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A Philosopher's Notes

On Optimal Living, Creating An Authentically
Awesome Life and Other Such Goodness

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Brian's favorite Big Ideas are delivered in 100 fun, inspiring, and uber-practical mini-chapters!

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.

~ Apn-mackeyJohn Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods

Get your wisdom on!

We thought it would be cool to do a virtual book reading kinda thing.
So, we created mini-videos for all 100 of the mini-chapters in the book.
Just click on the titles to watch the videos. Hope you love ‘em! :)


A Lover of Wisdom
There Are No Secrets
The Integrity Gap
Happiness = Virtues in Action
The Practice of Happiness
Spiritual Farts
Your #1s
Bling Treadmill
The 10 Principles of Optimal Living


Helplessness & Optimism
Crazy Little Drunk Monkeys & ANTs
Optimism Gym
The 3 Ps of Optimism
Victim vs. Creator
The Equanimity Game
Thought Tools
Goodness Gardens
Concrete Gardens
Thought & Behavior Poisoning
Loving What Is
Acceptance & Scripting
Maseratis & Blind Doods
Sizes: You vs. Your Problems


Highest Goals & Holy Grails
Write Your Own Story
Soul Oxygen
Deepak & Dharma
The Ultimate End
Da Vinci & 100 Questions
10 Power Questions
How’s Your Genius?
110-Year-Old You


Bling vs. Being Goals
Rubber Bands & Your Ideals
Comfort, Stretch & Snap Zones
The Tolle Trap
Your Angel’s Advocate


Follow Your Bliss (& Your Grunt)
Consistency on the Fundamentals
+1 or -1?
A Penny for Your Persistence
Blisters & Bliss
99% Is a Bitch. 100% Is a Breeze
Little By Little
Hit the Rock
Now What Needs to Be Done?
Do Your Habits Fit?
Jordan, Mozart & 10,000 Hours
Commitments & Completions
One Touching
The 80/20 Principle


Gas & Saws
No More Ice Cubes, Please
Exercise vs. Zoloft
Consistency Over Intensity
The Training Effect
Just Wondering
Bloodletting & Modern Medicine
Subsidizing Sickness
The Goddesses of Wealth
Trust-Fund Babies
Cleaning Up the Gremlin Poop
Strength Training for Your Brain


The 12 Hows of Happiness
Acting Like a Happy Person
Acting As If
States & Traits
Spiral Dynamics
Higher Highs & Higher Lows
Our Emotional Guidance System
Quadrant IV —> Quadrant II
Spin Cycles
Mis-takes, Bagels, Perfection & Flying
Guiding Stars & Distant Shores


The Heart of Virtue
Aristotle’s Courage
Fear & Expectations
Dragons & Lizards
The Magic Shield
The Ultimate Jihad


5:1 - The Magic # of Love
Overdosing on Serotonin
Love Letters
Musterbation & Shoulding on Yourself
Shoulds —> Coulds
Don’t Take It Personally
Don’t Take It Personally Part Deux
Ink Blobs & Emptiness
Fingers & Lectures
How Am I That?
Whose Biz Are You In?
Rat Poison
A Goldmine of Golden Rules


Being in Integrity vs. Disintegrating
This Temple Has No Walls
en*theos Lighthouses
Think Areté – The Manifesto

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All 100 Mini-Videos

Wouldn't it be cool to get a quick little video on every mini-chapter? We thought so, too. Check it!

Kind Words and Praise

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Meet Brian Johnson

Brian loves wisdom. He also enjoys long walks on the beach, happy dances, and, of course, optimal living. Meet Brian.