The Lesson: Willpower is a teachable and accessible skill – and it is a much better indicator for success than an IQ score. Being intelligent, although a desirable trait, is not directly correlated to success. We can, however, teach ourselves and others to become successful simply by exercising and developing our willpower. So why don’t kids have a “willpower class” in school?

Notable Excerpt: “…if you know a kid’s willpower and you know their IQ, knowing their willpower score will make you twice as effective at predicting how well they’re doing in school than knowing their IQ … Then, know this: willpower is also the best predictor of pretty much everything else we want in life: great relationships, health, wealth, etc. Most importantly, know this: willpower is 100% teachable.”

The Speaker: Brian Johnson is a philosopher and founder of, a website, app, and free video series that help people to optimize their lives so they can be their best selves. He studies self-improvement books, then breaks them down into bite-sized chunks and ‘Philosopher‘s Notes’ for busy people who want ‘more wisdom in less time’. He also offers Optimal Living classes and online training for your Hero’s Journey.

Podcast: Brian’s podcast, OPTIMIZE with Brian Johnson, features the best big ideas from the best optimal living books. More wisdom in less time (between 4-19 minutes each) to help you live your greatest life. Subscribe: Stitcher — iTunes — Podbean.

Books: In this talk, Johnson refers to a book by David Servan-Shreiber called “Anticancer: A New Way of Life”.

(LISTEN to the intriguing talk below or check out Brian’s website for more information on his Conquering Cancer class)

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