300 episodes

Podcast by The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness The Art of Manliness

    • Philosophy

Podcast by The Art of Manliness

    #579: Jack London's Literary Code

    #579: Jack London's Literary Code

    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.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #578: Figuring Out If You Should Change Careers (And How to Do It)

    #578: Figuring Out If You Should Change Careers (And How to Do It)

    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.

    • 46 min
    #577: An FBI Agent's 6 Signs for Sizing People Up

    #577: An FBI Agent's 6 Signs for Sizing People Up

    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.

    • 35 min
    #576: A Treasure Trove of American Philosophy

    #576: A Treasure Trove of American Philosophy

    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.

    • 46 min
    #575: Counterintuitive Advice on Making Exercise a Sustainable Habit

    #575: Counterintuitive Advice on Making Exercise a Sustainable Habit

    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.

    • 46 min
    #574: The Power of Bad — Overcoming the Negativity Effect

    #574: The Power of Bad — Overcoming the Negativity Effect

    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.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

Asad88 ,

Engrossing

This podcast was recommended to me by a friend and I haven’t looked back since. The topics discussed are usually about how to be better in every way but also curve ball topics like how boxing can help Parkinson’s disease etc. The consistent theme however is having charismatic people coming to the podcast and talking about what they have found. And in Brett you have someone who is curious and let’s the conversation flow. This adds up to a podcast which can be engrossing. Definitely makes my long commute worthwhile!

TheMaroonMachine ,

A never-ending source of guidance for men of all ages

Since discovering The Art of Manliness I have become an avid listener (and reader of the blog), sharing the insights of Brett and his guests with friends and family, not least my three boys. Whatever your interest might be, from style to moral integrity, from leadership to starting your own farm, there is something here for everyone. AoM provides a genuine and authentic counter to the widespread individualism of modern society - highly recommended!

yand2 ,

Informative and inspiring

Interesting topics, convenient lenght, good sound and pleasing personality of host. I’m a fan for many years. Would recommend to everyone who is seeking self development.

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