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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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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 29, 2016

Willpower. It’s ESSENTIAL to optimizing our lives. In fact, in their *great* book, Willpower, Roy Baumeister (one of the world’s leading scientific researchers on self-control) and John Tierney (science writer for the New York Times) tell us that “Improving willpower is the surest way to a better life.” In this Note, we’ll learn how to eat our way to willpower (seriously), how to exercise our self-control muscles, why “precommitment” is so important and how to win the willpower game with bright lines and a great offense. :)

Mar 28, 2016

Have you or someone you loved ever experienced depression? If so, it’s time to tame the gremlins and create a sustainably awesome life. Here are my Top 10 Big Ideas on how to CONQUER depression–forged from my own experience.

Mar 27, 2016

Join us for Part 3 in The Tools interview series as Phil Stutz and Barry Michels walk us through the two Tools we didn't touch on in the prior chats: Grateful Flow (the way to deal with anxiety) and Active Love (powerful tool to deal with anger). Super inspiring, practical wisdom. Hope you love it! (Learn more about Phil + Barry + The Tools at thetoolsbook.com)

Mar 26, 2016

Neil Pasricha is a fascinating guy. A Harvard MBA and director of leadership development for Walmart who gave one of the most popular TED talks ever and published The Book of Awesome which sold 1m+ copies. This book is a fun, quick-read packed with great Ideas. We cover: The Big 7 ways science says we can boost our happiness, waking up with an Icky Guy (the good kind), how to add an hour to your day, a great question to tap into your purpose and wisdom from the greatest physicist ever (hint: create momentum).

Mar 25, 2016

Tom Rath is a best-selling author of Eat Move Sleep + Are You Fully Charged? and a bunch of other great books. (He also wrote our favorite kids book: The Rechargeables!) And, he's a cool guy. Join us as we explore some great, super practical Big Ideas!

Mar 24, 2016

Do you wake up and high five your Icky Guy? If not, you're missing out. Here's why you want to make your ikigai your new bff.

Mar 23, 2016

Did you know your limbic system (think: emotions) and prefrontal cortex (think: rational thoughts) act like a sort of seesaw? When one is up the other is down. Knowing this, we can use some tricks to stay cool under pressure. Here they are.

Mar 22, 2016

Meditation. It’s unequivocally awesome. But it can also get a little more esoteric than necessary. Enter: How to meditate without moving to the Himalayas! Here are my Top 10 Big Ideas on the nuts and bolts of how to create a great, sustainable practice.

Mar 21, 2016

UBE + GBD. Ugly but effective + Good bad days. That’s where it’s at. When things get wobbly we can’t let it all fall apart. Gotta be a champ and play poorly well. Get scrappy!

Mar 18, 2016

I LOVE the science of flourishing. In this class, we have fun exploring my absolute favorite Big Ideas from my absolute favorite psychologists. Life-changing stuff. The psychologists: Maslow + Frankl + Csikszentmihalyi + Seligman + Dweck + Baumeister + Ben-Shahr + Oettingen + Segar + McGonigal. The Ideas: Actualizer + Choice + Flow + Virtues + Mindsets + Willpower + Optimalist + WOOP + Why + Stress.

Mar 17, 2016

Fear strikes. Now what do you do? Try to calm yourself down or lean into it? Learn how to activate your GO! systems when you're feeling high states of arousal. Research says it's often much more effective than slamming on the brakes while driving 80 mph.

Mar 16, 2016

Tal Ben-Shahar is one of the most popular professors in Harvard’s history and does a great job of integrating the rigor of the science of happiness with the fun of self-help. Drawing on the latest psychological research, this book walks us through 101 choices we make throughout our lives. Big Ideas include finding happiness boosters, joining the failure hall of fame, focusing on your strengths and co-creating your reality.

Mar 15, 2016

Did you know the Sirens in the Odyssey tailored their songs for each voyager's unique weaknesses? Yep. Makes you wonder what they sing to YOU, eh? Let's figure that out and create some Odysseus Contracts to deal with them.

Mar 14, 2016

Want to optimize your relationship? My wife, Alexandra, joins us for this special class. Join us as we explore 10 of our favorite Big Ideas--starting with a definition of love then looking at the difference between falling in vs. standing in love and then some nuts and bolts Ideas on how to rock it.

Mar 11, 2016

Ever wonder how your brain works while you’re at work? And, even more importantly, how you can OPTIMIZE how your brain works while you work? If so, this is the book for you. Big Ideas we explore include the importance of prioritizing prioritizing (aka quit blowing your brain up), how to decrease your IQ by 15 points (hah—seriously—here’s how to be 3 times less effective than someone stoned! :0), why your basal ganglia is awesome, and how to rock the seesaw that is your limbic system + prefrontal cortex.

Mar 10, 2016

Hope. It's POWERFUL. And, it's different from Fantastizing and Dwelling. Here's what science says it is. (Plus the three facets: Goals + Agency + Pathways.)

Mar 9, 2016

Neil Pasricha is a fascinating guy. A Harvard MBA and director of leadership development for Walmart who gave one of the most popular TED talks ever and published The Book of Awesome which sold 1m+ copies. This book is a fun, quick-read packed with great Ideas. We cover: The Big 7 ways science says we can boost our happiness, waking up with an Icky Guy (the good kind), how to add an hour to your day, a great question to tap into your purpose and wisdom from the greatest physicist ever (hint: create momentum).

Mar 8, 2016

How do you evaluate your performance? Most people get it wrong. Do you? (Hint: Don’t start with the negative stuff. Start with the GOOD then think about how you can get BETTER so you can be your BEST.)

Mar 7, 2016

Black holes. Just contemplating the sheer, fierce power of them is awe-inspiring, eh? Isaiah Hankel tells us that although physicists used to think that everything got destroyed in a black hole, now they believe that it’s less about destruction and more about *transformation.* And shines some light on the power of focusing on our purpose with black hole intensity. Big Ideas we explore include sheep vs. strategists, figuring out your ikigai (= why you get up in the morning), the fascinating endurance of rats with hope, the first two steps in greatness and moving from vision to decision.

Mar 6, 2016

Procrastination. We all do it to some extent but the best among us have learned how to conquer it to sustain peak motivation in pursuit of their goals. In this class we look at what SCIENCE says works to quit putting our life on hold and actualize our potential. If you've ever procrastinated I guarantee you'll get at least one life-changing idea from this action-packed class.

Mar 5, 2016

Richie Davidson is one of the world's leading authorities on the neuroscience of emotion and meditation. Join us for a quick chat about some Big Ideas from his work.

Mar 4, 2016

Jim Afremow is one of the world’s leading sports psychologists and this great book is packed with Big Ideas. We explore: the vision of a champion (and how to fuel it), what mental toughness *really* is, how/why to be ugly but effective, how to evaluate yourself (3 q’s: good + better + best), and creating sustained obsession as you take the champion’s honor pledge.

Mar 3, 2016

Stuart Smalley affirmations aren't awesome but science says self-affirmation is. Here's a quick look at the difference.

Mar 2, 2016

Adam Grant is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and the top-ranked Professor at Wharton. He’s also a great writer. In Originals, we take a look at “How Non-Conformists Move the World.” Big Ideas we explore in the Note include vuja de, creating a ton of stuff, activating your GO! system when fear strikes, the fact that venting just fuels anger (and why empathetic anger is where it’s at), and how proper revolutions are less about cataclysmic explosions and more about long, controlled burns.

Mar 1, 2016

Why do you strive to exercise more, eat well and sleep better? Your motivation matters. Here's what science says about how to best optimize. (Hint: Connect how you feel today with what you do today!)

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