OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time artwork

OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson | More Wisdom in Less Time

1,182 episodes - English - Latest episode: about 1 month ago - ★★★★★ - 16 ratings

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.

Health & Fitness Business Careers brianjohnson optimalliving optimalliving101 optimize philosophersnotes
Homepage Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Overcast Castro Pocket Casts RSS feed


#1: Friends, meet books. Books, friends! (#43)

September 15, 2020 19:00 - 15 minutes - 14.6 MB

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! :)

PNTV: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (#405)

September 15, 2020 07:00 - 19 minutes - 18 MB

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 I...

My Top 3 favorite teachers (and why!)

September 15, 2020 07:00 - 12 minutes - 11.4 MB

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!

+1: Neutral Thinking | vs. Positive and Negative Thinking (#1259)

September 15, 2020 07:00 - 4 minutes - 3.86 MB

A couple +1s ago, we had some fun hanging out with Trevor Moawad and discussed some wisdom from his great book: It Takes What It Takes.    As you may recall, we chatted about his distinction that the highest level of achievement comes when we reach “Conscious Competence.”    In this state, we’re consciously aware of the things we do that help us consistently (key word: consistently!) perform at our best.    That Self-Awareness paired with Self-Mastery is what makes t...

#1: Ice baths, my Top 3 teachers ever, bullying, and TGIM! (#42)

September 14, 2020 19:00 - 12 minutes - 11.5 MB

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/

PNTV: The Upward Spiral by Alex Korb (#404)

September 14, 2020 07:00 - 25 minutes - 23.2 MB

Alex Korb is a neuroscientist in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. (Go Bruins!) He’s also a great writer. As per the sub-title, the book is all about “Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time.” It’s REALLY good. Inspiring. Scientifically grounded. Simple. Practical.

#1: A quick look at my creative process (via Top 3 books project!) (#41)

September 13, 2020 19:00 - 12 minutes - 11.9 MB

PNTV: Musonius Rufus by Musonius Rufus (#403)

September 13, 2020 19:00 - 27 minutes - 25.7 MB

Musonius Rufus was one of the four great Roman Stoics. In fact, he was known as the “Roman Socrates.” To put him in historical context with the other three great Roman Stoics: He was born in AD 30, about 34 years after Seneca. He taught Epictetus (who was born in AD 55). Epictetus died in 135 but taught the guys who taught the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (who was born in AD 121) his Stoic philosophy—which is why Aurelius refers to him more than any other teacher in Meditations. Big Ideas w...

PNTV: Gratitude Works! by Robert Emmons, Ph.D. (#402)

September 13, 2020 07:00 - 24 minutes - 22.3 MB

I’m grateful for Robert Emmons. He’s dedicated the last three decades of his life to understanding the science of how to boost our well-being. In the process, he’s conducted ground-breaking research on the power of gratitude. In fact, he’s basically THE researcher we have to thank for understanding *just* how powerful gratitude journaling is.(He's also served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.) I consider myself a reasonably grateful guy but this book has opened my eye...

PNTV: Stillness Is The Key by Ryan Holiday (#401)

September 12, 2020 19:00 - 21 minutes - 20 MB

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 a...

PNTV: The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. (#400)

September 12, 2020 07:00 - 24 minutes - 22.5 MB

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 ...

#1: My Top 10 favorite books ever (#39)

September 11, 2020 19:00 - 12 minutes - 11.9 MB

Get instant (free) access to my Notes on those Top 10 books AND 600+ other ones AND all 50 Optimal Living 101 classes AND 1,000+ Optimize +1s as part of our free 2-week trial: http://optimize.me/

+1: The Jonah Complex | Quit Running from Your Destiny (#1255)

September 11, 2020 07:00 - 4 minutes - 3.99 MB

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 Scot...

#1: Feeling wobbly Energy-wise? Train your recovery! (#38)

September 10, 2020 19:00 - 9 minutes - 8.31 MB

Larry King + James Pawelski interview link: https://the.positivevoices.com/live-audience-yes Optimize: https://optimize.me/ (Get Free Stuff + Free 2-Week Trial!) Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)

#1: "Ugly but effective" + How to play poorly well (Hint: RUN THE ALGORITHMS!) (#37)

September 09, 2020 19:00 - 8 minutes - 7.86 MB

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.” T...

PNTV: The Stoic Challenge by William B. Irvine (#399)

September 09, 2020 07:00 - 24 minutes - 22.2 MB

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 ...

PNTV: Happy Together by Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and James Pawelski (#398)

September 08, 2020 07:00 - 24 minutes - 22.5 MB

PNTV: The Courage Quotient by Robert Biswas-Diener (#397)

September 07, 2020 07:00 - 19 minutes - 18.4 MB

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...

#1: Happy Playbor Day! (I'll be celebrating with some Playbor! Lol) (#35)

September 07, 2020 07:00 - 11 minutes - 10.8 MB

#1: The ABC’s of Intimacy (Alexandra’s cameo + Date night + Weekly planning +) (#34)

September 06, 2020 07:00 - 14 minutes - 13.4 MB

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

PNTV: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson (#396)

September 06, 2020 07:00 - 24 minutes - 22.5 MB

Donald Robertson is one of the world’s leading thinkers, writers AND practitioners of Stoic philosophy. He’s also a therapist who integrates Stoicism into his work with individuals. This is our second Note on one of his great books. The first Note was on The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in which he connects the philosophical underpinnings of CBT (one of the most empirically-validated, effective modern therapies) to ancient Stoicism. This book is part biography and part philosop...

+1: The 100,000 Game | Join Me? (#1250)

September 06, 2020 07:00 - 5 minutes - 4.99 MB

Not too long ago, I mentioned the virtual Optimize Local Zoom group I joined.    It was such an epic hangout.    I’m still beaming from the download of Love (and Wisdom + Self-Mastery + Courage + …).    Seriously. It VERY MUCH reminded me of the graduation weekend where I got to hang out with 500+ of our inaugural Optimize Coaches—which will always be a highlight of my life.    There’s just something magical about getting together with people who share your values an...

PNTV: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport (#395)

September 05, 2020 07:00 - 22 minutes - 20.3 MB

Cal Newport is one of my favorite thinkers. He got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT and is now a Professor at Georgetown. He’s also a bestselling author of a number of books. Given the fact that the fastest way to Optimize your life is to STOP doing things that are sub-optimal AND the fact that (for nearly all of us) our use of technology is the #1 thing that “Needs work!,” it’s SUPER important for us to figure out how to best use all the technology available to us WITHOUT becoming los...

#1: Soul Force equation + deep (RHR) data dive + best book on relationships EVER! (#33)

September 05, 2020 07:00 - 23 minutes - 21.5 MB

Get first week of Optimize Coach FREE here: https://www.optimize.me/coach-module-o/ Note: 10 more days to join us for Class III!

Want to Master Yourself and Serve Heroically? (Here’s Mastery Series Module O from Optimize Coach!)

September 04, 2020 19:00 - 1 hour - 98.9 MB

Optimize Coach: https://optimize.me/coach (Join 2,000+ Optimizers from 70+ Countries!)   Imagine the absolute best wisdom from 600+ PhilosophersNotes, 1,000+ Optimize +1s, and 50 Optimal Living 101 classes distilled into ONE super-practical, 300-day program to help you fundamentally and permanently change your life.   That’s what we do in the Optimize Mastery Series + Optimize Coach program.   And… September 1st was the first day of Optimize Coach - Class III. (YES!!!)   We t...

#1: God, please grant me the virtues to make Today a masterpiece! (#32)

September 04, 2020 07:00 - 9 minutes - 8.72 MB

PNTV: It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moawad (#394)

September 04, 2020 07:00 - 23 minutes - 21.7 MB

Trevor Moawad is a mental conditioning coach to elite performers. He is well known for being the mental coach to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and has worked closely with prestigious NCAA football programs and coaches, the US Special Operations community, Major League Baseball, and the NBA. This book is, as per the sub-title, all about “How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life.” I loved it and, if you’re also equally fired up by the mental toughness in sports and li...

PNTV: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg (#393)

September 03, 2020 07:00 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of behavior change. In this book, he introduces us to the core elements of his Fogg Behavior Model as we learn that habit change doesn’t need to be as hard as we make it. As BJ tells us: “We are not the problem. Our approach to change is. It’s a design flaw—not a personal flaw.” Big Ideas we explore include the three elements that drive behavior (B = MAP!), the ABCs o...

PNTV: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker (#392)

September 02, 2020 20:28 - 24 minutes - 22.6 MB

Matthew Walker is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and sleep experts. He’s a professor at UC Berkeley (and former professor at Harvard) who has spent decades studying why we sleep and how to, as per the sub-title of this book, unlock the power of sleep and dreams. As you know if you’ve been following along, I’m a HUGE advocate of Optimizing our sleep as a fundamental practice in Optimizing our lives. This book has made me EVEN MORE bullish about the power of sleep. The consequences...

PNTV: Future Visions by Abraham Maslow (#391)

September 02, 2020 01:07 - 27 minutes - 25.5 MB

As you know if you’ve been following along, I love Abraham Maslow and feel a deep kinship to him and his work. We have featured two of the books he published during his lifetime: Toward a Psychology of Being and Motivation and Personality. Although this book has only ONE review on Amazon and I could only buy a used copy of it, I knew I’d love it. And, although I had already been deeply influenced by Maslow and his thinking, there was something about reading his unpublished essays and journal...

+1: Junk Food’s Junk Science (#1245)

September 01, 2020 07:00 - 5 minutes - 4.7 MB

In our last +1, we chatted about the fact that your food label might be lying to you by stuffing a few variations of cancer candy (aka sugar) into your jam so “SUGAR” doesn’t make its way to the top slot.    (Which is one of the reasons you and your Loved ones might be unknowingly consuming A LOT more sugar than you think and, unfortunately, suffering the SIGNIFICANT consequences.)   Today I want to chat about some more wisdom from Mark Hyman’s great book Food Fix. In our...

#1: TGIM!!! Let's goooo! Time to earn our Trident. TODAY! (#28)

August 31, 2020 07:00 - 10 minutes - 9.39 MB

#1: Spiritual Windshield Wipers (How are yours?) (#25)

August 28, 2020 07:00 - 14 minutes - 12.9 MB

+1: #1240 What’s Worse Than “Sinning”?

August 27, 2020 07:00 - 4 minutes - 4.63 MB

After drafting that last +1, I hit my 90-minute mark for my second Deep Work Time Block of the day, which, of course, triggered one of my keystone algorithms.   “After 90-minutes of Deep Work, I take a 15-20 minute break.”   So…   I grabbed a little bite to eat and went on a short walk around our property. As I was walking, I contemplated the whole idea of “sin” and missing the mark in our lives.   Joseph Campbell (who was also raised Catholic) came to mind. I just l...

#1: Beast mode data feast (+ Introducing Hero makers! :) (#24)

August 27, 2020 07:00 - 17 minutes - 16 MB

#1: Dynamic Equilibrium is Where it's at!! (#23)

August 26, 2020 07:00 - 9 minutes - 8.51 MB

Optimize: http://optimize.me/ Optimize Coach: https://www.optimize.me/coach Today we have fun talking about dropping into a data-mining Beast Mode of awesome. Hope you enjoy and LET'S DO THIS!!!

#1: Eating Sunsets + Food Rules (+ Watch me dropping my heart rate for fun...) (#21)

August 24, 2020 07:00 - 12 minutes - 11.9 MB

More Optimizing goodness: https://www.optimize.me

#1: Need to write yourself a prescription? (Here's the Rx pad!!) (#20)

August 23, 2020 07:00 - 11 minutes - 11 MB

More Optimizing goodness: https://www.optimize.me/

+1: #1235 Meet My New Favorite Bird

August 22, 2020 07:00 - 3 minutes - 3.68 MB

As we’ve discussed countless times, I start my days with at least a minute or three of journaling.    These days it’s a super-quick sketch of our Optimize Virtue Compass then a quick trip through the Big 3 x 2 +1.    So…   The other day I sat down to begin my Deep Work session with the quick sketch of our compass.    And…    You know what I saw right after I wrote down the four cardinal virtues of Wisdom + Self-Mastery + Courage + Love?   A cardinal.    ...

#1: Science says: Optimize works!!! (“Massively positive effects!”) (#19)

August 22, 2020 07:00 - 17 minutes - 15.8 MB

Check out the Science: http://optimize.me/coach-science Optimize: http://optimize.me/ Optimize Coach: https://www.optimize.me/coach  

#1: Wanna accelerate your Optimizing? Here’s how. (Get curious! + 80/20 gains + marginal gains) (#18)

August 21, 2020 07:00 - 11 minutes - 10.7 MB

More Optimizing goodness: https://www.optimize.me/

#1: Rebound days (aka What to do after an off day) (#17)

August 20, 2020 07:00 - 10 minutes - 10.1 MB

Today we spend some time with Abraham Maslow and his wisdom on embracing “misery privileges” in our life as we also connect some ideas from Ray Dalio and his mistake-learner’s high with the inevitable imperfections of life that give us an opportunity to get a little Wiser! Hope you enjoy and let’s do this! -bri

#1: Maslow says: Embrace "misery privileges" (Here's how...) (#16)

August 19, 2020 07:00 - 11 minutes - 10.7 MB

Today we spend some time with Abraham Maslow and his wisdom on embracing “misery privileges” in our life as we also connect some ideas from Ray Dalio and his mistake-learner’s high with the inevitable imperfections of life that give us an opportunity to get a little Wiser!


Cal Newport
4 Episodes
Michael Gelb
4 Episodes
David Allen
2 Episodes
David Perlmutter
2 Episodes
Katy Bowman
2 Episodes
Kelly McGonigal
2 Episodes
Marie Forleo
2 Episodes
Patrick McKeown
2 Episodes
Ryan Holiday
2 Episodes
Stephen Guise
2 Episodes
Tal Ben-Shahar
2 Episodes
Todd Henry
2 Episodes
Alan Cohen
1 Episode
Amy Cuddy
1 Episode
Anthony Rao
1 Episode
Brad Stulberg
1 Episode
Chris Guillebeau
1 Episode
Dallas Hartwig
1 Episode
Dr. Daniel Amen
1 Episode
Grant Cardone
1 Episode
Hal Elrod
1 Episode
Jeff Goins
1 Episode
Jocelyn Glei
1 Episode
Jonathan Haidt
1 Episode
Kristin Neff
1 Episode
Leif Babin
1 Episode
Leonardo da Vinci
1 Episode
Lewis Howes
1 Episode
Neil Pasricha
1 Episode
Patricia Ryan
1 Episode
Paul Napper
1 Episode
Robert Greene
1 Episode
Rory Vaden
1 Episode
Scott Adams
1 Episode
Shawn Stevenson
1 Episode
Steven Kotler
1 Episode
Todd Herman
1 Episode
Tom Morris
1 Episode
Tony Schwartz
1 Episode
Tripp Lanier
1 Episode


First Things First
2 Episodes
The Power of Myth
1 Episode

Twitter Mentions

@eliudkipchoge 1 Episode