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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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Aug 20, 2021

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How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. If you've ever had a worry or two, I think you'll dig some of my favorite Big Ideas from Dale Carnegie's classic book "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living"!

Have you ever worried more than you'd like? (Me, too.) In this Note, we'll explore some *really* Big Ideas on how to stop worrying and start living—including the importance of rest (did you know our hearts rest way more than they work every day? (Me, either.)) and how important it is to make decisions and take action!

Aug 19, 2021

This is our third Note on one of Mark Divine's books. Mark is a retired Navy SEAL Commander. He also has twenty-five years of experience as an entrepreneur. In this book, he draws on his decades of leadership experience to teach us the "7 Leadership Commitments That Forge Elite Teams." Big Ideas we explore include The Two Wolves (which one are YOU feeding?), the. 7 Commitments (Courage + Trust + Respect + Growth + Excellence + Resiliency + Alignment), Falling Down Seven Times (and getting back up eight), Semper Gumby (Always Flexible!), and Your #1 Fear to Stare Down Next (what's yours?).

Aug 17, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from The Stoic Challenge by William B. Irvine. Hope you enjoy!

William B. Irvine is a professor of philosophy at Wright State University. He’s also a fantastic (and prolific) writer. And… Unlike many of his academic, professor-of-philosophy peers, he is a practicing Stoic philosopher. In the words of Donald Robertson (another Stoic author and practitioner; see The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), he is both a librarian AND a warrior of the mind. We featured another one of Professor Irvine’s great books on Stoicism called A Guide to the Good Life. I enjoyed that one quite a bit but I REALLY (!) enjoyed this one. Like, jumbo loved it. In fact, I’m going to put this one right at the top of our growing collection of books on Stoicism—along with the must-read classics by Aurelius (Meditations), Seneca (Letters from a Stoic, On the Shortness of Life), and Epictetus (Discourses, Enchiridion) plus the modern classics like Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way and The Daily Stoic. If you’re looking for “A Philosopher’s Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient,” I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Get The Stoic Challenge on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Stoic-Challenge-Philosophers-Becoming-Resilient/dp/0393652491

Learn more about William B. Irvine: https://www.optimize.me/authors/william-b-irvine/

► RELATED RESOURCES:
Big Idea 1: SETBACK EXEMPLARS
- PN: A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/a-guide-to-the-good-life-william-irvine/
- +1: Warriors vs. Librarians | Let’s Not Just Catalogue these +1s, Let’s LIVE Them (#66) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/warriors-vs-librarians/
- PN: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/how-to-think-like-a-roman-emperor-donald-robertson/
- +1: Self-Efficacy | The Science of Confidence (#111) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/self-efficacy/
- +1: What’s Your Excuse? | RISE UP! with Spartan Hero Kacey McCallister (#979) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/whats-your-excuse/

Big Idea 2: ANTIFRAGILITY
- Antifragile 101 | How to Use Everything to Fuel Your Heroic Growth → https://www.optimize.me/antifragility/
- +1: Antifragile | vs. Resilient vs. Fragile (#10) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/antifragile/
- +1: OMMS | The Hero’s Mantra (#41) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/omms/
- +1: The 1, 2, 3 of Antifragility | How to Operationalize OMMS (#1108) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-1-2-3-of-antifragility/
- +1: Styrofoam Weights | And Your Optimize Gym™ Membership (#407) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/styrofoam-weights/
- PN: The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday → https://www.optimize.me/philosophers-notes/the-obstacle-is-the-way-ryan-holiday/

Big Idea 3: THE TEST
- #1: "Thank you, Stoic gods! Appreciate the chance to practice my Philosophy!" (#36) → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QywG42MXtY
- +1: Threat vs. Challenge | How to You Respond to Life’s Stressors? (It Matters!) (#336) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/threat-vs-challenge/
Big Idea 4: NEGATIVE VISUALIZATION
- +1: Stoic Negative Visualization | A Practice in the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (#851) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/stoic-negative-visualization/
- +1: Memento Mori | Want to Live? Remember Death (#209) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/memento-mori/
- +1: Gratitude | Science Says: It Works! (#24) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/gratitude/
- +1: The #1 Obstacle to Gratitude | And Its Remedy (#1071) →
- +1: Science Says: Gratitude Works | Some EYE-POPPING Stats (#1068) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/the-1-obstacle-to-gratitude/
- +1: Taking Things FOR GRANTED vs. AS GRANTED | Let’s Choose Wisely (#1070) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/taking-things-for-granted-vs-as-granted/

Big Idea 5: LAZY BILL
- +1: Demons vs. Daimons | What to Feed Them (#919) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/demons-vs-daimons/
- +1: +1 or -1 = Destiny Math | What Must YOU be? (#1) → https://www.optimize.me/plus-one/destiny-math/

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Aug 12, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Making Hope Happen" by Shane Lopez. Hope you enjoy!

Did you know there's a science of hope? Yep. And Shane Lopez is the world's leading researcher studying the science of hope. This book is an inspiring look at the buts of bolts of cultivating hope. Big Ideas we explore include differentiating hope from fantasizing and dwelling, the three keys to hope (goals + agency + pathways), futurecasting, sirens when/where plans, and why hope is so important for leadership.

Aug 11, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Eat Move Sleep" by Tom Rath. Hope you enjoy!

Eat Move Sleep. The simple, powerful keys to optimal health and well-being. We talk about these fundamentals ALL the time and this is my new favorite book on health. Big Ideas we explore include 10,008 hours and 36 minutes (the magic # of elite performance), candy for cancer cells, the power of measuring whatever it is you want to improve, how to buy willpower at the store, and a vaccine for the common cold.

Aug 9, 2021

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.

Aug 5, 2021

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Why Meditate?" by Matthieu Ricard. Hope you enjoy!

Why Meditate? According to Ricard, the ultimate reason is to transform ourselves so we can transform our world. That works for me! In this Note, we check out my favorite Big Ideas on working out our mindfulness muscles, looking at the power of neuroplasticity and highlighting the fact that it’s *all* about the consistent practice, working on our consciousness thought after thought and emotion by emotion.

Aug 4, 2021

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Do You! by Russell Simmons. He is part yogi, part hip hop mogul and all rock star. In this PN TV episode, we have fun taking a look at some Big Ideas on how to "Do You!" Hope you enjoy!

Aug 2, 2021

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Optimizers from 70+ Countries!) Heidi Grant Halvorson is one of the world's leading researchers/teachers on the science of success. Here are a few of my favorite Big Ideas from her *great* book, Succeed. Hope you enjoy!!

Jul 29, 2021

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Ken Wilber is one of the world's leading philosophers and in this Note we'll explore some of my favorite Big Ideas on his "Integral Philosophy" —including the REALLY Big Idea of holding multiple perspectives and seeing the partial truths in any situation (rather than always seeing things as "either/or") plus the importance of turning enlightened state experiences into a way of being (hint: you only get there by doing the work).

Jul 28, 2021

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The Conquest of Mind is an amazing book written by an equally amazing man: Eknath Easwaran. We use Easwaran’s translations for the Bhagavad Gita and The Dhammapada and in this book, he provides all kinds of great ideas on how we can win “the war within.” In the Note we’ll explore the fact that we don’t want to be heroes in the beginning and then sneak out the back door, the fact that we can ALL change, and the miracles that can be created by hard work.

Jul 26, 2021

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Creativity with a capital C—the type of Creativity that changes the world. How can we go about cultivating it in our lives? That’s what this book is all about. Our guide is the legendary psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Big Ideas we explore include defining true Creativity, focusing our attention and being willing to be kinda weird, the one personality trait all Creators have in common (hint: complexity!), creating rhythms and the nine elements of flow and how to tap into it!

Jul 23, 2021

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Jon Kabat-Zinn is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts and one of the world’s leading advocates for mindfulness training. He’s demonstrated the phenomenal health benefits of integrating meditation into our daily lives and in this Note we’ll learn about meditation—what it is, how we can rock it and what we can gain from doing so.

Jul 21, 2021

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You're imperfect. (Hate to break it to you!) And that's awesome. Brene Brown, TED-talk rock star and all-around awesome human being also happens to be one of the world's shame and vulnerability researchers who stumbled upon the secrets of what she calls Wholehearted living. In this Note, we'll look at the Dos and Don'ts of rockin' it as we cultivate courage, connection and compassion to put our soul in a great mood.

Jul 19, 2021

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Chris Guillebeau is a brilliant guy and brilliant writer. He's also traveled to every.single.country in the world. (That's 193 for those counting.) In this great book we take a look at what it means to create an awesome Quest. The why's and how's and all that. What's your Quest? Ready to rock it?

Jul 16, 2021

The Placebo effect is a pretty nutty phenomenon. Merely the *belief* that a pill (or surgery) will benefit you can lead to those results--even without the actual pill. In this great (!) book, Dr. Joe Dispenza tells us we can harness that power and shows us how. In the Note we'll have fun looking at how to become the new you as you cross the river of change and become an epigenetic engineer.

Jul 14, 2021

Troy Bassham is a 4 time National Champion and World Champion rifle shooter. He's also gold medalist Lanny Bashamm's son. Together they share extraordinary wisdom in their Mental Management® System. This book is fantastic. In the Note, we take a quick look at the 12 elements of elite performance.

Jul 13, 2021

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Drs. David and Austin Perlmutter are members of the Optimize Coach Guest Faculty. This exchange was captured during a Live Coaching session in the Optimize Coach program. Multiple times every month, Optimize Coach participants connect live with Brian, Michael, Alexandra, and members of our world-class Luminary Guest Faculty for wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.

For more information, head to optimize.me/coach.

Jul 12, 2021

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from “One Spirit Medicine“ by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. Hope you enjoy!

Alberto Villoldo is a fascinating blend of medical anthropologist and practicing shaman—having explored, practiced and taught these ideas for decades. Alberto walks us the healing wisdom at the nexus of ancient shamanic wisdom and modern science. Big Ideas include how (and why!) to optimize our gut-brain, removing two of the most toxic things in our diet, adding superfoods and detoxing from news and TV while cultivating stillness.

Jul 12, 2021

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Brandon Guyer is a member of the Optimize Coach Guest Faculty. This exchange was captured during a Live Coaching session in the Optimize Coach program. Multiple times every month, Optimize Coach participants connect live with Brian, Michael, Alexandra, and members of our world-class Luminary Guest Faculty for wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.

For more information, head to optimize.me/coach.

Jul 11, 2021

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Steve Chandler is a member of the Optimize Coach Guest Faculty. This exchange was captured during a Live Coaching session in the Optimize Coach program. Multiple times every month, Optimize Coach participants connect live with Brian, Michael, Alexandra, and members of our world-class Luminary Guest Faculty for wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.

For more information, head to optimize.me/coach.

Jul 10, 2021

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Cal Newport is a member of the Optimize Coach Guest Faculty. This exchange was captured during a Live Coaching session in the Optimize Coach program. Multiple times every month, Optimize Coach participants connect live with Brian, Michael, Alexandra, and members of our world-class Luminary Guest Faculty for wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.

For more information, head to optimize.me/coach.

Jul 9, 2021

Here are 5 of my favorite Big Ideas from "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. Hope you enjoy!

This is a great little book packed with gems on the creative process we can apply to both our work AND our lives. As per the sub-title, Austin gives us  “10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” Big Ideas we explore include the need to start copying, the importance of taking care of ourselves and establishing a routine as we set creative constraints, and amassing a body of work as we consistently show up.

Jul 9, 2021

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Cynthia Occelli is a member of the Optimize Coach Guest Faculty. This exchange was captured during a Live Coaching session in the Optimize Coach program. Multiple times every month, Optimize Coach participants connect live with Brian, Michael, Alexandra, and members of our world-class Luminary Guest Faculty for wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.

For more information, head to optimize.me/coach.

Jul 8, 2021

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Patrick McKeown is a member of the Optimize Coach Guest Faculty. This exchange was captured during a Live Coaching session in the Optimize Coach program. Multiple times every month, Optimize Coach participants connect live with Brian, Michael, Alexandra, and members of our world-class Luminary Guest Faculty for wisdom, guidance, and encouragement.

For more information, head to optimize.me/coach.

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