8 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
    • 5.0 • 2 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.

    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
    The Antidote to Anxiety

    The Antidote to Anxiety

    Pandemics and vast uncertainty aside, life is hard. And for whatever reason, it seems to be getting harder. Studies have shown that the average kid today experiences more anxiety than the average psychiatric patient in the 1950s. 
    It feels like there’s this undercurrent of anxiety to everything we do. But instead of dealing with it, we fill our calendars with back-to-back appointments and our lives with endless distractions. We do everything we can to avoid having that anxiety bubble up.
    But what if we didn’t? What if we stopped trying to numb and distract? What would it look like to just accept anxiety as a fact of life and deal with it head on? 
    That’s what we’re getting after in this episode. Along the way, Matt shares the intimate details of how he’s grappled with anxiety through the years and Ammar discusses his inability to meditate. 
    Most importantly, Andy Puddicombe, the former monk and co-founder of the meditation app Headspace, stops by to help us to identify ways to cultivate a more mindful approach to life, deal with emotions as they come, and find more presence. 
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    • 40 min
    The Path To A Kinder World

    The Path To A Kinder World

    Remember the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated? You probably learned it in kindergarten.
    Chances are you haven’t really upped your kindness game since. Most of us haven’t. The older we get, the more responsibilities, anxieties, and personal pursuits take over. And kindness simply doesn’t make the to-do list. 
    It’s not that we think kindness is any less important than in kindergarten. No, it’s the opposite. Most people agree that practicing kindness is more important than ever. But there’s a gap, between what we say we value as a society, and what we do.
    In this episode, we’re getting to the source on how to close that “kindness gap.” 
    Houston Kraft, a kindness advocate and educator, explains how we can overcome what gets in the way of deep kindness and start incorporating it into our daily lives.
    François Clemmons, also known as Officer Clemmons on the acclaimed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, shares stories about Fred Rogers, and how he showed him the true meaning of kindness on and off camera. 
    For more on how to live a more kind life, check out Houston’s brand new book Deep Kindness here: https://deepkindness.com
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    • 38 min
    How To Chase Your Dreams

    How To Chase Your Dreams

    Before Yes Theory, we were just three guys trying to figure out what we wanted to do in life. We didn’t know much, just that we didn’t want to walk predictable paths. Luckily, we each had mentors that inspired us to stop thinking and start doing--anything and everything outside our comfort zones. 
    In this episode, we call back two of those early mentors to talk about why having novel experiences is so crucial for creativity, meaningful relationships, and business. And how it is truly the foundation for making any dream happen.
    Jason Silva is the host of the award winning show, Brain Games, and is a self-described epiphany junkie. Ben Nemtin is the acclaimed writer, public speaker, and television personality from Matt’s favorite MTV show, The Buried Life. 
    Together, these two wise stages help us figure out - how do we start breaking routine and chasing our dreams (even in the world’s current conditions)? Is now really the time to prioritize our personal goals? And above all else, how do we push through the fear of trying new things?
    This episode is sponsored by:
    LinkedIn - Get $50 off your first job post at LinkedIn.com/YesTheory
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    • 34 min

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