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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! :)
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!
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!
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 :)!
Edward L. Deci is one of the world’s leading researchers on human motivation and this book is *packed* with scientific wisdom—exploring what we know about the power of intrinsic motivation (vs. extrinsic motivation), the importance of autonomy (vs. being controlled) and the need for authenticity (vs. alienation). Hint: If you want happiness, focus on relationships, personal growth and making a contribution; don’t go after fame, wealth and beauty.
Why Your Life Sucks. That has to win the award for best title ever. Cohen is a very funny man. He’s also super wise and a great story teller and this book is packed with goodness on how we can unsuck our lives. My favorite Big Ideas (that we cover in the Note) include everything from tuning in to radio station “KNOW,” hiring your own thought bouncer and remembering to nourish your spirit.
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. :)
John Wooden. He’s arguably the greatest coach EV-ER and this book is essentially one Big Idea after another. Wooden is all about the fundamentals and in this Note we’ll explore a few of my favorite Big Ideas on his old-school wisdom—from the fact that full effort = full success to the importance of becoming a realistic optimist.
One of the world’s leading experts on creativity, Eric Maisel is a psychotherapist who works exclusively with artists. As the sub-title suggests, this book is set up as “A Year’s Worth of Inspiration and Guidance” and provides insight into everything from dealing with anxiety to taking the next baby step and having patience. Plus, you’ll learn a new power mantra for creating. :)
Twyla Tharp is awesome. One of the greatest choreographers in the world, she’d created more than 130 (!!!) dances for her company as well as for everyone from the Joffrey Ballet to London’s Royal Ballet. In this great book,. Twyla shares some uber-Big Ideas on how we can develop our Creative Habit to more consistently rock it.
You might have caught Sir Ken’s genius energy in his brilliant TED talk. Not only is he one of the world’s leading experts on creativity, he’s an all-around cool guy and... he’s a KNIGHT! How cool is that?! That’s pretty saucy I say. :)
Sri Swami Satchidananda was one of the world’s greatest yoga masters and teachers. This book is organized as a daily inspirational guidebook and it’s packed with 365 wisdom gems. In the Note, we explore Big Ideas ranging from the importance of being bold and strong to the power of making a lot mistakes.
Wonder where happiness comes from? So does Jonathan Haidt, one of the world’s leading positive psychologists and Professor at the University of Virginia. In this phenomenal book, Haidt looks at ancient wisdom and modern wisdom as he tests some happiness hypotheses and comes up with his ultimate hypothesis. In this Note, we’ll check out the dynamic between you and your elephant, the magic pill that is meditation, and the mojo of virtue.
Michael Ray is a Professor at Stanford’s Business School who teaches creativity in business. This book shares the lessons from that remarkable class and points out the fact that our “Highest Goal” is all about connecting to and living from our highest truths all the time. In this Note, we’ll take a look at how to get out of “the cruel grip of society” as we travel our own path and let the material bounty be by-products of our spiritual awesomeness. :)
Barry Schwartz tells us that some choice is obviously good but too much choice can actually stress us out! The book is packed with powerful wisdom—much of it counterintuitive. In the Note, we'll explore the difference between being a “Maximizer” vs. a “Satisficer” and why we want to shift from always needing the “absolute best” to being happy with “good enough” as we develop our gratitude and quit comparing ourselves to other peeps. Powerful.
Tom Morris is my favorite living philosopher. As a former Professor at Notre Dame with a dual Ph.D. in Religion and Philosophy, he blends old school, rigorous philosophy with amodern sense of fun. In this Note, we have fun getting our wisdom on with his “7 C’s of Success”: Conception, Confidence, Concentration, Consistency, Commitment, Character and a Capacity to Enjoy. Good times.
Michael Bernard Beckwith. Alexandra and I love him and his wisdom. He’s a model of integrated spirituality for us one of our absolute favorite teachers. In this Note, we’ll take quick at his powerful “Life Visioning Process” and have some fun getting our wisdom on with Big Ideas ranging from The Four Stages of Evolutionary Growth to unplugging from the Internet and plugging into the “Inner-net.” Good stuff!
Carol Dweck, Ph.D is a Stanford Professor and one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of motivation. She tells us that our “mindset”—how we see the world—determines a *huge* part of our overall happiness and well-being and achievement. In this Note, we’ll explore the difference between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset” and some Big Ideas on why we want to learn how to live from a growth mindset. And, of course, how to do it!
Are you suffering from “excusitis” or living on “Someday Isle”—you know, where you’ll get around to living your greatest life “someday”? Brian Tracy says we need to vote ourselves off that island and in this Note we’ll check out some of my favorite Big Ideas on how he says we should rock it—from understanding the root of negative moods (it’s all about blame) to thinking long-term (the happiest/most successful see the big picture!) to the importance of setting goals and taking purposeful action.
This is a great book. In Rethinking Depression, Eric Maisel presents an incredibly persuasive case for how medicalized we’ve made the normal human emotions of sadness, anxiety and other unfun feelings (and how dangerous that is) while giving us an existential handbook on how to deal with life’s challenges by creating an authentic life packed with meaning. In this Note, we check out the fact that unhappiness happens while learning how to create our “existential ideal” as we make meaning in our lives! (And, therefore, a *lot* more happiness.)