Review of Stoicism 101

Online Course from Brian Johnson’s Optimize


Persons like ourselves would do well to say: “If you are studying philosophy, it is well.” For this is just what “being well” means. Without philosophy the mind is sickly. — Seneca

Online courses are all too often 5–10 minute diluted versions of the thing you want to know about, especially the free ones. In most cases, the info is not only watered-down but basic knowledge you already possessed. However, watching Brian Johnson’s FREE Stoicism 101 Master Class had me feeling as if I’d gotten away with theft! So-much-solid-content! (See the end of this article, incidentally, for more information about the Optimize Coach program — including a special offer.)

Warrior of the Mind

Brian Johnson is CEO and founder of Optimize, a massive community built around his love of wisdom. He’s also the author of Philosopher’s Notes, a fun and inspiring collection of his personal reflections on sages through the ages. This inspiration feeds into his master classes and coaching program. It seems his courses are meant to help you become a high-functioning optimist equipped with the wisdom to accomplish anything you set out to do.

Sign me up, right? Well, that’s just what I did! I signed up for his 300-day Optimize Coach program! I’m excited to arm others with practical, effective, and powerful ways to live as the most optimal version of themselves. Have you thought about becoming a coach? (Check out the Optimize Coach program — but be sure to use the special discount code STOIC10.) Now let’s get into the review…

Copyright, Brian Johnson. Reproduced with permission.

Closing the Gap

Not a crash course, but not a droning lecture either, Brian Johnson provides a perfect high-energy in-depth tour of Stoic philosophy in just under 50 minutes. Complete with worksheets, this course was consistent in content, void of any self-indulgent anecdotes or advertisements. Brian does an excellent job at preserving the integrity of this ancient wisdom as well. The 10 perfectly arranged modules cover Stoicism’s origins to connecting to the best version of yourself. Connecting to that version comes by visualizing and embodying someone you admire (your “ideal sage”) — closing the gap between who you are and who you want to be in wisdom and virtue.

Like me, he clearly sees how much Stoic philosophy is designed to empower the individual.

The course as a whole perfectly encapsulates Stoicism and serves it up in an understandable, and easily applicable, way. Like me, he clearly sees how much Stoic philosophy is designed to empower the individual. Throughout this self-guided workshop, he makes points that support wisdom as a weapon to be wielded. Also that we should exercise our mind as much as we do our bodies and not waste that energy worrying about the things we can’t control. I’m also someone who advocates Stoicism as a source of strength. Its principles allow us to free ourselves of any unnecessary weight we carry in our minds.

Copyright, Brian Johnson. Reproduced with permission.

Best Friends with Best You

Brian also does a wonderful job taking Greek terminology and translating it for everyday application. Eudaimonia, meaning happiness or our state of flourishing, he explains as becoming “best friends” with our inner daemon, or higher self, and letting that guide us. In fact, if you take the other courses on, you’ll see that it’s Brian’s mission to get everyone to become the highest version of themselves. It’s with ancient wisdom and modern science that he carries out this admirable mission.

This was one of my favorite parts, perfectly placed and really the heart of this master class.

Copyright, Brian Johnson. Reproduced with permission.

Halfway through the course is a lesson on what Brian calls Energized Tranquility. Here he touches on being clear about your purpose, without second guessing yourself, and being enthusiastic all the while. This was one of my favorite parts, perfectly placed and really the heart of this master class.

To the Stoic-curious, or the Stoic in need of a refresher, I highly recommend checking out the Stoicism 101 course for yourself.

Becoming a Stoic-Centric Coach

In a sea of chintzy express online coaching certificates, Optimize Coach stands HIGH above — setting the new standard in online coaching programs! The program is a Stoic-centric, step-by-step protocol to apply the biggest ideas and most life-changing exercises curated from Brian’s life’s work studying and teaching the best of ancient wisdom and modern science into this scientifically validated program. They’ve had 3,300+ people from 92 countries around the world participate in their training — and I am one of them!

The Optimize coaching program attracts two types of people: those looking for self-improvement and those looking for a certificated training in coaching, whether newcomers or experienced coaches wanting a refresher. Coming to the end of the 300-day program and I have to say it’s one of the most thorough, insightful, and inspiring online programs I’ve ever been enrolled in. Their Optimize Coach — Class VI begins July 6th and its enrolling now!

Free Content

I’ve received permission from Optimize to share this entire first module of the program with my readers — including worksheets and other resources!

Stoic author and CBT Therapist, Donald Robertson, is an Optimize guest faculty member. You can also access his webinar on Stoicism and coaching.

Best of all, though: the team at Optimize have generously offered my loyal readers an extra 10% discount off the course price if they use code STOIC10 when booking on the Optimize Coach program!



Kasey Pierce
Stoicism — Philosophy as a Way of Life

Editor of forthcoming “Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius” and “365 Ways to Be More Stoic”. Writer/creator of sci-fi comic series, “Norah”.