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The Art of Manliness

Author: The Art of Manliness

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Podcast by The Art of Manliness
532 Episodes
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If you're like most people these days, you probably rely on the turn-by-turn directions given by a smartphone app to navigate to where you want to go. While Google Maps has certainly made getting around a lot more convenient, my guest today makes the case that by relying on GPS to navigate, we're turning our backs on a skill that makes us uniquely human. Her name is Maura O'Connor, and she's a journalist and the author of Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate. We begin our conversation discussing what goes on in our brain when we navigate and how we use the same part of the brain that we use for memory when we're getting around town. We then discuss how human navigation differs from animal navigation and the cultural tools that humans have developed over millennia to help them find their way, including storytelling and songs. Maura then shares research that suggests our language influences our sense of location and space and how our ancient ancestors sowed the seeds of the scientific method when they were tracking animals while hunting. We also discuss recent research that suggests relying too heavily on GPS may increase your risk for dementia and be linked to other mental health problems. We end our conversation by musing on how it is that using GPS can shrink your sense of autonomy, while navigating on your own feels existentially empowering. Get the show notes at aom.is/wayfinding.
#533: How to Be a Time Warrior

#533: How to Be a Time Warrior

2019-08-1200:56:1411

If you struggle with procrastination, goal-setting, and generally moving ahead in life, the heart of your struggles may be your view of time. More specifically, that you look at it too linearly. That's the argument my guest today makes. His name is Steve Chandler, he's a success and business coach, and the author of many books, including the focus of our discussion today -- Time Warrior: How to Defeat Procrastination, People-Pleasing, Self-Doubt, Over-Commitment, Broken Promises and Chaos. At the beginning of our conversation, Steve shares how he personally overcame years of failure and addiction to find a fulfilling life and career. He then explains why looking at time too linearly can lead to putting things off to the future, overwhelm and over-thinking, and perpetually trying to find more information before moving on an idea. He argues that we're better served by adopting a concept of non-linear time management, which pushes us to approach life with a bias towards action, privilege the energy of "want to" over "know-how," and act in the now. We then discuss other tactics and mindsets you can adopt to become a "time warrior," including being creative rather than reactive, seeing life as a game, and serving people rather than pleasing them. We end our conversation with what to do when you feel like you don't know what to do with your life.Get the show notes at aom.is/timewarrior.
Listen as you drive through most neighborhoods in America these days and you might notice something missing: the shrieks and laughter of kids playing outside. When my guest today had kids, he decided he wasn't going to let them grow up in another quiet, morgue-like neighborhood. Instead, he was going to figure out why kids weren't playing outside anymore, and how to fix the problem. His name is Mike Lanza, and in his book Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play, he shares how he did just that. At the start of our conversation, Mike explains how he became an advocate for kids playing outside by themselves with minimal adult supervision. He shares his theories on why outdoor play has decreased, and why simply limiting screen time and participation in organized extracurriculars doesn't solve the problem. Mike then explains why you need a critical mass of kids to be playing outside before outdoor play becomes a norm, and what parents can do to create this critical mass by changing the environment in their yard and the social dynamics in their neighborhood.Get the show notes at aom.is/playborhood.
Many of our goals in life -- from losing weight to saving more money -- require willpower. But what is willpower anyway, why does it feel like it fails us so often, and what can we do to make better use of itMy guest today explores the answers to these questions in her book: The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. Her name is Kelly McGonigal, and she's a psychology professor at Stanford. We begin our discussion discussing what exactly willpower is, how it can be described as an instinct, and what goes on in your brain when you utilize it. We also unpack the idea that there are really three different types of willpower: I won't power, I will power, and I want power, and how these powers can be increased. We then spend the rest of our discussion digging into the limitations of willpower, so we can avoid putting ourselves in situations where it's likely to fail us. We talk about how shame, the people who surround us, and even, ironically, making progress with our goals, can all lead to the sapping or loosening of our willpower. We end our conversation with Kelly's best tips for getting the most out your willpower.Get the show notes at aom.is/willpower.
You've probably experienced a few aha moments in your life. Moments where an idea for a new business or piece of art, or a solution to a sticky technical, relational, or philosophical problem, suddenly popped into your mind.What causes these proverbial light bulbs to go off over our heads? What's going on in your brain when you experience an insight? And can you do anything to encourage more "aha" moments?My guest has spent his career researching the answers to these questions. His name is John Kounios, and he's a professor of psychology and the author of the book The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain. We begin our conversation discussing how researchers define what an insight is, and examples of how scientists and musicians have experienced them. John then walks us through the stages that lead up to getting an insight and explains what is going on in our brains right before and at the moment we experience one. We end our conversation discussing ways you can increase your chances of receiving insights, including the kind of environment and even color that encourages them most.Get the show notes at aom.is/eureka.
If you struggle with getting your financial house in order, you may feel that what you need is more information on how things like stocks or IRAs or budgets work. However, my guest today would say that what you actually need most of all, is a better understanding of the relationship that your parents' and even your grandparents' had with money, and how the "money scripts" they've passed down to you have affected your own thinking about finances. His name is Brad Klontz; he's a psychologist who specializes in money issues and the author of Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health. We begin our conversation discussing what Brad calls the Big Lie in personal finance. Brad then explains how money scripts form in your childhood, and can keep you from making progress with your finances in your adulthood. We dig into why you can feel shame over being both poor and rich, why it's hard to move ahead from the socio-economic status you came from and easy to get dragged back into a financial comfort zone, and how you can break out of old ingrained patterns. We end our conversation with how to be more intentional about the money scripts you're passing down to your own kids, including why you shouldn't tell them, "We can't afford that."Get the show notes at aom.is/moneyscripts.
The author Robert Heinlein famously said: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”Compelling as that sounds, why do so many of us fall short of that kind of ideal, and cease to learn new and different skills in our adulthood? My guest would say it's because we approach learning the wrong way. His name is Robert Twigger, and he's the author of Micromastery: Learn Small, Learn Fast, and Unlock Your Potential to Achieve Anything. Today on the show, Robert makes the case that we often fail to learn new things because we feel we have to learn the whole field of a subject, which is overwhelming, tedious, and de-motivating. A better approach, he says, is to first master just one distinct skill that's part of said subject, or what he calls a micromastery. We discuss what micromasteries are, why they keep you motivated to continue learning in that field and in general, the benefits of lifelong learning, and why specialization is indeed for insects. We also discuss what the punk rock scene of decades ago can teach you about tackling new skills. We end our conversation with Robert's use of omelette making as a case study in micromastery.Get the show notes at aom.is/micromastery.
How does the way men experience spirituality differ from the way women engage it? What obstacles particularly keep men from experiencing greater meaning in their lives, and what paradigm shifts help them find it?My guest today has been thinking about those questions over the six decades he's served as a Franciscan friar. His name is Richard Rohr, and he's authored numerous books and devoted a significant part of his vocation to working with men -- both ministering to those who are incarcerated, and in leading male initiation rituals and retreats.If you enjoyed my discussion last month with David Brooks about life's first and second mountain, you'll want to listen to this one. Father Rohr has long taught the same concept, arguing that life is divided into a first and second half. We begin our discussion by exploring the difference between these two halves, and what it takes to move to the second half of life, including embracing non-dualistic thinking. We also talk about what prevents men from maturing into the second half of life, including having "father wounds." We then discuss how male spirituality differs from female spirituality, why church doesn't appeal to men, the male need for initiation, and what it means to do shadow work. We end our conversation with what fathers can do to help their sons embrace the spiritual side of life.Get the show notes at aom.is/rohr.
For nearly 400 years, the Comanche tribe controlled the southern plains of America. Even as Europeans arrived on the scene with guns and metal armor, the Comanches held them off with nothing but horses, arrows, lances, and buffalo hide shields. In the 18th century, the Comanches stopped the Spanish from driving north from Mexico and halted French expansion westward from Louisiana. In the 19th century, they stymied the development of the new country by engaging in a 40-year war with the Texas Rangers and the U.S. military. It wasn't until the latter part of that century that the Comanches finally laid down their arms.How did they create a resistance so fierce and long lasting?My guest today explores that question in his book Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. His name is Sam Gwynne, and we begin our discussion by explaining where the Comanches were from originally and how their introduction to the horse radically changed their culture and kickstarted their precipitous rise to power. Sam then explains how the Comanches shifted from a hunting culture to a warrior culture and how their warrior culture was very similar to that of the ancient Spartans. We then discuss the event that began the decline of the Comanches: the kidnapping of a Texan girl named Cynthia Ann Parker. Sam explains how she went on to become the mother of the last great war chief of the Comanches, Quanah, why Quanah ultimately decided to surrender to the military, and the interesting path his life took afterward.This is a fascinating story about an oft-overlooked part of American history. Get the show notes at aom.is/comanches.
Oftentimes, our ancient brains don't seem well equipped to deal with the speed and complexities of modernity. The landscape bombards us with perceived threats and problems, and we have trouble not ruminating on them. To navigate this environment, while maintaining our composure and sanity, we need to strengthen our resistance to stress. My guest today has written a guidebook to how that's done. Her name is Dr. Mithu Storoni, and she's a medical doctor who also holds a PhD in Neuro-ophthalmology, as well as the author of Stress-Proof: The Scientific Solution to Protect Your Brain and Body — and Be More Resilient Every Day. Today on the show we discuss the difference between acute stress and chronic stress and why acute stress can actually be good for you, while chronic stress can change your brain so that you get more stressed out when you experience stress. We discuss how both cortisol and inflammation can actually be beneficial in the right amounts, and how to get them in the right doses -- including the particular type of exercise that will best help you recover from stress, and the role diet and even Tetris can play in managing it. We end our conversation discussing how making time for hobbies can prevent you from falling into the stress trap.Get the show notes at aom.is/stressproof.
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Comments (110)

Brian Arisius

Love your podcast! Very insightful, useful and even life-changing. Thank you and I hope you keep up the good work!

Aug 12th
Reply

Sawyer  Martinez

Brian Arisius Great podcast! Really useful and informative!

Aug 12th
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Antony Pace

great episode!!👏🏻👌🏻👍🏻

Jul 25th
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Carly Weiss

The interviewee's answers were way too long.

Jul 25th
Reply

Doreen Perry

Carly Weiss yes. It's a liitle difficult to follow

Jul 25th
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Caroline Wanja

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Jul 23rd
Reply

Jacob Ruse

I feel like becoming is related to Heidegger's philosophy, as well. but Heidegger is poison because he really was an anti-semite

Jul 21st
Reply

Crystal Wright

Jacob Ruse 🤔🤔

Jul 22nd
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David DeLillo

The timing of this episode is impeccable. This opened my eyes to some of my own behaviors. And answered a lot of questions that I couldn't put into words. Thank you thank you thank you. Keep up the good work.

Jul 8th
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PAVEMENT TALK PODCAST

brilliant podcast guys!

Jul 6th
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Bobby Undsoweiter

56:50 summary of the findings

Jul 2nd
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Freddie Matara

Bobby Undsoweiter thank you. hard to listen to this!

Jul 16th
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Eddie Vedder

We salute the rank, not the man !

Jun 27th
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Eric Barrera

I can't finish listening to this. 😂🤮.

Jun 21st
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cameron everhart

I think the "baseline" is the most important part. understanding contextual baselines is key for EVERYTHING in life

Jun 13th
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Felicia Goldsmith

I'm a big fan of AoM, but this man's logic is absolute malarkey. He ignores many of the social realities that women face that keep them from excelling in many areas. For example, when he mentions women not being helpful in the public sphere compared to man he completely ignores the fear of being assaulted.

Jun 12th
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L. Tertia

Very good episode! You have to have this specialist on again.

Jun 5th
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Sanjay Kumar Chatri

Very informative. Lots of practical advice. Thanks AOM.

Jun 3rd
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Daniel Harrison

85 4gty uy

May 29th
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Yalcin Yilmaz

Those comments on his voice being annoying... Remember he’s a voice coach, not a voice artist.

May 17th
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Daniel

one of the few episodes I couldn't even finish listening to. my god that guy is annoying

May 17th
Reply

Thiago Rodrigues

is there a transcript???

May 14th
Reply

Ved

Good topic, he should've given more content

May 13th
Reply

Gavin Scoville

for a voice coach I hate his voice

May 10th
Reply

Daniel

Gavin Scoville rofl. ditto. it feels so very contrived. not just his voice, but how he talks and exaggerates everything

May 17th
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