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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: 2015
Aug 17, 2015

Stephen Cope is the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living—the largest yoga research institute in the Western world. In this great book, Stephen brings the Bhagavad Gita to life and helps us apply this ancient wisdom to our modern lives. Big Ideas include the four keys to living your dharma, creating the right conditions, dealing with difficulties, training elephants, and reducing yourself to zero!

Aug 17, 2015

Greg Krech is one of the world’s leading teachers of Japanese psychology. This book integrates three core facets of the work he has done for the last 25+ years: Morita Therapy + kaizen + Naikan. Big Ideas we explore include understanding what is within our control and what is not (hint: thoughts and feelings are not; behaviors are), how to create momentum in your life and the importance of constant incremental improvement.

Aug 17, 2015

You ever struggle with perfectionism? If so, it’s time to learn how to be an imperfectionist! Stephen Guise (author of Mini Habits), shows us the way. Big Ideas include being a poser, living within floors and ceilings, thinking vs. doing, pulling the lever, and cultivating result apathy.

Aug 17, 2015

Bernard Roth has been a Professor of Engineering at Stanford for over FIFTY (!!) years. A pioneer in the field of robotics, Bernie is one of the founders of the famed d.school at Stanford. In this great book, he brings the concepts of design thinking to life in the context of our most important design project: designing our optimal lives. Big Ideas we explore include the 5 elements of design thinking, doing vs. trying, ignoring odds, and being the cause.

Aug 17, 2015

This is a fantastic, old school psychology classic. Written in 1975, Albert Ellis (see Notes on A Guide to Rational Living) says it’s “One of the best self help books ever written.” Lazarus and Fay walk us through 20 of the most common mistakes that can ruin our lives and, of course, how to correct them. Big Ideas include myths about change, the 2 things we need to do to change, and optimizing our locus of control.

Aug 17, 2015

How do you want to die? With a calm serenity knowing you gave your best or with deep regret that you never took the risks and cultivated the discipline to show up with urgency and diligence each day to create a life of deep meaning? The answer is obvious. Big Ideas we explore on how to die empty include optimism vs. wishing, the root of mediocrity, the 3 S’s of goal setting and dealing with The Lag.

Aug 17, 2015

Ready to 10X your thinking and your action? Fantastic. Grant Cardone is your man. In this high intensity, LET'S DO THIS! book you'll get fired up to go out and crush it. Big Ideas we explore include how to create goals, why MASSIVE ACTION is so important, how to starve fear, why obsession is a gift not a disease and how Smokey would smoke the tortoise and the hare.

Aug 17, 2015

How’s your habit-building process working for you? If you’ve stalled a few (hundred?) times, Stephen Guise tells us that Mini Habits might be just the thing you’re looking for! In the Note we look at what a Mini Habit is and how to go about rockin’ it exploring Big Ideas like making habits stupid small (aka “too small to fail”), embracing Newton’s 1st law, and being aware of ego depletion as you create your chain!

Aug 17, 2015

Dr. Michelle Segar is the world’s leading authority on what motivates people to choose and maintain healthy behaviors. As you’d imagine, Dr. Segar has some *really* powerful ideas on, as the sub-title suggests, “How the simple science of motivation can bring you a lifetime of fitness.” Big Ideas we explore include the importance of meaning, moving exercise from a chore to a gift and embracing a learning mindset.

Aug 17, 2015

Why do we get fat? It’s a surprisingly simple question that surprisingly few nutrition experts answer with attention to scientific rigor. Enter: Gary Taubes, a brilliant, award-winning science journalist. In this Note we’ll explore some Big Ideas on the importance of the hormone insulin, why carbs are kinda like cigarettes and the Stanford A TO Z Study that showed low-carb diets outperforming others.

Aug 17, 2015

Toughness. Jim Loehr tells us that cultivating our toughness is the essence of creating healthier, happier and more productive lives. And, in this great, old-school book (written in 1993), he shows us how to go about doing that. Big Ideas we explore in the Note include how toughening happens (key: adaptive stress!!), the importance of training recovery, ultradian rhythms and emotional phones ringing.

Aug 17, 2015

Rory Vaden tells us we can choose one of three options: 1. We can manage our time. 2. We can prioritize our time. 3. We can multiply our time. The most successful among us learn how to MULTIPLY their time and that’s what this book is all about. Big Ideas explored include the 5 Permissions (Eliminate + Automate + Delegate + Procrastinate + Concentrate) with a focus on the most important: Eliminate!!

Aug 17, 2015

Ready to go wild?! John Ratey, MD, and Richard Manning are here to give us the guidebook on how to make that happen! In the Note, we explore Big Ideas ranging from wild nutrition to getting out of bad moods, getting adequate sleep and pulling levers that will change our lives!

Aug 17, 2015

When you appraoch a set of stairs and an escalator what do you do? If you're like 95% of the world, you hop on the escalator but Rory Vaden tells us if we want true success in our lives we need to quit looking for shortcuts and Take the Stairs! In the Note we'll look at how to quit being a Should-head, embrace the Pain Paradox and get our Visioneering on.

Aug 17, 2015

Steven Pressfield created a trilogy on mastering the creative process and winning our battle with Resistance. The War of Art kicked it off, this is the second installment with the final Turning Pro. In the book, Pressfield walks us thru a specific project and shows us how to deal with Resistance at each stage. Big Ideas we explore incude starting before you're ready, keep working (!), and SHIP!!

Aug 17, 2015

Jeff Olson is a down-to-earth, super practical (and successful) guy who believes in the power of turning simple disciplines into massive success. He calls that power “The Slight Edge.” In the Note, we’ll explore Big Ideas ranging from the anti-quantum leap and making course corrections to the habits of a slight edge master and how to create optimal plans.

Aug 17, 2015

Jim Loehr is one of the world’s leading sports psychologists and peak performance experts. In this great book, he tells us how all champions are able to access their Ideal Performance States, why we want to lean into challenges, how to make waves throughout out day and the first rule of toughness.

Aug 17, 2015

Orison Swett Marden is a brilliant old-school writer who mixed a passionate optimism in our potential with an equally passionate commitment to integrity, grit, perseverance and all things good. I like him. In this book he shows us how to make our life a masterpiece by becoming the captain of our own ships, doing first-class work, and finding an hour a day to optimize as we achieving true success.

Aug 17, 2015

Ready to get your brain right? Start with your gut! In this compelling book, Dr. David Perlmutter walks us through the leading-edge science on how to dial in our microbiome to optimize our brain + overall well-being. In the Note, we explore Big Ideas ranging from the power of probiotics and your second brain to the importnace of focusing on root causes rather than just symptoms along with the 6 keys to feeding your microbes.

Aug 17, 2015

David Perlmutter, MD combines his deep knowledge in neuroscience + nutrition in this hard-hitting, scientifically rigorous look at how, in short, grains are destroying our brains. Dementia. ADHD. Epilepsy. Anxiety. Chronic headaches. Depression. They all have their roots in neurological dysfunction and they are all impacted by our nutrition. In the Note we take a look at some powerful Big Ideas to optimize.

Aug 17, 2015

Ready to apply mindfulness to learning and teaching? That's what this book is all about as Ellen Langer challenges seven pervasive myths related to learning. In the Note we explore Ideas ranging from reframing, ever-present gratification and creating options to mindful presentations and celebrating confusion.

Aug 17, 2015

Ellen Langer is one of the world's leading researchers studying the science of well-being. This book was was published over 25 years ago—before the concept of “mindfulness” went mainstream. Ellen takes a Western scientific orientation to mindfulness (vis-a-vis an Eastern mystical) as she challenges us to overcome our mindless patterns, let go of false limits, focus on the process and notice all the wonders present in our lives.

Aug 17, 2015

Alberto Villoldo is a shaman and medical anthropologist who has studied the spiritual practices of the Amazon and the Andes for over 25 years. In this book, we tap into their wisdom on how to shamans dream the world into being. Big Ideas include choosing between casting yourself as a victim or a hero, letting go of perfection, cultivating mindfulness and being ready to die at any moment.

Aug 17, 2015

Ellen Langer is a professor of psychology at Harvard and one of the world's leading reseachers who has been exploring what she calls the "psychology of possibility" for over three decades. This book is packed with amazing research stories and wisdom to bring more mindfulness to our lives and tap into our latent potential.

Aug 17, 2015

Tal Ben-Shahar is one of the most popular professors in Harvard’s history and does a great job of integrating the rigor of the science of happiness with the fun of self-help. Drawing on the latest psychological research, this book walks us through 101 choices we make throughout our lives. Big Ideas include finding happiness boosters, joining the failure hall of fame, focusing on your strengths and cocreating your reality.

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