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How I’ll “Read” 180 Books By the End of the Year (in 20 Minutes a Day) .

The other day, I shared about how I almost let BS Rules keep me from some of the highlights of my life.

If you'd like to read about that, you can find that right here

What BS Rules are Keeping You From the Best Experiences of Your Life?

(Please share if you like it!)

Today, I want to share something else fun with you. It's about another BS Rule that I discovered to be untrue.

I've always loved to read, but I had made up this rule that it took too much time to either read or listen to books. Hours that I didn't have (at least not without sacrificing something else – health/exercise, family time, business stuff). Sure I would sneak in audible books on car rides and read while waiting places, but I sure wasn't absorbing as much good stuff as I wanted to. And frankly audible books, while awesome, are SO long. (Call me Miss Patience.)

Well, I just discovered a way that I will be able to “read” 180 books before the end of the year (one per day) without adding any extra time, and I invite you to join me.

I've already consumed 6 books in the last 6 days.

Optimize with Brian Johnson has created “Philosopher's Notes” versions of over 600 books that you've been drooling over.

These are basically each a 20 minute summary of the key points in each book, along with a pdf that has the same notes.

And you can listen to tons of books for free right here.

What I love about them is that he ties in related themes from other books that he's done, which is giving me a growing list of authors and books I want to listen to over there, and proof that the concepts are true, because he's telling me about other authors who have proven the same thing. This reinforcement is really interesting.

My plan (and I invite you to join me) is to listen to at least one book each day WHILE doing something else that I'd already be doing.

And do this every day for the rest of the year.

I plan to listen to books while

  • Cleaning the house
  • Taking a shower or bath
  • Doing yoga / stretching (Yes, I know part of the beauty of yoga is the silence. I like to listen to something smart sometimes, too.) 🙂
  • Going on a walk
  • Driving somewhere
  • Lifting some weights at home
  • Folding laundry

You get the picture.

Imagine how amazing you'd feel about yourself if you committed to doing this with me.

Like I said, I've already listened six books in six days. And it was easy.

  • One while cleaning my office.
  • One in the shower.
  • One while taking a mental break from writing.
  • One while driving.
  • One while putting away laundry.
  • One while sorting a junk drawer.

Leverage, my friends. Leverage. THIS is leverage.

Leverage your time. Leverage other people's work and smarts in a good way.

And watch your business grow.

Here's what I did and I invite you to join me.

Sign up here to listen to all of the books for free on this page.

1. I signed up for the coaching program option so I'd have a commitment for the rest of the year.

(You can see the coaching option here, but do sign up for the free books first. I just want to make sure you'll love it before you join.) 🙂 

2. I spent about 20 minutes going through the different categories of books and favoriting those that looked interesting to me. That way, each day, I can just go there and choose one to “read” without having to think too hard.

Update: This is NOT necessary. I'm learning about all kinds of books from the Notes themselves that I want to soak up. The pdfs have all kinds of recommendations to other books to listen to. All are included in the membership.

3. I started listening. You can mark the books as complete when you're done so you have a growing list of books that you have yet to listen to.

4. After listening to the book summary, each day, I open the accompanying pdf from the PREVIOUS day and skim it to make sure I understood everything fully and didn't zone out. This gives me a different modality of learning, as well, which I like. And it deepens the material as we know there's a “forgetting period” after we learn something if it isn't touched again.

If I see that a bunch of you are interested in this (based on who signs up), I may create a FB account or a blog post series or a daily “here's what I *read* today” or something fun. 🙂

I'm anticipating questions.

You may be thinking…

Q: “I listen to podcasts and they are free. How is this different?”

A: I think about all of the effort and research and smarts that goes into writing a book versus how anyone can pick up a mic and just start talking. About anything in their heads.

Me? I'd rather focus on getting the solid stuff. Sure, I listen to an occasional podcast. Books are where it's at for this girl. I consider listening to most podcasts to be a colossal waste of my time. So when I do listen, it's mostly for fun.

Q: Do you really get the whole experience of reading the book?

A: No, you do not get the whole experience of reading the entire book. You get the key points. With this, I'm getting a lot of new info, plus I feel like I'm being reminded of a lot of things that I have not been making a priority for myself. It's kind of how what you need shows up when you need it. I'm getting that feeling.

For me, the twenty minute summary is enough to provide me with three valuable options when I finish a book “note”:

  1. I get what I need and am super thankful that I listened to the Notes. I apply what I've learned and move on. OR….
  2. I decide it's not the right book for me (and am thankful that I didn't just take hours of my life to figure that out). OR…
  3. I love the material but it was only a part of the story. I want more so I choose to buy the book (or go check out the authors' other books/follow them on social media/sign up for their lists, etc).

Q: Is this cheating the authors?

A: Actually because you do not get the whole experience of reading the book, it's very tempting to go and buy your favorites (or follow the authors on FB and Twitter – which you can do from inside your account or go find them on YouTube or sign up for their lists.) This is probably why some of the authors give Brian advanced copies of their books prior to publishing them…

Personally I am finding that there are a few books that I still do want to actually read after listening to the notes. And, if you look at the testimonials, many are from the authors themselves, so I believe this is a win-win-win. A win for Optimize, a win for the authors, and a win for us!

Here's the link again. Go get you your free book summaries! 

What are some other “rules' that we are following that are NOT serving us, I wonder?

Got questions, please comment. 🙂 What are you currently reading that you love?

Stay tuned. We'll talk about some more.

With hugs and high fives,

Nicole Dean

PS. If you're curious, here are a few quotes from a few of the books I've listened to at Optimize the last few days. Good stuff.

From “Letters from a Stoic” (on Creating what's in your Heart for a Life of Purpose)

“Everything – a horse, a vine – is created for some duty… For what task, then, were you yourself created? A man’s true delight is to do the things he was made for.” – Marcus Aurelius


“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature. This need we may call self-actualization… It refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything one is capable of becoming.” – Maslow

On not giving up:

Picasso created nearly 100 masterpieces in his lifetime. But what most people don’t know is that he created a total of more than 50,000 works of art.

“Your morning sets the stage for the rest of your day. That doesn’t mean that you need to get up early: it does mean you should use your morning to do what’s most important to you.”
~ Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander from Morning Routine (see it on Optimize | see it on Amazon )

And, I soooo love. It gives me goosebumps.

Once you’ve mastered the code in this book, your biggest challenge will be dreaming bigger dreams! That’s right: Once you’ve tasted success and gained the confidence of making a dream come true, a funny things happens: You get addicted to making dreams come true. And as each dream gets a little bigger and a little scarier, you get stronger, smarter, and better at making them come true. And isn’t that what life is all about? Live your dreams!”

– Alden Mills from Be Unstoppable (see it on Optimize | see it on Amazon )

Self-Theories by Carol Dweck –

The hallmark of successful individuals is that they love learning, they seek challenges, they value effort, and they persist in the face of obstacles. – Carol Dweck

I'm working on this one…

“Remember that one of the guiding principles of wealth creation is not to worry. And remember,
too, that the best way not to worry is to have a project you are engaged in. Without a project, you
descend into worry. Your project becomes worrying. Your mind has to spin somewhere, and if
it can’t click and lock its gear’s teeth into a creative project it will look outward and worry about
other people and the world at large.”

~ Steve Chandler from Wealth Warrior (see it on Optimize | see it on Amazon )

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

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