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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
Jun 20, 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.

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.

Jun 13, 2016

Russell Simmons is often called the godfather of hip-hop. He’s a fascinating guy and entrepreneur. This book is a quick, straight-to-the-point guide to meditation written in a style that makes you feel like you’re having a chat with Russell. Super simple, fun, practical. Big Ideas we explore include: how to deal with the #1 excuse for not meditating, and the #2 excuses + how meditation benefits your focus + creativity and how make your amygdala quit acting like an annoying car alarm.

Jun 12, 2016

Sleep. It’s the secret sauce to optimal living. In this class, explore my Top 10 favorite Big Ideas on how to create consistent, great night’s of sleep to optimize your energy, mood and mojo. We’ll start with why, unpack the kryptonites that get in the way, set some curfews and get you sleeping like a champ.

Jun 11, 2016

Amy Cuddy is awesome. Her TED talk is the 2nd most popular ever. This book is just as good. Learn the science of cultivating your personal power to bring your boldest self to your biggest challenges. Big Ideas we explore: self-affirmation theory, priming + nudges, the magic of expanding your body to increase your power, iHunch (how’s yours?), and the boldest you.

Jun 10, 2016

This book is a scientific look at Purpose by one of the world’s leading developmental psychologists—a powerful look at how to cultivate purpose in our children (and, for that matter, ourselves) and why it’s so important. Big Ideas we explore include a definition of what it means to be purposeful (and a look at the alternatives), the #1 thing that gets in the way of discovering and creating purpose, 9 key things parents can do to help their kids with purpose, why entrepreneurial spirit is so important and a four-word mantra to reduce timidity and build courage and confidence.

Jun 9, 2016

Veritas. That's the Latin word for truth. The Romans considered it the mother of all virtues. Are you shining the light of truth on your life?

Jun 8, 2016

William Damon and Anne Colby are two of the world’s leading researchers in the field of moral psychology. They’re both Professors at Stanford and have been married for 30+ years. This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book that challenges the “new science of morality”’s view that morality is essentially biologically and socially determined. Damon and Colby argue that we all have the power to cultivate our more noble, moral possibilities. Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at our moral exemplars, moral agency, and the three virtues we want to cultivate: Truth + Humility + Faith.

Jun 7, 2016

Meet the enemy: Your ego. Our guide, Ryan Holiday, wrote one of my favorite books of 2015: The Obstacle Is the Way. Ego Is the Enemy is now one of my favorite books of 2016. It’s fantastic. Big Ideas we explore include: defining ego, becoming more than a flash in the pan, finally answering the question of whether it takes 10,000 or 20,000 hours to attain mastery, the virtue and value of staying true to your own path and making it rather than faking it.

Jun 6, 2016

Mistakes are part of life/performing. It's what we do when they happen that matters. Remember the 3 P's: Present + Positive + Process.

Jun 5, 2016

Black holes. Just contemplating the sheer, fierce power of them is awe-inspiring, eh? Isaiah Hankel tells us that although physicists used to think that everything got destroyed in a black hole, now they believe that it’s less about destruction and more about *transformation.* And shines some light on the power of focusing on our purpose with black hole intensity. Big Ideas we explore include sheep vs. strategists, figuring out your ikigai (= why you get up in the morning), the fascinating endurance of rats with hope, the first two steps in greatness and moving from vision to decision.

Jun 4, 2016

Dennis Mannion is the CEO of the Detroit Pistons. He's one of the few (if not the only) people to be a top executive in the top 4 sports leagues in the US (MLB + NFL + NHL + NBA). He's also an incredibly cool and inspiring human being. In this chat, we explore everything from how he discovered his purpose to some of the biggest lessons in leadership and peak performance he's picked up in the last 35+ years at the top of the sports world. Super inspiring. I'm especially fired up by his emphasis on the spiritual and embodiment of the Ideas he's so passionate about. (Plus, I need to step up my rowing game. :) Hope you enjoy!

Jun 3, 2016

Jim Afremow is one of the world’s leading sports psychologists. We covered his first book The Champion’s Mind. This one is kinda like part 2 in which we look at how the Champion responds to the inevitable (!) setbacks faced on the road to greatness—using those setbacks as opportunities to bounce back and make a sweet comeback. Big Ideas we explore include seeing setbacks as challenges rather than threats, outperforming our contracts, practicing ’till you can’t get it wrong, and the 3 P’s of peak performance.

Jun 2, 2016

Want Jedi-like concentration powers?! (Me, too.) John Hargrave tells us there are two keys: We need to 1. Reclaim and 2. Retrain our attention.

Jun 1, 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.

May 31, 2016

The Drift. It's what happens when we don't have a clear plan for our lives. Are you drifting? Acknowledge it then create a plan!

May 30, 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 and 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.

May 29, 2016

Over the last 20 years, I’ve spent half my time in Founder/CEO-mode and the other half in Philosopher-mode. Before going all in as a Philosopher, I built and sold two market-leading social platforms (raising $10m in the process). In this class, I share my Top 10 Ideas on how to create a great business and get paid to change the world. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, solopreneur, small business owner or leader in any organization, we hope you love it.

May 28, 2016

William Damon is one of the world’s leading scientists studying human development and the psychology of morality. In this book, he gives us a guide to discovering and creating our noble purpose. Big Ideas we explore include making a distinction between noble and heroic, the ultimate purpose formula, 9 tips on how to cultivate your noble purpose, the one phrase your advisor should whisper in your ears when you’ve achieved ultimate success, and how to create true, sustainable happiness.

May 27, 2016

Stephen Covey passed away in 2012. This book was published posthumously and features a collection of wisdom focusing on the fact that private victory precedes public victory. Primary greatness. It’s all about what’s on the INSIDE. Covey tells us there are 12 levers of success—each with its own chapter in this great book. Big Ideas we explore include: Esse Quam Videri (“to BE rather than to seem”), Virtues: meet your parents, say “YES!,” your high-tech power saw and living in crescendo.

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