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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
Jul 9, 2016

Jim Afremow is one of the world’s leading sports psychologists and this great book is packed with Big Ideas. We explore: the vision of a champion (and how to fuel it), what mental toughness *really* is, how/why to be ugly but effective, how to evaluate yourself (3 q’s: good + better + best), and creating sustained obsession as you take the champion’s honor pledge.

Jul 8, 2016

Baby sea turtles in Cancun used to be able to "seafind" via the moon's light. Since hotels moved in to the beach, they're losing that ability. Guess what? We suffer a lot from unnatural light at night as well. To digital sunsets and viva la sea turtle!

Jul 7, 2016

Jim Rohn was one of the 20th century’s leading personal development gurus—influencing everyone from Tony Robbins to Darren Hardy. He wrote and taught in a simple, conversational, down-to-earth style. Reading this book feels like sitting down and having an inspiring chat with one of the best old-school coaches out there. Big Ideas we explore include the formula for success (+ the 2 easies), how to unlock your potential, character = chisel, and the key to perseverance.

Jul 6, 2016

How do successful people get themselves to do things failures don't like to do? One word: PURPOSE. (How's yours?)

Jul 5, 2016

Daniel Goleman is a former New York Times science writer and author of the uber-bestselling book Emotional Intelligence. In Focus, we look at the underlying neuroscience of attention. We need to start by realizing that the strength (or weakness) of our attention is at the core of E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. we do. Everything! Which is why Goleman calls it “the hidden driver of excellence.” Big Ideas we explore include rumination vs. reflection, the three foci of willpower, smart practice and hitting the mental gym.

Jul 4, 2016

In addition to being a dear friend and author of one of the books that most profoundly changed my life (How to Think Like da Vinci), Michael Gelb is a qi gong master. In this special episode, Michael walks us thru The Three Treasures qi gong practice. Hope you enjoy and here's to optimizing our qi!

Jul 3, 2016

Ready to reach your potential and perform at your best when it matters most? Fantastic. Let’s get clear on where you’re headed, go all in, and cultivate our grit + presence + self-confidence as we vacuum up any potential choke dust, visualize, let it rip and win or learn.

Jul 2, 2016

Jocelyn Glei is the bestselling writer + editor of three great books we featured: Manage Your Day-to-Day, Make Your Mark, and Maximize Your Potential. They’re all awesome. She was also the founding Editor-in-Chief of 99U--an award-winning resource that provides the missing curriculum on making ideas happen. Today we’re going to talk about some of my favorite Big Ideas from her great books. (And, get a little preview on her upcoming book UNSUBSCRIBE!)

Jul 1, 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.

Jun 30, 2016

F.E.A.R. got you stopped in your tracks? It's time to D.A.R.E. Defuse from your negative thoughts, Accept discomfort, set Realistic goals and Embrace your values and #bam. You're rockin' it.

Jun 29, 2016

Katy Bowman is the world’s leading biomechanist—helping us apply wisdom from that domain to optimizing our lives. This is a great, quick-reading, smart and funny look at how we can optimally transition from sitting all.day.long to creating a standing and dynamic (<— key word!) workstation to help us optimize our whole-body health. Big Ideas we explore include whether or not sitting is the new smoking, checking in to see if we’re active yet also sedentary, the 3 M’s of movement, working out our eyeballs, what sea turtles can teach us about our sleep and how to have the best ideas.

Jun 28, 2016

You have a big goal. You have your why. Here's how to make a plan to rock it. It's all about 3-D planning!

Jun 27, 2016

Anders Ericsson is the world’s leading scientist studying expert performance—looking at how, precisely, the people who are the best in the world at what they do became the best. In this Note, we take a quick look at The Gift that we all have that’s the key to our potential greatness, HOW to go about tapping into the benefits of that gift via a certain type of practice (forget naive practice and go for purposeful + deliberate!), the fact that there is no such thing as a “10,000 Hour Rule,” and why we should be called Homo Exercens rather than Homo Sapiens. :)

Jun 26, 2016

John Herdman is the head coach of the Canadian women's national soccer team that won Bronze in London and is off to the Olympics in Rio. In this chat, we explore some of his wisdom on how to cultivate belief, the power of clarity and simplicity, how to deal with adversity (by inviting it in) and what makes the best so great.

Jun 25, 2016

Living Forward is a powerful little book all about helping us figure out our Life Plan—which is, essentially, the vision for every aspect of our lives and our plan to make it a reality. The book is the result of a collaboration between leading publisher + author Michael Hyatt and his coach Daniel Harkavy. It’s basically like having one of the world’s leading life coaches walk you through the Life Planning process he’s used with thousands of his clients. Big Ideas we explore include The Drift, your life GPS, pull power, soul oxygen and the Law of Diminishing Intent.

Jun 24, 2016

This is a dinky little pamphlet of a book based on a speech Albert E.N. Gray gave to a group of Prudential life insurance agents back in 1940. It’s packed with goodness and is uber-popular. In this Note, we define The Common Denominator of Success, identify the power of purpose and the fact that your future is formed by your habits.

Jun 23, 2016

Your amygala is kinda like a car alarm for your limbic system. You don't want it to go off at the smallest thing. Meditation helps cool a hot amygdala so you're not always in fight-or-flight.

Jun 22, 2016

Russ Harris is one of the world’s leading authorities on one of the most cutting-edge forms of therapy known as Acceptance and Commitment Training, or ACT for short (pronounced like the word “act” not A.C.T.). In this book, Russ tells us that we’ve been following the wrong rule book if we want to dial in our confidence. We explore The Golden Rule of confidence (and 9 other rules), why we need to defuse from our negative thoughts NOT try to eliminate them, how to have instant success (presto!), and how to move from FEAR to DARE as we live the great adventure that is our lives.

Jun 21, 2016

We need to be committed, of course. But, there's a virtuous way to go about it and a not-so-effective. It's all about flexibility (not fickleness or obstinacy).

Jun 19, 2016

Did you know the word “parenting” comes from the Latin “to bring forth”? Yep. Begs the question, what do YOU want to help bring forth in your kids?! In this class, we explore 10 of my favorite Ideas on how I’m approaching fatherhood and going for dad of the year while doing my life’s work.

Jun 18, 2016

Want to learn about the science of successful learning? Then this is the book for you. Written by a story-teller and two of the world’s leading cognitive scientists who have dedicated their careers to mastering memory + learning, the book is packed with wisdom on what works and what doesn’t. Big Ideas we explore include mastery vs. fluency, the power of active retrieval (aka “the testing effect”), explaining stuff in your own words and the wisdom in the adage that whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.

Jun 17, 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.

Jun 16, 2016

Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning NY Times journalist (and Harvard MBA) who wrote the best-selling book The Power of Habit in which he walked us through the science of building better habits. In this book, he walks us through the science of being productive so we can be smarter, faster and better at everything we do. It’s a great book packed with fascinating stories and practical applications. Big Ideas we explore include the 2 keys to motivation, how to build your focus, the best way to set goals (think: Stretch + SMART), why disfluency helps learning and how productivity is all about choices.

Jun 15, 2016

Seneca was an old-school Roman statesman and one of history’s leading Stoic philosophers. In this book he tells us that life is only short if you don’t know how to use it and also gives us some tips on how to deal with challenging times and cultivate tranquility. Big Ideas we explore include making T.O.D.A.Y. the day, how to deal with being exiled (never know when it could happen ;), and why flexibility is the virtuous road to tranquility (and how to avoid the detours).

Jun 14, 2016

"As a predictor of later success in life, I would place my bet on strong entrepreneurial capacitites" says William Damon, one of the world's leading development psychologists. Here's a quick look at those 7 qualities.

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