Episodes

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

    · 01:05:12 · The Art of Manliness

    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 religious studies and was a Fulbright Scholar in religious education. He teaches religious studies for Columbia College of Missouri. Today on the show, Dan and I discuss how physical training can make you a better man in all domains of your life. We begin our discussion on how his training has made him a better scholar and how his scholarship has improved his training. Dan then explains what “shark habits” are, how they contribute to your long-term goals, and how to develop your own shark habits.We end our conversation getting into specifics of strength training. Dan shares the top 3 mistakes he sees people make with their training, why you need to start carrying heavy instead of just lifting heavy, and why you need to put a premium on recovery. This episode combines both brains and brawn for a compelling conversation on being a well-rounded man.

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  • #353: Nostalgia — Its Benefits and Downsides

    · 00:55:59 · The Art of Manliness

    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 Routledge and he’s a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University, and author of "Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource." Today on the show, Clay takes us deep into the psychology of nostalgia. We begin by discussing what exactly nostalgia is, what it feels like, and what induces nostalgic feelings. Clay then delves into the benefits of nostalgia, such as alleviating depression and loneliness and providing meaning in your life. We then get into the downsides of nostalgia and how to avoid them. We end our conversation discussing why we feel nostalgic for time periods we didn’t even experience ourselves and the possible benefits of that type of nostalgia. After this show, you’ll be wanting to bust out old photo albums to take a trip down memory lane.

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

    · 00:43:10 · The Art of Manliness

    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 grilling got there and all the factors that determine the price of meat. We then shift from the macro to the micro of meat by discussing the tools Pat recommends every backyard chef should own, how to tell if meat is bad, and what dry aging does to beef. He then shares what his favorite cuts of beef, lamb, and pork are, how to cook them, and why he thinks you should be leery when a restaurant boasts about their delicious sirloin steaks.

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

    · 00:34:23 · The Art of Manliness

    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 not necessarily a STEM degree. He then goes on to highlight research that shows how most of the jobs being created today aren’t in computer programming or engineering, but rather in jobs that support those fields like sales, management, and consulting. George then argues that individuals with a liberal arts background are in a killer position to fill those jobs. We then discuss the perils of liberal arts degrees and what individuals who've earned them can do to market themselves and take control of their careers.

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

    · 01:00:08 · The Art of Manliness

    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 Magness and they’re the co-authors of the book "Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive With the New Science of Success." Today on the show, Brad and Steve share how their respective backgrounds in elite running and business consulting taught them the importance of rest and recovery from brain work. We begin our discussion on how the American ethos of 24/7 grind and hustle actually hinders performance in school and work. We then dig into the science of burnout: what it is, how it feels, and why it happens. Brad and Steve then share how you can start incorporating “recovery” periods into your intellectual life that will allow your psyche to get stronger and more resilient. If you’ve been feeling burnout from work or school or if you simply want to perform better, this episode is for you.

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

    · 00:54:30 · The Art of Manliness

    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 that's not necessarily the case. His name is Scott Stanley, he’s an author and professor of psychology at the University of Denver, and he specializes in studying commitment, co-habitating, and marriage.Today on the show, Scott explains why dating has gotten more ambiguous during the past 20 years and why that has led people to slide into relationships instead of explicitly deciding and committing to them. He then highlights research that shows that, contrary to popular belief, co-habitating before marriage actually increases the chances of divorce when you do decide to get married and how living with someone makes it harder to break up with them, even when you realize you should.We then get into what men can do to make dating less ambiguous and more decisive, and how being upfront about your intentions with women will make you more attractive, reduce drama down the road, and put you in a better position for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Scott then shares what you should do if you feel like you’ve slid into your relationship and what married couples can do to strengthen their marriage.Whether you’re dating, thinking about getting married, or already hitched, this podcast is crammed with research-backed advice on how to have better relationships.

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

    · 00:41:22 · The Art of Manliness

    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 Robin Dreeke, and he's spent his career working in a field where trust is hard to get but important to have — doing counterintelligence for the FBI. Robin’s recently published a book sharing how he has been able to gain the trust of people who aren’t very keen on trusting others. It’s called "The Code of Trust."Today on the show, Robin shares the five rules of building trust with anyone — no matter how suspicious they are of you. While these rules may seem like they’re an invitation to become a human doormat, Robin explains why that’s not the case, and how they actually make you more influential.Whether you’re working with spies, like Robin, or just want to build more trust in your office or relationships, you’re going to find plenty of interesting and actionable advice in this podcast.

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  • #347: The Science of Social Awkwardness

    · 00:39:59 · The Art of Manliness

    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 the show Ty highlights his research on awkwardness. He explains what exactly we feel when we feel awkward and what triggers the feeling. He then digs into why some people are more awkward than others and the detriments that come with being socially awkward. Ty then shares things chronically awkward people can do to be less so, like developing social algorithms and studying manners. We end our conversation discussing the upsides of awkwardness and how to balance it with the downsides. If you struggle with awkwardness or know someone who does, this episode will provide you a lot of actionable advice and insights on both embracing and mitigating your social propensities.

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  • #346: The Fall of the Roman Republic

    · 00:59:56 · The Art of Manliness

    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 walks us through the formation of the Roman Republic and why it was so unique amongst ancient governments. He then explains the unwritten code of behavior that governed Romans and how it enabled the Republic to last for nearly 500 years. Mike then walks us through how the breakdown of that code led to the breakdown of the Republic, and how reformers seeking to take Rome back to its good ol’ days only sped up its fall. We then discuss if we can see any similarities between Rome’s republic and America. This is a fascinating episode on an oft-overlooked part of Roman history.

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

    · 00:57:16 · The Art of Manliness

    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 People Think Is a Superpower." His name is Ed Latimore and besides being a writer, he's a professional boxer, is about to complete his degree in physics, served in the National Guard, is an AmeriCorps volunteer, and avid chess player.Today on the show, Ed shares how he wasn’t always this ambitious and how he spent his twenties dorking around. He then shares the moment when he decided to get serious with his life and the steps he took to start college in his late twenties. We then dig into some of the themes in Ed’s book, specifically how to develop discipline even though you’re not motivated, why you have to embrace being mediocre to become great, and the difference between good pain and bad pain.Ed shares what it’s like to lose a boxing match on national television and the lessons on failure he took from that match. He also shares insights on how to deal with success, specifically how to keep that edge even when things are going well for you.We end our conversation talking about why not caring about what people think is a superpower and why sometimes the people closest to you don’t want to see you change your life for the better. This is a great show packed with actionable insights.

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  • #344: The Art of the Side Hustle

    · 00:40:01 · The Art of Manliness

    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 had him on the podcast before to discuss his book "Born for This."Today on the show Chris and I discuss his latest book, "Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days." Chris and I begin our conversation talking about why every man should have a side hustle — including those who are already very happy with their day jobs. Chris then walks us through the process of starting a side hustle from ideation to business formation to marketing. Along the way Chris busts some myths that people have about starting a business and provides examples of folks who have added $1,000 to $20,000 a month to their income with a business they work on in their free time.

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

    · 00:44:12 · The Art of Manliness

    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 small details in nature and uses them to deftly navigate the wild without a map and compass. His name is Tristan Gooley and he’s the author of several books, including "How to Read Nature."Today on the show, Tristan tells us how he got started with natural navigation and how he’s having to rediscover what was once common knowledge to our ancestors. We then dig into specific ways you can use nature to navigate or even know if there’s a storm coming soon. After listening to this show, you’ll never look at trees the same way again. I guarantee it.

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  • #342: Why Boredom is Good for You

    · 00:45:59 · The Art of Manliness

    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." Today on the show, Manoush shares her experience of how feeling scattered and less creative led her to create an experiment that tested whether her lack of boredom in recent years was to blame. We then dig into the philosophy of boredom and why we dread it so much. Manoush then goes into what the latest research says about the benefits of boredom, like increased creativity, better productivity, and improved mental well-being. Finally, she walks us through some exercises you can use to help inject more boredom in your life. (Yes, you read that right.)

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

    · 00:42:42 · The Art of Manliness

    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 and it just requires getting 1% better each day? It's called the Kaizen method. It sounds like a mystical Japanese philosophy passed down by wise, bearded sages who lived in secret caves, but it actually has a surprisingly American and modern origin. My guest today has written a book about this philosophy of small, continuous improvement used by Japanese carmakers for over 60 years. His name is Robert Maurer and his book is "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way."Today on the show, Robert explains the American roots of this Japanese manufacturing process and how the Japanese re-introduced it to America in the 1970s. He then digs into the psychology of why the Kaizen method of improvement works so well not just for organizations but for individuals. We end our conversation with the practical ways you can incorporate Kaizen in your own life.

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  • #340: Life Lessons From an Adventurer

    · 00:53:18 · The Art of Manliness

    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 been on, including being the first Canadian to summit Mt. Everest without oxygen, dodging landmines while climbing the highest mountain in Iraq, and rowing across the Atlantic Ocean by himself.Laval then shares how he tragically lost his son in a canoeing accident and how the habit of making checklists that he developed as a pilot helped him lead his family through the grieving process. We dig deeper into how Laval uses checklists as a pilot, adventurer, and family man. And we end our conversation talking about how regular joes can go on the kinds of adventures Laval regularly undertakes without breaking the bank and while still attending to their families and careers.

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  • #339: The Power of Likability

    · 00:44:15 · The Art of Manliness

    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 children and teenagers can affect our happiness and well-being even when we’re in our 30s and 40s. His name is Mitch Prinstein. He’s a professor of adolescent psychology at the University of North Carolina and the author of the book "Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World."Today on the show, Mitch breaks down the two different types of social status: popularity and likability. He then shares research that suggests that while popularity comes with short-term benefits, it also has a tremendous amount of long-term downsides. Instead of focusing on popularity, Mitch argues that learning to be likable can get you all the benefits of status without the drawbacks. He then shares what you can do to become more likable in your life. Next we digs into the research that shows how children as young as 5 are already aware of who’s likable and who isn’t, how and why that status sensitivity goes into overdrive in your teenage years, and how being likable at a young age can have benefits well into adulthood. This is a fascinating show with lots of great insights and even action steps on becoming more likable.

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  • #338: How to Beat Distraction and Stay Focused

    · 00:44:09 · The Art of Manliness

    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 devices feel so dang addictive?My guest today is a neuroscientist who’s studied that question in depth. His name is Adam Gazzaley and he’s the founder of Gazzaley Labs at the University of California at San Francisco. There, he and his team have researched what goes on in our brains when we use our digital devices, why they distract us, and what we can do about it.Today on the show, Adam and I discuss the science of distraction and focus. Adam walks us through the cognitive functions we use to focus our attention and to avoid distraction. He then explains why these evolved cognitive functions are mismatched to today’s constantly buzzing digital devices, using a theory of optimal food foraging borrowed from biology. We then discuss action steps grounded in science on how you can beat distraction and stay more focused throughout the day. We end our conversation talking about Adam’s work creating prescription video games (yes, prescription) that can be used to help elderly patients and individuals with ADHD.

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

    · 00:55:51 · The Art of Manliness

    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, essayist, and book critic. In his latest book, "An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic," Daniel shares the experience of having his 81-year-old father enroll as a student in the undergrad seminar he taught on The Odyssey and the insights he gleaned about his relationship with his dad by looking at the father-son relationships explored in the epic poem. We begin our conversation with a big picture overview of The Odyssey and why Daniel’s dad decided to take his seminar on it. Daniel and I then discuss what we can learn about the relationship between sons and fathers from Odysseus' relationships both with his son Telemachus, and with his father Laertes. We then shift to what we can learn from Odysseus and his wife Penelope on forming a strong marriage, how travel can change us, and why The Odyssey becomes more relevant to men when they have families of their own. This is a fun podcast filled with amazing insights about one of the greatest stories ever told. After you listen to it, you’ll want to dust off your copy of The Odyssey itself so you can read it with fresh eyes.

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  • #335: Exploring Archetypes With Jordan B. Peterson

    · 00:52:59 · The Art of Manliness

    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 acquainted with these ancient human myths once again.His name is Jordan B. Peterson and he’s a clinical psychologist at the University of Toronto. But unlike many clinical psychologists, Dr. Peterson has spent his career studying human myths and how they can provide meaning in a world of tragedy and frustration. Today on the show, Jordan provides an introduction to the world of myths and archetypes. We begin our discussion talking about some of the big archetypes we see over and over again in stories across cultures and time, and why they show up everywhere. We then discuss feminine and masculine archetypes in detail, how the hero archetype is the link between the two, and examples of the hero archetype from around the world. Jordan argues that disregarding or ignoring these ancient myths led to the rise of extreme political ideologies in the early 20th century, as well as their resurgence today. We end our conversation discussing how these myths can help young men journey into noble manhood, and the books Jordan recommends young men read to learn more about them.While the subject may seem heady, this is an accessible and fun conversation, filled with insights about how to live a flourishing, meaningful life. You’ll definitely be thinking about its ideas after the show is over.

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