The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness

United States

Podcast by The Art of Manliness


#259: Tools of Titans  

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 discuss self-improvement advice and the survivorship bias, the common habits of high-performers, and how to ask better questions so you can learn things more quickly. Tim also discusses his struggle with depression and what’s worked for him in keeping the black dog at bay. This podcast is crammed with actionable advice, so you’ll want to take notes.

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

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, Homeric virtues of andreia, or courage, thumos, or spiritedness, and time, or honor. Today on the show, professor Hobbs and I discuss these ancient notions of masculinity in detail as well why the philosopher Plato felt uneasy about them. We then talk about how much of Plato’s philosophy was about tempering these virtues so that they can be harnessed for the greater good of society and how that’s influenced our notions of masculinity today.

#257: The Productivity Project  

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 and I discuss the common misconceptions about productivity that lead people astray in their goals, why having a “why” is the most important step in becoming more productive, and why planning your day around your personal energy cycle can boost your productivity significantly. Chris also gives specific tactics to beat procrastination, strengthen your ability to focus, and manage your to-do list. This episode is chalk full of actionable advice, so take notes.

#256: Leadership Under Fire  

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 York City Fire Department. Brezler not only served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and works in the FDNY’s Special Operations Command, but he’s also the owner of a leadership consulting firm — called Leadership Under Fire, Inc. — that teaches organizations how to develop leaders that are able to make critical decisions and lead their teams to success when under pressure. Today on the show, Jason and I talk about his experience in Fallujah, what it takes to become a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department, and lessons on leadership and decision making from battling both human enemies and hot flames.

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

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 to do something about it. Her name is Christina Crook and she’s the author of the Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World. Today on the show Christina and I discuss the promise and perils of digital technology, her experiment with quitting the internet for a month, and tactics you can take to master technology rather than being its slave. Lots of great insights in this episode to curb your digital addiction. After the show is over, check out the show notes at for links to resources where you can delve deeper into this topic.

#254: The Fall of Rome  

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 putting his vast knowledge into an accessible and easy-to-digest podcast. His name is Patrick Wyman and his podcast is called "The Fall of Rome." Today on the show, Patrick and I discuss the theories out there as to why the Roman Empire fell, the role of the barbarians in the fall, and what the fall of the Empire may have looked and felt like to Roman citizens at the time. We also discuss if there are any similarities between the Roman Empire and the United States, and if we’re following the same path that Rome did.

#253: Why Men Hate Going to Church  

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 the pews typically leads to an overall decline in congregation attendance, what some churches are doing to make church more “man-friendly," why newer megachurches have been more successful at attracting men than older, smaller churches, and why one branch of Christianity -- Eastern Orthodoxy -- hasn’t suffered the same decline in male attendance that's plagued other traditional denominations. Whether you enjoyed our series on Christianity and manhood, have wondered why you find going to church so unbearable, or simply enjoy discussions on the intersection of faith, culture, and masculinity you’ll love this podcast.

#252: Deadly Survival Skills From a Navy SEAL  

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’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster." In it, he, along with AoM's illustrator Ted Slampyak, show readers how to survive in any environment they might find themselves in, from the desert to the mountains to the sea. The book also covers how to manage disasters at home. In this action-focused show, Clint and I talk about the mindset you need to handle any deadly scenario, as well as specific tips for surviving a variety of threats and emergencies.

#251: Be an Entrepreneur Without Quitting Your Day Job  

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 says “no.” His name is Patrick McGinnis and he’s the author of the book "The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job." Today on the show, Patrick and I discuss the myths of becoming an entrepreneur -- including the one that you have to go all in to be one -- and discuss practical ways you can invest just 10% of your time and money into entrepreneurial endeavors. We also talk about the benefits of becoming a 10% entrepreneur, like boosting and diversifying your income streams, as well as becoming more competitive in the traditional job market.

#250: The Art of Strategy  

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 sibling for bad behavior might be a more effective strategy than threatening to punish the child himself, what Donald Trump can teach us about the promise and perils of injecting randomness into your strategy, and how you can use game theory against yourself to lose weight or even quit smoking.

#249: The Benefits of Pride  

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 and women experience and express pride differently.

#248: Why Football Matters  

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.

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

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 is Ian Bogost, he’s a professor of philosophy and, get this, a video game designer. Today on the show, Ian and I discuss why modern life can often be filled with existential angst, why we live in an age of irony that's supercharged by the internet, and how looking at the world as a metaphorical playground can help you feel more grounded and present in reality. This show is full of counterintuitive wisdom and ready-to-work tools that can help you live a more fulfilling life.

#246: How to Get Better at Taking Feedback  

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 and Art of Receiving Feedback Well" and today he joins me on the show to discuss why even constructive criticism is so hard to take, as well as brass-tacks advice on how you can be less defensive and more open to the feedback you receive on a daily basis. You’ll want to take notes on this episode. It’s crammed with information that can improve your life immediately.

#245: The Workout the World Forgot  

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 movements, like jumping, crawling, carrying, throwing, balancing, and running. Today on the show I talk to MovNat founder Erwan Le Corre and MovNat Performance Director Danny Clark about what MovNat is, the classical inspiration behind MovNat, and how it can help you to become strong to be useful.

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

#244: Ask Frances - Brain Farts, Braggarts, and Civil Political Discussion by The Art of Manliness

#243: Becoming a Barbarian  

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, Donovan lays out what creating these honor groups would look like. On today’s show, Jack and I discuss why masculinity is often tragic, why today’s modern world makes it hard for men to form male honor groups, the difference between a club and a tribe, and what it means to start the world.

#242: The Forgotten Virtue of Reverence  

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 been forgotten in our modern age, and what you can do in your own life to renew this virtue.

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

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 make and the easy and cheap fixes that will help you look like a million bucks. This podcast is filled with with actionable steps that you can start implementing today to look more stylish and make a better impression wherever you go.

#240: The Making of Winston Churchill  

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.

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