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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: August, 2015
Aug 15, 2015

Kristin Neff established self-compassion as a field of study almost a decade ago—bringing the Buddhist practice of self-compassion into her labs so the benefits could be empirically validated. In this Note, we explore the three core elements of self-compassion (self-kindness + common humanity + mindfulness) and why it's so important for us to cultivate!

Aug 15, 2015

We go to the gym to work out our bodies. But what about our minds? We need a mind gym!! This is one of the top books on mental training. Focused on athletes but we're all athletes in the bigger game of life. In this Note, we'll hit the mind gym hard--learning how to move beyond our perceived limits, manage pressure, build confidence and show up consistently.

Aug 15, 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.

Aug 15, 2015

How'd you like to tap into the power of radical contentment? (Sign me up!) Alan Cohen shows us the way to as he teaches us how to quit being a hardaholic and/or a precrastinator as we embrace the three facts of life and eliminate the terrorists from our minds. Enough already. It's a wonderful place to be.

Aug 15, 2015

Getting Things Done. This is like the Bible of personal productivity. And David Allen is our wise sage, walking us thru the powerful systems to help us master the art of stress-free productivity. In the Note, we'll explore how to clear our heads (mind like water!), play the 2-minute game, get our inbox to zero and envision + plan for wil success.

Aug 15, 2015

I'm convinced Mark Divine is a superhero. Seriously. And in Unbeatable Mind, the former Navy SEAL gives us the handbook on mental toughness. In the Note, we'll look at the keys to cultivating our confidence, the importance of cultivating our concentration, learning how to control our breathing and other goodness that will make you unbeatable.

Aug 15, 2015

Darren Hardy is the Publisher of SUCCESS magazine and knows a thing or 1,000 about success. It's all boiled down into this little manifesto on The Compound Effect. The equation? Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE. In the Note, we'll check out the power of compounding and how to welcome Mr. Mo to the party and create your greatest life.

Aug 15, 2015

The Practicing Mind. It’s the key to true inner peace and contentment. In a world that conditions us to obsess about goals and outcomes, it’s easy to miss the importance of the process. The PRACTICE. Thomas Sterner brilliantly (!) helps us bring discipline and focus into our lives to experience the presence and joy that comes as a result. (Bonus: We also create a frictionless path to our goals as well!)

Aug 15, 2015

Would you like to ignite and sustain the fire of genius? Well, Michael Gelb's your guy, then. Gelb is one of the world's leading thinkers + teachers on applied genius creativity. He wrote the life-changing book, "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci" and is back with more goodness in this gem. Specifically, he teaches us how to cultivate our creative mindset + creative mojo via tapping into universal life force, or qi = good stuff!

Aug 15, 2015

Teddy Roosevelt told us that it's not the critic who counts. It's all about the individual who is actually in the arena--whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood... Who dares greatly. Brene Brown takes that spirit and runs with it--showing us how we can only dare greatly when we are willing to live Wholeheartedly, embracing our vulnerability as we cultivate our courage, compassion and connection.

Aug 15, 2015

Introverts unite!! Did you know that the majority (!) of Americans are actually introverted? Yep. But... Our society overly values the extroverted/social side of things and doesn't teach us how to cultivate the internal goodness. Fear not, Dr. Helgoe is here to help us learn how to be psychologically patriotic as we build solitude skills and tap into our introvert power.

Aug 15, 2015

Sleep. It's powerful. Way more so that you may think. And Dr. James Maas, a leading sleep scientist, gives us the lowdown on how to optimize our sleep for peak performance. In the Note, we'll look at why sleep is so powerful, signs you're not getting enough of it, and some best practices on how to rock it. We'll add a few more zzz's to your zzz's!

Aug 15, 2015

You want to be superhuman? Tynan tells us it's *all* about the habits. I agree. And this book is a genius little manifesto on how to rock it. In the Note, we'll look at some Big Ideas on the basic mental mechanics of installing habits that'll help you reach your potential. Keys: focusing on consistency (!), using your mistakes to your advantage, getting rid of negative habits and focusing on the finish line as you rock the process.

Aug 15, 2015

Want to change your life? Take a nap. Seriously. Nearly all of us are sleep deprived and naps are a scientifically proven way to boost everything you want to boost. Leading scientist Sara Mednicks walks us thru the evolutionary functionality of naps and teaches us how to get our nap on and why we should. In the Note, we'll cover the basics and get you rockin' it like a nap ninja in no time.

Aug 15, 2015

Ernest Holmes created the Science of Mind movement and influenced a ton of modern new thought teachers (from Louise Hay to Michael Beckwith). He's all about connecting to that power that's bigger than us and in this Note, we'll explore how to turn on our inner light, tend to our mental garden, look for good and become an outlet for the Divine!

Aug 15, 2015

Richie Davidson is one of the world's leading neuroscientists and was the first guy to check out monks' brains in a lab. He founded the affective + contemplative neuroscience fields and is, quite simply, a neuroscientist rock star. In this Note, we explore some of his best Big Ideas, understanding how our thoughts and behaviors affect the very structure of our brains and the emotions we feel. We'll also look at how to dial it all in.

Aug 15, 2015

You're imperfect. (Hate to break it to you!) And that's awesome. Brene Brown, TED-talk rock star and all-around awesome human being also happens to be one of the world's shame and vulnerability researchers who stumbled upon the secrets of what she calls Wholehearted living. In this Note, we'll look at the Dos and Don'ts of rockin' it as we cultivate courage, connection and compassion to put our soul in a great mood.

Aug 15, 2015

Rest. You getting enough? If you're like most of us, the answer is No. Leading medical doctor, Matthew Edlund shows us how sleep isn't enough. We need to cultivate "active rest" into our day-to-day lives. In this Note, we'll look at how to integrate active Mental + Physical + Social + Spiritual rest while working out our brain, breathing and optimizing our lives.

Aug 15, 2015

The Tools. This was easily the best book I read in 2012. It's *packed* with goodness. Stutz and Michels are two no-nonsense therapists who developed powerful tools to transform our problems into courage, confidence, and creativity. In this Note, we'll take a quick peek at how to put these powerful tools to work to creat real change in our lives.

Aug 15, 2015

Whatever you want to learn, know this: It’s ALL about the myelin. Myelin? Yep. Myelin. In this Note we’ll learn what myelin is and why it’s so cool along with some other Big Ideas—ranging from the importance of “Deep Practice,” to the importance of baby steps as the royal road to skill and the fact that greatness isn’t about not magic, it’s about hard work.

Aug 15, 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.

Aug 15, 2015

Are you looking for a way to “defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over- commitment, broken promises and chaos.” Then this books for you. In the Note, we’ll have some fun checking out how to become a time warrior. Big Ideas include learning how to end overwhelm by doing one thing at a time, the power of taking decisive action and how to focus like a sci-fi laser beam! :)

Aug 15, 2015

Tim Sanders is awesome. He was the Chief Solutions Officer for Yahoo! back in the day and wrote the uber-cool book Love Is the Killer App—which was one of the books that planted the seed for these PhilosophersNotes. In this great book, Tim shares the wisdom of his beloved Grandma, Billye, who taught him the power of total confidence. The key? As Tim says: “The secret to renewal and true confidence is simple: Get back to the basics.” In this Note, we’ll learn how to be truly rich via powerful daily practices as we become healthy-thought nuts and POETs who practice persistence. Fun!

Aug 15, 2015

Abraham Maslow sits in the great-grandfather slot in my spiritual family tree and is kinda the great-grandfather of the modern Positive Psychology movement. We profiled the 19 characteristics of his self-actualizing individual in our Note on Motivation & Personality in Volume I and in this Note we take a look at the essence of creativity and the fact that we all have capacities that’re clamoring to be used!

Aug 15, 2015

Pema Chödrön is a Buddhist teacher and prolific author with an incredibly strong, yet compassionate and grounded perspective. This book is all about facing challenging times with courage as we lean into our fears and grow. We'll explore a bunch of Big Ideas on everything from why we should meditate to how long the process of actualizing takes (roughly the rest of our lives :)!

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