Optimal Living 101
with Brian Johnson
Isn’t it a bit odd that we went from Science to Math to History but somehow missed the class on how to live? For some wacky reason “Optimal Living 101” didn’t make the schedule…
But imagine if that class did exist—and the teachers included everyone from the old school philosophers like Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Emerson, Nietzsche and the Buddha to modern gurus like Joseph Campbell, Dan Millman, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer plus the world’s leading positive psychologists like Sonja Lyubomirsky, Tal Ben-Shahar and Martin Seligman who are *scientifically* establishing how we can live with more happiness, meaning and mojo.
Think of Optimal Living 101 as that class we never had.
The course is taught by Brian Johnson, the creator of PhilosophersNotes and The en*theos Academy for Optimal Living.
(For the record, Optimal Living 101 is NOT about getting rich (or enlightened or whatever) quick. And we’re definitely not going to talk about any “Secrets” that’ll manifest shiny toys at your command. It’s all about INTEGRITY — diligently, patiently, persistently and (very importantly!) playfully embodying our truths and rocking our fundamentals so that what we say is important to us actually aligns with who we are and how we show up in the world in this precious hero’s journey of ours. :)
Who Should Attend?
If you're committed to creating more happiness, meaning and mojo in your life and you know there's more to it than the latest "Secret"/get-it-quick trick, then this class is for you.
What You'll Learn
Week 1 - An Introduction. From old school sages to modern scientists, all the great teachers come back to the same Ideas again and again. In the intro class, we explore the importance of living with virtue and take a quick look at the 10 Principles of Optimal Living: Optimism + Purpose + Self-Awareness + Goals + Action + Energy + Wisdom + Courage + Love + en*theos.
Week 2 - Optimism. It all starts with Optimism. If we can’t tame those gremlins in our minds and learn to shape the contents of our consciousness, the rest of this stuff doesn’t matter. We’ll start by learning what optimism isn’t (that’d be helplessness!) and we’ll take a quick peek at the results of a disempowered mindset (that’d be depression/anxiety/ick). Then we’re gonna explore what a range of great teachers have to say about how to Get Our Optimism On—from Marcus Aurelius and the classic Stoic philosophers to Buddha and modern Zen teachers plus Viktor Frankl, Byron Katie, Esther & Jerry Hicks and Positive Psychologists. By the end of this section, you’ll have the tools you need to de-gremlin-ify your mind and Rock Your Optimism!
Week 3 - Purpose & Self-Awareness. Purpose. All the great teachers talk about it. Confucius tells us that an army can lose its commanding officer but even an average person is in trouble without a purpose while the Bible, the Gita, the Stoics and everyone else echoes the sentiment. We’ll explore Maslow’s need to self-actualize and his directive that “What one can be, one must be!” along with Deepak’s 7th Spiritual Law of Success—the Law of Dharma—as we have fun discovering our Highest Goal, holding the Dynamic Tension between our ideals and our current reality and celebrating both our Being and our Becoming. Good times!
+ Self-Awareness. It’s hard to figure out our Highest Purpose without a deep sense of Self-Awareness. As Socrates says, we’ve gotta know ourselves, eh? In this section, we’ll walk through transformative journaling exercises as we Discover Your Signature Strengths (using these daily is a scientific key to happiness), Begin with the Ultimate End in Mind, and learn to Be in Integrity (or Disintegrate). We’ll also meet our Angel’s Advocate, 110-Year Old You, make Five Wishes, take The Big Leap into your Zone of Genius and ponder 100 Questions + 10 of THE Most Powerful Questions I know. It’s time to Know Thyself, yo! (Socrates would be proud. :)
Week 4 - Goals. Goals. Goals. Goals. Whether it’s living with love/appreciation/joy/ kindness/generosity/and-all-that-goodness or starting a business, competing in a triathlon or creating financial freedom, Goals are (super!) important. And so are Intense Desires (minus the attachment, of course). We’re gonna look at Rat Racers vs. Hedonists vs. Nihilists vs. Happy Peeps, revisit our Highest Goal then go on a little Goal Bonanza as we imagine all the things we want to Be, Create, Do and Have (in that order) in our precious hero’s journeys. We’ll also create a Treasure Map, do a little Rocking Chair Test and bring it all home with our #1 Now Goal! Oh, yah. We’re also gonna remember that Outcomes Are By-Products of consistently rockin’ it. Which brings us to…
Week 5 - Action. As the Greek guru Nike tells us, at some point it’s time to just do it, eh? Indeed it is. We’re gonna spend a lot of time thinking about how to best Diligently, Patiently, Persistently and Playfully crush it as we create the life of your dreams. It all starts with Commitment and Re-Commitment, Consistency on the Fundamentals, knowing that 99% Is a Bitch & 100% Is a Breeze, Acting As If, developing Blissipline, taking One Small Step (then another and…), practicing Kaizen and a bunch of other goodness. You shall be an Action Superhero by the end of this. (Well, actually, it won’t be official till you put in your 10,000 Hours of rockin’ it but you’ll have the sweet cape and tight costume and all that… then it’s up to you! :)
Week 6 - Energy. We’re gonna have a hard time living at our Highest Potential if we have a hard time getting out of bed, eh? That’s why we’ve gotta create Radiant Mind/Body/Spirit Health so we’ve got the mojo to rock it! This section’s split up into four key categories for Energy Optimization: 1. Exercise + 2. Nutrition + 3. Rejuvenation + 4. Money. We’ll learn how Exercise can be just as effective as Zoloft in treating depression (why isn’t that every other commercial on TV?), how Nutrition and lifestyle choices affect our well-being (or destroy it), how to get on The Rave Diet to prevent and reverse disease, why Meditation is a good thing (and how to tap into “The Relaxation Response”), and how to create the consciousness that attracts wealth of all kinds into our lives. Ye shall be an Energizer bunny by the end of this!
Week 7 - Wisdom. Wisdom. Wisdom. Wisdom. (Wisdom. Wisdom!!) Wisdom is all about taking what we know and making that the essence of who we are and what we do. We’re going to explore The Power of Mastery, the moment-to-moment choice of Stepping Forward Into Growth or back into safety (and the consequences of those choices on our destiny) plus Positive Negativity (it’s a good thing to see when you’re off course!), Higher Highs + Higher Lows, Pain Bodies & Concrete Gardens, turning Shoulds into Coulds, and the Spiritual Farts you’re gonna be stinking up your life with if you don’t actually live what you know to be true! (You will also be officially ordained a Philosopher (aka a “Lover of Wisdom”) at the end of this section! :)
Week 8 - Courage. Did you know the word courage comes from the Latin word for “heart”? Yep. Just as the heart is the organ that pumps blood to all the other organs, Courage is the virtue that vitalizes all the other virtues. Fact is, without the Courage to fully express ourselves and live our ideals we’re powerless. We’re going to look at The Source of Fear (it all comes down to expectations!) and my #1 most effective way to address it. We’re also going to recognize that everyone we admire experiences their own set of fears and how it’s not about getting rid of the fear but developing the Courage to move forward in sprite of the fear! (Aristotle will also make a guest appearance and tell us about his Virtuous Mean and where Courage fits in to his philosophy. :)
Week 9 - Love.
Ah, Love. All of the above is great but without love? Not worth a whole lot. We’re going to explore two key themes here:
1. You can’t get what you don’t have—to Love others and the world, you’ve gotta start by loving yourself. And,
2. If you want to master Love, you’ve got to study and practice with the same Diligence, Patience, Persistence and Playfulness you’d study and master a sport or a musical instrument or anything worth rockin’!!
We’ll get our Love on by learning to say the “I” in “I love you,” doing some tricks with the Magic # of Love, Retiring from Shadow Boxing, Mining the Goldmine of Golden Rules, honoring The Platinum Rule and writing Love Letters to our ideal partners and our ideal selves. Sweet! :)
Week 10 - en*theos. Spirit. God. Divine Intelligence Universal Mind. Whatever you call that ineffable force that beats our hearts and keeps the planets in line, it’s a (very) good idea to align with it. In fact, that’s what the previous sections are all about—helping us more fully Connect To and Express the Divine within us. When we do that? God (theos) is within us (en) as we shine with a Radiant Enthusiasm that lights up our world! And that, ultimately, is what Optimal Living is all about, eh? :)
Dates & Tuition
Available for Immediate Download! Brian taught this class in 2010 so you can get instant access to all 10 weeks/20 Classes/30+ hours of wisdom covering the 10 Principles of Optimal Living!
â€¨(If cash is tight, we offer a "Pick Your Price" model where you can choose to pay $100/$50/$20. And, if cash is *super* tight, you can apply for a scholarship!)
What Youâ€™ll Get Out of the Course
As you explore 100+ Big Ideas in the 10 Principles of Optimal Living, you'll feel inspired and empowered to live a life of integrity and virtue--developing habits that, over the long-run, will help you create an authentically extraordinary life.
About Brian Johnson
As the Philosopher + CEO of en*theos, Brian has fun inspiring and empowering peeps to live their most authentically awesome lives.
A few years ago Brian realized he wasn’t quite rockin’ his dharma, so he decided to sell the business he was running and give himself a Ph.D. in Optimal Living. He couldn’t find a program that integrated everything he wanted to study—from old school philosophy, positive psychology and spirituality to nutrition, health & fitness, creativity, business and modern self-development. So, he decided to create his own doctoral program.
He earned his Master’s by creating an innovative company called PhilosophersNotes where he shares “More Wisdom in Less Time” by distilling the Big Ideas from one hundred of his favorite optimal living classics into fun, inspiring and super practical 6-page PDFs, 20-minute MP3s and 10-minute PNTV episodes. Optimal Living 101 (both the class and the accompanying book, A Philosopher's Notes) is his dissertation.
In one of his past lives, as a 24-year-old law school dropout turned Founder/CEO, Brian led the creation of eteamz-the world’s largest amateur sports site that currently (and profitably) provides team and league web sites and a comprehensive suite of services to over 3 million teams from over 120 countries around the world. (For example, Little League Baseball® uses the technology.) After spending the requisite time in “garage-mode,” eteamz won UCLA’s Business Plan competition, raised over $5 million of capital, grew from 3 to 45 employees in less than a year (including the CEO of Adidas and the eventual winner of Apprentice II) and was sold for over $13 million of stock and cash to The Active Network, Inc. in 2000.
After successfully leading the integration of the two companies as a Vice President at Active, Brian spent a few years as a philosopher, immersing himself in philosophy, psychology, mysticism and optimal living. He read hundreds of books and traveled a bit-studying Jesus in Jerusalem, Marcus Aurelius in the Danube of Hungary, Rumi in Konya, Turkey, and Socrates in Greece. On his return, he created thinkArete.com, a site where he began distilling the universal truths of optimal living. Over 10,000 people signed up to receive his daily newsletter where he shared the wisdom of his favorite teachers, showing how everyone (from Nietzsche to Buddha to Emerson) is saying the same thing.
In 2004, in an effort to integrate his philosophical and entrepreneurial selves (yes, he’s a Gemini :) and to put the truths he was studying into practice, Brian created Zaadz (now Gaia)-a company named after the Dutch word for seed committed to leveraging world-class social networking tools to connect, inspire and empower people committed to transforming their lives and our planet. (Think: Facebook for people who want to change the world.)
As the Philosopher & CEO of Zaadz, he raised $3 million to finance the launch of the business. Investors included a billionaire and his family and the CEO of Whole Foods. Feeling the dharmic pull to immerse himself back into studying and living the universal truths, Brian sold Zaadz to Gaiam, Inc. (Nasdaq: GAIA) in the summer of 2007.
Before all of that, Brian graduated Magna Cum Laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors from UCLA where he studied Psychology and Business. Brian has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and various other publications on everything from philosophy and business to his vision on how to change the world. He has presented on various panels, served as a judge for the Anderson School at UCLA’s Business Plan writing competition, and given lectures on conscious capitalism, entrepreneurial finance and the Internet economy at USC’s Marshall School of Business, Claremont McKenna and Cal Tech.
Brian is also a contributing author in Michael Strong’s book Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs & Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems where he joins Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus, legal reform expert Hernando de Soto and others in discussing how we can leverage entrepreneurialism as a force for good. His chapter focuses on the role of the conscious entrepreneur in transforming our world.
And, look for Brian in the upcoming documentary on Joseph Campbell called Finding Joe-all about the role of myth/ritual/spirituality in the 21st century featuring cool peeps like Deepak Chopra, Tony Hawk and Laird Hamilton.
Praise for Brian Johnson
Fans of A Philosopher's Notes
"Brian Johnson has written a wonderful book on optimal living that is very easy to read and has invaluable suggestions on how to live authentic, successful, loving, and happy lives. There is great wisdom in this book to help enrich anyone’s life no matter what their age. I wish this book was available 40 years ago when I was just starting out on my own life journey. I whole heartedly recommend it."
— John Mackey, co-Founder & co-CEO of Whole Foods
"A great resource to live life at your absolute best."
— Robin Sharma, author of the #1 international bestseller The Leader Who Had No Title
"Curiosity can kill cats but it can also create cool cats and Brian Johnson is, no doubt, the coolest cat I know. If I could install a "chip" in Chip's head that allowed me to download this book all day long, I'd do it in a minute. Or maybe not, because one of the brilliant truths of "A Philosopher's Notes" is the visceral sense of discovery you experience each time you turn the page. These notes are more than streams, they are raging rivers of wisdom and reading just a half dozen pages at a time will sustain you for a week."
— Chip Conley, Founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels and author of PEAK and Emotional Equations
"Brilliant! Brian Johnson has a rare gift for fresh-squeezing timeless wisdom and serving it up with a grin. Every single page of this phenomenal little book is packed with life-changing insights and down-to-earth charm. Prepare to get smarter, healthier and happier from the moment you pick it up!"
— Pilar Gerasimo, Editor in Chief, Experience Life Magazine
Students of Optimal Living 101
"Optimal Living 101 is yet another example of how Brian is able to congregate the wisdom of living and dead men and women, and enable you to apply it to your own life - and then actually start LIVING it. That's the difference - Brian bridges the gap, and helps you begin to integrate all this wisdom into your day-to-day life. It's just not something most of us (well, at least not me, anyways) can do on our own... I can't think of anything more valuable. I'm so grateful I found Brian's Philosophers Notes and took Optimal Living 101" - Michelle
"Brian is a master in the art of living. The wisdom, courage, truth and love that his presence exudes is nothing short of astoundingly spectacular! Lucky for us, he has created the ultimate crash course on how to live a kick-ass life!
The flow of the classes felt similar to chatting with a wise old best friend. I have yet to come across a more potent, powerful, and *practical* product for increasing my everyday overall quality of life.
Optimal Living 101 has brought me clarity on my purpose, my relationships, and most of all, on my understanding of self. I can’t recommend this course enough!!" - Jacob
"Imagine having the ability to listen to and re-listen and reinforce optimal living thoughts and strategies over and over again. Do you think your life would change for the better? My life certainly has.
Although I was not able to participate on the live calls every week, I have used the Optimal Living 101 mp3 recordings to listen to the content on a daily basis. The discussions and ideas covered are just that powerful that it is like having a one way conversation with the leading Optimal Living 101 coach in the world today, Mr. Brian Johnson.
I have long been a fan of the Philosopher Notes, but these calls bring those concepts and ideas covered in the notes to life. The recordings reinforce those ideas that not only make us better human beings, but they help improve the world around us as well. It is hard to say I have one favorite session because they are all so good. If you want to bring Optimal Living 101 to life and feel like you are having a one on one conversation with Brian Johnson where he coaches you on all these important concepts, then you can't find a better offer and way to improve your life. I highly recommend the Optimal Living 101 calls and I am sure you will agree they are worth the investment of your time and money." - Derek
"I have read a plethora of self help, positive psychology and self development books, but never managed to find the one that really fitted. I am dubious of all these get rich quick schemes, or programs that promise quick results offered over the internet. It is difficult to know who you can trust and what will really offer true value to yourself- Brian believes in sustained growth, honesty and authenticity and Optimal Living definitely embodies this approach.â€¨â€¨Optimal Living is most definitely the class I never had and I am truly inspired and astonished by the affect it has had on my life. Brian's wisdom and generosity is second to none. His enthusiasm and knowledge is inspiring and his delivery always promises to be passionate, energetic and contagious. "The world needs demonstrators more than it needs teachers"- and Brian is the greatest demonstrator I have ever had the privilege to be introduced to.â€¨â€¨I hope that you feel inspired to be involved as these will be the most valuable lessons you have ever learned." - Vicky
"I paid for the optimal living 101 calls and even though I couldn’t take part due to the time difference, I got and continue to receive great benefits from listening to the recordings and implementing the big ideas. This is about living your best life now, with specific methodology, no secrets. And it’s fun, in fact Brian emphasizes that fun/playfulness is an essential part of optimal living. Now that’s good news" - David
"I not only enjoyed the Optimal Living 101 series, but found it uplifting and enlightening. It was definitely one of my lifetime's most memorable 'take your breath away' experiences. I am so glad that Brian decided to share his genius." - Adran