Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest who integrated Eastern and Western ideas into his teachings and in this Note, we'll explore some of his Biggest Ideas on how to live from a place of deep connection and awareness. We'll learn how to get over our fears and quit driving with our brakes on plus the importance of looking at life as a symphony with ever changing rhythms and music that's only enjoyable to the extent we don't try to hold on to any one note.
Nathaniel Branden is easily one of the most articulate human beings I've read and is one of the world's leading experts on self-esteem. This book rocks and in the Note we'll explore the six pillars of self-esteem—from the practice of living consciously, accepting ourselves and taking responsibility to practicing self-assertiveness, living purposefully and having personal integrity. This is one of my favorite books and Notes that I think you'll love.
People often ask me what *one* book I would recommend they read. I never had an answer I felt good about until I read this book. It's amazing. The most comprehensive and readable look at what we *scientifically know* works to boost our happiness—from gratitude and exercise to optimism and kindness. (btw: The other #1 book I'd recommend? The PhilosophersNotes workbook. How can you beat 1,000 Big Ideas from 100 great books packed into 600 pages? ;)
Mary-Elaine Jacobsen is one of the world's leading authorities on gifted adults and this book is packed with wisdom on how "everyday geniuses®" can rock it. We'll explore how to develop our evolutionary IQ as we work hard, silence the (inner and outer) critics and learn how to bounce back as we become co-creators in liberating our everyday genius.
Rollo May was a brilliant 20th century existential psychologist and this book is a great look at the courage it takes to fully express ourselves as we create our ideal lives. We'll explore the fact that the word courage comes from the French word for "heart" and that, just as the heart pumps blood to all the organs of our body, so does courage pump blood to all our other virtues—without courage, we're effectively dead. This Note is packed with Big Ideas to make sure your courage is beating strong.
Glasser's got an awesome, straightforward style of writing and in this Note we'll explore the psychology of strength and weakness and how easy it is to develop negative addictions as a way to shield ourselves from the pain of our weakness and poor choices. Once we've checked that out, we'll look at how we can develop our strength by rockin' positive addictions (things like running, yoga, meditation) in our lives!
Viktor Frankl survived the horrors of the holocaust and describes his Logotherapy in this classic book. In the Note, we'll explore the fact that our attitudes determine our happiness and that *no one* can ever take away the freedom for us to choose our response to any given situation. We'll also look at the importance of having a mission in life and that as we serve something bigger than ourselves, our happiness and success will follow.
Tal Ben-Shahar is one of my favorite teachers. He taught one of the most popular classes in Harvard's history and this book captures the essence of his class on Positive Psychology—sharing the best of what we scientifically know about how to create happier, more fulfilled lives. We'll explore how important it is to have goals AND be in the moment (and the perils of *just* being in the moment) along with mucho más goodness.
Flow. It's all about the science of optimal human experience. In this Note, we'll explore what the flow state is (hint: get fully engaged in an activity that matches your skills with your challenge) and we’ll look at some other Big Ideas on controlling the contents of our consciousness to get out of anxiety and boredom as we create more flow experiences in our lives. (Plus, you'll even learn how to pronounce "Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.")
Martin Seligman is essentially the father of the Positive Psychology movement and in this Note we explore how important it is for us to use our Signature Strengths consistently throughout our day-to-day lives. We've got tips on how to discover our Strengths and how to move from a job to a career to a calling as we live a life of meaning and purpose. Good times.
Nietzsche was said to deliver his philosophy with a hammer and this book definitely nails his disdain for conditioning and conformity. In the Note, we'll take a peek at some really Big Ideas including the fact that our worst enemy is often inside our own heads, that sometimes we need to push ourselves to discover just how far we can go, and how we’ve gotta be willing to go into the depths of our being if we want to fly.
The Tao te Ching. It's the core text of Taoism and one of the top old school classics of all time. In this Note, we'll take a look at everything from making use of solitude to the fact that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step (heard that before, eh?!). We'll also learn to let go of our attachment to future results and gracefully roll with the ebbs and flows of life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is a hero of mine (he occupies the Great-Great+ Grandfather slot in my spiritual family tree) and his essays, although written in 19th century prose, totally fire me up. In this Note, we'll explore some Big Ideas on self-reliance (trust yourself!!!), the power of enthusiasm (did you know the word literally means "God within"?!), and how God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. Plus other goodness.
Epictetus is one of three Stoic philosophers we profile (Marcus Aurelius and Seneca are the other two) and this former slave turned leading philosopher of his era is incredible. He echoes the wisdom of all the great teachers as he reminds us that, if we want to be happy, we've gotta realize the only thing we have control over is our response to a situation. We'll have fun tapping into a lot more of his vast mojo in the Note.
A core text of Buddhism, The Dhammapada literally means something along the lines of "the path of truth and righteousness" and is packed with wisdom. In this Note, we'll take a quick look at some central tenets of Buddhism (like the Four Noble Truths, nirvana, and the eightfold path) and soak up some Buddha mojo on how to rock our wisest lives.
The classic text of Hinduism is *packed* with wisdom. In the Note, we take a super quick look at the context for the book and then jump into some powerful wisdom—including the importance of meditation, the fact that making mistakes is an inherent part of our growth process and the uber-importance of letting go of our attachment to results.
Confucius. Talk about old school. I’ve waded through some of the arcane stuff from his classic "Analects" to bring us some highly practical wisdom for our 21st century lives. We'll take a look at a bunch of Big Ideas on the importance of being a passionate (and patient!) student of life while striving to do our best. Good stuff.
Rumi's poetry is stunning. In this Note, we'll explore some inspiring wisdom from the Sufi mystic and have fun applying it to our 21st century lives—from the importance of having patience and seeing challenging times as God's way of strengthening us to working hard and going for it.
Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor-Philosopher of the Roman Empire and one of the most enlightened leaders ever. Meditations is a collection of journal entries he wrote to himself and in this Note, we'll explore some Big Ideas of his Stoic philosophy—from the importance of never confusing ourselves with visions of a lifetime all at once, to not worrying about what others think of us and living a life of purpose and service.
Seneca. He was born around the same time as Jesus and was one of the leading figures in his Roman Empire. He was also one of history's leading Stoic philosophers (along with Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus who we also profile) and has some powerful wisdom to share. In this Note, we'll explore the purpose of philosophy, the importance of focusing our attention and the mojo that comes from facing our fears.
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