Show cover of The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness Podcast aims to deepen and improve every area of a man's life, from fitness and philosophy, to relationships and productivity. Engaging and edifying interviews with some of the world's most interesting doers and thinkers drop the fluff and filler to glean guests' very best, potentially life-changing, insights.


Turn Your Anxiety Into a Strength
Anxiety is typically thought of as a disease or a disorder. My guest has a very different way of looking at it, and says that rather than being a burden, anxiety can actually become a benefit, and even a strength.Dr. David Rosmarin is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, the founder of the Center for Anxiety, and the author of Thriving with Anxiety: 9 Tools to Make Your Anxiety Work for You. Today on the show, David explains why the prevalence of anxiety has risen while the reasons to feel anxious have fallen, and what the increase in anxiety has to do with our growing intolerance for uncertainty and uncontrollability. We discuss how the perception of anxiety is a big part of the problem that has made anxiety a problem, and how you can change your relationship with anxiety, transforming it from something that hinders your life, to something that helps you develop greater self-awareness, reach your goals, make needed changes, connect better with others, and build your overall resilience.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM Podcast #497: The Meaning, Manifestations, and Treatments for AnxietyAoM Podcast #614: Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life (With Steven Hayes) AoM Podcast #782: Anxiety Is a Habit — Here’s How to Break ItAoM Podcast #868: Escape the Happiness TrapAoM series on developing resilience AoM Article: Just Go to SleepAoM Article: 5 Tools for Thriving in UncertaintyAoM Article: The Best Books to Read in Uncertain TimesConnect With David RosmarinDavid's website
52:30 29.11.23
Counterintuitive Ideas About Marriage, Family, and Kids
There are a lot of popular ideas out there around marriage, family, and culture, like, for example, that living together before marriage decreases your chances of divorce, people are having fewer children because children are expensive to raise, and society is becoming more secular because people leave religion in adulthood.Are these ideas actually born out by the data?Today we put that question to Lyman Stone, a sociologist and demographer who crunches numbers from all the latest studies to find out what’s going on in population, relationship, and familial trends. We dig into some of the counterintuitive findings he’s discovered in his research and discuss the possible reasons that cohabitation is actually correlated with a higher chance of divorce, the effect that marrying later has on fertility, why the drop in the number of kids people are having isn’t only about cost but also about the rise in high intensity parenting, and how the increase in societal secularization can actually be traced to kids, not adults.Resources Related to the EpisodeRelated articles by Lyman Stone:Does Getting Married Really Make You Happier?Why Canadian Women Aren’t Having the Children They DesireFor Fertility, Marriage Still MattersToo Risky to Wed in Your 20s? Not If You Avoid Cohabiting FirstWhat the Latest Current Population Survey Tells Us About the Future of FertilitySecularization Begins at HomeAoM Article: The Surprising Benefits of Marrying YoungAoM Article: How to Test Your Relationship Without Moving In TogetherAoM Podcast #349: The Problem With Ambiguity in Relationships with Scott StanleyConnect With Lyman StoneLyman on Twitter
47:34 27.11.23
The Cues That Make You Charismatic
Note: This is a rebroadcast.Charisma can make everything smoother, easier, and more exciting in life. It’s a quality that makes people want to listen to you, to adopt your ideas, to be with you.While what creates charisma can seem like a mystery, my guest today, communications expert Vanessa Van Edwards, says it comes down to possessing an optimal balance of two qualities: warmth and competence.The problem is, even if you have warmth and competence, you may not be good at signaling these qualities to others. In Vanessa’s work, she’s created a research-backed encyclopedia of these influential signals, and she shares how to offer them in her bookCues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication. Today on the show, Vanessa and I discuss some of the verbal and nonverbal social cues that make you attractive to others, and keep you out of what she calls the “danger zone.” She explains what the distance between your earlobes and shoulders has to do with looking competent, how using uptalk and vocal fry sabotages your ability to convey power, how to put more warmth in your voice, how to trigger the right response with a dating profile picture, and more.Resources Related to the EpisodeAoM series on the elements of charisma AoM Article: Gut Check — Are You a Contemptible Person?AoM Podcast #72: The Charisma MythAoM Article: How to Use Body Language to Create a Dynamite First ImpressionAoM Podcast #694: The Fascinating Secrets of Your VoiceJFK vs. Nixon presidential debateAoM article on the generational cycleConnect With Vanessa Van EdwardsThe Science of People Website Vanessa on TwitterVanessa on IG
44:43 22.11.23
The Japanese Practice That Can Give More Meaning to an American Holiday
A focus on gratitude is typical this time of year. But more often than not, the cognitive or behavioral nods we give gratitude around Thanksgiving can feel a little limp, rote, and unedifying. If you feel like this American holiday has been lacking in meaning, maybe what you need is to infuse it with a Japanese practice.The Naikan method of self-reflection grew out of Buddhist spirituality and has been recognized by psychologists as a way to develop greater self-awareness, gratitude, empathy, and direction. Naikan involves asking yourself three questions: What have I received from others? What have I given others? What troubles and difficulties have I caused others?Gregg Krech, who is the executive director of the ToDo Institute, which promotes principles of psychology based on Eastern traditions, has created a Thanksgiving-specific version of Naikan that helps practitioners dig further into its first question. Today on the show, we talk about the way Naikan differs from mainstream gratitude practices and is based less on feeling and more on seeing the world objectively. Gregg shares six prompts that can help you recognize the reality of how you're being supported in the world, cultivate the art of noticing, and embrace life's grace.Resources Related to the PodcastThe ToDo Institute's free Thanksgiving Guide to Self-Reflection booklet — scroll down, enter your email into the form, and a PDF of the booklet will be sent to you.Gregg's previous appearances on the AoM podcast:#425: Action Over Feelings #671: Begin the New Year by Reflecting on These 3 Life-Changing QuestionsNaikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection by Gregg KrechAoM Podcast #906: Stop Being a ComplainerAoM Article: The Spiritual Disciplines — Gratitude Sunday Firesides: Graduate From the Kindergarten Class of GratitudeAoM Podcast #459: Beyond Gratitude Lite — The Real Virtue of ThankfulnessHow to Fight Entitlement and Develop Gratitude in Your KidsAoM Article: The George Bailey Technique — Mentally Erase Your Blessings for Greater Joy and OptimismConnect with Gregg KrechThirty Thousand Days Website
53:43 20.11.23
The Leadership Qualities That Will Set You Apart From the Pack
For the last 15 years, William Vanderbloemen has run an executive search firm that helps non-profit organizations find leaders. Over the course of conducting tens of thousands of interviews with top-tier candidates, he's tracked and recorded what qualities the best leaders — the people he calls "unicorns" — possess that set them apart from everyone else in the field.William shares what he's learned in his new book Be the Unicorn: 12 Data-Driven Habits That Separate the Best Leaders from the Rest. Today we talk about what some of those twelve distinguishing habits are, and how people can use them to move ahead at work, as well as improve their relationships outside of it. We discuss the nearly 100% difference it can make in your business to respond to people right away, the least common trait among unicorns that the general population mistakenly believes they have in spades, how mastering the art of anticipation will make you stand out, a way to use eye contact to build strong connection, and much more.Resources Related to the PodcastAoM Article: The Myth of Scarcity — 12 Stupidly Easy Things That’ll Set You Apart from the PackAoM Podcast #865: How to Win Friends and Influence People in the 21st CenturyAoM Article: How to Make Eye Contact the Right Way in Life, Business, and LoveAoM Podcast #644: How to Develop Greater Self-AwarenessAoM Article: The Best Kind of Leader to BeNYT article: "What Do You Do With the Brilliant Jerk?"Sunday Firesides: Never Criticize Without Offering an Alternative
45:29 15.11.23
The Lesser-Known Philosophy of the Iron Age Greeks
When we think of Western philosophers who pondered questions about the good life, we typically think of the classical era of Greece and the likes of Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. But my guest would say that the poets and philosophers who came out of the preceding period, Greece's Iron Age, also have something to say about the nature of existence.Adam Nicolson is the author of How to Be: Life Lessons from the Early Greeks. Today on the show, Adam takes us on a tour of Iron Age Greece and how these seafaring people set the stage for our modern sense of self. Adam makes the case that the early Greeks had what he calls a "harbor mindset," which lent them a mentality centered on fluidity and transience. We discuss how Odysseus exemplifies this harbor mindset, and how a group of lesser-known pre-Socratic philosophers defined life through a lens of change and contradiction. Adam then explains how a mystical guru named Pythagoras paved the way for Greek thinkers like Plato and Aristotle and the rise of cooperative civility.Resources Related to the PodcastAdam's previous appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #857 — Why Homer MattersAoM Podcast #337: What Homer’s Odyssey Can Teach Us TodayThe philosophers of Miletus:AnaximenesThalesAnaximander
45:12 13.11.23
10 Unchanging Ideas for Navigating an Ever-Changing World
To figure out what will happen in the future, we typically make guesswork predictions and look to particular periods in the past that seem like potential parallels.My guest says that to figure out what will happen next, and how best to navigate that coming landscape, the best things to consider are those that have been true in every time, and will be true until the end of it.Morgan Housel is a venture capitalist and the author of Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes. Today on the show we talk about ideas and principles that never change that can help you be successful in an ever-changing world, including how the biggest risks are those you can’t see, how the idea of compound interest applies beyond your finances, how your expectations can sabotage your happiness, why you need to learn to accept that things are supposed to be hard, and how success can lead to failure. Morgan also shares his rubric for choosing your reading, what genres of books he finds most useful for improving long-term thinking, and two books he especially recommends for broadening your perspective.Resources Related to the PodcastMorgan’s previous appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #659 — Do You Want to Be Rich or Wealthy? (And Why the Difference Matters)AoM Article: 5 Tools for Thriving in UncertaintyAoM Article: The Best Books to Read in Uncertain TimesAoM Podcast #821: Routines Are OverratedThe Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin RothThe Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy by David NasawConnect With Morgan HouselMorgan on XMorgan’s websiteMorgan on LinkedIn
57:04 08.11.23
How to Avoid Death by Comfort
Nietzsche's maxim, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," isn't just a sound philosophical principle. It's also a certifiable physiological phenomenon; toxins and stressors that could be deadly in large doses, actually improve health and resilience in smaller, intermittent ones. The ironic thing, my guest points out, is that it's the fact that we're not getting enough of this sublethal stress these days that's really doing us in.Paul Taylor is a former British Royal Navy Aircrew Officer, an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, and neuroscientist, and the author of Death by Comfort: How Modern Life is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It. Today on the show, Paul discusses the science of hormesis, how small doses of intermittent stress can make us more resistant to chronic stress, and why you need to embrace what Paul calls "discomfort harvesting." We talk about some now-familiar topics like fasting and cold and heat exposure with fresh inspiration as to how important they are to practice and how to do them effectively. We discuss how hot a sauna needs to be to get the benefits of heat exposure, Paul's suggestion for how to make an ice bath on the cheap, what may be the single best type of food to eat to improve your gut's microbiome, a form of fasting that's got anti-cancer benefits but is so accessible it won't even feel like fasting, what supplement to take to mitigate the effects of a bad night's sleep, and much more. We end our conversation with how to use what Paul calls a "ritual board" to stick with your healthy habits and resist the "soft underbelly" of modern life.Resources Related to the PodcastAoMPodcast #708: Overcome the Comfort CrisisAoM article/video on the benefits of cold showersAoM Podcast #801: The Cold Water Swim CureAoM Podcast #603: The Physical Keys to Human ResilienceAoM Article: How Saunas Can Help Save Your Body, Mind, and SpiritAoM Article: How to Sauna — All the FAQsAoM Podcast #585: Inflammation, Saunas, and the New Science of DepressionAoM Podcast #862: Heal the Body With Extended FastingPodcast #328: The Pros and Cons of Intermittent FastingAoM Podcast #581: The Tiny Habits That Change EverythingAoM Podcast #425: Action Over FeelingsThe NOVA Food Classification SystemStanford study on the effect of fiber and fermented food on the microbiomeResearch on creatine as a neurotransmitter and creatine's effect on brain health (including impact when sleep deprived)Connect With PaulTaylorPaul's websitePaul on IGPaul on LinkedInPaul's podcastPaul's mental fitness course for coaches and health professionals
56:26 06.11.23
The 3 Types of Failure (And How to Learn From Each)
People often think of failure in one of two ways: as something that hinders the pursuit of success, or as something that's a necessity in obtaining it — as in the Silicon Valley mantra that recommends failing fast and often.There's truth to both ideas, but neither offers a complete picture of failure. That's because there isn't just one kind of failure, but three.Here to unpack what those three types are is Amy Edmondson, a professor of leadership at the Harvard Business School and the author of The Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well. Today on the show, Amy shares which type of failure is most productive, which types are less fruitful, and how to best use the former, prevent the latter, and learn from failure of every kind. We also talk about how to organize potential failures into a matrix that will help you best approach them. Along the way, we dig into examples, both big and small, of how individuals, organizations, and families can put failure to work for them.Resources Related to the PodcastAoM Podcast #646: How to Win at LosingAoM Article: Clausewitz on Overcoming the Annoying Slog of LifeAoM Podcast #517: What Big-Time Catastrophes Can Teach Us About How to Improve the Systems of Our LivesAoM Article: The Power of ChecklistsAoM Article: How Reframing Builds ResilienceConnect With Amy EdmondsonAmy's website
44:19 01.11.23
What Lifting Ancient Stones Can Teach You About Being a Man
For millennia, stone lifting was an important part of cultures around the world, and its significance went far beyond feats of strength. Stone lifting was part of weddings and funerals, used as a job interview to assess someone's fitness as a farmhand, and included in rites of passage and tests of all-around manhood.Much of the world's ancient stone lifting culture has been forgotten, and rocks that used to be hoisted regularly in town squares and cemeteries have been sitting untouched for hundreds of years. David Keohan, an Irish world champion kettlebell lifter-turned-amateur folklorist, has set out to change that. In the last couple of years, David has been on the hunt for Ireland's legendary lifting stones; he uses oral and written history to search them out and learn their stories and then hoists them himself, once again putting wind under stones that haven't been picked up for centuries.Today on the show, David shares the significance of stone lifting around the world and specifically in Irish culture, the practicalities of lifting a 400-pound stone off the ground, and what stone lifting has taught him about being a man.Resources Related to the Podcast"The Quest to Pick Up the Lost Lifting Stones of Ireland" — GQ article about David Rogue documentaries on stone lifting in Scotland, Iceland, and SpainDuchas — Ireland's National Folklore Collection AoM Article: Odd Object Training PrimerUtah Stones of StrengthEdmonton Stones of StrengthConnect With David KeohanDavid on IG
45:19 30.10.23
Social Skills as the Road to Character
If you've wanted to develop your character, you've probably thought about strengthening virtues like courage, humility, and resolution. But my guest would say that practicing social skills is another way of increasing your moral strength, and the moral strength of society as a whole.David Brooks is the author of numerous books, including his latest, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen. Today on the show, David discusses why our culture lost an emphasis on moral formation, and why this loss has led to alienation and anomie. We then talk about the role each of us can play in repairing this fabric by developing concrete social skills, avenues to improve character that, unlike some virtues that are only called upon in a crisis, you can practice every day. David shares insights on how we can get better at giving people attention, asking good questions, and helping those who are going through a hard time. We also discuss how understanding different personality types and life stages can allow us to better understand other people.Resources Related to the PodcastDavid's previous appearances on the AoM Podcast:Episode #292: The Road to CharacterEpisode #518: The Quest for a Moral Life"How America Got Mean" — Atlantic article by David BrooksAoM series on becoming a better listenerAoM excerpt: 10 Ways to Help a Grieving FriendAoM Article: The 3 Elements of Charisma — PresenceAoM Article: The Stages of a Man’s Life 
46:10 25.10.23
Protein — Everything You Need to Know
Protein, along with fat and carbohydrates, make up one of three basic macronutrients of the human diet. Yet for something so fundamental, a lot of confusion exists around protein. What's the best kind? How much do you need? When should you eat it?Here to clear up some of that confusion is Don Layman, professor emeritus of nutrition and one of the world's foremost researchers on the subject of dietary protein. Today on the show, Don explains why animal-based proteins are superior to plant-based proteins, why he thinks collagen is worthless, how much protein you really need to consume and whether it depends on your activity level and age, what happens when kids don't get enough protein, the optimal times of day to eat protein, who needs to consume protein right after a workout and who doesn't, and whether you can get enough protein in your diet if you do intermittent fasting. We end our conversation with why Don thinks increasing protein consumption can be the most effective way to lose weight.Resources Related to the PodcastAoM Article: Chugging Your Protein — It’s Whey Easier Than You ThinkAoM Article: How Much Protein Do You REALLY Need?AoM Article: How to Finally Nail Your Pre- and Post-Workout NutritionProtein leverage hypothesisForever Strong: A New, Science-Based Strategy for Aging WellConnect With Donald LaymanDon on XMetabolic Transformation websiteDon's faculty page
51:35 23.10.23
Zombies, Minecraft, and Dealing with Uncertainty
In order to thrive in a world that’s constantly in flux, you have to learn to overcome your fear of the unknown and adapt yourself to whatever circumstance you find yourself in. Zombies and Minecraft can teach how to do both.Today on the show, I talk to Max Brooks, son of famed filmmaker Mel Brooks, who is the author of books that include World War Z and a series of Minecraft novels for kids. Max and I discuss how he’s used his fiction to explore learning to be resilient in the face of change and how his work writing about the zombie apocalypse led to a gig at the Modern War Institute at West Point. Along the way, Max offers insights on overcoming your fear of the unknown and how Minecraft can help your kids learn how to thrive in a world where becoming a creative problem solver is the name of the game.Resources Related to the PodcastSelect books by MaxBrooks:The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living DeadWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarMinecraft: The IslandMinecraft: The MountainMinecraft: The VillageAoM Article: Survival Lessons from World War ZAoM Podcast #902: How to Survive Any Worst Case ScenarioAoM Article: 5 Tools for Thriving in UncertaintyAoM Article: The Best Books to Read in Uncertain Times“In a Far Country” by Jack LondonConnect With Max BrooksMax‘s website
41:08 18.10.23
Dog as Cure for the Midlife Malaise
Maybe you're in a midlife slump. Maybe you're unhappy in your job and marriage. Maybe you're inactive and overweight. Maybe you've tried to change your life before but can't seem to make the changes stick. What do you need to do to finally turn things around?My guest would say that the answer might be getting a dog.Jeff Goodrich is the author of Dude and Duder: How My Dog Saved My Life. Today on the show, Jeff shares what his life was like at age 49 before getting Duder the Dog, and how Duder sparked changes that helped him lose 70 pounds, repair his relationships, and find real happiness. Along the way, we talk about advice that can apply to anyone trying to get out of the midlife slump, even if you don't own a dog, although Jeff would say you really should get one.Resources Related to the PodcastAoM Podcast #776: How to Shift Out of the Midlife MalaiseAoM Article: Choosing Man’s Best Friend — A Guide to Canine CompanionsAoM Article: Why a Man Should Get His Dog From the PoundAoM Article: Solvitur Ambulando — It Is Solved By WalkingConnect With Jeff GoodrichThe Dude and Duder websiteDude and Duder on IG 
40:05 16.10.23
Beyond Mere Politeness — The Art of True Civility
It often seems like we live in a very inconsiderate, indifferent, and ill-mannered time and that the cure for what ails our abrasive and disjointed relations is a lot more politeness. But my guest would say that what we really need is a revival of civility.Today on the show, Alexandra Hudson — author of The Soul of Civility: Timeless Principles to Heal Society and Ourselves — explains the difference between politeness and civility, and how being civil can actually require being impolite. We discuss how civility ensures the health of democracy, and good government relies on citizens' ability to govern themselves and check each other, which may require acting a little like . . . Larry David. We talk about what Homer's Odyssey can teach us about the art of hospitality, the relationship between civility and integrity, and more.Resources Related to the PodcastAoM Article: How Manners Made the WorldClass: A Guide Through the American Status System by Paul FussellAoM Podcast #746: The Confucian GentlemanAoM Article: The Manly Art of Hospitality"Chat and cut" scene on Curb Your Enthusiasm The Odyssey translated by Emily WilsonConnect With Alexandra HudsonAlexandra's websiteAlexandra's Substack: Civic Renaissance 
55:57 11.10.23
The Science of Swole — How to Grow Your Muscles
A lot of guys would like to build bigger muscles. And they may have heard that in order to do so, they need to activate something called "hypertrophy." But what is hypertrophy and how do you achieve it in order to get swole?My guest, bodybuilding and strength coach Paul Carter, will unpack what you need to know today on the show. We get into the difference between size and strength, the two big myths around hypertrophy, the right number of sets to do for developing a muscle group, why Paul thinks machines are better than free weights for building bigger muscles, and more.Resources Related to the PodcastMaximum Muscle Bible by Christian Thibaudeau and Paul CarterMike Mentzer's Heavy Duty trainingConnect With Paul CarterPaul on IGPaul on FBPaul's Programming at Train Heroic
58:01 09.10.23
A Cure for Existential Boredom
It’s one thing to be bored by having to wait in line or sit through a dry lecture. It’s another thing to be bored with life itself.What can you do about this kind of existential boredom?My guest will share a remedy with us today on the show. His name is Kevin Hood Gary, and he’s a professor of education, specializing in the philosophy of education. We begin our conversation with the difference between situational and existential boredom, and how the latter arises when we toggle solely between work and amusement. Kevin argues that we need to add an element of leisure, as the ancients understood it, into our lives, and we talk about what that looks like, and how it requires embracing solitude, study, epiphanies, and love.Connect With Kevin Hood GaryKevin’s WebsiteListen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)Listen to the episode on a separate page.Download this episode.Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.Transcript Coming Soon
49:09 04.10.23
The Real Reason You Procrastinate
If you or someone you know has a problem with procrastination, you've probably chalked it up to a deficiency in time management skills or self-control. But my guest says there are deeper reasons underlying procrastination, and he'll unpack what they are today on the show.Joseph Ferrari is a Catholic deacon, a professor of psychology, and a foremost researcher and expert on procrastination who has authored or co-authored 400 professional articles and 35 books and textbooks. Today on the show, Dr. Ferrari explains the psychological dynamics behind procrastination and what you can do to counter them. He also shares the difference between regular and chronic procrastination, which of your parents you probably got your propensity to procrastinate from, and how procrastination can manifest in indecision.Resources Related to the PodcastSelect books/textbooks Joseph has authored/co-authored on procrastination:Still Procrastinating: The No Regrets Guide to Getting It DoneProcrastination and Task Avoidance: Theory, Research, and TreatmentCounseling the Procrastinator in Academic SettingsAoM Article:Stop Procrastinating Today With Behavioral ScienceAoM Podcast #444: How to Use the Procrastination Equation to Start Getting Things DoneAoM Article: Get Better Without Torturing Yourself — The Power of Temptation BundlingConnect With Dr. Joseph FerrariJoseph's faculty page
48:29 02.10.23
Break Your Bad Habits by Escaping the Scarcity Loop
Everyone has some bad habits, and they nearly always involve doing something too much. Eating too much, drinking too much, buying too much, looking at your phone too much. Why do we have such a propensity for overdoing it?My guest says it's all thanks to a "scarcity loop" that we're hardwired to follow. Once you understand how this loop works, you can start taking action to resist the compulsive cravings that sabotage your life.Michael Easter is the author of Scarcity Brain: Fix Your Craving Mindset and Rewire Your Habits to Thrive with Enough. Today on the show, Michael unpacks the three parts of the scarcity loop, and how they've been amplified in the modern day. We talk about the slot machine lab that corporations use to hack your brain, why your main problem may be that you're understimulated rather than overstimulated, why addiction may be better thought of as a symptom rather than a disease, how the quantification and gamification of life can negatively impact your experience of it, and how ultimately, the fix for resisting your bad habits is having something better to do than chase the cheap, unsatisfying hits of pleasure our culture so readily offers.Resources Related to the PodcastMichael's previous appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #708 — Overcome the Comfort CrisisAoM Article: Via Negativa — Adding to Your Life By SubtractingResearch of Thomas ZentallResearch of C. Thi NguyenSally SatelMaia SzalavitzAoM Article: The Groundhog Day Diet — Why I Eat the Same Thing Every DayAoM Podcast #636: Why You Overeat and What to Do About ItSunday Firesides: Tidying Up Our Gilded CagesConnect With Michael EasterMichael’s websiteMichael on InstagramMichael on Twitter
67:15 27.09.23
Can You Trust Happiness Studies?
How to be happier is a topic covered in countless books, blogs, and podcasts. Consume enough of this content and you repeatedly come across the same recommendations that have purportedly been proven to increase happiness: exercise, spend time in nature, meditate, socialize, and practice gratitude. But is there actual scientific evidence that these strategies work?Today on the show, we'll find out what professor of social psychology Elizabeth Dunn discovered when she did a study of happiness studies, and what the surprising findings have to do with the "replication crisis" that's occurred in science. In the second half of our conversation, Elizabeth shares the takeaways of a few well-vetted happiness studies she's done herself, including how to spend your money and use technology to increase happiness. And we discuss how to apply these findings, and the findings of all happiness studies, in a wise way that takes into account your unique personality and peculiarities. After the show is over, check out the show notes at RelatedStudy by Elizabeth Dunn and Dunigan Folk: "A systematic review of the strength of evidence for the most commonly recommended happiness strategies in mainstream media"Happy Money by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael NortonAoM Article: How to Choose What Advice to TakeConnect With Elizabeth DunnElizabeth's websiteElizabeth on X
41:16 25.09.23
For a Better Work Out, Think Like a Kid
According to some estimates, only 5% of people in the West get the recommended amount of daily physical activity. Is the solution getting a fitness tracker, developing more discipline, or buying a piece of cardio equipment for your basement?My guest would say none of the above, and would have you think about kids playing at recess instead.Darryl Edwards is the founder of the Primal Play Method. Today on the show, we discuss the epidemic of sedentariness which besets both adults and children and why technology and willpower isn’t the cure for it. Darryl then explains why a better solution to getting more movement and physical activity in our lives is rediscovering the intrinsically motivating pleasure of play. He offers suggestions on how to do that, including compiling a play history for your life, embracing “primal movements” that will get you moving like an animal and a child, and getting over the fear of looking goofy while doing so. We discuss the joys and health benefits of exploring your capabilities and environment and how to incorporate more movement into your busy adult life by making even regular activities more playful.Resources Related to the PodcastDarryl’s books:Animal Moves: How to Move Like an Animal to Get You Leaner, Fitter, Stronger and Healthier for LifeMy First Animal Moves: A Children’s Book to Encourage Kids and Their Parents to Move More, Sit Less and Decrease Screen TimeAoM Article: Get Fit Like a Wild Man — A Primer on MovNatAoM Article: The 10 Physical Skills Every Man Should MasterAoM Article: The Importance of Having a Physical IdentityAoM Article: 30 Days to a Better Man Day 24 — Play!AoM Podcast #508: Break Out of Your Cage and Stop Being a Human Zoo AnimalAoM Podcast #245: The Workout the World ForgotAoM Podcast #749: Let the Children Play!Connect With Darryl EdwardsPrimal Play websiteDarryl on FBDarryl on IG
49:41 20.09.23
Beyond Lazy Learning — The Keys to Gaining and Retaining Knowledge
Ever wondered why, after hours of reading and highlighting, you still feel unprepared for that big test? Or why, shortly after a work training, you can’t remember much of what was said and how to apply it? Or why you have trouble comprehending a difficult book?Whether you’re a student studying for exams, an employee trying to learn the ropes at a new job, or someone who’s into personal study, learning effectively is hugely important in increasing your capacity and knowledge. Unfortunately, most of what people do to learn simply doesn’t work.Here to unlock the superior, research-backed strategies that will help you harness the potential of your brain is Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology and the author of Outsmart Your Brain. Today on the show, Daniel explains why the default way that our brains want to learn doesn’t work, and how to approach learning by both reading and listening more effectively. We discuss how to get more out of your reading, including whether you should highlight, whether speed reading is effective, the optimal method for taking notes during a lecture, the best way to cement things into memory, and much more.Resources Related to the PodcastAoM Article: How and Why to Become a Lifelong LearnerAoM Article: How to Read a BookAoM Article: How to Read Long and Difficult BooksAoM Podcast #677: The Value of Learning New Skills in AdulthoodAoM Article: Ace Your Exams — Study Tactics of the Successful Gentleman ScholarAoM Article: Write This Down: Note-Taking Strategies for Academic SuccessConnect With Daniel Willingham Daniel’s websiteDaniel on XDaniel on TikTok
47:39 18.09.23
The 5 Shifts of Manhood
In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”What does putting away the ways of childhood and stepping into manhood look like?My guest says it requires making five key shifts in mindset and perspective. His name is Jon Tyson, and he’s a pastor and the creator of the Primal Path, a rite of passage geared toward helping boys become men. Today on the show, Jon and I unpack the five shifts of manhood and how parents and mentors can help young men make them and move from immaturity to maturity.Resources Related to the PodcastJon’s previous appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #810 — How to Turn a Boy Into a ManThe Intentional Father: A Practical Guide to Raise Sons of Courage and Character by Jon TysonAoM Article: What Is Manliness?Adam’s Return: The Five Promises of Male Spirituality by Richard RohrAoM Podcast #708: Overcome the Comfort CrisisRadical Candor by Kim Scott“The Courage to Face Ingratitude” by William George Jordan “This Is Water” by David Foster WallaceThe 33 Marks of MaturityConnect With Jon TysonPrimal PathForming MenJon on IG
64:57 13.09.23
When the Game Was War — Lessons From the Greatest NBA Season of All Time
While there may be some heated rivalries in today's NBA, the ferocity of competition doesn't compare to the hard-hitting contests that took place during the 1987-1988 season, when four rising and falling dynasties — the Celtics, Lakers, Pistons, and Bulls — battled it out for supremacy.Here to illuminate that epic era in basketball and share what can be learned from it is Rich Cohen, author of When the Game Was War: The NBA's Greatest Season. Today on the show, Rich makes a case for why there's never be a season before or since like the one that played out in '87 and '88, and he profiles the players — Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Michael Jordan — who dominated that season and changed the game. Along the way, we talk about the life lessons that can be taken from these players and their teams, including the rules legendary coach Phil Jackson gave the Bulls, which were inspired by the jazz musician Thelonious Monk.Resources Related to the PodcastRich's last appearance on the AoM podcast:Episode #817 — Life Lessons From the World’s Greatest NegotiatorThe Last Dance on NetflixWinning Time on HBOAoM Article: Competition — The Fuel for GreatnessSunday Firesides: Your Worst Competitor Is YouAoM Podcast #790: Kierkegaard on the Present (Passionless) Age"The Moods of Ernest Hemingway" by Lillian RossConnect With Rich CohenRich's websiteRich on Twitter
57:59 11.09.23
How to Develop Rugged Flexibility
Change is a constant. Changes big and small are always happening in our lives, while the world also changes around us. We can either resist these changes as unmooring threats to our sense of self, or embrace them as chances to get better and stronger.The key to taking that second approach, my guest says, is developing rugged flexibility. His name is Brad Stulberg, and he's the author of Master of Change: How to Excel When Everything Is Changing – Including You. Today on the show, Brad unpacks why allostasis is a better model for dealing with disruption than homeostasis, and how healthy change moves in a cycle of order, disorder, and reorder. We then discuss ways to move through this cycle with rugged flexibility — an approach to life that keeps some things solid and stable, while letting others change and flow. We talk about the importance of adopting a being versus having orientation, managing your expectations, diversifying your identity, and more.Resources Related to the PodcastBrad's previous appearance on the AoM podcast: #491: Everything You Know About Passion is Wrong"The Case for a Tragic Optimism" by Viktor FranklNew Dad Survival Guide: The MindsetAoM Podcast #527: Male Spirituality and the Journey to the Second Half of Life With Richard RohrAoM Article: How Labeling Your Emotions Can Help You Take ControlAoM Podcast #690: The Life Philosophy of Bruce LeeSunday Firesides: Build Your Life Upon Multiple Pillars of SupportSunday Firesides: Feelings Follow ActionConnect With Brad StulbergBrad's websiteBrad on IG
53:06 06.09.23
Take Back the Weekend
Note: This is a rebroadcast. Do you ever get to feeling kind of down, dejected, and anxious come Sunday evening? People refer to this phenomenon as the “Sunday Night Blues,” and it’s a common experience. You may have chalked it up to rueing the fact that your fun and restful weekend is over, and that you have yet another workweek ahead.But my guest would say that your Sunday night sadness may also be rooted in the feeling of regret — the regret that you didn’t put your weekend to good use, that it wasn’t restful and fun, and that it was instead busy, draining, and, once again, a big letdown. Her name is Katrina Onstad, and she’s the author of The Weekend Effect. Today Katrina shares how the idea of the weekend, of having two back-to-back days off from work, came about, and how it’s been challenged and subsequently eroded in the modern day. We then talk about how to take back your weekends, so that your invaluable Saturdays and Sundays feel more the way they did when you were a kid — filled with a sense of possibility.Resources Related to the PodcastSaint MondayHaymarket square affairAoM Podcast #602: The Case for Being UnproductiveAoM Podcast #450: How to Make Time for What Really MattersAoM Podcast #748: Time Management for MortalsAoM Podcast #743: How to Get Time, Priorities, and Energy Working in Your FavorAoM Article: How to Better Manage Your Life AdminAoM Article: The Rise of SpectatoritisAoM Article: The Lost Art of Cheap RecreationConnect With Katrina OnstadKatrina’s Website
43:59 04.09.23
Leadership Is Overrated
When an organization wants to get more productive and better reach its goals, it typically looks to retool its leadership, trying to find lone figures who can apply more effective top-down control. But my guest says there’s a much more effective strategy for getting things done: creating and empowering teams of self-starters.Kyle Buckett is a retired Navy SEAL, an executive consultant, and the co-author ofLeadership Is Overrated: How the Navy SEALs (and Successful Businesses) Create Self-Leading Teams That Win. Today on the show, Kyle first unpacks the problems with the conventional model of leadership. He then explains what the self-led team-oriented model looks like and some of the ways to create effective self-led teams, including “killing the leader” and establishing a ritual-laden culture. We also talk about the role a leader can still play in an organization. Along the way, Kyle shares stories both from history and his experience as a SEAL that illustrate why self-led teams are so effective at getting things done.Resources Related to the PodcastBelgian Antarctic ExpeditionAoM Article: What the Race to the South Pole Can Teach You About How to Achieve Your GoalsAoM Podcast #695: Sisu, the Finnish Art of StrengthAoM Article: Got Sisu? Essential Guerrilla Tactics from the Finnish Winter WarConnect With Kyle BuckettCulture Force/Leadership Is Overrated Website
44:20 30.08.23
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway's classic novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, is often designated as one of the greatest books about war ever written and has appeared on the Marine Corps recommended reading list. Today on the show, I unpack For Whom the Bell Tolls with Hemingway scholar Mark Cirino. We discuss the background of the novel, its themes, and the literary techniques Hemingway employed in writing it. We end our conversation with our picks for the "one true sentence" in the book.Resources Related to the PodcastMark's last appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #786 — The Writing Life of Ernest HemingwayAoM Podcast #219: The Real Life Story of Hemingway and The Sun Also RisesErnest Hemingway: Thought in Action by Mark CirinoOne True Sentence: Writers & Readers on Hemingway’s Art edited by Michael Von Cannon and Mark CirinoAoM Podcast #871: Jane Austen for DudesMark Salter's appearance on the One True Podcast“Big Two-Hearted River” by Ernest HemingwayConnect With Mark CirinoOne True PodcastOne True Podcast on Twitter
51:45 28.08.23
How to Use the Principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Overcome Obstacles in Business and Life
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there are certain principles like timing, leverage, and positioning that practitioners must master to successfully overcome an opponent. My guest has found that these same principles that allow someone to be successful on the mat, also apply to being successful outside of it.Rener Gracie is the co-owner and head instructor of Gracie University and the author of The 32 Principles: Harnessing the Power of Jiu-Jitsu to Succeed in Business, Relationships, and Life. Today on the show, Rener shares how he’s used some of the core teachings of jiu-jitsu, like the Pyramid Principle and the River Principle, in his business, and how you can use them to grapple with all kinds of obstacles in life.Resources Related to the PodcastArt of Manliness + Gracie Intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Videos:Part 1 — The HistoryPart 2 — The Basics IPart 3 — The Basics IIPart 4 — The PhilosophyRener‘s last appearance on the AoM podcast: Episode #446: How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Will Make You a Better ManGracie University’s 32 Principles of Jiu-Jitsu Video CourseSunday Firesides: Secure Your BaseAoM Article: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be UnderstoodConnect With Rener GracieThe 32 Principles book websiteRener on IGRener on X
48:46 23.08.23
Is Cannabis a Safe Drug?
Over the last decade, cannabis use has been legalized in more states. At the same time, the idea that marijuana is a safe drug has steadily increased.But is this an accurate perception?Recent research by my guest, Dr. Ryan Sultan, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, casts some doubt on a universally affirmative answer to that question, and he says we need to be having a more objective, balanced, and nuanced conversation around cannabis than we currently are. We have exactly that kind of conversation today on the show. We dig into the fact that young adulta are the group most vulnerable to the potentially negative effects of cannabis and how marijuana use in adolescence is linked to both mental illness and cognitive deficits. Dr. Sultan unpacks how cannabis impacts the developing brain and may lead to schizophrenia, especially in males. We also talk about whether if you used marijuana as a young adult and then stopped, your brain can still recover, and a cannabis-related health concern for all ages that doesn’t concern the brain. We end our show with Dr. Sultan’s take on what the safe use of cannabis looks like for adults.Resources Related to the PodcastDr. Sultan’s study: “Nondisordered Cannabis Use Among US Adolescents”Recent study on the association between cannabis use and schizophreniaConnect With Dr. Ryan SultanThe Sultan Lab at Columbia UniversityDr. Sultan's practice: Integrative Psych  
46:37 21.08.23

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