Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: A Philosopher's Notes: On Optimal Living, Creating an Authentically Awesome Life and Other Such Goodness, Vol. 1
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on March 10, 2011
A Philosophy Buffet.
(Total reading time 2-3 minutes)

Today on my quest to read fifty books in the year I finished reading number 8. A Philosophers Notes by Brian Johnson. The little book has almost two hundred pages packed with philosophy, self development and spiritual goodness. Don't be scared it is actually pretty easy to understand. The author uses a simple, current and conversational approach to make some pretty serious ideas understandable.

My favorite part of the book is that unlike many other books in the self development genre it is not overly preachy. Brian Johnson presents the reader with a buffet of ideas and take aways. You are free to pick and choose what you would like as appetizers, the main course and dessert. Yumo!

In life spirituality and religion sometimes collide. A Philosopher's notes shows us that living with Integrity, Blissipline, Gratitude, and a Positive Mindset is a cool thing to do.

The book is also packed with tons of inspiring quotes that on their own are seeds of wisdom.

Hear is a doggie bag of questions from the book to get you started.

Do you honor your commitments?
What do you want?
If you had all the time and money in the world what would you do?
What inspires you?
Besides the book, Brian Johnson also has a really cool website called-you guessed it Philosophersnotes.com . He takes us on a tour of 100 Self Development, Psychology, and Success classics. For a fair price you get 100 20-30 minute mp3s highlighting the major points and concepts of each book. Its the perfect way to absorb knowledge while out on a run or sitting in traffic. The mp3s are also an indispensable motivational tool for when you're having one of those days that just plan sucks.

Along with Leo Babauta's book The Power Of Less it is probably one of things I recommend to my friends most. I have actually had people return and thank me for the great resources each has to offer. Turn the TV off and dive in. There is an entire you out there waiting to be discovered.

On to book number nine.

Thats all I have to say.

Peter Weis
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on October 20, 2011
What can I say about this book without mentioning the man behind it? Brian Johnson is a man on a quest for enlightenment, luckily for us a huge part of his personal journey is to shed light upon the path of others so that we may join him upon destination.

I myself come from quite the checkered past, both of my parents are immigrants from Vietnam after the war which for anyone familiar with similar circumstances would know can wreak havoc on family life in America. Long story short, they separated while my older brother, sister and I were very young in age.

For the next 15 years there was great turbulence which ended with my brother locked away in prison and my sister battling with drug addiction. I barely made it out of that life with my sanity, but I was hardly with proper guidance to succeed in life once my past heroes had fallen to their own lack of spiritual sustenance.

Then one day I stumbled upon ThinkArete.com while searching for inspirational quotes. Little did I know that this would become a pivotal point in my life, a moment in which some of the greatest thinkers in the world would allow me to explore their innermost thoughts and create a new outlook on my life.

It is obvious that without the proper guidance a child will become lost in any situation, but a child let loose upon the world without supervision will be swallowed whole by the carelessness and ignorance this world in current age carries in abundance.

This man's work literally changed my life, taught me how to create my own energy and submit that energy for others to feed from. To make a difference in my life by making a difference in the lives of others. I went from believing I could only have what was granted, to charging forward to take what I feel I deserve and more.

Sure, if you read this book looking for the meaning of life in general you will be greatly disappointed. This is not what this book is for. Think of it as a way to rewire your thought patterns so that you can find your own meaning in life. For if you are looking to someone else to find your own purpose you are more lost than you believe or can ever accept.

This is not a philosopher's novel, book or even a philosopher's essay. This is a philosopher's notes, meant to be studied and applied in a manner only you can decide. The power is in your hands to choose how it's knowledge will affect you. I believe this to be Brian's true message underlying all of his humanitarian work.

You are the question, you are answer. You make the difference. Today, tomorrow and forever. It has always been YOU.

Love,
Scott N.
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on April 22, 2011
I was already a fan of Brian's Philosopher's Notes and now this book! He has taken the best of the best of timeless wisdom and put it in this compact, fun book. Then he delivers it in such a concise and energetic manner. You truly feel his passion for knowledge and most importantly his passion for sharing that knowledge with others!
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on January 23, 2016
Brian is voracious reader. Then he shares a relevant note for his readers. His brilliance is how he presents what he shares in a practical manner. He shows the reader how to use the note in daily life. I have referred his daily note to many people in my sphere of influence. I applaud Brian and bless him frequently for writing so clearly and practically so I can use what he shares in my day to day business as well as personal life.
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Seriously one of my favorite books I've ever read. Packed with nuggets of wisdom in a style that I absolutely loved. I felt like I was having a conversation with a friend while reading this.
I already knew it was going to be good because I've been a big fan of Brian Johnson ever since I found his Optimal Living content.
Still, this book exceeded my expectations.
This is a top ten book of all time for me. It will be for you too!
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on October 15, 2015
Loved this book! One caveat- if you think that philosophy should be pedantic and ponderous, and exclusively for supercilious mumblers wearing tweed smoking jackets, don't buy this book- you won't like it. (Not that I've got anything against tweed!) Brian Johnson has his own style, and his vernacular is familiar and colloquial; reading this book is like having an informal conversation with a friend. It's loaded with insights that the author has learned from others, with personal examples from his life as well. Easy to read, full of wisdom and suggestions applicable to modern life situations, and fun! Can't wait for this author to write another book!
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on May 10, 2013
Brian Johnson has carved out a niche for himself in the self-help department. He loves his work of reading and assimilating current and past thought leaders. I applaud him for that. He clearly wants others to open themselves up to the ideas that he
synthesizes and presents in a hip way. No stuffiness on his part. And for that he is refreshing, and easier to read than, say, Deepak Chopra who pulls your brain this way and that with his sometimes obscure and abstruse references. Maybe it's just me, but
Brian is a cool guy. This book is somewhat lightweight, but I like his footnotes and suggestions for further reading. A good reference of key ideas for intelligent living. Go get a copy.
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on February 8, 2016
This book found it's way onto my Kindle through an author friend who recommended it to me. It's not something that I would normally read, but was pleasantly surprised by how inspiring it truly is. If you want to read something that will totally change the way you look at things without reading like a self-help book (boring!) I highly recommend this one.
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The value you get from this book will depend on two things. First is how much reading/studying you have done on different philosophical works and secondly how you view the mixing of philosophy with hip-hop language.

This book covers the basics philosophy of leading a better life. The topics covered are not new. If you have studied Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Publilius Syrus, Buddha, Epictetus, Benjamin Franklin or even Deepak Chopra you will be very familiar with the concepts in this book. If you are just starting out, this book does a fairly good job of covering the concepts you need to embrace and engage in to live a more fulfilling life.

While the book tries to cover the important parts of living a more fulfilling life, for some strange reason, Brain Johnson, the author decided to write the book using extremely casual language - often making up words or using urban slang. I think this seriously detracts from the delivery of the book. Maybe he was trying to appeal to a younger audience or trying to fit in with the street crowd. I am not sure the hip-hop crowd is seriously interested in a better philosophy of life. And for me, it was a total turn-off.

I did like the layout of the book, the different sections are divided by a light blue page and there is a series of quotations before each section. In addition, the book has a ribbon page marker - reminds me of a feature that hard cover books once had but has almost totally faded from use.

If you are looking for a serious summary of a good philosophy of life and do not mind lots of urban slang, you will probably find this book interesting and useful. If you are a bit turned off by the mixing of serious philosophy with extremely casual language, you should probably pass.

This book is a quick and easy read and covers the basics. It is certainly not a scholarly work.
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on May 16, 2013
I have really enjoyed the materials from the Philosophers notes , I have actually read some of the books Brian uses for the NOTES in the past for instance Stephen Covey 7 habits and the Think and Grow Rich . I am from Panama , so my native language is not English but Brain explain each topic with this good vibe that it is really great to understand not that easy topics such as Awareness, Love , Goals and Entheos...
I understand that some readers may find the language a little bit informal and street style , for myself that is not an issue as in Panama most people speak in an informal way at the street , as a matter of fact this notes has helped me with depression and anxiety I have been suffering for some time along with my visits to the therapist.
It is just great to have some condensed NOTES about all these authors..it has encouraged me to read some of the works again. Thank you Brain for investing your time and money in putting together this summaries and book .

The most important part of all of this process is that by doing the exercises and repeating the questionaries periodically you will gain a new knowledge about yourself, you learn to love yourself and others and you will become a more empowered person.
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