When people think of the paratroopers of World War II, they tend to think of the European theater — the 101st Airborne Division and the Band of Brothers.
But paratroopers were also deployed in the Pacific, and here to unpack their lesser-known but equally epic and heroic story is James Fenelon, a former paratrooper himself and the author of Angels Against the Sun: A WWII Saga of Grunts, Grit, and Brotherhood. Today on the show, James tells us about the formation, leadership, and training of the 11th Airborne Division, the role they played in the campaigns of the Pacific — which included being dropped one by one out of a tiny plane described as a “lawnmower with wings” —how they built a repu...
Everyone has some bad habits, and they nearly always involve doing something too much. Eating too much, drinking too much, buying too much, looking at your phone too much. Why do we have such a propensity for overdoing it? My guest says it's all thanks to a "scarcity loop" that we're hardwired to follow. Once you understand how this loop works, you can start taking action to resist the compulsive cravings that sabotage your life. Michael Easter is the author of Scarcity Brain: Fix Your Craving Mindset and Rewire Your Habits to Thrive with Enough. Today on the show, Michael unpacks the three parts of the scarcity loop, and how they've been amplified in the modern day. We talk about the slot machine lab that corporations use to hack your brain, why your main problem may be that you're understimulated rather than overstimulated, why addiction may be better thought of as a symptom rather than a disease, how the quantification and gamification of life can negatively impact your experience of it, and how ultimately, the fix for resisting your bad habits is having something better to do than chase the cheap, unsatisfying hits of pleasure our culture so readily offers.
1 hour 7 mins
27 September Finished
How to be happier is a topic covered in countless books, blogs, and podcasts. Consume enough of this content and you repeatedly come across the same recommendations that have purportedly been proven to increase happiness: exercise, spend time in nature, meditate, socialize, and practice gratitude. But is there actual scientific evidence that these strategies work? Today on the show, we'll find out what professor of social psychology Elizabeth Dunn discovered when she did a study of happiness studies, and what the surprising findings have to do with the "replication crisis" that's occurred in science. In the second half of our conversation, Elizabeth shares the takeaways of a few well-vetted happiness studies she's done herself, including how to spend your money and use technology to increase happiness. And we discuss how to apply these findings, and the findings of all happiness studies, in a wise way that takes into account your unique personality and peculiarities. After the show is over, check out the show notes at aom.is/happinessstudies
25 September Finished
According to some estimates, only 5% of people in the West get the recommended amount of daily physical activity. Is the solution getting a fitness tracker, developing more discipline, or buying a piece of cardio equipment for your basement? My guest would say none of the above, and would have you think about kids playing at recess instead. Darryl Edwards is the founder of the Primal Play Method. Today on the show, we discuss the epidemic of sedentariness which besets both adults and children and why technology and willpower isn't the cure for it. Darryl then explains why a better solution to getting more movement and physical activity in our lives is rediscovering the intrinsically motivating pleasure of play. He offers suggestions on how to do that, including compiling a play history for your life, embracing "primal movements" that will get you moving like an animal and a child, and getting over the fear of looking goofy while doing so. We discuss the joys and health benefits of exploring your capabilities and environment and how to incorporate more movement into your busy adult life by making even regular activities more playful.
20 September Finished
Ever wondered why, after hours of reading and highlighting, you still feel unprepared for that big test? Or why, shortly after a work training, you can’t remember much of what was said and how to apply it? Or why you have trouble comprehending a difficult book? Whether you’re a student studying for exams, an employee trying to learn the ropes at a new job, or someone who’s into personal study, learning effectively is hugely important in increasing your capacity and knowledge. Unfortunately, most of what people do to learn simply doesn’t work. Here to unlock the superior, research-backed strategies that will help you harness the potential of your brain is Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology and the author of Outsmart Your Brain. Today on the show, Daniel explains why the default way that our brains want to learn doesn’t work, and how to approach learning by both reading and listening more effectively. We discuss how to get more out of your reading, including whether you should highlight, whether speed reading is effective, the optimal method for taking notes during a lecture, the best way to cement things into memory, and much more.
18 September Finished
In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” What does putting away the ways of childhood and stepping into manhood look like? My guest says it requires making five key shifts in mindset and perspective. His name is Jon Tyson, and he’s a pastor and the creator of the Primal Path, a rite of passage geared toward helping boys become men. Today on the show, Jon and I unpack the five shifts of manhood and how parents and mentors can help young men make them and move from immaturity to maturity.
1 hour 4 mins
13 September Finished
While there may be some heated rivalries in today's NBA, the ferocity of competition doesn't compare to the hard-hitting contests that took place during the 1987-1988 season, when four rising and falling dynasties — the Celtics, Lakers, Pistons, and Bulls — battled it out for supremacy. Here to illuminate that epic era in basketball and share what can be learned from it is Rich Cohen, author of When the Game Was War: The NBA's Greatest Season. Today on the show, Rich makes a case for why there's never be a season before or since like the one that played out in '87 and '88, and he profiles the players — Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Michael Jordan — who dominated that season and changed the game. Along the way, we talk about the life lessons that can be taken from these players and their teams, including the rules legendary coach Phil Jackson gave the Bulls, which were inspired by the jazz musician Thelonious Monk.
11 September Finished