranging from Big-Picture thinking to Realistic Thinking and everything in between. Big Ideas we explore include the power of targets for focused thinking, becoming a possibility thinker and anxietivity—how creativity and anxiety go together.

Nov 12, 2015

In my interview with Steven Kotler about The Rise of Superman his #1 piece of advice was to remember this: “No pressure, no diamonds.” It’s time to rise.

Nov 11, 2015

Failure. Some of us lean into it and learn as much as we can from it, and some of us prefer to avoid thinking about it and/or pretend it never happened. As you may guess, one approach leads to dramatically better performance over the long run. (Hint: Seeing failure as feedback + learning opportunities is a very wise idea.) Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the aviation vs. health care industries, the importance of quantity of work if you want quality, marginal gains, cognitive dissonance and pre-mortems.

Nov 10, 2015

Imagine your mind as a video game. If you're playing intelligently, you're learning as you advance thru levels. Always better than getting killed by the same monster in the same spot every.single.time, eh?!

Nov 9, 2015

Brendon Burchard is one of the most popular motivation and business marketing experts in the world. (To put it in perspective: He’s one of the Top 100 most popular public figures on Facebook and has twice as many fans as Tony Robbins.) This book is packed with Big Ideas. We explore the root of the word motivation, how to spark + sustain + amplify our motivation, eliminating digital addictions, and creating out own motivation manifesto.

Nov 8, 2015

Willpower. It’s huge. The Willpower Instinct by award-winning Stanford Professor Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., is a GREAT book based on “The Science of Willpower” class Kelly teaches through Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program. It’s *packed* with super practical Big Ideas on the newest scientific insights about self-control to explamkdirin how we can “break old habits and create healthy habits, conquer procrastination, find our focus, and manage stress.” In this Note, we’ll check out the #1 way to build willpower (it’s not what you’d guess), how to give ourselves willpower boosts throughout the day and other stress-relief strategies that rock.

Nov 7, 2015

If you’ve ever had stress in your life (hah!) and wondered how to deal with it more optimally, I think you’ll love this. McGonigal tells us that how we THINK about stress plays a huge role in its affect on us and walks us thru the science behind it. Rather than try to get rid of stress (good luck with that!), we’re much better off shifting our mindsets to embrace and use the stress wisely!

Nov 6, 2015
Dilbert creator Scott Adams is a funny guy. He's also a wise human robot. In this chat, we explore some of my favorite Big Ideas from his great (!) book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big (sub-title: Kind of the Story of My Life <-- hah!). Big Ideas include the importance of systems (and why they trump goals), deciding vs. wanting, programming your moist robot, the mysterious power of affirmations, and being the first against the odds.
Nov 4, 2015

Shane Snow is a journalist and entrepreneur who takes us on a fascinating tour of “How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.” The book is packed with stories capturing the ascent of everyone from young Presidents, Jimmy Fallon, and Elon Musk—and, of course, the “Smartcuts” they used to get there. Big Ideas we explore include: the power of progress, failure as feedback, creating a deep reservoir, stripping away the unnecessary and 10Xing our thinking.

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