11 episodes

In order to achieve growth, discomfort is unavoidable. So why not seek it out? Yes Theory co-founders Matt, Ammar, and Thomas are turning off the cameras and turning on the mics to reflect upon how Discomfort actually might hold the keys to meaning and happiness. The Yes Theory Podcast shares behind-the-scenes stories and talks with expert guests to gather insights about the world at large, our place in it, and one another.

The Yes Theory Podcast Headspace Studios

    • Personal Journals
    • 4.9 • 267 Ratings

In order to achieve growth, discomfort is unavoidable. So why not seek it out? Yes Theory co-founders Matt, Ammar, and Thomas are turning off the cameras and turning on the mics to reflect upon how Discomfort actually might hold the keys to meaning and happiness. The Yes Theory Podcast shares behind-the-scenes stories and talks with expert guests to gather insights about the world at large, our place in it, and one another.

    The End of a Chapter

    The End of a Chapter

    Things are changing in our little Yes Theory world, as well as the broader world, and we aren’t sure what the future holds. Thomas is headed back to Europe for the foreseeable future, and Matt’s stepped back from hosting. It really feels like the end of a chapter (with a new one coming close behind). 
    To celebrate and close the last chapter properly, and to end the season on a high note, we took a new spin in this episode. Just like in Episode 8, there are no guests (besides the people that just pop into the recording). 
    Instead, we travel with Ammar, Thomas, and Matt to the demolition site of their first home together, and listen as they bury their very own treasure -- a time capsule full of memories from this last chapter together. They reflect on the spirit that brought them together, and how unlikely it was that they were able to get this podcast into the world this year.
    We started the season talking about how crazy, uncertain, and out of control this year has felt. That hasn’t changed so much of the course of these last 10 weeks. The lesson we’ve learned is to just -- make the best of it. Keep growing, trying, bumping around. Find some stillness when you can. Fight the burnout. Maintain hope. Lean into your closest relationships.
    Make your life meaningful, and just take it day by day.
    It’s a wrap on Season 1 of the Yes Theory Podcast. If you’re just joining us, start from the top or choose your adventure. It’s completely up to you.
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    • 35 min
    How to Make a Change

    How to Make a Change

    Have you ever seen someone staring back in the mirror that you didn’t like? 
    We all experience “mirror moments” -- where we see ourselves and the paths we’re headed down clearly. In these moments, we can decide to continue the course or make a change. Sometimes we are seeking big changes -- like choosing to pursue a completely new career or end a relationship. Sometimes we’re vying for simpler -- like just choosing to meditate for five minutes a day or get dressed in the mornings.
    No matter how big or small the change you want to make is, it can be tough to get yourself to the breaking point -- where you actually commit… fully. 
    So, today, we called on the decorated, plant-powered endurance athlete Rich Roll for some inspiration. He shares with us some of his most intense transformational moments -- from when he first decided to get sober to when he began running endurance races. His repeated transformation proves that you are never too old or too late to change. And that there is always another level to the change you can make.
    Thomas Dajer, also known as Tommy, TD, and Yes Theory’s lead editor shares his story of personal transformation as well -- from dropping out of college to now starting to host episodes on the Yes Theory channel. 
    And Ryan Holiday, author of so many of the Yes Theory team’s favorite books, stops by to talk about the pitfalls of ego -- the force that often gets in the way of trying to make a significant change. He colors in the full picture, and shows us that often the battle of seeking change is much more internal than external. 
    This week, Yes Theory is brought to you by:
    Green Chef - Use code "YesTheory80" to get $80 off your first month at Greenchef.com
    The World As We Know It - Available now, wherever you get your podcasts.
    Talk Space - To get $100 off your first month at Talkspace.com use promo code "YES THEORY" at checkout.
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    • 40 min
    What Makes Our Friendship Work

    What Makes Our Friendship Work

    Matt, Thomas, and Ammar have a picturesque kind of friendship. They’ve made memories on nearly every continent, built a business, and chased down their wildest dreams… together. 
    But what you don’t see on screen is that their friendship isn’t always easy. In fact, it rarely ever is. As is the case with many things in life, it’s leaning into the hard, uncomfortable parts that makes all of the beautiful parts possible. 
    For Matt, Thomas, and Ammar that looks like a mix of going off and doing tough personal work alone, and coming back together to have hard, honest, and deep conversations as frequently as possible. It’s love, commitment, and discomfort -- on repeat.
    So in this episode, we’re switching it up a bit. There are no guests. We travel into Yes Theory’s basement to listen to one of many raw, vulnerable conversations between Matt, Thomas, and Ammar.
    They talk to each other about some recent struggles, how their relationship has changed throughout the years, and what they’re hoping for in the future. They also share publicly for the first time why Matt has officially stepped back from hosting on the YouTube channel, and what it took to make that decision. 
    The entire episode is really just a reflection on how our closest relationships shape us, call up our deepest insecurities, and push us to become better. It’s also a primer for how we can make long-term partnerships last, lean on other people without becoming too dependent, and push forth a collective vision while still maintaining true to ourselves.
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    • 37 min
    Why We Seek Discomfort

    Why We Seek Discomfort

    From climbing up snow-capped mountains in our boxers to running marathons with no training, one of the core pillars of Yes Theory is seeking out the big heart-pumping, mind-bending physical experiences that force us beyond our limits.
    But what’s the point of doing all this? Are big challenges effective at helping us build daily exercise and wellness habits? Or is it more for show? 
    The science -- of extending past our physical limits -- is layered and complex. But at the most basic level -- the real reason we take on challenges outside our comfort zones is to prove to ourselves that we can. When you do something you thought you couldn’t do, you get to tell yourself a new story about who you are. And that story is priceless, or more precisely the cost of pushing through the challenge itself. 
    In this episode, we hear from Matt, Thomas, and Ammar about various experiences they’ve had -- pushing themselves physically, and committing to daily habits -- in the pursuit of re-writing their own stories. For each of them, the scope and nature of the challenge is different, and it provides a unique perspective into the obstacles we face in our physical lives. 
    We also hear from Dianne Bondy, an acclaimed yoga teacher and social justice activist, who shares how Western culture impacts the way we think about physical discomfort, and helps us question some of our most basic assumptions. And Aaron Ferguson, a decorated celebrity physical trainer, shares his experience training and competing in an Ironman alongside Matt. He helps us question when we’ve gone too far, and what the purpose of the pursuit really is.
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    • 29 min
    The Problem With Productivity

    The Problem With Productivity

    Ever struggled to do your laundry, re-register your car, or make time to go to the dentist? It might make you feel like you’re terrible at “adulting,” but it turns out that’s actually more normal than you think and there might be a pretty solid explanation: burnout.

    Anne Helen Peterson, author of Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, joins Matt in this episode to talk about the costs of living in an achievement-obsessed culture, how monetizing what you love can get in the way of building a life, and the systemic issues that have perpetuated a system of workaholism.

    We also hear personal burnout experiences from members of the Yes Theory community. And through these accounts, we realize - we’re all struggling to find a sense of balance in our lives.

    Generationally, we have no safety net. Job security feels like an illusion and pension-style retirement packages are a relic of the past. And the alternative offer of personal freedom - to work wherever, whenever - comes with a lot of costs to health and happiness. We are tethered to our devices, and feel like insufficient human beings when we aren’t being productive. 

    Though we’ve been trained to believe we need to do more to be more, maybe it’s actually the other way around. But how do we start altering the system and building lives that we don’t feel the need to escape from? That’s what we’re getting into in this episode.

    To learn more on the topic of generational burnout, check out Anne’s book.
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    • 40 min
    The Courage to Hope

    The Courage to Hope

    “Hope makes you follow your dreams,” says actress Dina Shihabi, from the Amazon Original Jack Ryan. “I would have nothing in my life if I didn't have hope.”

    We’re living through a pretty dark time right now. There’s this constant stream of negative news coverage and criticism. It’s hard to feel certain or confident about anything. Which is why it’s more important than ever to tap into our collective reserve of hope - the belief that life can be better tomorrow than it is today. 

    In today’s episode, Ammar sits down with Dina to talk about how growing up in Arab countries shaped how they view themselves and the world, and how hope was (and still is) the backbone to their wildest dreams. They share personal stories of needing to overcome cultural friction and disbelief, and finding ways to fuel that inner hope when no one else believed in them. 

    Through Ammar’s and Dina’s stories of growing up, moving away from home, and chasing their dreams we come to see: hope is a resilient, beautiful, and messy force that requires us to confront cynicism and fear. 

    Hope isn’t just a passive feeling; it’s an action.
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    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
267 Ratings

267 Ratings

Anya Bumag ,

Very well done

It’s so nice to hear your thoughts beyond your incredible videos! You are all so well spoken - and you know how to keep people’s attention with these podcasts. Please keep going with it! :)

Scurvy_Dog1 ,

Thank you for a thought provoking podcast!

I have followed Yes Theory for a couple years and love their work but this podcast has blown me away. Each podcast has left me with something thought provoking that I end up thinking about and dare I say changes me.

DCS smith ,

Thank you for being you

I love that they are as genuine in front of the camera as they are behind it I’m from montreal and try as much to live the yes theory/seek discomfort lifestyle as much as I can despite being 14 years old. I love their message to live life to its fullest and seek discomfort to experience new experiences and to get down into sensitive subject matter. I also like that their videos are compatible with every age group

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