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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

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

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 :)!

Aug 15, 2015

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts and one of the world’s leading advocates for mindfulness training. He’s demonstrated the phenomenal health benefits of integrating meditation into our daily lives and in this Note we’ll learn about meditation—what it is, how we can rock it and what we can gain from doing so.

Aug 15, 2015

Why Meditate? According to Ricard, the ultimate reason is to transform ourselves so we can transform our world. That works for me! In this Note, we check out my favorite Big Ideas on working out our mindfulness muscles, looking at the power of neuroplasticity and highlighting the fact that it’s *all* about the consistent practice, working on our consciousness thought after thought and emotion by emotion.

Aug 15, 2015

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.

Aug 15, 2015

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.

Aug 15, 2015

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. :)

Aug 15, 2015

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.

Aug 15, 2015

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. :)

Aug 15, 2015

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.

Aug 15, 2015

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. :)

Aug 15, 2015

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.

Aug 15, 2015

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.

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