The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness

United States

Podcast by The Art of Manliness

Episodes

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

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 storytelling is key for executing both a successful magic trick and a successful business. We also discuss how magicians plan for tricks gone awry and the lessons non-magicians can take from that preparation. We even get into the mutual admiration Theodore Roosevelt and Houdini had for each other and how Houdini personified Roosevelt's ideal of living "the strenuous life."

#305: Lessons from the Epic Age of Flight  

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 Lindbergh’s famous flight across the Atlantic, to Doolittle’s legendary raid on Tokyo, to Rickenbacker’s survival at sea for 23 days. We also dig into their complex characters and specifically, Lindbergh’s testy relationship with the press and how his initial opposition to the U.S. entering WWII got him labeled a traitor by FDR. Winston is a masterful storyteller so you’re in for a real treat today. You’re going to be left both entertained and inspired by these three men.

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

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 young men. We then discuss what Joe sees as the lies of masculinity in the popular culture and how they need to be replaced with strategic masculinity. We end our conversation talking about how coaching high school football ties into Joe’s ministry to men and how Joe’s philosophy on masculinity helped Jeffrey draw closer to his father. Lots of great insights on this show so be sure to take notes.

#303: The Wisdom of Frugality  

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, and why living frugally is harder to do today than in times past. This show provides a nuanced look at a much-praised virtue and will leave you mulling over how, why, and to what extent to strive for it in your own life.

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

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 at the event. And perhaps best of all, my body has stayed healthy and I haven't been injured in the process. Because guys frequently ask me about my training, I've brought Matt back on the podcast to walk listeners through the programming and nutrition plan I've been following for the past 18 months. We discuss how Matt customized my programming, and why he started me with the novice Starting Strength program even though I had been barbell training for a few years. We also dig into my setbacks and how Matt adjusted things to help me break through plateaus. If you’ve been thinking about barbell training or are currently training and are confused about how to program, you’re going to get a lot out of this episode. Consider me your human guinea pig.

#301: The Wisdom of Action  

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 words, this longform article was about the length of a short book. So we decided to turn it into one, and titled it "The Pocket Guide to Action: 116 Meditations on the Art of Doing." Today on the show, I’ve brought Kyle on to dig deep into his philosophy on action. He shares why inaction can be expensive, how action can sometimes mean not doing anything, and why taking action is the best way to find courage and passion in life. Along the way, he shares tactics you can take today to help shift yourself into a more action-oriented mindset. If you’ve been struggling to get started on a project or have just been feeling unmotivated, this podcast will light a fire under your rear!

#300: How to Raise Free Range Kids  

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 parents getting in trouble with the law simply for letting their children play outside by themselves. We end our conversation with some actionable steps you can take as a parent to raise independent, self-reliant kids and why it’s important for kids to have as much unsupervised play as possible. If you’re a parent or a parent-to-be, you don’t want to miss this hilarious, but informative episode.

#299: How to Be Manly According the Ancient Greeks and Romans  

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 and Roman notions of manliness. His name is Ted Lendon. I had Ted on the podcast awhile back ago to discuss his book Soldiers and Ghosts (episode #231 if you want to check it out). On today's show, Ted goes into detail about how the Greeks and the Romans defined manliness. We begin with the Greeks and how the Homeric epics, particularly The Iliad, served as their bible on how to be a man and how Achilles and Odysseus were held up as models of manhood. Ted then explains how the Athenian philosophers tried to tame Bronze Age manliness by making self-control an important element of being a man. We then shift gears to the Romans and discuss how they borrowed elements of Greek manliness to shape their own culture of manhood, as well as how Roman ideas of manliness differed from those of the Greeks. We end our conversation talking about why the virtue of self-control pops up in definitions of manliness not just in the West, but also Eastern cultures like Japan and China.

#299: How to Be Manly According the Ancient Greeks and Romans  

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 and Roman notions of manliness. His name is Ted Lendon. I had Ted on the podcast awhile back ago to discuss his book Soldiers and Ghosts (episode #231 if you want to check it out). On today's show, Ted goes into detail about how the Greeks and the Romans defined manliness. We begin with the Greeks and how the Homeric epics, particularly The Iliad, served as their bible on how to be a man and how Achilles and Odysseus were held up as models of manhood. Ted then explains how the Athenian philosophers tried to tame Bronze Age manliness by making self-control an important element of being a man. We then shift gears to the Romans and discuss how they borrowed elements of Greek manliness to shape their own culture of manhood, as well as how Roman ideas of manliness differed from those of the Greeks. We end our conversation talking about why the virtue of self-control pops up in definitions of manliness not just in the West, but also Eastern cultures like Japan and China.

#298: The Art of Southern BBQ  

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 conversation by going through the step-by-step process of smoking the perfect pork butt.

#297: Make Your Kid a Money Genius  

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, and debt. Even if you don’t have kids, you’re going to find some useful reminders in this podcast about getting your financial life in order. For those of you thinking about getting married soon, Beth shares some fascinating research on how the amount you spend on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony correlates with marital success and happiness. It will definitely provide some conversation fodder to discuss with your significant other.

#296: How to Find Your Life's Purpose  

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' failure to launch is actually rooted in their difficulty in finding a purpose for their life. His name is William Damon, he’s a professor of education at Stanford University, and today on the show we discuss the results of his study and the importance of having an overarching aim in life -- which are the themes of his book, The Path to Purpose. We begin our conversation discussing the criteria of a good life’s purpose and why fewer young people have one today. We then discuss why more young people are prioritizing fame and fortune over public service compared to their peers a half century ago, the new places many young people are finding purpose today (and why that’s led to a decrease in civic engagement), and the benefits that come from having a clear purpose in life. We end by talking about how a young person -- and even those longer in the tooth, who still feel adrift -- can find a life’s purpose and what parents can do to help their children find theirs.

#295: Kettlebells and the Psychology of Training  

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 why kettlebells are an effective tool for building explosive power, and how kettlebell training can improve your deadlift, help you jump higher, and even lead you to becoming a better ballerina (if that’s your thing). We then segue our conversation to talking about training in general and the mistakes beginners make when starting with a strength program. Mark then makes the case that in addition to our regular workouts, we should live our lives like it's the 1940s if we want to see improved health and happiness. We end our conversation talking a bit about Craig’s day job as a psychology professor at Mercer University and how his training as a psychologist has helped him improve his coaching and fitness training. He even shares a little trick you can play on your brain to lift more weight or run faster.

#294: Learning the Art of Charm  

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 Charm. His name is Jordan Harbinger and today on the show Jordan I discuss why improving your social skills is so important and why many men often give it the short shrift. We then dig into the concept of social capital and why it might be even more vital to develop than financial capital. We end our conversation getting into brass tacks advice on how to become a social dynamo without having to be an extroverted “life of the party” cheeseball. This is a great podcast filled with tons of actionable steps.

#293: How to Do More With Less  

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 is overrated (and why you should put a premium on action), and why it’s so hard to stretch even though we intuitively know it comes with lots of benefits.

#292: The Road to Character  

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 lives of several eminent individuals from history and what they can teach us about character formation. From General Eisenhower’s battle to harness his uncontrollable anger, to George Marshall’s inner fight for discipline and the ability to put big picture goals ahead of personal ambition. We end our conversation talking about the mindsets and actions we can take to live a life of character. This is an important, interesting, and edifying episode I hope you'll tune in for.

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

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 films. Robert then gets into detail about the combat missions Stewart flew during WWII, his leadership style as an officer, and how the war took a toll on him physically and emotionally. We end our conversation talking about how the war influenced Stewart’s film career when he returned home and how it may have helped him create one of cinema's most iconic characters, George Bailey. If you’re a fan of Jimmy Stewart, you don’t want to miss this show.

#290: Everything You Know About Ninjas is Wrong  

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. The bad news is that we're going to ruin your childhood conceptions about ninjas in this podcast, but the good news is that the real story of ninjas is even more fascinating.

#289: Revenge of Analog  

"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 background to this digital shift, there’s been a silent rebellion brewing. My guest tracks that rebellion in his book, "The Revenge of Analog." Today on the show, David Sax and I talk about why we’re seeing a return to analog products like vinyl records, hardcopy books, and pen and paper -- and it’s not because of nostalgia. David goes into detail about the sudden revival of vinyl and turntables and why it’s more than just some hipster fad, why hardcopy book sales are going up while ebook sales are declining, and why writing with pen and paper unleashes creativity compared to typing or writing on a screen. He then gets into how the internet is counterintuitively driving this upsurge of interest in tangible products and the benefits we get psychologically, culturally, and economically by living in an analog world.

#288: Love is Overrated  

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 that you let yourself get suckered by love. Their names are Michael and Sarah Bennett. Michael is a psychiatrist. Sarah is Michael’s daughter and a comedy writer. I had them on the show previously to talk about their book "F*ck Feelings." In their latest book, "F*ck Love," they focus on the most messed up feeling of all: love. Despite the irreverent title of their book, the Bennetts provide surprisingly solid and old-fashioned advice when it comes to establishing long-lasting and fulfilling relationships. They discuss why our emotions can lead us astray in relationships and why men are actually more prone to being bamboozled by romantic feelings than women. They then share both the red flags and the positive qualities you should be on the lookout for in a partner if you want a happy relationship. They also discuss what you should do in a relationship in which you're not happy and why couple's therapy is often not very useful. This is a podcast full of laughs, as well as some seriously helpful insights on how to navigate relationships effectively. Note: Even though the title of the book contains "F*ck," there's no swearing in this episode.

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