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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: 2016
Aug 9, 2016

There's REAL work and then there's pseudo-work. It's all about intensity. Remember: Work = Time x Intensity.

Aug 8, 2016

What if happiness began at the end of your fork? The latest research on neuroscience and nutrition tells us that’s a VERY wise place to start. And, of course, that’s what this book is all about: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body. It’s a really well-written, eye-opening look at how we got into the nutritional mess we’re in and the extremely damaging effects of the modern American diet. And, of course, more importantly, how we can optimize our nutrition so we can dial in the three facets of happiness: our focus, our mood, and our energy.

Aug 7, 2016

High standards are great. Perfectionism? Not so much. In this class, we’ll take a look at why it’s so important to embrace the constraints of reality as we have fun incrementally optimizing–aggregating and compounding tiny improvements over time to create magic!

Aug 6, 2016

Fats. They are not created equal. Here's a quick look at the good, the bad, and the truly evil.

Aug 5, 2016

Want to know learning's enemy #1? Here it is: the fluency illusion. And, here's how to beat it!

Aug 4, 2016

Cal Newport is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Dartmouth who went on to MIT for his Ph.D. and is now a Professor at Georgetown. In this book, Cal shares the top ideas he gleaned from interviews with non-grind Phi Beta Kappa members at elite schools across the country. They had to perform well AND they had to achieve those results without grinding away. Their practices, although discovered independently, reflect the same wisdom shared in the science books. It’s great to see the overlap. Big Ideas: pseudo-work vs. real work (and a secret formula), conquering procrastination, when/where/how long should you study?, #1 way to learn (and #1 trap), the importance of spacing out your work and the power to choose your future via excellent grades.

Aug 3, 2016

Did you know fast-acting carbs light up the addiction center (called the nucleus accumbens) of your brain? Yep. Here's a quick look at some fascinating reseaarch on this and a tip on how to conquer your cravings.

Aug 2, 2016

Joan Vernikos was the former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division. Basically, she was responsible for understanding how to optimize the health and well-being of our astronauts. In this book, she walks us through how our sedentary lifestyles are surprisingly similar to the gravity-free lifestyles of astronauts in space. Just as an astronaut’s health rapidly deteriorates outside of gravity’s pull, OUR health erodes when we adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Big Ideas we cover include Gravity 101, why gravity is so N.E.A.T., how to build G-Habits and why your telomeres don’t like you sitting so much.

Aug 1, 2016

Here's a fun interview with Pilar Gerasimo and Dallas Hartwig about their new podcast called The Living Experiment. Check them out! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/living-experiment-rethink/id113903086

Jul 31, 2016

"Edible foodlike substances." That's what Michael Pollan calls the stuff food scientists are cooking up these days. Remember Rule #1: Eat food. If your great-grandmother didn't eat, you probably shouldn't eat it. If it doesn't rot, don't eat it. If your 3rd grader can't pronounce ingredients? Don't eat it.

Jul 30, 2016

This book is very different than the types of books I usually focus on. It’s not “self-development” per se; it’s more like “state-development”—as in, the optimal politics for our nation and world. The main thrust of the book is that we are entering a revolutionary time, the era of “Great Connection.” His primary focus is on a macro level. In our Note we focus on how we can apply this wisdom on an individual level. Big Ideas include a look at the #1 illness of our era and how to deal with it, why we need Hard Gatekeeping, the difference btwn complicated and complex and building a 10,000 year clock while answering the call to revolution.

Jul 29, 2016

Want to reach your optimal weight while preventing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancer AND while feeling energized as you live longer? Eat more fat. That’s what Dr. Mark Hyman—one of the world’s leading Functional Medicine doctors—tells us. This book is ridiculously packed with Big Ideas—walking us through the eye-opening science of why fat is awesome along with a plan on how to “reboot our biology to our original factory settings” via a 21-day program followed by a long-term plan to rock it. We explore the surprising truth about fat, good fats vs. bad fats, going pegan (think: best of vegan + Paleo), a quality carb, and dealing with root causes rather than symptoms.

Jul 28, 2016

Gravity. It's always pushing us into the center of the Earth. If we're sitting all day every day, that causes super unhealthy compression. We need to decompress. Easiest way to do that? Stand tall!

Jul 27, 2016

Benedict Carey is an award-winning science writer for The New York Times. This book is his exploration of what the latest research says about, you guessed it, How We Learn. Big Ideas we cover include the #1 enemy to learning (and how to win that battle), why distributed your learning is where it’s at, how sleeping is like learning with your eyes closed and how to put the Zeigarnick Effect to use for maximum benefit.

Jul 26, 2016

Next time you walk through the grocery store remember: The long the shelf life, the shorter YOUR life. Choose real food.

Jul 25, 2016

David Ludwig has both an M.D. and a Ph.D. and is a professor and researcher at both Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He’s overseen dozens of diet studies, authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and supported thousands of patients looking to optimize their weight. In this book, we learn how to conquer cravings, retrain fat cells, and lose weight permanently.

Jul 24, 2016

When you experience pain do you struggle and try to control your thoughts and feelings or do you accept the pain and commit to values-based action? Choose wisely! Keep the struggle switch in the OFF position. Remember: S = P x R.

Jul 23, 2016

Sir John Hargrave is a funny guy and this book is awesome. If you’re a bit of a geek (or if you’re married to one!) looking for a fun, grounded, super practical take on how to get your mind right so you can do what you’re here to do, I think you’ll love this book. Big Ideas we explore include: how to develop Jedi-like concentration, how to debug your mind, creating a vision of the best version of your life 10 years from now (and why it matters), how to make your life a masterpiece.

Jul 22, 2016

Michael Pollan is the author of a number of New York Times best-selling books on nutrition. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world. If you’re looking for a SUPER compact, witty look at the primary rules on how to eat well, this is it. It’s a fun, witty, concise guide to eating well featuring 64 food rules structured around Pollan’s seven words of wisdom: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Big Ideas we explore include the 2 Facts of nutrition everyone can agree on, Rule #1, why low-fat made us fat, and the final rule (#64).

Jul 21, 2016

Eleanor Roosevelt tells us we gain strength, courage, and confidence every time we stop to look fear in the face and she challenges us to do that EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Jul 20, 2016

Eric Goodman is the creator of Foundation Training. If you’ve ever had back or neck or other physical pain, this book might be just what your doctor forgot to order. And, of course, if you’re just looking to take your energy to the next level, this is a gem. In the Note, we take a quick look at why gravity + sitting/bad posture = compression and why that’s so bad plus how to deal with it as we become fluent in a new movement language and have fun becoming perpetual motion machines.

Jul 19, 2016

Movement transcends and includes exercise. How much do YOU move? (And are you ready to become a perpetual motion machine? :)

Jul 18, 2016

The gut. That’s where all the health magic (or challenges!) begins. Alejandro Junger is a cardiologist turned functional medicine doctor who created the incredibly popular Clean Program. We covered his first book Clean and now for a spotlight on the Clean Gut. Big Ideas we explore include symptoms vs. root causes (paint any brown leaves green lately?), how food’s shelf life correlates with yours, your 2nd brain, nutrigenomics, gluten (the ubiquitous poison) and step 1 to cleaning things up (hint: remove toxic triggers).

Jul 17, 2016

Willpower is the queen of all virtues. It outpredicts IQ by a factor of TWO for academic performance (and everything else we want in life). This class is all about the science of how to systematically build our willpower so we can reach our highest potential.

Jul 16, 2016

This is a surprisingly awesome book—a fable about a young captain who spends time with a master and commander who reveals the secret code of rockin’ it. It’s kinda like if a Navy SEAL wrote The Alchemist or The Way of the Peaceful Warrior or The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Big Ideas we cover include: U.P.E.R.S.I.S.T. (the code to being unstoppable), the 2 limitations in life, how to discover your why, how to plan in 3-D, and the magic pill you need to take.

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