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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: 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from the Lectures and Sayings of Musonius Rufus, translated by Cynthia Arrieu King. Hope you enjoy!

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Musonius Rufus was one of the four great Roman Stoics. In fact, he was known as the “Roman Socrates.” To put him in historical context with the other three great Roman Stoics: He was born in AD 30, about 34 years after Seneca. He taught Epictetus (who was born in AD 55). Epictetus died in 135 but taught the guys who taught the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (who was born in AD 121) his Stoic philosophy—which is why Aurelius refers to him more than any other teacher in Meditations. Big Ideas we explore include: Theory vs. Practice (which is more important?), practicing philosophy (is where it's at!), vice vs. exile (free yourself from vice!), food (it's the medicine of life), and stoic love advice (competing in kindness).

Mar 5, 2021

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Overachievement by John Eliot. In this PN TV episode we take a quick look at some of my favorite Big Ideas from "Overachievement"--a book all about rockin' our greatness! :)

Mar 4, 2021

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Leo Buscaglia was known as the Dr. of Love and in this PN TV episode we'll take a quick look at some of my favorite Big Ideas from his classic book, "Love." Hope you *love* it! :)

Mar 1, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Ego Is the Enemy" by Ryan Holiday. Hope you enjoy!

Feb 26, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "No Sweat" by Michelle Segar, PhD. Hope you enjoy!

Feb 24, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Future Visions by Abraham Maslow. Hope you enjoy!

As you know if you’ve been following along, I love Abraham Maslow and feel a deep kinship to him and his work. We have featured two of the books he published during his lifetime: Toward a Psychology of Being and Motivation and Personality. Although this book has only ONE review on Amazon and I could only buy a used copy of it, I knew I’d love it. And, although I had already been deeply influenced by Maslow and his thinking, there was something about reading his unpublished essays and journal thoughts that made me feel that much more connected to this great man. Big Ideas we explore include Maslow’s thoughts on the “eupsychian ideal” (aka: the “eudaemonic ideal”!), the psychology of happiness (eudaimonology!!), Stoic philosophy (Maslow was a fan), vicious cultural influences (Maslow was NOT a fan!), and the Jonah Complex (ANSWER YOUR HEROIC CALL, already!!).

Feb 22, 2021

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In this PN TV episode, we'll have fun looking at some Big Ideas from the old school Stoic Philosopher Epictetus' "Enchiridion" (aka "The Art of Living). Hope you dig it!

Feb 19, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Gratitude Works! by Robert Emmons, Ph.D.. Hope you enjoy!

I’m grateful for Robert Emmons. He’s dedicated the last three decades of his life to understanding the science of how to boost our well-being. In the process, he’s conducted ground-breaking research on the power of gratitude. In fact, he’s basically THE researcher we have to thank for understanding *just* how powerful gratitude journaling is. (He's also served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.) I consider myself a reasonably grateful guy but this book has opened my eyes to JUST how powerful gratitude is. And, to just how important it is to DELIBERATELY PRACTICE it. Big Ideas we explore include: How to give yourself a 25% (!!!) boost in happiness, the top gratitude practices, the #1 obstacle to gratitude (and its remedy), and using challenges for grateful fuel!

Feb 18, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb. Hope you enjoy!

Alex Korb is a neuroscientist in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. (Go Bruins!) He’s also a great writer. As per the sub-title, the book is all about “Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time.” It’s REALLY good. Inspiring. Scientifically grounded. Simple. Practical. <- A winning formula for a great book! Big Ideas we explore include the power of exercising your brain (which is the #1 tip, btw), setting goals (and making decisions), developing positive habits (via repetition, repetition, repetition), biofeedback (and how to take advantage of it), and the power of others (rely on it!).

Get The Upward Spiral on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1626251207

Learn more about Alex Korb: https://www.optimize.me/authors/alex-korb-phd/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: EXERCISE - YOUR BRAIN
- Conquering Depression 101 → https://www.optimize.me/conquering-depression/
- Conquering Anxiety 101 → https://www.optimize.me/conquering-anxiety/
- Conquering Procrastination 101 → https://www.optimize.me/conquering-procrastination/
- +1: +1 or -1 = Destiny Math | What Must YOU be? (#1) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/destiny-math/
- +1: The Bridge | Between Goals and Accomplishments (#821) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-bridge/
- PNTV: Why We Sleep by Mattew Walker (#392) → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/why-we-sleep-matthew-walker/
- PNTV: Gratitude Works by Robert Emmons (#402) → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/gratitude-works-robert-emmons/
- PN: Spark byJohn J. Ratey → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/spark-john-ratey/
- PN: The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-joy-of-movement-kelly-mcgonigal/
- PNTV: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/tiny-habits-b-fogg/
- +1:How to Sidestep Depression | Did You Know There’s a Magic # of Steps? (#1064) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-sidestep-depression/
- +1:Exercise vs. Zoloft | Feeling Depressed? Pop Your Exercise Pill! (#440) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/exercise-vs-zoloft/

Big Idea 2: SET GOALS + MAKE DECISIONS
- +1: Make Decisions | But Only If You Want to Feel Better (#1225) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/make-decisions/
- +1: Victim vs. Creator | Two Questions: "Why Me?" vs. "What Do I Want?"(#76) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/victim-vs-creator/

Big Idea 3: + HABITS = REPETITION
- +1: We Are What We Repeatedly Do | Excellence, then, Is Not an ACT but a Habit (#469) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/we-are-what-we-repeatedly-do/
- Optimizing Algorithms 101 → https://www.optimize.me/master-class/optimizing-algorithms-101/
- PNTV: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/tiny-habits-b-fogg/
- +1: Perfectionist vs. Optimalist | Which Are You? (#50) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/perfectionist-vs-optimalist/
- +1: Win or Learn | Three Questions to Ask after a Disappointing Performance (#96) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/win-or-learn/
- +1: "Needs work!" | What to Say to Yourself When Things Don’t Go as Planned (#31) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/needs-work/
- +1: Mistake-Learner’s High | Enjoy It as You Pursue Audacious Goals and Endlessly Evolve (#370) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/mistake-learners-high/

Big Idea 4: BIOFEEDBACK
- PN: Presence by Amy Cuddy → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/presence-amy-cuddy/
- +1: iHunch | What Not to Do If You Want to Be Powerful (#166) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/ihunch/
- Optimal Breathing 101 → https://www.optimize.me/master-class/optimal-breathing-101/
- +1: The Rules of Breathing | The Big 3: Nose + Belly + Exhale (#485) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-rules-of-breathing/
- +1: Smile! | A Surprisingly Powerful Way to Boost Your Mood (#115) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/smile/
- +1: How Clark Kent Becomes Superman in 11 Seconds |
Flipping the (Superhero) Identity Switch (Then Reflipping/Ducktaping It So It Sticks All Day Every Day) (#660) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-clark-kent-becomes-superman-in-11-seconds/

Big Idea 5: POWER OF OTHERS
- +1: The Power of Others | Rely on It! (#1226) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-power-of-others/
- Free 14-Day Optimize Trial → https://optimize.me/

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Feb 15, 2021

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In this PN TV episode, we take a quick look at one of the core texts of Buddhism--"The Dhammapada." Hope you dig it!

Feb 12, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Chasing Excellence" by Ben Bergeron. Hope you enjoy!

If you’ve ever worked out at a CrossFit gym and/or watched the Reebok CrossFit Games, you know that the absolute best CrossFit athletes are absolute beasts. Well, Ben Bergeron has been the coach behind six world championships. This book is his inspirational, wisdom-packed !!! look at how he coaches greatness told through the lens of the 2016 Games in which his athletes Mat Fraser and Katrín Davíðsdóttir BOTH won. Think about that... He coached BOTH the men’s and the women’s champions. That’s amazing. My copy of the book is r i d i c u l o u s l y marked up. The book is OUTSTANDING. Big Ideas we explore include: Committing to excellence vs. "Meh, I'm good enough.", the 12 character traits of a champion, grit how's yours? positivity selection attention + confirmation bias, embracing adversity overload and get stronger!, and acting like a champion NOW.

Feb 10, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Finding Your Zone" by Dr. Michael Lardon. Hope you enjoy!

Feb 8, 2021

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Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. In this PN TV episode, we're gonna have fun with some Big Ideas from Marcus Aurelius: the (Roman) Emperor - (Stoic) Philosopher and his classic book "Meditations." Hope you love it!

Feb 5, 2021

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Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly. In this PN TV episode, we take a quick look at some of my favorite Big Ideas from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's GREAT book, "Flow"--including the importance of learning how to control the contents of our consciousness as well as how to get ourselves more consistently into the state of optimal experience known as Flow. Hope you enjoy!

Feb 4, 2021

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In this PN TV episode on David Emerald's "The Power of *TED," we'll explore DDT vs. The Empowerment Dynamic, Living from a Victim vs. a Creator Orientation, and the power of baby steps to handle the dynamic tension between our ideals and our current reality. Fun! :)

Feb 1, 2021

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Feb 1, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Peak" by Anders Ericsson. Hope you enjoy!

Jan 29, 2021

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The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky. Alrighty. Here's a REALLY quick look at a few of my favorite Big Ideas from the PhilosophersNotes on one of my favorite books "The How of Happiness" by Sonja Lyubomirsky. Wow. 10 Minutes goes fast! :) 

Jan 27, 2021

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Mindset. It's huge. How's yours? Here's a quick look on why we want to lean toward a Growth mindset rather than a Fixed mindset and how to best do that!

Jan 25, 2021

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Time for some more Old School love in this PN TV episode where we'll take a look at some of my favorite Big Ideas from Confucius's "Analects." Good times! :)

Jan 13, 2021

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Check out the module preview and download the free worksheets at: https://www.optimize.me/coach-module-vi-8/

An 80/20 Look at How To Invest in Optimus You, PBC, To Create a Heroic Fire That Lights up the World. In our final Module of The Fundamentals, we learn how to turn Pro and "go forward with hope." We'll build Optimus You, Public Benefit Corporation, with a personal Board of Directors and our daimons as CEO, before creating a 5-year prospectus and tracking our Optimized investment strategy of profound dignity via Eudaimonic accounting.

Jan 12, 2021

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Check out the module preview and download the free worksheets at: https://www.optimize.me/coach-module-vi-7/

An 80/20 Look at the Powerful Practice of Appreciating What’s Awesome. It’s easy to get so fired up about the whole Optimizing game that we forget the fact that we’re ALREADY WINNING. Science says: Gratitude is super important. In fact, it’s the key that unlocks a ton of joy. Therefore, it’s time to make it a fundamental. (When? TODAY!)

Jan 10, 2021

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Check out the module preview and download the free worksheets at: https://www.optimize.me/coach-module-vi-6/

An 80/20 Look at How To Focus Your Soul Force on the Only Moment That Matters. If we want to create an awesome future AND to enjoy life right now then we need to focus on the only moment that matters: the present moment. (Aka RIGHT THIS SECOND!) We explore how to Carpe Punctum (Seize the Moment!) with the spotlight of our attention on W.I.N, and how to train our ability to put our minds where we want, when we want, for how long we want (which, science says, is THE hallmark of healthy, happy people).

Jan 9, 2021

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Check out the module preview and download the free worksheets at: https://www.optimize.me/coach-module-vi-5/

An 80/20 Look at How To Optimize Your Breathing for Calm, Focused Energy (Aka Energized Tranquility!). In Module VI.5, having explored the 80/20 of Eating, Moving, and Sleeping, we turn our attention to another potential contender for the title of "most important fundamental." We learn how to Optimize our breathing (through the nose, deep into the belly, with long exhales) all day, every day, and how to train our tranquility with this ticket to self-mastery.

Jan 8, 2021

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Check out the module preview and download the free worksheets at: https://www.optimize.me/coach-module-vi-4/

An 80/20 Look at Why We Sleep, Why We Don't Sleep, and How To Optimize Our #1 Fundie. In Module VI.4, we learn that Sleep isn't just a pillar of optimizing, it's the foundation on which all of our fundamentals rest! (It's also the most underappreciated way to change our lives.) We review what science says about the Top 10 Sleep Kryptonites (and how to minimize/eliminate each of them) before identifying the most important things we can do as we move from Theory to Practice to Sleep Mastery.

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