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.
Habits. They’re powerful. And, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a very cool look at why we have them, how they work, and what we can do to change them. The book is an incredibly well-written, fun read and it’s packed with great stories and wisdom and I think you’ll dig it. In this Note, we’ll take a quick peek at the basic aspects of a habit loop (cue + routine + reward), how you can get a cue, what a keystone habit is (and why you should care), the importance of believing you can change and the fact that every habit is malleable. Fun!
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.)
Exercise. At this stage—especially if you’ve read many of these Notes!—we KNOW it’s important. This book tells us WHY. John D. Ratey is a genius from the Harvard Medical School (well, technically he’s a Professor of Psychiatry there :) and his book is *packed* with goodness. If you’re looking to understand the “Revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain” then Spark is for you.
Written in 1859, this is one of the classics of self-development. Smiles focuses on character development, hard work and perseverance rather than the get-it-quick-fluff found in so much of modern self-dev. In the Note, we’ll explore a bunch of Big Ideas including the power of diligence and how to make happiness a habit!
How’d you like the scientific low-down on how to effectively set goals and succeed? Well, Heidi Grant Halvorson, the young Positive Psychology superstar, gives you the goods in this awesome book. You might be surprised by what you learn. It’s not all about vision boards and visualization (obviously). In the Note, we’ll explore all kinds of Big Ideas, including the fact that we need to have a specific, difficult (but attainable) goal we believe we can achieve AND awareness of all the challenges that stand in our way. Powerful stuff.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a nutritional science rock star. As one of the world’s leading medical doctors, he is leading the charge in helping us understand how nutrition impacts our well-being. Super Immunity is PACKED with goodness and, as the sub-title points out, provides us with “The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free.” In this Note, we’ll get our wisdom on as we check our Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid, learn about the power of cruciferous veggies (seriously amazing), get our GOMBBS on as we unleash our healing potential!
Russell Simmons. Part vegan-yogi. Part pop icon. 100% awesome. (And *really* funny. :) In PN - Volume I we did a Note on his great book Do You! and I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas from this fun weekend read as well. Favorites include getting on the right train, becoming a business yogi, the power of hard work, and cleaning out the junk mail in our minds!
Colvin tells us talent is overrated. (As you may have gathered from the title. :) Where’s it at? 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, yo. That’s the bedrock on which greatness is developed. In this Note, we’ll check out The Mozart Myth (you think he was born great?! Think again!) to falling on your butt 20,000 times, and we’ll have fun seeing how we can create our own personal greatness.
Robert Emmons is one of the world's leading experts on the science of gratitude and this book is packed with the whys and hows of getting our gratitude on. In this Note, we'll explore Big Ideas on how we can boost our happiness by 25% by simply keeping a daily gratitude journal, how to get our relationships flourishing, the importance of seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and more goodness.
Will Bowen committed to going 21-days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping and challenged his congregation to do the same. 7 million purple bracelets later, Bowen created a little revolution and in this Note, we’ll check out some Big Ideas on how to quit getting your complaint on. And why you should care. Big Ideas range from shutting down the complaint factory to the fact that we’re all self-made—but only the successful will admit it.
Alan Cohen has become one of my favorite writers and people and this book is great--it’s precisely what the sub-title promises: “A Five-Minute Soul Recharge for Every Day of the Year.” The perfect treat for a lover of more wisdom in less time. In this Note, we’ll learn how important it is to be in integrity as we answer the voice that’s calling and fire our inner critics while promoting our inner fan club. And, for good measure, we’ll drop in some Harry Potter wisdom. Good times.
Albert Ellis has been recognized as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century (#2, in fact, right ahead of Freud and behind Carl Rogers). Ellis was, essentially, the founder of the modern cognitive behavioral movement and in this Note we’ll have fun exploring some Big Ideas on how to get our minds right—from understanding the roots of neurosis, the ABC’s of suffering, and the importance of action, you’ll feel inspired and empowered by the end!
Stoicism. I love it. Although pretty obscure today, Stoicism was once the primary philosophy of the Western world. (We’ve done Notes on the three leading Stoics: Marcus Aurelius and his Meditations, Seneca and his Letters from a Stoic, and Epictetus and his Enchiridion.) In this, Note, we’ll cover some of the essential ideas of the Stoic philosophical approach along with some Big Ideas on the art of living, the true meaning of virtue, how to visualize and the fact that we’re living in a dream world.
If you’re looking to “Break free of stress, inner conflict, and self-sabotage” then Neil Fiore’s Awaken Your Strongest Self is the book for you! We already did a Note on Fiore’s GREAT book on overcoming procrastination called The Now Habit and I’m excited to have some fun sharing a few of my favorite Big Ideas from this great book as well. You’ll get to know your Strongest Self as we learn about the third perspective, ask ourselves “Where can I start?”, and address the genius syndrome!
Want to learn how to improve your mind as you age? You can and this book by Michael Gelb (author of one of my favorite books: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci) and Kelly Howell (creator of Brain Sync’s Destiny meditation which I’ve used hundreds of times!) tells us how. In the Note, we’ll take a peek at their eight ways to boost brain power--ranging from optimism, learning and nutrition to exercise, love and rest! Powerful stuff.