The Art of Manliness

By The Art of Manliness

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Subscribers: 7761
Reviews: 37

Chris
 Jun 22, 2020
Great podcast with a broad range of topics.


 Jun 11, 2020

Adrian
 May 27, 2020
Highly recommend this podcast. It covers a wide variety of manly topics (although many of them are accessible for more than just men, really) to help broaden your knowledge. The podcasts are consistently solid audio quality and Brett clearly does his research beforehand. The episodes seem to pass by in no time at all. Thank you for all your work, Brett. These podcasts are truly a source of becoming a better man.


 May 18, 2020

Daniel Fortis
 May 1, 2020
Great podcast

Description

Podcast by The Art of Manliness

Episode Date
#625: The Code of the Warrior
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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 and Present. Shannon and I begin our conversation with the pointed questions she used to pose to the cadets she taught as to how being a warrior was different than being a killer or murderer, and when killing is and isn't ethical. She then explains how the warrior codes which developed all around the world arose organically from warriors themselves for their own protection, and how these codes are more about identity than rules. Shannon and I then take a tour of warrior codes across time and culture, starting with the code in Homer's Iliad, and then moving into the strengths and weaknesses of the Stoic philosophy which undergirded the code of the Romans. From there we unpack the code of the medieval knights of Arthurian legend, what American Indians can teach soldiers about the need to make clear transitions between the homefront and the warfront, and how the Bushido code of the samurais sought to balance the influence of four different religions. We end our conversation with the role warrior codes play today in an age of increasingly technologized combat.  Get the show notes at aom.is/warriorcode.
Jul 08, 2020
#624: The Crazy, Forgotten Story of America's First Fitness Influencer
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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 Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet. Mark and I begin our conversation with how Macfadden discovered a passion for health and fitness as a young man and failed at his attempt to become a personal trainer, despite coining the motto "Weakness is a crime; don't be a criminal." We then discuss how Macfadden went on to start the highly successful magazine, Physical Culture, and then an entire publishing empire, which pioneered many of the confessional, first-person, personal branding techniques still used today. Mark shares the tenets of Macfadden's sometimes sound, sometimes wacky health philosophy, including his advocacy of fasting, and what happened when Mark tried out some of Macfadden's protocols on himself. Mark and I then delve into how Macfadden founded a utopian community in the New Jersey suburbs, was convicted of obscenity charges, trained fascist cadets for Mussolini, and ran for U.S. senator on a physical fitness platform. We end our conversation with why Macfadden was forgotten, and yet had a lasting effect on the world of health and fitness, as well as media as a whole. Get the show notes at aom.is/macfadden.
Jul 06, 2020
#479: Becoming a Digital Minimalist [RE-BROADCAST]
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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 definitive guide to the philosophy and tactics behind digital minimalism. His name is Cal Newport and this is his third visit to the AoM Podcast. We’ve had him on the show previously to discuss his books So Good They Can’t Ignore You and Deep Work. Today, we discuss his latest book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. We begin our conversation discussing why digital tech feels so addicting, why Steve Jobs didn’t originally intend for the iPhone to become something we check all the time, and why the common tips for reducing your smartphone use don't work and you need to implement more nuclear solutions instead. We then discuss the surprising lesson the Amish can teach you about being intentional about technology, how cleaning up your digital life is like decluttering your house, and why he recommends a 30-day tech fast to evaluate what tech you want to let back into your life. Cal then makes an argument for why you should see social media like training wheels for navigating the web, how to take those wheels off, and why you should own your own domain address. We end our conversation exploring what you should do in the free time you open up once your digital distractions are tamed, and the advanced techniques you can use to take the practice of digital minimalism to the next level. I think you'll find this a tremendously interesting and important show. Get the show notes at aom.is/digitalminimalism.
Jul 01, 2020
#623: How to Make Better Decisions by Thinking Like a Rocket Scientist
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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 Exploration Rovers project, and he's the author of the book Think Like a Rocket Scientist. We begin our conversation discussing why Ozan went from studying astrophysics to going to law school, and how his scientific background has influenced his legal career. We then dig into ways that the same thought processes that enable spacecraft to travel millions of miles can also be applied to moving forward in work and life. Ozan explains how scientists deal with uncertainty and why you have to constantly question the way things are done to get better results. We end our discussion by talking about how to use thought experiments to solve problems, how to test ideas, and how to actually learn from your failures. Get the show notes at aom.is/rocketscientist.
Jun 29, 2020
#622: How to Simplify Your Life and Get Off the Grid
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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 conversation today with why Gary decided to leave his conventional, urban, 9-5 existence to find a freer lifestyle, and how he defines being off the grid. We then get into why Gary thinks you should make the move to living off the grid in a series of steps, the first of which is to simplify your existing life in three main ways. Gary then makes the case for why living in a RV should be the next step in your journey, before discussing the process of finding land for your off grid home, and the factors to consider in picking a locale. From there we get into how those who live off the grid take care of water, sewage, power, and internet, how they construct the house itself, and what to know about the start-up costs involved. We end our conversation with a discussion of getting off the grid in a more metaphorical way by quitting social media, and why Gary thinks you should pull the plug on those platforms, even if you're an entrepreneur. Get the show notes at aom.is/offgrid.
Jun 24, 2020
#621: The Causes and Cures of Childhood Anxiety
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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 by describing the extent to which problems like depression, anxiety, and even suicide have been on the rise among children, and how these issues correlate with continued problems later in life. We then talk about the possible causes behind the increase in childhood anxiety, and whether technology and social media are to blame. We then delve into the idea of how parents are perpetuating their children's anxiety through their own anxiety and their willingness to make accommodations to keep their kids calm and happy. We get into the idea that getting your children comfortable with being uncomfortable can inoculate them against anxiety, and end our conversation with a discussion of whether more exposure to the news of a tumultuous world might actually make kids more resilient. Get the show notes at aom.is/childhoodanxiety.
Jun 22, 2020
#620: How to Deal With Life's Regrets
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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 If Only: How to Turn Regret Into Opportunity. Neal and I begin our conversation by unpacking how asking "what if" is to engage in something called "counterfactual thinking," and how you can create a downward counterfactual, in which you imagine how a decision could have turned out worse, or an upward counterfactual, where you imagine how a decision could have turned out better. Neal then explains why living without regret isn't actually that healthy, and why even though regret is an unpleasant feeling, it can be an important spur towards greater improvement, action, and agency. We then do get into the circumstances in which regret can become a negative force, before turning to what Neal's research says are the most common regrets people have in life. At the end of our conversation, we pivot to talking about how imagining how your life could have turned out worse, can make you feel happier.  Get the show notes at aom.is/regret.
Jun 17, 2020
#619: What Driving Tells Us About Agency, Skill, and Freedom
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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 well as a symbol for the potential loss of much broader human values. His name is Matthew Crawford and he's a philosopher, mechanic, and hot rodder, as well as the author of Shop Class as Soulcraft. In his latest book, Why We Drive: Towards a Philosophy of the Open Road, Matthew investigates the driver’s seat as one of the few remaining domains of skill, exploration, play, and freedom. Matthew and I begin our conversation discussing how freely moving around in our environment is a big part of what makes us human and then explore how shifting from being the drivers of our own cars to the passengers of self-driving cars could result in a loss of that humanity by eliminating agency, privacy, and proficiency. As our wide-ranging conversational road trip continues, Matthew and I take detours into what things like hot rodding and demolition derbies can tell us about mastery, play, and competition. We end our conversation on what driving ultimately has to do with the overarching idea of self-governance.  Get the show notes at aom.is/whywedrive.
Jun 15, 2020
#618: Finding Connection in a Lonely World
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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 action to fulfill.  His name is Dr. Vivek Murthy, he served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States, and he's the author of the book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. We begin our conversation discussing what loneliness is exactly and how we can feel interpersonally fulfilled in some areas of our lives, and yet lonely in others. Vivek then walks us through the very tangible harm loneliness can do to our mental health, before exploring why loneliness has been increasing in the western world. Vivek and I then discuss how loneliness affects men in particular. We end our conversation with things we can all do to battle the loneliness epidemic and feel more connected to those around us.  Get the show notes at aom.is/loneliness.
Jun 10, 2020
#617: What It's Like to Go to Army Ranger School
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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 just last year as the first journalist to embed with a class all the way through the course. His name is Will Bardenwerper and he wrote an article about his experience for Outside Magazine called "Army Ranger School Is a Laboratory of Human Endurance." Will and I begin our conversation with why he wanted to observe Ranger School from a third-party perspective after participating in it firsthand as a soldier. Will then explains the difference between earning your tab by graduating from Ranger School and being an official Army Ranger who belongs to the Ranger Regiment special operations force. Will then gives us a big picture overview of the three phases of Ranger School: Benning Phase, Mountain Phase, and Swamp Phase. We then dive into what happens in each phase, taking side trips along the way into the controversy of allowing women into the course, whether or not it's gotten easier since Will went through, and the importance of doing well in the combat patrol exercises and peer reviews in which the students participate. We end our conversation discussing the lessons in endurance that civilians can take away from those who graduate from Ranger School and earn the tab. Get the show notes at aom.is/rangerschool.
Jun 08, 2020
#616: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling
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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 introduction to the Bhagavad Gita, the significant influence it's had on philosophers and leaders for ages, and what it can teach us about making difficult decisions. We then discuss the insights the Gita offers on the four pillars of right living, beginning with discerning your true calling or sacred duty. We unpack the three areas in your life to examine for clues to your life's purpose, and why that purpose may be small and quiet rather than big and splashy. Stephen then explains the doctrine of unified action, why you have to pursue your calling full out, and why that pursuit should include the habit of deliberate practice. We also discuss why it's central to let go of the outcome of actions to focus on the work itself, and the need to turn your efforts over to something bigger than yourself. All along the way, Stephen offers examples of how these pillars were embodied in the lives of eminent individuals who lived out their purpose.  Get the show notes at aom.is/gita.
Jun 03, 2020
#615: How to Develop Authentic Gravitas
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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 Newton and we begin our conversation together by delving into the traits that go into embodying gravitas, as well as the myths we have about this quality. We discuss how gravitas doesn't necessarily include confidence and charisma, as well as its false manifestations. Rebecca then walks us through the steps to carrying yourself with gravitas in meetings and presentations, including why you should script the beginning and end of your speeches, and how to put more gravitas into your voice and words. We also discuss what to focus on when you're pulled into an impromptu conversation, how to get real feedback about how you can improve the way you carry yourself, and how to convey gravitas in online communication. We then discuss why practicing self-leadership is so important to developing gravitas, why Rebecca thinks everyone needs to create a "personal thought leadership window," and how you can use your drive to and from work to become more thoughtful and reflective. We end our conversation with the questions you should start asking yourself today to develop more gravitas. Get the show notes at aom.is/gravitas.
Jun 01, 2020
#614: Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life
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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 just sit with our thoughts, and even turn towards those which hurt the most. His name is Steven Hayes and he's a professor of psychology, the founder of ACT -- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy -- and the author of over 40 books, including his latest A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters. Steven and I spend the first part of our conversation in a very interesting discussion as to why traditional interventions for depression and anxiety -- drugs and talk therapy -- aren't very effective in helping people get their minds right, and how ACT takes a different approach to achieving mental health. We then discuss the six skills of psychological flexibility that undergird ACT and how these skills can be used not only by those dealing with depression and anxiety but by anyone who wants to get out of their own way and show up and move forward in every area of their lives.   Get the show notes at aom.is/liberatedmind.
May 27, 2020
#613: How Soldiers Die in Battle
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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 today, Michael Stephenson, is a military historian who explores these evolutions in his book The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die in Battle. Today Michael and I discuss the forces that led soldiers to their fate over the centuries, from advancements in weaponry to the expectations of social class. At the beginning of our conversation Michael discusses why he wanted to write this book, and the balance he had to walk in trying to describe the reality of death on the battlefield, without conveying those details in a sensationalistic or titillating manner. We then trace the history of death in war, beginning with its primitive beginnings and working our way to the modern day. Along the way we discuss how gunpowder changed the nature of warfare, the effect that distance has on how heroic a confrontation seems, why artillery is particularly terrifying, what motivates soldiers to fight, and much more. This is a surprisingly enlightening and humane look at an oft glossed over aspect of the human experience. Get the show notes at aom.is/lastfullmeasure.    
May 25, 2020
#612: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection
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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 delicious browned food, and how to ensure you get that effect when you grill. From there we dive into more of the secrets of better grilling, including the pros and cons of different types of fuels and grill types and the essential tools to have on hand when making flame-cooked grub. Matt then offers his surprising take on the best way to grill a burger and explains how to grill the perfect steak, cook chicken so it doesn't dry out, and fire up fish without it falling apart. We end our discussion with Matt's grilled, mouth-watering alternative to a traditional peach cobbler.  You'll be ready to fire up the grill after listening to this show. Get the show notes at aom.is/serialgriller.
May 20, 2020
#611: How a Weekly Marriage Meeting Can Strengthen Your Relationship
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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 four-part agenda of the marriage meeting, which includes showing appreciation, discussing household chores, planning for good times, and resolving big issues, and Marcia explains why you need to do the steps in that particular order. She then addresses the possible objection to meeting with one's spouse in a more structured way, and explains why the format of the marriage meeting is more effective than trying to discuss these things on the fly. She then provides tips and insights on how to execute each part of the marriage meeting, including the importance of being specific with your appreciation, following up on to-dos, and scheduling good times both as a couple and as individuals. Marcia then shares advice on what to do if you want to start the marriage meeting practice but your spouse doesn't, how your meetings can take as little as 15 minutes, and how best to communicate during the meeting so that each partner will feel good about keeping up this game-changing habit.  Get the show notes at aom.is/marriagemeeting.
May 18, 2020
#610: Who Lives in Survival Situations, Who Dies, and Why
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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. Today on the show, we discuss how the story of his father being shot out of the sky during WWII set Laurence on a journey to explore the mysterious underpinnings of survival. Laurence then explains what happens to us mentally and emotionally in a disaster situation that causes us to make poor decisions, how our mental models can get us in trouble, and why rule breakers are more likely to survive than rule followers. Laurence then walks us through complexity theory and how trying to make things safer can counterintuitively make them more dangerous. We then talk about why the frequency with which you yell at your kids correlates to your chances of surviving a life-threatening emergency, before ending our conversation with a discussion of the paradoxes would-be survivors must grapple with, including being both realistic and hopeful at the same time.    Get the show notes at aom.is/deepsurvival.
May 13, 2020
#609: The 3 Tasks of Moving From Adolescence to Adulthood
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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 what he's found does and doesn't work in getting them to become more independent called Failure to Launch: Why Your Twentysomething Hasn't Grown Up . . . and What to Do About It. We begin our conversation with how Mark defines a failure to launch, when in his career he started to notice this issue in his young clients, and what factors are behind its prevalence. He then explains the idea of "emerging adulthood" and how it's normal for it to take some time for a twenty-something to start feeling like a grown-up. Mark and I then unpack the three tasks a young person must master to transition to adulthood, which includes discussions of what prevents twenty-somethings from taking on grown-up responsibilities, how parents need to shift from a supervisory role to a consultant role, the importance of getting going in the right direction, and why young adults should treat life like a climbing wall. We end our conversation with advice to parents on the best way to motivate their kids to tackle the tasks of growing up. Plenty of insights for both young adults and their parents in this episode. Get the show notes at aom.is/launch.
May 11, 2020
#608: How Caffeine Hooks, Hurts, and Helps Us
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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 caffeine consumption developed in different places all around the world and how the way we get our caffeine fix has evolved over the millennia. Murray and I then discuss the popularity of coffee in America and how our grandparents actually drank way more of it than we do today. Murray explains how caffeinated sodas became a stimulating competitor to coffee in the 19th century and how energy drinks became a huge business in the late 20th. Murray and I then discuss how you're probably ingesting more caffeine than you realize, and what the generally recommended maximum amount to consume per day is. We then get into whether caffeine can enhance athletic performance, and how much you need to take for it to make a difference. We then discuss the overlooked benefits of caffeine, as well as its downsides, and end our conversation with the question of whether caffeine is an addictive substance.  This episode will get you thinking about your morning joe differently. Get the show notes at aom.is/caffeinated.
May 06, 2020
#607: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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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 to speak to one of them, Stephen M.R. Covey. Stephen is the oldest of the Covey children, played an instrumental role in the launch of the first edition of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, as well as in his father's company, Franklin Covey, and is himself the author of the book The Speed of Trust. Today on the show, Stephen and I discuss why The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has had such staying power and why it's just as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. We then walk through the seven habits, exploring how each is lived individually, as well as work together to create a flourishing life. If you've never read The 7 Habits, this episode is a great introduction. And if you've read it before, this is a succinct refresher on a set of principles worth building your life around. Get the show notes at aom.is/sevenhabits.
May 04, 2020
#606: How to Activate Your Brain's Happy Chemicals
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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 our conversation by discussing the similarities between human brains and the brains of other mammals, and how our brains release happiness-producing chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin to spur us to seek rewards related to our survival needs. We also talk about the unhappy chemical of cortisol which is released in response to perceived threats, and the factors that have increased our stress and anxiety in the modern world. Loretta then explains that the boost we get whenever the brain's happy chemicals are activated doesn't last, and how we need to plan and execute healthy options for proactively stimulating these chemicals, including creating expectations for rewards and finding small, positive ways of increasing our status. We end our conversation with how to manage spikes of cortisol in yourself, as well as help other people manage their emotional troughs. Get the show notes at aom.is/happychemicals.
Apr 29, 2020
#605: The Money Moves You Should Make Right Now
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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 the pandemic started, Ramit has been hosting "fireside chats" on his Instagram account where he covers a financial topic pertinent to the pandemic, as well as answers questions from his community of followers. Today we discuss some of the ideas Ramit's been hitting on during these chats as well as the common financial questions he's been fielding. I begin our conversation by asking Ramit why he tells people they shouldn't panic, but should overreact. We then dig into Ramit's advice for people who fall into different categories as to how the pandemic has affected them, beginning with survival strategies for those who are out of a job altogether. Ramit then shares the money moves people who do still have income coming in should make and why he's changed his tune on how much of an emergency fund you should have. We then discuss why now is a good time to find ways to earn more money and what investing should look like during an economic slump. We end our conversation with Ramit's advice on how to look for a job during a pandemic and what small businesses can do to adapt to the current climate. Get the show notes at aom.is/pandemicfinances.
Apr 27, 2020
#604: The Boring Decadence of Modern Society
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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 book is The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success. We begin our conversation discussing Ross's idea of decadence and how it's particularly marked by the quality of boredom. We then explore how decadence manifests itself in different areas of our society: Ross and I discuss how even though the realms of the economy and technology might seem vibrant (or at least they did before the pandemic struck), Americans are actually starting fewer businesses, moving less for work, and making fewer life-altering innovations than in times past. We then discuss the fact that clothing styles haven't changed all that much from the 1990s, the repercussions of couples having fewer children, and the calcification of our political institutions. We end our conversation with how each of us as individuals can fight back against decadence.  Get the show notes at aom.is/decadence.
Apr 22, 2020
#603: The Physical Keys to Human Resilience
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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: Evolution, Consciousness, Stress, and the Key to Human Resilience.  We begin our conversation discussing how Scott's investigation into the breathing methods of Wim Hof, an extreme athlete, turned him from a skeptic into an intrigued believer who wanted to learn more about our ability to exercise control over our physiology. Scott then explains his idea of "the Wedge" as the ability to consciously put a gap between an external stimulus and the otherwise automatic physiological responses it elicits. Scott and I then discuss his trip around the world to talk to people who have found ways to create wedges in their lives in order to elevate their physical and mental states. We discuss how throwing kettlebells around can be used to overcome fear and experience flow, how lying in a float tank may recalibrate PTSD, how building up tolerance to CO2 can increase your physical performance, how saunas can boost resilience, and why the power of the placebo effect is greatly underrated.  Get the show notes at aom.is/wedge.
Apr 20, 2020
#602: The Case for Being Unproductive
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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 productive. Her name is Celeste Headlee and she's the author of Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving. We begin our conversation taking a look at what work was like before industrialization and how we moderns work more than medieval serfs. Celeste then explains how industrialization moved us from task-based work to hour-based work and how that helped change our perception of time and usher in "the cult of efficiency." We discuss how we've taken this penchant towards over-optimization which prevails in work life, and applied it to our personal and family lives as well, adding stress and stripping us of hobbies and social connections. We then dig into how this current moment of being forced into doing less can be used as a time to reevaluate our relationship to work, and how we can reconnect with the idea of doing things for their own sake, especially cultivating relationships with others. Get the show notes at aom.is/donothing.
Apr 15, 2020
#601: How to Get Jailhouse Strong
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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 interviewing bodybuilders who also spent time in the slammer. His name is Josh Bryant, and he's a powerlifter and powerlifting coach and the co-author of the book Jailhouse Strong. We begin our conversation discussing the mindset with which Josh approaches fitness training, including what he means by being "gas station ready." We then discuss why being big and strong is oftentimes a matter of survival for prisoners and some of the famously fit former inmates Josh highlights in his book. We then dig into the specific bodyweight movements prisoners typically use, how they can be incorporated in your own workout routine, and the various ways you can modify and make the exercises harder. We discuss programs prisoners often use and how Josh has enhanced them with his powerlifting background. Josh then lays out a beginner's three-day-a-week bodyweight program, explains the way prisoners incorporate "deloading" or taking a break from their workouts, and talks about his all-time favorite conditioning exercise. Get the show notes at aom.is/jailhousestrong.
Apr 13, 2020
#600: What Board Games Teach Us About Life
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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 in the past twenty years and how today's board games are much more nuanced, complex, and arguably more fun than the classic games you probably played as a kid. Jonathan and I then discuss how the evolution of the board game Life can give us insights into our culture's changing ideas of virtue and how board games often reflect the attitudes of a given time. We then discuss what cooperative games like Pandemic tell us about how to handle overbearing people and how the game Dead of Winter highlights the way private interests often conflict with group interests. Jonathan then shares why Monopoly is such a divisive game and whether board games can teach resilience. At the end of the show, Jonathan gives his personal recommendations for board games to check out that are way better than the chutes and ladders type games you played growing up. Get the show notes at aom.is/boardgames.
Apr 08, 2020
Bonus: How the Stages of Grief Explain What You're Feeling During This Pandemic
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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 Kubler-Ross, creator of the famous five stages of grief, and also added his own sixth stage to the roadmap to loss. That interview resonated so much with me and others, that I thought it would be useful to bring Kessler on the show to talk through his perspective in a short, special episode of the AoM podcast. Kessler walks us through how the five stages of grief explain how we're often feeling these days during the pandemic, and how we can also work through the sixth stage of grief, in order to find meaning in a dark time. Get the show notes at aom.is/grief.
Apr 07, 2020
#599: The Physical Intelligence That Helps You Take Action
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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 interaction between your body and your mind that allows you to interact effectively in the world. Scott then explains how our mind and body work together to build our conception of space and that without this ability we couldn't create an area of operations in which to take action. We then discuss how our mind and body communicate with various types of terrain, how we can lose that ability by limiting our movements to simple, safe environments, and how that may explain why old people fall down more. We then discuss how problem-solving can be a very physical activity and whether the feeling of fatigue is more a matter of the body or the mind. We end our conversation discussing ways you can keep your physical intelligence sharp as you age.  Get the show notes at aom.is/physicalintelligence.
Apr 06, 2020
#598: Journeying From the First to the Second Half of Life
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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 makes Jungian or depth psychology unique, and how it helps individuals find meaning and deal with life's existential questions. Our discussion then explores the differences between the first and second halves of life, and how the main question of the first is "What is the world asking of me?" while the primary question of the second is "What is my soul asking of me?" Jim explains why you need to sort through the influences of your family and culture on who you've become and how the second half of life is about finding personal authority and sovereignty. We also discuss why the first half of life is always "a gigantic, unavoidable mistake," and why that's okay. Jim explains what triggers the impetus to move from the first to the second half of life, how it can happen at any age, how to make the transition from one phase to the other, and why the journey to the second can be terrifying because it lacks the structure of the first. Jim describes the internal systems you can use for guidance in moving forward in the absence of this external structure. He then gets into the importance of continuing to grow in your profession or marriage throughout your life. We discuss the particular reasons men can get stuck in the first half of life, and how men are more free to tend to the needs of their souls these days, but can still feel adrift. We end our conversation with how you can know if you're on the right track in pursuing the tasks of the second half of life. Get the show notes at aom.is/secondhalf.
Apr 01, 2020
#597: A Survival Expert's Guide to Bugging-In
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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 of hours in the field, authoring numerous articles and books, teaching courses to others, and hosting television shows for the Weather Channel like SOS: How to Survive.

Today, Creek and I talk about what we can learn from the current pandemic about how to shelter-in-place or bug-in, and how to be prepared if this crisis worsens in severity, or we're one day hit with a more dire disaster. We dive into the different bug-in categories you need to consider, beginning with how much food and water you need for a long-term bug-in situation, and how to properly store it. Creek then talks about what you need to consider in terms of first aid and home defense in a bug-in scenario, and why you also need to think about how to keep yourself entertained.

Get the show notes at aom.is/bugin.

Mar 30, 2020
#596: The Mystery, Science, and Life-Changing Power of the Hot Hand
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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 our conversation with an explanation of what it means to have a hot hand, and how this phenomenon has often been studied in basketball, but can be seen in a wide range of areas, including the film career of Rob Reiner. We then discuss what may cause winning streaks, whether or not they can be induced, and what Stephen Curry does when he starts feeling hot in a game. We also talk about what the video game NBA Jam can tell us about the psychology of the hot hand. We then dig into what the academic research has found on whether the hot hand truly exists or is really just a cognitive illusion. We end our conversation with what you can start doing today to take advantage of having a hot hand.

Get the show notes at aom.is/hothand.

Mar 25, 2020
#595: Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Home Gym
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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 equipment and inspiring people to work out at home.

Coop and I begin our conversation unpacking the many benefits of having a home gym, and also talk about one of its potential downsides. He then explains why it's generally a big mistake to go all-in, all at once on a home gym, and how he recommends making the transition instead. We then get into exactly what the start-up costs for a home gym are, and how it's likely less than you think. Coop shares specifics on what he thinks are the essential pieces of equipment to get, the cost breakdown on each, and the companies that manufacture solid equipment at an affordable price. We then turn to the issue of space, and Coop shares the minimum size footprint you'll need for your gym, as well as solutions if you're working with a very small area or live in an apartment. We end our conversation with suggestions for exercising even if you have no equipment at all.

Get the show notes at aom.is/garagegym.

Mar 23, 2020
#594: How Churchill (and London) Survived the Blitz of 1940
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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 war. 

His name is Erik Larson, and in his latest book The Splendid and the Vile, he shows readers how the Blitz could be absolutely terrifying, unexpectedly normal, and strangely beautiful at the same time, and does so by profiling how Churchill, as well as his family members and advisers, handled both the unexpected horrors of war and the predictable pickles of interpersonal drama. We begin our conversation discussing the extent of the Blitz, and then spend the rest of our conversation discussing key members in what Churchill called his "sacred circle." We learn how Churchill's wife Clementine supported her husband during the Blitz, how his son Randolph created trouble with his gambling and affairs, how his teenage daughter Mary managed to keep doing typically adolescent activities even while bombs fell on England, and how his advisors contributed to his leadership. These characters offer a great lesson in how life goes on even in the midst of a crisis, and how one can be fearless even in the face of a threat.

Get the show notes at aom.is/larson.

Mar 18, 2020
#593: All You Have to Do Is Ask
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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 discussing what the research says are the benefits of asking for help and why people are nevertheless so reluctant to do it. Wayne then provides insights on how to overcome those obstacles in asking for help, the best way to formulate an ask so that it actually gets a response, and how to handle rejection. We then turn to Wayne's research on how organizations can benefit from creating a culture of help-seeking and what you can do within the organizations you belong to to foster such a culture.

Get the show notes at aom.is/ask.

Mar 16, 2020
#592: Being a Man in the Lousy Modern World
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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 so they're easier to control, and whether Robert thinks things have changed since he initially published the book. We then dig into the four factors Robert says need to be in place for a man to feel like a man, and why experiencing these qualities has become harder to do in the present age. We then discuss what Robert did to counter the currents of modern malaise like hiking the Pyrenees mountains and learning a martial art, and whether doing those things actually made him feel manlier. We end our conversation with what men can do to start fighting back against the conspiracy against their manhood. Get the show notes at aom.is/twigger.
Mar 11, 2020
#591: Solve Problems Before They Become Problems
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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. 

His name is Dan Heath and today we talk about his latest book, Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen. We begin our conversation discussing the issues that keep us from nipping problems in the bud, including problem blindness, lack of ownership, and "tunneling." Along the way Dan shares insights into how to overcome those roadblocks. We then shift gears and explore how to find the best upstream solutions to problems, which requires getting as close as possible to the problem, while also being able to survey the system it's embedded in from a bird's eye view. Dan explains the principles at play with plenty of real-life examples of how these tactics were used to effectively tackle big, seemingly intractable social problems.

Lots of great insights that you can apply to solving problems in your personal life, business, and community.

Get the show notes at aom.is/upstream.

Mar 09, 2020
#590: The Creation of Sherlock Holmes
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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 Sims and we begin our conversation with the early life of Conan Doyle and his experience in medical school studying under a renowned diagnostician who helped inspire the character of Sherlock Holmes. Michael then walks us through the cultural world of Victorian England and how it was the perfect environment for a character like Holmes to be birthed. He shows how writers like Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe laid the groundwork for detective fiction, how the Sherlock stories differed from theirs, and how they were initially received. We then delve into the characterization of Holmes and his crime solving methodology, before ending our conversation discussing Conan Doyle's intense interest in spiritualism and why Holmes is such a captivating figure even in the 21st century. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/sherlock.

Mar 04, 2020
#589: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage
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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 research psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. Kelly and I begin our discussion with the idea of the runner's high, and whether you can get it from doing forms of exercise other than running. We then discuss how exercise can become powerfully addictive, and yet be a uniquely healthy form of addiction that improves instead of destroys mental health. We then discuss the way that moving our bodies with others can generate collective joy, as well as a muscular bonding that makes a group feel bigger and stronger. We also get into what elements go into an ideal pump-up song, how physical movement helps create your sense of self, and why exercising in nature seems to amplify all its beneficial effects. We end our conversation with what you can start doing today to get more of the potent benefits of physical movement. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/joyofmovement.

Mar 02, 2020
#588: The Audacious Command of Alexander the Great
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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 biography of this legendary king, commander, and conqueror. His name is Philip Freeman, and he's a classics professor and the author of Alexander the Great. Today on the show, Philip takes us on an engaging tour of Alexander's life, beginning with the myths surrounding his birth, and his education under the great philosopher Aristotle. Philip then explains the cloak and dagger intrigue of Macedonian politics and why Alexander's father was assassinated. We then dig into Alexander's political reign and military command and highlight the most famous battles during his decade-long campaign to conquer the ancient world. Along the way, Philip shares the leadership lessons we can learn from Alexander.

Get the show notes at aom.is/alexanderthegreat.

Feb 26, 2020
#587: How to Get More Pleasure and Fulfillment Out of Your Reading
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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 of Distraction. At the start of our conversation Alan offers a critique of a certain approach to reading the so-called "Great Books," and makes an argument for choosing what you read based on Whim, with a capital W, rather than following any kind of list. He then makes the case for following that Whim into reading not only the books of your favorite authors, but the books your favorite authors read, which can actually lead you back to the Great Books, but in a way that will allow you to enjoy and appreciate them more. Alan makes the case as well for the value of re-reading books. Alan and I then discuss tactics to get more out of reading in our age of distraction, including his opinion on reading ebooks versus paper copies. We also get into his take on speed reading and whether it's okay to not finish books you're not digging. We end our conversation with what parents can do to raise eager readers. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/pleasuresofreading.

Feb 24, 2020
#586: The Story of the Skiing Soldiers of WWII
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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-born soldiers. His name is Maurice Isserman, and he's a professor of history and the author of The Winter Army: The World War II Odyssey of the 10th Mountain Division, America's Elite Alpine Warriors. We begin our conversation discussing why the US Army didn't have an alpine division before WWII and how a group of civilian skiers led by a man named Minnie Dole spearheaded the movement to create one. Maurice then shares why the 10th Mountain Division heavily recruited from top tier colleges, and how the unusual make-up of the division influenced its unique culture. We then discuss how the military figured out what new equipment this new mountain division needed and the vigorous training its members undertook high in the mountains of Colorado. Maurice then digs into the 10th's involvement in the war and whether they actually got to use the skills they trained for years to hone. We end our conversation discussing the legacy of the 10th Mountain Division, including their role in America's post-war boom in recreational skiing.

Get the show notes at aom.is/mountaindivision.

Feb 19, 2020
#585: Inflammation, Saunas, and the New Science of Depression
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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 and don't know about what causes depression. We then turn to the emerging theory that physical inflammation may play a role in depression; Charles describes what inflammation is, and why the body may become inflamed and physically hotter not only in response to physical illness, but psychological stress as well. We then discuss the paradoxical finding that short-term exposure to inflammation in the form of exercise or sitting in a sauna can reduce long-term inflammation, and how hot you probably have to get in a sauna for it to have antidepressant effects. We also talk about how intermittent fasting may have a beneficial effect on inflammation, before turning to whether taking anti-inflammatory drugs could also help, and why you might want to get a blood test to see if your body's inflamed. We end our conversation with Charles' thoughts on how to figure out the right treatment for depression for each individual.

Get the show notes at aom.is/inflammationdepression.

Feb 17, 2020
#584: How to Avoid Falling in Love With the Wrong Person
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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 Falling in Love with a Jerk. We begin our conversation discussing what society's default template for creating a successful relationship looks like, and how it leads people astray. John then defines what makes a jerk, a jerk, and the signs that you're dating a jerk. He then explains why it is that people so often miss these signs, by using a model of how attachment develops in a relationship; I think this model is super useful in understanding relational dynamics and you don't want to miss it. We then discuss why men need to do a better job in helping to pace relationships, instead of only letting women set the tempo. We end our conversation discussing the things you need to know about a person that you're forming a relationship with, including their relationship skills, family life, and values, before you escalate your commitment to them.

Get the show notes at aom.is/lovethinks.

Feb 12, 2020
#583: How to Stay Mentally Sharp and Fulfilled as You Age
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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 Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives. We begin our conversation discussing the societal narratives we have about old age that don't always hold true. We then dig into the fact that while the brain slows in some ways with age, it gets sharper in other ways. Daniel shares the personality trait that's the biggest predictor of a successful elderhood, and the recognizable-yet-surprising reason the idea that memory declines with age is overblown. We also talk about what really works for preserving your memory and keeping your mind agile and keen, and no, it's not doing puzzles and brain games We end our show discussing the question of whether people get happier or sadder as they age.

Get the show notes at aom.is/successfulaging.

Feb 10, 2020
#582: Essential Lessons From Great Wartime Leaders
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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 his biography of Winston Churchill. We begin today's conversation discussing how Andrew decided on the leaders to highlight in his book, how he defines a "great" leader, and how that definition includes nefarious dictators like Hitler and Stalin. We then take a look at the leadership style of Napoleon, as well as that of World War II leaders like Churchill, Eisenhower, and Marshall. We also unpack how Hitler and Stalin gained power, despite having serious character defects. We end our conversation with the qualities this varied set of leaders held in common.

Get the show notes at aom.is/leadersinwar.

Feb 05, 2020
#581: The Tiny Habits That Change Everything
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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 through the three components that drive our behavior, including the simple yet overlooked relationship between motivation and ability. He then explains how to build habits that feel easier and require lower levels of motivation by picking behaviors that are good matches for you and breaking them down into smaller parts. We also talk about the need to tie your habits to turnkey prompts, the importance of celebrating your successes, no matter how small, and the way tiny habits can lead to bigger changes. We end our conversation with why you should think about the process of getting rid of your bad habits as untangling them rather than breaking them.  

Get the show notes at aom.is/tinyhabits.

Feb 03, 2020
#580: Why People Do (Or Don't) Listen to You
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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 has spent his career researching, lecturing, and writing about the answers to these questions and he shares his insights in a new book. His name is Steve Martin and he's the author of Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don't, and Why. In the first half of our conversation, we unpack why it is that the messenger matters so much, and how people can manipulate these factors in unethical ways to peddle messages and influence that may not be credible. We then shift into how you can also leverage these neutral tools in ethical ways to make yourself more persuasive and ensure your ideas get heard. Steve explains that there are two types of persuasive messengers -- hard and soft -- and walks us through the qualities embodied by each. We discuss the different ways a person can become an effective hard messenger, including competence, dominance, and attractiveness, and what makes a soft messenger persuasive, including warmth, vulnerability, and charisma -- the latter of which incorporates a trait you may not have previously associated with being charismatic. We end our conversation discussing when you should use a hard vs. soft approach as you seek to lead and share your message.

Get the show notes at aom.is/messengers.

Jan 29, 2020
#579: Jack London's Literary Code
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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 his own memoir, The Far Music. For this episode, I drove down to Earle's home in Shreveport, Louisiana to talk to Earle about the overlooked literary genius of Jack London and the big themes that London wrote about in his novels and short stories. We begin our discussion with Earle's story of how he became a Jack London scholar and why London's work was historically neglected by academics. We then dig into London's literary themes by first discussing how he used the Klondike as a symbolic proving ground for men and how success in this wilderness depended on one's ability to mold oneself to Jack's "Northland Code." Earle uses excerpts from my favorite London story, "In A Far Country," as well as "To Build a Fire" and The Call of the Wild, to showcase the tenets of this code, and well as London's literary artistry. 

Earle then explains how London shifted his themes later in his career with his agrarian writing, how his wife Charmian changed his perception of real women and his female characters, and the influence that psychiatrist Carl Jung had on London's last works.

Consider this episode a masterclass on the literature of Jack London. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/london.

Jan 27, 2020
#578: Figuring Out If You Should Change Careers (And How to Do It)
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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 switching careers. In his work, he's seen that there's a recurring pattern individuals follow when thinking about and making this weighty decision, which he calls the "7 Stages of Career Change." Today on the show, Joseph walks us through these stages, which begin with Doubt and Dismay and end with Reflection and Relaunch. With each stage, Joseph explains what typically goes through people's minds, common mistakes that are made, and the best actions to take, which sometimes involves transitioning out of your current career, and sometimes does not. We end our conversation with the considerations to keep in mind if you do decide to make a change.

Get the show notes at aom.is/careerchange.

Jan 22, 2020
#577: An FBI Agent's 6 Signs for Sizing People Up
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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 Manual for Behavior Prediction, he shares the tips everyone can use in determining whether or not someone is trustworthy. 

We begin our conversation discussing how Robin's latest book builds off the work he did in The Code of Trust and the consequences of sizing people up incorrectly. Robin then shares the overarching framework he recommends using when you want to figure out if you can trust someone or not. We spend the rest of our conversation digging into the six specific signs you should look for when you're figuring out if you want to enter into a personal or professional relationship with someone, and you're trying to predict their future behavior. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/sizingpeopleup.

Jan 20, 2020
#576: A Treasure Trove of American Philosophy
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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 library in New Hampshire full of rare first edition books of the great works of Western philosophy, many of which were owned by quintessentially American thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James. 

Kaag began cataloging the books, and in the process, uncovered the intellectual history of American philosophy and its responses to big existential questions like, "Is life worth living?"

Today on the show I talk to John about his experience with this abandoned library in the woods of New Hampshire, and with the authors of the books which were contained therein. We start off talking about how American philosophy is often overlooked, and its big ideas, which include transcendentalism and pragmatism. We then dig into how the works of European and Asian thinkers influenced American philosophers like Emerson and Thoreau, while they yet tried to make something completely new. John and I then discuss how American pragmatism was developed in response to the philosophical issues Darwinism created around free will and what it means to live a moral life. 

We end our conversation discussing how the pragmatist William James answered the question of whether life is worth living and how his answer might be said to hinge on one essential word: if.

Get the show notes at aom.is/americanphilosophy.

Jan 15, 2020
#575: Counterintuitive Advice on Making Exercise a Sustainable Habit
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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 author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. We begin our conversation discussing Michelle's counterintuitive finding that common reasons for exercising like losing weight or even getting healthier aren't effective motivations. And she shares research on how our ideas of what exercise should look like, as well as the propensity towards an all-or-nothing mindset, also set us up for failure. We then discuss why sheer discipline isn't very effective for staying on track either, and why exercise needs to have an immediately positive impact on our lives if we want to stick with it. Michelle and I spend the rest of our conversation discussing the research-backed framework she's developed to help people make exercise a sustainable habit, which includes less emphasis on willpower and more on changing the meaning you lend to physical activity and its priority in your life.

Get the show notes at aom.is/nosweat.

Jan 13, 2020
#574: The Power of Bad — Overcoming the Negativity Effect
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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 discussing how much stronger bad is than good, and how many good things it takes to offset a single bad one. We then dig into the implications of the fact that bad things have a much stronger impact than good ones, including how you really only need to be a good enough parent to your kids, the best way to deliver criticism to others, and why religions that emphasize Hell have historically won more adherents than those that focus on Heaven. We also talk about how negativity is contagious and why it's true that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. We end our conversation with a look at whether or not social media is a negative force in our lives, and John's advice on how to not let those he calls "the merchants of bad" in the media make us think that things in the world are worse than they really are. 

Lots of insights in this show on how both to use the power of bad to your advantage, and overcome its negative effects.

Get the show notes at aom.is/powerofbad.

Jan 08, 2020
#573: Why You Don't Finish What You Start (And What to Do About It)
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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 on his website Productive Flourishing, and coaching clients in what he's learned. He now has a book out as well: Start Finishing: How to Go From Idea to Done. Charlie and I begin our conversation going through the most common roadblocks that prevent people from completing their projects, including following other people's priorities and dealing with what he calls "head trash." We then discuss how we waste a lot of time doing what Charlie calls "thrashing' and what we can do to overcome it. We then dig into why you sometimes have to quit things to move forward, how to create effective goals, and why it's crucial to know which of three levels of success you're aiming for. We also talk about how to do what Charlie calls "momentum planning" and the importance of creating focus blocks in your schedule. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/startfinishing.

Jan 06, 2020
#572: The Unexpected Upsides of Being a Late Bloomer
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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 later. My guest today explores the upsides of this kind of trajectory in his book: Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement. His name is Rich Karlgaard and we begin our conversation discussing how he defines a late bloomer and a few examples of some famous late bloomers in history. We then dig into how late bloomers got a bad rap and how society became increasingly obsessed with finding success at a young age. Rich then walks us through the disadvantages of being an early bloomer and the advantages of being a late bloomer, including resilience, self-awareness, and a healthy, motivating sense of self-doubt. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/latebloomer.

Dec 30, 2019
#571: The Voyage of Character
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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 Command, US European Command, and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and is now the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. On today's show, the admiral talks about many of the figures in his latest book, Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character, including Themistocles, Sir Francis Drake, Horatio Nelson, and Chester Nimitz. We take a look at what these individuals did well, what they did poorly, and how their characteristics, decisions, qualities, and overall moral compass impacted their leadership and influence. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/truenorth.

Dec 23, 2019
#570: St. Augustine's Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts
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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 insights on the anxiety of modern life and how this famous Catholic theologian has had a profound impact on Western philosophy, including among 20th-century existential philosophers. His name is James K. A. Smith and his book is On the Road with Saint Augustine. We begin our show discussing Augustine's biography and his oft-overlooked influence on atheistic existential philosophers like Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus. 

We then dig into the big ideas that Augustine hit on his famous book Confessions including how to deal with existential angst, how to find your true self, what it means to be truly free in life, and how to deal with our restless ambition. Along the way, James shows how 20th-century existential philosophers dealt with these questions, why he thinks existentialism falls shorts to answering them, and why Augustine's solutions might be better.

Lots of great insights about big life questions in this episode.

Get the snow notes at aom.is/augustine.

Dec 18, 2019
#569: How to Perform Your Best Under Pressure
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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 Street traders in how not to choke under pressure. He shares the principles he uses as a stress coach in Fight Your Fear and Win: Seven Skills for Performing Your Best Under Pressure. Today we talk about those skills, beginning with why people choke in the first place, and what's going on in your mind when that happens. We then talk about the fundamentals of managing performance anxiety and staying in right brain flow, including making adrenaline work for instead of against you, getting your mind centered, ignoring distractions, and becoming mentally tough. We also discuss how to thwart negative self-talk through a practice Don calls "thought monitoring," and his 5-step strategy for recovering when you do make a mistake. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/dontchoke.

Dec 16, 2019
#568: The Untold Story Behind the Famous Robbers Cave Experiment
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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 of the story. 

My guest dug into the archival notes of this famous and controversial social experiment to find unknown and unreported details behind what really happened and why. Her name is Gina Perry and her book is The Lost Boys: Inside Muzafer Sherif's Robbers Cave Experiment. We begin our conversation by discussing what the Robbers Cave experiment purported to show and the influence the experiment has had on social psychology since. We then discuss the similarities between head researcher Muzafer Sherif's ideas about the behavior of boys in groups with those of William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, and how both men's ideas were influenced by their personal experiences in war. We also dig into the general connection between children's summer camps and psychological studies in the 19th century. Then turning to the Robbers Cave experiment itself, Gina shares how that experiment wasn't Sherif's first attempt at this kind of field study, and how it had been preceded by another experiment in which the boys turned on the researchers. She describes how Sherif and his assistants attempted to get different results at Robbers Cave by goading the boys into greater conflict and how they got the boys to reconcile after whipping them up into a competitive frenzy. At the end of our conversation, Gina talks about finding the boys who were in the experiment and what these now grown men thought of the experience, and we discuss whether or not there's anything to be learned from Robbers Cave on the nature of group conflict. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/robberscave.

Dec 11, 2019
#567: Understanding the Wonderful, Frustrating Dynamic of Friendship
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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 books on the subject, including Friendship Matters. Bill and I begin our conversation discussing why friendship is often taken for granted, and what makes friendships unique from other types of relationships. We then explore the four particular tensions that arise in friendship: the tension between independence and dependence, affection and instrumentality, judgement and acceptance, and expressiveness and protectiveness. We also talk about how these tensions manifest in male friendships versus female friendships, and whether it's true as is commonly said that modern men don't have good friendships. We then shift into talking about how friendships change across the life cycle, starting with how kids think about friendship differently than adults. We unpack why it is we often think of the friends we made in adolescence as the best friends we ever had, and why many men stop having good friends in adulthood. We end our conversation with Bill's advice for making friends as a grown-up.

Lots of insights in this show on a relationship that isn't typically examined or well understood.

Get the show notes at aom.is/friendship.

Dec 09, 2019
#566: How to Have a Hyggely Christmas and a More Memorable New Year
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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 begin our discussion exploring the Danish concept of hygge, which is the art of getting cozy, and how it helps Danes survive their long, harsh winters. Mike also discusses his research on how to create lasting memories. We then combine these ideas to explore how lighting, food, scent, and more can help you inject more hygge into the holiday season, and make Christmas and the coming year your most memorable yet.

You'll want to grab a hot cocoa and wrap yourself in a blanket before cozying up to this show.

Get the show notes at aom.is/cozy.

Dec 04, 2019
#565: Stillness Is the Key
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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, and how an individual can have stillness in one of these areas, but chaos in another. Ryan shares what we can learn about stillness of mind from JFK's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis and how journaling and limiting media inputs can help us foster our own mental stillness. We then discuss the myth that relationships hold you back in life, and how they can in fact help you find both greater achievement, and stillness of soul. We also discuss what we can learn from Winston Churchill on how to find physical stillness, and why having hobbies is so important to finding balance in life. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/stillness.

Dec 02, 2019
#564: Assault Your Assumptions Through Red Teaming
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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 the Competition by Challenging Everything. We begin our show discussing what red teaming is and the history of its development, from wargaming by 19th century Prussians to more sophisticated techniques developed by the US military during the war on terrorism. Bryce and I discuss the hidden biases that red teaming is designed to counter, and then get into the specific red teaming techniques you can start using today to challenge your assumptions, stress-test your strategies, identify unseen threats, and make better decisions in both your personal life and your business.

Get the show notes at aom.is/redteaming.

Nov 27, 2019
#563: How to Develop Your Nature Instinct
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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 how humans have the ability to simply look at something in nature and immediately see direction, time, or weather conditions. While modern humans have lost this ability, Tristan makes the case that with some practice, anyone can re-learn it. We then discuss how learning how to read nature intuitively makes us more engaged with our surroundings and able to see more significance in our environment. Tristan then shares signs to look for in nature to anticipate animal behavior, find water, and predict the weather. After listening to this show, you'll never look at squirrels the same way.

Get the show notes at aom.is/natureinstinct.

Nov 25, 2019
#562: How Boxing Can Fight Parkinson's Disease
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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 overview of what Parkinson's is, as well as the fact that men are significantly more likely to get it than women. Aaron then shares what the research says about the best treatments for Parkinson's, why vigorous, high-intensity exercise is one of the most potent remedies for it, and why he argues that boxing is the gold standard when it comes to the type of exercise that's most effective in slowing down the disorder. Aaron shares how he started Ready to Fight based on this premise, and a few stories of how the lives of Parkinson's patients and their families are being changed by the program. We then discuss whether boxing also causes Parkinson's and how Aaron answers the criticism that he trains people in a sport that also creates the disorder he's trying to alleviate. We end our conversation discussing what individuals with Parkinson's can do to learn more about incorporating boxing workouts into its treatment.

Get the show notes at aom.is/readytofight.

Nov 20, 2019
#561: Get With the Program
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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 development company The Program and the co-author of a book with the same name.

Today on the show Eric and I take a deep yet punchy dive into the keys of team and leadership development, and how these principles can be applied whether you're leading a family, a sports team, or a business. We begin our conversation discussing the biggest problems Eric sees in the teams he works with, why resolving most of these issues begins with the definition of core values, and how someone can figure out what their core values are. Eric then explains the difference between goals and standards and why teams should focus more on instilling standards and holding team members accountable to them. We then discuss the difference between being kind and being nice, why leading by example is insufficient, how Eric defines hard work, and the two excuses you need to eliminate from your life.

Get the show notes at aom.is/theprogram.

Nov 18, 2019
#560: The Magic of Walking
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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 walking instead of driving can help slow down time and deepen our memories. Erling makes the case that embracing voluntary hardship can enrich your life and how walking can be a step towards that. He then shares why going for a walk can help you solve problems, why most great philosophers were also committed walkers, what the Adam and Eve story can teach us about the need for exploration, and how walking can be one of the most radical things you can do in the modern age.

You'll want to take a walk after listening to this show, or maybe you'll walk while you're listening.

Get the show notes at aom.is/walking.

Nov 13, 2019
#559: How to Handle Difficult Conversations
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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 part of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and she's one of the co-authors of the book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. Sheila starts things off by sharing the most common difficult conversations people encounter professionally and personally and the most common unhelpful ways people deal with them. She then explains how every difficult conversation actually has three hidden conversations going on, how people confuse the impact of what others say and do with their intentions, how you can acknowledge your contribution to a problem without assuming the blame, how to share your emotions without being emotional, and how to generally move a conversation from being about combative confrontation, to being about exploring each other's stories. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/difficultconversations.

Nov 11, 2019
#558: The Strenuous President
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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 only how TR was shaped by what was called "the strenuous age," but how he shaped it in turn by promoting sports, and participating in athletics himself. We begin our discussion with what was going on during the late 19th century that got people interested in what was then called "physical culture." We then turn to the beginning of Roosevelt's introduction to vigorous exercise as a boy, and how he famously decided to make his body. We discuss TR's fitness routine when he went to Harvard, and how his becoming a fan of football there led to him supporting the preservation of the game as president. We then discuss how TR lived the strenuous life while in the White House, and thereby inspired the American public to live vigorously too. We take a fun look at what TR thought of the game of baseball, how he went to a health farm at age 58 to get back in fighting shape, and what kind of exercise and athletics TR would be into if he were alive today.

Get the show notes at aom.is/strenuouspresident.

Nov 06, 2019
#557: Grow, Adapt, and Reinvent Yourself Through Ultralearning
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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 Competition, and Accelerate Your Career. We begin our conversation with Scott's successful experiment of doing all the course work for a computer science degree from MIT in less than a year and for free and how this opened Scott up to the idea of "ultralearning." We then discuss the economic benefits of learning how to learn, as well as the personal benefits that come from mastering new skills as adults. In the second half of our conversation, we get into the practical techniques of the ultralearning method, including creating a plan for your learning project, choosing active over passive learning, and drilling effectively. Scott and I end our discussion with how to figure out what feedback to listen to and what to ignore as you're learning a new project. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/ultralearning.

Nov 04, 2019
#556: How to Find Your Calling in Life
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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 conversation discussing what exactly a calling is and why it's not necessarily the same thing as a vocation. Gregg then shares how callings come to people, why they're sometimes unpleasant and challenging, and what you can do to attune yourself to their signals. Gregg then shares different ways people go about figuring out their calling, including rites of passage, traveling, art, and community. We get into how you figure out if something you think is a calling is actually a calling or not, and the idea that while every calling demands a response, that response can be negotiated. We end our conversation discussing what happens when your calling ends in what looks like failure. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/callings.

Oct 30, 2019
#555: Dandelion Children vs. Orchid Children
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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 their dandelion peers. His name is W. Thomas Boyce, and he's a developmental pediatrician and professor of pediatrics, as well as the author of the book The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive. We begin our conversation discussing the respective attributes of dandelion and orchid children and how the increased reactivity of the latter influences their health, emotional well-being, and development. Tom then explains how orchid children can be both the healthiest and sickest of children, depending on the environment in which they're raised. We then discuss the theories as to what causes orchid children to be orchid children, including genetics and environmental factors. We end our conversation with tips for parents of sensitive children on how to help them thrive and succeed.

Get the show notes at aom.is/orchid.

Oct 28, 2019
#554: Babe Ruth and the World He Made
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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 the World He Created. Her name is Jane Leavy, and she's a former sports journalist and the author of two other biographies of baseball greats. We begin our conversation discussing Ruth's sad and difficult childhood in a Baltimore boarding school and how he learned to play baseball from the Xaverian brothers who ran it. We then shift to how Ruth's hunger for affirmation helped him become the country's first real celebrity, and how his baseball career coincided with the burgeoning fields of public relations and technology, ushering in a new era in sports writing, endorsements, and entertainment. We end our conversation discussing Ruth's legacy in the world, and business, of professional sports. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/ruth.

Oct 23, 2019
#553: How to Become Indistractable
3338

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 discuss Nir's work in helping companies create apps that hook people into using them, and why he thinks these methods of attraction can be positive as long as you put tech in its place. We then dig into how to do that, beginning with the idea that you can't complain about being distracted, if you don't know what you're distracted from, how the first step in getting control of your attention is understanding what you'd like to be doing with it by planning out your time, and why the opposite of distraction isn't focus. We discuss why time management is pain management, and why we need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable internal triggers that prompt us to use our devices for emotional pacification. Nir then walks us through how to deal with the external triggers of distraction, including managing your email inbox, making pre-commitments, and turning indistractability into part of your identity.

Get the show notes at aom.is/indistractable.

Oct 21, 2019
#552: How to Optimize Your Metabolism
3490

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 discussion with what metabolism is, the components that make it up, how much each element contributes to your body's energy expenditures, and which can be controlled. We then get into whether or not it's true that some people have an inherently slow or fast metabolism, and how diet and exercise influences your metabolism, including whether or not dieting itself can slow your metabolism down, and why you might want to consider wearing a weight vest around once you lose body fat. We then discuss how intermittent fasting can increase your metabolic flexibility, whether there are certain foods that boost your metabolic rate, and the best exercise routine for optimizing your metabolism. We also also talk about how stress and sleep effect your metabolic health. We end our conversation with John's best tips for maintaining optimal metabolic health and losing weight in general.

Get the show notes at aom.is/metabolism.

Oct 16, 2019
#551: Inside the Gangsters' Code
3455

Lou Ferrante was 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 the show, I first talk to Lou about his early life of crime and the autodidactic education he gave himself in prison. Lou shares the books that had the biggest impact on him, including works of history, philosophy, and fiction. We then shift gears to discuss Lou's work on Inside the Gangsters' Code, the idea of honor that the mafia and other gangs share, and what it means to practice omertà. We end our conversation discussing why young men join gangs and the human needs they fill.

Get the show notes at aom.is/gangsterscode.

Oct 14, 2019
#550: How to Strengthen Your Marriage Against Divorce
3575

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 show to talk about the problem with ambiguity in relationships. Today we begin our conversation discussing how marriage issues have changed since he originally published Fighting for Your Marriage in 1994 and the state of American marriage in the 21st century. Scott then shares the biggest issues he sees pop up in marriages over and over again, such as escalating arguments and avoiding conflict. We then discuss communication skills you can use to defuse these common marital conflicts, including uncovering hidden issues and establishing ground rules for arguments. Scott then makes the case that in addition to mitigating conflict, happy couples need to focus on creating positive encounters with one another. We end our conversation discussing how to grow in your commitment to your marriage. 

Get the show notes at aom.is/fightingformarriage.

Oct 09, 2019
#549: Leadership Lessons from the Gridiron's Greatest Coaches
3165

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 the game, including Bill Walsh, Al Davis, and Bill Belichick. Today on the show, Michael walks us through what these coaches did to develop high performing teams and how those lessons can apply to leaders in other kinds of organizations as well. We begin our conversation discussing how legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh created standards of performance and a culture of excellence that turned the worst team in the league into Super Bowl champions within two years.

Michael then shares the qualities top coaches and players possess, and how recruiters of every kind can really figure out whether or not someone will be successful at the next level. Michael then shares what leaders can learn from Walsh's innovating West Coast offense, why Belichick obsesses about special teams, how he and Nick Saban came up with a new approach to defense, and how Belichick prepares for games and fights complacency. We also get into the importance of how a QB carries himself, and why it's important to begin a drive down the field with an energizing play. We end our conversation with Michael's predictions for the future of football, including how we're starting to see a return to the game's rugby roots.

Get the show notes at aom.is/gridiron.

Oct 07, 2019
#548: How to Start and Sustain Conversations
3232

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 Conversation and Make Friends

We begin our conversation discussing where Don sees people have the most problems with starting and sustaining conversations, as well as whether these issues have or haven't changed over the last thirty years. Don then walks us through how you can make yourself more approachable for small talk, why body language is so key in this area, and the best way to give a handshake. We then discuss how to break the ice with someone you've just made contact with, how to handle rejection, and how to remember people's names after you meet them. Don then shares how to keep the conversation going by offering up and homing in on certain keywords. We end our conversation, with how to end a conversation.

Get the show notes at aom.is/conversation.

Oct 02, 2019
#547: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment
2810

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 terms. His name is Todd Rose. He's a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the co-author of the book Dark Horse: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment. We begin our conversation discussing what Todd calls the "Standardization Covenant," including how it developed to serve institutions rather than individuals and why following the standard path often leads to frustration. Todd then explains his idea of an alternative "Dark Horse Covenant" and what it looks like theoretically and in the lives of those who've followed it. He then walks us through the steps that dark horses follow to find success and fulfillment on their own terms, including focusing on "micromotives" to figure out where you fit, making decisive choices, creating your own options, and trying new strategies until you find something that works. We end our conversation with how Todd would like to see the Dark Horse dynamic incorporated into our educational system.

Get the show notes at aom.is/darkhorse.

Sep 30, 2019
#546: How to Get a Memory Like a Steel Trap
2733

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 the author of the book Remember It!, and we begin our show discussing the world of memory competitions, how Nelson got involved with them, and what records he's notched so far. Nelson then corrects a couple common myths people have about memory and makes the case for why you ought to care about improving your own. He shares the overarching system he recommends to improve your ability to retain information, and how to use it to remember where you parked, people's names, and the items on your to-do list. Nelson also explains the reason we forget what we walked into a certain room to get, and what to do if that happens to you. He then walks us through how walking through a "memory palace" can help you remember lists, speeches, and more.  

Plenty of action-ready, easy-to-remember tips in this show.

Get the show notes at aom.is/rememberit.

Sep 25, 2019
#545: How Not to Get Scammed, Conned, or Duped
2693

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 famous by the movie Catch Me If You Can. After he served time for his crimes, he dedicated the next 50 years of his life to helping the government and businesses fight fraud. His most recent book, Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today's Rip-off Artists, aims to educate regular citizens about the most common scams out there and how to avoid them. Today on the show Frank gives us the inside dirt on a bunch of different modern cons, from romance scams to investment fraud to scams involving rental properties. He reveals the insidious ways that scammers have gotten more sophisticated with their cons, the red flags to look for when you're approached with one, and how to avoid getting duped. And he explains why he's never used a debit card.

Get the show notes at aom.is/scam.

Sep 23, 2019
#544: The Audacious Life of Winston Churchill
1999

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 discussing why he thought another Churchill biography was needed. We then shift to the life of Churchill, beginning with a childhood in which young Winston often felt neglected. Andrew then discusses Churchill's military career, why Winston was so eager to see action on the frontlines, and how he parlayed those experiences into becoming the world's highest paid journalist by his mid-twenties. Andrew then explains how Churchill also became one of the 20th century's great historians and how his appreciation of history and sentimental outlook colored his worldview and shaped his leadership. We also discuss why Churchill was one of the few leaders to foresee the threat that Hitler posed. We end our conversation discussing whether some of the current criticisms of Churchill, such as the allegation that he masterminded genocide in India, really hold weight.

Get the show notes at aom.is/churchill.

Sep 18, 2019
#543: Learn the System for Getting Things Done
2444

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 from other time management systems out there. David then explains what the "mind like water" mantra is about and how the GTD system helps you clear your head. We then dig into the specific steps of getting things done, including capturing ideas, clarifying tasks into action, organizing those actions, reflecting on your action list, and, of course, taking action!

This is a time management system I can personally endorse, so if you're not familiar with it or have fallen off the GTD wagon, I recommend giving this show a listen.

Get the show notes at aom.is/gtd.

Sep 16, 2019
#542: When Breath Becomes Air
3109

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 well as his experience as a medical student, neurosurgeon, and cancer patient. Entitled When Breath Becomes Air, the book was published shortly after he died. 

Today, I talk to Paul's widow, Dr. Lucy Kalanathi, about Paul's journey to uncover insights about meaning and significance during his time as both doctor and patient. Along the way, Lucy shares insights about the human side of healthcare, delivering and receiving bad news, and how your identity and sense of self changes when you're diagnosed with a terminal disease. She also shares her experience of being a widow and of the grieving process, as well as what to say and not say to someone who's grappling with a tragedy.

Get the show notes at aom.is/breathbecomesair.

Sep 11, 2019
#541: The Art of Noticing
2595

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 keen use of our senses. His name is Rob Walker, he's the author of The Art of Noticing, and he argues that tuning into things normally overlooked not only provides fodder for art and business, but can make life seem more vibrant and engaging. Rob and I begin our conversation discussing what it means to notice and the benefits that come from noticing. We then spend the rest of the conversation walking through several exercises you can start doing today to strengthen your noticing muscles, including creating observational scavenger hunts and collections. Rob also suggests several ways to notice overlooked things at museums and why looking at the world like there's a dramatic heist about to go down causes you to notice more in your environment.

Get the show notes at aom.is/noticing.

Sep 09, 2019
#540: How to Be a More Compelling Person
3201

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 cultivate these traits ourselves, including in the way we dress, carry ourselves, and talk. Matt then gives advice on how to display strength and warmth in different situations we might find ourselves in, from acing a job interview to managing a crisis at work. We end our conversation with that most perennial question of body language: what to do with your hands when you speak.

Get the show notes at aom.is/compellingpeople.

Sep 04, 2019
#539: Life Hacking, A Reexamination
3083

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's a professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. We begin our conversation with a history of the life hacking movement and how blogging in the early 2000s made this obscure cultural movement amongst computer programmers go mainstream. Joseph then discusses how he distinguishes between "nominal life hacking" and "optimal life hacking" and between "geeks" and "gurus." We then discuss some of the beneficial productivity and motivation hacks out there, but also how there are ways they can go astray -- including only working for a certain class of people and becoming too much of a focus in life. We also discuss how the minimalism movement can sometimes lead to contradictory impulses, and end our conversation talking about how using spiritual practices like meditation or Stoicism as hacks can strip them of their deeper contexts.

Get the show notes at aom.is/hackinglife.

Sep 02, 2019
#538: Research-Backed Answers to All Your Fitness FAQs
3071
Aug 28, 2019
#537: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor
3557
Aug 26, 2019
#536: How to Achieve a "Rich Life" With Your Finances
3079
Aug 21, 2019
#535: The Problem of Self-Help in a Liquid Age
3352
Aug 19, 2019
#534: How Navigation Makes Us Human
2972
Aug 14, 2019
#533: How to Be a Time Warrior
3211
Aug 12, 2019
#532: How to Create a Neighborhood Where Kids Play Outside
2902
Aug 07, 2019
#531: How to Best Harness Your Willpower
2900
Aug 05, 2019
#530: How to Get More "Aha" Insights
3048
Jul 31, 2019
#529: The Money Scripts That Are Holding Back Your Financial Future
2857
Jul 29, 2019
#528: Become a More Competent Human Through Micromastery
2315
Jul 24, 2019
#527: Father Wounds, Male Spirituality, and the Journey to the Second Half of Life
3457
Jul 22, 2019
#526: The Rise and Fall of the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
3588
Jul 17, 2019
#525: How to Stress Proof Your Body and Brain
3446
Jul 15, 2019
#524: Boxing Trainer Teddy Atlas on What It Means to Be a Man
3319
Jul 10, 2019
#523: How to Keep a Happy Relationship Happy
3544
Jul 08, 2019
#522: What Is Wit and Why Does the World Need It?
2550
Jul 03, 2019
#521: The 5 Universal Laws of Success
3507
Jul 01, 2019
#520: The Surprising Origins and Prevalence of Bigorexia and Male Body Image Issues
4066
Jun 26, 2019
#519: How to Start Your Own Farm
3444
Jun 24, 2019
#518: The Quest for a Moral Life
2898
Jun 19, 2019
#517: What Big-Time Catastrophes Can Teach Us About How to Improve the Systems of Our Lives
3355
Jun 17, 2019
#516: How to Lead an Unstoppable Team
3000
Jun 12, 2019
#515: Aristotle's Wisdom on Living the Good Life
3082
Jun 10, 2019
#514: Remembering D-Day 75 Years Later
2653
Jun 05, 2019
#513: Be Your Own Bodyguard
3978
Jun 03, 2019
#512: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
4122
May 29, 2019
#511: Mastering the Psychology of Investing
3190
May 28, 2019
#510: The Greatest Battle of the Korean War
2434
May 22, 2019
#509: Good Shame; Bad Shame
2913
May 20, 2019
#508: Break Out of Your Cage and Stop Being a Human Zoo Animal
4528
May 15, 2019
#507: How to Increase Your Personal Agency
3607
May 13, 2019
#506: How to Improve Your Speaking Voice
2576
May 08, 2019
#505: A Man's Need for Ritual
3116
May 06, 2019
#504: How an Olympic Marathoner Trains, Eats, Recovers, and Stays Mentally Strong
2796
May 01, 2019
#503: The Case for the 24/6 Lifestyle
3060
Apr 29, 2019
#502: Why You Should Talk to Strangers
1883
Apr 24, 2019
#501: Zero to Hero: From Bullied Kid to Medal of Honor Recipient
2808
Apr 22, 2019
#500: Let's Talk About Death Over Dinner
3053
Apr 17, 2019
#499: A Fascinating Primer on Norse Mythology
4179
Apr 15, 2019
#498: Lessons in Persistence From Climber Tommy Caldwell
2073
Apr 10, 2019
#497: The Meaning, Manifestations, and Treatments for Anxiety
2562
Apr 08, 2019
#496: What Plato's Republic Has to Say About Being a Man
4387
Apr 03, 2019
#495: Wish You Had More Time? What You Really Want is More Memories
2185
Apr 01, 2019
#494: The Inspiring Story of One of WWII's Greatest Tank Gunners
3289
Mar 27, 2019
#493: 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die
2858
Mar 25, 2019
#492: How to Survive a Secret Syrian Terrorist Prison
2411
Mar 20, 2019
#491: Everything You Know About Passion is Wrong
3178
Mar 18, 2019
#490: Can You Learn to Be Lucky?
2498
Mar 13, 2019
#489: How to Get a Handle on Your Anger
2733
Mar 11, 2019
#488: Fasting as a Spiritual Discipline
2567
Mar 06, 2019
#487: Leadership Lessons From the 3 Greatest Ancient Commanders
3491
Mar 04, 2019
#486: How to Get Better at Making Life-Changing Decisions
2540
Feb 27, 2019
#485: Why Visiting Dark Places Is Good for the Soul
2198
Feb 25, 2019
#484: A Man's Search for Meaning Inside the Ring
2495
Feb 20, 2019
#483: What Really Works for Exercise Recovery?
2378
Feb 18, 2019
#482: The Power of Penmanship
3131
Feb 13, 2019
#481: Building Financial Independence Beyond the Stock Market
2519
Feb 11, 2019
#480: Hiking With Nietzsche
2377
Feb 06, 2019
#479: Becoming a Digital Minimalist
3833
Feb 04, 2019
#478: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity
2479
Jan 30, 2019
#477: The History and Future of America's Special Forces
2072
Jan 28, 2019
#476: Are Modern People the Most Exhausted in History?
3451
Jan 23, 2019
#475: How to Lose Weight, and Keep It Off Forever
3218
Jan 22, 2019
#474: The Surprises of Romantic Attraction
2397
Jan 16, 2019
#473: The Solitude of a Fire Watcher
2306
Jan 14, 2019
#472: Reagan, the Man
2481
Jan 09, 2019
#471: Using Mental Models to Make Better Decisions
3597
Jan 07, 2019
#470: A Proven System for Building and Breaking Habits
3393
Jan 02, 2019
#469: How Valley Forge Turned the Tide of the Revolutionary War
2957
Dec 23, 2018
#468: Does Meditation Deserve the Hype?
3206
Dec 19, 2018
#467: 3 Big Questions to Help Frantic Families Get on Track
2178
Dec 17, 2018
#466: What It's Like to Become a Widower
3205
Dec 12, 2018
#465: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead
3403
Dec 10, 2018
#464: What's Causing the Sex Recession?
2580
Dec 05, 2018
#463: The Friendship, Rivalry, and Leadership of WWII’s 3 Greatest American Generals
2954
Dec 03, 2018
#462: How to Tell Better Stories
2385
Nov 28, 2018
#461: The Spartan Regime
3694
Nov 26, 2018
#460: The Eat, Sweat, Thrive Protocol for Tactical Athletes
3083
Nov 21, 2018
#459: Beyond Gratitude Lite: The Real Virtue of Thankfulness
2480
Nov 19, 2018
#458: In Praise of Wasting Time
1936
Nov 14, 2018
#457: Leadership Lessons From the Pastor of One of America's Most Innovative Churches
2574
Nov 12, 2018
#456: Myths About Kids and Sports
3187
Nov 07, 2018
#455: How to Create the Perfect Morning Routine
2309
Nov 05, 2018
#454: A Magician's Search for Wonder in the Modern World
2324
Oct 31, 2018
#453: Leadership in Turbulent Times
2298
Oct 29, 2018
#452: The Warrior's Manifesto
3499
Oct 24, 2018
#451: The Daring Escape Artists of WWI
2882
Oct 22, 2018
#450: How to Make Time for What Really Matters Every Day
3308
Oct 17, 2018
#449: Faster and Cheaper Alternatives to College
3008
Oct 15, 2018
#448: Your Son Isn't Lazy — How to Empower Boys to Succeed
3038
Oct 10, 2018
#447: On Grand Strategy
2496
Oct 08, 2018
#446: How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Will Make You a Better Man
3663
Oct 03, 2018
#445: How to Close the Character Gap
3739
Oct 01, 2018
#444: How to Use the Procrastination Equation to Start Getting Things Done
2500
Sep 26, 2018
#443: What Building Your Own Coffin Teaches You About Life, Death, and Meaning
2918
Sep 24, 2018
#442: Rocky Marciano's Fight for Perfection in a Crooked World
3695
Sep 19, 2018
#441: Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More
2313
Sep 18, 2018
#440: The 3 Great Untruths That Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
3257
Sep 12, 2018
#439: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
2969
Sep 10, 2018
#438: Developing Real-World Situational Awareness
3727
Sep 05, 2018
#437: Don't Make Me Pull Over! A History of the Road Trip
3226
Sep 03, 2018
#436: The Worth of War
2516
Aug 29, 2018
#435: How to Achieve Hyperfocus
3404
Aug 27, 2018
#434: Legendary Coach John Wooden’s Secrets of Leadership
2509
Aug 22, 2018
#433: The Adventure of Silence
2667
Aug 20, 2018
#432: How to Achieve Creative Success
2014
Aug 15, 2018
#431: How Everything Is Funny Now, and Why That's Terrible
2186
Aug 13, 2018
#430: Why You Need to Join the Great Conversation About the Great Books
3671
Aug 09, 2018
#429: Taking Control of the Brain Chemical That Drives Excitement, Motivation, and More
3517
Aug 07, 2018
#428: The Life of a Dragon — The Untold Story of Bruce Lee
4035
Aug 03, 2018
#427: The Excellence Dividend
2554
Jul 31, 2018
#426: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8
3588
Jul 26, 2018
#425: Action Over Feelings
2376
Jul 24, 2018
#424: How Harry Truman Handled Being Out of His Depth
2370
Jul 19, 2018
#423: How to Survive a Grid-Down Disaster
2734
Jul 17, 2018
#422: Men & Manners — Tipping, Emojis, and Much More
3270
Jul 12, 2018
#421: Why You Need a Philosophical Survival Kit
2424
Jul 10, 2018
#420: What Makes Your Phone So Addictive & How to Take Back Your Life
2575
Jul 05, 2018
#419: American Honor — Creating the Nation's Ideals During the Revolution
2998
Jul 03, 2018
#418: How to Get Unstuck
2467
Jun 28, 2018
#417: Expect Great Things — The Mystical Life of Henry David Thoreau
3856
Jun 26, 2018
#416: The Self-Driven Child
2959
Jun 21, 2018
#415: Forging Mental Strength Through Physical Strength
2368
Jun 19, 2018
#414: Theodore Roosevelt, Writer and Reader
2618
Jun 14, 2018
#413: Make Today Matter
2765
Jun 12, 2018
#412: The Power of Conspiracy and Secrets
3059
Jun 07, 2018
#411: Why Emotions Are Better Than Willpower in Achieving Your Goals
2385
Jun 05, 2018
#410: The Male Brain
2577
May 31, 2018
#409: The Epic Story of Sport Hunting in America
2479
May 30, 2018
#408: The Incredible Forgotten Story of WWII's Ed Dyess
2860
May 25, 2018
#407: How to Overcome Nice Guy Syndrome
3103
May 22, 2018
#406: Why You Need to Embrace Small Talk
2926
May 17, 2018
#405: The Power of Team Captains
2575
May 15, 2018
#404: What Men Can Learn From Wolves
2316
May 10, 2018
#403: A Better Way to Network
2519
May 08, 2018
#402: Why Honor Matters
3945
May 03, 2018
#401: Everything You Need to Know About Diet & Fat Loss
4862
May 01, 2018
#400: The Tyranny of Convenience
2415
Apr 27, 2018
#399: The Vast Influence of Testosterone on Our Bodies, Minds, and the World We Live In
2683
Apr 24, 2018
#398: Should a Man Care About How He Dresses?
2885
Apr 19, 2018
#397: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed With Happiness
2813
Apr 17, 2018
#396: How to Deal With Anxiety
2235
Apr 12, 2018
#395: Skin in the Game
2142
Apr 11, 2018
#394: The Incredible True Story of the Renegade WWII Pilots Who Helped Win the War in the Pacific
3053
Apr 06, 2018
#393: The Importance of Building Your Social Capital
3191
Apr 04, 2018
#392: How Jesuit Spirituality Can Improve Your Life
2971
Mar 29, 2018
#391: Micronutrients, Genetics, and Preventing Age-Related Diseases
2504
Mar 27, 2018
#390: Why Insults Sting and How to Handle Them
3203
Mar 22, 2018
#389: What It Means to Be a Quiet Professional
2710
Mar 20, 2018
#388: Why Group Culture Is So Important to Success
2743
Mar 15, 2018
#387: Think Like a Poker Player to Make Better Decisions
3316
Mar 13, 2018
#386: The Rise and Fall of the American Heavyweight
4384
Mar 08, 2018
#385: Learning How to Learn
2473
Mar 06, 2018
#384: What It Really Means to Be Self-Reliant
2881
Mar 02, 2018
#383: The Virtues of the Masks of Masculinity
1986
Feb 27, 2018
#382: The Secrets of Greater Endurance
3424
Feb 22, 2018
#381: Why You Should Let Your Kids Fail
2569
Feb 20, 2018
#380: How to Be Braver
2447
Feb 15, 2018
#379: How to Spot Red Flags in a Relationship
2491
Feb 13, 2018
#378: Brunch Is Hell; Dinner Parties Are Heaven
2356
Feb 08, 2018
#377: 12 Rules for Life With Jordan Peterson
3162
Feb 06, 2018
#376: When to Compete, When to Cooperate, and How to Succeed at Both
2771
Feb 02, 2018
#375: The Misunderstood Machiavelli
2508
Jan 30, 2018
#374: The Race to Break the 4-Minute Mile
2612
Jan 25, 2018
#373: The Leader's Bookshelf
1952
Jan 23, 2018
#372: World Without Mind — The Existential Threat of Big Tech
2430
Jan 18, 2018
#371: The Best Ways to Rehab From Injury
3597
Jan 16, 2018
#370: The Era of Bright Expectations
2851
Jan 11, 2018
#369: When — The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
2333
Jan 09, 2018
#368: The Courage and Resilience of Ulysses S. Grant
3062
Jan 04, 2018
#367: The Motivation Myth
2358
Jan 02, 2018
#366: Teach Yourself Like George Washington
3235
Dec 21, 2017
#365: Why Are 7 Million Men Missing From the Workforce?
2277
Dec 19, 2017
#364: How to Know When Someone is Lying (From a Former CIA Officer)
2137
Dec 14, 2017
#363: Budgeting Doesn't Have to Suck
2721
Dec 12, 2017
#362: The Art of Mingling
2298
Dec 07, 2017
#361: The Untold Story of WWII's 45th Infantry Division
2257
Dec 05, 2017
#360: Why Men Have a Hard Time Making Friends in Adulthood
2858
Nov 30, 2017
#359: Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best of the Best
2565
Nov 28, 2017
#358: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
2807
Nov 22, 2017
#357: How to Be a Creative Genius Like da Vinci
2164
Nov 17, 2017
#356: How to Finally Beat Procrastination
3277
Nov 14, 2017
#355: Leadership and Public Service With Gov. Eric Greitens
2639
Nov 09, 2017
#354: Brains & Brawn — Tips and Inspiration on Being a Well-Rounded Man
3754
Nov 08, 2017
#353: Nostalgia — Its Benefits and Downsides
3204
Nov 02, 2017
#352: A Famous Butcher Dishes on All Things Meat
2408
Oct 31, 2017
#351: The Surprising Power of a "Useless" Liberal Arts Education
1883
Oct 26, 2017
#350: Peak Performance — Elevate Your Game and Avoid Burnout
3440
Oct 25, 2017
#349: Is This a Date or Not? The Problem With Ambiguity in Relationships
3109
Oct 19, 2017
#348: A Counterintelligence Expert's Five Rules to Lead and Succeed
2317
Oct 17, 2017
#347: The Science of Social Awkwardness
2196
Oct 12, 2017
#346: The Fall of the Roman Republic
3388
Oct 11, 2017
#345: Not Caring What Other People Think Is a Superpower
3254
Oct 06, 2017
#344: The Art of the Side Hustle
2246
Oct 03, 2017
#343: How to Read Nature — Awakening Your Senses to the Outdoors
2457
Sep 28, 2017
#342: Why Boredom is Good for You
2574
Sep 26, 2017
#341: The Kaizen Method — Get 1% Better Each Day
2482
Sep 21, 2017
#340: Life Lessons From an Adventurer
3049
Sep 19, 2017
#339: The Power of Likability
2450
Sep 14, 2017
#338: How to Beat Distraction and Stay Focused
2447
Sep 12, 2017
#337: What Homer's Odyssey Can Teach Us Today
3164
Sep 08, 2017
#336: Master Your Testosterone
4033
Sep 06, 2017
#335: Exploring Archetypes With Jordan B. Peterson
3014
Aug 31, 2017
#334: When Violence Is the Answer
3119
Aug 29, 2017
#333: Solitude & Leadership
3028
Aug 24, 2017
#332: What Does It Mean to Be Authentic?
2865
Aug 22, 2017
#331: The Difference Between Essentialists and Non-Essentialists
3661
Aug 17, 2017
#330: The Life Skills Every Man Should Know
2525
Aug 15, 2017
#329: Stick With It — The Science of Behavior Change
3227
Aug 10, 2017
#328: The Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting
4240
Aug 08, 2017
#327: Heading Out — A History of Camping
2782
Aug 04, 2017
#326: Why Boys Are Struggling & What We Can Do To Help Them
2855
Aug 02, 2017
#325: Leading Quietly
1925
Jul 27, 2017
#324: How Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith Are the Cure for Sad Clown Syndrome
3699
Jul 26, 2017
#323: Improve Your Breathing, Improve Your Health
2467
Jul 20, 2017
#322: Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong
2876
Jul 19, 2017
#321: How to Think About Money
2151
Jul 14, 2017
#320: The ADHD Explosion
3087
Jul 11, 2017
#318: Exploring Life's Trails, Literally and Metaphorically
3340
Jul 03, 2017
#317: Why Your First Impression Matters & How to Improve It
2390
Jun 29, 2017
#316: An Introduction to Stoicism
2636
Jun 27, 2017
#315: The Power of Small Experiments to Supercharge Your Success
3415
Jun 22, 2017
#314: Building Better Citizens Through Rucking
3054
Jun 20, 2017
#313: How Leaders Build Great Teams
3168
Jun 15, 2017
#312: The Costs of Light Pollution and the Benefits of Darkness
2229
Jun 13, 2017
#311: The Meaning of Beards
3031
Jun 09, 2017
#310: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity
3130
Jun 06, 2017
#309: Going Blind to See More Clearly
2181
Jun 01, 2017
#308: The Case for Blue Collar Work With Mike Rowe
3368
May 30, 2017
#307: Make Your Bed, Change the World
1393
May 26, 2017
#306: What a Magician Can Teach You About Being More Successful
2614
May 23, 2017
#305: Lessons from the Epic Age of Flight
2814
May 18, 2017
#304: The Lies of Manhood and How to Teach Young Men Its Truths
1608
May 16, 2017
#303: The Philosphy of Frugality
2153
May 11, 2017
#302: My Workout Routine & The Benefits of a Strength Coach
3364
May 09, 2017
#301: Why Action is the Answer
2931
May 04, 2017
#300: How to Raise Free Range Kids
2334
May 02, 2017
#299: What the Ancient Greeks and Romans Thought About Manliness
2582
Apr 28, 2017
#298: The History of BBQ and Becoming a Backyard Pitmaster
1682
Apr 25, 2017
#297: Make Your Kid a Money Genius
2824
Apr 21, 2017
#296: How to Find Your Life's Purpose
2323
Apr 18, 2017
#295: Kettlebells and the Psychology of Training
2129
Apr 14, 2017
#294: Learning the Art of Charm
3388
Apr 11, 2017
#293: How to Do More With Less
2476
Apr 06, 2017
#292: The Road to Character
1930
Apr 04, 2017
#291: The Untold Story of Jimmy Stewart's WWII Service
2283
Mar 30, 2017
#290: Everything You Know About Ninjas is Wrong
2160
Mar 28, 2017
#289: Revenge of Analog
2699
Mar 23, 2017
#288: Love is Overrated
3052
Mar 21, 2017
#287: The New Frontier of Flow
2571
Mar 16, 2017
#286: Not Afraid
2629