Best optimalliving101 podcasts we could find (Updated April 2018)
Related podcasts: Philosophersnotes Optimize Optimalliving Brianjohnson Self-Improvement Self-Help Careers Business Health and Well-Being Social Sciences Science Education  
Optimalliving101 public [search 0]
show episodes
 
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.)
 
Loading …
show series
 
Today we’re going to talk about some bad math. Specifically, bad cancer math. Here’s the short story: Two days before Christmas in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a War on Cancer. Since then, we have spent $100 billion on research. Today we spend over $100 billion on cancer medications each year. And, as we discussed in our last +1, alth ...…
 
In our last couple +1s, we had some fun at the hospital with our Stoic friends Seneca and Epictetus. Recall Epictetus’ wisdom that sometimes good philosophy feels more like a trip to the hospital than a spa. (Ouch!) Seneca echoes this wisdom in Letters from a Stoic where he says, “Be harsh with yourself at times.” Now, of course, this does NOT ...…
 
Once upon a time in a land far away, there was an old farmer. This man had a horse. Then, one day, his horse ran away. All the neighbors said, “Gah!! That’s such a bummer. What bad luck.” The man said, “Maybe. It is what is.” Then, one day, the horse returned!! And, lo and behold, the horse brought along a bunch of wild stallions with him! All ...…
 
In our last +1, we talked about Phil Stutz’ great phrase: “Endlessly evolving process.” Phil likes to draw upward spiraling loops to describe the flow of evolving into the best version of ourselves. In fact, his spiraling loops are almost identical to Ray Dalio’s spiraling loops. Remember his? We unpacked his 5-Steps to Success model not too lo ...…
 
Please extend your pointer finger and shake it as if you’re lecturing someone — saying something like, “You shouldn’t do this, this and this! Do that, that and that!” Thank you. Now, look at your hand and count how many fingers are pointing at the person you’re lecturing and how many fingers are pointing back at you. Unless you’re missing a dig ...…
 
Susan Peirce Thompson wrote a great book called Bright Line Eating. She has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of eating. Before all that, Susan was addicted to cocaine and food and basically everything else — which gives her a very nice vantage point from which to talk about how to recover from ...…
 
Matthew Kelly has written a number of great books. We have Notes on three of them: Perfectly Yourself, The Rhythm of Life and Off Balance. In Off Balance, Mathew tells us that if we want to change the trajectory of our lives (and/or careers), we need to change the period of time we think about. Here’s how he puts it: “So, the first step is, don ...…
 
When I worked with Steve Chandler, one of the themes of our work together was “creating wealth through profound service.” I just love that phrase: “Wealth through profound service.” Steve wrote a great book called Wealth Warrior and he’s the one who inspired me to look up the ancient meaning of the word “astonish.” It’s from the Latin ex "out" ...…
 
A couple +1s ago we talked about taking a systems approach to disease vs. just a symptoms approach. We referenced Dr. Junger’s metaphor of a wise gardener tending to the roots. Which reminds me of T Harv Eker’s line: “In every forest, on every farm, in every orchard on earth, it’s what’s under the ground that creates what’s above the ground. Th ...…
 
Continuing our Anticancer theme, let’s chat about another brilliant idea from David Servan-Schreiber’s book, Anticancer. Imagine this. It’s 1942. Hitler has amassed an army of one million Nazi soldiers. They’re pushing to take over Russia — which finds itself so undermanned that adolescents and schoolgirls who have never used a firearm are join ...…
 
Elizabeth Blackburn won a Nobel Prize for her research on telomerase — the enzyme that nourishes our telomeres. She wrote a book called The Telomere Effect with another world-class researcher named Elissa Epel in which they tell us just how powerful our telomeres are. Today, we’re going to meet our telomeres. But first, a quick pronunciation le ...…
 
In our last +1, we took a quick look at Warren Buffett’s three-step goal setting process and then chatted about how it fits into our Big 3: Energy + Family + Service. First, pop quiz: Did you do that exercise? If not, all good but… If we want to move from theory to practice and from merely consuming these ideas to actually deeply thinking about ...…
 
Ready to conquer anxiety? Our first step is to embrace the fact that it happens and then we’ll quit making it worse as we choose a target (calm confidence!), get our fundies in order, remember to breathe (deeply + properly), turn the serenity key in our brains, do some Olympic-style focus training so we see challenges not threats as we exit our ...…
 
Rick Snyder was the founder of research into the science of hope. And, he was one of the pioneers of the positive psychology movement. In fact, he literally wrote the textbook on “Positive Psychology.” He documented just how important hope is to our overall well-being and tells us that there are three primary components to having high hope: Goa ...…
 
In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that when he was a young monk he thought the Buddha never suffered. Then, as he matured, he realized that OF COURSE the Buddha suffered. He had a body so he had to at least occasionally get a headache or a stomachache. And, when a friend died, he’d feel sad. He was a human being. Therefore, he exper ...…
 
Continuing our Harry Potter theme, let’s explore how to deal with dementors in your life. Recall that dementors are big, ugly, wraith-like creatures that feed on and suck all the happiness out of you. And, if they’re feeling really feisty, they’ll give you a kiss that sucks your soul right out of you. (Yikes!) Also recall that there’s a special ...…
 
In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that suffering is a part of life. You can’t create a beautiful lotus flower without some stinky mud. As he says, lotuses don’t grow in marble. And… You can’t create a happy, flourishing life without some suffering. That’s just how it is. We need to embrace that reality. In fact, Thay (as he’s known ...…
 
Michael Gelb is one of the world’s leading creativity teachers. He’s also a qi gong and aikido master who wrote one of my favorite books: “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci.” In this book, he teaches us the art of creating connection. Big Ideas we explore include how to optimize our ability to connect (practice with the little moments!), The ...…
 
​​In our last +1, we explored the analytics of American farting behaviors and compared that to the even more prolific Facebook-liking behaviors. (Laughing.) Today, we’re going to explore the subject of farts a little more.​ ​​A particular, shall we say, spicy variety of farts.​​ Spiritual farts. ​​Yes, spiritual farts. ​​What are spiritual fart ...…
 
This book started out as a blog post by Carolyn Gregoire based on Scott Barry Kaufman’s work that went viral: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently. Scott is one of the world’s leading creativity researchers. Carolyn is a senior writer at the Huffington Post. Together, they wrote a great little book on the mysteries of the creative mi ...…
 
Emma Seppälä is the science director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She also has a popular blog called Fulfillment Daily. In this great little book, she walks us through the latest scientific research on everything from resilience, willpower and compassion to positive stress, creativity, and mindfulness ...…
 
Epictetus told us that we don’t always get to pick the position we have in life. Our job is to make sure we play that role well. Specifically, he said: “Remember that thou art an actor in a play of such a kind as the teacher (author) may choose; if short, of a short one; if long, of a long one: if he wishes you to act the part of a poor man, se ...…
 
I created 25 classes before we got to money/wealth/etc. That was deliberate. (Virtue for the win!) And… It was fun to create this class and share my thoughts on how to create true wealth. First idea? We’ve gotta remember that the Ultimate Currency/the reason we do *anything* is to be Happy. Therefore, we want to run our pursuit of material abun ...…
 
Dave Asprey is a fascinating guy. He’s a professional bio-hacking machine whose publicly-stated goal is to live to 180. We covered his last book called The Bulletproof Diet and our kitchen’s pantry is filled with a bunch of his Bulletproof products. In this book, he unveils his best bio-hacks for, as the sub-title suggests, “activating untapped ...…
 
In our last +1 we talked about Isaac Newton and his First Law of Motion. Recall the basics: An object at rest will stay at rest. An object in motion will stay in motion. Today I’d like to look at the fine print of that Law. Let’s dust it off and read the whole thing again. *unfurls parchment* “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in mo ...…
 
William James once said: “If you want a quality, act as if you already have it.” In this book, Richard Wiseman, Britain’s official professor in “the Public Understanding of Psychology” walks us through the astonishing array of research that proves what he calls the “As If Principle.” Big Ideas we explore include an exploration of the fact that ...…
 
Edward Slingerland is one of the world’s leading experts on both ancient Chinese thought AND modern cognitive science. This book is a melding of those two realms. It’s a truly fascinating read. I read it in a day and felt like I was spending the day hanging out with a brilliant thinker—getting privileged access to twenty years of deep thinking. ...…
 
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 ...…
 
In our last +1, we had fun hanging out with your Genius. Recall: EVERYONE in ancient Roman times was said to have their own guiding spirit, or “genius” that helped them rock it. That reminds me of Sir Ken Robinson. In The Element, he tells us that our whole concept of “intelligence” is backward. Rather than ask, “How intelligent are you?” we SH ...…
 
Breathing. It’s obviously important. And... I’m beginning to realize *just* how important it is. In fact, breathing properly is quickly becoming my #1 fundamental. Belisa Vranich is a clinical psychologist and one of the world’s leading experts on how to breathe right. In this Note, we take a quick peek at why breathing is so important, learn h ...…
 
Eric Barker is the creator of the blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree, which “presents science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life.” This is a REALLY engaging, well-written, compelling book. Eric takes us on a fun adventure through the science of what *really* works. And, as the sub-title suggests: How most of what you *thi ...…
 
Martin Seligman is basically the Godfather of the Positive Psychology movement. He’s written a number of seminal books on the science of well-being. When Seligman first kicked off the Positive Psychology party, he wrote a book called Authentic Happiness. A decade later, he updated his thinking with a book called Flourish. Short story: A good li ...…
 
Travis Macy is best known as the record-setting champion of Leadman—“a sort of six-week Grand Prix of Ultra Endurance” that consists of a jaw-dropping number of challenges. This book is a fun look at the eight principles that make up the Ultra Mindset Travis uses to do extraordinary things. Big Ideas we explore include: Your new mantra, what to ...…
 
One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “First Things First.” He also wrote a whole book by the same name. But you know where he got that phrase? Peter Drucker. It was Drucker who said “Put first things first.” And you know what he said we should do with “second things.” He said we should ignore them. Specifically, he said ...…
 
The Plant Paradox. In a nutshell: The plants that nourish us can also hurt us. Dr. Steven Gundry is a renowned cardiologist and heart surgeon. He’s a former professor at Loma Linda University and has authored 300+ peer-reviewed articles on using diet and supplements to eliminate a bunch of diseases. And, to put it in perspective: He’s Tony Robb ...…
 
As all parents know, one of the most amazing things about having kids is watching them hit new milestones—when, one day, they can do what was impossible just the day before. This recently happened in the Johnson house. Our little baby Eleanor went from not being able to crawl to being able to cruise all over the place in what appeared to be the ...…
 
In our last +1, Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin told us that leadership is all about EXTREME Ownership. No excuses. No blaming. Ever. They tell us that, ultimately, there are no bad teams per se, only bad leaders. To bring the point home, they tell us a story about guys in boats. Imagine Navy SEAL training. You’re already exhausted from ...…
 
In our last +1, we talked about the Cal Newport-inspired “Shut-down complete!” First, quick check in: You win that game? Get this: Seneca was talking about the same thing 2,000 years ago. As you may know, Seneca was born around the time Jesus was born. He was one of history’s leading Stoic philosophers. In addition to being one of the wealthies ...…
 
Mark Twain tells us that twenty years from now we will be more disappointed by the things we didn't do than by the things we did do. So, he says, we should throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor—catching the trade winds in our sails. Get this: Science agrees. In The Myths of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky walks us through the f ...…
 
Once upon a time, no British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France. Over 100 years of trying, and, precisely, zero wins. Then a guy named Sir David Brailsford stepped in and created Team Sky. He said that a British cyclist would win the Tour within five years. People thought he was crazy. Until they won it in two years. Then, for good measure ...…
 
Continuing our theme of sharpening our saw and resting before we get tired, let’s figure out how to avoid burnout. Tal Ben-Shahar wrote a great book on how to quit being a perfectionist. He tells us that the root cause of fatigue, anxiety, depression and burnout in the corporate world “is not hard work; the problem is insufficient recovery.” Th ...…
 
We’re officially on a roll with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We’ve covered Habit #1: Be Proactive and Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind. Today? Habit #3: Put First Things First. Here’s the short story: Covey tells us that some things matter and other things don’t. Highly Effective People know the difference and they “Put First Th ...…
 
When Peyton Manning was released from the Indianapolis Colts after fourteen seasons, a number of teams recruited him. He picked the Denver Broncos. Now, when he decided to go with the Broncos, he didn’t say to himself, “I hope this works out alright.” He decided to PROVE HIMSELF RIGHT. There’s an epically huge difference between those two persp ...…
 
Legend has it that when Michelangelo stepped up to a block of marble, he could see the finished statue in his mind’s eye. His job was simple: Get rid of what was in the way. That’s a pretty powerful image. Let’s apply it to our lives. Step back from your current life for a moment. Fast-forward 5-10 years. Look within the block of marble that is ...…
 
William Shakespeare once told us (via Polonius in Hamlet): “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” For some reason, as a 15-year old in high school, I decided THAT would be the very first quote I ever wrote down and committed to memory. I can still vaguely s ...…
 
Want this year to be the greatest year of your life? Here's how to go about making that happen. We’ll start with a quick inventory of what’s awesome. And, what needs work. Then we’ll move on to imagine THE (!) best version of you in 10 years and 25+ years (eulogy you!) while reflecting on how to make the prior best version of you your new basel ...…
 
Pierre Hadot was one of the most influential historians of ancient philosophy. In this book, he gives us an incredible look at Marcus Aurelius and his classic Meditations. You can feel Hadot’s incredible intellectual rigor and equally incredible passion for engaged philosophy. It’s inspiring. Big Ideas we explore include spiritual exercises, yo ...…
 
Google login Twitter login Classic login