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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 14, 2015

Ah, The Power of Myth. This book is based on the amazing PBS interview series Bill Moyers did with Campbell shortly before he passed away and captures some of the 24 hours of filmed wisdom that hit the cutting floor. We'll learn how Campbell came up with the admonition to "follow your bliss!" (hint: it's from the Upanishads), the importance of loving our fate, how we're helped by hidden hands when we really commit to our paths and so much more.

Aug 14, 2015

Did you know the word decide comes from two little Latin words that literally mean "to cut off"?! Yep. To make a decision means to cut off other options and commit to one and this old school New Thought classic helps us get our power of decision crankin'. In the Note, we'll explore some Big Ideas including lowering our guilt load, watching our moods and planting good thought seeds.

Aug 14, 2015

Walter Russell was a 20th century genius, a renaissance man who excelled in the sciences, arts, sports and life in general. He was also a deeply spiritual guy and this book captures his wisdom on the art of living well. We'll look at the importance of connecting to the Universal Self, focusing our intention, and trusting the Divine Intelligence that's guiding our actions as we give our gifts in greatest service to the world.

Aug 14, 2015

We've gotta think big if we want to live big, eh? From learning to kick the dreaded "excusitis" disease to developing our "stickability," this classic is packed with fun, super practical wisdom. In the Note we'll also explore the facts that action cures fear (!!!), we've gotta make a compromise with perfection and to think confidently we’ve gotta act confidently. And, of course, we've gotta think big.

Aug 14, 2015

Ah, The Fountainhead. It's always fun to distill a 752-page magnum opus into a 6-page PDF and 20-minute MP3. Ayn Rand is intense and this book is packed with Big Ideas. We'll explore a few of my favorites, including our responsibility to own our greatness, not live as a second-hander (someone who is over-concerned about other people’s opinion of them), love what we do and know what we want.

Aug 14, 2015

Osho's a fascinating guy and in this Note we'll take a look at the power of Zorba the Buddha, the importance of self-discipline, the fact that we've got to have a firm hold on our ego before we have any hope of letting it go (big point a lot of peeps tend to miss!), and a lot of other Big Ideas on making our potential a reality.

Aug 14, 2015

Ervin Seale is an old-school New Thought guy with a great, simple style and super practical wisdom. In this Note, we'll have fun seeing how our minds are like crazy, drunk, swinging monkeys (and how we can tame them!) and explore a bunch of other Big Ideas—including the importance of ignoring what others think of us and seeing the Divine within ourselves (and others).

Aug 14, 2015

Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon who saw just how important our self-image is to our well being and introduced some Big Ideas on how to tap into the power of our subconscious minds. In this Note, we'll explore the science of guided missiles and see how that ties into our day-to-day lives (hint: goals are *really* important) and the fact that we need to re-hypnotize ourselves if we wanna get our mojo on.

Aug 14, 2015

This is one of the three books by Campbell we cover and in this Note, we'll learn why following our bliss is so important (hint: our bliss is the transcendent wisdom within us bubbling up!) and how we can more courageously follow it in our lives (hint: say "Yes!" to life more often!). We'll also look at how we can make the simple things in our life part of our heroic journey and how going for it isn't an ego trip.

Aug 14, 2015

The Doctor of Love is in da house! In this Note, we'll explore some of Buscaglia's Big Ideas on how to live with a lotta Love— starting with the fact that if we want to master the subject, we've gotta *study* it! We'll also look at how important it is to fully express ourselves and that a truly loving relationship is one in which both partners are committed to their own growth and supporting their love's growth. (P.S. My Goddess was the first chica I'd met who'd read this book and I think I fell in love on our 1st date when she told me she loved it, too!)

Aug 14, 2015

Have you ever worried more than you'd like? (Me, too.) In this Note, we'll explore some *really* Big Ideas on how to stop worrying and start living—including the importance of rest (did you know our hearts rest way more than they work every day? (Me, either.)) and how important it is to make decisions and take action!

Aug 14, 2015

Earnest Holmes was the founder of the Science of Mind/Religious Science and is one of the grandfathers of the modern self-development movement—directly inspiring everyone from Louise Hay to Michael Beckwith and countless others. In this Note, we'll learn that "fear brings failure and faith brings success" and how important it is for us to radiate joy, faith, hope and expectancy to create the life we envision.

Aug 14, 2015

Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest who integrated Eastern and Western ideas into his teachings and in this Note, we'll explore some of his Biggest Ideas on how to live from a place of deep connection and awareness. We'll learn how to get over our fears and quit driving with our brakes on plus the importance of looking at life as a symphony with ever changing rhythms and music that's only enjoyable to the extent we don't try to hold on to any one note.

Aug 14, 2015

Although somewhat obscure, James Allen is a wise guy and his essays have deeply influenced many of today's leading teachers. In this Note, we'll explore the fact that dreams are the seedlings of our future realities and we'll learn how important it is that we strengthen the power of our minds if we want to live an extraordinary life of meaning.

Aug 14, 2015

Joseph Campbell occupies the Grandfather slot in my spiritual family tree and this book is an incredible collection of some of his most inspiring wisdom. In the Note, we'll explore a range of Big Ideas from what it means to (and how to!) follow our bliss as we rock our hero's journey to learning that we've gotta be willing to break some eggs if we want to make omelets (aka, we've gotta be willing to make mistakes as we grow!).

Aug 14, 2015

Nathaniel Branden is easily one of the most articulate human beings I've read and is one of the world's leading experts on self-esteem. This book rocks and in the Note we'll explore the six pillars of self-esteem—from the practice of living consciously, accepting ourselves and taking responsibility to practicing self-assertiveness, living purposefully and having personal integrity. This is one of my favorite books and Notes that I think you'll love.

Aug 14, 2015

It's time to quit being a perfectionist and start being an optimalist. And Tal Ben-Shahar, the former Harvard (Positive Psych) Professor shares why we should care, and how we can look to our ideals as guiding stars rather than distant shores. If you, like me, have perfectionist tendencies, you'll love the book and you'll love the Note as we explore some Big Ideas on how to embrace the constraints of life as we get our inner-optimalist on!

Aug 13, 2015

People often ask me what *one* book I would recommend they read. I never had an answer I felt good about until I read this book. It's amazing. The most comprehensive and readable look at what we *scientifically know* works to boost our happiness—from gratitude and exercise to optimism and kindness. (btw: The other #1 book I'd recommend? The PhilosophersNotes workbook. How can you beat 1,000 Big Ideas from 100 great books packed into 600 pages? ;)

Aug 13, 2015

Mary-Elaine Jacobsen is one of the world's leading authorities on gifted adults and this book is packed with wisdom on how "everyday geniuses®" can rock it. We'll explore how to develop our evolutionary IQ as we work hard, silence the (inner and outer) critics and learn how to bounce back as we become co-creators in liberating our everyday genius.

Aug 13, 2015

Rollo May was a brilliant 20th century existential psychologist and this book is a great look at the courage it takes to fully express ourselves as we create our ideal lives. We'll explore the fact that the word courage comes from the French word for "heart" and that, just as the heart pumps blood to all the organs of our body, so does courage pump blood to all our other virtues—without courage, we're effectively dead. This Note is packed with Big Ideas to make sure your courage is beating strong.

Aug 13, 2015

Glasser's got an awesome, straightforward style of writing and in this Note we'll explore the psychology of strength and weakness and how easy it is to develop negative addictions as a way to shield ourselves from the pain of our weakness and poor choices. Once we've checked that out, we'll look at how we can develop our strength by rockin' positive addictions (things like running, yoga, meditation) in our lives!

Aug 13, 2015

Abraham Maslow tells us, "What one can be, one must be!" (OMG I love that.) He was a 20th century humanistic psychologist who came up with the hierarchy of needs and studied the most exceptional people of his era. In this Note, we'll explore some of the Big Ideas on how we can be all that we're destined to be and look at some of the characteristics of those self-actualizing human beings who're rockin' it.

Aug 13, 2015

Viktor Frankl survived the horrors of the holocaust and describes his Logotherapy in this classic book. In the Note, we'll explore the fact that our attitudes determine our happiness and that *no one* can ever take away the freedom for us to choose our response to any given situation. We'll also look at the importance of having a mission in life and that as we serve something bigger than ourselves, our happiness and success will follow.

Aug 13, 2015

Did you know you can learn optimism? Yep. And, unfortunately, we can also learn helplessness. Whether we're helpless or optimistic is one of the biggest predictors of whether we're emotionally happy/healthy or depressed/unhealthy so this is BIG. In this Note, we'll explore some great Ideas on how to get our optimism on by creating more empowering explanations of what's happening in our lives.

Aug 13, 2015

Tal Ben-Shahar is one of my favorite teachers. He taught one of the most popular classes in Harvard's history and this book captures the essence of his class on Positive Psychology—sharing the best of what we scientifically know about how to create happier, more fulfilled lives. We'll explore how important it is to have goals AND be in the moment (and the perils of *just* being in the moment) along with mucho más goodness.

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