Podcast by The Art of Manliness
Podcast by The Art of Manliness
#585: Inflammation, Saunas, and the New Science of Depression
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.
#584: How to Avoid Falling in Love With the Wrong Person
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.
#583: How to Stay Mentally Sharp and Fulfilled as You Age
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.
#582: Essential Lessons From Great Wartime Leaders
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.
#581: The Tiny Habits That Change Everything
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.
#580: Why People Do (Or Don't) Listen to You
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.
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My favorite Podcast!
I love to listen to the AoM podcast during my breakfast and on my way to work. The themes are always relevant to my life and self improvement, the guests are polite and knowledgeable and you can really feel that Brett prepares the podcast thoroughly by placing the right questions to their guests. I love it!
Probably one of the best podcasts out there
More than apreciation for this show I have profound gratitude. With a "tongue on the cheek" kind of humor, vintage (almost victorian) atmosphere and conversations that are enterntaining and enlightening. Brett McKay made an amazing work reviving essential elements about subjects that are relevant to men (without any misogeny and with profound respect for women) in the current times where gender roles are somewhat under reconstruction. Brett Interviews authors, military, experts and scholars from a wide range of subject such as Moral, Philosophy, Honor, Glory, Strength, Men's health, Parenting for men, Budgeting, Martial Arts, Dating and Career in the persuit of an answer for the question: "How can I become a better Man?". Amazing show, and I profoundly recommend you to listen it from the very first episode, because some episodes follow the trail carved on the ground by previous ones. So you profit much more if you get the previous discussion. Also check his website and his store, amazing products.
Offcourse there are limitations: sound quality is the major flaw in some episodes. I suppose he makes his interviews through Skype, and sometimes connection is flawed. Nothing that impeaches completely the conversation but it is annoying. Regarding that, Brett if you are reading, try to design 3 tutorials for your guests (one for mac, linux and windows) on how they can record the sound of their own microphone. Or use a online sound recorder (there are some websites available) and ask them to send the audio to you. Also, Lynda has a nice tutorial about how to use audigy, some editing within the interview could be nice.
Since you tell us in the show to put our ideas and requests here:
1- I liked your longer episodes 1 hour. Offcourse not to do with all of episodes, but you could have a special episode every 3 months where you discuss some subject more deeply, maybe inviting 2 guests to debate a subject. Sometimes you have scholars with oposing views that would be amazing to see them talking to each other. Like in a gentlemen´s club.
2- I would like to see episodes on the following subjects:
2.1- Other culture that not US. US follows in big extend the traditions of britain, but there are conceptions of being a men in Italy, Spain, Brazil, Norway, Japan, China, Congo, Native american indians etc. That influences how men in US perceive themselves (US is country of immigrants)
2.2- An interview with Tony Wolf about Bartitsu
2.3- About dealing with the death of your wife. Men's life expectation is severey short after his wife dies, it would be interresting to see this being discussed more deeply.
2.4- Chosing a wedding ring and proposing. It could be a collection of successful and unsuccessful stories. It is a big moment, and it is always entertaining to know.
2.5- Since we are on the subject. Men and Jewelry, it comes and goes and I sincerely have no idea why.
Something to find.
I appreciate the Art of manliness podcast for varies reasons but mostly for the wide variety of interesting topics and the discoveries of new books.