10 episodes

For the last three years, I've run the blog Hack the System - A guide to hacking fame, productivity, travel, languages, exercise and business. Along the way, I've gotten to know some of the brightest minds in the world in the areas of human behaviour change, business, fitness and even into the spiritual realms. I decided to sit down with my friends 1-on-1 and pick their brains and share the insights with the world. You will learn everything from how to start a virtual business on the cheap, outsourcing secrets, travel and money hacks, productivity routines, how to form life long habits, and much, much more. Be sure to click the "Subscribe" button and I hope you enjoy the podcast!

No Title Maneesh Sethi

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 15 Ratings

For the last three years, I've run the blog Hack the System - A guide to hacking fame, productivity, travel, languages, exercise and business. Along the way, I've gotten to know some of the brightest minds in the world in the areas of human behaviour change, business, fitness and even into the spiritual realms. I decided to sit down with my friends 1-on-1 and pick their brains and share the insights with the world. You will learn everything from how to start a virtual business on the cheap, outsourcing secrets, travel and money hacks, productivity routines, how to form life long habits, and much, much more. Be sure to click the "Subscribe" button and I hope you enjoy the podcast!

    Building the King of Keystone Habits: Crafting the Ideal Morning Routine

    Building the King of Keystone Habits: Crafting the Ideal Morning Routine

    In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg presents the idea of Keystone Habits: habits that, once implemented, naturally improve the quality of life in a variety of other habits. The most common one is exercise: one someone builds the habit of daily exercise into life, they naturally begin to sleep better, eat better, create a better routine, etc.
    Once a keystone habit is in place, the rest of the pieces seem to fall into place around it.
    In attempting a year of drastic self-improvement, it's often best to focus on "big wins." If you can start building the proper keystone habits, you'll save yourself a lot of work in small individual habits down the line.

     
    Building Daily Routines
    So I want to talk about the mother of keystone habits --- building a daily routine. In particular, building a morning routine.
    Here, you can see my old morning ritual (from about a year ago):


    Redefining the Morning Ritual
    The moments you wake up are the moments you can actually control. Once you get going, make it to your work or school, you suddenly are playing in someone else's ballpark. So, I focus on building the morning ritual as the most important facet of my routine.

    You might have seen in my last post: Jumpstarting the Habit Change Process. In it, I made a list of 7 habits I want to develop. I'll paste that list below for reference.

    1) Daily Meditation
    2) Writing 750 Word Every Day
    3) Daily Floss
    4) Before sleeping, write 3-5 MiTs (Most Important Tasks) down. In the morning, start working on them BEFORE checking email.
    5) Turn off computer every night by 11pm.
    6) Keep a gratitude journal and write 3-5 things I’m grateful for every night before sleeping.
    7) Add a ritual to my morning routine: Visualize my day ahead of time and how I’ll approach it, then watch inspirational videos.


    These are all daily items --- the types of habits I want to achieve every day. But, some take longer than others.
    So, I sat down and wrote my ideal routine, for the whole day. And then I tried to see which habits fit the easiest into my daily plan.



     

    But, the act of codifying a perfect morning routine made it seem much more believable, likely. So, I tried throwing in flossing and the gratitude journal --- so far, it's stuck for four days, and we'll see how long that lasts.

    So, here's the fact: creating a morning routine, writing it down, and making it visible so that you're reminded of it daily is a very valuable action to take.

    In the comments below, list out your current daily routine, and your dream routine. By writing it out, you'll have a clearer understanding of what you need to do tomorrow.

    So, try it out --- build a morning routine, commit to it using the Bet Switch Mechanism for 5 days, and see how productive you become.

    • 3 min
    Jumpstarting the Habit Change Process

    Jumpstarting the Habit Change Process

    Over the last few months, you might have noticed a lot of articles and emails about productivity from Hack the System.

    Earlier this year, I had a moment of revelation while traveling --- a very private moment that I only detailed to my newsletter re...

    • 5 min
    How to Build a New Habit — My Process for Starting to Write 750 Words a Day

    How to Build a New Habit — My Process for Starting to Write 750 Words a Day

    I mentioned that, for the past few months, I've begun attempting to:

    1. add a new habit
    2. solidify the previous month's habit.

    I've realized that trying to add more than one habit a month is a recipe for disaster --- the best we can do is to add one, and solidify another.

    This month --- Write an article (~750+ words / day)
    For the month of September, I'm working on adding the habit of "Writing 750 words a day" and solidifying August's habit of "hitting the gym five days a week".

    I'll likely be publishing the majority of these posts, and emailing out a lot of them. So, expect a lot more content from me.

    So, I thought I would tell you the process I'm going through to make my new habit a reality.
    The process for building a new habit
    I've researched habit change and behavioral technology for years, and in doing so, I've refined my ideas for building a new habit. Let me show you my process --- hopefully you can take something away from it.
    1) Have a baseline foundation for locations I'll be.
    While traveling, I never know what I'll be doing each night or even where I'll be sleeping in a few days --- clearly a recipe for habit failure. Now that I'm living in Boston and trying to solidify my daily routine, creating the basic "home" and "work" locations are paramount.

    I've rented an apartment in Beacon Hill, about a 15 minute walk from my office. My office is also a five minute walk away from my gym. So, now I can add a location element to my habits.

    Last month, I tended to arrive to work around 9:30am or 10:00am, and headed to the gym at 1:00pm. This month, I'm aiming to add my “Writing 750 words a day” to my morning routine, meaning that I'll finish writing the words before I arrive at the office. In my dream routine which I jotted below, you'll see that my goal is to finish up writing and head immediately to the gym on my way to the office.
    2) Identify the components of the habits I'm trying to build
    The book The Power of Habit was extremely powerful for my understanding of the habit creation and replacement process. In the book, Charles Duhigg breaks a habit into a three-stage process.



    You can see that a habit is made up of a 1) CUE, 2) ROUTINE, and 3) REWARD. The process for adding a new Habit is different than replacing or subtracting a new habit. For my purpose, I'm trying to add a new habit, so I need to work through the 'habit creation' process.

    I reviewed my mentor and past-professor BJ Fogg's Behavior Wizard to identify his system to creating a new habit.



    BJ's Behavior Grid says the following about 'Building a New Habit from now on':
    If you want someone to do a new behavior for the long term, you are seeking a Green Path Behavior.

    Examples include:

    Health: Consume flax seed oil each morning, from now on.

    Environment: Always use fluorescent light bulbs.

    Commerce: Buy a new brand of toothpaste from now on.

    To achieve a Green Path Behavior, three elements must come together at once. As the Fogg Behavior Model describes, you must Trigger the behavior when the person is both Motivated and Able to perform it. This combination must happen over and over, as the habit gets created and then strengthened.

    Couple the trigger with an existing habit
    Increase the perceived ability (self-efficacy) by making the behavior easier to do
    Reduce demotivation by making the behavior more familiar

    The challenge is in influencing the target audience to perform the behavior and then getting them to repeat it, from today onward. Green Path relates to forming new habits.
    So, what does this mean to me? I must couple the trigger with an existing habit, make the habit easier to do, and reduce demotivation by making the habit more familiar.
    1. Couple the trigger with an existing habit.
    Today, on Day 2, I woke up early and intended to start working on writing as the first thing after showering and brushing. I found myself a

    • 7 min
    How to Become the Host of ESPN Sportscenter and Discover the Productive You — with James Swanwick

    How to Become the Host of ESPN Sportscenter and Discover the Productive You — with James Swanwick

    Welcome to the newest episode of the Hack The System show!

    You should subscribe to this show on iTunes.

    The Hack The System Podcast is your access to interviews with the world's foremost experts on blogging, lifestyle design, traveling, and life/...

    • 39 min
    Hack the System Podcast — How Ryan Holiday Hacked the Media at American Apparel

    Hack the System Podcast — How Ryan Holiday Hacked the Media at American Apparel

    Welcome to the latest episode of the Hack The System show!

    You should subscribe to this show on iTunes.

    In case you haven't heard, the Hack The System Podcast is your access to interviews with the world's foremost experts on blogging, lifestyle design, traveling, and life/system hacking. In short--you're going to learn how to kick ass.

    In this episode, I feature Ryan Holiday, author of the bestselling book, Trust Me, I'm Lying, a book about how to exploit the media, and hack marketing and media. He's currently the Director of Marketing for American Apparel, a media strategist for clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney,

    Ryan and I have a funny past: we went to middle school together in California. For some reason, I remember us as not-friends--enemies almost.

    I reconnected with Ryan after college, and found both of us followed similar paths: we both left college without completing it, and then ended up doing work in similar industries. Ryan worked for incredible authors like Robert Greene, who wrote The 48 Laws of Power and The Art of Seduction (both which had a significant impact on my life).

    When I began working with Tim Ferriss on The 4-Hour Chef, I found out that Tim had also hired Ryan to help on the book as well. We worked together on the project.

    Check out the interview: learn how to manipulate the media, and engineer ways to get your video to become viral.

    Watch it here:
    Transcript of the Podcast Episode

    Don't forget to subscribe to this show on iTunes.

    Maneesh: [00:00:00] Hey, guys. Maneesh Sethi from Hack the System. I’m here today, I’m with Ryan Holiday from Ryan Holiday.com and “Trust Me, I’m Lying: The Confessions of a Media Manipulator,” your new book. What’s up, Ryan?

    Ryan: [00:00:13] Thanks, man.
    Maneesh: [00:00:13] It’s good to see you. It’s good to see you again, yeah. It’s been a while. So Ryan and I actually … a funny story. We went to middle school together.
    Ryan: [00:00:19] Yeah.
    Maneesh: [00:00:19] I remember sitting next to you in Ms. Thatcher’s class. And then … Did we go to high school?
    Ryan: [00:00:23] No. I moved and then you went to Bella Vista, right?
    Maneesh: [00:00:27] Yeah.
    Ryan: [00:00:27] And I went to Grand Bay.
    Maneesh: [00:00:28] Got it. Yeah, I remember like seeing Ryan’s name pop up and I remember talking about how there’s very few people from our high school ever did anything interesting.
    Ryan: [00:00:35] I think there are very few people from our generation that are doing anything. I feel like they’re still in school or they’re living at home with their parents sort of trying to fig – like the economy and sort of the toughness of the job market so overwhelmed everyone that they’re just like still reeling from it.
    Maneesh: [00:00:53] It’s definitely true, and one of the biggest themes that we’ll be talking about today is about pursuing excellence or becoming … like doing something in our time [inaudible 00:01:00]. But before we get to that, introduce yourself and talk a little bit about your book. I think it’s interesting.
    Ryan: [00:01:06] Yeah, so in my day job I’m the director of marketing for American Apparel, the fashion retailer. Then I work with a bunch of different bestselling authors, public figures, strategists, and I advise them on Internet marketing, marketing and just sort of general all around strategy. So the book is sort of an expose of what I feel like is the dark side of that business, the forces that control what we see and hear online. The first half of the book is sort of the how-to for how to do all this stuff for people who’d want to do it. And then the second half of the book is for people who want to sort of enlarge their perspective about this. It’s sort of the consequences and the risks that playing with these dark arts entail.
    Maneesh: [00:01:49] Yeah. The first half … what was really intere

    • 34 min
    How Steve Kamb Built A Community Of Muscleman Nerds

    How Steve Kamb Built A Community Of Muscleman Nerds

    Welcome to the newest episode of the Hack The System show!

    You should subscribe to this show on iTunes.

    The Hack The System Podcast is your access to interviews with the world's foremost experts on blogging, lifestyle design, traveling, and life/system hacking. In short--you're going to learn how to kick ass.

    In this episode, I sit down with Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness. Steve has built a community of hundreds of thousands of readers through his web site, which shows regular nerds (like you!) how to "Level Up" and get fit.

    Listen to the audio podcast here:


    Below, I'm pasting some highlights of the interview, and the transcription. The full video interview is below.

    Highlight 1: Who is Steve Kamb? What is Nerd Fitness?



    Highlight 2: Steve's Fitness Philosophy and Exercise Routine



    Highlight 3: How Steve Kamb Built A High Traffic Blog



    Watch the full interview here:



    This podcast can be heard on iTunes. Click here to follow it via iTunes (and automatically sync it to your iPod)
    Transcript of the Podcast Episode

    Don't forget to subscribe to this show on iTunes.


    00:00 Maneesh Sethi: Hey guys, this is Maneesh Sethi and right now I'm in Portland, Oregon. I'm going to be sitting down with Steve Kamb from NerdFitness.com. Great site, great guy, come with me, let's check it out. I'm really, really excited to talk to you Steve. You're one of my inspirations online, one of the bloggers that really do some cool stuff.

    00:19 Steve Kamb: Really?

    00:20 Maneesh Sethi: Yeah!

    00:20 Steve Kamb: Aw, thanks, man.

    00:21 Maneesh Sethi: No matter how much shit I give you, I kind of like your stuff. And I wanted to talk to you a little bit about your blogging, and your website, and your vision. Why don't you introduce yourself to the Hack the System audience?

    00:35 Steve Kamb: Absolutely. So, I've been running a website called NerdFitness.com for three and a half years now and really it started, I want to say, about five years ago. I had this idea, pretty simple. Hey, I'm a nerd, I like fitness. Maybe there's something we can do to stick them together. And I googled and nothing popped up so I bought the domain to nerdfitness.com and came up with the tagline 'Level up your life', and decided that I just wanted to just kind of start helping nerds get healthy. I thought it was a group of people that could use some direction and guidance and have a little bit of fun along the way so I write about things like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and push ups and the Paleo diet. People are like, 'How does that connect?' I'm like, don't worry about it, trust me, it makes sense. Check out the site and I guarantee you'll be like, 'Oh! I get it, that's kind of cool.' So, yeah, I've been running it for about three and a half years now.

    01:27 Maneesh Sethi: So how did it progress? I guess you started off just - were you already in shape when you started the site?

    01:32 Steve Kamb: Honestly, my journey with fitness probably started over a decade ago. I got cut from my high school basketball team, which is not really surprising. I couldn't dribble with my left hand, I was like 5'10", 100 pounds. I had no business being on a basketball court. But I decided, damn it, I'm going to come back next year and I'm going to be really strong and big and make the team. So I signed up for a gym membership and almost killed myself by dropping - I went to the nearest bench press and loaded up 45 pound plates on either side and my arms are shaking before I could even take it off - Boom, right on my chest! I had to rotate and the weights spun off and aw, dude, like the most humiliating moment of my life. But I very quickly rised then and there like, 'Okay, I didn't die and this is kind of cool. I like this concept of getting a little bit stronger.' And for me, as a gamer growing up, it just made so much sense. Okay, cool, you can pick up ten pounds this week, nex

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Darek USA ,

Extra podcast

Super inspired podcast, I loved every episode. Very useful information, thank you Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!

Nathan Perry ,

Awesome Podcast! Great Job Maneesh!

This podcast as tons of useful information. One of the things I love about it is the content is all meat and no filler. Keep them coming Maneesh!

brianlima ,

Hack The System & Maneesh Sethi Are The Real Deal

I've been following Maneesh's journey for almost two years and his blog and podcast continue to inspire me. His no BS approach to what it takes to make it as an online business person is exactly what is needed in this niche. No get rich quick ideas or gimmicks. Just useable information that hits home. I've also worked as a student of his one on one and I can tell you from personal experience he really cares about your success. Listen and Learn! You will not be disappointed. keep inspiring and going after your dreams Maneesh ~ Brian

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