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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: Category: Interview
Sep 17, 2016

Shawn Stevenson is a health coach who has one of the most popular health & fitness podcasts out there called The Model Health Show. This is a short, quick-reading, funny and practical little book featuring 21 tips on how to optimize your sleep. Big Ideas we cover: #1 tip: value your sleep (it’s the secret sauce), avoid the blue lights, adenosine (did you know how caffeine really works?), staying cool, getting your vitamin G and creating PM rituals.

Sep 14, 2016

Christopher McDougall is a brilliant story teller (and author of Born to Run). In this great book, he weaves together a number of different narratives, with an emphasis on two: one about an extraordinary wartime adventure on Crete and the other about Natural Movement. In the process, he shares a ton of Ideas on how we can each tap into the extraordinary superpowers latent within. Big Ideas we explore include the ancient Greek meaning of the word “hero,” the mantra of the hero, why weeds + fat are optimal fuel and a great test.

Sep 11, 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.

Sep 10, 2016

Katy Bowman is one of the world’s leading biomechanists—helping us integrate proper body movement to optimize our well-being. She has a great podcast + blog you might enjoy as well. This book is packed with a ton of exercises and plenty of info on the science of biomechanics to help us pay more attention to the loads we’re putting on our bodies throughout the day so we can get in harmony with how our bodies were designed to move. Big Ideas we explore include moving your TRILLIONS of cells, why movement > exercise, why walking is the secret sauce, and how to take a forest bath.

Sep 3, 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.

Aug 23, 2016

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin were two of the most senior (and decorated) SEALS on the ground in the most intense battles of Iraq. In this book they share their leadership lessons on how U.S. Navy SEALs lead and win. It’s an intense, impactful read. Big Ideas we explore include a definition of Extreme Ownership, the fact that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders, how to prioritize and execute and remembering that discipline = freedom.

Aug 20, 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.

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 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 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 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.

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 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!)

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 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 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 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 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 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!

May 21, 2016

In this book, Michelle Gielan takes her background in broadcast journalism (as a CBS News anchor) and combines it with her background in positive psychology to show us how we are ALL broadcasters. Big Ideas we explore include the 3 key factors that account for 75% of success (!), power leads and how to use them, rational optimism vs. irrational optimism, fact-checking your story to find fueling facts that catalyze rather than paralyze and how/when to H.A.L.T.!

May 4, 2016

As the sub-title suggests, this book is all about “A proven path to discovering what you were meant to do.” If you’re looking for an inspiring introduction to clarifying and living your purpose, I think you’ll enjoy this book. Big Ideas we explore include a quick peek at the 7 characteristics of a Calling, why Awareness is so important, why Painful Practice is also super important, why we should be thinking “bridges” not “leaps” as we pursue our calling ad other goodness.

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