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A Philosopher's Notes: On Optimal Living, Creating an Authentically Awesome Life and Other Such Goodness, Vol. 1

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  297 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The Class We Never Had

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 Buddha to mod

Hardcover, 211 pages
Published December 14th 2010 by en*theos Enterprises
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(showing 1-30)
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Michael Greer
May 14, 2011 Michael Greer rated it it was amazing
Brian Johnson's first 100 Philosopher's Notes (MP3/pdfs) changed my life. (See my YouTube Testimonial: titled: "6 Business Reasons for Listening to PhilosophersNotes Every Day"

This book, whether you get it in printed or audio form, is just the tip of Brian's giant iceberg of very powerful, yet very accessible, philosophical wisdom. Spending time with any of Brian's work is like spending time with that really cool kid at college that just happened to be en
Justin Carboneau
May 28, 2013 Justin Carboneau rated it it was amazing
I love Brian Johnson's style of writing. His enthusiasm is infectious.

Key things I learned from this book:

- Optimism takes work and training

- Consistency is the most important thing in any endeavor

- Start a morning routine (which I've been doing consistently for years now). It doesn't have to be long, just something to keep you anchored.

- The 100 questions exercise - an exercise where you come up with 100 interesting questions to grow your "curiosity muscle"

- Set creative production goals in a
Jul 28, 2011 Ghada rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
summaries for 100 of the greatest philosophy and personal growth books
these summaries have introduced me to alot of wonderful books

the most summaries I love -till now-

- Psycho-Cybernetics
- How to think like Leonardo da Vinci
- Awareness
- Think of these things
- Loving what is..
- Flow
- Letters From a Stoic
- The Path of Least Resistance
- The Four Agreements
- Do You
- a Joseph Campbell Companion

Apr 09, 2015 Cosset rated it it was amazing
Marvelous knowledge nuggets ... ideal length and content ... wonderfully explained ... an incomparable compendium of universal wisdom … Absolutely loved it.
Terry Kim
Feb 28, 2016 Terry Kim rated it it was amazing
This book is like a box of chocolates, except instead of chocolate it contains small but juicy pieces of wisdom, knowledge, positivity, motivation and success mindset.

Brian Johnson writes in a friendly and simple language on the key aspects to becoming happy and successful. It is very easy to read and message is very clear. You can also feel that he is really trying to help the reader to become the best version of themselves, through "diligence, patience, persistence and playfulness. Day by day
Jan 28, 2012 Stephen rated it it was ok
As an avid reader, I'm a big fan of original insights, and Brian didn't offer much here.

His book is essentially a collection of insights he's learned from other people.

It's a nice collection for people who don't read much.

Having said that, he does have a fun and refreshing writing style, and I can see this being a really great book for specific people.
Jan 15, 2017 Julius rated it really liked it
Short notes on many topics, written in a very conversational style, which is both a plus and a minus. Main takeaway - the importance of balance in one's life.
Robin Conley
May 26, 2013 Robin Conley rated it really liked it
This was an odd little book, but I really enjoyed reading it and found some of the things mentioned within intriguing to think about. I really like the way the author presents things as well and thought it was very approachable. He didn't really delve too deeply into any one subject, though, and it is definitely an overview of many ideas all summed up and put together in one. There are a lot of interesting bits, though, and I love that he gave a list of books for further reading as well as cited ...more
Arminda Lindsay
I've been a fan of Brian Johnson since discovering him about a year ago. He's got a wonderful ability to take a lot of information and parcel it down to bite-sized morsels. That's what this book is: digestible wisdom. Anything new here? Of course not! Because everything we "need" to know has been around and inside of us since the beginning. And I mean waaaay back. Brian circles the philosophical wagons and gives us the fireside chat that warms you from the inside out.

This is a very quick read a
Nov 01, 2015 Wesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brian Johnson is the Truth

One probably has to be swimming deep in Brian Johnson's university of wisdom (as I am) to really appreciate how powerful his work is. He is a humble student of philosophy and wisdom traditions and what he does masterfully, I believe, is distill it into easily understandable components that one can then use to dive deeper into--or not--and build a framework for masterful living.

And really, it's not about Brian Johnson. It's about what's coming through him when he's conn
Mike Vardy
Jan 07, 2016 Mike Vardy rated it really liked it
Shelves: paper-library
I was able to get through this book fairly quickly during my travels. Most of the pieces were single page, which really worked for me considering the environment that I was in. There's a lot of great stuff in here and I enjoyed the conversational tone of the writing.

If you're looking for a quick read that will help you gain a better understanding of how to live more optimally, then you want to give this a read.
Marcus Solberg
Aug 22, 2014 Marcus Solberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love book summaries! Brian did a good job with these, but many of these books are a bit too "new agey" and unscientific (get rich quickly, "law of attraction" type of stuff). However, overall good and lots of interesting and inspiring ideas. Well worth the many hours it took to plow trough these "notes"!

Not sure why the Philosopher's notes volume two is not on here (so I added this one twice instead to make up for that!).
Jan 30, 2016 Nunoidia rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
The content is a great overview, and this guy is awesome at inspiring you (he precis's other wisdom sources and self help type books in such a way that makes it accessible and easily understandable. What I don't like though is his writing style; every time he wrote 'prolly' for 'probably' and 'gonna', it was like nails on a chalkboard for me. It's fine when you're watching a video or listening to him speak but in writing it really detracted from the message for me.
Jan 01, 2013 Lindsay rated it liked it
I am undecided if I like this book or not. Some of the points made are good....BUT there is something about the tone of this book that bothered me. I get that he is trying to come off as free spirited or whatever but really it just comes across as trying too hard to be happy and the "text" spelling irritates me. It is not spelt "THRU" that is just garbage.
Jack Stephens
Nov 08, 2012 Jack Stephens rated it really liked it
Brian Johnson hit the mother lode when he came up with the idea of creating a Cliff's Notes for philosophers. He succinctly and aptly summarizes more books than I've had time to read (and ones I really wanted to), and shares from his own experience of applying the wisdom with a light touch to the funny bone.
Anton Klink
Mar 12, 2014 Anton Klink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, ebook
Brian Johnson has done a great job picking out the essences of many influential books from history. Having listened through the audio-book, his presentation is positive and motivating. He picks the best ideas and adds some essential quotes. On the downside, I found too many new-agey type esoteric books among his selection but you can always skip those.
Leo Notenboom
May 10, 2015 Leo Notenboom rated it it was amazing
The biggest issue I have with this book? It has so many nuggets from so many sources that I'm left with a to-read list that's twice as long as when I started. Yikes! Excellent book and very helpful for setting directions on where to go next...
Jacob Nordby
Sep 10, 2011 Jacob Nordby rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Brian Johnson does all the heavy lifting for modern readers by digging into books of wisdom (ancient & modern), then writing short chapters which reveal the "Big Idea". He writes in a fluid, humorous style but includes a lot of substance.
Marcus Solberg
Aug 12, 2015 Marcus Solberg rated it really liked it
Great short read from the creator of the "book summary series" The Philosopher's notes Brian Johnson. Some of the greatest ideas from his summaries are laid out in a structured way in this book. It's all about personal development / practical philosophy.
Cyrus Alderwood
Oct 17, 2015 Cyrus Alderwood rated it really liked it
This was a very fun way to look at different philosophies and how we can/do apply to our daily lives. Not only is it witty and insightful, but he references numerous books along the way and ends with an excellent list of book recommendations for us to consider on this journey we call life.
Jan 12, 2011 Xavier.vercaemst rated it really liked it
The author is a fabulous enlightening person!
This book is packed with ideas and techniques to get your life kicking and rocking!
Tobias Barker
Jan 24, 2013 Tobias Barker rated it really liked it
I love exec summaries & this sums up all the goodness in some of the best books around. A quick & insightful read. It's helped me to focus on some great goals and new 'to-reads'
Sep 30, 2014 Megan rated it did not like it
Found it written like a teenager speaks and quite basic information for beginners on these subjects. Was boring for me especially since I have read most of the books he refers too.
Mar 07, 2015 Istvan rated it it was amazing
I would still recommend the separate Philosopher's Notes (the book-by-book notes), but this is a great summary for those anyways.
George rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2014
Karen Grant
Karen Grant rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2016
Hari Simaguen
Hari Simaguen rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2015
Lauren Diaz
Lauren Diaz rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2012
Herman Litt
Herman Litt rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2011
Estifanos rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2016
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Brian Johnson is the Philosopher & CEO of en*theos--a company that creates cool stuff to help people optimize their lives. He's the co-founder (with his wife, Alexandra) of the en*theos Academy, PhilosophersNotes and Blissitations and is the author of A Philosopher's Notes. He's also featured in the documentary Finding Joe and has a monthly "Big Ideas" column in Experience Life magazine.
More about Brian Johnson...

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“SPIRITUAL FARTS Reverend Michael Beckwith2 tells us that if we simply study and talk about spiritual truths but never actually LIVE the stuff, we’re gonna get spiritual indigestion and constipation. Spiritual farts. It’s not a pretty thing. Seriously.” 1 likes
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Christianity (Matthew 22:36~40)” 0 likes
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