Podcast

The Art of Manliness

Podcast by The Art of Manliness

Episodes

  • How to Get a Handle on the Voice in Your Head

    Feb 24 2021

    We all talk to ourselves all the time. This kind of inner dialogue can be a good thing, helping us focus and work through problems, but it can also go off the rails, turning into worry and negative rumination. My guest today calls this negative self-talk "chatter," and in a book of the same name he outlines how to get a handle on it. His name is Ethan Kross, he's a psychologist and the director of the Emotion & Self Control Lab, and we begin our conversation with the way introspec...more

  • The Psychology of Boredom

    Feb 22 2021

    When we experience boredom, we tend to experience it as uncomfortable and agitating, and seek to banish it with some ready distraction. Or, we try to look at boredom sort of piously, as something we should learn to sit with, because it builds character.My guest today would argue that it's best to see boredom more neutrally -- as simply an important signal that we need to change up what we're doing, and become more effective and engaged in the world.His name is James Danckert, and he's ...more

  • How to Decide

    Feb 17 2021

    We all make many decisions every single day. From little ones like what to eat for breakfast, to big ones like whether to take a new job. Given how regularly we're deciding, we certainly have a vested interest in getting better at this skill. But how do we do so? How can we get better at making big choices, and spend less time dithering over the insignificant minutiae that often overwhelms our mental bandwidth? And why didn't anyone teach us how to do this stuff to begin...more

  • Help for Those Stuck Between Boyhood and Manhood

    Feb 15 2021

    You probably know a young man, or several, who's struggled to transition from adolescence to adulthood. He's in his twenties or even thirties, and seems lost and in limbo, unsure of how to create an independent, flourishing life. Maybe you're this man yourself.My guest today has some ideas on what has gone wrong in these cases and how to break out of the debilitating cycles many young men, whom he calls "emerging men," find themselves stuck in. His name is Gregory Koufacos an...more

  • How to Think Like a Renaissance Man

    Feb 10 2021

    When we think about the Renaissance, we think of a great flowering in artistic creativity and intellectual innovation; we think about the beautiful paintings and sculptures of Michelangelo, the astute discoveries of Copernicus, the timeless plays of Shakespeare. Ironically though, this great creative flowering was spurred by men who were educated under a system that, by our modern lights, can seem rather rigid and rote.  My guest today unpacks this seeming paradox. His name is S...more

  • Get Rucking

    Feb 08 2021

    Rucking, that is, walking with a weighted backpack, started as something that soldiers did to carry the gear and equipment needed for combat. In recent times, rucking has become an increasingly popular form of exercise, and if you've wanted to try it, or have already started but would like to improve your practice, my guest today has some advice. His name is Josh Bryant and he's a strength coach and the author of multiple books on fitness, including Rucking Gains. Josh explains how rucking...more

  • The Epic Exploits of Kit Carson

    Feb 03 2021

    Within the space for just three decades, monumental episodes of exploration and expedition, politics and violence, including the mapping the Oregon Trail, the acquisition of California, and the Mexican-American and Civil wars, forever changed the history of the United States and the shape of the American West. And one man, an illiterate trapper, scout, and soldier, was there for it all: Kit Carson. In his book Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson&nb...more

  • Influence and Persuade Through Human Hacking

    Feb 01 2021

    When we think of hacking, we think of a tech-savvy dude breaking into computer systems to steal data. But hackers can also take the form of "social engineers" who get what they want by building rapport and penetrating psychological defenses. My guest is an expert and pioneer in the area of human hacking, and shows individuals and companies the weaknesses of their security systems by breaking into their offices and computers, not by bypassing pass codes and firewall...more

  • The History of Fame, From Alexander the Great to Social Media Influencers

    Jan 27 2021

    When choosing among options like becoming a leader, helping others, and becoming more spiritual, half of millennials say that their generation's first or second most important goal is being famous. When teenagers in the UK were asked what they'd like to do for their career, over half said they wanted to be a celebrity. And amongst kids polled in the US and UK, 3X more said they'd like to become a YouTube star than an astronaut.  How did fame, and modernity's particular ...more

  • Physical Benchmarks Every Man Should Meet, At Every Age

    Jan 25 2021

    As men, we all want to be physically capable. We want to be able to save our own life in two ways: in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in healthy, fit form for as long as possible, and in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you do possess that kind of lifesaving physical capability? It's time to do more than wonder, and really check in with yourself. My guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from age ...more

  • The Value of Learning New Skills in Adulthood

    Jan 20 2021

    When you were a kid, you not only went to school, where you did academics, art, and PE, but you probably also took extracurricular lessons in music or sports, and likely even taught yourself things like how to do magic tricks. Now that you're an adult, can you think of the last new skill you learned? My guest today explains why there's a good chance that you'll struggle to answer that question, and how that's a tragedy you ought to do something about. His name is Tom Vanderbilt, and ...more

  • Stop Living on Autopilot and Take Responsibility for Your Life

    Jan 18 2021

    Do you ever have moments of terrible realization where you recognize that you're living on autopilot? Instead of feeling like you're in the driver's seat, you feel like life is happening to you. You're just going through the motions, you've lost your spark, and the months and years slide by in an indistinct blur.  My guest today has been there himself, and has an action plan for how to find your way out. His name is Antonio Neves, and he's a writer, speaker, and su...more

  • The Humble, Narcissistic Leader

    Jan 13 2021

    Research, not to mention anecdotal observation, shows that a lot of narcissists end up in leadership positions. That's because the qualities narcissism enlarges into extremes —confidence, assertiveness, a sense of destiny — help people rise to the top. Unfortunately, the same qualities of narcissism that help an individual obtain a leadership position, can prevent them from being effective in that position, and from holding onto it. My guest's research has ...more

  • How to Land Your Dream job

    Jan 11 2021

    Chances are, you've got a job right now. Chances are even good that you have a pretty decent job. But there's also a good chance that you often desire something more from your work life. Not just a better job, but the kind of job you've always wanted. A dream job. Whether you're currently employed or not, my guest today has concrete advice on how to turn your longing for a dream job into a reality. His name is Ramit Sethi and he's a personal finance expert, the owner of I Wi...more

  • The Complex Coolness of Steve McQueen

    Jan 06 2021

    Performances by the actor Steve McQueen in classic films like The Great Escape and Bullitt earned him the nickname "The King of Cool." But behind the scenes, McQueen's character was complex in nature: he could be both difficult and demanding and kind and generous; someone who could act aloof, but care about things deeply. My guest has traced both sides of the coin of McQueen's coolness for decades. His name is Marshall Terrill, and he's the auth...more

  • How to Do the Impossible This Year

    Jan 04 2021

    There are goals in life that seem very attainable. And then there are those which seem practically impossible — rising out of poverty and/or a traumatic childhood, becoming a bestselling writer, deadlifting 500 pounds. With impossible goals the odds seem long, and it isn't clear how to get from point A to point B.My guest today has spent decades figuring out the roadmap for making that journey. His name is Steven Kotler, he's a peak performance expert, the Executive Director of the Fl...more

  • How to Lose Weight, and Keep It Off Forever

    Dec 30 2020

    This is a rebroadcast. This episode originally aired January 2019. If you’re like a lot of men listening to this podcast, you’ve likely made it a goal to lose some weight this year. But if you’re also like a lot of men listening to this podcast, you’ve made that goal before, maybe even succeeded with it, but have had to make it again because you gained all the weight back. My guest today argues that losing weight is actually pretty easy. The real trick is keeping it off....more

  • Begin the New Year by Reflecting on These 3 Life-Changing Questions

    Dec 28 2020

    As one year ends and another begins, it's natural to reflect on both the past and the future -- who we were, who we are, and who we want to become. My guest today offers three questions that can help make that self-reflection truly fruitful, insightful, and possibly even life-changing. His name is Gregg Krech, he's executive director of the ToDo Institute, which promotes principles of psychology based on Eastern traditions, and the author of Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese ...more

  • How to Tell Better Stories

    Dec 23 2020

    This is a re-broadcast. The episode originally ran in November 2018. Humans are storytelling and story-listening creatures. We use stories to teach, persuade, and to make sense of the complexities of existence. Being able to craft and deliver a good story is thus a real advantage in all areas of life, giving you a foot up when doing job interviews, going on dates, interacting with friends, or making a sales pitch. Fortunately, good storytelling is a skill that can learned by anyone. Here ...more

  • The Hidden Tragedy of Male Loneliness

    Dec 21 2020

    Many men prioritize the pursuit of status, power, and autonomy, which can have its advantages in moving them towards financial security and up society's ladder. But as my guest lays out in his book, Lonely at the Top: The High Cost of Men's Success, a focus on work over relationships can also come with significant, even tragic costs.His name is Thomas Joiner and he's a clinical psychologist, a professor of psychology, and an investigator with the Military Suicide Research Consortium. Thomas...more

  • A Change IS a Rest

    Dec 16 2020

    One of my favorite sayings is that "a change is as good as a rest." It captures an idea I've found true in my own life, that doing something different, even if it takes effort, is just as rejuvenating, and in fact more so, than doing nothing. Well, my guest today would tweak this maxim slightly to say that a change IS a rest. His name is Alex Soojung Kim-Pang, and he's a writer, consultant, and academic, as well as the author of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. We begin our ...more

  • Outdoor Competence With an Expert Backcountry Hunter

    Dec 14 2020

    You may know Steven Rinella as an expert hunter and the host of the MeatEater television show and podcast. He's also an author, and his latest book is The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival. Today on the show, we'll talk about the subjects behind both of these projects, beginning with how Steve found his way into hunting and conservation advocacy, how he explains and makes the case for hunting to those unfamiliar with it, and the benefits that hunting has brought into hi...more

  • Bringing More Soul (and Poetry) Into Your Work

    Dec 09 2020

    When you think of areas of life that speak to the soul, and elicit poetry, you likely think of things like romantic relationships and natural landscapes. You probably don't think of office work and cubicles. But my guest today says that the soul is involved in every kind of work, and poetry is an essential vehicle for examining what your work is doing to your soul, and for learning to bring more soul into what you do. His name is David Whyte and he's a poet, a philosopher, a...more

  • The Power of Brevity in a Noisy World

    Dec 07 2020

    Going all the way back to the laconic Spartans, the ability to be succinct in one's communications has been to others a sign of strength and a well-appreciated gesture. But it's a skill that's never been more important than it is today, when people are bombarded with information and don't have the bandwidth to digest long and convoluted messages.My guest today is an expert in helping people get to the point, the founder of the BRIEF Lab, and the author of Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by...more

  • #665: How Childhood Shapes Adulthood

    Dec 02 2020

    Ask an adult, especially if they're struggling in life, what caused them to end up the way they did, and they might cite certain factors from their childhood, like having a mother that was too cold. The problem here, of course, is that memories change over time, and narratives about the past develop to fit one's current situation. My guests today work on the kind of research that corrects this problem to figure out how aspects of childhood truly affect adulthood, by studying humans from t...more

  • #664: The Masters of the Art of War

    Nov 30 2020

    Looked at from the heat of combat, war can seem disorganized and chaotic. But overarching the conflict is typically some kind of thoughtful, well-ordered, even scientific strategy that is influencing when, where, how, and why dueling forces have met. My guest today will introduce us to a few of the military philosophers and tacticians who made the most significant contributions to the art of strategy over the last couple millenia. His name is Andrew Wilson, and he'...more

  • #448: Your Son Isn’t Lazy — How to Empower Boys to Succeed [RE-BROADCAST]

    Nov 25 2020

    This is a re-broadcast. The episode originally ran in October 2018.  Do you have a teenage boy who struggles in school? Or do you have a younger son who you can imagine struggling in school as he gets older? He may be an otherwise capable young man, but seems apathetic and unmotivated, to the point you think he’s not excelling simply because he’s lazy. My guest today says that’s the wrong conclusion to draw, and one that leads to the wrong parenting approach to addressing...more

  • #663: How to Achieve Physical Autonomy

    Nov 23 2020

    Most men want to wake up in the morning knowing their body is ready to handle whatever opportunities and challenges come their way that day, from a real emergency to simply roughhousing with their kids. They want to be able to move without pain and explore the world with confidence.  My guest today would say that what this desire is pointing to is the achievement of physical autonomy. His name is Ryan Hurst and he's the head coach at GMB Fitness, which uses bodywei...more

  • #662: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck

    Nov 18 2020

    When you think about serendipity, you likely think of strokes of good luck that happen entirely by chance.  But my guest today says that we can play a role in harnessing more lightning strikes of fortune, and create the conditions to both experience a greater number of meaningful accidents, and make accidents more meaningful. His name is Christian Busch and he's a professor of economics and entrepreneurship and the author of The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Goo...more

  • #661: Get Better Sleep by Stressing About It Less

    Nov 16 2020

    Over the past decade, there's been an emerging focus on the importance of sleep. Thousands of books and articles have been put out which drive home just how central sleep is in our mental and physical health. This emphasis on sleep has had the positive effect of motivating people to better prioritize it. But, there's been a downside to all this sleep talk as well: people are getting more stressed out if they're not getting the kind of sleep they think they're supposed to...more

  • #660: How Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Heal the Soul

    Nov 11 2020

    When you think about ancient Greek tragedies, you probably think about people in togas spouting stilted, archaic language -- stories written by stuffy playwrights to be watched by snooty audiences. My guest today argues that this common conception of Greek tragedies misses the power of plays that were in fact created by warriors for warriors, and which represent a technology of healing that's just as relevant today as it was two millennia ago. His name is Bryan Doerries and he's ...more

  • #659: Do You Want to Be Rich or Wealthy? (And Why the Difference Matters)

    Nov 09 2020

    When we think about finance, we typically think about numbers and math. My guest today, however, argues that doing well with money is less about what you can put on a spreadsheet and more about what goes on in your mind, and that if you want to master personal finance, you've got to understand how things like your own history, unique view of the world, and fear and pride influence how you think. His name is Morgan Housel, and he's an investor, a financial journalist, and the ...more

  • #658: In Praise of Maintenance in a World Obsessed With Innovation

    Nov 04 2020

    Humans like starting new things much more than taking care of older things. This is true on both an institutional and individual level: it's more exciting to build a new road than to maintain it; more exciting to lose weight than to keep it off. There's plenty of short-term pleasure and intrinsic motivation when it comes to pursuing something novel, but the effort to keep up unsexy maintenance on what we've already got takes real intent. My guest today says we've lost that in...more

  • #657: Why You Don't Change (But How You Still Can)

    Nov 02 2020

    Anyone who's ever tried to lose weight, curb their temper, quit smoking, or alter any other habit in their lives knows that personal change is hard. Really hard. Most self-help books out there treat people like machines, blitzing past this difficulty and offering mechanical 5-step formulas for changing your life. My guest today says such simplified solutions hugely miss the mark. He argues that if you ever want to change, it's more fruitful to understand why you don't, than figure why you do, ...more

  • #656: The Hidden Pleasures of Learning for Its Own Sake

    Oct 28 2020

    When we typically think about learning, we tend to think about being in a structured school, and doing it for some reason -- to get a grade, to get a degree, to get a certain job. But my guest today says that if we want to live a truly flourishing life, we ought to make time for study and thought long after we leave formal education behind, and embrace learning as something wonderfully useless.  Her name is Zena Hitz and she's the author of Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures o...more

  • #655: Simple, Excuse-Busting Advice for Getting in Shape

    Oct 26 2020

    When it comes to getting in shape, there are always a bunch of excuses to use as to why you can't get yourself in gear: you don't know what program to start, you don't have time, you don't have any equipment, etc., etc.  My guest today cuts through those excuses and the unnecessary complications people often bring to health and fitness to show us how you can lose weight and get strong in ways that are wonderfully simple, but powerfully effective. His name is Dan John, he's a strength ...more

  • #654: How to Astronaut

    Oct 21 2020

    If you grew up in the ‘80s like me, there's a good chance you really wanted to go to space camp and you really wanted to be an astronaut. You probably had a lot of questions about what it was like to live in space, and if those questions were never answered (or you've forgotten the answers), my guest today can tell you everything you ever wanted to know. His name is Colonel Terry Virts and he's been to space twice, the second time serving as commander of the Internation...more

  • #653: The Dirtbag's Guide to Life

    Oct 19 2020

    If you call someone a dirtbag, you might be insulting them for being dishonest. Or, you might be describing their lifestyle -- their pursuit of an outdoor passion at the expense of more mainstream options and commitments.If you've ever dreamed of being a rock climber living in a van or becoming a rafting guide, thru-hiker, world traveler, or some other kind of nature-loving, adventure-seeking wanderer, my guest has written a handbook for making it happen. His name is Tim Mathis and he's the...more

  • #652: Chefs' Secrets for Organizing Your Life

    Oct 14 2020

    The kitchen of a busy restaurant can be a chaotic, frenetic environment. But the best chefs create a kind of personal eye in this storm, from which they can efficiently craft meal after meal without ever moving their feet. The system they use to do this is called mise-en-place -- a French word that means "to put in place," and signifies an entire lifestyle of readiness and engagement.My guest today spent years interviewing over a hundred chefs and other culinary professi...more

  • #651: How to Turn Fear Into Fuel

    Oct 12 2020

    We typically think of fear as a negative emotion. Something that feels terrible, and not only keeps us away from true danger, but also inhibits us from going after our life's goals and passions.  Fear can indeed be an unwelcome hindrance, but, my guest today argues, it can also be a powerful propellant and a signpost towards success. His name is Patrick Sweeney, he's a tech entrepreneur, a university lecturer, a coach and consultant to CEOs, professional athletes, and Navy SEALs, and the a...more

  • #650: Why People Are Building Bunkers for the Apocalypse

    Oct 07 2020

    When you think about bunkers, you might be apt to think of the 1950s and people building basement and backyard fallout shelters during the Cold War. But there's a second "Doom Boom" going on right now, and people aren't just burrowing into the earth to protect themselves from a nuclear bomb. My guest today traveled across four continents to explore what's driving this phenomenon and how it's manifesting itself in the modern age. His name is Bradley Garrett and he's a professor of cult...more

  • #649: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Outsourced Expertise

    Oct 05 2020

    In an age where endless streams of data, options, and information are available, it can feel like every choice -- from what TV show to watch to how to invest our money -- ought to be optimized, and yet making any choice, much less an ideal one, can seem completely overwhelming. How do we figure out what to do? Much of the time, we don't. Instead, we outsource our thinking to technology, experts, and set protocols. This, my guest today says, is where some real problems start.His name is...more

  • #648: Lessons in Building Rapport from Experts in Terrorist Interrogation

    Sep 30 2020

    What do you imagine when you imagine a terrorist being interrogated by an intelligence officer? The former getting roughed up? The latter yelling, banging his fists on the table, and demanding that the detainee talk? My guests today argue that using force in this way to get what you want isn't effective when you're dealing with a terrorist, or, for that matter, a teenager. Their names are Laurence and Emily Alison, and they're a married pair of forensic psychologists, as well as the author...more

  • #647: What Happened When Two Friends Left Their Jobs to Build a Cabin Together

    Sep 28 2020

    It's a thought that's crossed many a desk jockey's mind: "Man, I'd love to flee this office, get out from under this fluorescent-lighting, and do something more concrete with my hands. Like, maybe, build a cabin in the woods." My guests had these thoughts, and unlike most, actually pulled the trigger on their long-standing daydream. Their names are Bryan Schatz and Patrick Hutchison, and in today's episode they share the experience they had as a result and which they wrote about in a recen...more

  • #646: How to Win at Losing

    Sep 23 2020

    Losing stinks. Nobody wants to suffer defeat in a game, flunk a test, or get passed over for a promotion. Losses can feel like stinging humiliations, insurmountable setbacks, like the end of the world; they can even push us to quit pursuing something we love. And yet losses can be the most instructive and meaningful parts of our lives, and be central to our ultimate success. My guest set out to study and explain these underappreciated upsides of getting bested. His name is Sam Weinman, he'...more

  • #645: The Forgotten Story of the Lumberjack Commandos of WWII

    Sep 21 2020

    Today, it's hard to go very long without hearing about special operations forces like the Army's Green Berets and the Navy's SEALs. But before special operators became an ingrained part of the military's strategy and established a prominent presence in the public eye, they existed as experimental, now largely forgotten units that were launched during the Second World War. One of the primary predecessors of today's commandos was the 1st Special Service Force, which was k...more

  • #644: How to Develop Greater Self-Awareness

    Sep 16 2020

    95% of people say that they're self-aware. But only 10-15% of people actually are. As my guest today says, that means "on a good day, 80% of us are lying to ourselves about how much we're lying to ourselves" and this blind spot can have big repercussions for our success and happiness.  Her name is Tasha Eurich, and she's an organizational psychologist and the author of Insight: Why We're Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed&nb...more

  • #643: Life Lessons From Dead Philosophers

    Sep 14 2020

    Studying philosophy can be a metaphorical journey into wisdom. My guest today experienced it as not only that, but as a very literal journey as well.His name is Eric Weiner and he traveled thousands of miles around the world to visit the haunts of numerous philosophers as he sought to better understand their insights and how he might apply them to his own life. He wrote about this philosophic pilgrimage in The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons From Dead Philosophers.&nbs...more

  • #642: Finding Money and Meaning in the Blue Collar Trades

    Sep 09 2020

    When it comes to living their best life and building substantial wealth, many young men's first thoughts turn to developing a new app or starting a popular YouTube channel. They don't think about digging ditches. But that's how my guest today became a millionaire, and he thinks more folks should consider seeking not only financial success, but true comfort, peace, and freedom, by rejecting society's standardized white collar career path, and looking into alternative routes through the ...more

  • #450: How to Make Time For What Really Matters Every Day [RE-BROADCAST]

    Sep 07 2020

    This is a re-broadcast. The episode originally ran in October 2018.  Do your days seem like a continuous blur of busyness, and yet you don’t seem to get much done, nor remember much about how you spent your time? As a former employee of Google, my guest today worked on the very apps and technology that can often suck away our time. Today, he’s dedicated to figuring out how to push back against these forces to help people take control of their time and attention. His name...more

  • #641: How Eisenhower Led — A Conversation with Ike's Granddaughter

    Sep 02 2020

    From guiding the Allies to victory in World War II as supreme commander, to steering the ship of state for eight years as one of the country's least partisan and most popular presidents, few leaders in history have had to make as varied and consequential decisions as Dwight D. Eisenhower.My guest today possesses insights into how he made the many choices he was faced with in his military and political careers that are gleaned not only from studying Ike's life, but f...more

  • #640: Weird and Wonderful Ways to Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

    Aug 31 2020

    When people start on a self-development journey, they'll sometimes create a bucket list -- all the things, all the typically exciting and pleasurable things, they hope to do before they die. My guest started his own self-improvement journey very differently, by creating an anti-bucket list consisting of things he didn't want to do, and embarking on a "year of adversity."His name is Ben Aldridge and he's the author of How to Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable: 43 Weird & Wonderful W...more

  • #639: Why You Should Learn the Lost Art of Rhetoric

    Aug 26 2020

    For thousands of years, the study of rhetoric was a fundamental part of a man's education. Though it ceased to be commonly taught in the 19th century, my guest today argues that it's an art well worth reviving in the modern day. His name is Jay Heinrichs, and he's an expert in language and persuasion and the author of Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion. Jay and I begin our conversation with a description...more

  • #638: How Changing Your Breathing Can Change Your Life

    Aug 24 2020

    When we think about improving our health, we typically think about altering our diet, trying to exercise more, and taking vitamins and supplements. But my guest today argues that none of that stuff really matters if we haven't improved something even more foundational: our breathing.His name is James Nestor and his latest book is Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. At the beginning of our conversation, James explains why he paid thousands of dollars to have his nose plugge...more

  • #637: What Poker Can Teach You About Luck, Skill, and Mastering Yourself

    Aug 19 2020

    Maria Konnikova, who has her Ph.D in psychology and studies human behavior, had never played poker when she approached Eric Seidel, a renowned player of the game, asking him to show her the ropes. Eric agreed to be her coach and Maria spent a year working towards the World Series of Poker, playing in numerous tournaments and winning a major title and hundreds of thousands of dollars along the way. But the real prize she was after in this experimental endeavor wasn't money, but insight into the i...more

  • #636: Why You Overeat and What to Do About It

    Aug 17 2020

    We all know the basics of losing weight: don't consume more calories than your body needs. And yet many of us still overeat anyway, sometimes continually, sometimes to the point where it leads to obesity, diabetes, and a significantly lower quality of life. Why does our behavior betray our intentions to be lean and healthy? My guest today argues that the answer lies in the ancient instincts of our brains that no longer fit the environment of the modern world. His name is Step...more

  • #635: The Existentialist's Survival Guide

    Aug 12 2020

    Life isn't an easy road to navigate. We're moody creatures, susceptible to an array of psychological setbacks, emotional ups and downs, fruitless searches for meaning, and trials posed by anxiety, depression, and despair. It's the kind of journey one needs a survival guide for, and my guest today says one of the best can be found in the writings of existential philosophers.  His name is Gordon Marino and he's a football and boxing coach, a professor of philosophy, and the au...more

  • #634: How to Design Conversations That Matter

    Aug 10 2020

    We typically don't think much about how we structure a conversation. We just sort of wing it and hope for the best. But my guest today argues that all conversations -- even the small and mundane -- can impact our ability to lead, influence, and connect, and ought to be approached with thoughtfulness and intention.  His name is Daniel Stillman, he's a consultant, author, and podcaster, and in his book Good Talk: How to Design Conversations That Matter, he draws on his backgro...more

  • #633: The World and Vision of Lakota Medicine Man Black Elk

    Aug 05 2020

    When he was nine years old in 1872, Black Elk, a member of the Lakota tribe, had a near-death vision in which he was called to save not only his people but all of humanity. For the rest of his life, Black Elk's vision haunted and inspired him as he took part in many of the seminal confrontations between the Lakota and the U.S. government, including those at Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee.  My guest today is the author of a biography of this native holy man. His name is Joe Jackson an...more

  • #632: How the Internet Makes Our Minds Shallow

    Aug 03 2020

    Have you found it harder and harder to sit with a good book for long periods of time without getting that itch to check your phone? Well, you're not alone. My guest today makes the case that the internet has changed our brains in ways that make deep, focused thinking harder and harder. His name is Nicholas Carr, and he documented what was then a newly-emerging phenomenon ten years ago in his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. The Shallows has now been re-rele...more

  • #631: How to Prevent and Survive a Home Invasion

    Jul 29 2020

    You're lying in bed at night and hear a noise downstairs. Is there someone in your house, and if there is, do you know what to do? While we'd like to think we'd rise to the occasion and readily dispatch with the bad guys, my guest today argues that without preparation and training, you're likely to flounder, and that you should have put more thought into how to keep the invader out of your house in the first place. His name is Dave Young, and he's a security expert and the author of ...more

  • #630: The Strategy Paradox

    Jul 27 2020

    To be a great success in business, you need to have a compelling vision, create a well-thought-out strategy to achieve that vision, and then fully commit to that strategy with action and resources. That's also the recipe for being a great failure in business. That's what my guest argues in his book The Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure. His name is Michael Raynor and we begin our discussion by describing the strategy paradox: the fact that the same sound st...more

  • #629: Why We Swim

    Jul 22 2020

    If you've been swimming since you were a child, you probably don't think too much about it anymore. But when you take a step back, the human act of swimming is a pretty interesting thing. You weren't born knowing how to swim; it's not instinctual. So why are people so naturally drawn to water? And what do we get out of paddling around in it?My guest today explores these questions in her book Why We Swim. Her name is Bonnie Tsui, and we begin our conversation today with how humans are some o...more

  • #628: The Rise of Secular Religion and the New Puritanism

    Jul 20 2020

    There has been a lot of civil and political upheaval lately, and what makes the atmosphere particularly disorienting, is that beyond the more obvious proximate and commonly-discussed causes for the turmoil, it feels like there are even deeper cultural currents and contexts at play, that are yet hard to put one's finger on and understand. There's a fervor in the debates and conflict that almost seems . . . religious. My guest today would say that's exactly the right word to d...more

  • #627: How to Deal With Jerks, Bullies, Tyrants, and Trolls

    Jul 15 2020

    There are some people in life who are more than unpleasant, more than annoying. They're real, genuine a**holes. My guest today has written the preeminent field guides to identifying, dealing with, and avoiding all of life's jerks, bullies, tyrants, and trolls: The No Asshole Rule and The Asshole Survival Guide. His name is Bob Sutton, he's a Stanford professor of organization and management, and we begin our conversation together with how Bob defines what makes an a-hole an a-hole, what ca...more

  • #626: How to Declutter Every Aspect of Your Work Life

    Jul 13 2020

    When you think about decluttering, you probably think about your home life, and cleaning out your junk drawer and closets. But there are also ways to declutter your work life and tidy up both its physical and digital aspects. My guest today explains the art of practicing minimalism in your professional life in a book he co-authored with organizing expert Marie Kondo. His name is Scott Soneshein, he's a professor of business and management, and his book is Joy at Wo...more

  • #625: The Code of the Warrior

    Jul 08 2020

    War is a violent and bloody business, but it's rarely a no-holds barred free-for-all. Instead, codes of conduct that determine what is and isn't honorable behavior on the battlefield have existed since ancient times.My guest today explored these various codes in a book she wrote during the decade she spent teaching at the United States Naval Academy. Her name is Shannon French, she's a professor of ethics and philosophy, and her book is The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past...more

  • #624: The Crazy, Forgotten Story of America's First Fitness Influencer

    Jul 06 2020

    The topic of health and fitness has long been a popular one for magazines, and in most recent times, for blogs and Instagram accounts. But what these modern publishers and influencers probably don't realize is that they're standing on the shoulders of an ambitious eccentric who laid the foundation for much of modern American media: Bernarr Macfadden.My guest today is Mark Adams, who wrote a biography of this proto fitness guru called Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transf...more

  • #479: Becoming a Digital Minimalist [RE-BROADCAST]

    Jul 01 2020

    This is a re-broadcast. The episode originally ran in February 2019.  Practicing minimalism with your possessions has been a trend for the past decade, and it can be a worthy practice, as long as you use it as a means to greater efficacy outside your personal domain, rather than just an end in itself. But there's arguably a minimalism practice that's even more effective in achieving that greater efficacy: digital minimalism. My guest has written the definiti...more

  • #623: How to Make Better Decisions by Thinking Like a Rocket Scientist

    Jun 29 2020

    When someone is struggling with a seemingly easy problem, someone else might say, "Come on, it's not rocket science!" The inference being that rocket science represents the pinnacle of complexity. But my guest today argues that the study of rocket science contains some simple, overarching principles that cannot only be universally understood, but universally applied to all kinds of problems and decisions. His name is Ozan Varol, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars ...more

  • #622: How to Simplify Your Life and Get Off the Grid

    Jun 24 2020

    Many dream of leaving the city and all its tethers and obligations and creating a simpler, more independent life farther from the mainstream population and entirely off the grid. But how do you go from that daydream to making such a move a reality? My guest walks us through the process today. His name is Gary Collins, he made the leap himself and now lives off the grid in Northeast Washington, and he's the author of several books on off grid living as well as simplifying your life. We begin our...more

  • #621: The Causes and Cures of Childhood Anxiety

    Jun 22 2020

    Everyone feels under greater psychic pressure these days, but we adults hope that children, who have always been seen as naturally resilient, have been spared the stress. Unfortunately, kids are increasingly experiencing mental health problems like anxiety at younger and younger ages, and this trend has been going on for years.  My guest today wrote a cover article for The Atlantic on the causes and cures of this phenomenon. Her name is Kate Julian and we begin our conversation today ...more

  • #620: How to Deal With Life's Regrets

    Jun 17 2020

    We've all asked "what if" questions about our life: What if I had majored in art instead of business? What if I had let my best friend know I liked her as more than a friend? What if I had taken the job offer in Colorado? Sometimes contemplating the imagined possibilities of these alternative histories fills us with sharp pangs of regret. My guest today says that's not necessarily a bad thing. His name is Neal Roese and he's a professor of psychology and marketing and the author of&nb...more

  • #619: What Driving Tells Us About Agency, Skill, and Freedom

    Jun 15 2020

    According to Silicon Valley, self-driving cars are the future of transportation. Instead of owning and driving a car, you can just summon an AI-operated vehicle with your smartphone and have this superpowered computer taxi you to your destination. No more car maintenance, no more traffic, no more accidents. It may sound great on the face of it, but my guest today argues that shifting from being a driver to being a mere passenger represents an existential risk in and of itself, as ...more

  • #618: Finding Connection in a Lonely World

    Jun 10 2020

    We've all been there: you're sitting at home some evening and you don't have plans, you haven't heard from family or friends for awhile, and you've got things on your mind, but don't feel like there's anyone you can talk to about them. You feel down and adrift, and sense an almost physical ache in your heart. You're experiencing loneliness, and my guest today says we ought to interpret this feeling the way we would hunger or thirst -- as a signal that we have a need that we should take...more

  • #617: What It's Like to Go to Army Ranger School

    Jun 08 2020

    Which branch of the military has the toughest training course for its officers and special operators is a matter of animated debate, but there's no question that the Army's Ranger School is a viable candidate for carrying that designation. Over nine weeks, and three grueling phases, soldiers undergo physical, mental, and emotional challenges that test their endurance, resilience, and leadership. My guest today went through Ranger School twice: first as an infantry officer in 2004, and then...more

  • #616: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling

    Jun 03 2020

    One of the most burning questions in life is what it is you're called to do with it. What is your life's purpose? What great work are you meant to do?Guidance on this question can come from many sources, and my guest today says that one of the best is the Bhagavad Gita, a text of Hindu scripture thousands of years old. He's a psychotherapist, yoga teacher, and author of The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling. Stephen Cope and I begin our conversation with an in...more

  • #615: How to Develop Authentic Gravitas

    Jun 01 2020

    When it comes to how you're perceived in your professional life, it's likely you want to be taken seriously. You want your words to carry weight. You want to be influential and listened to, regardless of your position in a company. You want to carry yourself with gravitas.My guest today is an organizational psychologist and executive coach who explains how to cultivate this quality in her book Authentic Gravitas: Who Stands Out and Why. Her name is Rebecca...more

  • #614: Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life

    May 27 2020

    When most of us run into obstacles with how we think and approach the world -- whether in terms of dealing with mental health issues like depression and anxiety or simply making progress with our relationships and work, we typically try to focus in on solving the perceived problem, or we run away from it. In either case, instead of feeling better, we feel more stuck. My guest today says we need to free ourselves from these instincts and our default mental programming and learn to...more

  • #613: How Soldiers Die in Battle

    May 25 2020

    War is about many things: glory, violence, courage, destruction. But at its heart is death. Each side in a conflict tries to kill as many of the enemy as possible, while avoiding being killed themselves. The way these deaths have played out over thousands of years of warfare has changed not simply based on the way martial technology has changed, but also on the way that the psychological and cultural pressures that have led societies and individual men to fight have changed.  My guest tod...more

  • #612: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection

    May 20 2020

    It's almost summer and you know what that means: grilling season is upon us. To help ensure that you have your best grilling season ever, today I talk to Matt Moore, AoM's resident food writer and the author of Serial Griller: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection. We begin our conversation discussing Matt's trips around the country to glean the best stories and tips from our nation's foremost grillmasters. We first unpack why the Maillard reaction is so important to creating...more

  • #611: How a Weekly Marriage Meeting Can Strengthen Your Relationship

    May 18 2020

    Several years ago, Kate and I implemented a practice that has helped strengthen our relationship. It's called a "marriage meeting," and we got the idea from my guest today. Her name is Marcia Naomi Berger, and she's a therapist and the author of Marriage Meetings: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You've Always Wanted. Marcia and I begin our discussion with how she developed the idea of marriage meetings and why couples can benefit from implementing this habit. We then unpack the f...more

  • #610: Who Lives in Survival Situations, Who Dies, and Why

    May 13 2020

    In disasters or accidents, why do some people survive and others perish? In exploring this question, my guest has uncovered psychological and philosophical insights into not only dealing with life-threatening crises, but strategically navigating any situation that involves risk and decision-making. His name is Laurence Gonzales and he's a pilot, a journalist, and the author of several books, including the focus of today's conversation: Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. ...more

  • #609: The 3 Tasks of Moving From Adolescence to Adulthood

    May 11 2020

    A lot of ink has been spilled about how young people today are struggling to transition from adolescence to adulthood. But these think pieces are often heavy on blame and light on solutions. My guest today takes an understanding approach to the difficulties of growing up, as well as offers practical strategies for facilitating the process. His name is Mark McConville, and he's a family clinical psychologist who's spent decades working with young clients and written a book on ...more

  • #608: How Caffeine Hooks, Hurts, and Helps Us

    May 06 2020

    More than 80% of the world's population consumes the same psychostimulant every single day. Yet few of us know very much about our favorite daily drug . . .  caffeine. My guest today will shed some light on humanity's love affair with this pick-me-up substance. His name is Murray Carpenter and he's the author of Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. We begin our discussion exploring what caffeine does to our mind and body, before delving into how ...more

  • #607: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

    May 04 2020

    It's been 30 years since the landmark self-management book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was published. It's been called the most influential business book of the 20th century and the principles it espouses have become embedded in our culture. The 7 Habits has had a big impact on my own life since the first time I read it over 20 years ago as a high schooler. A 30th anniversary edition of the book is out with new insights from the late Stephen Covey's children. Today, it's my pleasure ...more

  • #606: How to Activate Your Brain's Happy Chemicals

    Apr 29 2020

    Everyone has experienced the way our feelings fluctuate day by day, and even hour by hour. Sometimes we're feeling up and sometimes we're feeling down.My guest today says these oscillations are a result of nature's operating system and that you can learn to better manage these emotional peaks and valleys. Her name is Loretta Breuning and she's the author of several books on happiness and the human brain, including her latest, Tame Your Anxiety: Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness. We begin ou...more

  • #605: The Money Moves You Should Make Right Now

    Apr 27 2020

    The shutdowns that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic have wreaked havoc on the global economy. Millions of people are out of work, businesses are cratering, and the stock market has tanked. Whether you've been hard hit by these effects or are so far weathering the storm yet feel uncertain about your future, what financial moves should you be making right now? To get some insight, I brought back personal finance expert Ramit Sethi, author of the book I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Since t...more

  • #604: The Boring Decadence of Modern Society

    Apr 22 2020

    On the surface, it can feel like we've made a lot of technological, economic, and cultural progress during the past 30 years. But if you look closer, you start to notice that in a lot of ways, we've been running on repeat for several decades now. My guest today argues that this is what typically happens to rich and powerful societies: A period of growth and dynamism, such as we experienced after WWII, is followed by a period of stagnation and malaise. His name is Ross Douthat and his latest...more

  • #603: The Physical Keys to Human Resilience

    Apr 20 2020

    Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said that "between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response." Frankl was talking about our ability to choose our mental responses to what we encounter in life. What if we could also choose how our physiology responds to our environment so that we can perform and thrive on a higher level? My guest today explores that question in his latest book. His name is Scott Carney and he's the author of The Wedge: Evo...more

  • #602: The Case for Being Unproductive

    Apr 15 2020

    Decades ago, economists thought that thanks to advances in technology, in the 21st century we'd only work a few hours a week and enjoy loads of leisure time. Yet here we are in the modern age, still working long hours and feeling like we're busier than ever. What happened? My guest today argues that we've all been swept up into a cult of efficiency that started centuries ago and has only been strengthened by advances in technology. The remedy? Do nothing. At least nothing product...more

  • #601: How to Get Jailhouse Strong

    Apr 13 2020

    When you're in prison, you've got a lot of time on your hands, and a lot of inmates spend this time exercising. With little or no equipment and sometimes just the space available in their cells, prisoners are able to get incredibly big and strong. Learning how prisoners do these bodyweight workouts can be useful for those who aren't in jail, but want to get fit and don't have access to exercise equipment.  My guest today got the lowdown on the methods prisoners use to get strong by in...more

  • #600: What Board Games Teach Us About Life

    Apr 08 2020

    Board games have long been a source of social activity and family entertainment. But my guest today makes the case that board games can be more than just a way to while away the time, and can also offer insights about relationships, decision making, and the changing currents of culture. His name is Jonathan Kay and he's a co-author of the book Your Move: What Board Games Teach Us About Life. We begin our conversation discussing the board game renaissance that has taken place&...more

  • Bonus: How the Stages of Grief Explain What You're Feeling During This Pandemic

    Apr 07 2020

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people have been feeling out of sorts: angry, sad, frustrated, and just plain bummed out. Part of the reason for these feelings is obvious, and part has been hard to articulate and understand.That's probably why a recent interview the Harvard Business Review did with David Kessler went viral when it named the issue point blank. Kessler said what we're all experiencing is grief. He's an expert on the subject who worked with Elizabeth Kubl...more

  • #599: The Physical Intelligence That Helps You Take Action

    Apr 06 2020

    Ever wonder why you don't walk into walls? How you know you have to step gingerly on ice? How you decide whether you can or can't scale a certain rock? My guest today says the answer lies in our special sense of bodily know-how. His name is Scott Grafton, and he's a neurologist and the author of Physical Intelligence: The Science of How the Body and the Mind Guide Each Other Through Life. We begin our conversation discussing how physical intelligence is the mutually responsive int...more

  • #598: Journeying From the First to the Second Half of Life

    Apr 01 2020

    Have you come to a point in your life where the pursuits of your younger years no longer seem meaningful or satisfying? Maybe it's time for you to transition from the first half of your life to the second. My guest today has spent decades helping people, particularly men, make this passage. His name is James Hollis and he's a Jungian analyst and the author of over a dozen books, including Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life. We begin our conversation with a brief overview of what ma...more

  • #597: A Survival Expert's Guide to Bugging-In

    Mar 30 2020

    The coronavirus pandemic has forced tens of millions of people to stay home due to shelter-in-place orders and even lockdowns. While supplies of food, water, and other essentials have largely continued undisrupted, if one or more of these services were cut off, what would be the best way to prepare for that kind of emergency? To answer this question, I talk to friend of AoM and survival expert, Creek Stewart. Creek has dedicated his life to mastering all things survival, spending thousands...more

  • #596: The Mystery, Science, and Life-Changing Power of the Hot Hand

    Mar 25 2020

    Have you ever had a period in your athletic or professional career where you kind of felt like you were on fire? Maybe you made a whole streak of consecutive shots in a game, or executed one good idea after another at work. In his book, The Hot Hand: The Mystery and Science of Streaks, my guest today explores why success sometimes seems to arrive in clusters like this. His name is Ben Cohen and he's a sports writer for The Wall Street Journal. Ben and I begin ...more

  • #595: Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Home Gym

    Mar 23 2020

    In a time when the world is dealing with a pandemic, and many commercial gyms have shut down, interest in creating a gym at home has swelled. Whether working out at home is something you've been mulling over for a long time, or that you've just started to think about, this show will help you decide if and how to move forward on the idea. My guest today is Cooper Mitchell, the founder of garagegymreviews.com, a website and social media communitydedicated to reviewing personal gym equip...more

  • #594: How Churchill (and London) Survived the Blitz of 1940

    Mar 18 2020

    A few months after Winston Churchill took office as prime minister, the German military began an eight month-long bombing campaign on the United Kingdom which became known as the Blitz. The bombing, which lasted for 57 consecutive days and nights, killed 45,000 Britons. What was life like for the people who experienced the Blitz? My guest today zoomed in on this question by looking at the lives of Winston Churchill and his inner circle during this precarious year of the ...more

  • #593: All You Have to Do Is Ask

    Mar 16 2020

    Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? Trying to find a job, but can't seem to get your foot in the door? Have you been knocking your head against a problem over and over again, but haven't made any headway on it? My guest today says you can solve most of these issues by simply asking for help.  His name is Wayne Baker, he's a sociologist, consultant, and the author of the book All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success. We begin our conversation dis...more

  • #592: Being a Man in the Lousy Modern World

    Mar 11 2020

    Emerson famously said "society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members."  My guest today says things have gotten a lot worse since Emerson uttered those words over a century and a half ago. His name is Robert Twigger. We last had him on the show to discuss his book Micromastery. Today we discuss a book he wrote 20 years ago called Being a Man in the Lousy Modern World. We begin our conversation discussing how the modern world infantilizes men s...more

  • #591: Solve Problems Before They Become Problems

    Mar 09 2020

    So often in life, we get stuck in a cycle of reaction. We tackle the most urgent tasks. We deal with emergencies. We put out fires.  We intuitively know we'd be better off if we figured out a way to be more proactive rather than reactive, thereby preventing fires from starting in the first place, but we can't seem to switch our approach. My guest today explores why that is and what we can do to start solving the problems of business, life, and society before they become problems...more

  • #590: The Creation of Sherlock Holmes

    Mar 04 2020

    Sherlock Holmes is one of the most widely recognized figures of literature and pop culture. But how did the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, come up with a character who has become the universal archetype of the independent detective?  In his book, Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, my guest today explores the biography of the fictional detective by looking at the life of the real-world author. His name is Michael S...more

  • #589: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage

    Mar 02 2020

    You know how good moving your body is for your physical health. You probably have a vague sense that it's good for your mental health too. But you likely don't realize just how powerful movement truly is for your mind, and that it even affects your sense of hope, courage, connection, and identity. My guest today explores these lesser-appreciated impacts of physical activity in her new book, The Joy of Movement. Her name is Kelly McGonigal and she's a ...more

  • #588: The Audacious Command of Alexander the Great

    Feb 26 2020

    Alexander the Great became king of Macedonia at age 19. By age 30 he controlled an empire that spanned from Greece to India. In the two thousand years after his early death, his influence has persisted. Military leaders from Caesar to Napoleon studied his campaigns and imitated his strategies and tactics, and without Alexander, the influence of Greek culture on the world wouldn't have been the same.  My guest today has written a very readable, yet academically authoritative ...more

  • #587: How to Get More Pleasure and Fulfillment Out of Your Reading

    Feb 24 2020

    Do you have a goal of reading more, but any time you start working on that goal, it feels like a chore? The equivalent of eating your broccoli? My guest today argues that the problem is likely due to the fact that you're trying to read what you think you should be reading, instead of reading what you actually enjoy.  His name is Alan Jacobs. He's a professor of literature and the author of The Pleasures of Reading in an Age ...more

  • #586: The Story of the Skiing Soldiers of WWII

    Feb 19 2020

    In the winter of 1940, a group of civilian skiers was sitting by a fire in a ski lodge in Vermont shooting the breeze about how the US Army needed an alpine division like the militaries in Europe had. That conversation transformed into a concerted effort to turn their idea into a reality, and the creation of the Army's 10th Mountain Division -- a unit which would play a vital role fighting in the mountains of Italy during World War II. My guest today has written a book on these skiing, snow-bor...more

  • #585: Inflammation, Saunas, and the New Science of Depression

    Feb 17 2020

    I've dealt with depression in my life. My body temperature also seems to run hot; in fact my wife Kate has nicknamed me "the baked potato." My guest today says that there may be a connection between those two things. His name is Charles Raison, he's a psychiatrist, professor of psychiatry, and the co-author of The New Mind-Body Science of Depression. We begin our conversation with why Charles thinks it's important to ask the question, "Does Major Depression even exist?" and what we do...more

  • #584: How to Avoid Falling in Love With the Wrong Person

    Feb 12 2020

    Why do people sometimes fall in love with someone who is all kinds of wrong for them? Their friends and family see lots of red flags about their partner, but they themselves miss these warnings entirely, sometimes to catastrophic consequences.  My guest today argues that these kinds of errors in relational decision-making happen when someone lets his heart rule without also heeding his head. His name is John Van Epp, and he's a therapist and the author of the book How to Avoid Fa...more

  • #583: How to Stay Mentally Sharp and Fulfilled as You Age

    Feb 10 2020

    Everyone gets old.  But not everyone experiences old age the same way. Some folks spend the last few decades of their life sick, sad, and stagnating, while others stay sharp and find great satisfaction in the twilight years of life.  My guest today is a neuroscientist who has dug into the research on what individuals can do to increase their chances of achieving the latter outcome instead of the former.  His name Daniel Levitin and today we discuss his latest book Successf...more

  • #582: Essential Lessons From Great Wartime Leaders

    Feb 05 2020

    War puts leadership to the ultimate test. During a war, a leader must make life or death decisions and be held accountable for those decisions while grappling not only with military strategy, but also political, economic, and domestic dynamics. My guest explores the lives of nine wartime leaders and what we can learn from them in his latest book: Leadership in War: Essential Lessons From Those Who Made History. His name is Andrew Roberts, and we last had him on the show to talk about ...more

  • #581: The Tiny Habits That Change Everything

    Feb 03 2020

    We're a month into the new year now. How are you doing on your resolutions? Have you already fallen off the wagon? Maybe the goal you set for yourself was just too big to successfully tackle. You need to think smaller. Tiny, even. That's the argument my guest makes. His name is Dr. BJ Fogg, and he's the founder and director of Stanford's Behavior Design Lab, as well as the author of the new book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything. Today on the show, BJ walks us thro...more

  • #580: Why People Do (Or Don't) Listen to You

    Jan 29 2020

    Some cultural observers have posited that we're moving from an information economy to a reputation economy. There's so much information to sort through, that figuring out which bits to pay attention to has come to increasingly rely on what we think of the person delivering them. We privilege the messenger over the message. But how exactly do we decide which messengers to listen to or not? What draws us to particular messengers and causes us to tune out others? My guest...more

  • #579: Jack London's Literary Code

    Jan 27 2020

    The literature of Jack London has long been given the short shrift by scholars. They say he wrote some good dog stories for boys, but beyond that didn't showcase any literary genius or high-level craftsmanship. Well, my guest today begs to differ with this assessment.  His name is Earle Labor. He's the preeminent Jack London scholar and 91 years young. I've had Earle on the podcast two previous times: the first to discuss his landmark Jack London biography, and the second to discuss h...more

  • #578: Figuring Out If You Should Change Careers (And How to Do It)

    Jan 22 2020

    Have you been feeling doubts about your career recently, or perhaps for quite some time? Maybe you're not sure if you're in the right job, or even in the right field, and you can't figure out if you should try to keep making your current position work, or jump ship to something else. Then you'll likely recognize yourself in the stages of career transition my guest will describe. His name is Joseph Liu. He's a consultant, coach, and speaker who helps people navigate the challenges of s...more

  • #577: An FBI Agent's 6 Signs for Sizing People Up

    Jan 20 2020

    Every day, we have to make choices on whether we can trust someone or not. If we make the wrong choice, it could mean a failed relationship or business partnership and all the emotional and financial costs that follow.   My guest today has spent his career sizing people up in high stakes situations. His name is Robin Dreeke, he spent two decades working as a behavioral analyst for the FBI, and in his new book, Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent's User Manua...more

  • #576: A Treasure Trove of American Philosophy

    Jan 15 2020

    When you think of philosophy, you probably think of ancient Greece or 18th century France. You probably don't think of America. But this country also birthed its own set of philosophical luminaries, and my guest today had a unique encounter with them. When modern day professor of philosophy John Kaag was a graduate student at Harvard, he was dispirited and struggling personally and professionally. But thanks to a chance encounter with an elderly New Englander, he discovered an abandoned&nb...more

  • #575: Counterintuitive Advice on Making Exercise a Sustainable Habit

    Jan 13 2020

    It's a new year and like many people, you may have set a goal to exercise more regularly. But like most people, you've set this goal before only to give up on it after only a few weeks.  Why is it so hard to make exercise a habit? And what can you do to make it stick? My guest today argues that more willpower and discipline isn't the answer. Instead, you need to completely change the way you think about exercise.  Her name is Michelle Segar, and she's a behavioral scientist and the ...more

  • #574: The Power of Bad — Overcoming the Negativity Effect

    Jan 08 2020

    Have you ever been heaped with praise, only to ignore it in favor of focusing on the lone piece of criticism you received? That's the power that bad things wield, and it's a power that humans need to learn how to both harness and mitigate.  My guest today lays out both sides of that coin in a book he co-authored with psychologist Roy Baumeister. His name is John Tierney and the book is The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It. We begin our conversation d...more

  • #573: Why You Don't Finish What You Start (And What to Do About It)

    Jan 06 2020

    How well did you do in completing projects last year? Not just work projects, but also personal projects surrounding family, fitness, or hobbies. If you didn't accomplish as much as you'd like, then maybe you need to change up your mindset and tactics in the new year.   My guest today has written a guide to making those changes. His name is Charlie Gilkey and he's a former Army officer with a PhD in philosophy who's spent over a decade studying productivity, writing about it...more

  • #572: The Unexpected Upsides of Being a Late Bloomer

    Dec 30 2019

    There's an unspoken timeline that people supposedly need to follow to have a successful life: be a good student in high school, get into a good college, and then get a good job right after you graduate.  But you've probably met successful people whose lives didn't follow this kind of linear arc and neat timeline, and maybe yours didn't either. Their young adult years weren't very auspicious, and they didn't come into their own and find their bearings until after college, or even much ...more

  • #571: The Voyage of Character

    Dec 23 2019

    Good character is hard to define in the abstract, but easy to identify when it's embodied in the lives of great individuals. In order to illuminate what worthy character looks like, my guest today has written a book which consists of profiles of 10 of history's most notable admirals, marking out both their inspiring and flawed qualities, as well as how these qualities intersected with their ability to lead. His name is Admiral James Stavridis, he served as the commander of US Southern Comma...more

  • #570: St. Augustine's Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts

    Dec 18 2019

    Do you feel restless? Have you ever lied in bed at night looking up at the ceiling wondering "Is this all there is to life?" Or have you ever achieved a big goal in life only to feel let down? Over 1500 years ago, Catholic bishop, philosopher and theologian Augustine of Hippo had those same feelings of angst and wrote down some insights on how to deal with them and they're just as relevant today as they were then.  My guest today has written a book about Augustine's ancient...more

  • #569: How to Perform Your Best Under Pressure

    Dec 16 2019

    When Don Greene was a springboard diver in high school and college, his performances were erratic -- sometimes they'd be amazing and sometimes embarrassing. None of his coaches could explain why that happened to him, so Don set out to find the answers himself. After serving as an Army Ranger and Green Beret, and getting his PhD in sports psychology, Don has spent decades coaching Olympic divers, professional athletes, race car drivers, opera singers, classical musicians, and Wall Stre...more

  • #568: The Untold Story Behind the Famous Robbers Cave Experiment

    Dec 11 2019

    In the summer of 1954, two groups of 8- to 11-year-old boys were taken to a summer camp in Oklahoma and pitted against each other in competitions for prizes. What started out as typical games of baseball and tug-of-war turned into violent night raids and fistfights, proving that humans in groups form tribal identities that create conflict. This is the basic outline of a research study many are still familiar with today: the Robbers Cave experiment. But it's only one part...more

  • #567: Understanding the Wonderful, Frustrating Dynamic of Friendship

    Dec 09 2019

    Friendship is arguably the most unique type of relationship in our lives. Friendships aren't driven by sexual attraction or by a sense of duty, as in romantic and familial relationships, but instead are entirely freely chosen.My guest today says that's part of why friendship is both uniquely wonderful and uniquely challenging. His name is Bill Rawlins, he's a professor of interpersonal communication, and he's spent his career studying the dynamics of friendship and authored several boo...more

  • #566: How to Have a Hyggely Christmas and a More Memorable New Year

    Dec 04 2019

    The holiday season is upon us. It's a time for getting cozy, making memories, and looking forward to the new year ahead.My guest today has plenty of research-backed insights on how to take each of those things to the next level. His name is Meik Wiking, and he's the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute and the author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, as well as The Art of Making Memories: How to Create and Remember Happy Moments. We beg...more

  • #565: Stillness Is the Key

    Dec 02 2019

    According to my guest today, many of the world's most eminent leaders, thinkers, athletes, and artists have one thing in common: they cultivate stillness in their lives. His name is Ryan Holiday and in his latest book, Stillness Is the Key, he highlights how great individuals have used stillness to do great things. We begin our discussion with how Ryan describes stillness, what it means to find stillness in mind, body, and soul, an...more

  • #564: Assault Your Assumptions Through Red Teaming

    Nov 27 2019

    We live in an age of disruption. Companies that were once stalwarts are overtaken by small, plucky upstarts. Our personal lives can also be disrupted. We lose a job or a business fails. My guest today says that instead of waiting to be disrupted by outside forces, you're better off using techniques developed by intelligence agencies and the military to disrupt yourself first. His name is Bryce Hoffman and he's the author of the book Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer ...more

  • #563: How to Develop Your Nature Instinct

    Nov 25 2019

    Our ancestors were able to navigate long distances, find water, and even predict the weather simply by looking at their environment. My guest today says we still have this nature instinct inside of us and with a little practice, we can revive it. His name is Tristan Gooley, he's an outdoorsman and author, and his latest book is The Nature Instinct: Learn to Find Direction, Sense Danger, and Even Guess Nature’s Next Move—Faster Than Thought. Today on the show we discuss h...more

  • #562: How Boxing Can Fight Parkinson's Disease

    Nov 20 2019

    If boxing and Parkinson's disease are thought of together, it's usually in terms of the former causing the latter.But my guest today makes the case that boxing workouts can actually be used to fight Parkinson's disease. His name is Aaron Sloan, he's a registered nurse, the owner of Engine Room Boxing gym here in Tulsa, OK, and the founder of Ready to Fight, a boxing fitness program catered specifically to those suffering from Parkinson's disease. We begin our conversation with an ...more

  • #561: Get With the Program

    Nov 18 2019

    All of us are a part of teams at work and in our community. Even our families are teams. And most of us serve as both members and leaders of these teams. How then can we be our best in both roles?My guest today has spent his career gaining on-the-ground answers to this question through his experiences as a Marine and special operator in the military and a leadership trainer of corporate and athletic teams as a civilian. His name is Eric Kapitulik, and he's the founder of the team and leadership ...more

  • #560: The Magic of Walking

    Nov 13 2019

    Walking. It can seem, well, rather pedestrian. But my guest today makes the case that walking can act as a gateway to explore memory, meaning, and what it means to be human. His name is Erling Kagge, he’s an adventurer and philosopher, and we had him on the show last year to discuss his book Silence (that's episode 433). Erling’s latest book is called Walking, and we begin our conversation discussing the connection between bipedal locomotion and silence and how...more

  • #559: How to Handle Difficult Conversations

    Nov 11 2019

    Asking for a raise. Disagreeing with your boss. Telling your neighbor that their dog's barking is bothering you. Talking about money with your spouse. Debating politics with a friend. These are all difficult conversations fraught with anxiety, anger, and awkwardness. Many people just avoid them, but my guest says that with the right framework, you can handle even the most pitfall-laden exchanges. Her name is Sheila Heen, she's spent twenty years developing negotiation theory and practice as...more

  • #558: The Strenuous President

    Nov 06 2019

    In the first year of his presidency, the press used Theodore Roosvelt's name in connection with the word "strenuous" over 10,000 times. He was known as "the strenuous president," and with good reason: from his youth, TR had lived and preached a life of vigorous engagement and plenty of physical activity. Today on the show Ryan Swanson, professor of sports history and author of The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of the American Athlete, discusses not on...more

  • #557: Grow, Adapt, and Reinvent Yourself Through Ultralearning

    Nov 04 2019

    Many of us want to learn a new skill or master a new area of expertise, either to further or change our career or simply for the sake of personal fulfillment. But going deep in a subject seems like it would take a long time, and even require going back to school, something most of us don't have the time, money, and desire to do.My guest today says there's another way. His name is Scott Young and he's the author of Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Comp...more

  • #556: How to Find Your Calling in Life

    Oct 30 2019

    Nearly everyone has experienced the sense of being nudged and prompted to take certain actions. These intuitive hints can spur us to do big things like change jobs, or smaller things like text a friend. My guest today says that these are callings, and that if we don't answer them, they'll continue to rememerge and can haunt us til the day we die. His name is Gregg Levoy and he's the author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life. We begin our conve...more

  • #555: Dandelion Children vs. Orchid Children

    Oct 28 2019

    You've probably observed families in which one of the kids is super resilient and easy-going while the other is super sensitive and anxious. Same family, same parents, but two extremely different children. What gives? My guest today says that some kids are like robust dandelions, while others are like fragile orchids. And while the fragility of orchid children might seem like a liability, in the right circumstances, these kids can actually thrive to an even greater extent than the...more

  • #554: Babe Ruth and the World He Made

    Oct 23 2019

    The Sultan of Swat. The Colossus of Clout. The King of Crash. The Great Bambino. Babe Ruth died over 70 years ago, but his legend still lives on in big league stadiums and little league fields across America. While we know a lot about Ruth's baseball career, little was known about his early life and how it shaped him to become America's first superstar athlete and celebrity. My guest today sought to remedy that in her recently published biography: The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and...more

  • #553: How to Become Indistractable

    Oct 21 2019

    If you struggle with feeling distracted, you likely think that modern technology is to blame, and that if your phone wasn't so infuriatingly desirable to check, you'd be a lot more focused and productive.But my guest today argues that the problem of distraction doesn't lie with technology, but with you. His name is Nir Eyal, and he's a behavioral design expert and the author of Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Today on the show we first disc...more

  • #552: How to Optimize Your Metabolism

    Oct 16 2019

    If you struggle to lose weight, you may blame an inherently slow metabolism. But is your metabolism really to blame, and can you increase it in order to burn more fat?Today we tackle these questions and more with Dr. John Berardi, who earned a PhD in exercise physiology and nutrient biochemistry, and is a writer, athlete, coach, and professor, as well as the co-founder of Precision Nutrition and the founder of the Change Maker Academy. John and I begin our disc...more

  • #551: Inside the Gangsters' Code

    Oct 14 2019

    Lou Ferrantewas a mobster who worked for the Gambino crime family and made a trade out of hijacking trucks loaded with expensive goods. Eventually, the law caught up with him and he ended up in prison. There, he discovered a love for reading and writing which set off a personal transformation that led to him leaving the mafia. After his stint in jail, Lou went on to become an author and the host of a Discovery Channel documentary series called Inside the Gangsters' Code. Today on ...more

  • #550: How to Strengthen Your Marriage Against Divorce

    Oct 09 2019

    While the divorce rate has fallen over the last several decades, plenty of couples still don't pass the test of time. Fortunately, the odds as to whether or not you divorce are not a matter of pure chance, but something you can improve with intentionality. My guest has some research-backed advice on how. His name is Scott Stanley, he's a professor of psychology at the University of Denver and the co-author of the book Fighting for Your Marriage. We last had Scott on the ...more

  • #549: Leadership Lessons from the Gridiron's Greatest Coaches

    Oct 07 2019

    Why do some NFL teams dominate year after year? Some would chalk it up to talent, but my guest today says it all comes down to the culture the head coach intentionally develops for the entire organization. His name is Michael Lombardi and he's the author of Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Building Teams and Winning at the Highest Level. For over three decades, Lombardi has worked as a general manager or coach for various NFL teams and alongside some of the greatest coaches of t...more

  • #548: How to Start and Sustain Conversations

    Oct 02 2019

    Whether sitting next to someone on the subway, mingling at a wedding, or chatting around the water cooler, chances to make conversation and new friends abound in our lives. But how do you meet and talk to people without being awkward about it?My guest today has spent over three decades teaching people from all walks of life how to make small talk and socialize. His name is Don Gabor, and he's the author of several books, including the one we're talking about today, How to Start a Conve...more

  • #547: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment

    Sep 30 2019

    The standard route to success in modern life goes as follows: work hard in high school, score high on your SAT, get into a good college, do well in your classes, get a good job. For some people, that path works, but for a lot of people, it leaves them disengaged and frustrated because it doesn't actually lead to a life of fulfillment. My guest today has spent his academic career studying individuals who have bucked the standard formula for achievement and found success on their own ter...more

  • #546: How to Get a Memory Like a Steel Trap

    Sep 25 2019

    Have you ever walked into a room to get something, only to forget why you walked into that room in the first place? Do you constantly forget where you parked your car in a parking garage? Or have trouble remembering people's names?After today's episode, you'll be well on your way to never forgetting these things again because my guest is champion memory athlete Nelson Dellis and he's got plenty of advice on how to improve your own memory, even if you think yours stinks. Nelson is ...more

  • #545: How Not to Get Scammed, Conned, or Duped

    Sep 23 2019

    When you think about people getting scammed, you probably think of the elderly getting conned out of money over the phone.But my guest today says that Millennials are actually more likely to get scammed than senior citizens, and in fact, anybody of any age can get conned. He should know: he's a former con man himself. His name is Frank Abagnale and his early life in which he forged checks and assumed various identities, including that of an airline pilot and doctor, was made famou...more

  • #544: The Audacious Life of Winston Churchill

    Sep 18 2019

    When we seek an example of great leadership, one man who often comes to mind is Winston Churchill -- the iconic, visionary prime minister, who guided his country through war and stood firmly for his beliefs and impervious to his critics. But how did Winston become the legendary British Bulldog?My guest today seeks to answer that question in his biography, Churchill: Walking with Destiny. His name is Andrew Roberts, he's a journalist and historian, and we begin our conversation discussi...more

  • #543: Learn the System for Getting Things Done

    Sep 16 2019

    Over ten years ago, I read the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. I've been using the tactics and strategies that he laid out in the book in managing tasks and, well, getting things done, ever since. David's out with a new workbook to accompany his classic bestseller, and I have the pleasure to speak with him today about his philosophy and system for managing life. We begin our conversation discussing how David came up with the GTD system in the first place and how it differs fro...more

  • #542: When Breath Becomes Air

    Sep 11 2019

    When Paul Kalanathi was 36 years old, he was on the cusp of finishing a decade's worth of training to become a neurosurgeon -- a profession he felt called to. But then he learned he had terminal stage four lung cancer. In a single moment, everything changed in his life. For the next twenty two months, Paul and his wife Lucy grappled with how to live life even when you know you have limited time left. In his last few months, Paul wrote a memoir about this search for meaning in life and death, as ...more

  • #541: The Art of Noticing

    Sep 09 2019

    Quick, name the president who's on the dime. Or think about the letters and numbers on your license plate. Were you stumped for a moment? That's the strange thing about our powers of observation: we can look at something a thousand times, and never really notice it.Our struggle to notice what's around us is even worse in our Smartphone Age, where we often have tunnel vision that limits itself to a little handheld screen.My guest today wrote a book that aims to help us recapture the kee...more

  • #540: How to Be a More Compelling Person

    Sep 04 2019

    We all know people who have a certain magnetism and charisma. What is it exactly that makes them so compelling?My guest today explores that question in his book Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make People Influential, and primarily locates the answer in two such hidden qualities: strength and warmth. His name is Matthew Kohut and today on the show he explains why it is we find the combination of strength and warmth so attractive in others, and how we can cultivat...more

  • #539: Life Hacking, A Reexamination

    Sep 02 2019

    In an effort to get more done and be our best selves, many of us have turned to "life hacks" that we find in blogs, books, and podcasts. I've personally experimented with several life hacks in the past decade, and we've even written about some on AoM. But are there downsides to trying to hack your way through life? My guest took a look at both the positives and negatives of life hacking in his book, Hacking Life: Systemized Living and Its Discontents. His name is Joseph Reagle, and he'...more

  • #538: Research-Backed Answers to All Your Fitness FAQs

    Aug 28 2019

    Which should you do first when you work out -- cardio or weights? How long does it take to get in shape? How long does it take to get out of shape? How important is your form when you run? Does exercise really contribute to fat loss? Does music help or hurt your athletic performance?These are the kinds of questions folks have about exercise, and have trouble finding good answers to. The advice out there on blogs and magazines is often confusing and contradictory. My guest today set out to cut th...more

  • #537: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

    Aug 26 2019

    Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was one of the last Stoic philosophers and today is arguably the best known. Thanks to his personal writings that eventually became Meditations, Marcus left us with concrete exercises to put Stoicism into action. My guest today explores this Stoic tradition and connects it with modern psychotherapy in his book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. His name is Donald Robertson, and he's a Scottish philosopher ...more

  • #536: How to Achieve a "Rich Life" With Your Finances

    Aug 21 2019

    If you've read a lot of personal finance advice, you know that it usually concentrates on what you can't do -- what you shouldn't buy and how you shouldn't spend your money. What it doesn't often offer is a vision of what all that scrimping and saving is for.My guest today argues that while knowing how to save money is hugely important, it's important to know how to spend it too. His name is Ramit Sethi and he's the author of the book I Will Teach You to Be Rich. It's now out as a revi...more

  • #535: The Problem of Self-Help in a Liquid Age

    Aug 19 2019

    Self-help gurus, life coaches, and business consultants love to tell us that we must strive for constant self-improvement to realize our full potential and become truly happy. But it doesn't seem to work -- for many of us, life still seems hollow and meaningless. So focused are we on personal development and material possessions that we've overlooked the things that make life truly fulfilling and worthwhile. But what are those things?My guest today explores the answer to that question in hi...more

  • #534: How Navigation Makes Us Human

    Aug 14 2019

    If you're like most people these days, you probably rely on the turn-by-turn directions given by a smartphone app to navigate to where you want to go. While Google Maps has certainly made getting around a lot more convenient, my guest today makes the case that by relying on GPS to navigate, we're turning our backs on a skill that makes us uniquely human. Her name is Maura O'Connor, and she's a journalist and the author of Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate. We b...more

  • #533: How to Be a Time Warrior

    Aug 12 2019

    If you struggle with procrastination, goal-setting, and generally moving ahead in life, the heart of your struggles may be your view of time. More specifically, that you look at it too linearly. That's the argument my guest today makes. His name is Steve Chandler, he's a success and business coach, and the author of many books, including the focus of our discussion today -- Time Warrior: How to Defeat Procrastination, People-Pleasing, Self-Doubt, Over-Commitment, Broken Promises and Ch...more

  • #532: How to Create a Neighborhood Where Kids Play Outside

    Aug 07 2019

    Listen as you drive through most neighborhoods in America these days and you might notice something missing: the shrieks and laughter of kids playing outside. When my guest today had kids, he decided he wasn't going to let them grow up in another quiet, morgue-like neighborhood. Instead, he was going to figure out why kids weren't playing outside anymore, and how to fix the problem. His name is Mike Lanza, and in his book Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play, ...more

  • #531: How to Best Harness Your Willpower

    Aug 05 2019

    Many of our goals in life -- from losing weight to saving more money -- require willpower. But what is willpower anyway, why does it feel like it fails us so often, and what can we do to make better use of itMy guest today explores the answers to these questions in her book: The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. Her name is Kelly McGonigal, and she's a psychology professor at Stanford. We begin our discussion di...more

  • #530: How to Get More "Aha" Insights

    Jul 31 2019

    You've probably experienced a few aha moments in your life. Moments where an idea for a new business or piece of art, or a solution to a sticky technical, relational, or philosophical problem, suddenly popped into your mind.What causes these proverbial light bulbs to go off over our heads? What's going on in your brain when you experience an insight? And can you do anything to encourage more "aha" moments?My guest has spent his career researching the answers to these questions. His name is John ...more

  • #529: The Money Scripts That Are Holding Back Your Financial Future

    Jul 29 2019

    If you struggle with getting your financial house in order, you may feel that what you need is more information on how things like stocks or IRAs or budgets work. However, my guest today would say that what you actually need most of all, is a better understanding of the relationship that your parents' and even your grandparents' had with money, and how the "money scripts" they've passed down to you have affected your own thinking about finances. His name is Brad Klontz; he's a psychologist ...more

  • #528: Become a More Competent Human Through Micromastery

    Jul 24 2019

    The author Robert Heinlein famously said: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”Compelling as that sounds, why do so many of us fall short...more

  • #527: Father Wounds, Male Spirituality, and the Journey to the Second Half of Life

    Jul 22 2019

    How does the way men experience spirituality differ from the way women engage it? What obstacles particularly keep men from experiencing greater meaning in their lives, and what paradigm shifts help them find it?My guest today has been thinking about those questions over the six decades he's served as a Franciscan friar. His name is Richard Rohr, and he's authored numerous books and devoted a significant part of his vocation to working with men -- both ministering to those who are incarcerated, ...more

  • #526: The Rise and Fall of the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

    Jul 17 2019

    For nearly 400 years, the Comanche tribe controlled the southern plains of America. Even as Europeans arrived on the scene with guns and metal armor, the Comanches held them off with nothing but horses, arrows, lances, and buffalo hide shields. In the 18th century, the Comanches stopped the Spanish from driving north from Mexico and halted French expansion westward from Louisiana. In the 19th century, they stymied the development of the new country by engaging in a 40-year war with the Texas Ran...more

  • #525: How to Stress Proof Your Body and Brain

    Jul 15 2019

    Oftentimes, our ancient brains don't seem well equipped to deal with the speed and complexities of modernity. The landscape bombards us with perceived threats and problems, and we have trouble not ruminating on them. To navigate this environment, while maintaining our composure and sanity, we need to strengthen our resistance to stress. My guest today has written a guidebook to how that's done. Her name is Dr. Mithu Storoni, and she's a medical doctor who also holds a PhD in Neuro-ophthalmo...more

  • #524: Boxing Trainer Teddy Atlas on What It Means to Be a Man

    Jul 10 2019

    Teddy Atlas was born to a well-respected doctor in a wealthy part of Staten Island. Most kids like him end up going to an Ivy League school to become some sort of white collar professional. Teddy? Teddy dropped out of high school, went to jail, and ended up becoming a trainer to 18 world champion boxers, including heavyweight champion Michael Moore, who defeated Evander Holyfield for the title in 1994.Today on the show I talk to Teddy about how and why he took the path he did in life. Teddy expl...more

  • #523: How to Keep a Happy Relationship Happy

    Jul 08 2019

    Most marriage and relationship advice books focus on solving problems. But my guests today argue that we shouldn't wait until problems arise in our relationship to work on strengthening it. Instead, they say, when times are good, we should think about how to keep that good, and act to make it even better. Their names are James Pawelski and Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, and they're husband and wife. James has a background in philosophy, and they both have backgrounds in psycho...more

  • #522: What Is Wit and Why Does the World Need It?

    Jul 03 2019

    When you think about wit, what comes to mind? Someone who's quick with a funny remark?My guest today says that while humor is one part of wit, it's really better thought of in a broader way, as a kind of "improvisational intelligence." His name is James Geary, and he's the author of Wit's End: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It. Today on the show, we discuss all things witty. We begin our conversation describing the nature of wit, and ...more

  • #521: The 5 Universal Laws of Success

    Jul 01 2019

    We're told that talent and hard work pays off. But we've all seen instances where people who were equally or even less talented and hard working than we are, still got the raise, the buzz, the promotion, or the recognition that we so keenly wanted for ourselves. It can make a man downright cynical. My guest today says that instead of getting jaded, you need to understand that hard work and talent, while necessary, aren't sufficient for success. His name is Albert-László Barabási, ...more

  • #520: The Surprising Origins and Prevalence of Bigorexia and Male Body Image Issues

    Jun 26 2019

    We typically associate body image issues with women. But my guest today says that a quarter of people with eating disorders are male and that there are millions of men in America silently struggling with and obsessing over how they look -- even to the detriment of their health, careers, and relationships. His name is Dr. Roberto Olivardia. He's a professor of clinical psychology at Harvard and the co-author of the book The Adonis Complex: How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Body Obsess...more

  • #519: How to Start Your Own Farm

    Jun 24 2019

    Have you ever been sitting at your office desk and found yourself daydreaming about becoming a farmer? My guest today has written a practical, all-encompassing handbook to help you turn that dream into a reality. His name is Forrest Pritchard. He's a farmer and the co-author of the book Start Your Own Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st Century Farmer. We begin our conversation discussing the state of the farming profession and the soci...more

  • #518: The Quest for a Moral Life

    Jun 19 2019

    Do you ever feel like you're spinning your existential wheels in life? That outwardly, you seem to be doing ok, but inwardly, you feel kind of empty? My guest today would say that you've got to move on from trekking up life's first mountain, to begin a journey up its second. His name is David Brooks and he’s the author of The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life. In that book, David makes the case that there are two mountains that we climb in life: The first ...more

  • #517: What Big-Time Catastrophes Can Teach Us About How to Improve the Systems of Our Lives

    Jun 17 2019

    Whenever a financial or technological disaster takes place, people wonder if it could have possibly been averted. My guests today say that the answer is often yes, and that the lessons around why big disasters happen can teach us something about preventing catastrophes in our businesses and personal lives. Their names are Chris Clearfield and Andras Tilcsik, and they're the authors of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It. We begin our discussion getting ...more

  • #516: How to Lead an Unstoppable Team

    Jun 12 2019

    All of us will take on leadership roles at some point in our lives. What can you do to ensure your team performs at its highest level?My guest today argues that it's all about caring about the people you lead. His name is Alden Mills. He’s a former Navy SEAL platoon commander and the founder of Perfect Fitness -- the company that makes the Perfect Push-up. He's also written a couple books, including his latest: Unstoppable Teams. Today on the show, Alden and I discuss why caring about your ...more

  • #515: Aristotle's Wisdom on Living the Good Life

    Jun 10 2019

    What does it mean to live a good life? How can we achieve that good life? These are questions a Greek philosopher explored over 2,000 years ago in his Nicomachean Ethics. My guest today argues that the insights Aristotle uncovered millennia ago are still pertinent to us in the 21st century. Her name is Edith Hall, and she’s a classicist and the author of Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life. Today on the show we discuss what Aristotle thought the good...more

  • #514: Remembering D-Day 75 Years Later

    Jun 05 2019

    This week marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy. This amphibious Allied effort comprised a joint effort between British, Canadian, and American troops. Operation Overlord was massive in scope, and required effectively launching 12,000 planes and 7,000 vessels, landing 24,000 paratroopers into enemy territory, and transporting 160,000 troops across the English Channel and onto and over 50 miles of beaches.To commemorate this epic operation, I talk to historian Alex Ker...more

  • #513: Be Your Own Bodyguard

    Jun 03 2019

    If you’ve ever been at an event with a prominent person like a politician, celebrity, or business executive, you’ve likely noticed the dudes wearing sunglasses and sporting an earpiece, trying to look as unassuming as possible while vigilantly keeping an eye out for their client, or “principal.”These guys are part of a personal security detail, and their job is to protect VIPs from harassment and harm.Most of us will likely never be able to afford our own bodyguard, but that doesn’t mean we...more

  • #512: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

    May 29 2019

    We often think that to become a success in today’s modern world, you have to specialize and specialize early. My guest today makes the case that, actually, the most creative, innovative, and successful people don’t specialize. They’re generalists. His name is David Epstein and he’s the author of the book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. We begin our conversation discussing two different paths to success as embodied by Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, and why we...more

  • #511: Mastering the Psychology of Investing

    May 28 2019

    When it comes to investing, your brain can be your best friend or your worst enemy. My guest today explains how, and what you can do to ensure your brain is a staunch ally in your quest for financial security. His name is Daniel Crosby, he’s a psychologist, behavioral finance expert, and the author of The Behavioral Investor. We begin our conversation discussing the surprising ways sociology and physiology influence our financial decisions. We then delve into the psychological factors that ...more

  • #510: The Greatest Battle of the Korean War

    May 22 2019

    The Korean War is often overlooked by Americans. But this forgotten war played a big role in shaping the world order in the second half of the 20th century. What’s more, one of the most heroic and harrowing military operations in U.S. history took place deep in the snowy and bitterly cold mountains of North Korea, creating a legendary group of fighters who became known as the "Frozen Chosin." My guest today has written a book that captures this event in military history....more

  • #509: Good Shame; Bad Shame

    May 20 2019

    In the modern age, shame is often seen as an unmitigated bad. According to this popular view, all shame is negative and toxic and steps should be taken to avoid and rid oneself of it. My guest today, however, makes the contrarian case that some shame is actually necessary to develop a true sense of self. His name is Joseph Burgo, he’s a clinical psychologist and the author of the book Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem. To...more

  • #508: Break Out of Your Cage and Stop Being a Human Zoo Animal

    May 15 2019

    The human body is capable of doing a wide variety of movements, in a variety of environments. But my guest today argues that most modern people only do a few movements each day, commonly find themselves stuck in sterile surroundings, and that these confinements are sapping our physical and psychological health.His name is Erwan Le Corre and he’s the founder of the MovNat physical fitness system and the author of the book The Practice of Natural Movement: Reclaim Power, Health...more

  • #507: How to Increase Your Personal Agency

    May 13 2019

    Many people today are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by life. The typical approach to treating these issues is to learn how to manage one's symptoms through things like mindfulness or meditation. My guest today argues that mere management is insufficient. Instead, we need to tackle the root of what’s causing us to feel anxious, stuck, and generally lost—a decreasing sense of agency. His name is Dr. Paul Napper and he’s a psychologist and the co-author of the book The Po...more

  • #506: How to Improve Your Speaking Voice

    May 08 2019

    When it comes to your personal presentation, there’s one aspect that often gets overlooked: your voice. Your voice is a big part of what makes you, you, and what makes you likable and influential. Yet you probably don't think too much about it. Not to mention, my guest today argues, you’re likely not even using your true voice thanks to bad habits you’ve picked up throughout your life. His name is Roger Love, he’s a voice coach who's worked with ...more

  • #505: A Man's Need for Ritual

    May 06 2019

    For thousands of years, men's lives were structured by rituals -- rituals that helped them mark significant events, make sense of the world, and move from one phase of life to the next.In our modern age, our lives are largely devoid of rituals, and my guest today says we're worse off for it. His name is William Ayot, and he’s a poet, men’s group facilitator, ritual leader, and the author of Re-Enchanting the Forest: Meaningful Ritual in a Secular World. We begin our conversation discussing Willi...more

  • #504: How an Olympic Marathoner Trains, Eats, Recovers, and Stays Mentally Strong

    May 01 2019

    The marathon race is one of sport's most physically demanding events. To not just complete a marathon to but to compete in the race at its highest levels takes an incredible amount of dedication to training, recovery, diet, and mindset.My guest today gives us a firsthand look at what that kind of dedication and strategy look like. His name is Jared Ward, and he placed 6th in the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and 8th in this year's Boston Marathon. But Jared is more than just a runner -- he'...more

  • #503: The Case for the 24/6 Lifestyle

    Apr 29 2019

    We live in a world where it’s possible to work ourselves 24/7. Even when you’re away from the office, work still follows you on your smartphone. Being constantly connected can make us feel like we’re getting a lot done, but my guest today makes the case that we’d all be better off if we practiced the ancient tradition of the Sabbath. His name Aaron Edelheit and he’s the author of the book The Hard Break: The Case for a 24/6 Lifestyle. We begin our show discussing the burnout Aaron...more

  • #502: Why You Should Talk to Strangers

    Apr 24 2019

    Talking to new people can lead to making new connections and learning interesting things, and simply makes both you and the person you talk with happier. Yet many of us have a very difficult time striking up a conversation with strangers. Why is this?My guest today has done studies to find out. Her name is Gillian Sandstrom and she's a professor of social psychology at the University of Essex. Gillian's research has explored both why people have such a hard time talking to strangers, a...more

  • #501: Zero to Hero: From Bullied Kid to Medal of Honor Recipient

    Apr 22 2019

    As a boy, Allen J. Lynch was a severely bullied and aimless kid growing up in the industrial neighborhoods of Chicago's South Side. He went on to serve in the Army, receive the Medal of Honor for the valor he displayed when he rushed to save three fallen comrades during a deadly firefight in Vietnam, and dedicate his life to helping his fellow veterans.Today I talk to Allen about his story, which he shares in his recently published memoir: Zero to Hero: From Bullied Kid to Warrior...more

  • #500: Let's Talk About Death Over Dinner

    Apr 17 2019

    When you invite people over for a dinner party, you likely think of some delightful conversation topics to bring up to keep your guests engaged. My guest today argues that one of those topics should be death.His name is Michael Hebb and he’s the founder of Death Over Dinner, an organization that encourages folks to have dinner parties to talk about death -- from the philosophical aspects to practical matters like wills and funeral planning. Today on the show we discuss why yo...more

  • #499: A Fascinating Primer on Norse Mythology

    Apr 15 2019

    The world of Norse mythology and legend is a thoroughly fascinating one, and my guest has captured it in all its compelling mystery in his book which retells those stories, called Tales of Valhalla. His name is Martyn Whittock and today he takes us on a gripping tour of Norse culture and myth.We begin the show discussing who the Norse people were, and the misconceptions people commonly have about them, including associating them exclusively with Vikings. We also talk about misconceptions ab...more

  • #498: Lessons in Persistence From Climber Tommy Caldwell

    Apr 10 2019

    On El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, there was a wall that had never been climbed, and that some said would never be climbed. It’s called the Dawn Wall.But in 2015, Tommy Caldwell along with Kevin Jorgeson became the first to free climb it. That journey was then made into an award-winning film called Dawn Wall. Today I speak to Tommy about what led up to that historic climb, starting from how he got involved in rock climbing in his childhood. We begin our conversation discussing the dif...more

  • #497: The Meaning, Manifestations, and Treatments for Anxiety

    Apr 08 2019

    According to recent statistics, the number of Americans dealing with anxiety disorders is over 40 million and that number is increasing. My guest today is one of those Americans who's suffered from bouts of anxiety all of his life. He’s also a successful journalist. So he decided to use his journalistic chops to explore the history of anxiety and how we treat it in the hopes he could gain more insight about the mental disorder that has plagued him since his youth.&n...more

  • #496: What Plato's Republic Has to Say About Being a Man

    Apr 03 2019

    Plato’s Republic is a seminal treatise in Western political philosophy and thought. It hits on ideas that we’re still grappling with in our own time, including the nature of justice and what the ideal political system looks like. But my guest today argues that The Republic also has a lot to say about manliness, character development, and education in our current climate of safe spaces and trigger warnings. His name is Jacob Howland. He’s a professor of philosophy at...more

  • #495: Wish You Had More Time? What You Really Want is More Memories

    Apr 01 2019

    When you ask people about their schedules, they'll typically tell you they're very busy, and don't have enough time for sleep or for leisure activities. Yet when they're actually asked to track their time, it turns out that they work less and sleep more than they realize.My guest today studied and dug into this disparity. Her name is Laura Vanderkam and she's the author of several books on the personal use of time, including the focus of our discussion: Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy Wh...more

  • #494: The Inspiring Story of One of WWII's Greatest Tank Gunners

    Mar 27 2019

    Recently, I participated in the AoM podcast's first live audience interview. It took place at Magic City Books here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and joining me for the interview was two-time past guest Adam Makos. Makos, the author of A Higher Call and Devotion, was here in T-Town to discuss his most recent book, Spearhead: An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II.Spearhead follows the story of Clarence Smoyer -- a quiet kid from Pennsylvania coal country who beca...more

  • #493: 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die

    Mar 25 2019

    There are over a hundred million books in existence. And the average person only has 8 decades in which to read them. So which books should you choose to read over others before you croak?It's a question that's launched scores of lists and many an argument, and my guest today has fired his own missive in the debate. His name is James Mustich, he’s been in the book business for over 30 years as a book seller, reviewer, and editor, and he's created the ultimate book list in his book 1,000 Boo...more

  • #492: How to Survive a Secret Syrian Terrorist Prison

    Mar 20 2019

    Matthew Schrier was on his way home from Syria after spending months photographing the war going on there, when, just 45 minutes from the safety of the Turkish border, he was taken prisoner by the Al-Nusra Front — a branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria.For the next seven months he was starved and tortured in six different prison camps. Yet he survived, becoming the first Westerner to escape Al-Qaeda. Today he teaches the military about what he learned through his experience.Today on the show, I talk to M...more

  • #491: Everything You Know About Passion is Wrong

    Mar 18 2019

    "Passion" is a word that's been thrown around a lot in the last few decades. People have a vague notion that passion is a very good thing, and that they want to find it in their work and lives. But beyond passion as a buzzword, its realities are actually very little discussed and seldomly well understood.My guests today have set out to correct this deficit in their new book: The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life. Their n...more

  • #490: Can You Learn to Be Lucky?

    Mar 13 2019

    There's no doubt that luck plays a role in how successful we are in life, but the more we believe in luck, the less motivated we feel to proactively go after our goals. How do we navigate this paradox around luck — acknowledging the influence of chance but not letting it demoralize us?My guest today argues the answer lies in seeing life more like playing a game of poker than pulling the handle of a slot machine. Her name is Karla Starr and she's the author of Can You Learn to Be Lucky? Why Some ...more

  • #489: How to Get a Handle on Your Anger

    Mar 11 2019

    If you’ve been trying to get a handle on your anger, you’ve likely read tips for calming down like taking a deep breath and counting to ten.My guest today argues while those tactics might serve as band-aid in the short term, truly getting control of your anger has to begin long before you have a blow up. His name is David Lieberman. He holds a Ph.D in psychology and is the author of several books, including his latest, Never Get Angry Again. We begin our discussion talking about what happen...more

  • #488: Fasting as a Spiritual Discipline

    Mar 06 2019

    The health benefits of fasting from food have gotten a lot of attention in the last several years. What's often forgotten in these discussions, however, is that fasting has been practiced for thousands of years not only for the sake of the body, but for the spirit as well. My guest today has written a book, The Sacred Art of Fasting, that explores the different ways fasting is practiced by all of the world's major religions and how it can be practiced by individuals today. His name is ...more

  • #487: Leadership Lessons From the 3 Greatest Ancient Commanders

    Mar 04 2019

    Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Julius Caesar. Three of the greatest generals of antiquity. But what made them great and what can we learn from them about leadership? My guest explores those questions in his book Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership. His name is Barry Strauss and he’s a classicist and military historian at Cornell University. Today on the show we discuss the traits all three of these men possessed that made them such mil...more

  • #486: How to Get Better at Making Life-Changing Decisions

    Feb 27 2019

    How do you make the biggest decisions you face, the ones that have significant consequences and can change your life? Choices like whether to get married, move, attend a certain college, take a particular job, and so on? If you're like a lot of people, you just kind of wing it, and maybe draw up a basic pros and cons list.My guest today has studied the latest research in decision making theory and formulated a better approach. His name is Steven Johnson, his latest book is Farsighted: ...more

  • #485: Why Visiting Dark Places Is Good for the Soul

    Feb 25 2019

    When you go on vacation, you probably travel to places that help you feel good, relax, and have fun. My guest today likes to visit places where great human suffering and tragedy has occurred.His name is Thomas Cook. He's a writer of crime fiction, but in his latest book, Even Darkness Sings, he takes readers with him on the real family trips he's taken to see humanity’s darkest places, including Auschwitz, Verdun, and Hiroshima. We begin our conversation discussing how Thomas and his wife g...more

  • #484: A Man's Search for Meaning Inside the Ring

    Feb 20 2019

    If you've never been in a fight before, have you ever wondered how you’d respond to getting punched in the face?My guest today found the experience pretty delightful. Which is all the more surprising given that he'd lived more than three decades of his life as a self-described pacifist, who abhorred violence, thought fighting was barbaric, and feared he was a coward. His name is Josh Rosenblatt, and he’s the author of Why We Fight: One Man’s Search For Mea...more

  • #483: What Really Works for Exercise Recovery?

    Feb 18 2019

    In the past few years, sports recovery has become a big business. Elite athletes and weekend warriors alike are spending lots of time and money on things like cryotherapy, float tanks, foam rolling, and supplements in order to feel better, push themselves harder, and gain an edge over the competition. But does any of this stuff actually do anything? My guest today spent a year investigating the science of exercise recovery. Her name is Christie Aschwanden and she’s the author...more

  • #482: The Power of Penmanship

    Feb 13 2019

    In the 21st century, most of our written communication is done through typing on a computer or tapping digital buttons on a smartphone screen. But my guest today argues that we can increase our sense of humanity and our connection to the physical world and to other people by rediscovering the lost art of putting a real pen to real paper.His name is Michael Sull. He’s a master penman, penmanship instructor, and the author of several penmanship books. Today on the podcast, I talk to Mich...more

  • #481: Building Financial Independence Beyond the Stock Market

    Feb 11 2019

    Financial independence is a goal for a lot of folks. But what does it take to get there? My guest today explores that question on his website, Financial Samurai. His name is Sam Dogen, and before writing about money online, he worked in finance. We begin our conversation discussing how his career in equities shaped his personal finance philosophy and made him leery of putting too much wealth in the stock market. Sam shares why he recommends putting a lower percentage of your ...more

  • #480: Hiking With Nietzsche

    Feb 06 2019

    Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most polarizing and misunderstood of modern philosophers. Dismissed by some and misinterpreted by others, the real philosophy of Nietzsche in fact holds some incredibly life-affirming truths for everyone, regardless of belief or age. My guest today has spent much of both his personal and professional life tracking down those insights. At the age of 19 and then again at age 37, he traveled to the Swiss town where Nietzsche wrote his ...more

  • #479: Becoming a Digital Minimalist

    Feb 04 2019

    Practicing minimalism with your possessions has been a trend for the past decade, and it can be a worthy practice, as long as you use it as a means to greater efficacy outside your personal domain, rather than just an end in itself.But there's arguably a minimalism practice that's even more effective in achieving that greater efficacy: digital minimalism.My guest has written the definitive guide to the philosophy and tactics behind digital minimalism. His ...more

  • #478: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity

    Jan 30 2019

    Having a positive mindset comes with an unbelievable number of benefits, from better physical and mental health, to improved relationships and performance at work. If you've got a more negative bent, you're really missing out on a lot.  Fortunately, my guest says it's possible to shift into a more positive gear. Her name is Dr. Catherine Sanderson and she’s a professor of psychology at Amherst College. In her latest book, The Positive Shift,...more

  • #477: The History and Future of America's Special Forces

    Jan 28 2019

    When people talk about military special forces, the Navy SEALs are often the first to come to mind. But there are several special forces in the military that have a storied history and play a fundamental role in America’s military defense. My guest today is the only person to have been allowed to audit and write about the training programs of the respective special forces units of every branch of the military.His name is Dick Couch. He’s a retired US Navy SEAL and the author of several book...more

  • #476: Are Modern People the Most Exhausted in History?

    Jan 23 2019

    People often complain about being tired and burnt out these days from work and family responsibilities. We think it’s because of the way technology has sped up the pace of life, and the way we’re always “on,” and figure we’re living in the most exhausting age in history. But are we really?My guest today argues that, no, people have been complaining about being tired since at least antiquity. Her name is Anna Schaffner and she’s written a book called Exhaustion: A History, which traces the fascin...more

  • #475: How to Lose Weight, and Keep It Off Forever

    Jan 22 2019

    If you’re like a lot of men listening to this podcast, you’ve likely made it a goal to lose some weight this year. But if you’re also like a lot of men listening to this podcast, you’ve made that goal before, maybe even succeeded with it, but have had to make it again because you gained all the weight back. My guest today argues that losing weight is actually pretty easy. The real trick is keeping it off.His name is Layne Norton. He’s a professional bodybuilder, powerlifter, and doctor of nutrit...more

  • #474: The Surprises of Romantic Attraction

    Jan 16 2019

    According to the popular, evolutionary theory of human attraction, people select romantic partners based on objective assessments of what's called their "mate value" -- the extent to which an individual possesses traits like good looks and status. But is that really all that's behind the way people pair up?My guest today has done a series of studies which add greater nuance to the mysteries of romantic attraction. His name is Paul Eastwick and he's a professor of psychology at USC Davis. We begi...more

  • #473: The Solitude of a Fire Watcher

    Jan 14 2019

    The Gila National Forest covers about 3.3 million acres in southwest New Mexico. During the dry summer season, wildfires pose a serious threat to the area. To spot wildfires in this vast landscape as soon as they start, the U.S. Forest Service relies on fire towers spread throughout the area that are each manned by a lone individual. My guest today wrote a memoir about the unique experience this job offers. His name is Philip Connors, he's a writer and one of the country's few remaining fire wat...more

  • #472: Reagan, the Man

    Jan 09 2019

    Like FDR or JFK, Ronald Reagan has become more of a symbol for many Americans than a flesh and blood person. For some he’s the embodiment of all that’s good in America, while for others he's the very opposite. But beyond the political divides, who was Reagan, the man?My guest today spent five years researching and writing an epic, non-partisan biography that seeks to bring the abstraction of Reagan back down to earth. His name is Bob Spitz and his biography is Reaga...more

  • #471: Using Mental Models to Make Better Decisions

    Jan 07 2019

    We live in a complex, fast-changing world. Thriving in this world requires one to make fast decisions with incomplete information. But how do you do that without making too many mistakes?My guest today argues that one key is stockpiling your cognitive toolbox with lots of “mental models.”His name is Shane Parrish. He’s a former Canadian intelligence officer and the owner of the website Farnam Street, which publishes articles about better thinking and decision making and is read by Wall Street in...more

  • #470: A Proven System for Building and Breaking Habits

    Jan 02 2019

    It’s a new year and if you’re like millions of people around the world, you’re likely making goals to create some new habits or to break some bad ones. But if you’re also like millions of people around the world, your attempts at making and breaking habits will usually fail after just a few weeks of flailing effort, and you'll probably think your lack of willpower is to blame.My guest today argues that it isn’t truly a lack of willpower that’s holding you back from your habit goals, it’s the tac...more

  • #469: How Valley Forge Turned the Tide of the Revolutionary War

    Dec 23 2018

    Eighteen months after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Continental Army was on the ropes and the American Revolution was on the verge of being snuffed out. Battered, demoralized, and half-naked, 12,000 American troops marched into a small, poorly supplied encampment in British-occupied Pennsylvania to hunker down for the winter. They called the encampment Valley Forge.Despite the terrible conditions and circumstances there, something happened at Valley Forge that would change the ...more

  • #468: Does Meditation Deserve the Hype?

    Dec 19 2018

    Earlier this year, I did a show about the benefits of meditation. That’s episode #439 for those who want to check it out. Shortly after that interview, I came across a book called The Buddha Pill, which takes a critical look at the research on meditation and exposes some of the weaknesses of the hype that currently surrounds it. As someone who loves to look at both sides of an issue, I was certainly intrigued and today talk to one of the co-authors of that book.I begin my conversation ...more

  • #467: 3 Big Questions to Help Frantic Families Get on Track

    Dec 17 2018

    Does your family life feel frantic?Does it seem like every week you and your wife are scrambling to manage all the stuff that’s going on like school and community activities, extracurriculars, social engagements, and home maintenance?Perhaps what you need to do is apply some of the strategies that help businesses get organized to your family life. That’s the argument my guest makes in his book The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family. His name is Patrick Lencioni and he’s a business consult...more

  • #466: What It's Like to Become a Widower

    Dec 12 2018

    What’s it like for a man to lose the person at the very center of his life — his wife? Maybe you know firsthand, because you’ve lost a spouse yourself. Or maybe you know a friend or family member who’s a widower, and have wondered what he’s going through and how to help him. Or maybe you’re just curious about what this journey is like, should you, heaven forbid, become a widower one day yourself.No matter which group you fall into, we could all benefit from understanding more about the journey w...more

  • #465: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead

    Dec 10 2018

    To move forward in life, we typically focus on finding answers. But my guest today argues we should spend more time asking questions. His name is Warren Berger, and he’s a self-described “questionologist” and the author of The Book of Beautiful Questions: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead. We begin our conversation discussing why having an inquisitive mindset is more important than ever in this fast changing, uncertain world of ours, but why people ...more

  • #464: What's Causing the Sex Recession?

    Dec 05 2018

    Studies show that people, especially young people, are having less sex than past generations did. While many may celebrate this decline as a good thing, the reasons behind the drop in sex may not all be so positive. A decline in physical intimacy may potentially speak to a decline in emotional intimacy, and a struggle modern folks are having with connecting with each other.My guest explores the decline in sexual frequency as a way into these larger cultural and relational questions in her l...more

  • #463: The Friendship, Rivalry, and Leadership of WWII’s 3 Greatest American Generals

    Dec 03 2018

    Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley. Three great U.S generals that led the Allies to victory in Europe during WWII. But WWII wasn’t the first time these three men met. Decades before they forged friendships and rivalries with one another that would influence their path to leadership. My guest today has written a biography of the complex relationships between these three men and how they impacted the tide of WWII. His name is Jonathan Jordan and his book is Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Pat...more

  • #462: How to Tell Better Stories

    Nov 28 2018

    Humans are storytelling and story-listening creatures. We use stories to teach, persuade, and to make sense of the complexities of existence. Being able to craft and deliver a good story is thus a real advantage in all areas of life, giving you a foot up when doing job interviews, going on dates, interacting with friends, or making a sales pitch.Fortunately, good storytelling is a skill that can learned by anyone. Here to teach us the art of storytelling is Matthew Dicks, a writer, five-tim...more

  • #461: The Spartan Regime

    Nov 26 2018

    For thousands of years, the Spartans have captured the imaginations of Westerners. In ancient Greece, the city-state was admired for its military prowess, civic unity, and dedication to leisurely athletic pursuits. Today, we make movies about Spartans and name sports teams after them. When we moderns think of Spartans, we typically think of them simply as fierce warriors.But while the Spartans were indeed warriors par excellence, their culture was much more complex. Today on the show, I unpack s...more

  • #460: The Eat, Sweat, Thrive Protocol for Tactical Athletes

    Nov 21 2018

    First responders and members of the military have physically and mentally demanding jobs. To tackle those jobs effectively, they need to be in shape physically and mentally. But most first responders have erratic schedules that make working out difficult, so that many don’t, and consequently suffer from injuries and poor health. My guest today is a former Navy SEAL on a mission to solve that problem. His name is Adam La Reau, and he's the founder of O2X, an organization dedicated ...more

  • #459: Beyond Gratitude Lite: The Real Virtue of Thankfulness

    Nov 19 2018

    This Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the United States. It’s a holiday dedicated to gratitude, and one in which we often trot out expressions of thankfulness.But how much is gratitude a part of our lives the other 364 days of the year? And even when we do think about gratitude at other times, does it admittedly often take a fairly superficial and fleeting form?On today’s show, we’re exploring the deeper, "harder" side of gratitude with my guest, Dr. Robert Emmons. Robert is a bona fid...more

  • #458: In Praise of Wasting Time

    Nov 14 2018

    Your time on earth is finite and once you use it up, it's gone forever. Thus on the AoM podcast, we talk a lot about how to maximize your time -- how to use it more effectively to be more productive. But is it possible to be too concerned about managing your time? Should you also make space for chucking out all the to-do lists and schedules and just being kind of idle?My guest would say yes. His name is Alan Lightman, he’s a physicist and writer, and the author of the book In Praise of Wasting T...more

  • #457: Leadership Lessons From the Pastor of One of America's Most Innovative Churches

    Nov 12 2018

    I grew up in Edmond, OK, a suburb of Oklahoma City. When I was teenager back in the 90s, I started hearing about some church being run out of a garage. Didn’t give it much thought then. Fast forward more than twenty years later, and Life.Church now has over 30 campuses across 10 states, and is often ranked as the largest church in America.Today on the show I talk to the guy who started this thing in a garage, and has stood at the helm of its tremendous growth, to glean his insights on leadership...more

  • #456: Myths About Kids and Sports

    Nov 07 2018

    Youth sports in America is a 15 billion dollar industry. A lot of that money is going towards special coaching and training and participation in elite travel teams. Parents spend an enormous amount of money and time on their kids’ involvement in sports, hoping the investment will pay off in accolades, college scholarships, and even the chance to play professionally. But my guests today argue that all that special coaching you’re spending money on probably isn’t doing much to turn your kid i...more

  • #455: How to Create the Perfect Morning Routine

    Nov 05 2018

    How you start something is often how you finish it, and that couldn't be truer than for the trajectory of each of your days. When your mornings feel chaotic, rushed, and fragmented, the rest of your day often does too. But when you start off with a centering, invigorating morning routine, that feeling follows you the rest of the day.If you've been wanting to improve or simply start your own morning routine, then this episode is for you. My guest is Benjamin Spall and he’s the co-author of t...more

  • #454: A Magician's Search for Wonder in the Modern World

    Oct 31 2018

    Magicians usually become magicians because they experienced a sense of wonder seeing a cool trick as a kid, and they want to re-create that awe for audience members on a regular basis.But what happens when a professional magician stops feeling the magic of magic?That happened to my guest today.His name is Nate Staniforth, and he recently wrote a book titled Here is Real Magic. Today on the show, Nate shares how he got into magic and became a professional magician, only to become disillusioned wi...more

  • #453: Leadership in Turbulent Times

    Oct 29 2018

    Are great leaders born or made? Do circumstances make great leaders or do great leaders change the times? These are a few of the big picture questions my guest explores in her latest book. Her name is Doris Kearns Goodwin, she’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and in her latest book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times, she explores the makings of great leaders by looking at the biographies of four US presidents who led the country through periods of crisis: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Ro...more

  • #452: The Warrior's Manifesto

    Oct 24 2018

    "Warrior" is a word that gets thrown around a lot. There are road warriors, and social justice warriors, and ninja warriors. But what does it really mean to be a warrior?My guest today sets out a working definition in his book The Warrior’s Manifesto. His name is Daniel Modell, and he earned his Master's Degree in philosophy before going on to serve for twenty years in the New York City Police Department.Daniel and I begin our conversation discussing what makes a warrior and the lesson...more

  • #451: The Daring Escape Artists of WWI

    Oct 22 2018

    When you think of wartime prison escapes, what comes to mind? Probably the breakouts attempted by prisoners of war during World War II and the movie The Great Escape. But the escapees of WWII learned many of the tricks of the trade from their pioneering predecessors, who honed their courageous craft during the first World War.My guest today has written a book about their audacious exploits. His name is Neal Bascomb, and his book is: The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and th...more

  • #450: How to Make Time for What Really Matters Every Day

    Oct 17 2018

    Do your days seem like a continuous blur of busyness, and yet you don't seem to get much done, nor remember much about how you spent your time?As a former employee of Google, my guest today worked on the very apps and technology that can often suck away our time. Today, he's dedicated to figuring out how to push back against these forces to help people take control of their time and attention.His name is John Zeratsky and he’s the co-author of the book Make Time: How to Focus on What M...more

  • #449: Faster and Cheaper Alternatives to College

    Oct 15 2018

    Every year the cost of a four-year college degree goes up, forcing young people to take on massive amounts of student debt for an education that often doesn't even prepare them well for the jobs of today. My guest today argues that there’s a better, cheaper, and faster way to prepare for gainful employment.His name is Ryan Craig, he's the Managing Director of University Ventures, an investment firm reimagining the future of higher education, and the author of A New U: Faster ...more

  • #448: Your Son Isn't Lazy — How to Empower Boys to Succeed

    Oct 10 2018

    Do you have a teenage boy who struggles in school? Or do you have a younger son who you can imagine struggling in school as he gets older? He may be an otherwise capable young man, but seems apathetic and unmotivated, to the point you think he's not excelling simply because he's lazy. My guest today says that's the wrong conclusion to draw, and one that leads to the wrong parenting approach to addressing it.His name is Adam Price and he's a child psychologist and the author of He's Not Lazy: Emp...more

  • #447: On Grand Strategy

    Oct 08 2018

    The ancient Greek poet Archilochus said, "A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing."The original meaning of the quote has been lost to the mists of time, but my guest today argues that it's a great metaphor for classifying two types of leadership strategies.His name is John Lewis Gaddis and he's a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, an expert on the Cold War, and a professor of military history at Yale University. Today, Professor Gaddis and I talk about his book, On Gran...more

  • #446: How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Will Make You a Better Man

    Oct 03 2018

    In the 1980s, when people signed up for a martial art, they probably joined a karate or taekwondo school. Today? They’re probably signing up for a roll on the mat in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu class. And the Gracie family has played a central role in this martial art's precipitous rise. My guest today is a member of the Gracie family, the head instructor of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and the co-creator of Gracie University, an online jiu-jitsu program. His name is Rener Gracie, and you may have se...more

  • #445: How to Close the Character Gap

    Oct 01 2018

    Are people mostly good or mostly bad? We're apt to think of ourselves as good people, while thinking of the general population as not-so-stellar. My guest today argues that most people, including yourself, are really best described as a mixed bag.His name is Christian Miller, he’s a professor of moral philosophy and religion at Wake Forest University, and today on the show we discuss his new book The Character Gap: How Good Are We? We begin our conversation discussing how Christia...more

  • #444: How to Use the Procrastination Equation to Start Getting Things Done

    Sep 26 2018

    Procrastination can be a big stumbling block to our success in life. If you’re a student and you put off studying to the last minute, you might not do as well on a test. If you wait to start saving for retirement until you’re in your 40s, you lose out on the power of compound interest.We know that we need to do certain things sooner, rather than later, but we don’t. Why?My guest today is Dr. Piers Steel, and in his work and his book, The Procrastination Equation, he's distilled al...more

  • #443: What Building Your Own Coffin Teaches You About Life, Death, and Meaning

    Sep 24 2018

    When David Giffels was 50 years old and completely healthy, he decided to build his own coffin with his 81-year-old, master craftsman father. Why? Well, I ask him that on today’s podcast. David Giffels is a writer who previously published a book of essays about growing up in the Rust Belt of Ohio in the 1970s. That title is called The Hard Way on Purpose. In his latest book, Furnishing Eternity: A Father, a Son, a Coffin, and a Measure of Life, he recounts the experience of b...more

  • #442: Rocky Marciano's Fight for Perfection in a Crooked World

    Sep 19 2018

    Rocky Marciano was a slow, stocky kid, with short arms and stubby legs. He wasn’t the kind of kid you’d pick to one day be an elite boxer, yet he went on to become the only undefeated heavyweight champion in boxing history. In the process, Marciano became a cultural icon in 1950s America, rubbing shoulders with presidents, movie stars, and gangsters.How did someone who got a late start in the sport, become one of boxing's greatest athletes? And what happens to a man when fame and fortune are sud...more

  • #441: Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More

    Sep 18 2018

    Do you feel like you’re putting your nose to the grindstone and working longer and longer hours, but not getting anywhere with your career? My guest today makes the case that if you want to be a top performer and advance in your job, you need to start working smarter instead of harder.His name is Morten Hansen and in his book Great at Work, he highlights his groundbreaking, exhaustive analysis on top performers and shares his "7 Work Smarter Prac...more

  • #440: The 3 Great Untruths That Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

    Sep 12 2018

    If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve likely seen headlines about the tumultuous atmosphere on many college campuses in the United States, which primarily centers around what is and isn’t okay to say or express. The interesting thing is that not too long ago, it was the students who were protesting against the administration placing controls on free speech. But a few years ago, my guest noticed that things had gotten flipped: the students had started protesting that administrators were...more

  • #439: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

    Sep 10 2018

    You’ve probably read or heard about the benefits of meditation, but you’ve never given it a try because it all seems a bit too woo-woo. You’re not alone. My guest used to be a skeptic himself, but after falling into drug use and suffering a nervous breakdown on national television, he gave meditation a try and found that it made him calmer and more resilient. He’s now on a mission to make meditation approachable for the masses — no meditation pillow required. His name is Dan Harris. He’s a news ...more

  • #438: Developing Real-World Situational Awareness

    Sep 05 2018

    If you found yourself in a situation with a violent attacker, would you know what to do? While it’s easy to think you’d instinctively make the right decision, the truth is, if you haven’t been formulating and practicing a plan ahead of time, you’ll likely make the wrong, and possibly deadly, choice.My guest today has spent over two decades teaching people how to deal with threats, and even more importantly, how to avoid them in the first place. His name is Dr. Gav Schneider and he...more

  • #437: Don't Make Me Pull Over! A History of the Road Trip

    Sep 03 2018

    If you grew up in America in the 1970s and '80s, a vacation with your family likely involved piling in a car with your parents and siblings and being stuck with them for eight or more hours on the open road with little other than each other to keep yourselves entertained and sane. Entire movies were made about The Great American Road Trip. Yet this world has slowly faded away without our hardly noticing thanks to cheaper airfare and advances in technology and convenience.My guest today set out t...more

  • #436: The Worth of War

    Aug 29 2018

    You’ve probably heard that Edwin Starr song “War, What is It Good For?” Well, my guest today makes the provocative argument that war is in fact good for a lot of things. His name is Benjamin Ginsberg. He’s a professor of political science at John Hopkins University and in his book, The Worth of War, he argues that while war certainly is terrible in the death and destruction it wreaks, it also gives rise to many of the political structures, technologies, and conveniences that society benefit...more

  • #435: How to Achieve Hyperfocus

    Aug 27 2018

    We all want to be more productive. And when we buckle down to do so, we typically try to figure out ways to better manage our time. My guest today, though, argues that focusing on managing your time is only part of the productivity picture. You also need to learn how to better manage your attention.His name is Chris Bailey, and his latest book is Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction. Today on the show, Chris shares research-backed advice on how to improv...more

  • #434: Legendary Coach John Wooden’s Secrets of Leadership

    Aug 22 2018

    John Wooden has been called the greatest coach of all time. During his tenure as coach of the UCLA men's basketball team from 1948 to 1975, he led his team to four undefeated seasons and ten national championships, seven of which happened in consecutive years.But the funny thing is, winning wasn't John Wooden's goal as a coach. That was simply a happy byproduct of the ultimate aim he set for his team both on and off the court -- to perform their very best in whatever they did.My guest today...more

  • #433: The Adventure of Silence

    Aug 20 2018

    We live in an age of noise. Not just audible noise, but visual noise. It seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without something or someone vying for your attention. My guest today thinks all this noise has made us a bit crazy, and that we need to re-capture the power of silence in our lives. He came to this realization while traveling alone, by foot, for fifty days to the South Pole. Since having that experience of what he initially found to be a disturbing level of silence, he thinks oth...more

  • #432: How to Achieve Creative Success

    Aug 15 2018

    When we think of creative people, we often think of a genius who works alone, comes up with an earth-shatteringly new idea in an instantaneous eureka moment, and then sees that obviously valuable idea naturally become a well-known sensation.My guest today argues that this picture is altogether wrong, and lays out a different image of what it really means not only to be creative, but to become a successful creative, and achieve one's aims. His name is Allen Gannett and he’s the author of The Crea...more

  • #431: How Everything Is Funny Now, and Why That's Terrible

    Aug 13 2018

    No matter where you look these days, someone is trying to make you laugh. Advertisers, politicians, and even ministers have all become comedians. But it wasn’t always like this. When and why did the world become so funny? And what are the consequences of living in a culture where everything has a touch of humor and irony?My guest explores those questions in his latest book, Planet Funny. His name is Ken Jennings (yes, Ken Jennings the Jeopardy guy). Today on the show, Ken shares the mo...more

  • #430: Why You Need to Join the Great Conversation About the Great Books

    Aug 09 2018

    There are conversations between friends. Conversations between family. And conversations in the media. But did you know there's also been a conversation going on between writers, thinkers, and philosophers for a couple thousand years? What's been called "the Great Conversation" refers to the way the authors of the so-called "Great Books" have for millennia been referencing and riffing on the work of their predecessors, and this dialogue is one you can not only eavesdrop on yourself, but joi...more

  • #429: Taking Control of the Brain Chemical That Drives Excitement, Motivation, and More

    Aug 07 2018

    Why do you feel so motivated and excited about tackling a new project at first, but then get bored and abandon it?Why does passionate love quickly turn into ambivalence? Why does it feel like you had more zest for life and work in your twenties than in your thirties and forties?Much of the answer can be found in a single chemical in your brain: dopamine.That’s the case today’s guests make. Their names are Daniel Lieberman and Michael Long, and they’re the co-authors of a new ...more

  • #428: The Life of a Dragon — The Untold Story of Bruce Lee

    Aug 03 2018

    If you were like most boys, you probably went through a karate phase as a kid. When I went through my karate phase as a 5- and 6-year-old, I demanded that my family called me “Daniel-san.” Unfortunately, they did not comply.There’s one man you can thank for your karate phase: Bruce Lee. As my guest will show us today, Bruce Lee nearly single-handedly popularized martial arts in America thanks to his breakout Hong Kong kung fu movies in the early 1970s. My guest's name is Matthew Polly and h...more

  • #427: The Excellence Dividend

    Jul 31 2018

    In today's hyper-competitive market in which technology is eating jobs, what sets the successful companies and workers apart from the ones that flounder? My guest today argues it could be something as little as saying hello and helping an old lady with her wheelchair. His name is Tom Peters, and he's a business expert and the author of several books on professional success. His latest is The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide With Work That Wows and Jobs Tha...more

  • #426: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8

    Jul 26 2018

    When you think of the Apollo Mission, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepping foot on the moon. But even Armstrong didn’t think his moon landing was the most important or daring of all the Apollo missions. For Armstrong, Apollo 8 best fit that description. If you’re like most people, you probably know very little about Apollo 8, let alone the names of the three astronauts who flew on that mission. But that will definitely change a...more

  • #425: Action Over Feelings

    Jul 24 2018

    While we often associate Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions with meditation and contemplation, there's another side to this wisdom that centers on action and can help us move through depression, anxiety, fear, and just general malaise.My guest today is the author of a book about this action-oriented philosophy. His name is Gregg Krech, he's the co-founder of the ToDo Institute, and his book is The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology.Today on the show, Gregg and I d...more

  • #424: How Harry Truman Handled Being Out of His Depth

    Jul 19 2018

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  • #423: How to Survive a Grid-Down Disaster

    Jul 17 2018

    We’ve all probably thought about it. What would we do and how would we fare after a societal collapse? My guest today has spent his career helping individuals get ready for such a situation. His name is James Rawles. He’s the owner of survivalblog.com and the author of several bestselling books on prepping, including How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It.Today on the show, Jim and I discuss how our dependency on the power grid makes us more vulnerable to disaster than we’d like to th...more

  • #422: Men & Manners — Tipping, Emojis, and Much More

    Jul 12 2018

    They say that manners make the man. But how do you display good manners without coming off as awkward and in a way that elevates life both for yourself and for others? Today I bring back writer David Coggins to discuss etiquette and manners in the modern age. I had David on the show a year ago to discuss his book Men and Style. He’s now out with a new book called Men and Manners. Today on the show, David shares how style and manners are connected and why good manners are...more

  • #421: Why You Need a Philosophical Survival Kit

    Jul 10 2018

    Admiral James Stockdale was a fighter pilot and POW in Vietnam for seven years. During his imprisonment, he was regularly tortured and beaten, and often held in solitary confinement. Despite the emotional, mental, and physical trauma he faced day in and day out, Stockdale survived and came home to become an influential public figure. How did he do it?As my guest today explains, Stockdale had with him a philosophical survival kit. His name is Thomas Gibbons, he’s a retired Arm...more

  • #420: What Makes Your Phone So Addictive & How to Take Back Your Life

    Jul 05 2018

    If you’re like most people, you’ve got a powerful computer in your back pocket that allows you to listen to this podcast, check the score of your favorite team, and learn the population of Mickey Mantle’s hometown of Commerce, OK (answer: 2,473). Our smartphones are a blessing, but for many people they can also feel like a curse. You feel compelled to check your device all the time, leaving you feeling disengaged from life. What is it about modern technology that makes it feel so addictive?...more

  • #419: American Honor — Creating the Nation's Ideals During the Revolution

    Jul 03 2018

    What started the American Revolution? The typical answers are "taxation without representation" and the economic and political consequences that came with that. My guest today argues that while economic and political principles all played roles in the American Revolution, there’s one big thing underlying all the causes of the Revolutionary War that often gets overlooked: honor.His name is Craig Bruce Smith, he’s a historian and the author of the new book American Honor: The C...more

  • #418: How to Get Unstuck

    Jun 28 2018

    Do you feel stuck in moving forward with your plans and goals in life? Well my guest todayhas some no-nonsense advice on how to shift out of neutral and get going again.His name is Bernie Roth. He’s the co-founder of the Stanford design school and the author of The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life. Today on the show, Bernie explains to us what “design thinking” is and how its principles can be used to create a flourishing life f...more

  • #417: Expect Great Things — The Mystical Life of Henry David Thoreau

    Jun 26 2018

    Henry David Thoreau is one of America’s most influential thinkers and writers. 164 years after it was published, Walden continues to inspire readers to get out into nature and march to the beat of their own drummer. But what was the worldview of the man who wrote those immortal words? Well, for one thing, Thoreau believed in the existence of fairies. That’s one of the insights my guest mined as he explored the intellectual and spiritual life of Henry David Thoreau. His name i...more

  • #416: The Self-Driven Child

    Jun 21 2018

    Recent surveys have shown that anxiety and depression are up amongst school-aged children and teens. Parents and teachers are also reporting a decrease in motivation amongst young adults. My guests today argue that both issues stem from the same problem and can be solved with the same solution.  Their names are Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson. Bill’s a clinical neuropsychologist and Ned is a college test prep coach. In their book, The Self-Driven Child, they make the case t...more

  • #415: Forging Mental Strength Through Physical Strength

    Jun 19 2018

    When you start a fitness program, you tend to spend most of your time thinking about the physical part — what movements you’re going to do, how much weight you’re going to lift, or how far you’re going to run. But my guest today argues we ignore the mental aspect of our training at our peril. His name is Bobby Maximus. He’s a world-renowned trainer known for his brutal circuit workouts and the author of the new book Maximus Body.Today on the show Bobby and I dig into the psychology of ...more

  • #414: Theodore Roosevelt, Writer and Reader

    Jun 14 2018

    If you’ve been following The Art of Manliness for awhile, you know we’re big fans of Theodore Roosevelt. The man embodied the Strenuous Life. He was a rancher, a soldier, a hunter, a statesman, and a practitioner of boxing and judo. But what many people don’t know about Roosevelt was that he was also an accomplished man of letters. He wrote over forty books himself and read thousands of others over the course of his lifetime. And as my guests on the show point out, TR’s literary life was ti...more

  • #413: Make Today Matter

    Jun 12 2018

    We all want to feel like our lives matter. To find this kind of significance, we often think in macro terms about our overarching purpose and values. Such reflection is certainly useful, but what are the smaller building blocks that will get us to those goals? What are things we can do to live more purposefully on a day-to-day basis?My guest lays out ten such habits in his latest book, Make Today Matter. His name is Chris Lowney. He started his vocational life studying to become a...more

  • #412: The Power of Conspiracy and Secrets

    Jun 07 2018

    Back in 2016, a bizarre story emerged in pop culture. Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan won a $115 million dollar lawsuit against the gossip website Gawker for publishing a sex tape that had been made without his consent. The victory was somewhat surprising but the real surprise was who was actually behind the lawsuit; it wasn't Hogan himself, but the billionaire founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel.  Thiel had his own axe to grind against Gawker, and he had been honing it since 2007. He had ...more

  • #411: Why Emotions Are Better Than Willpower in Achieving Your Goals

    Jun 05 2018

    To achieve your goals, you probably think you need one key ingredient: willpower. Grit. Self-control. Discipline. To hear a lot of self-improvement gurus tell it, if you want to get your life together, then just get it together. Just do it. Yet while these motivational calls certainly feel good and make us pump our fists, how well does willpower-ing your way to your goals work in reality?If you're like a lot of people, who have a string of half-finished aims heaped in the dustbin of their l...more

  • #410: The Male Brain

    May 31 2018

    There’s a common argument out there that gender differences are just the product of socialization. Implicitly and explicitly, the argument goes, culture tells men and women how men and women should behave.My guest todayargues that the drivers of male and female behavior are little more complex than that. In fact, about 50% of the differences between men and women are rooted in our biology, beginning with how our respective brains form in utero. Her name is Louann Brizendine. She’s a ne...more

  • #409: The Epic Story of Sport Hunting in America

    May 30 2018

    Hunting is one of America’s deeply held national traditions. Some of our biggest folk heroes were hunters — men like Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and Theodore Roosevelt. But how did hunting become a tradition in America in the first place and how did that tradition influence American culture, including its arts and conservation laws?My guest todaytackled the history of American hunting, especially its sporting form, in his latest book. His name is Philip Dray and his book is The Fair C...more

  • #408: The Incredible Forgotten Story of WWII's Ed Dyess

    May 25 2018

    Ed Dyess was a smart, talented, athletic kid from Texas who had a passion for flying, movie star good looks, and a flare for acting. Thanks to a chance encounter on a highway in the middle of nowhere, he went on to become an ace fighter pilot, lead men with guns-a-blazing in America’s first amphibious attack during World War II, survive the Bataan Death March, and escape a harsh Japanese POW camp. All the while, Dyess kept quietly inspiring and leading everyone he encountered.Today on the s...more

  • #407: How to Overcome Nice Guy Syndrome

    May 22 2018

    We’ve been told since we were little kids to “Be nice.”But what if being nice isn’t really that good and it’s making you and those around you miserable?That’s the provocative argument my guest today makes. His name is Dr. Aziz Gazipura. He's a psychologist and founder of the Social Confidence Center. In his latest book, Not Nice, he makes the case that being nice is holding a lot of men back in their lives.We begin the show by talking about what people think “nice” means, but how it usually play...more

  • #406: Why You Need to Embrace Small Talk

    May 17 2018

    If you’re like a lot of people, engaging in small talk can feel awkward and tedious. Consequently, you avoid it as much you can. But my guest today argues that if you want to get ahead both personally and professionally, you need to embrace these little exchanges. Her name is Debra Fine and she's the author of "The Fine Art of Small Talk." Today on the show, Debra explains why small talk is actually a big deal and isn’t just a waste of saliva. She then shares the biggest obstacles people have to...more

  • #405: The Power of Team Captains

    May 15 2018

    What makes a great sports dynasty a great sports dynasty? We typically think it’s the result of amazing talent or coaching.But my guest today argues that it all comes down to the often quiet, understated leadership of a team captain. His name is Sam Walker and he’s the author of the book "The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams."Today on the show, Sam and I discuss his quest to uncover what makes great teams great and the unlikely answer he came up with. We th...more

  • #404: What Men Can Learn From Wolves

    May 10 2018

    Between 1991 and 1996, Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived with and filmed a pack of wolves in Idaho. From this intensive field work came the award-winning documentary, "Wolves at Our Door." The husband and wife team are out with a new book that highlights some of the things they learned on living a flourishing life from the wolf pack they were embedded within. It’s called "The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons from the Sawtooth Pack."Jim and Jamie share what wolves can teach us about family, respecting your el...more

  • #403: A Better Way to Network

    May 08 2018

    Networking. You’re told it’s something you need to do to advance your professional life, but the tactics most “networking professionals” suggest either don’t work or make you feel icky and awkward. My guest today argues that you don’t have to go to networking events or hand out business cards left and right to network effectively. You just need to realize you're already embedded in a really effective network right now. His name is David Burkus. He’s a professor of leadership and the author of th...more

  • #402: Why Honor Matters

    May 03 2018

    In today's world, honor is typically thought of in terms of integrity -- doing the right thing when no one is looking. But traditionally, honor meant having a reputation worthy of the respect of others. If people think about this type of honor at all these days, it's usually in a negative way, associating it with pistol duels, honor killings, and toxic shame. But my guest today argues that for moral life to be robust and vital, a culture of honor is absolutely necessary. His name is Tamler Somme...more

  • #401: Everything You Need to Know About Diet & Fat Loss

    May 01 2018

    When it comes to fitness and nutrition, the nutrition part can cause a lot of confusion. There’s so much information out there about the best diet to follow and often the advice is contradictory. My guest today is here to clear up some of the confusion. His name is Robert Santana, he’s a registered dietician, a PhD candidate in exercise and nutrition science, a Starting Strength coach, and the nutrition coach at Starting Strength Online Coaching. Today on the show we discuss all things diet and ...more

  • #400: The Tyranny of Convenience

    Apr 27 2018

    Modern life has given us lots of conveniences. With a tap of your smartphone screen, and without leaving the house, you can order a car to your door or a hot dinner, or even replenish your toilet paper supply. Right now, you’re listening to this podcast how and when you want to. Yes, life is good in the 21st century. But what if there’s such a thing as too much convenience? What if it's actually enslaving us in some strange way?That’s what my guest today argues. His name is Tim Wu, he’s a profes...more

  • #399: The Vast Influence of Testosterone on Our Bodies, Minds, and the World We Live In

    Apr 24 2018

    Testosterone. It’s what makes men, well, men. But my guest today argues that this hormone is a paradox. On the one hand, it makes men physically strong, courageous, and ambitious. But on the other hand, testosterone can contribute to prostate cancer, heart disease, and asocial aggression.My guests's name is Charles Ryan. He’s an oncologist that specializes in prostate cancer, and in his book, "The Virility Paradox," he walks readers through the upsides and the downsides of testosterone. We begin...more

  • #398: Should a Man Care About How He Dresses?

    Apr 19 2018

    To hear a lot of guys tell it, real men don't care about style. Where did this idea that men don't care about their appearance come from, has it always been around, and is there validity to it?My guest today argues against the idea that real men don't care about clothes and lays out a case for style being a valid part of masculinity. His name is Tanner Guzy. He's a stye coach and the author of "The Appearance of Power: How Masculinity Is Expressed Through Aesthetics."Today Tanner and I discuss w...more

  • #397: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed With Happiness

    Apr 17 2018

    #397: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed With Happiness by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #396: How to Deal With Anxiety

    Apr 12 2018

    Recent surveys have shown that rates of anxiety are up, especially among young people. What’s going on? And if you’re someone of any age who struggles with anxiety, what can you do about it? Those are just a few of the questions I ask my guest today. His name is Kevin Ashworth and he’s the clinical director at the NW Anxiety Institute. Today on the show Kevin and I discuss the difference between regular worrying and anxiety disorders, the ill effects of anxiety, and its causes. Kevin then explai...more

  • #395: Skin in the Game

    Apr 11 2018

    In a world where some people have certain advantages that others do not, how do you navigate the landscape while still acting ethically? My guest today argues that we all need to put some more skin in the game.His name is Nassim Taleb. If you read the AoM site, you’ve likely seen our articles about his antifragility concept. In his latest book, "Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life," he explores the ethics of living in a complex and uneven world. We begin our conversation discussin...more

  • #394: The Incredible True Story of the Renegade WWII Pilots Who Helped Win the War in the Pacific

    Apr 06 2018

    In 1942, the United States was fighting a war in two major theaters: Europe and the Pacific. But in the early days of WWII, the US and its allies had a “Europe First” strategy which resulted in more troops, supplies, and attention being funneled to that theater. American forces in the Pacific were charged with protecting Australia from Japan, but given scant resources to fulfill that mandate.But a group of enterprising and rebellious bomber airmen stationed in Papau New Guinea grew tired of play...more

  • #393: The Importance of Building Your Social Capital

    Apr 04 2018

    At some point all of us will likely experience a job loss or some other big life setback. While it can feel like your world is crashing down, there’s one asset you'll hopefully have at your disposal which can help you weather the storm: your social circle. My guest today experienced the buoying power of relationships firsthand when he lost a job he held for over ten years. His name is Jordan Harbinger and we’ve had him on the podcast before. For 11 years he was the host of the Art of Charm Podca...more

  • #392: How Jesuit Spirituality Can Improve Your Life

    Mar 29 2018

    #392: How Jesuit Spirituality Can Improve Your Life by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #391: Micronutrients, Genetics, and Preventing Age-Related Diseases

    Mar 27 2018

    When you think about diet and nutrition, you probably think about carbs, proteins, and fats. These macronutrients play a huge role in athletic performance and whether you gain or lose weight. But food is also full of micronutrients that are vital for your health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, most people overlook micronutrients, and consequently are deficient in them. My guest today has spent her career researching the ill effects of micronutrient deficiencies and what you can do to optimize them...more

  • #390: Why Insults Sting and How to Handle Them

    Mar 22 2018

    Insults are a part of the human experience. We insult others and we get insulted back. Social media has only amplified our tendency to ridicule one another, and increased our likelihood of being on the receiving end of a barb. Yet we don't typically understand the dynamics of insults very well. Why do we throw insults at each other and why do they hurt so much? Is there anything we can do to reduce the mental and emotional sting of these verbal affronts?My guest today has explored the philosophy...more

  • #389: What It Means to Be a Quiet Professional

    Mar 20 2018

    We live in a time of hype and self-aggrandizement. But my guest today argues that what the world needs more of are quiet professionals -- people who’s only focus is to get the job done well. His name is Rob Shaul and he’s the founder and president of Mountain Tactical Institute. We had Rob on the podcast last year to discuss his physical fitness philosophy.Today on the show, I talk to Rob about his philosophy towards work and life that he’s laid out in a series of essays on his site about what i...more

  • #388: Why Group Culture Is So Important to Success

    Mar 15 2018

    Have you ever been part of an organization where everyone and everything just seemed to click? People are motivated and things get done. Contrast that experience with being part of an organization that feels toxic. Demoralization, cynicism, and infighting emotionally drain the people who work within it, and dysfunction reigns.Why do some organizations thrive and others flounder? My guest today argues that it all comes down to culture.His name is Daniel Coyle and he’s the author of the book The C...more

  • #387: Think Like a Poker Player to Make Better Decisions

    Mar 13 2018

    It’s been said that life is a series of decisions. But life is complex and filled with randomness and uncertainty. How do you make decisions when 1) you don’t know everything you need to know to make the optimal decision, and 2) the factors influencing your decision are constantly changing? My guest today suggests thinking like a poker player.Her name is Annie Duke. She’s a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant. In her book "Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions W...more

  • #386: The Rise and Fall of the American Heavyweight

    Mar 08 2018

    With boxing on the wane in America for the past twenty some odd years, it’s easy to forget how much of a cultural juggernaut it was for much of the 20th century. Boxing was not only a common recreational pastime and athletic pursuit for young men, and a wildly popular spectator sport, it was a metaphor for manhood and other American cultural struggles as well. When two men stepped in the ring, it wasn’t just two men fighting. The bout could become a battle of white vs. black, nativist vs. immigr...more

  • #385: Learning How to Learn

    Mar 06 2018

    When you study for a test or you’re trying to learn a new skill, what’s your typical approach? If you’re like most people, you might repeat facts over and over again or do the same task over and over again until you can do it in your sleep.While these brute force tactics might make you feel like you’re encoding new information into your brain, my guest today argues that you’re just fooling yourself. His name is Peter Brown, and he’s the co-author of the book Make it Stick: The Science of Success...more

  • #384: What It Really Means to Be Self-Reliant

    Mar 02 2018

    When you hear self-reliance, what do you think of? Living off the grid in a cabin somewhere? Doing everything yourself, and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps?Do these images get at what it really means to be self-reliant, or is there a deeper and even more profound meaning to be grasped?Indeed there is, and my guest today is here to help us unpack it. His name is Kyle Eschenroeder. He’s a regular contributor at AoM and we’ve just published a little pocket guide filled with his meditations o...more

  • #383: The Virtues of the Masks of Masculinity

    Feb 27 2018

    In the past few years, there’s been a lot written about the ills of the “masks of masculinity.” These supposed social masks are the source of personal problems in the lives of men as well as countless societal problems. But what if the problem isn’t the masks of masculinity themselves? What if the problem is we don’t teach young men how to wear these masks in a way that’s productive and pro-social? That’s what my guest today suggests. He makes his living teaching actors how to put on the mask of...more

  • #382: The Secrets of Greater Endurance

    Feb 22 2018

    How long can a human run without stopping? What’s the most weight a human can deadlift? Will someone ever run a mile in less than three minutes and thirty seconds?My guest explores these questions in his latest book, and along the way uncovers insights into all the factors that go into pushing the limits of human athletic performance. His name is Alex Hutchinson and he’s the author of "Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance." Today on the show, Alex and I discu...more

  • #381: Why You Should Let Your Kids Fail

    Feb 20 2018

    If you’re a parent, you likely want your kid to flourish and succeed. And according to my guest today, the best way to do that is to let your kid fail.Her name is Jessica Lahey and she’s a teacher and the author of the book, "The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed." Today on the show, Jess gives us a quick overview of the history of parenting in America and why it’s gotten more protective and more involved in the past few decades. We then discuss ...more

  • #380: How to Be Braver

    Feb 15 2018

    For thousands of years, philosophers and writers have debated the nature of courage. What is it? Are some people born more courageous than others? Can you learn to be courageous?My guest today set out to answer these questions by looking at courage through a scientific lens. His name is Robert Biswas-Diener. He’s a psychologist and the author of "The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver."Today on the show, Robert explains how he defined courage for the purpose of his research and ho...more

  • #379: How to Spot Red Flags in a Relationship

    Feb 13 2018

    #379: How to Spot Red Flags in a Relationship by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #378: Brunch Is Hell; Dinner Parties Are Heaven

    Feb 08 2018

    According to my guest today, the past decade has seen the rise of a truly soul-sucking food trend. In fact, he argues it’s creating a hell on earth. What is this mealtime monster?It’s brunch. My guest's name is Brendan Newnam and he, along with his co-author Rico Gagliano, is on a mission to destroy brunch and bring back the dinner party. Brendan and I begin our conversation discussing why brunch has become big business in America, but why he thinks it’s terrible for us individually and also as ...more

  • #377: 12 Rules for Life With Jordan Peterson

    Feb 06 2018

    Have you been stuck in a rut for awhile? Have you been there so long that you feel like there’s no use in trying to get out of that slump? Maybe you even start telling yourself, “Things can never get better. This is just the way things are. Is there even a point to all of this?” And as you ruminate over these questions over and over, you feel more and more depressed and maybe even start to feel a bit resentful. Resentful towards others, resentful towards life itself. Well, my guest today says th...more

  • #376: When to Compete, When to Cooperate, and How to Succeed at Both

    Feb 02 2018

    Being successful in life requires social adeptness. And part of that social adeptness is balancing two seemingly opposing social strategies: competing and cooperating. But how do you know which approach to take in the hundreds of different social relationships you navigate day in and day out? For example, should you go out of your way to promote your achievements to your boss or should you spend more time helping your fellow co-workers? My guest today explores these subtle and often complex ques...more

  • #375: The Misunderstood Machiavelli

    Jan 30 2018

    The ends justify the means. It’s better to be feared than loved. Politics have no relation to morals. These are just a few of the maxims the Italian writer Niccolo Machiavelli is well known for. The cynical and duplicitous advice he offered in 'The Prince' has made Machiavelli’s name synonymous with manipulative self-interest and deceitful plays for power.But what if Machiavelli wrote 'The Prince' not as sincere advice for would-be leaders, but as a work of irony and satire that’s meant to shine...more

  • #374: The Race to Break the 4-Minute Mile

    Jan 25 2018

    You may have heard of Roger Bannister and his amazing feat of breaking the 4-minute mile mark in 1954. But the story leading up to this milestone of human performance often gets overlooked and is filled with drama and lessons on grit, determination, and a living a balanced life. My guest today wrote a book sharing the story behind Bannister’s record and the two other men who were also vying to break it. His name is Neal Bascomb and his book is "The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Les...more

  • #373: The Leader's Bookshelf

    Jan 23 2018

    It’s been said “Leaders are readers.” But what should a leader read?My guest today set out to answer that question by polling 4-star generals and admirals in the U.S. military to get their best recommendations. His name is Admiral James Stavridis. He's served as the commander of US Southern Command, US European Command, and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He now serves as dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In his book, "The Leader’s Bookshelf," Admiral St...more

  • #372: World Without Mind — The Existential Threat of Big Tech

    Jan 18 2018

    During the past decade three companies have revolutionized the way we shop, socialize, and find information. I’m talking, of course, about Amazon, Facebook, and Google. While these companies have made our lives easier in many ways, my guest today argues that they’re also eroding autonomy and individuality. His name is Franklin Foer and he’s the author of the book, "World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech." Today on the show, Franklin talks about how the utopian ideals of Silicon V...more

  • #371: The Best Ways to Rehab From Injury

    Jan 16 2018

    #371: The Best Ways to Rehab From Injury by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #370: The Era of Bright Expectations

    Jan 11 2018

    After WWII and before the Korean War, America experienced a short period free from the fear of war and conflict. People were optimistic about a future of peace and plenty. My guest today calls this time the “era of bright expectations,” and he experienced it firsthand as a young man who had just graduated from college. The era's burgeoning sense of optimism inspired him and a few of his college buddies to set out on a road trip up to the Canadian wilds in search of the spirit of romance and adve...more

  • #369: When — The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

    Jan 09 2018

    When it comes to planning for success, we tend to focus on the what and the how. For example, when we set our workout goals, we’ll come up with detailed plans on what exercises we’ll do; when we come up with a debt repayment plan, we decide exactly how we’re going to pay down the debt. But what if success in any endeavor isn’t only decided by the what or the how, but also the when? That’s what my guest today argues in his latest book. His name is Daniel Pink, he’s the author of "Drive," "A Whole...more

  • #368: The Courage and Resilience of Ulysses S. Grant

    Jan 04 2018

    Ulysses S. Grant is a historical figure who's often portrayed in a not-so-flattering light. Many Americans know him as a drunk, inept businessman who found himself thrust into generalship during the Civil War and led the Union to victory not because of his military genius, but simply because he happened to be on the side that had more men and weapons. The story then goes that Grant parlayed his military success into a career in politics where he led a failed presidential administration mired in ...more

  • #367: The Motivation Myth

    Jan 02 2018

    It’s a new year and you’ve likely set some new goals for yourself. Now you just need some motivation to work on them. So you read motivational quotes on Instagram, listen to a motivational podcaster yell at you for thirty minutes while you commute to work, and repeat affirmations about crushing it every morning and night. You’re feeling motivated. Really motivated. You start to take some steps to accomplish your goals. But then a few days later, you’re not feeling so motivated, and because you’r...more

  • #366: Teach Yourself Like George Washington

    Dec 21 2017

    George Washington has become an archetype of the great American leader. Subsequent generals and presidents all have been compared to Washington, and in the American mythos, they all fall short of this founder's military and political genius. What many people don’t know about Washington, however, is that his formal schooling abruptly ended at age 11 with the death of his father and that he was largely self-taught. My guest today wrote an intellectual biography of Washington and how this autodidac...more

  • #365: Why Are 7 Million Men Missing From the Workforce?

    Dec 19 2017

    For the past few decades, there’s been an intense focus on getting more women in the workplace and helping them thrive and succeed. At the same time, however, a silent problem has emerged that could have serious repercussions on our economy and society: more and more men have been dropping out of the workforce.My guest today is an economist with the American Enterprise Institute who has written a book highlighting what he calls an “invisible crisis.” His name is Nicholas Eberstadt and his book i...more

  • #364: How to Know When Someone is Lying (From a Former CIA Officer)

    Dec 14 2017

    #364: How to Know When Someone is Lying (From a Former CIA Officer) by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #363: Budgeting Doesn't Have to Suck

    Dec 12 2017

    If you find yourself running out of money before your next paycheck or if you’ve been having trouble making a dent in your debt, then you, my friend, need a budget. My guest today is Jesse Mecham, he’s the creator of the You Need a Budget system and software and he’s just written a book about the philosophy underpinning his system. It’s called "You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck to Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt, and Living the Life You Want." Today on the show, ...more

  • #362: The Art of Mingling

    Dec 07 2017

    #362: The Art of Mingling by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #361: The Untold Story of WWII's 45th Infantry Division

    Dec 05 2017

    When many people think of the American involvement in WWII, they likely bring to mind the 101st Airborne Division (aka the Band of Brothers) and their heroics at Normandy. But there was another American infantry division that took part in the largest amphibious assault in world history (no, it wasn’t D-Day) and then fought a year in Europe before the 101st even showed up. All in all, this division saw over 500 days of combat. They were the Thunderbirds of the 45th infantry division and my guest ...more

  • #360: Why Men Have a Hard Time Making Friends in Adulthood

    Nov 30 2017

    It’s a common trope that adult men don’t value friendship as much as their female counterparts, and that men really don’t need and want friends like women do. But my guest today argues that assumption is wrong and comes from viewing friendship from a strictly female point of view. In fact, based on his research, most adult men very much want good friends but just don’t know how to make them. What’s more, he says, male friendships look different from female ones and we should stop judging the qua...more

  • #359: Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best of the Best

    Nov 28 2017

    Do you sometimes wish you had a cabinet of counselors you could go to for advice and insight on how to make life better and easier for yourself? Well, my guest today created his own board of mighty mentors — a metaphorical round table of some of the most successful people in the world — and asked them all the same 11 questions on how to live a more fulfilling and productive life. And he wrote a book to share all the insights he learned with others.  His name is Tim Ferriss, and he's an author an...more

  • #358: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

    Nov 22 2017

    Have you ever just wanted to get in your car, drive off into the middle of nowhere, leave behind the hustle and bustle of civilization, and just be by yourself? Well, in 1986 a man named Christopher Knight did just that and lived alone in the Maine woods without any, any human contact for 27 years until he was discovered in 2013.My guest today wrote a biography — "The Stranger in the Woods" — about this man who locals called “the Hermit of the North Pond.” His name is Michael Finkel and today on...more

  • #357: How to Be a Creative Genius Like da Vinci

    Nov 17 2017

    Leonardo da Vinci has become the ultimate archetype of the creative genius. Besides his famous paintings, including the Mona Lisa, da Vinci had insights into anatomy and optics that would take science a few hundred years to verify. While Leonardo's genius seems like a gift from the gods, my guest today argues that it was actually the result of years of human effort and toil. Today on the show I have the pleasure of speaking with famed author Walter Isaacson about his latest biography called "Leo...more

  • #356: How to Finally Beat Procrastination

    Nov 14 2017

    Procrastination. We’ve all done it and we tell ourselves we’ll never do it again. So we come up with an elaborate time management system to get us on track only to find ourselves continuing to put things off. While some procrastination can be mildly infuriating, chronic procrastination can be financially, professionally, and personally devastating — overdue bills result in calls from collection agencies, late reports result in getting fired, and undone chores turn your house into a dump. Why do ...more

  • #355: Leadership and Public Service With Gov. Eric Greitens

    Nov 09 2017

    #355: Leadership and Public Service With Gov. Eric Greitens by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #354: Brains & Brawn — Tips and Inspiration on Being a Well-Rounded Man

    Nov 08 2017

    Physical training has a lot of carry over to other domains of your life. It can help you become a better husband and father, a more productive worker, and a more disciplined student. My guest today is a living manifestation of the multiplier effect that physical training produces. His name is Dan John. He holds several records in discus and the highland games, and coaches and consults top athletes in the throwing sports and Olympic lifting. Dan also holds master's degrees in history and religiou...more

  • #353: Nostalgia — Its Benefits and Downsides

    Nov 02 2017

    Picture this: You’re sitting in your car at a stoplight mindlessly staring off into the distance when a memory from your childhood pops into your mind. Initially, thinking about the memory makes you feel happy, but then you start feeling a pang of sadness for that time long gone. If you’ve experienced that feeling of happiness tinged with sadness, you’ve experienced nostalgia. My guest today is a psychologist who has spent his career researching this oft-overlooked emotion. His name Clay Routled...more

  • #352: A Famous Butcher Dishes on All Things Meat

    Oct 31 2017

    While meat makes up a big portion of Americans' diet, few people know very much about how meat is sourced and butchered for consumption. Today on the show, I talk to a world-renowned third-generation butcher, Pat LaFrieda, about all things meat, including his new book, "Meat: Everything You Need to Know." We begin our conversation talking about his family business in New York City and how it became one of the premier meatpackers in America. Pat then walks us through how that steak you’re grillin...more

  • #351: The Surprising Power of a "Useless" Liberal Arts Education

    Oct 26 2017

    We’ve all heard the jokes about useless liberal arts degrees, but my guest today argues that in today’s high tech economy, liberal arts degrees can be incredibly useful and even lucrative. His name is George Anders and he’s the author of the book "You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a 'Useless' Liberal Arts Education." We begin our conversation looking at research that suggests that the jobs that pay the most money and are in the most demand today require a liberal arts background, and ...more

  • #350: Peak Performance — Elevate Your Game and Avoid Burnout

    Oct 25 2017

    When you train your body, you actually don’t get stronger while you’re lifting weights. You get stronger after your training session and during your recovery period. For your muscles to fully adapt and recover, you need to eat plenty of food and get plenty of sleep. To really get strong, you need to take your recovery as serious as you take your training. What's true for the body, is true for the mind as well. At least that’s what my guests today argue. Their names are Brad Stulberg and Steve Ma...more

  • #349: Is This a Date or Not? The Problem With Ambiguity in Relationships

    Oct 19 2017

    Dating has never been more ambiguous than it is today. People sort of end up with each other without explicitly defining the nature of their relationship, level of commitment, or expectations for the future. What begins as hanging out, slides into spending the night, which slides into moving in together, and can even sometimes slide into marriage.While keeping your romantic relationships ambiguous may seem to make them safer and less complicated, my guest today has conducted research that shows ...more

  • #348: A Counterintelligence Expert's Five Rules to Lead and Succeed

    Oct 17 2017

    Trust. It certainly makes life easier when it exists. Instead of having to craft complicated contracts for a business deal, a simple handshake will do. Instead of surveilling your spouse like the NSA, you take them at their word.But trust, it seems, is in short supply these days. We’re afraid of trusting people and we have a hard time getting people to trust us. How can you establish trust in even the most toxic environments?My guest today thinks he has the answer to that question. His name is R...more

  • #347: The Science of Social Awkwardness

    Oct 12 2017

    You’ve likely experienced an awkward moment or two in your life. You say or do something that’s out of social sync, leaving the person you’re interacting with bemused, and you feeling like running and hiding under a rock. While awkwardness is an uncomfortable feeling and can hurt us socially, my guest today argues that there is some upside to it too. His name is Ty Tashiro. He’s a psychologist and the author of "Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome." Today on...more

  • #346: The Fall of the Roman Republic

    Oct 11 2017

    There’s been a lot written and said about the fall of the Roman Empire. But what often gets overlooked is that before Rome became an empire with what was effectively a king, it was a kingless republic. What was that republic like and why did it fall into an empire, before the empire itself fell?My guest today explores this question in his book, "The Storm Before the Storm." His name is Mike Duncan and he’s the host of the Revolutions and the History of Rome podcasts. Today on the show, Mike walk...more

  • #345: Not Caring What Other People Think Is a Superpower

    Oct 06 2017

    Oftentimes when you start making positive changes for the better in your life, you’re going to have people, even people really close to you who claim to care about you, intentionally or unintentionally try to discourage you from your path. In those moments, you have to develop the ability to shrug off your critics and not let them drag you back down to their level. My guest today has succeeded in that struggle and shares the lessons he learned in his aptly titled book, "Not Caring What Other Peo...more

  • #344: The Art of the Side Hustle

    Oct 03 2017

    If you’re looking to pay down debt or save for a financial goal faster, there are two ways to to do it: either save more money or make more money. Let’s assume you’re knocking it out of the park with your frugality. How can you make more money? Well, one way is starting a side hustle. Besides providing you with extra income, my guest today argues that having a small business on the side can actually bring a lot more satisfaction and confidence to your life. His name is Chris Guillebeau and I've ...more

  • #343: How to Read Nature — Awakening Your Senses to the Outdoors

    Sep 28 2017

    Nature. Even if you're an avid outdoorsman, you likely take it for granted. When you’ve seen one tree or one blue sky, you’ve seen them all, right?Well, to those with well-trained senses, natural surroundings can actually tell you a whole lot. The leaves on a tree can tell you what direction you're headed and the smell in the air can tell you about the weather. There are bits of knowledge and fascinating signposts all around you. My guest today has spent his life observing and cataloging these s...more

  • #342: Why Boredom is Good for You

    Sep 26 2017

    In the age where smartphones provide constant stimulation, many of us have forgotten what it feels like to experience the monotony of boredom. And while on the surface that might seem like a good thing, my guest today highlights research that not being bored can actually make us dumber and less creative. Her name is Manoush Zomorodi, she’s the host of the podcast Note to Self and the author of the book "Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self." Toda...more

  • #341: The Kaizen Method — Get 1% Better Each Day

    Sep 21 2017

    When it comes to self-improvement, most people set big, audacious goals. Setting those goals feels good. It pumps you up and you feel like you can conquer the world. But then . . . it happens. You have a setback and within a matter of days, your fiery ambition to change yourself is extinguished. And so you’re back to where you started, only you're even worse off than before because you're saddled with the sting of failure.But what if I said there’s a much more effective way to improve yourself a...more

  • #340: Life Lessons From an Adventurer

    Sep 19 2017

    Inside many men is the call for adventure. My guest today is one of those men and listening to that call has led him to pursue a lifetime of amazing expeditions around the globe, all while balancing a demanding career as an airline pilot as well as family responsibilities. His name is Laval St. Germain and today he shares when he first heard the call for adventure on his grandparent’s farm in western Canada and how he started taking action on it.We then go through some of the adventures he’s bee...more

  • #339: The Power of Likability

    Sep 14 2017

    When you hear the word “popular” you’re probably transported back to high school where cliques of cheerleaders and football players ruled the roost while everyone else was at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Even as an adult, you probably remember where you stood in the pecking order and have some powerful emotions associated with that. My guest today has researched why popularity plays a key role in our social and psychological development and how our place in the social pecking order as chi...more

  • #338: How to Beat Distraction and Stay Focused

    Sep 12 2017

    If you’re like me, you have a love-hate relationship with your digital devices. On the one hand, they give us access to unlimited amounts of information, connect us with friends and family, and allow us to work from pretty much anywhere. On the other hand, they can captivate our attention so much that we feel distracted and angsty. And try as we might, we often find it hard to ignore the itch to stop scrolling through Instagram and really listen to what a loved one is saying. Why do these device...more

  • #337: What Homer's Odyssey Can Teach Us Today

    Sep 08 2017

    I love many of the classic myths and poems of ancient Greece. My favorite, though, is The Odyssey. While on the surface it seems to just be another epic adventure story, if you dig deeper, The Odyssey can give you insights on fatherhood, marriage, and surviving in a world that’s in constant flux. My guest today recently published a book exploring these themes in The Odyssey, particularly the theme of fathers and sons searching for each other. His name is Daniel Mendelsohn, and he's a classicist,...more

  • #336: Master Your Testosterone

    Sep 06 2017

    #336: Master Your Testosterone by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #335: Exploring Archetypes With Jordan B. Peterson

    Aug 31 2017

    The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Genesis creation story, Bhagavad Gita. These are just a few examples of the myths and stories that explain human existence. Individuals like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell have argued that while these myths sprang from different cultures, they all share similar archetypes and meta-narratives. My guest today has picked up where Jung and Campbell left off and is making an impassioned case that the way to save ourselves from increasing political polarization is to become a...more

  • #334: When Violence Is the Answer

    Aug 29 2017

    We’re often told violence is never the answer. My guest today would argue that not only is that idea wrong, it's also extremely dangerous. He says that sometimes violence is the answer, and that when it is, it’s the only answer. His name is Tim Larkin and he’s a self-defense expert and the founder of Target Focus Training. Tim has trained military, law enforcement, and civilians on how to use violence to protect themselves. In his latest book, "When Violence Is the Answer," Tim makes a convincin...more

  • #333: Solitude & Leadership

    Aug 24 2017

    About a year ago, I had cultural critic William Deresiewicz on the podcast to discuss, among other things, a speech he gave at West Point in 2010 on the power of solitude in making better leaders. It’s a powerful speech and my guest today is one of the individuals who was impacted by it. So much so that he spent seven years researching and writing a book on the intersection of solitude and leadership. His name is Mike Erwin and he’s the co-author of the book "Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leade...more

  • #332: What Does It Mean to Be Authentic?

    Aug 22 2017

    We live in a world that puts a premium on being “authentic” and “showing your true self.” But what exactly is your authentic and true self?For example, is it your natural tendency to be a curmudgeon, or your concerted effort to be kind and generous? Which one is the “real” you?My guest today has grappled with those questions for most of his career as a psychologist, with a focus on personality research. His name is Brian Little and he’s the author of "Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personali...more

  • #331: The Difference Between Essentialists and Non-Essentialists

    Aug 17 2017

    Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like you're always busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you can answer yes to any of those questions, today's episode is for you. I talk to business consultant Greg McKeown about his book "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less." In it, Greg argues that by doing less we can actually not only be more productive, but, more importantly, get more of the right things done in life.We b...more

  • #330: The Life Skills Every Man Should Know

    Aug 15 2017

    What skills and knowledge sets does a man need to have in order to be effective and self-reliant? My guest has spent the past few years thinking about this topic and putting down his ideas in a series of books he calls Modules For Manhood. His name is Kenneth W. Royce. I had Kenneth on the show a few years ago to talk about the first volume of Modules for Manhood. Today on the show, we take a look at "Modules for Manhood Volume 2."We begin by discussing what it means “to cope with the world” and...more

  • #329: Stick With It — The Science of Behavior Change

    Aug 10 2017

    If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got some habits you’d like to change: maybe you want to quit smoking or eat better or check your phone less. And if you’re like most people, you’ve probably tried making those changes, and failed. And after failing again and again, you just gave up. My guest today is a psychologist who specializes in helping people make real, lasting change in their lives. His name is Sean Young and he’s the director of the UCLA Center of Digital Behavior and the autho...more

  • #328: The Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

    Aug 08 2017

    During the past 10 years or so there’s been a lot of chatter about the health benefits of intermittent fasting — that is, going without food for a short window of time on a regular basis. Some of the touted benefits of intermittent fasting include shredding body fat while maintaining muscle, improving blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, increasing longevity, and improving focus. But how many of those purported benefits are real and how many of them are just hype? Well, my guest today is ...more

  • #327: Heading Out — A History of Camping

    Aug 04 2017

    Camping is one of America’s favorite pastimes. About 50 million Americans head out into the wilderness each year to refresh and reinvigorate themselves. While it may seem like camping as a recreational activity has always been around, camping as we know it today is actually relatively new. For most of human history, camping is what you did during war or on a hunting or fishing expedition. It wasn’t something you just did for fun in and of itself. So how did camping become a modern pastime?My gue...more

  • #326: Why Boys Are Struggling & What We Can Do To Help Them

    Aug 02 2017

    While there’s been a big push in recent decades to help girls thrive in school and in the workplace, boys in America have quietly been struggling. For example, boys are more likely to have learning and discipline issues in school and are less likely to graduate high school than girls, more women are now attending college than men and are earning more bachelors and masters degrees than men, the incarceration rate for boys has increased in the past few decades, and suicide rates have increased amo...more

  • #325: Leading Quietly

    Jul 27 2017

    When we think of being a good leader, we often think we need to be a bold, visionary, risk-taking type like Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, or Steve Jobs.But my guest today argues that most of the day-to-day work that makes the world function is done by individuals who stand outside the limelight and lead with calm confidence. His name is Joseph Badaracco and he’s the author of the book "Leading Quietly: An Unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing." Today on the show, Joe and I discuss t...more

  • #324: How Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith Are the Cure for Sad Clown Syndrome

    Jul 26 2017

    If you’re like many modern men, you might have a pretty good life — a decent job, a family, a home, maybe a few hobbies. Despite having the appearance of a good life, though, you feel kind of empty inside. Like you’re missing something. My guests today would argue that what you’ve got is a case of Sad Clown Syndrome and to get over it, you need to get together with some men and do some burpees. Their names are Dave Redding and Tim Whitmire and they’re the leaders of a grassroots movement bringin...more

  • #323: Improve Your Breathing, Improve Your Health

    Jul 20 2017

    Take a breath right now.Did your chest go up and down?Congratulations, you just failed at breathing.Don’t worry, my guest today on the show will set you straight.Her name is Belisa Vranich. She’s a clinical psychologist who has made a career re-training people on how to breathe correctly and in her latest book, "Breathe," she provides a step-by-step program to help people breathe better.Today on the show, Belisa explains all the ill health and psychological effects of poor breathing, like increa...more

  • #322: Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

    Jul 19 2017

    My guest today is Eric Barker, author of "Barking Up the Wrong Tree."We all know those collective maxims on success: nice guys finish last; it’s not what you know, it’s who you know; winners never quit. We’ve heard them so often that we accept them as articles of faith. But are they really true? My guest today says, yes…and no.His name is Eric Barker and he’s the author of one of the few blogs I regularly read: Barking Up the Wrong Tree. There, he takes a look at what actual research says about ...more

  • #321: How to Think About Money

    Jul 14 2017

    Personal finance can seem intimidating, but the reality is it’s pretty basic — save more than you spend, find ways to earn more, invest for the long-term, and protect your assets. But if personal finance is so easy, why do so many people screw it up?My guest today has spent his career exploring this topic. His name is Jonathan Clements and he’s been The Wall Street Journal’s personal finance columnist for years. During his writing career, he’s also published several popular personal finance book...more

  • #320: The ADHD Explosion

    Jul 11 2017

    You’ve probably heard about the precipitous rise in diagnoses of ADHD in America the past few decades. What was once a rare mental illness has now become a common problem amongst children -- particularly boys. Why the sudden spike? Are there really more people with ADHD or is something else going on?My guest today has some possible answers to that question. His name is Steve Hinshaw and he's a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. In his book, "The ADHD Explosion," Dr. Hinshaw gives the lay re...more

  • #318: Exploring Life's Trails, Literally and Metaphorically

    Jul 03 2017

    My guest today is Robert Moor, author of "On Trails: An Exploration."______________One of my favorite things to do in life is to find and hike a trail out in the wilds. I love how a good trail gently leads you through nature. You don’t have to think much about where you’re going, so it gives you time to think about other things. It's great for chewing on deep issues and getting new insights, but it also causes you to take the trail for granted. For example, I sometimes forget that a group of peo...more

  • #317: Why Your First Impression Matters & How to Improve It

    Jun 29 2017

    My guest today is a psychologist who specializes in the science of first impressions and has written the most useful and thorough book on the topic that I've come across. Her name is Ann Demarais and her book is "First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You." Today on the show, Ann explains how quickly we make a first impression and the psychological biases that influence how people judge you (and how you judge others). We then dig into what you should focus on during a first ...more

  • #316: An Introduction to Stoicism

    Jun 27 2017

    Interest in Stoicism has experienced a renaissance in recent years. Yet despite the increasing popularity of this ancient philosophy, misconceptions still abound about it. For example, many people assume that to be Stoic means to not feel or express any emotion, including happiness, and that Stoicism requires one to live a bland and spartan lifestyle. My guest on the show today debunks these myths and shows that Stoicism can actually enrich our lives and allow us to experience real happiness. Hi...more

  • #315: The Power of Small Experiments to Supercharge Your Success

    Jun 22 2017

    Today on the show, Noah Kagan shares what it was like getting fired from Facebook right before it went public and losing out on a $185 million pay day, and how he bounced back from that blow. He then digs into the process he goes through in testing if a business idea is viable and how he used that process to start several successful ventures. Noah then shares the difference between founding a business and managing it, and why managers get the short shrift in today’s start-up focused world. We en...more

  • #314: Building Better Citizens Through Rucking

    Jun 20 2017

    Today on the show, I talk to GORUCK founder Jason McCarthy, who started the company after serving as a Green Beret in Iraq. What began as a backpack company has morphed into a tight-knit community of people looking to push themselves through what Jason calls "Good livin." Today on the show, Jason and I discuss where the idea for the GORUCK events came from and what a man can learn about leadership, teamwork, and community by doing hard things with other people.See omnystudio.com/listener for pri...more

  • #313: How Leaders Build Great Teams

    Jun 15 2017

    My guest is Chris Fussell, author of "One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams."Today on the show, Chris and I discuss why traditional top-down leadership organizations aren’t effective today either in the world of military or business and how civilian organizations can apply the lessons he learned during combat. We discuss the legacy of John Boyd’s OODA Loop philosophy and how McChrystal took that idea and scaled it to the large and often bureaucratic armed forces. Chris then delves into ...more

  • #312: The Costs of Light Pollution and the Benefits of Darkness

    Jun 13 2017

    My guest today is Paul Bogard, author of "The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light."Today on the show, Paul and I discuss what true darkness actually looks like and the type of un-dark night most modern folks experience. He then shares the last few spots in America and Europe where you can still experience true darkness and what the sky in those places looks like. We then delve into what we miss out on spiritually by not experiencing true darkness and the he...more

  • #311: The Meaning of Beards

    Jun 09 2017

    The ability to grow a beard is what separates boys from men and except for a few rare instances of bearded ladies, men from women. Because it’s a uniquely masculine feature, facial hair has played an important role in forming our ideas about manhood. Today on the show, I talk to a cultural historian who specializes in the history of facial hair about the cultural, political, and religious history of the beard. His name is Christopher Oldstone-Moore and in his latest book Of Beards and Men he tak...more

  • #310: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity

    Jun 06 2017

    One of the primary roles of men across time and culture is that of the warrior. Indeed, how we define masculinity at its core is centrally shaped by warfare. The virtues we think of as manly, like courage, physical strength, and daring, are vital in battle, and because men have primarily been the ones doing the fighting for thousands of years, we expect men to possess those masculine virtues.But the way war is waged has changed throughout human history. If warfare informs our ideas of manhood, d...more

  • #309: Going Blind to See More Clearly

    Jun 01 2017

    My guest today is Isaac Lidsky, author of the new book "Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can’t See Clearly."Today on the show, Isaac and I discuss how he went blind and his initial reaction to losing his sight. We then dig into insights he gained about resilience, humility, and Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech that allowed him to move forward in life.Among his accomplishments since going blind are graduating from Harvard Law School,...more

  • #308: The Case for Blue Collar Work With Mike Rowe

    May 30 2017

    My guest today is Mike Rowe, former host of Dirty Jobs, and current blue collar trade advocate.On the show, Mike and I discuss where the idea for Dirty Jobs came from and why a show about blue collar workers became a surprise hit. We then explore why we devalue blue collar work, the societal and individual consequences of that devaluation, and what Mike is doing to make pursuing vocational and trade work cool and viable again.If you’re a young man trying to figure out if college and an office jo...more

  • #307: Make Your Bed, Change the World

    May 26 2017

    My guest today is retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, author of "Make Your Bed."Today on the show, Admiral McRaven and I discuss why something as simple as making your bed every day can lay the foundation for success in every aspect of your life, how a parachuting accident taught him an important lesson on avoiding self-pity and learning to rely on the help of others, and why rolling in the sand as a SEAL trainee taught him how to become more resilient to the whims of life. We end our conversa...more

  • #306: What a Magician Can Teach You About Being More Successful

    May 23 2017

    My guest today is David Kwong. He’s a magician, New York Times crossword creator, and now author of the book "Spellbound: Seven Principles of Illusion to Captivate Audiences and Unlock the Secrets of Success.Today on the show, David and I discuss how several key principles from magic can be applied beyond the stage and make you more successful in business and life. We’ll learn what it means to “load up” in magic and how Richard Branson used that principle to start Virgin Airlines, and why storyt...more

  • #305: Lessons from the Epic Age of Flight

    May 18 2017

    My guest on today's show is Winston Groom, author of "The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight."Winston Groom has authored numerous history and historical fiction books, including "Forrest Gump," as well as the subject of today's show, "The Aviators," in which he details the engaging history of these pioneers of flight and their service to their country. Today on the show, we discuss each of these men and their respective heroics -- from Li...more

  • #304: The Lies of Manhood and How to Teach Young Men Its Truths

    May 16 2017

    My guest today is Jeffrey Marx, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Season of Life."Today on the show, Jeffrey talks about his relationship with retired NFL athlete and now minister and high school football coach Joe Ehrmann. Jeff begins by sharing what he learned from Joe and other NFL players about what it means to be a man during his stint as a ball boy for the Baltimore Colts in the 1970s. He then shares how Joe went from a party animal to an inner-city minister who focused on helping...more

  • #303: The Philosphy of Frugality

    May 11 2017

    Today on the show, I talk to Emrys Westacott, philosophy professor and author of "The Wisdom of Frugality," about the philosophical history of penny pinching. We begin our conversation discussing what philosophers mean by frugality and the various philosophical schools that gave frugality primacy. We then go on to summarize the arguments as to why frugality makes people wiser and happier, the counter-arguments to frugality as a virtue, why the ideal of frugality changes based on circumstances, a...more

  • #302: My Workout Routine & The Benefits of a Strength Coach

    May 09 2017

    Back in 2015, I had Starting Strength coach Matt Reynolds on the podcast to talk about barbell training. At about the same time, I started getting online coaching from Matt for my own barbell training. A year and half later, I’ve made some incredible gains with my strength and hit personal records that I never thought I’d be able to attain. Thanks to Matt, I was inspired to have recently entered my first barbell competition, and deadlifted 533 lbs, squatted 420 lbs, and shoulder pressed 201 lbs ...more

  • #301: Why Action is the Answer

    May 04 2017

    Today's guest is Kyle Eschenroeder, author of "The Pocket Guide to Action."Last year, Kyle published a piece on the site called "Meditations on the Wisdom of Action." It contained 116 short, punchy devotional-esque passages on the nature and importance of action. It was my favorite piece of content in 2016, and I still find myself continually thinking about its principles, and utilizing them in my life. The feedback we’ve received from readers has been similarly enthusiastic. At over 16,000 word...more

  • #300: How to Raise Free Range Kids

    May 02 2017

    My guest today is Lenore Skenazy, author of "Free Range Kids."Today on the show, Lenore and I discuss how being labeled “America’s Worst Mom” led her to become a leader of a movement to give kids more unsupervised time, the cultural shifts that have happened in the past 30 years that have resulted in overprotective parenting, and why, contrary to popular belief, the chance of your kid getting abducted by a stranger is actually incredibly small. Along the way, Lenore shares some crazy stories of ...more

  • #299: What the Ancient Greeks and Romans Thought About Manliness

    Apr 28 2017

    Ancient Greece and Rome have a heavy influence on the idea of manhood we promote on the Art of Manliness. In fact, this classical conception of manliness was how much of the West defined manhood up until the middle of the 20th century. If you were to ask a man living in 1920 what “manliness” meant, he’d probably give you roughly the same answer as a Greek or Roman man living 2,000 years ago.My guest on the podcast today is a classical scholar who has spent time thinking and writing about Greek a...more

  • #298: The History of BBQ and Becoming a Backyard Pitmaster

    Apr 25 2017

    My guest today is Matt Moore, and we talk about his new book, "The South's Best Butts."Today on the show Matt details the history of BBQ and why pork is a staple in the Southern variety. He then explains what exactly a pork butt is (and no, it’s not the rear of a pig), and why it's such an ideal meat for smoking. Matt then shares how and why BBQ flavors and techniques differ across the South and highlights a few pitmasters who are adding new takes to this traditional dish. We end our conversatio...more

  • #297: Make Your Kid a Money Genius

    Apr 21 2017

    My guest today is Beth Kobliner, and we discuss her latest book, "Make Your Kid a Money Genius."Beth shares the research on the age at which most kids develop the money habits they’ll have for the rest of their life (it’s surprisingly young) and provides some basic guidelines on what you should and should not talk about with your children when it comes to money. We then dig into specific tactics on teaching your kids -- whether they’re in preschool or college -- about saving, work, insurance, an...more

  • #296: How to Find Your Life's Purpose

    Apr 18 2017

    My guest today is William Damon, author of the book "Path to Purpose."There’s been a lot of ink spilt in the past decade about young adults' “failure to launch," wherein 20-somethings who should be progressing into independent adulthood, end up spending that decade of their life in an extended adolescence. Several reasons have been given for this phenomenon, from the economy to helicopter parenting. After conducting a landmark 25-year study, my guest argues that a major factor in young adults' f...more

  • #295: Kettlebells and the Psychology of Training

    Apr 14 2017

    My interview today is with Craig Marker, a StrongFirst kettlebell trainer, and psychology professor at Mercer University.We’re big fans of the kettlebell here at the Art of Manliness. It’s a great piece of gym equipment that builds both strength and cardiovascular conditioning. Today on the show, I talk to StrongFirst kettlebell coach Craig Marker about the wonders of these little cannonballs with handles. Mark digs deep into the research done by the Soviets back in the 70s and 80s that shows wh...more

  • #294: Learning the Art of Charm

    Apr 11 2017

    My guest today is Jordan Harbinger of the Art of Charm podcast.While men sometimes see developing their social skills as something superficial or unimportant, these skills are essential for success in business and life. Knowing how to interact and get along with others is how we can make friends, find love, and advance our career. My guest on the podcast today has spent the past ten years helping men become more socially dynamic through his in-person coaching services and his podcast The Art of ...more

  • #293: How to Do More With Less

    Apr 06 2017

    My guest today is Scott Sonenshein, and we talk about his new book "Stretch."Scott and I discuss why chasing more resources often leads to failure, and why learning to stretch and use what you've got can give you a competitive advantage in business and in life. Scott then shares insights he’s gleaned from the world of business on how the stretching principle can help you achieve your personal goals. We then dig into the science of why constraints make us more creative and scrappy, why planning i...more

  • #292: The Road to Character

    Apr 04 2017

    My guest today is New York Times columnist David Brooks, who also authored the book "The Road to Character."David and I begin our discussion with the “crooked timber” view of humanity that people had in previous generations and how it shaped moral development. He then takes us through the cultural changes that got rid of this perspective of human nature and how that led to a loss of a moral vocabulary that makes it hard for people today to even talk about character.We then take a look at the liv...more

  • #291: The Untold Story of Jimmy Stewart's WWII Service

    Mar 30 2017

    My guest today is Robert Matzen, author of "Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe."Robert shares why Stewart’s family history instilled an iron sense of duty towards serving his country in the military and how Stewart spent his single day off as an actor training to be an Army pilot in the years leading up to WWII. We also discuss how Stewart had to fight military brass and his boss at MGM Studios to ensure that he actually saw combat instead of staying stateside to make propaganda fil...more

  • #290: Everything You Know About Ninjas is Wrong

    Mar 28 2017

    My guest today is Antony Cummins, and we talk about his book "True Path of the Ninja."Today on the show, Antony uncovers the biggest myths we have in the West about ninjas -- like the fact that there isn’t really a ninjutsu fighting system, nor were samurai the ninjas' sworn enemy -- and then gives the real history of these ancient warriors. Antony then shares what lessons actual ninjas can teach us folks living in the modern West about psychology and interacting with others in business and life...more

  • #289: Revenge of Analog

    Mar 23 2017

    "Software is eating the world," or so we’re told. Products that once took up physical space can be contained in our smartphones and held in the palms of our hands. Instead of having a record collection, now we can stream any music any where and any time we want. Instead of shelves and shelves of books, we can have access to thousands of volumes in our Kindle app. Instead of stacks of photo albums, we can store a virtually unlimited collection of pictures in the digital cloud.But in the cultural ...more

  • #288: Love is Overrated

    Mar 21 2017

    Do you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again in your relationships?For example, do you have a tendency to ignore red flags and constantly end up in relationships that aren’t healthy for you?Maybe you end up in relationships where the initial chemistry is good, but a few months later, you’re looking for any way out.Well, if any of those descriptions describe you (or a friend who needs some advice!), then give this podcast a listen.My guests today argue that your problem is th...more

  • #287: The New Frontier of Flow

    Mar 16 2017

    Today on the show, Steven Kotler shares what ecstasis is and why it improves performance in sports, business, and even military combat. He then goes on to describe the four accelerating forces in science that allow individuals to hack into ecstasis more easily, including things like mind-altering drugs and zapping your brain with electricity. Pretty crazy stuff. We end the show discussing how average Joes can get into ecstasis as well as the ethical implications of these new technologies. Are we...more

  • #286: Not Afraid

    Mar 14 2017

    One of the most heart-wrenching things that can happen to a man is losing his young wife to death. Becoming a widower but also being left alone to father a baby compounds the heartache. It’s something that happened to Theodore Roosevelt and also to my guest today on the show. His name is Daniele Bolelli, he’s a professor of history, host of the podcasts History on Fire and The Drunken Taoist, an amateur mixed martial artist, and the author of several books, including "Not Afraid" and "On the War...more

  • #285: The Real Science of Nutrition and Supplements

    Mar 09 2017

    If you work out regularly, you probably take some sort of supplement, be it whey protein or creatine or a pre-workout energy drink. But do the supplements you’re taking actually work?My guest today on the show has spent his career studying the effects of what we put into our body and is the director of the online encyclopedia of supplements and nutrition called Examine.com. His name is Kamal Patel. He’s a researcher with an MPH and MBA from John Hopkins University and is working on his PhD in nu...more

  • #284: This Will Make a Man of You

    Mar 07 2017

    Last summer, I had Lesley Blume on the show to talk about her book "Everybody Behaves Badly" which gives the story behind the story of Hemingway’s first big novel, "The Sun Also Rises." On today’s show, I talk to an author of another book about this landmark novel, who, instead of providing the historical context of "The Sun Also Rises," explores the ideal of manliness Hemingway was trying to get at in the book. His name is Frank Miniter, he’s a journalist and the author of previous books like "...more

  • #283: The Complacent Class

    Mar 03 2017

    My guest today argues that while these narratives may have been true at one point in American history, the statistics show that in recent decades Americans have lost that pioneering, entrepreneurial get-up-and-go. Instead, we’ve become pretty complacent. His name is Tyler Cowen, he’s an economist at George Mason University, writer at his blog Marginal Revolutions, and the author of several books. His latest is "The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream."Today on the s...more

  • #282: How a Man Develops His Sense of Style

    Feb 28 2017

    #282: How a Man Develops His Sense of Style by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #281: Overcoming the Resistance

    Feb 23 2017

    In today’s episode I'm welcoming back one of my all-time favorite guests, writer Steven Pressfield. Steven is the author of several popular novels including "The Legend of Bagger Vance," "Gates of Fire," and "The Virtues of War." He’s also written several popular non-fiction books on the creative process, like "Do the Work" and "The War of Art," which cover how to overcome what he calls "the Resistance." Steve’s now got a new novel out called "The Knowledge." It’s based on his early days as a wr...more

  • #280: Why Growing Up Is a Subversive Act

    Feb 21 2017

    But what if growing up doesn’t mean you have to be boring and lame? What if becoming a grown-up is actually a really rebellious act?That’s the argument my guest today makes in her latest book. Her name is Susan Neiman and she’s the author of 'Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age.' Today on the show, Susan and I discuss why becoming a grown-up has gotten a bad rap, how our culture— including smartphones— infantilizes us, and what the Enlightenment thinkers Jean-Jacques Rousseau a...more

  • #279: Why Exercising in a Group Is the Best Medicine For Vets (and Civilians)

    Feb 16 2017

    In recent years, several new veterans organizations have popped up to help our men and women in uniform transition from the service to civilian life. Instead of providing a place where veterans can get together to drink, these new organizations are looking to offer vets a sense of meaning and mission that they often lose after they hang up their uniform. My guest today is head of one of these new organizations. His name is J.J. Pinter and he’s the Deputy Director of Team Red, White, and Blue (Te...more

  • #278: The Surprising Benefits of Marriage for Men

    Feb 14 2017

    Today on the podcast I talk to Brad Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, as well as the Director of the National Marriage Project, who's spent his career researching the impact marriage has on people's lives. Brad I discuss the effect marriage has on men, and why officially tying the knot actually makes a significant difference compared to being in a committed, non-married relationship. We also discuss what men can do to create a lasting marriage and the best age to ge...more

  • #277: Krav Maga – The Self-Defense System of Israeli Special Forces

    Feb 10 2017

    Today on the podcast, I talk to David Kahn, chief instructor at the U.S. Israeli Krav Maga Association and the author of several books on the topic, including Krav Maga Defense. Today on the show, David and I discuss the origins and history of Krav Maga, its philosophy, its fundamental moves, and how to use it in a defensive scenario.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #276: Utopia is Creepy

    Feb 07 2017

    Nicholas Carr and I discuss why he thinks our utopian future is creepy, how the internet is making us dumber, and why doing mundane tasks that we otherwise would outsource to robots or computers is actually a source of satisfaction and human flourishing. We finish our discussion by outlining a middle path approach to technology -- one that doesn’t reject it fully but simultaneously seeks to mitigate its potential downsides.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #275: How Your Climate-Controlled Comfort Is Killing You

    Feb 02 2017

    Modern technology has provided us with an unprecedented amount of comfort. For example, with just a turn of a dial we can ensure that our homes are always set at a perpetual 71 degrees, even if it’s blazing hot or frigidly cold outside. But what if our quest for technology-enabled comfort has actually made us physically and mentally weaker and sicker? What if our bodies actually need discomfort to truly thrive and flourish?My guest today explores that idea firsthand in his book What Doesn’t Kill...more

  • #274: Building Your Band of Brothers

    Jan 31 2017

    Stephen Mansfield and I discuss the bleak statistics on male friendship, the myth of the lone alpha male, and why making friends in adulthood is so hard for men today. We then discuss what he means by a “band of brothers,” why men’s accountability groups usually fail, and how a close-knit group of friends can help make you a better man. We end our discussion by delving into exactly what you need to do to develop a band of brothers and what to do when you get together.If you feel like you’ve been...more

  • #273: How to Get a Job Promotion This Year

    Jan 26 2017

    For many of you listening, getting a promotion or a raise is likely a goal for the coming year. But what’s the best approach to take to ensure this desire becomes a reality?My guest today argues that if you want to ask for that promotion this year, you need to start laying the groundwork months before making the pitch to your boss, and she walks us through exactly what you need to do to establish that groundwork.Her name is Frances Cole Jones, she’s an executive image consultant, the author of "...more

  • #272: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Myth of Progress

    Jan 24 2017

    On today’s show, Joseph Loconte and I discuss what C.S. Lewis called the “Myth of Progress” that had swept the Western World leading up to the First World War, why it contributed to the war's catastrophic damage, and how the myth shaped both Lewis’ and Tolkien’s views about good, evil, and warfare. We then get into detail about Tolkien’s and Lewis’ battlefield experience and how it inspired specific characters and scenes in their respective works. We end our conversation about how the fantasy wo...more

  • #271: The Power of Wonder

    Jan 20 2017

    We’ve all likely experienced those moments in life in which our breath is literally taken away; at the same time that we feel existentially small, our spirits seem to greatly expand. It’s a singular feeling that we call wonder.But why do we feel wonder? What purpose does it serve in our survival and flourishing as humans? Why does it get harder and harder to feel wonder as you get older? Is it possible to recapture that lost wonder -- to manufacture it in some way?My guest today explores these q...more

  • #270: Becoming a Tactical Athlete

    Jan 18 2017

    We don't normally think of soldiers and first responders as "professional athletes," but that's exactly how my guest today argues they should see themselves. His name is Rob Shaul, and he's the founder and president of the Mountain Tactical Institute -- a research organization dedicated to creating fitness programming that takes workouts outside the gym and gives them a mission-centered focus. Rob believes that soldiers, police officers, and fire fighters, as well as folks who participate in str...more

  • #269: The Forgotten History of Autism

    Jan 12 2017

    In the past decade, autism has gotten more and more attention by the media and the wider culture. You probably know someone with autism or who has a child with autism. Yet despite the spotlight autism has gotten in recent years, several myths and misconceptions about it pervade the popular culture. Understanding the history of how the conception of autism we have today developed can go a long way in shedding light on these myths.My guest has written what is probably the most extensive history of...more

  • #268: How the Science of Competition Can Make You a Better Man

    Jan 10 2017

    What if I told you that there’s a performance-enhancing drug that’s completely free, completely legal, and has no ill side-effects when used correctly? Oh, and you’ve probably already taken it many times in your life.Competition is that drug, and today on the show I talk to author Po Bronson about his book "Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing," which digs deep into the science of competition and how it can improve our performance in a wide variety of tasks.In today’s podcast, Po and I dis...more

  • #267: The Technological Forces That Are Shaping Our World

    Jan 06 2017

    We’re living in a time in which the landscape is changing quickly. Thanks to technology, steady jobs that provided a living for our fathers and grandfathers no longer exist and jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago are now providing paychecks for hundreds of thousands of people. Even the way we consume has changed in the past ten years thanks to streaming digital services and rental services like Uber and Airbnb.But where are these technological trends taking us? How will they shape the future 10...more

  • #266: The Myths and Truths of Distance Running

    Jan 04 2017

    There are some people who absolutely love running, and others who flee screaming from it. They hate how it feels, and they think it's a poor form of exercise because it overly stresses the body, causes tons of injuries, and doesn't even help you lose weight. Right?Are these objections accurate? Today I talk with competitive runner Jason Fitzgerald to get his answers. Jason is a USA Track and Field certified coach and has finished in first place in marathons and obstacle course races across the c...more

  • #265: The Law of Self-Defense

    Dec 30 2016

    Over the years, we’ve had experts on the podcast to talk about how to defend yourself, guys like Tim Larkin and Tony Blauer.But when is your use of force, whether lethal or non-lethal, justified? What are the legal consequences if your self-defense isn’t justified?Today on the podcast, I talk to attorney Andrew Branca about his book The Law of Self Defense. Andrew and I discuss the common legal myths people have about self-defense, how self-defense differs in civil and criminal cases, and when t...more

  • #264: How to Coach People in Business, Sports, and Life

    Dec 28 2016

    Whether you’re a parent, a manager, or a mentor, we all have to coach people at some point in our life.But how do you coach in a way that makes the recipient receptive to your feedback but doesn’t take up too much of your time and energy?My guest today has spent his career coaching managers on how to be better leaders at work and he's distilled his knowledge on how to coach effectively in his latest book. His name is Michael Bungay Stainer and his book is The Coaching Habit. Today on the show Mi...more

  • #263: The Philosophy and Practice of Building a Fire the Scandinavian Way

    Dec 21 2016

    What is it about making and warming ourselves with woodburning flame that's so satisfying? And how can we better master the art of firemaking?Well my guest today has published a book that’s become a cult classic in Scandinavia and it’s all about wood and fire. His name is Lars Mytting and his book is "Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way." Today on the show, Lars and I discuss the pleasures of preparing wood for a fire and why firewood is an important part of ...more

  • #262: Santa Claus, Rifle Toting Boy Scouts, and a Jazz Age Con Man

    Dec 19 2016

    While many Christmas traditions have ancient roots, Christmas culture as we know it today is a modern creation and most of that genesis happened in New York City a century ago.My guest today on the show wrote a book that explores the development of Christmas in New York City by looking at a 1920s con man who used the story of Santa Claus to swindle hundreds of thousands of dollars from generous New Yorkers. His name is Alex Palmer and his book is "The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz...more

  • #261: Solitude, Friendship, & How NOT to Be an Excellent Sheep

    Dec 15 2016

    There’s a growing feeling amongst Americans that we’re suffering a crisis of leadership in our government, families, and businesses. People seem less independent and autonomous, and more directed by others. What's behind this lackluster leadership and what's the solution?My guest today argues that the problem has to do with the way we're bringing up what he calls "excellent sheep," and that the solution is equal doses of deep solitude and deep friendship. His name is William Deresiewicz and he’s...more

  • #260: Knights of the Razor

    Dec 13 2016

    The barbershop has been an important institution in the African-American community for generations. But what many don’t know is that up until about the Reconstruction era, pretty much all barbers in the United States -- whether they cut the hair of white men or black men -- were African-American, and that barbering provided many black men a good enough living to enter the upper middle class.Today on the show, I talk to historian Douglas Bristol about his book recounting this lost part of America...more

  • #259: Tools of Titans

    Dec 09 2016

    If you're a fan of podcasts, my next guest likely needs no introduction. His name is Tim Ferriss, and he's the author of several New York Times bestselling books and the host of the popular podcast, "The Tim Ferriss Show." Tim’s out with a new book called "Tools of Titans," which distills the hours of interviews he's conducted with high-performing guests on his podcast to give readers the best tactics and strategies on how to live a successful, flourishing life.Today on the show, Tim and I discu...more

  • #258: Honor, Courage, Thumos and Plato's Idea of Greek Manliness

    Dec 06 2016

    I’m a classics guy, so the ancient Greeks and Romans inform a lot of my ideas about what manliness means, particularly in regards to the way they equated manliness with living a life of virtue. One of the best books that I’ve come across on how the Greeks saw manliness as intertwined with virtue is by professor of philosophy Angela Hobbs. In Plato and the Hero: Courage, Manliness, and the Impersonal Good, Hobbs goes into detail clarifying Greek concepts related to manliness, including the wild, ...more

  • #257: The Productivity Project

    Dec 02 2016

    Along with getting into shape, being more productive is a common goal people have.While there are a ton of books and articles out there filled with productivity tips, which ones actually work?My guest today took a year out of his life to test all the productivity advice out there and has written a book sharing what worked for him. His name is Chris Bailey and he’s the author of "The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy." Today on the show, Chris a...more

  • #256: Leadership Under Fire

    Nov 29 2016

    Practicing good leadership is difficult enough in everyday situations. Practicing good leadership when you’re literally under fire — whether from bullets or actual flames — truly puts your leadership skills to the test.My guest today has experienced both kinds of fire, and not only lived to tell about it, but distilled out the lessons every man can learn from those life-or-death experiences. His name is Jason Brezler and he’s both a Marine combat veteran and a current firefighter for the New Yor...more

  • #255: The Joy of Missing Out - Getting Control of Your Digital Life

    Nov 25 2016

    Do you feel overwhelmed by your digital devices? Do you constantly have an itch to check your phone even when you’re trying to focus on important work or interacting with your loved ones? Do you find the constant onslaught of opinions coming from the digital ether psychologically tiring? Do you feel like your inner life and grasp of existential meaning becomes more shallow the more time you spend online?At one time, my guest today on the podcast could say yes to all those questions and decided t...more

  • #254: The Fall of Rome

    Nov 22 2016

    The fall of the Roman Empire has been a cultural touchstone in the West for centuries. It’s been used as a warning of what can happen to a society that gets off track. While lots of ink has been spilt on the topic archeologists have made new discoveries in the past few decades that have given us fresh insights as to why the Roman Empire deteriorated and what that decline looked like.My guest today recently earned his PhD from USC, specializing in the fall of the Roman Empire, and he’s begun putt...more

  • #253: Why Men Hate Going to Church

    Nov 17 2016

    Earlier this year we published an in-depth series about masculinity and the Christian religion — in particular, why it is that in nearly all Christian churches the world over, women outnumber men. One of our sources for that series was a book called "Why Men Hate Going to Church," and on today's show I talk with the author of that book, David Murrow.David and I talk about the significant disparity in the sex ratio of Christian churches, the factors that led to that gender gap, why fewer men in t...more

  • #252: Deadly Survival Skills From a Navy SEAL

    Nov 16 2016

    Last year I had a fella by the name of Clint Emerson on the podcast. He’s a retired Navy SEAL and he came on the show to talk about his first book, "100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation." It was one of my favorite episodes from last year and a favorite of listeners as well.Well, Clint’s back with another book filled with deadly skills. This time around it's "100 Deadly Skills Survival Edition: The SEAL Operative...more

  • #251: Be an Entrepreneur Without Quitting Your Day Job

    Nov 11 2016

    The popular idea of the entrepreneur is that he’s a renegade risk-taker who goes all in with following his passion so that he can get out of the 9-5 rat race.But what if you enjoy your day job at the office? Or have other reasons for wanting to work for someone else? Heck, maybe you're a doctor, or firefighter, or teacher and working for someone else is just part of the gig. If you fall into one of these categories, does that mean you're completely barred from entrepreneurship?My guest today say...more

  • #250: The Art of Strategy

    Nov 09 2016

    Whether you’re a businessman, a statesman, a general, or a parent, you’re strategizing on a daily basis. So how do you do it better?My guest today will provide some insights. His name is Barry Nalebuff. He’s a game theory expert and the author of "The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life." On the show Barry and I discuss how game theory can help you make better strategic decisions in all sorts of situations. We explore why threatening to punish your child’s si...more

  • #249: The Benefits of Pride

    Nov 05 2016

    Pride. It’s been called one of the deadly sins.But what if pride holds the key to human success and flourishing?Well, that’s the argument my guest makes in her book, "Take Pride." Her name is Jessica Tracy, and she's a psychologist at the University of British Columbia. Today on the show Jessica and I discuss why pride gets a bad rap, the different kinds of pride that exist, and how feeling the good kind of pride is essential to growth, development, and even cooperation. We also discuss how men ...more

  • #248: Why Football Matters

    Oct 31 2016

    Football is often used as a metaphor for life.What is it about football that makes it so adept at providing lessons on living, what specific lessons can we gleam from the sport, and are those lessons worth the risk of physical injury that come with playing the game?My guest today takes a stab at answering these questions in his book "Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game." His name is Mark Edmundson and he’s a professor of English at the University of Virginia.See omnystudio.com/listene...more

  • #247: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Antidote to Excessive Irony

    Oct 28 2016

    Thanks to digital technology, modern life often promises us a world full of limitless possibilities where you’ll never have to be bored again. But what if that promise of limitlessness and freedom actually contributes to our lives feeling dull, flat, and full of anxiety? What if embracing constraints and even boredom can give our lives more texture and heft?That’s what my guest today argues in his book Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games. His name ...more

  • #246: How to Get Better at Taking Feedback

    Oct 25 2016

    Knowing how to give and receive feedback is essential for our personal and professional growth. To remedy the discomfort we have with it, most books and articles focus on how the giver of feedback can take the sting out of its delivery with tactics like the ever-popular "criticism sandwich." But Doug Stone argues in his latest book that when it comes to feedback, we should be focusing on how we can be better receivers of it.Stone is the co-author of the book "Thanks for the Feedback: The Science...more

  • #245: The Workout the World Forgot

    Oct 20 2016

    Natural Movement, or MovNat, is a fitness system inspired by the physical training of ancient Greeks and Romans as well as the 19th century's physical culture pioneers. The philosophy behind MovNat is simple: humans intrinsically know how to physically move their bodies, and itch to do so in a wide variety of ways. But our sedentary lifestyles and even the way we exercise has caused us to forget how to move efficiently and proficiently. MovNat can help you re-learn these basic, functional human ...more

  • #244: Ask Frances - Brain Farts, Braggarts, and Civil Political Discussion

    Oct 18 2016

    #244: Ask Frances - Brain Farts, Braggarts, and Civil Political Discussion by The Art of ManlinessSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #243: Becoming a Barbarian

    Oct 14 2016

    Seven years ago, my guest today published what has become an underground cult classic on masculinity. His name is Jack Donovan and that book was The Way of Men. I had him on the podcast a few years ago to discuss it — check it out if you haven’t listened to it. In The Way of Men, Donovan argued that for men to really live what he calls the “tactical virtues” of masculinity, they needed to join an all-male honor group, or what he calls a gang or tribe. In his latest book, Becoming a Barbarian, Do...more

  • #242: The Forgotten Virtue of Reverence

    Oct 11 2016

    We typically think of reverence as connected with religion, but my guest today on the podcast argues that reverence is a virtue that extends past religious ceremony and is vital for the flourishing of human society. His name is Paul Woodruff, and he’s a professor of Humanities at the University of Texas and the author of "Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue."On today’s show, Professor Woodruff and I discuss what the ancient Greeks and Chinese can teach us about reverence, why reverence has be...more

  • #241: Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Style With Aaron Marino

    Oct 09 2016

    Many of you have probably seen today's guest on YouTube. His name is Aaron Marino and he’s made a name for himself as a men’s style expert with his often zany videos geared towards helping men look and feel their best. He’s also a two-time contestant on Shark Tank.Today on the show, Aaron and I discuss how an early business setback in the fitness industry led him to creating a men’s style empire online. We also get into the nitty gritty of men’s style by discussing the common style mistakes men ...more

  • #240: The Making of Winston Churchill

    Oct 05 2016

    On today’s show Candice Millard and I discuss the supreme confidence Winston Churchill had as a young man that he was destined for greatness and how he intentionally sought after dangerous military missions that would catapult him to fame.We also discuss the compelling leadership and persuasion ability Churchill displayed during the Boer War that would later propel his political career, as well as the similarities between Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy info...more

  • #239: Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

    Sep 29 2016

    With some thought and intentionality, you can help ensure that you have a happy, loving, fulfilling relationship that lasts until death do you part.My guest today is Les Parrot and he’s a clinical psychologist specializing in marriage and family. He, along with wife Leslie, who's also a marriage therapist, have written a book to help couples prepare themselves for matrimonial commitment. It’s called "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before— And After—You Marry."Today...more

  • #238: Life in a Secular Age

    Sep 27 2016

    Philosophy professor Charles Taylor wrote a 900-page tome called "A Secular Age" in which he argues that secularity has more to do with a feeling of uncertainty about truth that pervades a culture in which all ideas are contested and contestable.My guest today on the show wrote a reader’s guide to Taylor’s epic work. His name is James K. A. Smith (he goes by Jamie). He’s a Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College and his book is called How (Not) to Be Secular. Today on the show, Jamie and I dis...more

  • #237: The Rise of the Sufferfests

    Sep 24 2016

    For the past several years, you’d be hard-pressed to scroll through your Facebook feed, especially in the summertime, without seeing some of your friends posting pictures of themselves at the finish line of a mud run or obstacle race. Events like the Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, and Tough Mudder have become well-known parts of the modern recreational scene. Many of you listening have probably done one yourself.But why exactly have obstacle races, known as OCRs, exploded in popularity in recent ti...more

  • #236: What the Generational Cycle Theory Can Tell Us About Our Present Age

    Sep 20 2016

    In the 1990s, Howe, along with co-author William Strauss, published two books, Generations and The Fourth Turning, which set out a bold and fascinating theory: that history can be broken down into 4 phases, and 4 generational archetypes that repeat themselves over and over every 80 or so years.What are the characteristics of the generational archetype you belong to? What historical phase are we in now, and what does the Strauss-Howe theory predict is likely to happen to the geo-political and eco...more

  • #235: The Curious Science of War

    Sep 16 2016

    My guest today on the podcast did a firsthand investigation of the fascinating history of military research and shared her findings in a highly readable and entertaining book. Her name is Mary Roach and she’s the author of "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War." Today on the show, Mary gives us a look inside the military fashion departments that create uniforms that keep soldiers cool, comfortable, and protected from chemical weapons, all while still looking good, unpacks why diarrhea has...more

  • #234: Haggling and Deal Making Advice From a FBI Hostage Negotiator

    Sep 14 2016

    Negotiation.If you’re like most people who grew up in the West, particularly America, negotiation might make you uncomfortable because it’s really not part of the culture. The price someone asks is usually the price we pay.But negotiation is something all of us will have to do at one time or another. A job salary or car price are two obvious examples that come to mind.The problem is the way most folks go about haggling when they do have to negotiate is often counter-productive. For example, it’s...more

  • #233: Diet and Nutrition Advice From the Doctor of Gains

    Sep 09 2016

    Today on the show, we cut through all the confusion when it comes to nutrition and fitness by talking to an actual Doctor of Gains. His name is Jordan Feigenbaum. He’s a Starting Strength Coach, diet consultant for some of the best competitive powerlifters and CrossFit athletes in the world, and a medical doctor currently doing his residency at UCLA.Jordan I discuss why barbell training is the best medicine for overall fitness, the best way to approach diet for strength training, and why you can...more

  • #232: Become the Chief Financial Officer of Family Inc.

    Sep 06 2016

    My guest today on the show argues that in order to get a big picture view of your finances, you need to start looking at your family as a business and yourself as the Chief Financial Officer of Family Inc. His name is Doug McCormick and he’s a professional investor and the author of "Family Inc.: Using Business Principles to Maximize Your Family’s Wealth."Today on the show, Doug and I discuss the two types of assets you’re managing as the CFO of your family, and the business principles you can a...more

  • #231: How the Ghosts of Tradition Inspired Ancient Military Might

    Sep 01 2016

    The armies of ancient Greece and Rome have gained legendary status. Both militaries successfully conquered much of the known world in their respective eras.But what made them so formidable? Technological innovation? Novel strategies? Plain old grit?My guest today on the podcast argues that it was the Greek and Roman armies’ reverence for their mythic pasts that made them great. His name is J.E. Lendon (he goes by Ted). He’s a classical scholar and the author of "Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of...more

  • #230: How to Deal With Aggressive People

    Aug 30 2016

    What can you do to de-escalate potentially violent confrontations so things don't come to fist blows? How do you deal with people who get in your face and act in verbally belligerent ways? My guest today has spent his career studying the psychology of aggressive people and how to handle them. His name is Shawn Smith, and he's a psychologist, and the author of the book "Surviving Aggressive People: Practical Violence Prevention Skills for the Workplace and the Street."See omnystudio.com/listener ...more

  • #229: How Men and Women Socialize Differently

    Aug 26 2016

    The popular idea out there is that women are more social than men and men are more competitive than women. What’s more, these tendencies are socially conditioned rather than biologically innate.But what if it’s the other way around?My guest today is a psychologist who has spent thirty years researching the differences between how boys and girls socialize, and she’s discovered that many ideas that people have on the subject are completely wrong. Her name is Joyce Benenson and she’s the author of ...more

  • #228: What It Takes to Become a Navy SEAL

    Aug 22 2016

    I've had several Navy SEALs on the podcast, because as the SEALs are one of the world's last bastions of unabashed manliness, they have a lot to teach modern men. My previous SEAL guests have talked about how the lessons they learned from being a special operator can apply to gaining greater resilience, navigating the business world, and even parenting. In these interviews, we talked a little about their SEAL training. But in today’s episode, we're really get into the nitty gritty of that traini...more

  • #227: The Art & Science of Loving the Place You Live

    Aug 19 2016

    How can you learn to love the place you live, even if you don’t feel it's the place of your dreams, or the most ideal location?My guest today spent a year researching the burgeoning science of what's called "place attachment" in order to answer that question. Her name is Melody Warnick and she’s the author of This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live. On the show Melody and I discuss what “place attachment” is and what you can do to have more of it for the place ...more

  • #226: The Success Equation

    Aug 17 2016

    When it comes to the factors that lead to success, there’s a tendency in folks to discount the role of luck. We like to think we’re the complete masters of our fortune -- that we can control everything that happens to us and make our own luck. But by not giving luck its due, we actually prevent ourselves from effectively managing this force so we can experience success in the long run.My guest today has written a book on the math of success, skill, and luck. His name is Michael Mauboussin and he...more

  • #225: The Real Life James Bond

    Aug 12 2016

    Bonds. James Bond.007 is a masculine film icon - handsome, debonair, and dangerous, and epitomizes the French idea of savoir faire, which is the ability to know what to do in absolutely any situation.Bond is so manly, that it'd be easy to think he's solely the creation of author Ian Fleming's imagination. But in fact, Bond was inspired by a real life WWII spy named Dusko Popov. My guest today, Larry Loftis, has written a new book about that spy who's life story is actually even more interesting ...more

  • #224: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things With Malcolm Gladwell

    Aug 09 2016

    Why do smart people do dumb things?This is one of the many questions my guest has explored during his writing career. His name Malcom Gladwell, writer at the New Yorker, author of several New York Times Bestselling books, and now host of the podcast Revisionist History. Today on the podcast, Malcom and I explore the question of smart people doing dumb things by looking at the basketball career of Wilt Chamberlin. We discuss how Wilt discovered a way to increase his free-throw shooting percentage...more

  • #223: Valiant Ambition in the American Revolution

    Aug 05 2016

    In the American Revolution, two figures stand in stark contrast to each other: George Washington and Benedict Arnold. What few Americans know is at the start of the War of Independence, Washington was a blundering general, while Arnold was one of the colonies’ very best. How is it that Washington transformed himself into one of America's greatest leaders while Arnold ended up betraying his countrymen?That’s what my guest today, Nathaniel Philbrick, explores in his book "Valiant Ambition: George ...more

  • #222: The Laws of Wealth

    Aug 02 2016

    To the layman, financial investing can look extremely complicated. And while financial markets are certainly complex, the rules governing sound investment are actually pretty simple. The problem most people have is following those rules. It’s all about behavior.My guest today is a behavioral finance expert who has recently published a book crammed with practical advice to help investors from all walks of life have better investing behavior. His name is Daniel Crosby and his book is The Laws of W...more

  • #221: Reach Your Peak

    Jul 29 2016

    Where goes greatness come from? Why was Ted Williams the greatest hitter in the history of baseball? What made Mozart one of history's most talented composers?The typical answer is that greatness is innate - some people are just born with extraordinary gifts and talents. Recent research though is turning that on its head. Greatness is actually the result of years of hard, deliberate practice.My guest today has been on the forefront of this research on expertise. Anders Ericsson is on the show to...more

  • #220: Tyrants-- A History of Power, Injustice, & Terror

    Jul 26 2016

    Since the days of Ancient Greece, a battle between two political forces has been going on in the West: democracy vs. tyranny.But what makes a tyrant a tyrant? How has tyranny changed throughout Western history? And what is its connection to masculinity?My guest today, Waller Newell, has recently published a book that explores these questions.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

  • #219: The Real Life Story of Hemingway and The Sun Also Rises

    Jul 21 2016

    Ernest Hemingway is a literary legend, but unlike many literary legends, he gained that status while at the very beginning of his career when he introduced his first novel, The Sun Also Rises.My guest today has published a detailed account of how Hemingway created his first novel. Her name is Lesley Blume and her book is "Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises." Today on the show, Lesley and I discuss Hemingway’s drive to revolutionize literatur...more

  • #218: The Lost Arts of Modern Civilization

    Jul 18 2016

    Hosting guests, letter writing, and going out on real dates are often seen as old-fashioned practices that are no longer needed in an age when folks can book an Airbnb room instead of crashing at your pad, you can communicate instantaneously via email or text, and your next girlfriend is just a Tinder swipe away.But my guest today argues that the refinement of civilization requires that we still continue these supposedly old-fashioned practices. His name is Mitchell Kalpakgian and he’s the autho...more

  • #217: The Importance of Having a Tribe

    Jul 14 2016

    What if belonging to a tight-knit group that requires loyalty and self-sacrifice is the key to feeling fulfilled and wholly human?That’s the argument that my guest makes in his latest book. His name is Sebastian Junger. In his book, "Tribe," Junger uses his firsthand experience as a war reporter as a starting point in exploring the vital human need to belong to a group. In today’s show, Sebastian and I discuss how humans are wired for tribalism, how males bond, and whether or not it’s possible t...more

  • #216: How Men Evolved for Fighting

    Jul 13 2016

    One of the things that makes humans, well, human is the ability to make a fist. Other primates can’t do this. The commonly accepted theory as to why humans developed the ability to make a fist is that they needed to do so in order to grasp tools.But research conducted by my guests today have led them to posit a very different theory. They argue that the reason we can make a fist is so we can give better knuckle sandwiches.Their names are Dr. David Carrier and Dr. Michael Morgan. Today on the sho...more

  • #215: Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction

    Jul 06 2016

    A common complaint of the modern age is the sense of distraction and lack of focus that pervades our lives. We typically blame technology like the internet or smartphones for our inability to concentrate on the task at hand. But my guest today argues that the culture of distraction we face runs much deeper than that and actually began several hundred years ago with the Enlightenment.His name is Matthew Crawford, and he’s the author of Shop Class as Soulcraft as well as his latest book The World ...more

  • #214: How to Have a Good Day, Every Day

    Jun 30 2016

    We've all had those days where everything seems to go just right. We set goals for ourselves and we accomplish them. Instead of frittering away our time on YouTube, we're focused and get work done. It's easy to attribute these sorts of days to luck, but my guest today argues that research from behavioral economics and psychology can show us how we can consistently have more of these good days.Her name is Caroline Webb and she's the author of How to Have a Good Day. Today on the show, we discuss ...more

  • #213: Undoing the Damage of Chronic Sitting

    Jun 28 2016

    If you're like most men who work a 9-5 job at an office, you're probably spending a lot of that time sitting down at a desk. Then when you get home, you might be a little active, but then you'll sit down at your desk in your home office, or you'll sit on the couch and watch TV. All that sitting is not good for your body. Some doctors even say it does as much damage to your body as smoking does.My guest today highlights all this research in a new book called Deskbound. In the show, Kelly Starrett...more

  • #212: Ego is the Enemy

    Jun 23 2016

    In the quest to become the men we want to be, we're often our own worst enemy, especially when it comes to our egos. Our ego is prevents us from being humble and teachable when we're first starting out on an endeavor, it blinds us to our own weaknesses in times of success, and it can cause us to wallow in self-pity when we fail.My guest today is Ryan Holiday and in his latest book, Ego is the Enemy, he discusses how ego can thwart our personal progress and success as men. Today on the show we lo...more

  • #211: Ask Frances - Difficult Conversations, Small Talk, and Charisma

    Jun 20 2016

    A few months back, we had Frances Cole Jones on the show. She's the author of How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your Brilliant Self in Any Situation.At the end of that show, Frances directed our listeners to her website to ask her any question about how to better present oneself. She was flooded with questions from AoM podcast listeners, and today I have Frances back on the show to answer some of those.We cover difficult conversations, how to bolster your small talk skills, and specific ...more

  • #210: Got Grit?

    Jun 16 2016

    Why are some people more successful than others? It's a tough question to answer because it relies on a number of factors, many which are out of our control -- like genetics and plain old luck. But there are a few factors that we have a say in -- one of those being the ability to persevere even in the face of setbacks. Otherwise known as grit.My guest today, Professor Angela Duckworth, has spent her career researching this trait, and in today's show we discuss her new book, Grit, and the ways w