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400+ of the top optimal living books… ever.

Imagine the best ideas from the best optimal living books distilled into fun, inspiring and super practical 6-page PDFs + 20-minute MP3s. That’s PhilosophersNotes. (More wisdom in less time!)

Latest PhilosophersNotes

  • Breathe The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health

    by Belisa Vranich

    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 how to measure your Vital Lung Capacity, observe the difference between Clark Kent and Superman and get to work on training the most important and underappreciated muscle in your body (hint: your diaphragm).

  • Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life

    by Tom Rath

    Are you fully charged? Tom Rath tells us it’s all about what we do DAILY and that if we want to improve the quality of our lives (and sense of aliveness!), we need to focus on optimizing three key conditions: Meaning + Interactions + Energy. Big Ideas we explore include the meaning equation, doubling down on your talents, embracing the 500 million moments of our lives, and The iPhone Effect.

  • Meditations

    by Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor-Philosopher of the Roman Empire and one of the most enlightened leaders ever. Meditations is a collection of journal entries he wrote to himself and in this Note, we'll explore some Big Ideas of his Stoic philosophy—from the importance of never confusing ourselves with visions of a lifetime all at once, to not worrying about what others think of us and living a life of purpose and service.

  • Peak Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

    by Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool

    Anders Ericsson is the world’s leading scientist studying expert performance—looking at how, precisely, the people who are the best in the world at what they do became the best. In this Note, we take a quick look at The Gift that we all have that’s the key to our potential greatness, HOW to go about tapping into the benefits of that gift via a certain type of practice (forget naive practice and go for purposeful + deliberate!), the fact that there is no such thing as a “10,000 Hour Rule,” and why we should be called Homo Exercens rather than Homo Sapiens. :)

  • Happy for No Reason 7 Steps to Being Happy From the Inside Out

    by Marci Shimoff

    Marci Shimoff created Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and integrates great stories about happy people with scientifically established ways to boost our happiness in her great book. In the Note, we'll explore the fact that we all have a happiness set point that's genetically determined and dive into a bunch of Big Ideas about what we can do raise our happiness levels.

  • The Power of Intention Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way

    by Wayne Dyer

    I love Dyer and this book rocks. In the Note, we'll have fun learning about the fact that floatation wasn’t discovered by contemplating the sinking of things (and how you’ve gotta focus on what you WANT if you wanna see it come to life), how to "act as if" (and not be a weenie about it), how kindness releases the same drugs pharmaceuticals pump into anti-depressants (so get your fix by being kind!) and a lot of other great stuff.

  • The Happiness Equation Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

    by Neil Pasricha

    Neil Pasricha is a fascinating guy. A Harvard MBA and director of leadership development for Walmart who gave one of the most popular TED talks ever and published The Book of Awesome which sold 1m+ copies. This book is a fun, quick-read packed with great Ideas. We cover: The Big 7 ways science says we can boost our happiness, waking up with an Icky Guy (the good kind), how to add an hour to your day, a great question to tap into your purpose and wisdom from the greatest physicist ever (hint: create momentum).

  • Black Hole Focus How Intelligent People Can Create a Powerful Purpose for Their Lives

    by Isaiah Hankel

    Black holes. Just contemplating the sheer, fierce power of them is awe-inspiring, eh? Isaiah Hankel tells us that although physicists used to think that everything got destroyed in a black hole, now they believe that it’s less about destruction and more about *transformation.* And shines some light on the power of focusing on our purpose with black hole intensity. Big Ideas we explore include sheep vs. strategists, figuring out your ikigai (= why you get up in the morning), the fascinating endurance of rats with hope, the first two steps in greatness and moving from vision to decision.

  • Originals How Non-Conformists Move the World

    by Adam Grant

    Adam Grant is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and the top-ranked Professor at Wharton. He’s also a great writer. In Originals, we take a look at “How Non-Conformists Move the World.” Big Ideas we explore in the Note include vuja de, creating a ton of stuff, activating your GO! system when fear strikes, the fact that venting just fuels anger (and why empathetic anger is where it’s at), and how proper revolutions are less about cataclysmic explosions and more about long, controlled burns.

  • Art and Fear Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

    by David Bayles, Ted Orland

    Art and fear. (You may have noticed they go together.) This is a quick-reading (122 pages), witty, real look at the process and challenges of making art. Of course, I think the biggest art project all of us can ever engage in is the creation of our own optimized and actualized lives, so we’ll be focusing on Big Ideas we can apply to our lives today including: quitting vs. stopping, fast vs. slow, 50 lbs, the importance of progress, naive passion vs. informed passion and how to get work done like a PRO!

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