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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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Now displaying: 2020
Sep 20, 2020

Today we tap into some insights after a good night of sleep, chat briefly about Surveillance Capitalism (and Digital Minimalism) before I share the first steps in my new book: OPTIMIZE - A Handbook for the Modern Hero.

Sep 20, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (← Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Breath by James Nestor. Hope you enjoy!

Breath. It’s the missing pillar in health. We’ve been talking about this for years and we’ve included breathing among our fundamentals since I first read Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage. And, I just LOVE the way James captures the importance of breathing in this book. The first words on the inside flap of the book deliver the point with a sledgehammer: “No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or strong you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly.” Big Ideas we explore include how to breathe optimally and why it's so important, the #1 tip, oral posture (how's yours?) and the perfect breath (think 5.5 + 5.5 for 5.5!).

Get Breath on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Breath-New-Science-Lost-Art/dp/0735213615

Learn more about James Nestor: https://www.optimize.me/authors/james-nestor/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: MOUTH vs. NOSE
- Breathing 101 → https://www.optimize.me/breathing
- PN: The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-oxygen-advantage-patrick-mckeown/

Big Idea 2: CO2
- +1: Breathe Less | To Breathe Right (#1231) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/breathe-less/

Big Idea 3: #1 TIP
- +1: The Rules of Breathing | The Big 3: Nose + Belly + Exhale (#485) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-rules-of-breathing/

Big Idea 4: ORAL POSTURE
- +1: Oral Posture ← How's Yours? | High Fiving the Magic Spot in Our Mouths (#1229) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/oral-posture-hows-yours/
- +1: The Thread Thru Your Head | Pull It Up for Poise and Relaxed Power (#462) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-thread-thru-your-head/
- +1: The Magic Spot in Our Mouths | High Five It and Shine! (#1230) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-magic-spot-in-our-mouths/

Big Idea 5: PERFECT BREATH
- +1: The Perfect Breath | 5.5 + 5.5 + 5.5 (#1228) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-perfect-breath/
- +1: The Greatest Predictor of Longevity | Genetics? Diet? Exercise? Nope… Try: Lung Capacity! (#1227) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-greatest-predictor-of-longevity/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on Breath and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 19, 2020

Today we have fun meeting the new Optimize (Hero) (Virtue) Compass and I share some interesting HRV and RHR data over last three days looking at effects of last meal, ice baths, etc.

Sep 19, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (← Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Life's Great Question by Tom Rath. Hope you enjoy!

I’m a big fan of Tom Rath and his work. And... I’m not alone. His 10 books have sold over 10 million copies. Dan Pink (author of Drive and When) calls him “One of the most successful nonfiction writers of his generation.” We featured two of his earlier books: Eat Move Sleep and Are You Fully Charged? Plus: His children’s book called The Rechargeables remains one of my all-time favorites. “Life’s Great Question” that beckons all of us (“What can I contribute?”) is beautifully framed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that kicks off the book: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” This book is a field manual to help us go about answering that question so we can, as per the subtitle of the book: “Discover How You Contribute to the World.” Big Ideas we explore include creating a sense of urgency in life, Purpose 2.0, connecting what we do to those we serve, undivided attention (our new secret weapon), and creating the energy to be our best.

Get Life's Great Question on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lifes-Great-Question-Discover-Contribute/dp/1939714176

Learn more about Tom Rath: https://www.optimize.me/authors/tom-rath/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 2: PURPOSE 2.0
- +1: Purpose 2.0 | Time for a Purpose Upgrade? (#1094) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/purpose-2-0/
- +1: Life’s Great Question | Can You Guess What It Is? (#1093) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/lifes-great-question/
- PNTV: The Courage Quotient → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-courage-quotient-robert-biswas-diener/
- +1: Love 2.0 (vs. Love 1.0) | Ready to Upgrade Today? (401) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/love-20-vs-love-10/

Big Idea 3: CONNECTING
- +1: How to Meaningify Your Work | In One Simple Step… (#1095) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-meaningify-your-work/

Big Idea 4: UNDIVIDED
- PN: Deep Work by Cal Newport → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/deep-work-cal-newport/
- +1: Deep Work | How to Escape Shallowville and Go Deep (#36) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/deep-work/
- PNTV: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/digital-minimalism-cal-newport/

Big Idea 5: ENERGY
- PN: Are You Fully Charged? by Tom Rath → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/are-you-fully-charged-tom-rath/
- PNTV: The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb, PhD → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-upward-spiral-alex-korb/
- +1 Make the Connection | What’s Working? What Needs Work? (#374) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/make-the-connection/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on Life's Great Question and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 18, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (← Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The Practicing Stoic by Ward Farnsworth. Hope you enjoy!

Ward Farnsworth is the Dean of the University of Texas School of Law. As you can imagine, he brings a logical precision to his discussion of Stoicism that is distinct and powerful. (Seriously. It’s actually ASTONISHINGLY powerful.) I really enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it for the aspiring Practicing Stoic. Big Ideas we explore include Principle #1 of practical Stoicism (Judgment!), the good life vs. the good mood (virtue for the win!), what others think (<- pro tip: ignore it), preferred indifference (committed but not attached), and using adversity as fuel for our Optimizing (use Hermes' magic wand!).

Get The Practicing Stoic on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Practicing-Stoic-Philosophical-Users-Manual/dp/1567926118/

Learn more about Ward Farnsworth: https://www.optimize.me/authors/ward-farnsworth/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: PRINCIPLE #1
- Stoicism 101 → https://Optimize.me/stocisim
- +1: The Space | Between Stimulus and Response (#452) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-space/

Big Idea 2: THE GOOD LIFE VS. THE GOOD MOOD
- +1: The Good Life | vs. The Good Mood (#1126) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-good-life/
- +1: Don’t Aim at Success | Dedicate Yourself to a Cause Bigger Than Yourself (#1040) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/dont-aim-at-success/

Big Idea 3: WHAT OTHERS THINK
- +1: Euthymia | How to Live with Energized Tranquility (#100) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/euthymia/
- PN: Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/self-reliance-ralph-waldo-emerson/
- +1: Trust Thyself | Every Heart Vibrates to that Iron String (#614) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/trust-thyself/

Big Idea 4: PREF’D INDIFFERENCE
- +1: Arrows and Our Friend Apollo | A Handy Tool for Rocking It (#199) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/arrows-and-our-friend-apollo/
- Donald Robertson → https://www.optimize.me/authors/donald-robertson/
- PN: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Roberton → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/how-to-think-like-a-roman-emperor-donald-robertson/

Big Idea 5: ADVERSITY = FUEL
- +1: Your Secret Weapon | Thank You, Epictetus and Hermes (#1129) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/your-secret-weapon/
- Behind-the-Scenes at Optimize Coach Graduation Weekend: OMMS → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUw5E1gRf0U

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on The Practicing Stoic and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 18, 2020

After a very brief retirement, I'm back. lol. Missed you. Let's goooo! As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101

Sep 17, 2020
In our last couple +1s, we’ve been chatting about Trevor Moawad’s wisdom on what he calls “neutral thinking.”
 
We started by hanging out with Russell Wilson en route to winning a Super Bowl. Then we visited the Johnson Ranch to discuss my relationship with our new chickens and their poop.
 
(Yes, I can’t get enough of those emojis…)
 
So…
 
The morning after that chat I had with Emerson about how to approach the chicken situation either negatively, positively, or neutrally, we were doing our family workout—which currently features me chasing the kids on their bikes as we have fun going around the 1/2-mile Trail-loop we created around our property. 
 
Only…
 
This morning, Emerson’s bike had a flat tire. 
 
He immediately started crying—super bummed he wouldn’t be able to ride his epic lime green (lol) bike around the Trail as planned.
 
So…
 
I cruised over and said, “Buddy! Your tire’s flat. That’s a bummer. I get it. And.. Remember that chat we had last night about neutral thinking?” 
 
Emerson: “Yah.”
 
Me: “Well…. Let’s get neutral! WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
 
He said, “To ride my bike.” 
 
I said, “Exactly. So what can we do to make that happen?” 
 
He said, “Get the bike pump and fill up the tire.” 
 
I said, “Exactly.” 
 
We cruised into the barn, found it. Pumped up the tire. The air surprisingly held. 
 
<- Boom. Done.
 
Tire was filled. He was off to the Trail races.
 
And, that’s Today’s +1.
 
Got any metaphorical flat tires in your life?
 
(Echo: Of course you do. You’re human!)
 
How are you reacting? 
 
Negatively? Positively? Neutrally?
 
Back to Trevor: “That’s neutral. Staying in the moment, giving each moment its own history, and reacting to events as they unfold. It takes away emotion and replaces it with behaviors. Instead of asking, ‘How do I feel?’ you should be asking yourself, ‘What do I do?’”
 
You can develop these skills if you’re willing to let go of a few things. Negative, cynical thinking doesn’t make you more realistic. It just makes you negative and cynical. Biased thinking doesn’t help you either. You need to steer clear of your feelings and make an honest assessment of each situation you face. Don’t worry about what you feel. Rely on what you know.”
 
Back to you.
 
NEUTRAL thinking. 
 
It works.
 
Try it.
 
TODAY.
Sep 16, 2020

Today we hit the pause button on the ol' #1s as it's taking a little more Energy + Focus than I'm willing to give it vis-a-vis my truly What's Important Now targets. I think I'll be back with these near the end of the year to make sure we're wrapping up 2020 with antifragile ferocity and getting ready to make 2021 THE Greatest Year of our Lives.

In the meantime, PNTVs every day thru end of year. And Top 3 kicking off October 1st. LET'S! DO!! THIS!!!

As always: Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/

Sep 16, 2020
In our last +1, we spent some more time with Trevor Moawad and explored some more wisdom from his great book, It Takes What It Takes.
 
As you may recall, we chatted about neutral thinking.
 
As Trevor says: “No matter where I work, the same truth keeps emerging. Neutral thinking is the key to unlocking a set of behaviors that can turn also-rans into champions and champions into legends.”
 
Today I want to bring that wisdom to life with a little personal example from the Johnson Ranch here outside Austin. 
 
So…
 
As I was reading the book, I took a break and explained this idea to Emerson. 
 
Here’s the example I used: Our chickens. And their poop. 
 
Quick context: As we’ve discussed, we just moved to the country. We got some chickens because we thought they’d be awesome. They are. The kids love them, etc. 
 
And... 
 
Those gals (and guy) sure know how to poop! And, they seem to especially love to do their work under our beautiful back patio where I often meditate in the morning as the sun’s rising.
 
Let’s just say that the meditation scene is slightly less idyllic with the chicken poop wafting up. (Hah.)
 
So…
 
Back to the book.
 
I told Emerson that the guy who wrote the book had a dad who was really into all this stuff and taught him a bunch when he was a kid. I smiled and rubbed his awesome little head as I imagined what HE might have to say in a few decades.
 
Then we talked about the difference between negative thinking, positive thinking and neutral thinking.
 
I gave him an example of my own negative thinking as it related to those chickens and their poop. (Note: That’s always one of the best ways to deliver a message. Start with our own shortcomings—don’t start with someone else’s!)
 
My negative thinking went something like this: “Those chickens!!! Their poop STINKS!! Why do they need to hang out under the porch and then poop where they hang out? I think we might want to find them a new home.”
 
(He might have heard me say something along those lines more than once in my less-enlightened moments, so the example was quickly understood. lol)
 
Then I told him that the “positive” thinking would go something like this: “It’s not so bad and the chickens are so great.”
 
He immediately knew that that simply wasn’t honest and true and wouldn’t be the optimal approach.
 
Then I told him that neither of those approaches was as effective as NEUTRAL thinking.
 
Neutral thinking would go something like this: “The chickens are pooping under the patio. It stinks. The kids love them and we need a better solution. So, let’s limit their access to that location and figure out a poop control protocol. Next step: Order some chicken wire for the bottom of the patio and install it.”
 
<- Boom. Done. 
 
Emerson got it immediately. 
 
And, he still has his chickens. 
 
Today’s +1.
 
Got any chicken poop in your life? 
 
If you feel so inspired, let’s run it through a quick analysis.
 
What’s the negative thinking you might be running on it?
 
How about the positive thinking?
 
And what about the neutral thinking?
 
All of which leads us back to Trevor’s dad. You know what he taught him as a kid?
 
To get rid of the “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
 
Let’s do that.
 
TODAY.
 
(And, please wish me luck with the chickens. lol)
Sep 16, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (← Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven. Hope you enjoy!

Admiral William H. McRaven is a Retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served for thirty-seven years and commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. (During this time, he oversaw the covert mission that killed Osama bin Laden.) In 2014, he gave the commencement address to the graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. Millions of people wound up watching his speech on ten lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training. This book takes a deeper look at those ten lessons. It’s a super-quick read—packed with simple, yet profound wisdom along with moving stories of moral exemplars. It's FANTASTIC.

Get Make Your Bed on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Bed-Little-Things/dp/1455570249/

Learn more about Admiral William H. McRaven: https://www.optimize.me/authors/admiral-william-h-mcraven/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: LESSON #1
- +1: Make Your Bed | And Maybe Change the World (#1203) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/make-your-bed/
- +1: The Little Things | Aren’t So Little (#583) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-little-things/
- Phil Stutz → https://www.optimize.me/authors/phil-stutz/

Big Idea 2: LIFE’S NOT FAIR
- +1: You = Sugar Cookie | Life's Not Fair--Drive On! (#1200) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/you-sugar-cookie/
- Mark Divine → https://www.optimize.me/authors/mark-divine/
- PN: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/extreme-ownership-jocko-willink-leif-babin/
- PN: Unstoppable Teams by Alden Mills → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/unstoppable-teams-alden-mills/
- PN: Be Unstoppable by Alden Mills → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/be-unstoppable-alden-mills/

Big Idea 3: RISE TO THE OCCASION
- +1: Optimize = Optimus | = The Best Version of You (#367) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/optimize-optimus/
- +1: Emotional Stamina | What to Do When You’re Having a Rough Day (#28) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/emotional-stamina/
- +1: Emotional Stamina - Part 2 | Execute Protocol: The Worse You Feel AND the Better You Feel (#668) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/emotional-stamina-part-2/
- +1: Jesus, Tolle, You and Your House on the Rock | The Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders (#1181) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/jesus-tolle-you-and-your-house-on-the-rock/

Big Idea 4: HOPE =
- +1: When You’re Neck Deep in Mud | Sing! (#1204) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/when-youre-neck-deep-in-mud/
- +1: The Science of Making Hope Happen | Three Keys: Goals + Agency + Pathways (#33) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-science-of-making-hope-happen/

Big Idea 5: NEVER QUIT
- +1: NEGU! | Never Ever Give Up (#702) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/negu/
- +1: Victim vs. Creator | Two Questions: "Why Me?" vs. "What Do I Want?" (#76) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/victim-vs-creator/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on Make Your Bed and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 16, 2020

Admiral William H. McRaven is a Retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served for thirty-seven years and commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. (During this time, he oversaw the covert mission that killed Osama bin Laden.) In 2014, he gave the commencement address to the graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. Millions of people wound up watching his speech on ten lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training. This book takes a deeper look at those ten lessons. It’s a super-quick read—packed with simple, yet profound wisdom along with moving stories of moral exemplars. It's FANTASTIC.

Sep 15, 2020

Today we visit the barn-studio to hang out with 500+ of my favorite books as we check out the studio set up for the upcoming Top 3 Most Life-Changing Book series! :)

Sep 15, 2020

Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (← Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!)
Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (← Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. Hope you enjoy!

Mel Robbins is funny, witty and wise. Her TEDx Talk (called How to stop screwing yourself over) is one of the most popular of all time, with more than 18 million views. This book is also super popular—with over 1,000 Amazon reviews. It’s pretty awesome. Actually, the book is REALLY (!) good. In fact, Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule might just be one of THE most elegantly efficient Tools we can use to close the gap between who we’re CAPABLE of being and who we’re ACTUALLY being. (Seriously.) Big Ideas we explore include The 5 Second Rule (and how/when to rock it), how to win the game of life (hint: start, stay in, for the long game!), excitement + anxiety (and how they feel the same in the body), managing distractions (today a good day?), and changing your life with one moment of everyday courage.

Get The 5 Second Rule on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Rule-Transform-Confidence-Everyday/dp/1682612384

Learn more about Mel Robbins: https://www.optimize.me/authors/mel-robbins/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: 5…4…3…2…1… → !!!
- +1:The 5 Second Rule | 5… 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … BLASTOFF! (#788) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-5-second-rule/https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-5-second-rule/
- Why Your Snooze Button Sucks | … the Life out of Your Day (#791) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/why-your-snooze-button-sucks/
- +1: The #1 Key to Happiness + Flourishing | Hint: Become BFFs with your Inner Soul (#2) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-1-key-to-happiness-flourishing/
- +1: How to High Five Your Inner Daimon | My Philosophy in One Word (#3) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-high-five-your-inner-daimon/
- Optimus Jet Packs | Strap Yours on Today and GO! (#804) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/optimus-jet-packs/
- +1: +1 or -1 = Destiny Math | What Must YOU be? (#1) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/destiny-math/

Big Idea 2: HOW TO WIN
- PN: Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/art-and-fear-david-bayles-ted-orland/
- PN: Originals by Adam Grant → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/originals-adam-grant/

Big Idea 3: ANXIETY → EXCITEMENT
- +1: "I'm Excited!" | What to Say to Yourself When You’re Feeling Nerves (#27) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/im-excited/

Big Idea 4: FOCUS
- +1: WIN! WIN! WIN! | What’s Your Next Most Important Thing? (<- Crush That. Repeat.) (#421) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/win-win-win/
- +1:What’s Important Now? (Part 2) | How to Win 28 Olympic Medals (#276) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/whats-important-now-part-2/

Big Idea 5: ONE MOMENT
- +1: Carpe Punctum | You Can’t Seize Days—Only Moments (#227) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/carpe-punctum/

► FREE 14-DAY TRIAL:
Get the PhilosophersNote on The 5 Second Rule and 600+ other books by starting a Free 14-Day trial membership to Optimize: https://www.optimize.me/trial/

► MORE GOODNESS:
- Get the Optimize App for iPhone & iPad: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Get the Optimize App for Android: https://www.optimize.me/apps/
- Subscribe to the Optimize Podcast: https://optimize.me/podcast/
- Follow Optimize on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BriantheOptimizer/
- Follow Optimize on Instagram: https://instagram.com/optimize.me/

Sep 15, 2020

As I was prepping for our upcoming Top 3 Most Life-Changing Books series, I realized I could create a little video on my Top 3 favorite teachers. Here it is!

Sep 14, 2020

Get instant (free) access to all 600+ PhilosophersNotes AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/

Sep 12, 2020

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday. Hope you enjoy!

This is our fourth Note on one of Ryan Holiday’s books. Ryan is one of my absolute favorite writers. One of the testimonials in the front of the book perfectly captures my sentiment. Screenwriter and director Brian Koppelman (Rounders, Ocean’s Thirteen and Billions) puts it this way: “I don’t have many rules in life, but one I never break is: If Ryan Holiday writes a book, I read it as soon as I can get my hands on it.” (btw: Cal Newport’s the first testimonial. He says: “Some authors give advice. Ryan Holiday distills wisdom. This book is a must read.”) Penguin Random House sent me an advance copy of this book. As I knew it would be: It’s fantastic. Of course, the book’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

Get Stillness Is the Key on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stillness-Key-Ryan-Holiday/dp/0525538585

Learn more about Ryan Holiday: https://www.optimize.me/authors/ryan-holiday/

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Sep 12, 2020

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.. Hope you enjoy!

I’m a big fan of Kelly McGonigal and her ability to help us apply scientific wisdom to our lives. We’ve covered two of her earlier books: The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress. So... When I got this book, knew I’d enjoy it. But, I didn’t anticipate JUST how much I’d love it. We have some great Notes on Movement (Spark, Spartan Up and No Sweat among my favorites), but Kelly’s book will be our new go-to for the science of WHY exercise/movement is so essential to our well-being. It’s PHENOMENAL. Reading about the SCIENCE behind stories of transformation (and how, as per the sub-title of her book: “Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage”) also made me that much more clear on the power of what we’re doing with all of our work and the importance of focusing so much on Energy (especially with our Mastery and Coach programs). Big Ideas we explore include: Hope Molecules (and how to create them), persistence highs (and how to create them), collective effervescence (and why it's so awesome), how we endure (hint: TOGETHER!), and OMMS!!! (Obstacles (literally!) Make Me Stronger!).

Get The Joy of Movement on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Movement-exercise-happiness-connection/dp/0525534105

Learn more about Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.: https://www.optimize.me/authors/kelly-mcgonigal/

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Sep 11, 2020

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Sep 11, 2020
Scott Barry Kaufman is one of the world’s leading positive psychologists.
 
We featured one of his earlier books called Wired to Create. So, when a bunch of our Optimizers recommended his new book called Transcend I was eager to get it. (Thank you!! Keep ‘em coming, please!)
 
It’s FANTASTIC.
 
In short, it’s an update on Abraham Maslow’s thinking—moving us beyond self-actualizing into the ULTIMATE realm of “transcending” ourselves in service to the world. Or, as Scott puts it in the sub-title to the book: “The New Science of Self-Actualization.”
 
It’s an important, wise book. If you’re into the science of Optimizing and Actualizing, I think you’ll love it as much as I did. Check out the Notes, get it, etc.
 
So…
 
I imagine we’ll talk about a number of Big Ideas from that book. Today I want to chat about one in particular. 
 
Have you ever heard of “The Jonah Complex”? I hadn’t before Scott introduced me to it. 
 
We meet Jonah in the Old Testament. God has big plans for him. 
 
But…
 
Jonah isn’t such a big fan of those big plans. 
 
So…
 
He tries to hide from God and avoid his destiny. 
 
Of course, important detail to the story: You can’t hide from God. (Hah!) 
 
So, eventually, Jonah accepts his fate and does what he’s here’s to do. 
 
Scott talks about this in a chapter on “Self-Esteem” in which he walks us through a nuanced discussion about what healthy ambition (and pride) looks like vis-a-vis the less healthy expression of ambition and pride that shows up in what psychologists call "vulnerable” and “grandiose narcissism.”
 
We’ll save that important, nuanced discussion for another time.
 
For now, here’s how Scott frames it in Transcend: “Maslow argued that in order to avoid punishment from society, the person ‘becomes humble, ingratiating, appeasing, even masochistic. In short, due to fear of punishment for being superior, she becomes inferior and throws away some of her possibilities for humanness. For the sake of safety and security, she cripples and stunts herself. . . . That is, she is evading the task for which she was born, so to speak. She is evading her destiny.’ Maslow refers to this as the ‘Jonah Complex,’ a phenomenon described by the historian Frank Manuel. This phrase is based on the biblical tale of Jonah who, out of fear, tries to run from God’s prophecy, but he can find no place to hide. Finally, accepting his fate, he does what he is called to do.”
 
He continues by saying: “So let me state this as clearly as possible: you may not be entitled to shine, but you have a right to shine, because you are a worthy human being. Changing your self-limiting narratives about your worthiness, asserting needs in a healthy way, overcoming your avoidance of fearful experiences, and taking responsibility for your behaviors—these actions strengthen and stabilize the vulnerable self. The great irony is that the less you focus on whether you are worthy and competent, and take that as a given, the greater the chances you will consistently accept your inherent worth.”
 
That’s Today’s +1.
 
Are you being called by God or whatever you call that power that’s bigger than you?
 
If yes, are you answering the call?
 
If not, are you quieting down long enough to hear that quiet voice?
 
As you’ve probably picked up by now, I believe we are ALL being called to shine.
 
So…
 
Let’s humbly yet powerfully answer that call as we overcome our avoidance of fearful experiences, take responsibility for our behaviors and take it as a given that we are worthy. 
 
Then go give our families, communities, and the world all we’ve got. 
 
When?
 
How about TODAY.
Sep 10, 2020

Larry King + James Pawelski interview link: https://the.positivevoices.com/live-audience-yes

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Sep 9, 2020

From Notes on Jim Afremow's Champion's Mind: https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-champions-mind-jim-afremow/https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-...

“Take a minute right now to think about your performance when you did not believe a good or respectable outcome was possible but you still found a way to make it happen. There is beauty in being ugly but effective (UBE) or having a good bad day (GBD) while you are not at your finest. Keep your head in the game and grind it out.”

There’s a powerful beauty in being ugly but effective and having good bad days. UBE + GBD. This is big. If we want to cultivate truly intense trust in ourselves, we need to know that we can pull it together when things start falling apart. Jack Nicklaus called it playing poorly well. Afremow tells us Rory McIlroy calls it “scrappy golf.”

Step #1 to making that happen is to KNOW that you will have x bad shots per round. It’s the unhealthy perfectionists among us (*waving to my old self!*) who struggle with this the most— thinking they should be able to get thru the day P.E.R.F.E.C.T.L.Y. (but only every day) and that if they don’t, it’s a sign of something being inherently wrong with them. (Hah.)

We need to hold our high standards of excellence while embracing the constraints of reality that (tragically!) we will *never* be perfect. Then... when the inevitable bad shot comes along, rather than beating ourselves up, we simply say, “Aha! There’s a bad shot. I knew you’d sneak in at some point. No big deal. Back to work.”

So... How’s your ugly? Here’s to being ugly but effective and having good bad days! #UBE + #GBD!

Sep 8, 2020

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from Happy Together by Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski. Hope you enjoy!

Suzie and James Pawelski are two of the world's leading positive psychologists. James cofounded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania with Martin Seligman while Suzie is a graduate of the program and a leading freelance writer and consultant. Together they've written an incredible book on "Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts." I’ve been waiting for a very long time for the book that would make me say: “READ THIS BOOK if you want to figure out how to integrate Ancient Wisdom + Modern Science + Practical Tools to Optimize your relationship.” And, well, THIS book is it. I HIGHLY recommend it. In fact, it's not only my #1 Love book recommendation, it's also cracked the Top 10 all-time greatest list. Big Ideas we explore include The Relationship Gym (hit it!), Aristotelian Lovers (the REAL Soul Mates), SNAP (James geniuses x2), Know Thy... (self and thy partner!), and Love Is an Action Verb (let's commit to flourishing together TODAY!).

Get Happy Together on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143130595

Learn more about Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski: https://www.optimize.me/authors/suzann-pileggi-pawelski-mapp/ https://www.optimize.me/authors/james-o-pawelski-ph-d/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: RELATIONSHIP GYM
- Coping with COVID interview series via Positive Voices → https://www.positivevoices.com/copingwithcovid/
- +1: Falling in Love vs. STANDING in Love | One’s a Lot Easier than the Other (#134) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/falling-in-love-vs-standing-in-love/
- +1: Fortify Your Pertinacity | Seneca Says: “Until the Will to Good Becomes a Disposition to Good” (#864) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/fortify-your-pertinacity/
- +1: Work or Play? | Masters in the Art of Living Dissolve the (Apparent) Dichotomy (#525) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/work-or-play/
- #1: Happy Playbor Day! (I'll be celebrating with some Playbor! Lol) (#35) → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTeT11AzLe0&t=221s

Big Idea 2: ARISTOTELIAN LOVERS
- PN: The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-nicomachean-ethics-aristotle/
- PNTV: The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWExd__bC7A
- +1: How to High Five Your Inner Daimon | My Philosophy in One Word (#3) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-high-five-your-inner-daimon/
- +1: Eudaimonism vs. Hedonism | Don’t Want to Be Depressed? Science Says… (#1166) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/eudaimonism-vs-hedonism/

Big Idea 3: SNAP
- +1: Commitments: 100% Is a Breeze | 99%? Not So Much. (#46) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/commitments-100-is-a-breeze/
- +1: Antifragile Confidence | ← = Agency Squared (#796) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/antifragile-confidence/

Big Idea 4: KNOW THY…
- VIA Character Strengths Survey → http://www.viacharacter.org/www/
- Happy Together website → https://www.buildhappytogether.com/
- +1: What's Your #1 Self-Care Habit? | Perhaps the Most Important Question We Can Ask Ourselves (#129) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/whats-your-1-self-care-habit/
- +1: What's Your Partner’s #1 Self-Care Habit? | Another VERY Important Question (#130) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/whats-your-partners-1-self-care-habit/

Big Idea 5: LOVE = ACTION VERB
- How to Journal Carpe Diem Style! → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFMOrHcrGWU&t=4s
- +1: How to Carpe Diem Journal (v2) | Let’s Seize the Day → TODAY! (#1118) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-carpe-diem-journal-v2/
- +1: Soul Mates 2.0 | How to Find One and How to Be One (#1119) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/soul-mates-2-0/

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Sep 7, 2020

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The Courage Quotient by Robert Biswas-Diener. Hope you enjoy!

Robert Biswas-Diener is known as the “Indiana Jones of positive psychology.” As per his bio, “his research has taken him to such far-flung places as Greenland, India, Kenya and Israel.” And, important note: “He is afraid of quicksand and snakes.” :) Robert is also the son of one of the leading positive psychology researchers: Ed Diener. We covered a book they wrote together called Happiness. This is basically the ONLY book on science of courage. It's fantastic. Big Ideas we explore include defining the numerator and denominator of our Courage Quotient (hint: Increase your "willingness to act" and "ability to control fear"), courage's two flavors (general + personal), courage blindness (and how to heal it), the power of playing our roles well (choose a courageous one!), being willing to fail and playing to win.

Get The Courage Quotient on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Courage-Quotient-Science-Make-Braver/dp/0470917423

Learn more about Robert Biswas-Diener: https://www.optimize.me/authors/robert-biswas-diener/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: THE QUOTIENT
- +1: How to Flourish | Science Says: PERMA (#280) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-flourish/
- +1: Courage | How to Pump Energy to Your Virtues (#159) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/courage/
- +1: The Courage Quotient | How’s Yours? (#1132) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-courage-quotient/
- +1: Aristotle’s Virtuous Mean | Versus the Vices of Excess + Deficiency (#247) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/aristotles-virtuous-mean/
- +1: Aristotle’s Doctrine of the (Virtuous) Mean | vs. The Vices of Excess and Deficiency (#466) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/aristotles-doctrine-of-the-virtuous-mean/
- PN: The Power of Agency by Paul Napper and Anthony Rao → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-power-of-agency-paul-napper-anthony-rao-ph-d/
- +1: "I'm Excited!" | What to Say to Yourself When You’re Feeling Nerves (#27) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/im-excited/
- +1: Your Infinite Potential | And Where to Find It (#4) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/your-infinite-potential/
- +1: Now What Needs to Be Done? | Remember: Feelings Follow Behavior (#72) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/now-what-needs-to-be-done/
- PN: Constructive Living by David Reynolds → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/constructive-living-david-reynolds/

Big Idea 2: BLINDNESS
- +1: Idiosyncratic Optimizing | Creating Your Own Unique Mixture of Awesome (#207) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/idiosyncratic-optimizing/
- FINDING JOE | Full Movie (HD) → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8nFACrLxr0
- +1: Hero Bars | Your Fuel for Fear Doors (#699) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/hero-bars/
- +1: Navy SEAL Cookie Jars | David Goggins on Becoming Superman (#661) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/navy-seal-cookie-jars/
- David Goggins → https://www.optimize.me/authors/david-goggins/
- PN: It Takes What it Takes by Trevor Moawad → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/it-takes-what-it-takes-trevor-moawad/
- #1: How do you start your day? Here’s how I start mine. (Breakfast of Champions + Oura 1-2-3+!) (#5) → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLO3HrC6-hU

Big Idea 3: ROLES
- How to Act Boldly | Choose Courageous Roles (#1134) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/how-to-act-boldly/
- PNTV: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHObPl342XU
- Ellen Langer → https://www.optimize.me/authors/ellen-langer/
- PN: Counter-Clockwise by Ellen Langer → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/counterclockwise-ellen-langer/
- +1: You, Batman & Dora the Explorer | Time to Put on Your Heroic Costume? (#964) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/you-batman-dora-the-explorer/
- PN: The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-alter-ego-effect-todd-herman/

Big Idea 4: FAILURE: ACCEPT
- +1: Be Willing to Fail | Edison, Churchill and YOU! (#1135) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/be-willing-to-fail/
- +1: Creating Your Life Documentary | Note: It’s All an Important Part of the Process (#1136) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/creating-your-life-documentary/
- +1: Mistakes? They’re Just Mis-takes | You As the Director of Your Life (#59) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/mistakes-theyre-just-mis-takes/
- +1: A New Take on Mis-takes | Using Them as Fuel for Our Antifragile Fires (#1137) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/a-new-take-on-mis-takes/
- +1: Win or Learn | Three Questions to Ask after a Disappointing Performance (#96) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/win-or-learn/
- +1: Batting .300 | Is Hall of Fame Material (in Life + Baseball) (#499) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/batting-300/

Big Idea 5: PLAY TO WIN
- +1: Playing to Win | vs. Playing Not to Lose (#1138) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/playing-to-win/
- +1: The Psychology of Hope | Goals + Willpower + Waypower (#325) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-psychology-of-hope/

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