Jan
06
Jocko Podcast 98 w/ Jordan Peterson. Breaking Your Wretched Loop. Dangerous But Disciplined


this is Jocko podcasts number 98 with
echo Charles and me Jocko Willing good evening echo good evening they asked us
to take off our head scarves then loosen any buttons to reveal our chests that
courtyard became the marketplace where Isis men came and chose girls they liked
though they first sent all the older women to another place and the women
with babies and other children to another place we do not know the
whereabouts of these women and that includes my mother and my sisters I had
my period that night but no matter how much I told him I have my period he did
not believe me he ordered me to strip naked in his room then he stuck his
finger in my vagina and saw that I was indeed bleeding only then did he believe
but that did not mean he left me alone instead he put the air conditioner on a
really high volume said that I am to sit still in my nudity the whole night and
he molested me throughout the night by the time morning arrived I was frozen
both physically and psychologically nothing mattered after that point I
didn’t know I had not seen the worst of it yet he would put on horrible sexual
movies and would do all kinds of things to me they all had long hair and long
beards but the worst of all is their smell I’ve never smelled such awful
smell in my life they do not bathe they feel more like beasts than human only
Yazidi women are taken as slaves Hsieh women they burn alive we saw one
she a woman burned alive in front of us Christian women they leave on the
condition that their family must pay a fee for Isis for being Christian in Isis
tour territories and Sunni women are left alone as long as they follow Isis
orders if they don’t they are whipped and tortured some of them are the wives
of our captors some of the wives were as helpless as we were and some were very
mean women who encouraged their men to rape us as long as a girl has some
breasts she’s considered a woman and that entitles them to rape her some
girls are as young as 10 and 11 years old I have no past and no future at the
moment I am stuck in my anger and pain at what Isis did to my family my
community and myself I have a new behavior that I can’t stop including
washing my mouth over and over again there are nights I wake up more than one
time to wash my mouth as I remember what they did to me and how they forced
themselves on me I am a dead person now I have no life I only hope that my
mother comes back from capture so my life can resume so those are excerpts from an article
that was in the New York Times by zainab Salvi and the quotes are from Leila
which is a pseudonym who was a Yazidi woman captured by Isis and obviously
kept as a slave and she eventually escaped and gave that interview in a
camp in Erbil which is in northern Iraq which at the time was an Iraqi
government controlled City and I would say this if you think that evil does not
exist in the world you are wrong it does and it’s not just individuals scattered
around these are groups of supposed human beings that are systematically
implementing heinous and evil acts on totally innocent people and I have
obviously talked about evil before on this podcast 20 years ago during the
genocide in Rwanda 50 years ago in Vietnam during the meal I massacre 75
years ago in Nazi Germany 80 years ago in Nanking under the Imperial Japanese
Army and those things are in the past but it is important to remember that
evil is still happening now and I know that it is hard for us to see that
especially here in America in this unbelievably well-protected bubble that
we live in a bubble that is provided and protected by young and brave men and
women who volunteer to go out and hold the
line but the evil is out there it always is and tonight we have a guest on the
podcast that I think has a very clear understanding of evil of where it comes
from and how it manifests itself in the world and he also has an incredible
understanding of the good and what we as people can do to live our lives better
for ourselves for families for our communities and for the world
his name is dr. Jordan B Peterson and I’m not exactly sure when I heard dr.
Peterson for the first time but as I dug into the content online what really
struck me was that what he was saying and he was an academic an unbelievably
smart unbelievably well-read person and yet when he said things they aligned
almost perfectly with things that I believed and things that I have learned
in my life and so here we were these two radically different people from
different backgrounds one highly-educated college professor the
other a military veteran and a certified knuckle dragger
and yet our thoughts were very aligned and the way that I would hear him tie
history and fought around human psychological evolution and to the
social structure and to societal structure and the way he laid out the
maps of meaning behind the way we think it was very useful
and it’s helped me realize that the way I feel in my gut my instincts about
people and about the world they’re there for a reason it isn’t random there is some reason
behind the way that I think and the way that we think so
Jordan thank you for coming on the show very glad to be here that’s a that’s
quite the beginning yeah I think like I said it’s very easy for people to lose
track of the fact that while you’re sitting in an air-conditioned space
somewhere thinking about your next Netflix movie that you’re going to watch
there’s there are people that are in the most horrible and heinous situations
that are being put on them by other human beings and it doesn’t really stop
yeah well it’s a hard thing for people to to contemplate I mean there’s two
elements to life that are hard to contemplate I mean one is that the
suffering that’s attendant on life fundamentally and then the other is the
malevolence of people and we’re not in the modern world we don’t really think
about those as fundamental realities in some sense you know because we we tend
to think about material situations as fundamental realities but the
metaphysical realities the ethical realities are more real and it’s
necessary to know that in order orient yourself properly in life like you know
I never really took the idea of good seriously
transcendent good let’s say our ultimate good until I convinced myself of the
existence of well if it wasn’t altima deiville it was sufficiently ultimate
for me you know because I immersed myself in the study of the Nazi
Holocaust and and of what happened in Nanking and what happened with unit 731
which is the most horrifying that’s the most horrifying material I’ve ever read
which is really saying something because there’s plenty of horrifying material to
read and and what happened in the Soviet Union and what happened in Mao’s China
which you know so few people know about now
and I guess what I found most striking especially with regards to what happened
in the in the Soviet Union was well and in Germany for that matter was that
there were a number of people who were writing about it like Viktor Frankl a
psychiatrist who wrote man’s search for meaning and also Alexander Solzhenitsyn
who wrote the Gulag Archipelago which should be required reading for every I
think for every American citizen that there was some integral relationship
between the moral failings of individuals and catastrophic moral
failings of the state and that that was directly causally related you know so
Solzhenitsyn made a great case in with regards to the analysis of the Marxist
catastrophes in the Soviet Union that they were tied integrally not only to do
that dogma but also to the willingness of the typical citizen to swallow
endless lies and and act them out and he included himself in that in that set of
of deceitful people let’s say and it was really struck me that because those
writings are so profound Victor Frankel’s another good example you can’t
really read that without it really punching you you know it really struck
me that it really struck me that it was possible that there was some direct
integral relationship between the individual moral choices that people
made in their day-to-day lives and the broad scale social movements that
happened around them and I think I’ve come to believe that that’s the case and well certainly the story that you read
the person who was written about the rapist was making all sorts of
individual choices right and you know he might have been convincing himself that
he was on some kind of holy mission and but I guess that would be in part so
that he could stand look again at himself in the mirror in the morning
without running away screaming if he saw what was really there so one of the
things in Franco that kind of in a man search for meaning that definitely two
two points that really hit me hard when I was reading it was
one as I didn’t understand the extent to which the Kappos which were the Jewish
prisoners that got taken on board to help and would would get special
treatment at number one I didn’t realize the extent to which they were in
existence I knew that I knew what they were but I realized that they were they
were as aggressive as they were and the other thing that hit me is is the the
paragraph or the lines where he’s saying that the best of us didn’t make it out
and that if you were going to live you had to do things that you wouldn’t want
to maybe do and maybe if you were a better person maybe you wouldn’t do him
and to me that was harsh I mean this was his admitting that that if you wanted to
survive as a person in that situation you might have to take someone’s piece
of bread you might have to move a number on a list to get someone else sent down
to the down to the execution area a day earlier than you and that happens to
postpone your execution long enough that you can make another move and that’s a
scary thing you know you saw the same thing with Solzhenitsyn’s description of
the ghoul eggs because they were running in large part by the inmates but I think
that that’s a really good metaphor for totalitarian states in general you know
because we like to think that a totalitarian state is made up of
innocent oppressed individuals who are under the thumb of a an evil tyrant and
that all of the catastrophes are cascading from the top down but I don’t
think that that’s true I think that it’s more like a holographic structure where
the tyranny exists at every single level so it exists psychologically and it
exists within the family and it exists within the mid-level organizations and
so well you know in eastern Germany for example one out of every three people
was a government informer so what that meant is if you had a family of six
people that two of them you couldn’t trust and you can’t you can’t just say
that that’s a consequence of the top-down structure a tyranny is
something that exists everywhere simultaneously once it once it gets a
grip and it’s easy for people to say things like well I was just following
orders and you know I’m not I’m not trying to put
myself in a position where I’m claiming that if I was in that position I
wouldn’t have followed orders in the same way I mean god only knows till you
get there right that’s for sure but but what that did to me was focus my
attention more and more on on the necessity of individual responsibility I
thought if it was individuals in the final analysis who were responsible for
the great evils of the 20th century which i think is a reasonable way of of
conceptualizing it then it might be individuals who could be responsible for
whatever good there might be in mankind that could help us avoid those
situations in the future and I thought of that as a alternative in some sense
to nihilistic disbelief and ideological possession you know because if your
group identity is too tight then you start acting like they like they well
like like a like a cog in a mob that’s a very bad thing but then if your group
identity disappears completely well then you’re left alone and bereft and so
those are bad alternatives right you sort of damned if you do and damned if
you don’t innit it was it was very difficult to understand that there might
be a third path between those two I couldn’t see the the existence of
anything because people need belief systems in order to exist right to
maintain psychological stability and to main so maintain sociological stability
as well but then if the beliefs get too rigid and they turn into the raging
totalitarian mob so maybe you let that go because you don’t want to play that
game but then you dissolve because you have no identity that’s not that’s not
acceptable either when I first laid that out that clearly it was really hard on
me because I couldn’t see a third path to that but then I started to realize
and and this was a consequence of reading the sorts of things that we
already talked about but also of starting to understand the underlying
structure of mythology and what the heroic path meant essentially and that
meant adoption of supreme moral responsibility as an individual now
there’s there’s this there’s this idea in the New Testament which is a really
interesting idea you know it’s it’s one of these bottomless ideas and I mean
that literally the
you could study it forever and never get to the bottom of it and the idea is that
Christ is the person who takes the sins of mankind on himself and there’s
something redemptive about that and that’s actually a really dark idea
because what it means as far as I can tell what it means at least what it
means psychologically is that when you read these terrible things you have to
understand that you’re reading about you if you don’t understand that you’re
reading about you then you don’t actually understand the stories you know
because you you put yourself in the position where you’re automatically the
good person who would never do anything like that and then these other people
are well they’re Devils in some sense right and it’s very easy for people to
make that division but it’s a horrific realization when you think that that
devil that you see outside is the same thing that’s inside and that you don’t
know until you’re put in a situation like that what you might do and then
it’s even worse because if you look at the historical evidence you know it’s it
was ordinary people in some sense that produced the catastrophes of Nazi
Germany and the Soviet Union and Maoist China I mean they might not have
originated it but they certainly had the option to say no at different parts of
different steps along the way and they didn’t you know and these things do
happen one horrible thing at a time there’s this great book called ordinary
men which which describes the descent of a German police force from ordinary
burgeois middle-class men essentially just ordinary policemen who actually
were raised before the Hitler Youth they weren’t indoctrinated you know as young
people and they were they were brought into Poland to sort of mop up after the
Germans had walked through and it describes how they descended into the
sort of people who would take naked women out naked pregnant women out into
the middle of fields and shoot them in the back of the head and what’s
horrifying about the book is that the author browning details the stages by
which this occurred and it’s it’s all for example the commander of this unit
told the men that they were going to have to do terrible things but that they
go home if they wanted to and then you think well there’s a there’s an out but
but then if you really think about it you think well there are a tight tightly
knit quasi military organization and one of the natural thoughts under that
circumstance would be well I’m not going to leave my comrades to do all the dirty
work that would just be a matter of cowardice and so you can see that you
know that there’s an ethical requirement that would keep you there to begin with
and then they were well you’re you’re doing what you just said
which is taking the burden of this sinful activity on yourself if you let
everyone else do it then you’re not you’re not acting heroic well right and
and and so it was easy for the men to get entrapped into that and then you
know the requirements for their horrific action kept ramping up and like each
time they accepted the requirement of doing one horrific thing the probability
that they would accept the next requirement increased and what is also
really interesting about that book huh ordinary men is that it’s not like these
men didn’t suffer like they were suffering terribly they were physically
ill they were vomiting they were they were tearing themselves apart
psychologically you know but they didn’t quit so that’s a that’s a great book
because if you want to know how you walk down the how you how you can be enticed
to walk down a terrible path that’s the book to read and it’s very frightening
because if you read it properly then you know you have to read it again as I said
as if you’re one of the people to whom this is happening and not the victim but
the oppressor you know and I mean you can also read it as the victim that’s
fair enough but but it’s ordinary people who participate in these things and
that’s a very very terrifying thought we actually covered that book on this
podcast both oh yeah yeah both Viktor Frankl and and ordinary man huh yeah
it’s interesting because I as I as I you know I’ve watched all your stuff read
and one of the things that I was thinking about is you know you talk
about where the the hero comes from where this idea comes from and how we
ended up looking at these types of people as they’re good and it happens
over ages and ages and generations and generations of saying oh that’s a good
and that’s a good quality and there’s these 10 people that are all considered
good people and they all have this couple qualities in common so those are
good qualities and eventually that becomes elevated to the point where we
say that’s a hero and when I was thinking of so that so that’s what
happens and now we all have this elevated thing to look at and say that’s
something we could aspire to that’s where we want to go that’s where we want
to be we want to we want to help and we want to support we want to make
sacrifices for the tribe how do we end up or who ends up saying I see something
evil and I’m gonna follow in that direction well I think that that the
story of Cain and Abel is a really very tightly constructed representation of
that process because I mean it’s it’s a very strange story because well for a
variety of reasons first of all it’s very ancient
second of all it’s the first story about human beings mythologically speaking
with in the judeo-christian canon let’s say because Adam and Eve aren’t real
people right because they are formed by God Cain and Abel are the first people
and they’re a pair of hostile brothers and so the first thing that says is that
sibling tension within families is a universal truth and that can get
murderous and if you don’t know that and you can’t see that then you’re not
watching your children carefully enough so because what siblings can torment
each other to to a great degree and it’s something that you should strive
diligently to observe and to quell but then there’s this I the next part of it
that’s so interesting is the idea of sacrifices is introduced and that it
took me a long time to understand what sacrifice meant because on the surface
of it especially the way it’s acted out like burnt offerings and that sort of
thing it just seems like well it seems so archaic and and distant from us that
it’s not really comprehensible but partly from reading Jean Piaget I
started and Nietzsche for that matter I started to understand that people often
acted out conceptions before they understood what they meant you know and
we act out a lot of things we don’t understand because we’re much more
complex than we can represent so we’re always acting out things we don’t
understand but so there’s this idea and Cain and Abel
that you have to make sacrifices in order to stay on the good side of God
and so I thought about that practically say not so much
metaphysically but practically and realized that that was equivalent to the
discovery of time of the future because we do we do act in it and this is a
peculiar discovery of human beings may be a consequence of our expanded
intelligences that we’re actually aware of the future and we actually treat the
future as if it’s something that you can bargain with now partly it’s because the
future is other people and they remember your reputation they remember your past
actions and if you do someone a favor then that favor is in some sense stored
up in the future so you can think about the future as a place of judgment about
your moral actions and it’s not that far from now to imagining a God who’s
keeping track of that or who even is that but in any case the idea of
sacrifice emerges in the story of Cain and Abel and Cain and Abel both make
sacrifices to God in order to stay on his good side let’s say and what a
sacrifice means is that you give up something of value in the present so
that you can be so that you can improve the future and you know that’s no
different from what we call discipline it’s exactly the same thing
it’s just that concretely acted out version of that and so you know the idea
basically was that well God was in the transcendent heavens and and the first
question would be well why is that and it’s like well if you go out in I’m
really dark night and look up at the sky you have a sense of what’s beyond you
what what’s transcendent what’s infinite and and so to associate that with the
highest values is a reasonable association right from from a say from
an emotional point of view so it’s not particularly primitive it’s a smart
metaphor or it’s a smart intuition that and it’s above you and you know we tend
to think of when you’re moving towards an ideal that you’re moving up that
you’re moving above you’re moving to the mountaintop right you’re going up not
down and so it all sits within that same framework and that’s partly because when
you go up like on a mountain you can see for long distances right so those all
those things tangle together so anyways so the idea
is that you have to give up something of value now so you so that you make the
future better and sometimes it’s even something you love now and now that’s a
good example too because often the things that stop us from moving forward
are our attachments to things that we should no longer be attached to right
and in fact you can almost make that definitional if you’re not moving
forward in your life there’s a high probability that you have some idea or
some mode of action or some habit that you’re so in love with that you won’t
let go of it so all right so Kanan ate Cain and Abel make sacrifices and
there’s kind of a hint in this story that it’s just a hint that came
sacrifices they’re sort of second-rate but in any case its ambivalent a but but
Abel he just does wonderfully well and everything works out for him and
everyone knows people like that you know and so God accepts his sacrifices but
for some reason he rejects Cain’s and maybe it’s the arbitrariness of God or
maybe it’s because Cain’s heart isn’t in the right place when he’s making his
sacrifices which is more likely and so Cain goes and has a chat with God and he
says basically what he says is something like how in the world can you possibly
justify this universe that you created you look at me and I’m breaking myself
in half trying to adapt and to make things right and it’s not working and
then there’s this Abel character and things come easy to him and everything
is flourishing for him and so like what the hell and if you don’t understand
that question then you’re not thinking because it’s very very frequently the
case when a serious catastrophe besets you in life that you essentially ask
exactly that question what’s the meaning of life what’s the purpose of the world
how come they’re suffering and it’s easy to become resentful and vengeful as a
consequence of that and so you got to think about what state of mind having
your sacrifice is rejected puts you in especially when you see someone who’s
successful because that’s where the jealousy and and resentment starts to
starts to what fester is pro the right word and so God says to Cain
exactly what he doesn’t want to hear which is well yeah okay but you have
made lots of mistakes in your life so he basically says sin is at your door like
a predatory and sexually aroused animal and you’ve invited it into your house to
have its way with you and produce something creative as a consequence so
you use a sexual metaphor you know and so that you’ve willingly gone down the
negative path and you’ve allowed that to enter into you and and to operate in a
creative manner and you’ve spun off all these terrible thoughts and and this
justification for not acting properly and that’s why things aren’t going well
for you and so don’t lay that at my feet which is the most brutal possible
message he could have got and so then he leaves the presence of God let’s say and
it says in the story that his countenance fell which meant he was
basically enraged and so what does he do he goes out and kills Abel and then
that’s that’s a very fascinating idea because Abel is his ideal so it kills
his ideal and when you kill your ideal you’re lost and then he does that to
take revenge on Abel but also to take revenge on God which i think is
extremely interesting and and a deep deep idea like these kids who shoot up
high schools for example you cannot understand what they’re doing unless you
understand this story of Cain and Abel you cannot understand what possesses
them until you can understand that someone even someone who doesn’t believe
it doesn’t matter it’s the psychological state of mind that matters is they’re
out for revenge on being itself and that’s why they produce as much mayhem
as possible in the shortest period of time that’s why they sacrifice in
innocent people because it’s much more vengeful and and demonstrative to kill
innocent people than to kill guilty people right because it’s a worse sin so
to speak and then they killed themselves and they killed themselves as a final
demonstration of their belief in the in nihilism and the horror of existence
because you might say well why don’t they just kill themselves first and save
everyone the trouble you know and there’s narcissism in that too because
they know their names to be splashed across the page that’s
their notoriety instead of their accomplishment and of course the media
is unbelievably complicit in that but well so when you’re talking about
motivation for evil then you have to understand what it is that’s driving it
and it is a deep resentment about the structure of being for being what
saturated with suffering but also for rejecting your rejecting your sacrifices
and not you know that produces the bitterness of failure and I’ll start
with this one of the things that’s really interesting about the old
testament is that and the Jews in the Old Testament is that they don’t take
the path of cain every time their walloped by god which is like fairly
frequently they say we must have done something wrong and we have to set
ourself right and that’s a an unbelievably heroic attitude because
that’s the alternative cursing fate it’s like you take the responsibility for
failure unto yourself and you think well if I was just maybe if I just had my act
together a little bit more if I took advantage of every opportunity that was
put in front of me if I wasn’t resentful and bitter then I could have done
something that would have tilted the situation in a different direction and
like that’s almost inevitably true well it’s interesting and again this is
kind of where when I would hear you say things like that so as you know I wrote
a book called extreme ownership that the opening chapter of the book is a
horrible situation with a fratricide happens on the battlefield so friendly
forces killing friendly forces some of those forces being mine and you know
it’s all these people I could blame and all these little incidents that happen
that I could have said well you know we had this radio cryptographic change that
happened in the middle of operation and and it had people weren’t able to talk
to each other and we had these Iraqis that we didn’t speak English we had
these units that we hadn’t worked with before and they did things that we
didn’t expect and there’s plenty of blame to go around and and essentially I
said hey you know whose fault this is this is my fault I’m the commander and
so when I hear you say things like that it strikes me that you uncovered this
through your study of history and and philosophy and
religion and I learned it you know as like I said a certified knuckle dragger
out on the battlefield that realized you know if you’re gonna exist as a leader
and as a human then you need to take responsibility for what happens around
you and that’s if you have to take well the religious notion in some sense is
that you have to take ultimate responsibility and that in some sense
the things that happen around you I mean this is Dostoevsky I think said
something like every man is responsible for everything that happens to him and
everything that happens to everyone else and that’s you know that that’s that’s
it’s a crazy statement right it’s a crazy statement and he was a pretty
extreme person in many many ways but there’s a level at which that’s
metaphysically true you know because what happens is that it’s you its
failure to act often that’s the most catastrophic you know I mean it’s it’s
it’s to not do the right thing when the when the situation presents itself and
it’s very specific you know you’re constantly in situations where you could
do the right thing if you were willing to take a risk that’s actually of
relatively moderate size and you know that you could take the risk and you
know that you should take the risk and you don’t and that happens to people all
the time and then what happens is the thing that they didn’t oppose grows a
little bit and they shrink a little bit and that starts a looppay and so and you
say well how do you take responsibility for the world and the answer is well you
also have to do it with a certain degree of humility because what do you know you
know and and and this is part of the reason that I’m so opposed to the
activist culture on college campuses you don’t teach eighteen year olds to go and
demonstrate about capitalism you know because they don’t know anything and
they have problems in their own life that need to be solved that are local
and and the local problems aren’t trivial you know they’re not disciplined
they’re there they’re not looking at the world in a straight way they’re not
taking responsibility for themselves or for their action
their sexual actions among others they’re not taking responsibility for
their family they’re not looking at how they could contribute to the community
they don’t understand the fact that they don’t know anything and so they should
be taught to start locally and to put things together that they could put
together you know to make their bed and to clean up the room and to attend their
classes with regularity if they’re going to university because that’s part of the
implicit contract and to straighten up the things around them that are actually
within their power to straighten up and then what happens is that if you do that
let’s say religiously which I suppose would be the same as in a disciplined
manner that your realm of influence starts to grow but it grows in a
positive way just like you can go you can take you can end up and he’ll one
step at a time and that’s extraordinarily well documented you can
end up at the opposite place of that one step at a time but it’s also that same
gradual process you don’t get to leap from being a seventeen-year-old knothead
who doesn’t know anything and who isn’t disciplined to the critic of
judeo-christian society you just don’t know enough to do that especially when
you can look at your own life and think about how many things that you’re doing
that you know are wrong that you could fix that you aren’t fixing and that’s
the crucial thing it’s it’s this isn’t this this mode of thinking isn’t asking
people to stretch themselves beyond what they’re capable of it’s just asking them
to stretch themselves to the point that they are capable of and seeing what
happens and that works it works I’ve had many people write me over the last year
and this is a great thing really it’s a great thing who said that they stopped
started to tell the truth or at least not to lie because who can tell the
truth right but at least you can not lie and that they started to put things in
order around them that they could put an order and that you know the positive
things just started to happen like mad and they’re not nihilistic and they’ve
got a purpose in their life and so you know thank God for that and it does work
I was trying to think of how to stop the loop of my sacrifices have been rejected
and and the way that you stopped that loop is instead of saying the
my sacrifices were rejected so my hard work my effort my everything that I’m
doing to try and move forward it’s not working and and if you want to go
towards hell you keep saying well it’s it’s not working but it’s but it’s
because of everyone else it’s they’re rejecting me they’re not accepting what
I’ve done whereas if you say to yourself oh it didn’t work okay it’s my fault
what can I do better and that’s how you start moving in the other direction
which is yeah well at least you have control and you know you don’t even
necessarily have to think it’s your fault although that’s that’s a
reasonable way of looking at it you could you could minimally just accept
the fact that it’s your responsibility you’re stuck with it and you could
actually change it and once you know to that if you’re failing repeatedly then
there’s probably something wrong it’s possible that there’s something wrong
with the way that you’re conceptualizing the world because you have a choice
right if if you keep making sacrifices and they don’t work there’s a binary
choice and one is well there’s something wrong with the structure of reality and
the other is there’s something wrong with your approach and so then you might
say well let’s take the first idea there’s something wrong with the
structure of reality it’s like you’re really gonna say that are you you’re
really going to come out and say I know enough to judge the nature of being and
and then the alternative is also quite frightening because then you know you
it’s you that’s making the mistakes and you might be wrong at a really deep
level and that might mean that a lot of you has to burn off and be transformed
maybe even things about yourself that you think are admirable and that you
like because your position you know your your self conceptualization is so warped
and wrong and that’s really daunting but you know when people set themselves up
as the judge of being I mean I’ve written about this a fair bit in my new
book which is called 12 rules for life when people set themselves up as the
judge of being then they take on what can only be described as a kind of
satanic arrogance because they’ve actually taken to themselves the moral
right to criticize the structure of existence itself it’s like you better be
careful when you do something like that because you’re setting yourself up as
the judge of being the Columbine kids did that like if you read
what they wrote it’s that’s exactly what happened and that’s exactly what they
say is that you know I’ve taken onto myself the task of the judge of being
and found it wanting and so I’m going to cause as much mayhem as I possibly can
before I you know before I depart and that’s a very common story among people
who do that sort of thing it’s and it’s so interesting because every time
something like that happens people go well we don’t understand it’s like no
you won’t understand because they write about what they’re doing they tell you
why they’re doing it but it’s so it cuts too close to the bone for people and so
they think well we don’t understand how that can happen you know like there was
a while back I think it was in Connecticut where there is a bunch of
elementary school kids shot right because this is kind of a one-upmanship
game and it’s bad enough to shoot high school kids but it’s even worse to shoot
kindergarten and elementary kids because they’re even clearly more innocent it’s
like well that’s that’s part of that vengeful spirit you know it better to
punish the innocent than the guilty if you’re trying to make a statement about
your your hatred for the structure of reality and these things you have to
understand these things really you have to understand them at a religious level
of analysis because there’s no well that’s what happens when you encounter
evil is that you’re into the domain that can only be described by religious a
d–ation and I don’t say that lightly you know I’ve had many veterans come to
talk to me now and there are people who had post-traumatic stress disorder and
they’ve said that listening to my lectures has helped them out a lot
because it’s provided them with a Phylis philosophy of good and evil and if you
have post-traumatic stress disorder you need a sophisticated philosophy of good
and evil because otherwise you don’t have any place to put your experiences
and that fragments and shatters you it’s it’s no it’s no trivial matter to be
touched by malevolence or to have it manifest itself within you unexpectedly
you know it hurt it it’s physiologically destructive it shatters people and you
have to move from a naive interpretation of the world to a very deep
interpretation of the world if you’re ever going to dig yourself out of that
hole you know that’s that’s interesting in one of the
the things that I was gonna tell you or ask you about so when I was a kid I I
wanted to be a commando like I don’t really remember wanting to do anything
else when I realized that there was that role that you could play in life that’s
what I wanted to do and and a lot of my friends in the SEAL Teams wore the same
way that’s what they wanted to do and soon as they figured out like oh that’s
that exists oh I can do that and I just have to sign this piece of paper and go
do this stuff and then that’s what I’ll be where does that come from well I mean
that that’s a very good question I mean I would say it’s temperamental you know
people differ tremendously in their temperaments and to think that there’s a
warrior temperament is a perfectly reasonable thing to think I mean there’s
been whole cultures many many cultures who were devoted to fostering that
warrior mentality you know where if you weren’t like that you were the outlier I
would say that’s probably true of most human cultures across most of time you
know we’ve been fortunate enough to live in relatively peaceful times at least
the vast majority of us so the necessity for that like right at the edges of
actual warfare is much less than it might be under other historical
circumstances but but it’s it’s it’s a deep part of many people’s nature and so
the question is what do you do with that right and I mean one alternative
potential potentially is criminal behavior and you know the fact that so
many people like watching movies about bad guys you know is an indication of
how attractive that is to people and I think the reason for that is is that
while Nietzsche observed at one point that most of what people regard as
morality is just cowardice and what he meant by that was that people don’t do
bad things not because they’re good but because they’re afraid to do the bad
things and then when they see people do the bad things that are actually really
deeply attracted by that because it speaks to part of them that could go
beyond the rules and that’s actually a necessary part it’s a really necessary
part like you don’t make men safe by making the
week in fact you they’re much more dangerous when they’re weak because
they’ll stab you in the back when they get the chance or take advantage of you
when you when they get the chance you make men safe let’s say by making them
strong and then by making sure that they’re disciplined and so you know
you’ve got people like you’ve got this let’s say warrior mentality that’s a
part deep part of their temperament and then you have some choices about what
you might do with that you might try to discipline it and bring it under
voluntary control and integrate it into your character in which it then it can
make you someone who’s stalwart and indomitable and and who will move
forward you know in the face of tremendous risk and well that’s the
optimal that’s the optimal pathway if you have that kind of temperament and I
I think like it’s the men that have the most what would you call it it’s not
aggressive exactly but we’ll leave it at that aggressive and fearless
temperaments that can be the best men but it’s like having a very powerful dog
you better civil you better discipline because otherwise it’s going to be a
monster yeah well I had the I was a rebellious kid right and I could have
easily gone down the path of crime and as a matter of fact many of my friends
that I you know left when they stayed in now at home they they did end up as
criminals and having big trouble with the law or going down even paths of
drugs and everything else that you can get into but but when we were kids or
younger everyone kind of had the same thing but like you said I kind of just
so lucky because I just designed that piece of paper and and I saw that I
could do something and I could take all that aggression and all that energy I
could do something that was good and positive and and we joke about that in
the SEAL Teams that many guys you you you actually to be a good seal you sort
of you sort of have this criminal mindset that you’ve you’ve somehow
harnessed and you keep under control most of the time yeah
and occasionally it does get out of hand and we got guys that get in trouble and
that happens and if we if we only took guys that would never get in trouble we
wouldn’t have anyone in the ranks really well well you also see two in the
classic hero stories I mean you see this with Harry Potter for example which I’m
making reference to because it was such a phenomenon I mean when when something
makes welfare mother richer than the Queen of England you shouldn’t take note
right and when kids are reading 500 page books in mutton and and standing in line
waiting for the next one and when you produce a whole movie Empire around
something you should take note of that well Harry Potter’s little team aren’t
the delinquents right who have no discipline but they’re also not the good
kids they’re the kids who will break rules when necessary and that’s that’s
the issue break rules when necessary now the question is when is that necessary
well that’s sort of the ultimate ultimate ethical choice but you know
you’re why did that work for you do you think you know like what why was it well
two questions one would be why did you decide to step into a discipline
structure I mean that’s obviously very difficult and why do you think you did
that and some of the other kids that you knew that were like you didn’t it was
really one of the most rebellious things that I could do was to join the military
so I come from a small New England town people get done with high school they go
to college they get a job as whatever people get jobs as they follow that very
normal path and and I didn’t even know anyone that joined the military and and
so that was the most rebellious thing I could do Oh College no education no I’m
gonna go be a commando that’s what I’m gonna do and and it was the most
rebellious thing I could do I think that’s one of the reasons why I did it
it was also a complete break away from you know family okay I have no reliance
on you you know I’m going you don’t have to worry about me anymore I’m done I
will not rely on anyone else I will be self-reliant which I
wanted to do and so I think those are the main things that that got me there
and then what’s great about it for me was when I got there you have a
completely blank slate and you have very clear directions of what you need to do
to to ascend the the dominance you do this you do this you follow these rules
you you literally fold your underwear in this way when you’re going through boot
camp and you get a better grade on your military performance so they give you
very clear rules that you’re supposed to follow and very clear tasks that you had
to do and and it was great for me because it was a blank slate because
when I was in high school I was a I was a screw-up not bad but not good and and
so I hadn’t really set myself up properly and now all of a sudden all I
had to do that that was all gone it didn’t matter that the past did not
matter at all I have completely blank slate if you do this stuff properly
you’ll you’ll do well and you’ll ascend that yeah well that’s that I are that’s
a very interesting thing because then it’s not merely a matter of following a
set of arbitrary rules it’s following a set of rules that have a clear path to
success right that’s a very different thing and and that that’s also something
that’s honest because the rules of the game are well-established and then if
you play it properly you get to win and that’s a big deal as well you know and
you mentioned the seal types and I’ve met a number of people like that you
know they’re they’re they’re capable of breaking rules let’s say or maybe even
inclined to break them but I also think that that’s this is part of the reason
that I’m an admirer of Carl Jung because Jung makes it very clear that see he was
very interested in the barriers to enlightenment
because if there’s if there’s such a thing as being enlightened let’s say
then why isn’t everyone enlightened if it’s just a matter of taking the
glorious route and and following your bliss let’s say it’s like well that
sounds pretty easy why isn’t everyone enlightened and but Jung’s thinking
isn’t like that at all you know he he believed that in order to transform your
personality that first of all you had to be disciplined that’s for sure but you
also had to integrate that part of you that was terrible and capable of
breaking rules and make it part of you and so then and I really like that
idea well here here’s an example so about 20 years ago I would say there was
a newspaper headline in one accounted his major newspapers and it was the
Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time Lloyd Axworthy and he was talking about
what had happened with Milosevic and in the former Soviet Union in Yugoslavia
and the atrocities that were being committed and he said that he that he
was caught unawares by that because he didn’t have the imagination for that
kind of evil and I thought well you know you think that what you’re doing is
signaling your virtue by making a statement like that but from my
perspective all you’re doing is stating your cowardice and your historical
ignorance because if you’re gonna be Minister of Foreign Affairs you bloody
well better have imagination for that kind of evil because if you don’t then
anyone who does wins they beat you and so you you know and again in the Harry
Potter stories you see he’s touched by evil right he actually has a soul
fragment that’s embedded within him that’s as black as anything can possibly
be that’s why he could talk to snakes but without that he wouldn’t be able to
have any victory and that’s exactly right psychologically unless you can
think the way that an evil person thinks then you’re defenseless against them
because they’ll go places you can’t imagine and then they win and so the
best man I’ve met died it was interesting even when I was in junior
high in high school because most of my friends dropped out you know by the time
their grade 10 thereabouts and a lot of them were guys who developed physically
they’re pretty powerful and they’re just damn sick and put up their hand to go to
the bathroom I was like you know they’re not doing that anymore one of my friends
got kicked out when he sort of challenged the gym teacher you know
physically and the gym teacher he could do an Iron Cross he was a tough guy and
so it was no trivial matter for my friend to stand up to him but he got
expelled anyways but you know I noticed that it wasn’t it was often the kids
whose character I admired that either quit or got expelled and they were the
tougher guys who were just sick and tired of following rules that didn’t
take into account their character and then they’d go off and work on the oil
rigs or whatever and you could do that Albert at that time that was really hard
work you know so it wasn’t like they were necessarily taking
the easy path but like a harmless man is not a good man a good man is a very very
dangerous man who has that under voluntary control and
you know you also see that like one of the central mmm
female stories let’s say if the hero archetype is the central male story
there are variants of hero archetypes that are relevant to women and one of
them is Beauty and the Beast and you know Beauty isn’t interested in
the guy who isn’t the Beast she’s interested in the guy who’s the
Beast and that’s exactly right but she’s interested in the guy who’s the Beast
that can be civilized and disciplined right and who can use that in the
service well let’s say of a family and and that’s exactly well that’s exactly
how it should be so I gave a speech one of my very good friends got married a
few years ago and I gave a speech and at this speech he was a friend of mine seal
and at the speech I was talking about what it was to be a man and what when I
felt like I was a man and I said there was three things that that I felt let me
transition from being you know mentally insecure about who I was as a person to
being okay I’m actually good with Who I am
number one was learning how to fight and you know I got into Brazilian jiu-jitsu
and mixed martial arts and I learned how to fight and now all of a sudden when I
looked at other people I didn’t I wasn’t posturing I wasn’t trying to pretend
that I was tough I was I knew that most people that I would encounter I could
defeat in a physical altercation that was number one
number two was going into combat because even though you might be tough on him in
a street fight or in a fistfight with someone when you’re facing death well
that’s a whole nother level and for me going into combat well what was I gonna
act like was I gonna be scared was I gonna be a coward was I gonna be scared
of death and when I went into combat I wasn’t I was fine I was okay with the
fact that I could die and and I was okay with that and I made good
decisions and and did what I was supposed to do and the last one was a
cop married and had kids because all of a sudden all these things these being
aggressive and working to fight and be able to destroy in an efficient way well
then I took that and combined it with okay now I’m gonna take care of these my
wife and our children and that’s what I’m gonna do and my point in giving this
speech was he was a guy that had learned how to fight he was a guy that had been
in combat and now there was one more step to take which was okay now you’re
gonna get married and you’re gonna take care of these people so it’s interesting
that that once again that dichotomy that that you talk about it fits perfectly
into the way I figure things out as a guy that went to high school and join
the military it’s kind of its kind of really but it reinforces what you always
say which is that there’s there’s deeper meaning there’s a reason why I’m
thinking that and the reason is because I’ve because of the things that you talk
about the way these things are overlaid throughout history for human beings to
have gotten to this point yeah well you acted it out you know which is what
you’re supposed to do and it’s also it’s better to act it out and to understand
it you know that’s that’s best it’s better it’s better to understand it and
not act it out than to not understand it at all but the best is to act it out and
understand it and because then you can you know then then the way that you
represent the world and yourself is in accordance with the way that you act and
that’s that’s that’s optimized yeah and it’s it’s something that I was kind of
acting out again no no real guy like my guidelines were like I was raised in the
SEAL Teams yeah that was sort of my guidelines it and here’s a good example
when I first got in the SEAL Teams there’s no war going on so what did what
did a good seal do you know you did you went out and drank and gotten bar fights
mm-hmm that’s what a good seal did so you know what I did went out drank
gotten bar fights that’s what okay that’s what I’m supposed to do it took
me a while to figure out though there’s actually something more than that like
we’re actually supposed to be preparing for war and and and so now like you said
I I definitely acted things out and sort of was on a decent path but as I got
older and more mature and to this day as I can look around and actually overlay
the understanding the way I’ve carried out my life is very
it’s very helpful to me and it also helps me explain it to other people that
see the path at home and go they they like that path they would like to join
me on that path and I get guys that you know when I was in I I you know I can’t
look like a serial killer for all practical purposes I’m that’s the way I
come across right nobody was not creepy enough there’s
there’s guys that would you know guys that would work for me or guys that
would be around me and they’d see me and they’d kind of latch on to the fact that
I was tough and aggressive and and and some of those guys they wouldn’t catch
the other part which was that I was politically savvy and I was working and
I was maneuvering and I was you know figuring things out and talking to my
boss in such a way that we could get where we needed to be and I was doing
that whole other side and so I get these guys that would end up not doing as well
as they should do because they were just hey jock was just ultra aggressive and
he gets after it and so that’s what I’m gonna do and I’ll be in the same place
the guys that would do well the guys that said oh yeah jock was awesome and
he’s aggressive and he gets after it he’s also working and he’s also
maneuvering he’s also massaging the egos of the people around him so make sure
that they get positioned in the right spot where they can go to warp off in
the right way and and so as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to tell people that
more clearly like hey it’s not just about that side of the ultra-aggressive
you got to be aggressive you got to be willing to fight you got to be willing
to kill and you got to be willing to die at the same time you got to be able to
tamper and temper all those things in such a way that they can be controlled
and disciplined well I also think that that’s part of what makes a world
peaceful in the final analysis because if you’re around people who are
dangerous but disciplined then everyone watches their step and that’s exactly
what should happen everybody should watch their step and if you do if
there’s no reason for that then well there’s no there’s no sanction for for
poor behavior for example like I mean if you if you’re going to discipline a
child the child has to be convinced that you’re a force that’s worthy of paying
attention to you know I see kids there’s a chapter in my book
called don’t ever don’t let your children do anything that makes you
dislike them and I’m pretty happy about this chapter although I suspect it’ll be
rather controversial and you know it’s predicated first on the observation that
many people hurt their children physically and psychologically
you know because everyone gets sentimental about the relationship
between parents and children but that’s especially in relationship to themselves
because they think well you know of course I’m going to be a good parent
it’s like it’s not so bloody obvious that you’re gonna be a good parent you
know and so and then what I see happening with people who don’t know how
to discipline their children is that the children run roughshod over them in
there let’s call them hierarchical disputes because children push for
position in hierarchy and they do that behaviorally to sort of feel out the
contours of the social structure so you know your kid like perfectly fine at
home let’s say at the dinner table but then you take them to a stranger’s
dinner table and all of a sudden they act out and you think what’s up with you
you little monster and what’s up is that they’re trying to figure out what the
power structure is in the new they don’t know this of course but they’re acting
this out they’re trying to figure out if the same rules apply in this new
situation as apply in the old situation and they can’t ask that and they don’t
even know that they are rules exactly there are regularities that they’ve
learned and so they’ll test and test and then you have to show them that yeah
it’s the same here it’s the same in this situation but lots of parents are very
uneasy with disciplining their children partly because they’re they believe that
if you give a child infinite freedom that’s best for them and that
constraints are inappropriate which is really just well I don’t know what to
say about that except it’s so untrue that that it’s very difficult to think
of anything that’s more untrue than that but also the thing is is if you let your
children take advantage of you if you have an ounce of spine and an ounce of
aggression which you do especially if you don’t admit it then you will take
revenge on your children you know so if they have a temper tantrum in a grocery
store and embarrass you which a child whose County can do quite effectively
you know because you wouldn’t let them have that pack of crayons or a chocolate
bar and and then you know you you tell yourself it’s okay and that you
still you know that that really didn’t make you that angry and it’s okay but
you’re filming inside and then you go home and half an hour later maybe the
child is doing some interesting little bit of work maybe artwork or something
or does something good and comes up for a reward it’s like the probability that
you’re gonna reward that child properly under those circumstances zero you’re
gonna take the opportunity to take your revenge and if you don’t know that then
you’re not much of a parent and so part of the trick with kids is that if your
child is doing something that makes you dislike them that you have to figure out
how to stop them from doing that and teach them how to do it properly and you
have to talk to your wife to make sure that you’re not being too much of a
monster you know and the same with her but that that discipline is partly what
enables you to continue to like your child well you love them and even more
than that you know parents talk about fostering self-esteem and fostering
creativity and all of that and their kids and I think that’s misbegotten it’s
shallow for a variety of reasons first it’s not that easy to foster creativity
because it’s rare and self-esteem is a very badly defined concept and mostly
it’s been used for harm not good what your job is as a parent is to help your
child learn from between two years old and say four years old how to act in the
world so that when people encounter them people smile and are happy they’re
around because then you know I’ve seen kids who behave badly and everywhere
they go people wear false smiles and everywhere they go people are relieved
when they leave and that means you think about that world from the child’s
perspective everyone’s lying and all everyone hates them that’s their world
and then if you have your child you know capable of adhering to minimal social
requirements like maybe being able to sit at the tables in a civilized manner
for an hour and being grateful for being fed let’s say and knowing how to share
and knowing how to pay attention to adults and and not having that you know
that kind of terrible cynicism and and arrogance that
develop even in the four-year-old child who’s always had its way then then
they’ll interact with adults in a manner that bring out the best and the adults
and every year they go everyone smiles at them and Pat’s them on the head maybe
even tells them useful and interesting things and so the whole world opens up
for them and that’s all a consequence of you having enough courage to admit to
yourself that your child can do things that you don’t like and that you will
take it out on them if you don’t straighten it out and people don’t like
that idea because they think well I’d never do anything you know I love my
child I’d never do anything to hurt them it’s like yeah Oh God right you know
you’re so you’re so asleep if you think that that that there’s almost no hope
for you you have to think I’m way bigger than this child and I’m way meaner and
I’m wait Rekia and I’m Way more unpredictable and so I better be very
careful in my relationships with this child so that the worst of me doesn’t
come out and then that gives you enough intelligence to make a disciplinary
framework that’s minimal and enforce it properly and carefully and then you can
have an unbelievably good relationship with your kids so and this idea of
discipline obviously I talk about discipline a lot and one of the things
you were talking about earlier with regards to veterans and people that have
listened to your lectures and it’s the same thing with me people that listen to
this podcaster or read the books and and one of the things that I’ve noticed and
I’ve talked about and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on is you know when
you’re in the military you have this discipline and beyond that beyond the
discipline that’s imposed on you you also have a lot that you have to just
hold the line yourself I mean when you’re in the military sure you go
through boot camp where there’s a drill instructor that jellien and all that but
it once you’re in the military you’re doing what you have to do it’s self
discipline that you learn that and you become self disciplined and what happens
is guys get out and that’s that’s gone and that hurts them and the other thing
that hurts them is they don’t know what their mission is anymore
and and my big thing with people I’ve been telling vets now is find what
your next mission is go find whatever your next mission and I don’t care what
it is but it has to be something and I was listening to you talk on something
the other day and and you were you were talking about how not doing anything
when people are not going anywhere when they’re when they’re failing when
they’re when they don’t have the drive it’s because they’re not accepting
responsibility for anything and and so my way of saying that is like you need a
new mission you can’t be responsible for something and you need to go and move
towards some new mission and and do you encounter people that or you see people
that’s very problematic in the civilian side as well where people they just
don’t know what they’re doing yeah don’t take responsibility for anything that’s
a part of this nihilism you know is that because first of all you learn the truth
is relevant relative and that there’s no real moral order and you know that
alleviates you of responsibility and that’s why that’s such an attractive
message to people but the problem is is that it kills you it kills your soul so
to speak because well when we can talk about this technically so you know there
are systems neurological systems that underlie your experience of negative
emotion and there are neurological systems that underlie your experience of
positive emotion and there are separate systems they obviously interact but
they’re separate systems so but the positive emotion system well there’s two
of them but one of them sort of kicks in when you get something that you want so
you know you’re hungry and you eat and that feels good and so that’s kind of
the simple one but there’s a more sophisticated one
that I think is even more active in people and it’s the one that tells you
that you’re moving forward towards something worthwhile and that’s actually
the one that gives people that sense of a meaningful engagement in their life on
a moment-to-moment basis so and and it’s also it’s also something that doesn’t
have to go away like if you’re hungry and you eat well that’s good but it’s
over and then you’re on to the next thing right it’s not exactly sustaining
it’s just necessary that’s called consume Ettore reward by the way this
other reward system is incentive reward and the incentive reward system works on
dopamine this neurochemical dopamine would
is also the neurochemical tracks that opiates and cocaine and amphetamines the
drugs that people really like to abuse alcohol often for some people activate
and so you might say if you don’t have enough meaning in your life then you’re
more prone to addiction and that’s definitely the case even with rats if
you take a rat you put him in a cage by himself and he has nothing to do and
then you give him access to cocaine he’ll get addicted to the point where he
won’t do anything but take cocaine but if you throw the rat back in with a
bunch of other rats and he gets to do rat things then it’s very hard to get
him addicted to cocaine and so the purposeless rat is prone to addiction
well it’s the same with human beings now here’s a corollary to that which is
really cool so the magnitude of the reward you experience as you’re moving
towards a goal is proportionate to the importance of the goal so that means the
more important the goal you pick the more possibility there is for the kind
of reward let’s say it’s really a state of being that is life-affirming and it
is directly life-affirming in that you know like if you’re in a football game
and you’re and it’s an important football game and maybe you break a
finger and you know normally that’s that’s a problem it hurts and you’re
gonna stop doing whatever you’re doing but if you’re right in the middle of the
game then you’ll be so amped up on this reward system that its analgesic it
stops the pain it also suppresses anxiety so if you have a purpose then
its analgesic it takes some of the pain out of life it’s very positive in that
it motivates and energizes you and focuses you and makes you able to
remember and pay attention and it quells fear and so those things are all direct
and so then you might think well what’s the best possible goal well and that’s
that’s the purpose I would say of religious training and philosophical
training it’s like just what the hell are you doing in the world you know when
I would say well that’s actually fairly easy – also – also lay out and this is
why nihilism is a much weaker philosophical position than it might
appear to be it’s like well there are lots of terrible things happening in the
world if you’re not I don’t care if you’re a believer in atheist er
or a cynic of the highest sort you listen to a story like the one that you
wrote read at the beginning of the of this podcast and no one says well in a
hundred thousand years who the hell cares so why does it matter no one says
that they listen to that not if they’re human they listen to that story and they
think that’s not good it’s like that’s right that’s not good
it’s not good you should do something about that because it’s it’s it it’s
it’s self-evidently not good so you might say well at least you can start
your self-organization by improving those things around you that are self
evidently not good and that’s easy man anybody can do this you can sit down for
ten minutes say well I’m going to be honest with myself like that’s a
horrible thing to do I’m going to be honest with myself okay I’m probably
doing a dozen stupid things that I could quit doing that are making my life less
more wretched and also the people around me and so you think okay what are those
things and you know if you really want to know you have to want to know and
you’re gonna get a bunch of information that you don’t want to hear but you’ll
know it’s true and you already knew it in some sense and then you can ask
yourself okay that’s sucks and it’s miserable and it’s not very self
affirming is there one of those things I would I would be willing to do something
about that I would actually do something about you know that I could do something
about that I would do something about which is also another horrible question
because as soon as you get an answer to that then you have a responsibility
right it’s like oh god I have to go do that and it’s something you don’t want
to do you don’t want to do it that’s why you’ve been avoiding it and so then it’s
right in front of you and it’s like it’s some little trivial horrible thing that
you’re not gonna get a pat on the back for no one’s gonna give you an award for
it and and most people would just say Jesus you should have done that a long
time ago you moron and but then you go do it that’s kind of humility I would
say and then you keep doing that and it’s like there’s this injunction in the
New Testament against praying in public you know and it’s like virtue signaling
it’s like you don’t pray in public because then you go out and
you’d show everybody just what a great believer you are and how good you are
it’s like well that’s what you’re doing you’re not trying to get your act
together that’s something you do in private at home you think okay what kind
of moron am i and what stupid things am i doing and then what could I possibly
do to get rid of one of those a little bit now well anybody can do that and
that’s associated with these great evils you know in this way that we’ve already
described it’s like you’re constraining you’re improving your character and
you’re constraining the kinds of actions and perceptions that you have that are
gonna make you sick of life and work against it because failure does that
that’s the Keynes story it’s like keep screwing up man
see what happens if you think that isn’t gonna make you bitter and if that isn’t
gonna make you vengeful and if that isn’t gonna make you work to hurt people
around you or at least not to help them which is the same thing then you’re just
not paying attention everyone knows that’s true so well that’s
responsibility right and then so you take on this great task of putting
yourself together it gives you life meaning and that also helps you be
brought just against the fact that there’s lots of suffering in life and
there’s lots of malevolence it’s like yeah true man
absolutely it’s worse than you think even but you can do more about it than
you think and there’s nothing in it except good but you also have to take
responsibility so that’s the thing you got to decide if that’s what you’re
gonna do but you don’t get to whine about it if you don’t because you
haven’t tested it so people don’t even have to look for some grand goal in the
sky some elevated goal of what they’re gonna do whether it’s a financial goal
whether it’s a non-profit goal and they’re gonna they can look around their
bedroom and figure out what they’re gonna do right now well what improve
things one of the things I learned from reading Solzhenitsyn is he talked about
his moral transformation in the camps and he said the first thing that
transformed him to some degree was looking at people in the camps who did
refuse to do immoral things no matter what he said he ran into people like
that and that just blew him away because you already laid that out it’s like
these are he said they were too choosing between their life and their
conscience and they chose their conscience like and and he tells some
amazing stories in The Gulag Archipelago about you know dozens of people he meant
like that met like that and they’re just there’s stories that of heroism moral
heroism under absolutely vicious conditions there you just can’t believe
them you know so so that’s pretty amazing but he said that once he kind of
figured out that there was a difference between attending to your conscience and
doing whatever was necessary to prolong your miserable existence that he started
to think about that deeply and that he went over his life with a fine-tooth
comb and tried to figure out everything he did that he knew was wrong and then
to try to figure out what he could do in the present to rectify that you know you
wouldn’t necessarily be able to to atone that’s the right that’s the right way of
thinking about it you know you do something wrong and well maybe you can’t
even fix it with the person you did the wrong to but maybe there’s something
else you could do that would be good enough so that you know you can think
okay well at least those balance out and maybe I’m a little bit on the side of
the positive so he did that you know and that he said that’s straightened him out
a lot and then he wrote this book this amazing book that you know cut the
communist intellectuals off at their knees and and changed the world really
and that’s a hell of a thing for someone to do who’s a you know miserable Zek in
a in a concentration camp that’s a hell of a story man and it’s not the only one
like it so you don’t know how much power you have where you stand even if you
look weak and and and if what’s around you is terrible well then you’ve got
lots of things to do that’s for sure and they’re announcing themselves right
there so and well and it’s tying it in with evil and suffering that is best for
me because it’s so real you know it’s like you can be skeptical about the
existence of the good but if you if you open your eyes and you do any amount of
studying and even any amount of self-examination you can’t be skeptical
about the existence of evil I don’t believe that you can there are things
that read about unit 731 and then see how skeptical you are about evil I
wouldn’t recommend that by the way because that’s that is
so horrible that you can’t really read it without being traumatized it is
unbelievably horrible you read that and then you say well morality is relative
it’s like see if you can mater those words after reading that and then if
morality isn’t relative and there is evil then there is good it’s at least
whatever isn’t evil right you can whatever doesn’t cause that is good it’s
sort of defining it by its opposite but that’s okay it doesn’t matter it’s good
enough and so how do how do guys going back to the the PTSD conversation a
little bit how do you guys that sort of experienced this evil part of not only
of the world but of themselves cuz they had to do some things that they didn’t
want to do or they didn’t like doing and things that made them feel like uhm
there’s a dark part of me that I don’t really like too much what’s the what’s
the you know from what I’ve said is you gotta embrace that that the fact that
there’s darkness in the world and that there’s darkness in you you got to
embrace that and get a hold of it not try and disguise it not try and make it
seem like it’s not there that’s the same thing you’re saying right yeah well you
know when you’re in really did they say there’s no atheists in foxholes you know
and and that’s that’s you know it’s a bit of a cliche but but there’s there’s
a deep truth in that which is in there’s some circumstances that you find
yourself in for which only religious language works and if you happen to do
observe yourself doing something that’s highness enough to damage you
psychologically then you’re in the realm of good and evil archetypal good and
evil and and unless you can start to conceptualize the world in that manner
you’re never going to make sense out of it and so partly it D personalizes it
you know it’s it’s you that did this but it’s like the capacity for evil isn’t
just you it’s it’s part of humanity maybe it’s part of the structure of the
cosmos and you happen to stumble over it naively and so it hurt you you know
there’s this old Egyptian story about a god named Horus and he’s the god of
attention so he’s represented by the Egyptian eye so he pays attention
he’s also a Falken and Falken has great vision and flies above everything right
and and he’s also the the force that revitalizes the dead farther in in
egyptian mythology but he has a fight with his evil uncle set who is a
precursor to the idea of satan and then you can tell by partly because the words
are quite similar and he has a terrible battle with Seth who’s taken over the
kingdom and and is a terrible tyrant and is killing everyone and and everything’s
going to hell and he has a battle with him to regain control of his kingdom and
that’s fine and he’s a god and so is set and they have a fight and it’s a
terrible fight and during the fight seth tears out one of his eyes when you think
well that’s a god right and nonetheless he ends up with his vision damaged his
consciousness damaged now he gains a different kind of sight he gains insight
right because now he knows the nature of evil but he pays a big price for it and
so you think well if that’s the case for a god how much more is it the case for a
man to be damaged it’s like absolutely right it’s no joke to encounter
malevolence you know I’ve seen that in my clinical clients too I had a client
who was terrified into nightly convulsions for four years by the look
on her boyfriend’s face when he attacked her it took me a long time to unpack
that it was like a three-month process but it was the it was see she was very
naive very very very naive because her parents had raised her in a world where
the Evil Queen was not allowed to visit like the parents and Sleeping Beauty so
she was way too sheltered and she thought that human beings were only good
you know and then she saw the look on his face that indicated that he was out
to consciously harm her and he he couldn’t they had a fight a physical
fight and she was strong enough to to prevail he wasn’t that big but that
wasn’t the point it shattered her world because she didn’t understand until that
point that someone could actually consciously want to hurt you you know
that that wasn’t just they weren’t just in a bad mood and it wasn’t just because
of the way they were raised and you know all those excuses that people come up
that he was not only going to hurt her but he was going to enjoy it
and if you don’t understand the part of you that’s capable of that then well
you’re you’re dangerously dangerously naive and dangerous as well because you
don’t know what you’re capable of so a lot of these things that you bring up
are about leadership and and you know I talk about leadership all the time
and one of the things that you know I heard you say and you’ve talked about
with with chimpanzees and other hierarchies that are out there including
lobsters which I know you like quite a bit and you know even lobsters have a
dominance hierarchy which is which is definitely incredible since how big is
their brain oh it’s it’s not like it’s mostly distributed through their bodies
I mean it’s not that big and yeah it is absolutely unbelievable to know that the
hierarchical arrangement like it’s a the reason it’s a symbolic reality so that
would be the great father let’s say the reason that’s a symbolic reality is
because you can’t see a hierarchy like if you look at the world you don’t see a
hierarchy but chimps know exactly where each chimp is in the hierarchy so for
example a low-ranking mature chimp won’t attack a high-ranking juvenile even
though he could tear him apart because he knows that that juvenile is
actually an illusion the juvenile is the juvenile plus all the other chimps that
will come to his rescue right so he can’t perceive the hierarchy with his
eyes but he can perceive the hierarchy with his emotions okay so that hierarchy
is essentially eternal it’s at least 350 million years old and it’s and we
perceive that all the time we look at hierarchical posturing we look at we and
we live in hierarchies of competence mostly so that’s that’s that’s a
universal truth and the fact that you have to struggle with the fact of the
hierarchy is also universal truth and you actually see this being played out
to some degree in the leftist feminist arena because really what’s happening is
they they look at the hierarchy let’s say the male high
your key they don’t attribute it to it mmm competence they attribute to it
power and they make the presupposition that you get to the top by being the
meanest most exploitive creature possible and so these are often damaged
women who’ve never had a good relationship with men with a man and who
can’t distinguish between competence and power there’s a big difference because
hierarchy that’s only based on power is a tyranny but a hierarchy based on
competence is something that gets things done like that’s exactly what you want
in a hierarchies that the competent people climb the hierarchy so you can
tell who’s competent out the top and you you made reference to the chimpanzee
work I mean friends the wall has showed quite clearly that unstable chimp power
hierarchies are based on tyranny so it is that the ugliest meanest brute of a
chimp gets to the top but like as soon as he has a bad day than two 3/4 as
strong chimps tear them into pieces and the chimps that manage to maintain power
at the top or let’s say Authority because that’s a better work because we
got to get our words right that’s a chimp that has friends and that engages
in reciprocal grooming and that pays reasonable attention to the females and
so it’s so interesting to see that because it shows that even at that level
of biological organization there’s already a morality of leadership yeah
that what we’re that strikes me is so interesting and I try to explain this to
people all the time because well in the SEAL Teams again you you might think the
same thing well the biggest toughest seal that can destroy everyone else is
gonna be the leader that everyone looks to and it’s just not true and in fact a
lot of times those guys that might be the biggest and the strongest and the
fastest they’re they’re actually arrogant as well because they’ve they
think they can beat everyone and no one wants to work for those people and so it
happened when I first started my consulting business and and I would have
you know a CEO say I can’t wait till you come in and just whip my people into
shape and I’d say well you need to find somebody else that’s gonna wet people in
mache because I don’t do that and and they
couldn’t quite put together that me would wasn’t into whipping people in the
shape and know what I wanted to actually do is teach people to lead and to lead
people my selves if and when you’re leading you’re not having to whip people
in fact yeah that’s an indication that you’re not lead exactly that way as a
leader where I the the place where I usually found myself was I’m actually
having to pull the reins back on people because they’re going far and away above
what I actually would even want and expect them to do they want to go even
more and do more to accomplish the mission then that’s where you want to
get and I find it interesting that you know you talk about that all the time
that it’s and it’s not the person with the biggest club it’s not the person
that’s the meanest and the most aggressive sure they might they might
rise for a minute they might get some control and that happens in any
organization oh if you’ve got a CEO that really he’s just a tyrant and everyone’s
scared of him he can make some things happen for a little while and then all
of a sudden someone says I’m oh he wants us to do it that way I’m gonna do a
little sabotage right just a little sabotage your project that you want us
to get done by October 31st Oh get got delayed boss yeah you can go nuts and
you can yell and scream but you should have listened to me when I said we
needed more time and now guess where we are yeah we didn’t deliver the product
we’re supposed to deliver so you can yell and scream all you want
it’s not gonna get that product delivered yeah well any few tyrannize
people badly enough they’ll actually hurt themselves to hurt you
so you know they’re willing to take a they’re willing to take a hit to reclaim
justice let’s say so yeah that’s really worth knowing and so one of the things
that John Piaget pointed out and because he was he’s a very interesting
psychologist a and and and he’s never taught properly because you know most of
these great thinkers were very strange people and the strangeness gets added
out of their stories and it’s really too bad because they’re way more interesting
when you know how strange they were and so Piaget was obsessed with the
disjunction between religion and science and his goal as a thinker was to
reconcile the two and so to some degree he was looking for
a biological basis of morality that might be one way of thinking about it or
at least to reconcile the idea of a biological substrate with an emergent
morality and one of the things he said is okay imagine two systems
alright so both systems are moving towards a goal
any old arbitrary goal and in one system the the people within interacting under
compulsion and in the other system the people within it are acting voluntarily
said the people who are acting voluntarily will defeat the people
acting under compulsion because in order to use compulsion you have to spend a
fair bit of time and energy on force and so it makes you inefficient
whereas if everybody is together on the project then they’ll you don’t have to
spend any time on compulsion because people are compelling themselves and so
that’s what he called an equilibrate state so an equilibrate the state was
well we sit down and we have a negotiation it’s a real negotiation so
it has to be honest and we say okay well what the hell are we doing
and everyone hashes that out and we decide what we’re doing and then we
decide how that would be good for all of us but each of us singularly as well so
if you got your family put together properly then the whole family moves
together but everybody inside moves ahead as well and so then everybody’s
pushing in the same you know you know how it is what in a negotiation you
actually want your interests to align with the interests of the other person
because then you don’t have to worry about the integrity of the deal it’s
like everybody has reasons to keep it to keep it thriving and the idea that
capitalism in somehow is somehow is predicated on the tyranny of the people
at the at the pinnacle that happens when it gets corrupt but it doesn’t happen at
all when it’s working properly because deals that aren’t based on mutual
self-interest and group interest simultaneously have to be enforced
usually with lawyers and then you’re done right you’re done at that point
that’s that’s actually incredible so I would when I worked with companies ever
I was working with a company they’re a couple of years ago maybe even three or
four years ago and you know they were talking about how they needed to hold
their salespeople accountable and that’s what they needed to do and they needed
more accountability in the sales leadership underneath them needed to
hold all their frontline sales leaders accountable for
everything and follow these rules and make these numbers of calls and do these
follow-up things and send the follow-up emails and they need to get this
accountability thing going and this was the winner when I heard this guy saying
this is the first time I said because I heard this a lot this is word
accountability and leadership you hear oh well we just need better
accountability better accountability and it’s a trick because you think about it
and you say to yourself well if I’m in charge of you guys and I’m gonna hold
you accountable to make sure you do everything you’re supposed to do well
then we will successfully do what it is you you will do because I held you
accountable I made you do it the problem is in any organization
there’s too many people to hold everyone accountable to everything that they’re
supposed to be doing stuff just doesn’t work and so you could take one group and
this is what I said I said if you’ve got one group where you have to hold them
accountable for each and everything that you do and you and you try and do that
versus a group where people know what they’re supposed to do and they want to
go and do it and go which which team is gonna win and these another group that
wants to do themselves like oh that’s what you need to do is get them to want
to do with themselves that’s leadership that’s well exactly that’s exactly right
I mean look if you get people to track everything they do it takes them longer
to track and then to do it plus they hate it they hate it because they’re not
being trusted and it’s the most terrible dull administrative work and it just
kills people who are actually productive because they’re driven crazy by that
it’s like leave me the hell alone so I can do my work you know and so yeah so
so there’s something that here’s an interesting little fact that I think is
really cool I found this out this is from the psychological literature so
I’ve been interested in how to increase people’s motivation for a long time you
know and and there’s a nice literature on that and and part of it was as was
created by late Latham and Locke Gary Latham and Edwin Locke and they’re
looking at goal-setting that’s how well they described it as a means to improve
business productivity and so what they imagined that you have two teams and you
get them to set goals and one team sets goals for their corporate productivity
and another team sets goals for their life and then you match them
head-to-head over some period of time and see which one comes up
and what happens is the people who set goals for their life beat the people who
set goals for the company and so that’s really and then there’s a variety of
other literature’s that support that kind of hypothesis but it’s it’s it’s
very very worthwhile thinking that through because what you want if your
company is structured properly if you want people in it who have a life right
so they’re aiming at things that they think are valuable because they’re just
not going to be motivated period unless they’re aiming at things they think are
valuable and then you want their loyalty that to the company to be nested inside
that so they have to see that working there no matter what it is that they’re
doing and now you know often jobs are repetitive and dull and difficult and
and challenging and all of that or you wouldn’t be paid to do them right
they’re not all fun and games but if you can see that the less intrinsically
interesting things that you’re required to do are related in some directly
intelligible way to goals that you regard as valuable then that tags those
activities with this dopaminergic kick that we were talking about earlier so
you need this hierarchy of values right just like here’s what I’m doing with my
life here’s why my job is important to that or maybe it isn’t and then you have
to quit and go find a new job but that’s fine but you know because you might
discover that too and so we started trying to formalize this but at the same
time that I also realized something that I’ve never recovered from realizing I
think so I teach students usually for this class it was third and fourth-year
students and so this is at the University of Toronto they’re pretty
smart kids it’s a hard university to get into and they’re pretty disciplined and
they’re actually quite conservative all things considered and I was teaching
them about stories and about the fact that our life is a story with a goal and
a purpose and and a beginning point and and I was encouraging them to develop
their own stories so I had them write an autobiography and they really got into
that that was quite amazing to identify you know to break their life into epochs
and then to describe the important episodes in each epoch both positive and
negative and what they might do to the possibility of the negative in the
future and to capitalize on the positive which is the purpose of memory by the
way and then also to write a plan for the future and so we we formalized that
so the plan is okay first of all you have to get yourself in the right
mindset and the mindset is you’re trying to take care of yourself like you would
care for someone that you cared for now it’s a hard mindset to get into because
people like their pets better than they like themselves often mm-hmm and then
you have to have a vision and so the vision would be well okay three to five
years down the road if your friendship networks were configured properly what
would that look like if you were pursuing the career that would be
appropriate for you and sustaining for you what would that look like how are
you going to educate yourself how are you going to take care of yourself
mentally and physically what do you want for an intimate relationship and how are
you going to handle temptations like alcohol and drug abuse because they take
people down pretty frequently so all you have to do is think about okay
what could that be like if you had what you needed not some wild fantasy but but
realistic and what you needed so that’s the first part and then okay now write
for 20 minutes about what your life could be like three to five years down
the road if all of this came together and then now do the opposite so imagine
all your weaknesses and all the ways that you can go down the wrong path and
then imagine that gets the upper hand then imagine where you are in three to
five years so then you get a polarity a it’s like not this and then and yes this
so you can run away from the things you don’t want and you can run towards the
things you do want that gets your anxiety behind you instead of in front
of you right because maybe you’re gonna go do something difficult and you’re
afraid of it and then you think well if I don’t do this I’m gonna end up there
it’s like oh okay that’s so terrible that this little terrible is nothing so
and then in the next part of the exercise you turn that into an
implementable plan you know and you write about why your life would be
better and why your family’s life would be better and why your community’s life
would be better so it’s like fully articulated and we’ve tested about
10,000 university students without now in three different locales and we’ve
increased the probability that they’ll stay in university by about 30% and
raised their grade point average about the same and it’s worked best for men
who are most who were doing the least well so in Holland those were
non-western ethnic minority men and they improved their performance enough to
actually slightly exceed the Dutch national women who were at the top
otherwise over two years yeah it was unbelievable it just blew us away it’s a
psychological intervention to cure What’s in hypothetically a sociological
problem and so and so that that’s a good example of how and it did what blew me
away when I was first considering this is I had all these students 21 years old
and I realized that no one had ever sat them down not even once in their entire
career in education it said okay who do you want to be like what sort of
person is it that you want to be not not job it’s like character what do you want
your life to be like what should it be like and what shouldn’t it be like and
like write about that seriously like your life depends on it because it does
and and then I thought well that’s so weird why in the world isn’t our
education system set up to help people with that because it’s like that’s kind
of obvious you know it’s like what are you doing and why and then I did some
reading partly from John Gatto who’s done some interesting work looking at
the history of the education system and it was a derivation of the Prussian
education system back in the late 1800s and it was designed to produce obedient
obedient well it was partly soldiers but it was partly workers I was gonna say it
definitely was soldiers cuz yeah that was the transition when they they had
the transition take place at that time as well where they moved away from
centralized command after they got beat by Napoleon and they never they were
constantly trying to fight towards that direction where the soldiers would not
just be obedient because they realized that that is not what they actually
wanted they don’t they finally started to do at the end of World War one and
and if they would have done it earlier it might have turned the tide of the war
but that was what you know that’s what world war two the
Blitzkrieg and and total decentralized command and elements just going out and
making things happen and finding gaps in the defenses and attacking them as
opposed to you’re just gonna wait until you’re told what to do right and that
was the the German way and decentralized command so right yes well well
competence beats obedience right so you unite people under a goal and then you
let them act autonomously you got to get them you got to not sell them the goal
that’s not right you know what you have to do is you have to go in and talk to
them and discover what the goal is of the enterprise and what it is that fires
people up and that really does work you know and the idea that capitalism is
essentially crooked and it’s the people who are who are pulling the wool over
other people’s eyes who win is like well you know now and then there’s a criminal
action and the person gets away with it so to speak although people get away
with a lot less than they think but most of the time within a functional company
you better have your people on board or they will do exactly what you said
they’ll do they’ll spend 80 percent of their time sabotaging the company yeah
and I I again something I learned working with the corporate world and it
was working with the corporate world where I reflected on what I did and and
was talking to a elite of business leader at some point and I said well you
know your people can understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and so
then he’s you know absorbs that and says okay that’s make sense and so then he
gets up in front of his team and he says you know well the reason why we’re doing
this is we want to improve our profitability as a company and you know
he sat down and we talked afterwards he said did I did I do a good job cuz now
they understand that’s it oh no actually you missed it and then I started
explaining to them better because I learned that what you have to explain
there has to be a thread of why that goes all the way through the corporate
reason but that why has to come back down to the individual contributor so
they realize that when when we do better as a company when we’re more profitable
as a company we can put more money in or in marketing and we can produce stuff
cheaper because we’ll do it on a more mass scale than we can lower prices and
then we can actually hire more people that’s gonna make you
move up in this command here you’re gonna make more money we’re gonna sell
more stuff and you’re gonna get a bigger bonus so you doing this the reason why
you’re doing it is cuz then you can achieve those life goals because I want
to buy that house and that car and send your kid to school so there’s a big
difference you need to make sure that the people understand why they’re doing
it not for the corporate reason not for the mission reason but for for why it’s
gonna help them the exact same thing you just said yeah it’s also really helpful
to if you you know your corporation has I hate to use the word vision because
that’s you know turned into a buzzword but you know it’s often that you’re
working a company where worthwhile things are happening exciting and
worthwhile things you know and you’re you’re trying to well make something
better at a lower price let’s say and so there’s the the heroism let’s say of
producing a product that’s going to have a positive impact on the world and you
need to know how your small actions are tied with that greater goal and then
there’s this financial self-interest as well and and the thing is if you don’t
if you can’t tell your workers that story then either your company is
fundamentally corrupt because that isn’t the true story it’s like you’re actually
working so that I can rape and pillage the company over the next four years and
take all the value out of it and run because you know CEOs do that from time
to time yes or you don’t understand how the company works and you can’t tell the
story which means you’re basically incompetent so but well you people are
not wired up so that they will work without knowing why unless you beat them
and then if you beat them you don’t don’t be thinking that that’s victory
no so the temporary victory hmm it’s that’s also something really good
to know about marriage it’s like you can never win an argument with your wife
like you could if you only lived with her for one day right it’s like I won
see you later yes like no no she’s there the next day
and then she’s busy remembers that she does she does remember that yeah maybe
even more than you remember it you know and it also might be that she was right
and you just out argued her so you know and that’s something that’s really worth
knowing too because sometimes you know you have an argument with well let’s say
with your wife and she’s got something to say and it’s not very well
articulated same could be true for you so you can just brush it aside but you
don’t want to brush it aside because maybe there’s something there and if you
don’t address it then it’s not like it’s gonna go away man it’s gonna grow so
maybe you have to help her formulate her argument which is really annoying you
know because you want to win you having this disputes like I want to win it’s
like well you’re not winning that game you’re winning the game well I could
think about it as the game of games you want to win the set of games that
stretch across time the long war yeah that’s right because I’m waiting the
long where that little battle is knock no matter and in fact I don’t you should
not try and be right if you’re right everybody knows it’s fine
but there’s the worst thing you do is rub it in and see I’m right and you’re
wrong yeah yeah you do that a hundred times
and then like well you’re the you’re the winner and she’s the loser and then
that’s great cuz now you’re married to a loser I mean you know that’s if you do
that a hundred thousand times then your marriage is over and then and then
they’ll be hell to pay you can be sure of that
I got asked the other day what is the biggest problem in America and I thought
about it I hadn’t been asked that question lately I’ve been getting some
good questions a lot of times like you I get the same questions over and over and
over again but I guess asked what’s the biggest problem in America and I thought
about it for a second and this may or may not be right but I thought it was at
least thought-provoking I said that the biggest problem that we have in America
is that we don’t have any big problems and if you look at us in World War two
during the Depression during times where we’ve got major major problems the
country kind of unifies and it gets behind itself and joins together and you
know I talked about you know that we we live in a bubble here I kind of opened
up with that as well and and that’s good look I I want there
to be a bubble just like I want my family to live in a bubble and I almost
want I almost want my daughter to really really think it’s a real problem
that there’s not a strong Wi-Fi signal in her bedroom and so sometimes it takes
longer to do like I’ve kind of succeeded as a dad if that’s her problem she sees
that as a problem that you know it takes a little extra there’s a there’s a
longer buffering time on some of her Netflix right I’ve done a good job if
that’s a problem because you know God can only imagine what kind of problems
people really have but sometimes I feel like in America and really in the West
as a whole the problem is is that we don’t have any major problems so now
it’s the Wi-Fi in our bedroom that we’re getting crazy about and and and wanting
to lash out about and I guess my point here is that do we as individuals do we
need struggle there to keep us focused on the right things and as a country or
as a culture do we need to have some level of struggle before we start
looking at things that don’t matter and turning them into things that we
perceive as actually mattering yeah well you know a couple of things about that
Kierkegaard wrote about that back in the late 1850s thereabouts and he said there
will come a time when the best thing that you could do for people would be to
make things more difficult right and that’s a thing because everyone’s
working so hard on making things easier there will be no come a time when when
there’s a felt sense for difficulty and I think we’re at that point now and I
think that’s why this message of responsibility and truth is echoing so
nicely among particularly among young men because every time I talk about that
in my public talks the room goes silent and that’s really interesting and you
know people are dead focused on it and so like enough rights and freedom it’s
like truth and risk time for truth and responsibility and there’s something
noble about that and we haven’t been able to talk about nobility for god only
knows how long you know so I do think that’s the case and I think it’s a and
William James said that what we need is a moral equivalent to war so something
that’s as serious but that is hopefully not as destructive and so I really like
that idea as well so but I think that we are at that cave
at that point if people would open their eyes a little bit because we have this
unbelievable culture this technological culture that does provide the degree of
protection that you described that’s an ongoing miracle
right it’s absolutely unbelievable that any of this works at all and it could
easily not work and if it didn’t work there would be hell to pay
and and to keep it working and to keep it moving forward especially with what’s
going to come over the next ten years with with with artificial intelligence
and the sorts of things that were we’re learning and inventing we better have
our acts together and so I think that you can get that warlike sense if you
start to if you start to understand that you can take on your life like that
that’s also why I think it’s so necessary to see the world as a
battleground in some sense between good and evil but you don’t put the evil
outside like some of its outside obviously but that’s not your initial
concern your initial concern is to get your act together right to take on the
burden of being to bear the suffering like you said you found that when you
went out into combat that you know you might have been weary of death which is
perfectly reasonable but that you weren’t afraid of it to the point where
it would paralyze you well that’s a useful thing to know you know because it
means that you’re different than you thought you were you know because people
are afraid of suffering and death and especially if they’ve been completely
and constantly sheltered from it but you can discover and lots of people do that
if they actually confront it that they can tolerate it far better than they
thought I mean think about all the people who work in like palliative care
Awards you know or in funeral parlors for that matter like they’re confronting
death on an ongoing basis and yet every day they go to work so people are tough
and so I think there is a responsibility that everybody can take up and I think
the responsibility is something like well we need to decide if we’re gonna
collectively and individually tilt the world towards heaven or tilted towards
hell we saw what hell was like in the 20th century that could be back at our
doorstep in no time flat we should have learned that and it’s necessary for
people to understand the relationship between
their individual actions and the direction of culture as a whole you know
look at that guy in charge Charlottesville you know that was one
guy and he probably increased polarization in the United States by
like 5% or something you know it doesn’t take very many individual actions of
that pathological sort to tip things in a very terrible direction so I mean one
of the things I’ve been telling the people who’ve been watching my videos
and in the live conversations is that you have to take yourself seriously you
have to know that you’re a monster and that you’re capable of terrible things
and that it’s and that you have a responsibility to understand that to
incorporate it to constrain it and to discipline it and then to work for the
alleviation of suffering and the constraint of malevolence and if you
understand that then it can turn your life into a noble enterprise and then
you have some self-respect which beats the hell out of self-esteem in my
estimation so and I don’t think that that’s a difficult message for people to
understand I think they know that at a fundamental level and I think at the
moment they’re starving to death for it the subordinate principle so the the
thing when you talk about this elevated state this elevated thing I I think I’ve
figured out that what you’re talking about is essentially truth that is that
to you sort of the what we need to do is deal in truth on a daily basis in our
own lives and and in the lives with people around us well I think it’s two
things like in in in in in sort of classical Christian morality and I bring
it up because it’s sort of at this substructure of Western ethics there’s
two things there’s truth and love and and you know both of those words are
even hard to say because they be mouthed to death but but they have in some sense
they have a deep technical meaning and if you know that then it kind of
reignites their power and love is the decision that being is
worthwhile and should and that you should struggle to support and improve
it and that’s not a trivial thing because being is rife with suffering
you know everyone dies everyone gets sick like it’s it’s brutal it’s brutal
and it’s easy to turn against it and so the idea that you’re going to
voluntarily accept responsibility for that assume that it’s good or act as if
it’s good and try to improve it is no trivial matter and that means you have
to scour out the resentment and the arrogance and the deceit and primarily
and and it’s sort of based on this idea I would say is like well life is very
hard obviously but we’re not doing everything we could to make it better
and we’re often doing things to make it worse so even if it is suffering which
is true we have no idea how much we could ameliorate that if we all put our
efforts into it and so that’s a genuine question it’s like yeah there’s reasons
to shake your fist and curse God I mean everyone ends up in a situation like
that someone they love gets a terrible illness and disintegrates before their
eyes you know maybe they’re a really good person and they’ve done nothing you
would think of to deserve that and you know that terrible fate is visited upon
them it’s very difficult not to get cynical and angry under such
circumstances but then well that takes you down a very bad road if you do that
but it doesn’t it doesn’t it doesn’t change the fundamental question it’s
like if your life isn’t everything you think it should be you have to ask
yourself if you’re doing everything you can because you actually don’t get to
make a judgement about the structure of being until you do everything you can
and I would say that’s love essentially that’s the decision and then truth is
the best the best strategy with regards to that attainment and how could it be
otherwise like if you’re going to contend with reality you bloody well
better know what it is you know when truth isn’t your grandmother’s you know
your your your two tight laced grandmother’s moral finger wagging it’s
like the truth of existence is brutal and bitter and
so to be able to face that and and to admit to the things that you are and to
and to communicate them with other people especially in an intimate
relationship it’s like that’s that’s no cowardly morality that’s not the
morality of cowardice quite the contrary you know Nietzsche said you could assess
the spirit of a man by determining how much truth he could tolerate it’s like
that’s that’s the right that’s the right way of thinking about truth
well you opened this whole podcast with some truth it’s like who wants to hear
that you know and people think oh that’s so terrible and they don’t think well
could I be one of those Isis guys it’s like I can tell you if you’re bitter
enough especially if you hate women you know because they’ve rejected you
because you’re such so goddamn useless that no woman in their right mind would
look at you twice you know that’ll generate plenty of bitterness in your
soul and if you don’t think that you could act like that under those
conditions then you’re not even watching your own fantasies so truth in the
service of the betterment of being it’s something like that and that’s that’s
enough to give your life meaning I don’t care where you start like I had this kid
come and visit me a while back and he had never left his home state and he was
I think he was 19 and he was over protected and over sheltered and he was
a smart kid and so of course he also thought that the world really hadn’t
appreciated his gifts which is a very common feeling for smart kids who who
aren’t getting anywhere right they get really angry about that and then he
decided that he was gonna move out of his house and he took a job as a
dishwasher and he said he tried to do a good job as a dishwasher it’s like good
that’s some humility it’s just a dishwashing job but you know you can be
a good dishwasher and then the restaurant runs better and then it’s
kind of fun as long as the people you’re working with they’re half decent you can
make good social relationships and then you can learn to be social which was
happening to him and then maybe they let you be a short-order cook you know and
and you got a bit of a clue and then you have a bit of money and you have a
little independence and it’s a lot better than being at home and being
bitter and resentful and immature you know it’s just a dishwashing job
well that’s the wrong way of thinking about it it’s like it’s it’s the first
door that’s open to you you know and then he came up to Toronto he he never
been out of his home state so it was a big deal for him to come to another city
when he first came to talk to me it was outside of one of my lectures he
couldn’t even speak he was so nervous because he had pretty high levels of
social anxiety so his tongue tied and I invited him to come over to my house to
talk to him because I knew there was something up with him and he told me
this story you know and I thought well you know that’s the beginnings of a
heroic journey he was able to humble himself enough so that you know if
you’re low if you’re in a low place it’s a low door that’s gonna open and you
might think I’m too high to crawl through that low door Young said Carl
Jung said people modern people don’t see God because they don’t look low enough I
really like that idea but that’s it if you’re in a low place the opportunity
that presents itself to you is going to be low and it’s gonna be very tempting
to you because you’re arrogant resentful to say well that’s not good enough for
me it’s like well do you have an alternative if you don’t have an
alternative then an inch up is up and it’s the right trajectory you know and
so that’s humility that’s humility it’s like you’re low you take what you take
what’s given to you and you see if you can make it work and the thing is that
works way faster than people think even because I worked as a dishwasher
when I was a kid you know for you for a year or so and it was really hard to
begin with because I didn’t know what I was doing in the German chef who was
kind of a tough guy just let me flounder around for two weeks to see if I would
quit so I was there till like 3:00 in the morning
and I was 13 I think I couldn’t wash all these damn dishes I thought it was
impossible I told my dad at one point I said I don’t know if I can do this it’s
like I’m working as hard as I can and they keep piling up you know but I
didn’t stop and then the German cook you know who had been treating me pretty
harshly and one day he said okay I’ll show you how to do this and then he
showed me how to organize the dishes and everything it was like that was not no
problem I could do it like 10 percent of the time so then I cleaned up the rest
of the kitchen I had a good time mucking about with the chefs and we played
around a lot back there and I ended up working as a
short-order cook and I learned to cook and all of that and that was a good part
of my adolescence but but the thing is so the thing is is that those trivial
jobs it’s the conception of their triviality
that makes them trivial they’re not trivial not if you do them right and if
you’re around people who have any sense you know sensible people are always
looking around for other people who can do things right and if they see you
trying to do things right the probability that they’ll open a door for
you is virtually a hundred percent because it’s kind of rare you know so
they’re gonna be skeptical to begin with to see you got to prove your mettle
let’s say but as soon as you do they’ll think okay well we’ll give this kid a
little bit more opportunity and see what happens and you know to not think that’s
how the world works is to be extraordinarily cynical because that is
how it works in a functioning society yeah I mean I work with businesses all
the time and there is they make anybody that is just above normal competency in
anything that’s gonna try any move that’s gonna put effort in they love
those people and those people are gonna do well and you’re absolutely right that
doors are absolutely gonna open for them if they do what they’re trying to do to
the best of their ability and doing a competent job well the other thing
that’s interesting is what happens to people who aren’t trying because what
happens to them is like they’re in a place where there’s a thousand doors in
front of them that are invisible they don’t know the doors are there and they
could either be opened or closed and so if they’re one of these people who is
going above and beyond the call of duty unless the organisation is entirely
corrupt right and that happens sometimes then there are people who are watching
and they’ll start to open these invisible doors and then all of a sudden
the person has opportunities in front of them and they don’t even know why some
of the time right because someone said you know gave a positive word to someone
else and said to all you could take a look at this kid and so these doors open
and then the people who are in there grudgingly
and bitterly it’s like people watch that and they’re the people who are the
gatekeepers and they just closed the doors and then the person looks up and
there’s nothing in front of them there’s no open doors at all and
and then then they curse God you know for making such a miserable cosmos it’s
like no you just don’t understand what you just don’t understand what happened
is like the fruits of your bitterness that your bitterness manifested fruit
you don’t even know it you’ve delimited your options in a
terrible way and you’ve closed you know you’re you’re walking down you’re
walking between cliff walls and they’re getting closer and closer and closer
together and then you’ll be stuck and you’ll think how the hell did this
happen and it happened because you didn’t you didn’t avail yourself of the
opportunities that presented themselves to you so you know that’s horrible but
that’s that’s how it is I get asked a quite often you know this guy got
promoted and I should have gotten promoted what should I do now or this
person isn’t carrying their load and and they’re they think I should do their
work what should I do now and you know the answers yeah someone wants to do
that work do their work I’ll do that all day long yeah don’t kid yeah you you you
don’t want to do your job that’s fine oh yeah
and actually I got I just answered a question where somebody said today the
guy’s a friend of mine and he’s not carrying his load what should I do and I
said well how about you help him what’s going on at home is he going through a
divorce is he got issues is a kid sick how much you help them and say hey let
me let me take that off your plate right now because it two months or six months
you might be the person that needs help you might be the person with a sick
child but regardless that maybe he’s just as lazy and maybe he shouldn’t be
your friend and maybe eventually he won’t be your friend but nonetheless the
solution is the same if you don’t want to do your work that’s fine I’ll be
happy that that’s such a funny thing that’s exactly right because you know
what you want to do in your job is make yourself indispensable right in the way
you make yourself indispensable is by being indispensable and the way you do
that is by doing a bunch of things that if they’re not done catastrophe occurs
and that’s exactly right so if there’s someone around you and they’re
abdicating you’re their responsibility and you can pick it up it’s like what an
opportunity you know it’s you think well I’m not going to get credit for it it’s
like well first of all there’s lots of
different forms of credit but you learn and then when the company shrinks and
they’re looking at who to keep you know they think oh it turns out you’re doing
all sorts of so we can’t do without you that’s not what we expected we can’t do
without you here’s some more things you could do you
know and then you’re also in a position to bargain you can say well look you
know in order for me to keep doing this level of responsibility you know I need
to be paid more because I have other options or because it’s just or because
that will make me more efficient but then you’ve got some power to because
they need you and so indispensability and that’s power indispensability is
power not tyranny so now um obviously we started off talking about some very
negative stuff with with Isis and and you’ve touched on this a little bit
already but I I want to make sure we hit this hard enough and that is for people
to to live a better life to live a life that they’re proud of to live a life
that they that that when they die they don’t regret the life that they lived
and for me I mean I I tell people discipline equals freedom that the hard
work the doing the right thing you know I tell people to write down what you’re
supposed to do the next day before you go to bed and then you wake up and you
do the things that you’re supposed to do the things that you said you were
supposed to do the things that you actually know are going to make you
healthier and faster and smarter and stronger and and make you more money and
and move you forward and help your family you just write those things down
and then you go do them and and that’s essentially you’ve drawn that out on a
large scale with and you’ve described this somewhat with the experiment that
you did with with people writing down what they’re supposed to do not just
tomorrow but what their life that’s the future authoring program and that’s
that’s really been immensely beneficial for you it certainly seems to have been
um it’s at self authoring calm and we put up
discount code for your for your listeners it’s willing and so they can
get 20% off it and it this system allows you to write an autobiography and to
analyze your personality flaws and virtues and to write a future plan and
you can do all of those are one of them but yeah it’s it’s extremely useful
because one of the things you can be virtually certain of in life is that you
don’t get something you don’t aim at and one of the things that’s interesting
about that is often people will keep their goals fuzzy because the one of the
problems with specifying your goals is you specify your failures right if the
goal is really fuzzy you’re not sure when you fail and that then you can fool
yourself you know really but you can kind of keep it foggy but you make your
goal sharp and clear then well first of all then you know what to aim at and
what’s interesting is you know your brain is set up so that it reorganizes
the world around your aims and that’s not I’ve also written about this in 12
rules for life it quite extensively and that’s not a metaphor like we don’t see
much of the world because there’s a lot of the world and there isn’t much of us
and so we see what we aim at we aim with our eyes and here’s an example so a
great apes don’t really have much of a white in their eyes but human beings do
and the reason for that is that we’ve evolved to detect where everyone else is
looking and so if I can’t tell where you’re looking I don’t know what you’re
up to and then well over time that means I
can’t read you as well and more we’re more likely to get in a dispute and one
or the other of us is more likely to get killed but it also means that your your
probability of findings as successful mate decreases so we’ve evolved to have
this very very visually evident eye and so when we’re looking at each other
we’re always looking at our our eyes because then we can tell where someone
is pointed and then we can tell what they’re up to
and so we’re hunting creatures like we’re aiming at a moving target and
trying to track it all the time and so you have to specify your aim and the
future authoring program helps people specify their aim and it’s more than one
aim it’s like you have a highest aim which you might say is to be a good
person and then I would say well there’s a
there’s a more elaborated aim than that it’s like you want to be able to
constrain malevolence and work to decrease suffering it’s something like
that that’s the highest aim and and then and then you have to decompose that into
the things you do each day so that there’s a definite connection between
all the micro actions and the macro aim and then that gives dignity to what
you’re doing you know so you know if you’re racing at home with your kids
what are you trying to do well you’re trying to raise them to be the kind of
moral agents that will work to constrain the evil in the world and to reduce
suffering it’s like and so that’s what you’re doing when you’re changing a
diaper if you’re doing it carefully and with some respect and some love like
it’s a major-league deal to be doing that and god only knows who your kids
gonna be you know he could be the kid that shoots up Columbine or could be
Stalin that wouldn’t be so good or he could be someone or she could be someone
who is a positive benefit to the world you know and so every child is a whole
new realm of possibilities and so there’s dignity in that if you
understand that so the future authoring program anyways helps people lay out a
plan and I always suggest to people that they do it badly because you’re not
gonna do it perfectly and if you get perfectionistic it’s going to stop you
you know when you first start to plan you’re probably only going to be about
20% right but zero the difference between zero and 20% is immense and we
found with our research that even people who only spend an hour on it benefits
substantially in their ability to stick to what their next plan is know and you
now you mentioned something earlier too just just a bit ago yes about about
scheduling yeah so one of the things I tell people so you say write down what
you’re gonna do the next day before you go to bed that’s good because then you
you’ve got a direction set when you wake up in the morning hey so but I’ve told
people to learn to use a schedule and people often hate schedules because they
act as their own tyrants right they say we have to do this unpleasant thing and
then here’s another unpleasant thing you have to do and then you have to do this
unpleasant thing and you do that for about three days and you think tell with
this I’m not you know and you fall off the wagon that
isn’t what you’re supposed to do with the schedule you’re supposed to use it
to design the days that you would like to have if you were taking care of
yourself and so some of that is you know you wake up in the morning and you think
here’s five things I have to do that if I don’t do my life will be worse it’s
like paying bills for example or taking out the garbage it’s like you have to do
those because otherwise things degenerate so you got to put some of
those in the schedule because otherwise tomorrow is worse than today and that’s
a bad trajectory but you also want to build in things you know you gotta act
in some sense like you’re dealing with a relatively recalcitrant nine year old
it’s like so well here are some things you have to do but here’s some things
that if you do you could reward yourself with and if you get the balance there
between obligation and reward right then you’ll find that you’re motivated to do
the things and and that’s what you want to do you want to do that so it’s
sustainable across days and weeks and months and so you got to you got to
treat yourself like a good boss would treat a valued employee and not like a
tyrant would treat a slave because the slave will rebel and you know people say
well I don’t follow through on my plans it’s like well eh they’re probably not
very well formulated and maybe you’re doing them because of an external moral
obligation or something not really your plans right and be you’re acting like a
tyrant and a slave and that’s a bad relationship to have with yourself
so you you want to treat yourself with some well the same way that’s the Golden
Rule write it treat yourself as you would treat other people as you would
have them sorry treat other people as you would like to be treated it works
both ways you also treat yourself like you treat other people properly so
that’s a necessary thing and often people don’t do that
but the scheduling is really important yeah actually I when I tell people
because when I first started talking about this people would start scheduling
their day and they were just go you know minute by minute and everything would
become something you can’t maintain that for multiple reasons number one is no
one wants to have a day like where everything that you do throughout
the day minute-to-minute sucks it’s things that you don’t want to do so
guess what after three days you said I’m not doing this anymore it’s it sucks
it’s not fun and and so and the same thing with the task list people would
push those off if they’re not on the schedule so yeah it’s they put it on the
schedule but then the thing I ended up telling people is you need to you need
to number one schedule empty space in there where because things are gonna
take longer and then you’re gonna be off schedule and then you’ll be frustrated
so you schedule that things are gonna be just empty you’re not gonna do anything
for for this hour before lunch you don’t schedule anything you’re not
gonna do anything not gonna do anything there and the other thing is you
schedule things that you actually want to do in there and then you go and
execute the things that you want to do you want to work out every day you know
you should well maybe you’d maybe if it’s something you enjoy then you
schedule it in there if you enjoy going picking your kids up from school on
Tuesdays and Thursdays because that’s when they do the running club then you
schedule that in there so you can go and do that thing that you want to do so you
don’t just schedule the things that suck you schedule the good things too and
discipline equals freedom I say this all the time if you want to have more free
time which is what people want then you need to have more discipline time man
it’s been eat you will end up with more free time I promise you I promise you
you will the other thing I was thinking about and I I couldn’t I just kind of
occurred to me now is people always tell people you know come up with a goal and
then write it down and then you’re gonna get there and I was you know as you were
talking about future authoring what she’d said earlier when you were
describing the program in its infancy what became future authoring is I was
saying well how do you get people to actually do this well what you’ve
embedded in the program is the fear of what happens if you don’t do these
things and where you’re gonna end up and people forget that people forget where
they end up if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do in life and I’ve
explained this to to my kids that when you look around and you see people that
are doing things which are self-evidently not desirable things to
be doing in life whether you’re a bum or whether you’re doing uh you know I was a
dishwasher as well and I have an interesting story about that no I’ll
tell that at some point about a Scottish girl named Roslyn she was older than me
I was 13 and after you know several weeks of washing dishes and she was a
maybe 17 Dean and and anyways to make a long
story short eventually I said hey do you won’t want to like go to a movie or
something with me because I’d like to go to a movie with you and she looked at me
and she said Jocko you have a serious mental problem
so Roslyn I know you’re out there somewhere you broke my heart sister but
I wash dishes and that’s a good thing for a 13 year old to do but when you’re
18 okay now it’s a little bit you want to have moved up to be the short-order
cook and by the time you’re 25 you want to be in charge of the whole kitchen and
by the time you’re 30 you want to maybe run the nighttime shift and and that’s a
good progression and that’s good but you don’t want to be 35 and 40 40 years old
out at the dishwashing stage you don’t want to be there and I explained to my
kids because you can see people that are at that stage in their life and sure
there’s a chance that maybe they had some hardship that came along that that
that hit them and it put them in this position and now they have to build back
up again and they’re waiting for those windows of our back doors of opportunity
to open up and that’s okay but a lot of times it’s because they didn’t work they
didn’t make good decisions they didn’t do the best job that they could and so
they end up in these positions that they shouldn’t be in and it’s and I tell my
kids that those are real people that that are in those positions like we’re
gonna leave this restaurant and we’re gonna go home we’re gonna do what we do
that guy is gonna be there for five more hours cuz it’s nine o’clock he’s gonna
clean everything when they get know he’s gonna be there for five more hours then
he’s got him up before and you know what he’s doing tomorrow the same thing he
was doing after that the same thing it’s a real person and I hope it’s a fourteen
year old I hope it’s a sixteen year old I hope it’s even an eighteen year old
but I hope it’s not a 48 year old but there are 48 year olds that end up in
that position and what you do in this program is you you explain that you can
end up there and actually being a 48 year old dishwasher is actually pretty
positive too to wear some ocaña Oh
definitely which is addicted to drugs addicted to alcohol or or or whatever
well and everybody kind of has a sense of where they would end up if they let
things go down you know and everybody has their their specific weaknesses that
that their faults would exploit you know and some people would end up homeless
and some people would end up with a physical illness or a psychiatric
illness and some people would end up addicted and some people wouldn’t end up
cruel but everybody kind of knows where they would head because they’ve seen it
they’ve seen it rise up and it’s really useful to be terrified of that as if
it’s a possibility you know that’s a heaven and hell’ thing essentially it’s
like okay but even as if it’s a possibility it’s a possibility it’s an
absolute yeah yeah well and all you have to do to get there is do nothing I kill
just drift there all by yourself so not only is it a possibility it’s actually
rather high possibility and so you have to make that realistic enough which
means that you have to take an inventory of your weaknesses let’s say you have to
make that realistically enough so you’re actually terrified of it because then
that’s a great motivation and in my clinical practice people are often faced
with tough decisions like well you know I’m not happy at my job and I’m afraid
to leave it just look fair enough you know that’s a big deal
okay how afraid are you of not leaving it let’s lay that out because you know
one of the peculiarities of human thought is that you do get used to the
devil you know and then you you downplay it but it’s very often that’s staying in
the same place will do you in it’s much worse than the risk that you’ll take you
know what I mean I’m practical with us to say look if you’re gonna stop your
job let’s let’s have a clue about this right get your CV together right start
seeing what other options you have because you don’t want to just step off
a cliff that’s not helpful organize yourself so that you’ve got
enough strength to go through the process of finding a new job you know
you’re gonna have to get used to be an interview do you want to think that
through maybe we can practice that so you got to set yourself up for it but
you really want to think through the cost of inaction
and that’s something people generally don’t do and this is also one of the
useful features of having a tragic view of life let’s say because most of the
time often you’re screwed either way but you get to pick which one and that’s
a big deal it’s like there’s there’s risks on both paths and their major
risks and that’s actually freeing because you know well there’s trouble
both ways so that frees you up because if you
think well this is the safe path and this is the dangerous path well then
you’re not going to take the dangerous path but if you think well I’ve got
danger a or danger B and this is where I would rather bet my future well that’s
way better and I’ve had like many many clients that I’ve helped with their
careers and we do exactly that it’s like you know okay what’s our goal our goal
is to triple your salary in four years they think well that’s not possible it’s
like well we’ll try four doubling but you don’t know it’s possible you got a
let’s get it together and you’re going to get over being afraid of looking for
a job you go to get over being afraid of being interviewed you have to put
yourself together so that you’ve you’ve got options and then you got to start to
push you don’t know you might be able to do it well it’s it’s it’s quite
surprising how frequently that works you know and that assumes the people are
trying right they’re competent you know it’s not this isn’t waving a magic wand
or anything like that and it takes a lot of work you know like if you’re gonna
switch jobs you might have to I figure fifty to one failure to success it’s
something like that and it’s useful to know the baselines as well right because
looking for a job is can be very disheartening unless you know the
baselines it’s like well yeah fifty and fifty resumes for one interview don’t
take it personally it’s just how it is so it’s not that your us screw up it’s
that there are way more resumes than there are jobs and and that can also and
then you know don’t look for a job for eight hours a day because you only be
able to do that for three days and then you’ll die you look for a job an hour a
day if you already have one for an hour a day or half an hour a day for three
months two resumes a day three resumes a day you’ll find a job it’ll take a while
one of my clients took like three years you know to get her first
but then right after that she got another one and then right after that
she got another one but she stuck it out and you know it was brutal because she
had interviews and they didn’t go you know they was she working in a job that
she didn’t like at the time yeah but I also say the people like you know
generally stay in your job because you’re way more likely to get a new job
when you have a job so I always tell people yeah because I get the same exact
thing hey I’m in this job it’s miserable I don’t like it want to leave tomorrow
but I don’t have the courage and I’ve said actually it’s gonna take you more
courage to stay in your current job formulate an exit strategy save up money
start putting together a better resume get some technical skills that you might
not have right now do all that while you’re suffering in this job that you
don’t like so that when you make the transition which will come it’ll be the
right way and you won’t end up like you said jumping off of a cliff well it also
makes you hopeful even in the terrible job because you know then you’ve got
some hope and like hope is a big deal you can you can put up with a lot of
misery if you’ve got hope but if you think I’m miserable today and I’m gonna
be miserable tomorrow and next year I’m gonna be older and just as miserable
it’s like that’s that’s not good but if you think well I’ve got a plan you know
that’s that’s a whole different story yeah and it’s a good idea for those
veterans that are out there don’t just get out formulate a plan figure out
where you’re gonna go and have that in place and then you get out you step into
yeah well I’d really like to see the military use this future authoring
program for for people who are decommissioning because you need you
know your idea that you need the next mission is that that’s exactly right you
know life is like a series of missions forward you know and nested in something
greater than that I think but you you do you need to have a plan and you know
it’s you got to kind of hold the plan loosely you know so because you’re gonna
make mistakes formulating it but the way it works basically is aim at something
in the future and so then you start moving forward and as you move forward
you accrue more experience and more information sometimes that’s through
failure doesn’t matter but you’re not staying in the
same place so you’re actually growing even if you’re even if you’re doing
badly if you learn from those mistakes and so then you move towards the goal
and your perspective shifts and then you might have to modify the goal a bit
because now you’re a little smarter you think well that other goal wasn’t
helpful it’s like yes it was because it moved you an inch farther ahead and so
you know you kind of approach the final goal in a zigzag manner and the zigs and
the Zags get less extreme as you get closer to the final goal but you have to
do a lot of zigzagging to begin with so you got to give yourself that space for
error that’s why there’s an archetypal idea mm-hmm that the fool is the
precursor to the Savior which is a really and you see that with comedians
yeah comedians are fools and they tell the truth right so so in the court
jester is the only person who gets to tell the truth and a fool will take a
risk as well and you need to take risks in order to progress so that’s the idea
but it also means that you have to allow yourself to make the mistakes that are
necessary while you progress and not beat yourself to death about it and so
that’s also really helpful because it means that when you’re formulating your
plans you can say well this is the best I can do now subject to revision it’s
like great that’s good enough really it’s good enough it just has to move you
to the next place that’s interesting because you know obviously I’ve done a
ton of military planning and I would see guys that would get so wrapped around
trying to make the perfect plan and it would take them so long to plan that by
the time they’re ready to actually eat the plan for the whole target had
shifted and things had moved in the battlefield to change they’re not ready
to do this anymore so you need to come up with a plan like you said you need to
come up without good idea of what you’re gonna do and how you’re gonna do it and
then you start to move and and and as you move you start to see things from a
different angle and you gain more intelligence and you get another report
and all the sudden the target shifts a little bit but you’re adapting and
you’re closer to the target anyways very vigorously yeah is that well and it is
it’s also the idea that you’re gaining information because you might say well I
don’t know what to do with my life so maybe I should just stay here and figure
it out it’s like no no if you stay there then all you know is what you know well
you’re there and you don’t know enough because you can’t make a plan so make a
bad plan even if even if it’s actually a that works out so that its opposite of
what you want if you move towards that plant you’re going to know more clearly
that it’s opposite of what you want and as soon as you know that it’s opposite
you know oh I should be going in the other direction so like that’s that’s
not that’s not a retreat that’s that’s an advance and and the thing is people
we’re active creatures and we’re always navigating through territory right we
can’t be sitting in one place and waiting well you can’t because you get
old so you even if you’re sitting in one
place the place is changing on you and that’s just what you said that when you
said you know people make a detailed plan and then the environmental shift on
them and on future offering yeah do you go back in and adjust your goals
yeah as so it’s a it’s a it’s something that you continually update yeah and I
would say don’t update it too often right because then you end up in the
situation you were just describing but the idea would probably it’s something
like make your damn plan implement it for four months or six months and then
go back and see what needs to be updated you know and you’ll find that you’ve
done a lot of what you said you would and so then it’ll need to be
reformulated so and and that’s also very self affirming I suppose is the right it
helps you understand that there’s more to you than you think which is actually
the case you know there is more to people than they think that that’s one
thing that’s interesting about human beings and so you can put yourself you
can you can stand up to things you’re afraid of you know in measured doses and
you find that you grow to be larger than the thing that you’re afraid of and you
know that’s like that’s like one of the basic rules of clinical therapy is like
if people are afraid of something you break it down into pieces and you have
them encounter the things they’re afraid of and they don’t get less afraid they
get braver and more competent which is way better because there’s plenty of
things to be afraid of so so once again here’s just a total alignment
I wrote this kid’s book it’s called way the world okay I read it okay so I
didn’t know about this but I knew what I did with my kids and in the book you
know the kids scared of water and he has not a swim so he starts off wading in
the water and then he eventually dunks his head in the water and then
eventually he covers up to his neck in the water
and then eventually he swims a little bit and then he finally jumps off the
bridge but that that’s when I heard you describing that process in some
interview that you were on or one of your podcasts I said I put that in my
book you never know it aggressive exposure and so what you want to do what
you want to do is you can do this for yourself you think okay here’s something
I’m afraid of doing okay and so I won’t do it because I’m actually afraid of
it’s okay fine decompose it like let’s say you’re afraid to go on a subway you
have Agra phobia it’s like okay all right go online and look at a bunch of
pictures of a subway can you do that go to the subway station and look at the
subway station and then go home or go into the subway station and open the
doors and go in and then go home but don’t don’t play tricks on yourself
right if you say that you’re gonna go and just look then just go and look and
then go home you know because otherwise you won’t trust yourself the next time
you do it so you have to keep the bargain intact but and what you want to
do is you want to push yourself a little farther than you want to go but so that
you would go that’s all you have to do and that’s that’s kind of a rule for for
learning in life so this happens the reason it works is because this is
actually how human beings learn and so if you watch a kid maybe let’s say a kid
that’s a little inhibited because some kids will just take off will use the
kids it’s a little inhibited so they’re around their mom and they’re in the
playground and there’s strange kids there maybe they’re like four years old
something like that and so they’re thinking about maybe that that they’ll
go out and play and so they hang around mom for a while and they check out the
situation and then they’ll go out a little bit and check it out a bit more
and then they come back and maybe they need a little patch or something like
that you know because they’re coming back to home territory and then the next
time they go out a little farther then they’ll come back and then next time
they go out a little farther and then they’ll come back because they want to
know they can come back and they’re checking to see how far out they can go
and if you’re patient and encouraging even with kids that are quite nervous
you know you encourage them to – to keep going out and exploring then they’ll
habituate and well what they do is learn they’re competent and away they go and
so it’s not surprising that graduated exposure works because
that is actually how human beings learned to confront the world but it’s a
great technique yeah and the story in the book wasn’t my daughter was had
stage fright but she wanted to be in the School Musical and so it was started
with her in her room singing by herself but I was outside the door with the door
shut yeah and then it was okay you saying
what the door is opening this happened over you know a couple of weeks yeah now
now the door is open now I’m gonna stand in the doorway now mom and I are gonna
stand in the doorway now we’re actually becoming and sit down and watch you sing
and then it was the family’s gonna watch you sing and then the neighbors are
gonna come watch you sing and eventually she has no no issues whatsoever right
now a very confident kid but that was yeah that’s perfect I translated it into
the water for the story for whatever reason but yeah yeah well that also
means that see what I like about that story too is that you established an
individual relationship with your daughter
you know because kids have different temperaments so like some kids if you
take them to the playground it’s like they’re like pup you put them down on
the ground they’re like puppies over water they’re hit feet we’ll be going
before they hit the ground and they’re just gone right they’re out there
playing with the kids those are extroverted kids who don’t
have very high levels of negative emotion and your problem is going to be
that they’ll run off too far you know so but then other kids are more they’re
more inhibited and often they’re a little more introverted they’re a little
higher negative emotion so then what you want to do is calibrate and you have to
watch it’s like okay how much can this kid tolerate it’s like we’ll push it and
you can you can figure that out it’s like it it has to be you have to push
them enough so that if they accomplish it they feel that that’s an
accomplishment it can’t be too easy but it can’t be too hard you want to put
them right on that edge that’s the edge between order and chaos right
fundamentally you want to put them on that edge and let them experience what
it’s like to be there then they also learned that they can be there because
you know you taught her two things you taught her that she could sing in front
of a group but you also taught her that she could learn to do something she was
afraid of doing and that’s a way better lesson right that’s a killer lesson so
so that’s good that that means and you can do that with kids – with graduated
reward like you can watch them and if they do something well I’ll tell you how
I did this my daughter so my daughter had arthritis
and it was really bad and she had to learn to give herself and in while she
had taken Jackson’s every day and so and I think that started when she was like
seven and so we could give her the injections but she was pretty skittish
about that and no wonder cuz they hurt and everything so I thought all right
tell with this we’ll we’ll get her to do her own injections and so I sat her down
and I said she was pretty motivated by money she’s always been kind of a
capitalist kid day so we found her outside once when she was four selling
all her child books on the street which was quite funny I think she was maybe
five but whatever I said look kiddo I’m gonna give you this needle and if you
can give you if you can inject this yourself in 45 minutes I’ll give you 50
bucks and so I let her sit and she like struggled with that she struggled with
that a and but by about thirty minutes she did it and I thought that could work
math good work so then the next time I said okay this time it’s thirty bucks
but you got ten minutes to do it and so she did it and you know soon we got it
down so that because I wanted to get it down so there was no hesitation right
because actually the anticipatory anxiety is worse than the needle so you
want to push it so it’s like okay now and we got to the point where it was if
you can do it in five seconds I’ll give you ten bucks and so she got to the
point took about a week where she could do it in five seconds and I kept paying
her because well for obvious reasons you know I mean it was kind of unfortunate
she was very sick and she had these needles and we had to do some things
that would sort of perk her up you know to some degree but that was a hard thing
for a kid to learn you know it’s not an easy thing to give yourself a needle but
you can use that graduated exposure and careful reward you can get kids to do
very brave things and then they also learn how tough they are it’s like hike
and she was proud of that man you know she that she could go and do it by
herself because that was a big deal it also gave her some control over here
illness yeah so competence that’s what you want instill in your kids unless
you’re jealous of them so now you also talked about you started
talking about some various personality traits and how those come through and
you just released what a month ago a new program understand yourself understand
myself first of all myself calm yeah and I also
put up a discount code for your people for that too so it’s willing again and
it’s twenty percent its that would make it about seven ninety five so it’s
pretty cheap what you do is it you answer hundred questions the questions
are pretty standard like they’ve been derived from the standard scientific
literature partly from a test that I designed that my students designed about
in two thousand seven Colin DeYoung who’s now a professor at the University
of Minnesota and we we we statistically analyzed this question set so we could
break out five major personality traits and those are the standard traits that
psychologists believe are reliable and valid and they’ve been working on that
since about 1960 and so that’s extraversion and that’s it can break it
breaks into two aspects so extroverted people are assertive and enthusiastic
it’s the positive emotion dimension they’re talkative and they like to be in
social groups they like to plan parties they like they like to talk and they’re
smiley and so forth and then there’s a negative emotion dimension neuroticism
and people who are high in neuroticism are that can be broken into withdrawal
and volatility and people who withdraw have a lot of anticipatory anxiety so
they might shy away from doing something and volatile people are kind of touchy
you know they’re easily set off so agreeableness agreeable people are
compassionate and polite and disagreeable people are tough and blunt
and so women are higher and agreeableness than men and they’re
higher and negative emotion as well conscientiousness which is the best
long-term predictor of life success after intelligence conscientious people
are dutiful and so they’re industrious and orderly and orderliness is a good
predictor of conservative political philosophy by the way our political
affiliation along with lo the last dimension is openness and open people
are interested in ideas that’s intellect and creative and we
call that open its openness to experiences the main trade and the
creativity trade is oh is openness proper so this report gives you a
comparative description so you compared to other people on all five of those
dimensions plus all of those ten aspects and that can help you understand who you
are and that’s very useful because one of the things you want to do in life is
figure out what your temperament is so that you can find a niche in the economy
or in the social world that you’re suited to so like if you’re an introvert
well computer programming is not a bad idea or accounting or something like
that but if you’re extroverted you’ve got to be out with people you know and
if you’re high and negative emotion you’re gonna want a job that’s not too
stressful and it’s fairly secure and if you’re open then you’re not repeating
with people and if you’re disagreeable you should be working with things and so
anyways the reports detail all of that and so then once people see where they
fall out they can kind of put themselves into a better position like you said a
job that suits them and that’s gonna be yeah yeah well that’s well that’s it you
know it’s you you you do have a temperament and there is a place for
each temperament in the economy in the world because otherwise they wouldn’t
exist and so the issue is what is your temperament so if you’re high in
openness you need you need to engage in something creative because you won’t be
healthy if you don’t because it’s like a major if you’re like a tree with
different trunks it’s like that’s one of the trunks it might be the major one you
can’t let that thing die because it’ll take a big part of it with you and if
you’re disagreeable say you’re a competitive type and so you’re gonna
need some of that in your life and if your conscientiousness if you’re
conscientious that’s a really good predictor of military performance by the
way then you need routine and you need to be you need to be locked on to some
task you know because otherwise you’ll you’ll consume yourself with guilt so so
it’s very important to understand who you are in that way and it’s also
important that’s interesting because that’s I can tell you that
that’s sort of the middle of the bell curve and even like towards the higher
end of the bell curve of military performers are you know people that are
can concentrate on the task they’re going to be relatively obedient but when
you get to either end either high end but either the low end of bad performers
but also the high end or the people that know when to break the rules that are
slightly rebellious right that will repel like that will tell you know one
of the big ones you know I don’t want to be surrounded by people that are telling
me that I’m right all the time I don’t want my subordinates I don’t have people
that are working for me that are gonna when I say go charge that machine-gun
nest they say okay and they go do it you might think that that’s what I want and
that might be the the overall perception of people in the military I want a robot
that’s gonna follow my orders I actually don’t if I tell you to go charge that
machine-gun nest and it’s not and it’s gonna get you and your men killed I
actually want you to say hey joko that doesn’t sound like a good plan to me
let’s do something else let’s come around to the flank so so it’s
interesting that yeah you’ll be good in that middle part and you might even get
towards the higher end but the guys that are really valuable in the military are
the guys that also have that openness and that creativity and or and at the
same time are able to discipline it and harness it’s right they can conform when
they need to right well and they need to be which I actually had to do as I got
older the older when I first got in you know I was the guy pushing the envelope
I long hair and so everything that I could do would maxed out to to stay
within the bounds of what we were supposed to be doing and and then as I
got older I realize like oh that stuff’s not important what’s important is that
you’re able to do your job good and you have creativity not with how you have
your stupid haircut but in how you come up with a mission plan right that’s
where I expressed my creativity not through not through pushing the envelope
of uniform standards which is which is what a lot of immature young military
guys do right right well and the thing about the people who will stand up and
tell you what they think is that they tend to be disagreeable types as well
and you know you hear a lot about emotional intelligence in the business
world these days but emotional intelligence is really indistinguishable
from trait agreeableness and so agreeable people are polite and
compassionate and that’s great especially if you’re taking care
people but you want some disagreeable people around because they’ll tell you
what they think and their blunt well there isn’t emotional intelligence
though can’t you be agreeable but not be able to read I was think of it as me
being able to read people like I understand oh that person’s got that’s
going on that’s their agenda is in the background so even though I might be
agreeable but I’m also understanding where you’re coming from well I think
that’s what emotional intelligence is if it’s anything valid but the tests the
tests that tend to correlate very highly with agreeableness and so actually
agreeable managers don’t make better bit managers disagreeable managers make
better managers well they have to be conscientious as well because a
disagreeable person who’s conscientious is actually relatively easy to work for
because they’ll tell you what they think but they’ll do what they say you know
and they can make tough decisions and you often have to make decisions that
are somewhat harsh in order to move things ahead in the long term right
because if you’re soft it means you’ll sacrifice the the long term for the
short term and if you’re tough but but have your head screwed on straight it
means you’ll make tough decisions in the present that might ruffle feathers and
hurt people’s feelings but they make the medium to long term better and so no
that’s that’s absolutely true I see all the time especially with younger
companies they go through that expansion phase and all of a sudden they got if
they go through the retraction phase and they gotta fire people yeah and and they
wait because the the leader is too agreeable and too soft and so they wait
and all of a sudden they’re upside down financially and it’s a real problem
whereas if they would have been aggressive and said you know what here’s
the decision we got to make I know it’s gonna hurt right now but long-term it’s
gonna be good for us we got to get rid of this division or this department or
these people and if they don’t have the ability to do that it really hurts them
yeah yeah well that’s the sacrifice of the future for the present and that’s
generally a bad idea the other thing with the understand myself system is
that you can also use it too like if if you do the program and get your results
and someone else does someone you’re close to say you can compare them and
that’s really useful because you think you understand people but you don’t
understand them as well as you think so for example my daughter was fairly well
she was quite ill so it was complicated but
she was touchy let’s say when she was a teenager and I thought it was because
she was rebellious but she did the personality test and my son by contrast
was very easy to get along with but then we had them do the personality test and
it turned out she was very high in agreeableness and compassion but also
pretty high a negative emotion whereas he was the opposite he was very
disagreeable but very low and negative emotions so he wasn’t easy to you long
with he just never got upset but if he ever tried to get him to do something he
didn’t want to do that was like impossible and he was like that from the
time he was 2 years old whereas my daughter it wasn’t rebellious Ness it
was that she was easily made anxious and upset and so I learned at least two
somewhat so if she if she sort of flared up instead of interpreting that as as
rebellious Nisour conflict I just saw it as nervousness and that helped a lot you
know it didn’t make me able to deal with it a hundred percent but it helped a lot
it was quite shocking to me because you know I thought I knew my kids and and I
did I think but that was very useful and then it was really funny because then as
she started to date she had every boyfriend she ever went out with take
the personality test first so I thought that was that actually worked out quite
well well the thing is you know you want to be not are the boys not smart enough
to like manipulate the answers well they don’t necessarily know what she wants I
would at least assume like okay I’m gonna try and sound agreeable and I’m
gonna try I remember I had to take psychological yes to uh and this was in
the 90s they gave us once you’d think they had some big battery of
psychological examinations and interviews to get in the SEAL Teams know
took a look one test during boot camp and it was funny because I was really
hungry when I was in boot camp because the food sucks and and I just thought
man I want to pass this test and I knew I had some things in my brain that
weren’t gonna be smiled upon by whatever analyst was gonna read these things so
for any was complete dissent these are the things I remember is complete the
sentence so it said for instance I hate when my mom and you fill in the blank
and obviously it’s real easy to go sideways on that effect right if you’re
a psychopath but for me every answer that I gave was
you know for me it was I hate when my mom doesn’t cook enough noodles with the
spaghetti everything I gave was just about food the rest I thought I was a
food psychopath we were getting nothing out of me nothing I think the test that
my daughter used was one I had designed that people couldn’t fake so it wasn’t
quite as accurate with regards to the individual personality traits but it was
it was more difficult to fake good on which is better for hiring people for
example what kind of question can you not fake in well are you hard-working or
are you easy to get along with right are you creative or disciplined oh right
right exactly are you neurotic and anxious or are you inhibited and and now
can you awkward with people can you go in between is it a 1 to 10 it’s
either/or yeah with that with that particular pairing it is and then you’ve
paired all these questions and eventually you get that’s right
something that’s right well or maybe here’s 10 negative statements which 5
apply to you most people hate those particularly but they’re quite accurate
so we used those for personnel selection for a while so for me it would be are
you agreeable or disciplined hungry yeah now before we close that you you also
have the book maps of meaning yeah and and for those people that were expecting
me to do the book maps of meaning on this podcast and review it in depth
there is literally no reason because you have already done that online on YouTube
and on your podcast you go through in great detail better detail than I would
have been able to in one podcast because you have a series of podcasts about maps
of meaning it’s fascinating it’s awesome everything that you kind of touched on
today is in there in great depth and you know there’s many worshippers of Marduk
out there now thanks to you and and I’m sure that will expand and if you want to
get into that the book is called maps of meaning the architecture of belief it’s
very interesting I also like that you have though you talk about some of your
clients as which by the way I didn’t talk about you
at all in the opening I realized that about halfway through this podcast that
I didn’t actually explain who you were so is there anything you need to say
about yourself that I should have said I mean what well there’s just the bare
basics just clinical psychologists I’ve practiced for about two and a half
decades I’ve done a lot of business consulting as well as clinical work I’m
a professor at the University of Toronto in psychology and I might domains of
expertise are personality assessment and neuroscience and the study of belief
systems like religious belief systems and and I that’s basically there and I
have a family I’m married and have been for just about 30 years and I’ve got two
kids and a new grandchild and so that’s and I’ve become somewhat notorious on
YouTube over the last year really quite bizarre trip you might say okay so
everyone can go and explore that yeah you’re pretty um I guess the other thing
I should say cuz my publicist will be on my case if I don’t as that I have
another book coming out which is much more straightforward read maps of
meeting which is quite a technical book and that book is going to be called 12
rules for life yeah an antidote to chaos yeah and it’s available for pre-order on
Amazon already so January 23rd that’s whoa yeah and I’m hoping that now that
one maybe you come back on here and we could talk a little bit about that book
that’d be good that would be that would be good that book will be right up I
mean you’ve touched on it a little bit you’ve mentioned a couple of the twelve
rules yeah today I think you mentioned two of the tools today and that would be
awesome to have you come back on and again I think people after they hear
this if they didn’t already know who you are they’ll they’ll go and research who
you are they’re gonna want to get that book yeah that’d be great to have you
back on there and then obviously you’ve got your own podcast yeah the Jordan B
Peterson podcast yes you’ve got your YouTube channel yeah
Jordan Jordan Jordan Peterson videos leaders in and Jordan Peterson clips yes
you just put out yes Sekou wasn’t that you know crafty to come out with a thing
was poor thing two channels yeah see he’s
got to jazz he’s the one that’s supposed to make the clips yeah well one of the
things that’s been so strange I mean learning to use YouTube people
have been clipping my work like mad which is not something I expected like I
would say right now there’s probably 40 new clips a day being put on by people
which is really good you know I mean I’ve got no problem with that at all but
I thought I might as well see what would happen if we also did it and so I put my
my my son’s fiancee on that and my daughter as well so they’ve been doing
that clipping and so but yeah it’s cool that the YouTube videos are so
interesting as well as the podcasts because people can can do their own
thing with them to some degree you know now it can be bad depending on how they
do the editing but so far my people have been responding very positively to what
I’ve been doing which is quite a shock to me but I think it I think it you’ve
made reference to this as well in in the fact that you found an a ready audience
is like people are ready for a message that’s not all freedom and and rights
you know it’s like Jesus enough of that like really seriously we’ve been walking
down that road for 60 years it’s time to look at the alternative ethics and
responsibility that’s a big one and especially when it is the case that you
know you think freedom gives your life more meaning that’s true if you’re under
a tyranny but if you’re not then its responsibility that gives your life
meaning and you you your life has to have meaning it has negative meaning
whether you want it or not you choose whether or not it has positive meaning
and you choose that by adopting responsibility and so and like there’s a
ready market for that because we’ve we’ve ignored that reality for too long
so we don’t say are now at the point where they realize that being free free
free free isn’t getting them anywhere yeah well I always think it’s like you
know okay you want to be free alright I’ll take you out drop you in the middle
of the ocean it’s like you can swim in any direction
it’s like that’s not helpful you know you you got to be swim and be different
if I drop you near and Island and said well swim to that like
yeah I can do that that’s that’s got meaning I won’t drown I won’t die but
too much there’s no difference between too much freedom and chaos right and you
drown in chaos you need the right balance of freedom and order and and and
discipline well as you said or also which is a paradoxical thing the more
discipline you have the more self-discipline the more freedom
even-even putting in those hour breaks that you described you know sometimes
when I’ve been too busy which has been fairly frequent I’ll take an hour break
you know and I can actually have a break because I’ve done the things that I was
supposed to do and so even though it’s an hour long I can actually relax during
that hour not being plagued by my conscience there aren’t things undone
you know and so that’s that’s that’s a really good thing to be able to attain
when you feel that you’ve got things you’ve got the right things reasonably
under control and you’re moving uphill that’s better than anything else really
yeah speaking of getting things under control echo yeah maybe could you tell
people quickly how they could support this podcast if I don’t feel like we
keep talking about what we’ve been talking actually have a question two
questions okay you know so with the recent kind of saying everyone waits for
in the podcast you know with the rise of your exposure will call it do people
kind of flock to your class now well no not so much to my class but
they’re definitely flocking to public talks yeah yeah so and and and my class
is generally been quite popular you know so those so and make sense yeah and and
I’m on sabbatical this year so we’ll see what happens when I when I returned was
that luck or did you pre coordinate that well it was actually the grace good
grace of the university you know because well I had to get my act back together
after all these things happened you know and I’ve also had some health problems
over the last year that had been rather severe which I think I have under
control maybe but I told them that look I’m gonna be
much better if I take this year and and do what’s necessary for this book that’s
coming out and wreak inception alized what I’m going to be teaching because
the other thing is I have to do that I’ve got all these lectures recorded now
they’re on YouTube it’s like it isn’t obvious to me why I should do them again
I’ve done like there’s three years of some of them online so I have to re I
have to rethink what I’m doing as a university lecturer because with YouTube
you know you can do something new like this biblical series that I’ve been
doing you can do something new and you can have it out in front of a hundred
and fifty thousand people in one day it’s like well you got to think about
that that’s a whole different universe and I like doing lectures on things that
I’m I’m still learning about it’s hard to do that at university because you
have to have the evaluation structure people have to know what to expect and
you know it has to be pre-planned and that’s not so good if you want to do
something that’s novel so I’ve got a lot of thinking about that and I don’t know
what’s gonna happen this next year in any case so you find that like um like
let’s say you did a talk about something specific and people saw it online I
think a lot of times people are more compelled to see that same one in person
like a concert you know like oh yeah I listen to ZZ Top and you know I have the
CD or whatever but they’re in town for a concert or they’re you know in the next
state for a concert I want to go see the concert well I think I I think that that
works out okay for me because there are these underlying themes that that
permeate everything that I’m saying and yeah I would say those are the
archetypal themes so I have this sort of structured way of presenting information
that’s based on well the work I did for maps of meaning and so even if the
lectures new there’s echoes of the of the other ones always I mean one of the
things about archetypal stories is that an images is that they’re very expansive
you know and so they’re multifaceted and so you end up touching on the same
themes over and over but from different perspectives you know and one of the
things people tell me all the time which is really interesting and this is really
being the case for 30 years as they come up to me after the lecture and they
you know you were telling me things that I already knew but I didn’t know I knew
them yeah and that’s that’s definitely an archetypal experience because you
know your your experience does have a certain structure and that doesn’t mean
you can say what it is but if you hear it being said then you know that’s what
it is yeah and so it’s fun in front of a crowd
because I can watch that happen to people they because I’m always speaking
to individuals within the crowd and I’ll say something and a little bit of the
jerk back a little bit I think yes so that just clicked a couple of years
together for you just really well it’s fun I get the same thing so with with
extreme ownership the book and you know it’s about leadership principles and we
say in the book these are not new these have been around for hundreds and in
some cases thousands of years of how militaries run organizations and
therefore the military leadership principles are actually the same as all
leadership principles cuz you’re trying to get a bunch of crazy human beings to
do something that’s gonna behind a mission and execute it in the most
efficient way but people say oh you know I kind of always I always thought that I
should do that I always I’ve always done that yeah but but yeah you captured it
yeah and and it’s a self-awareness I think when people they maybe they do
have good natural leadership judgment and they’ve always taken responsibility
for things and but they never really thought about it they just kind of did
it well then once they know hey I need to take ownership of things well then
then they really can do it yeah and they also see it in their subordinate
leadership and they go that guy’s not taking ownership of things they’re not
doing a good job and it’s the same thing with keeping things simple or
decentralized to command or prioritize next week these are things that
successful leaders do prioritize and execute if you get a leader that’s gonna
try and accomplish 37 different things at the same time they’re not gonna be
successful so so leaders they know to prioritize and execute good leaders but
when we say it to them you know they might still they might not do 37 things
but they might do try and do eight things at the same time and they know
that they should be doing one or two yeah and when when they hear us say and
describe the Gulf yeah that’s why yeah well one of the things that
characterizes leaders that he or she knows where they’re going right I mean
that’s that’s that’s the fundamental print
yeah Billy communicated too but that’s I worked for a UN Committee at one point economic sustainability economic and
environmental sustainability and one of the problems with the first draft of the
report and I would say the final draft to some degree is that you know it was
all done by committees so there are a hundred priorities it’s like no there
aren’t a hundred priorities that’s a contradiction in terms
it’s like you start with one of these things and maybe you start with a small
piece of it and see if it works but it’s to have a hundred priorities is to make
no one dissatisfied but you’re not going to you’re not going to move because you
can’t move in a hundred directions at the same time so it’s a real abdication
of and and people do that in a sneaky way too because they’re abdicating their
responsibilities right say well we’re going to move in a hundred directions
and and everyone had input it’s like well that’s not the issue the issue is
how you condense that down to an actual action plan and that actually makes you
accountable that’s the thing and that’s why people don’t do it it’s like well if
you’re going 100 directions and it’s hard to see whether you’re you’re doing
it well but if you go into one direction that doesn’t work it’s like well that’s
pretty obvious so people are afraid to do that but if you don’t do it it’s
failure yeah I get the same thing where I get people
now they ask me a question and I give them the answer next I know you’re gonna
say he does that’s also how you’re talking about kind of breaking the loop
in your behavior like oh I want to make a change to that one thing you know to
break glue and then you start with something small and then it ends up
affecting more thing and you mentioned sometimes it’s hard
because you don’t get Pat’s on the back for those little things you know yeah
well they’re often so small they’re humiliating that you even have to do
that yeah yeah but in a lot of time like to yourself it’s like kind of big like
um like oh I’m gonna drink eight glasses of water a day now you know and then
it’s almost like you’re seeking that pat on the back like you want to tell your
friend like eh I drink eight eight glass of water now and they’re just like yeah
so yeah right and you’re like why do i party use gonna like why do i even do it
then if no one’s gonna care you know well you know there’s a lesson to be
drawn from that too in terms of relationships that’s really useful
psychologically is and this is a big mistake that people won’t make it’s like
if you want to have a good long term relationship with someone then you watch
them constantly and when they do something that you like you let them
know yeah even if it’s a small thing yeah because they’re way more likely to
do it again you know and so sometimes a personal have kind of an inkling about
what they might do that’s good or that would be good for your relationship with
you or that might even just be pleasing to you but they won’t say anything
they’re like afraid because maybe they won’t get attention for it and but then
they do it and you notice it’s like man that’s super powerful like you have to
be really attentive though because the good things that people do don’t stand
out the mistakes they make a stand out and then you say well you made a mistake
it’s like yeah yeah but to watch and to reward someone for doing something small
right that’s that’s a step in the right direction
yeah he’s a killer strategy I found that to be true with my daughter she’s four
and a half now oh yeah some kids really are tough and they don’t respond to
punishment at all yeah you just can’t you can’t you can’t you can’t intimidate
them my daughter if I just pointed at her she would stop huh but my son it was
like that was just round one it just laughs he just laughs and run away so
but he responded to reward like mad if I watched him and he did something that
was good and I told him that it was like he was just yeah yes so that’s good yeah
yeah it’s reward is harder to use but it’s more effective if you come an Ajith
yeah and then that’s not like kind of how you say where you’re like be careful
with the reward when you give like too much reward for these small things you
know and then they can think that’s problem with the self-esteem movement
you know oh yeah every every kid gets a trophy day ya know it’s like inflating
the currency if everything is good then nothing is good because their house
there has to be a distinction so yeah you want to watch and you want to see
when the person’s made an effort and you want to see when they’ve gone beyond the
call of duty and then you want to say hey I noticed that that was really good
yeah and yeah and it is scarcity really matters in those situations because
otherwise it just turns into no yeah yeah yeah patronizing noise even
which is even worse it’s like oh you’re doing well really well it’s like leave
me alone yeah yeah it’s such a lie yeah I have a fun time with that actually
I’ll be like um if I have to judge and go all through my kids lives if I had to
judge them and their friends and I have three daughters in one son
usually it was the daughters I was being some kind of a judge I’m gonna judge the
dance I’m gonna judge the little play that they put together I’m gonna judge
the acrobatic routine that they’re doing in the backyard and always be judging
these things and I would have so much fun because I would say they do their
little performance their 1 minute performance and they’d come out table
how was it and I’d say okay first of all
presentation overall I’m giving you a four point two I didn’t see one smile
until you actually got on stage that’s wrong and I would just go through and
give them this really strong critique yeah and and they loved it yeah they
loved it damn shit mad they would be happy to didn’t it go try to go try that
raise that four point three to a four point five baby smiles like you could
see them a mile away oh yeah yeah I just got that I was at a pool party with a
bunch of little kids running around and I ended up judging the diving
competition and all the parents were watching and and they were aghast at
what I was doing yeah that wasn’t my house by the way oh I did it there – no
I do it already this is what I did it at your house – right yeah you’ve seen it
in action yeah I give the kids a little Nate names and then and then I say you
know you were completely unbalanced when you left the board it was almost
embarrassing for me to watch you go try it again I’m giving you a two point –
yeah go try it again and see if you can bump that up a little bit yeah and the
kids get almost up there now yeah yeah but – do you have treated them like
someone who could improve right so that’s a big deal that’s that’s better
than that’s better than a pat on the back it’s like because everyone’s flawed
and everyone needs to improve well so when my kids were little I taught them
how to speak in public it took about an hour that was it so I have them they had
to read something you know and so they’d read it
and I was across the room and say well that that’s not loud enough it’s like I
can’t hear you it’s like belted out and they get a little louder it’s no no no
that is what I mean read it way louder than you think you
should and so they did that I said lots about right because there’s nothing more
appalling than listening to some speaker that you can’t hear it’s like there’s
just no excuse for that then like make it clearer put some passion into it you
know and it was was unbelievable how quickly they would pick that up you know
and and that also made me sad because because it took so little time to get
them to do that and then they had it you know
and so and that that like a critic is your best friend if the critic isn’t
destructive because if what a critic does is say look you did ten things and
like these five things you need some work on those they’re not good and
here’s some things you could do that would make them better and here’s two
things that you got all right and here’s three things that you did pretty well
out and so then well what’s the message the message is hey you can handle some
actual criticism so you’re not some little you know useless wimpy thing
that’s gonna die just because someone isn’t telling you that you’re already
wonderful plus you’re not already what not nearly as wonderful as you could get
so let’s keep that in mind and then you know you lay out a pathway for
improvement and then you treat the kid with some respect and and you also show
that being an adult means that you know more than being a kid because you know
the kid does something you say oh that was really good it’s like what are you
saying well as an adult I don’t know any better than you do and that’s pretty
dismal message because the kid is going to be an adult for a very long time and
one of the things we do really badly in our culture is model why being an adult
is better than being a child because it is better you have freedom and you have
responsibility and you have autonomy and so we’re always so concerned about
making our kids feel good about themselves it’s like they should be feel
good about becoming responsible adults because they’re gonna be adults for like
80 years and they’re gonna be kids for like 20 years so the adults the goal so
yeah that was interesting when you started doing that because the kids are
like seven years old and under but yeah yeah and he’s like letting them have it
but you it’s funny you have this kind of tone about you though when you talk to
kids that it’s like it’s almost like live that much over theatrical just that
much so you can tell he’s like playing a character right right right and the kids
love it it’s so funny my daughter like loves him and the kids are just
scrambling around wanting to do it again and like let me do this let me do that
your daughter’s all used to it you she’s like okay okay sure that’s so funny so
funny kids though you know big jock ordering these kids love attention
yeah it’s their currency and yeah they want attention because adults actually
know more than they do and so if you pay careful attention like
I get along really well with little kids and it’s because I pay attention to them
and if they do something good then we had this kid over at our house once this
is a sad story I told it in my new book so this kid was boat for a really cute
kid really nice-looking kid and his nanny had been hurt in a car accident so
he was kind of being shuffled around the neighborhood for daycare for like a week
or so away and I’d heard some not some rumors about this kid and so I was kind
of curious and so anyways he came over to our house my wife was also taken care
of some other kids at this time and I came home and he was standing the other
kids were playing in the like living room and he was standing in the porch
sort of in the corner you know kind of just wandering around back and forth and
I looked at him and I thought that’s not so good so I kind of poked him a bit you
know and I was poking him and trying to get him to play and he had this like
really mask of a face on unhappy and I poked him in he kind of jerk away and
all that and I couldn’t get him to smile I couldn’t get him to play it I thought
that’s not good that’s not good because he’s four like I he should have you know
acted unhappy for two or three pokes and then kind of laughed and then we would
kind of get into it you know so so that that wasn’t so good so then we had lunch
and the rule at our house was eat your damn lunch and say thank you to the
person who made it because otherwise they’ll cook you horrible things and and
you’ll die so so it’s like it’s hard to cook lunch for you have some gratitude
you little monsters and so you ate what what was there and so his mother when
she dropped him off said he probably won’t eat anything all day but that’s
alright and we thought well actually no that’s not alright because he needs to
eat and and it’s and it’s not alright that he doesn’t eat wrong and so we’d
learned how to feed recalcitrant children by that point and so all the
kids were at the table and they were eating and my wife had made some chicken
stew and he wasn’t eating and so she was trying to feed him and so we were
watching him very carefully and so she bring up the spoon to his mouth and he
like move his head back and forth you know to refuse it and it was just like
about a nine month old would do that eh when you’re trying to that’s their their
first trick and so that’s a nine month old trick and we thought okay well
something happened when he was nine months old and he never really got
beyond that and so you know my wife was fairly persistent with the spoon and
he’d get annoyed and you know squawk a bit and she’d put some food in and then
he’d swallow it and then and then as soon as he took a little bit of food
even and she powdered him and tell him that he was being a good kid and she
meant today it was not a game like she was really intent on getting this kid to
have lunch and so that’s fine and he’s moving his his head back and forth but
what was cool as she kept patting him on the head and telling me was good kid he
was opening his mouth more often even though he was still moving his head back
and forth and so it took about ten minutes or so and she’d fed him the
whole bowl of chicken stew and she said she showed him he said look you’re a
good boy you ate all of it and that horrible mask that he was wearing you
know that mask of unhappiness it just fell off him and he had this great smile
it was just it just made the hair on the back of my neck stand up because you
could see that was the first damn thing that he had been allowed to succeed at
you know and so he was thrilled and then for the rest of the day he followed my
wife around like a puppy dog like he was one step behind her and then we went
downstairs into the basement and we were watching TV and he climbed a
her lap and he grabbed onto her just like there’s this famous experiment that
Harlow did with monkeys and the monkeys could either have the wire mother that
fed them milk or the cuddly mother that they could claim to they were both
artificial and that monkeys preferred the cuddly mother you know and that’s
what it was like he was just wrapped around her you know and then his mother
came home and she came downstairs and she took one look at this kid wrapped
around my wife and she said Oh super mom and grabbed him and you know walked out
and I thought you that was horrible that was a horrible thing to see because he
wasn’t one day with that kid you’d fix him up huh you know it was one positive
experience was enough to bring him out of his shell and you know it’s okay that
he doesn’t eat it’s okay that he stands in the corner doesn’t play with the
other kids you know it’s okay that he’s miserable and unhappy it’s like hey
guess what that’s not okay it’s not even a little bit okay so that’s a good
example of the use of reward you know it just it was something to see I’ll tell
you yeah well speaking of breaking the loops we’ll talk about origin so Origin
American made stuff Jocko has his own line of supplements so in the event of
your joints because that’s really the main one mmm your joints yeah
Jocko super krill krill oil better than fish oil by the way mm-hmm
what do you make of this when someone K so krill oil back in the day my wife’s
dad my father-in-law used to always say take krill oil for your joints it’s good
and he’s one of these like health for lack of better term health nuts
right I don’t know if that’s good or bad but and he’d be like yeah krill oil it’s
even even better than fish so I’m like cool never listen never listen but then
when Jocko for some reason takes doesn’t even say to take it just like he takes
it then I start taking it and I reap the benefits of course cuz krill oil is dope
but what do you make of that what if the krill oil do for you just it helped so
you know how you get joint just from working out and doing stuff you know
joints get sore especially when you get older whatever in my experience
um so I started taking krill oil and here’s the example I said it before um
I’ll try to make it quick so my daughter she was 4 she’s maybe 3 at the time 3
something um and in the morning how she’d wake me up is she’d wake me up and
then when I get up she’d jump on my back kind of she wouldn’t let me walk down
stairs without her on my back so when she’d do that
you mean you just woke up you’re not warm you may or may not have you know
worked out did some training whatever so you kind of got an exercise like perfect
form to stand up with this little girl who’s moving on you’re on your back
because otherwise you get injured so after it was about six days of taking
krill oil I didn’t have to like it was like I was already warm that was the
feeling that’s cool but why do I listen to Jocko and take krill oil and not my
father-in-law well he’s telling me the same stuff you know often having an
example instead of being told is more effective you know when there’s a
confidence I think that goes along with someone doing something and not telling
you about it yeah yeah you’ve been psychologically unwound well nonetheless
so on top of that jock wise his own krill oil so you know that’s the good
one super krill not just regular super by the way also joint warfare which is a
bunch of other ingredient is that glucosamine chondroitin yeah yeah you
got the perfect formula for joint sustainable joint maintenance and health
perfection that’s from origin origin lab so origin mancom on the top menu labs
boom that’s where you get it is there like a I think there’s like anyway
there’s a link on the story anyway there needs to be link on our store there is
yeah there has raised boom right there whatever you need also G’s and rash
guards if you’re introduced to introduce you to Jordan Peterson I’m not Brazilian
Jujitsu been afraid not there’s not much call for that as a professor videos
where you might have wanted yeah in your back pocket yeah yeah well we’ve
got one coming up on November 11th to talk on free speech and I’m afraid
there’s gonna be plenty of trouble at it I hope not and security
I got crews yeah boom there you go nonetheless if you are introduced to
think of some good keys american-made by the way for what you know if you’re into
the american-made some actually I was born in Canada by the way where Victoria
British Columbia hmm yeah but I moved back to Hawaii when
I was like two months old it was a kind my mom lived in Hawaii shoes from Canada
go back home to have the kids between brothers still have us two months later
bone doctor so is that kind of deal so you don’t have many memories of Victoria
there no fraid not only the pictures but I’ve been back feet I’ve been to
Victoria and Toronto actually and where’s Rory where’s over than the East
Coast for film anyway no I was where did they speak French a lot way way over
there on the east coast well country yeah yeah I don’t know why
I can yeah I’m not sure it was good that’s really nice yeah Mon trails a
great city yeah Rory MacDonald was with anyway back to the keys and rash guards
um we got I ate so much at some restaurants a guy car was up there for
UFC my fighter cut weight and then it’s time to go reload Montrell yeah Mon yeah
and we ended up at this little Italian restaurant and it was insane how the guy
was making the noodles he made everything everything he made himself
and then we get done I’m you know just completely gluttonously filled with food
and uni comes out would you like some dessert and I was like not anymore and
he says it’s the best tiramisu in the world and I have a yes off the preferred
fur for tiramisu yeah and and he brought it out he made it and it took him 20
minutes to make and he brought it out and it was the best thing that I ever
put in my mouth it was so good pretty delicious and
Montreal has excellent rest I wish I remembered the name of the
place I’d go back there yeah but I don’t actually did find that money we went to
a diner it was just a diner and you it seemed like it was the same thing like
they put Carrie and everything all the fries or what I liked it was shit yeah I
like Atlanta by the way yeah yeah man it’s good nonetheless rash guards we do
have some new ones coming out from origin and we have our own new ones
coming out but Pete over there at origin he makes warrior Kid the rash guards are
coming out yeah yeah that’s gonna be on the store though which I’ll talk about
in a little bit okay good store by the way also fitness gears or fitness gear
if you want to break the loop I think that’s the theme that’s what i’ma leave
you with one of the many things by the way I’m gonna leave here wit break the
loop so you know people they want to get more in back into their fitness or
improve their current fitness they want to try kettlebells it can be
intimidating I’m speaking I’m speaking from experience but break the loop just
get one kettlebell I think you should get the chimp kettlebell they’re decent
you know a kettlebell right we did talk about Chimpy today yeah that’s one of me
I’m gaining all that all the themes so you get these kettlebells on it it’s the
company called on it on it calm slash jock oh by the way you can get these
kettlebells when they’re not just a cannonball with a handle
they’re like a cannonball shape like a chimp or a werewolf
they’re pretty dumb anyway on accom / chuckle check those out and break the
loop man get it get one get two I think I have like eight now legit also
self-proclaimed legit saying I’m legit for doing it even though I am but that’s
not what I’m saying okay I’m saying sounds like you proclaim
yourself as legit did so make that disclaimer that’s not what I’m that’s
not the point the point is my set of kettlebells is legit chimp
double chimp werewolf double werewolf gorilla double Gura these are go at
escalation in weights and one big foot 90 pounds
what’s your heaviest one ages no man ah two pounds heavier every rep –
but where’s the legit part yeah every rep though every cent every rep two more
pounds boom over time that is legit also when you get maps of meaning by dr.
Jordan B Peterson I’ll list it on the website
talk about Cass comma listed on that website books click through there that’s
a good way to support and they do break Gemini and twelve rules for life yeah oh
yeah you can pre-order that one yes yes yes yeah it’s doing pretty well in
pre-order yeah it sold about 4000 copies in pre-orders nice pool yeah hey yeah
yes II will double that number when this podcast comes out I’d be good
that’d be good the cool there so yeah man if you wanted people that what’s
cool is people that listen this podcast they read we read books all the time
yeah they read the books they buy the books that’s it’s it’s awesome oh well I
should say too then I have a book list on my website on Jordan B Peterson car
okay yeah it’s a book of recommended readings and so if you want to well I
mean the books that had a huge impact on me well ordinary man is right ordinary
men is one of them from The Rape of Nanking as well yeah which is a we did a
podcast a movie yeah a lot of man you would be very interested in the
follow-on book to that which is called a woman who cared too much which is
written by iris Chang’s mom right right yeah I know iris committed suicide yeah
yeah well no wonder after investigating that and being harassed for it’s not
surprising yeah and it seemed like her mom thought it was a lot to do with the
drugs she’d been prescribed and going on and off drugs and apparently you should
just stop taking one drug and start on some other drug apparently she was there
she was being directed to do that and it was negatively impactful at least
according to what her mom thought so what a what a travesty that was yeah I’m
sure that the your book list and our book list is probably has a lot of
overlap so it’s like basically all the books you were talking about we already
covered no like you already covered that I’m not saying that but you know like
we’re familiar with it because it’s on the same list yeah a lot of overlap but
yeah well I’ve looked at your list and it is actually not a lot of over
there’s a I mean you obviously have a ton of books on there that that a lot of
people would be interested in reading that I haven’t covered in yeah so yeah
perhaps me will do some of them actually yeah so yeah but yeah well these are
gonna be on that list again go to jakka podcast.com on the top little tab it
says books from the episodes and I got it listed by episode sometimes multiple
books per episode by the way so yeah go through there that’s a good way to
support click through there and get those books from Amazon and if we can do
other amazon shopping Hey carry on do that too good way to support
also subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already seems obvious I know but
if you haven’t boom subscribed a good way to support also on YouTube like we
talked about we only have one channel Jordan B Peterson s2 that’s good maybe a
good idea though because they go to certain channels for certain things yeah
you know I mean well it’s not obvious to what the optimal length of a YouTube
video is you know different links serve different functions
yeah and different experts will give you different answers with that hmm very
interesting hey do you ever listen you know how you you mentioned that people
get your you’re like little clips of your talks and they’ll make their own
videos you put some music on there you know they do that with a lot they’d
obviously they do that you ever like go on there and just kind of watch them and
be like hey I never really really felt it like that you know with that it music
arrow it’s really interesting just let people do with it you make just watch
mine yeah that’s fine that good we made her head this little
thing about this the expression good so I was like all right let me let me make
a video made one of those made him watch it but he liked it somebody made a video
where they put me through one of those gadgets that auto-tune yeah yeah I was
talking about cats and rats and so it’s like this sort of rap video five hundred
thousand views so you know me my brother retweeted something that I was telling I
go about this you retweet you retweeted it’s some it’s some computer sorting
something sort of numbers yeah and it you can just
watch this thing sort yeah and you posted two or three of them and I
watched the all three and it’s just kind of funny that how did we get to a place
where we’re watching a computer sort things and it’s well first of all why is
that on YouTube in the first place and I’m sitting there watching and I’m a
person that that constantly tells people don’t waste your time on YouTube videos
and there I was watching you know three 45 second YouTube videos of numbers
being sorted they’re great like that well yeah we like to see things being
sorted yeah we’re like you ever seen those big domino patterns you know yeah
that they’ve met and they just have a video of it and you’re just watching the
Domino pattern you know it’s kind of the same thing well we’ve actually actually
I feel bad now we failed to talk about sort yourself out today we didn’t even
use the word sort until right now that’s a real that’s a real mistake on my part
yeah for those of you that well you’ll find this as you get into Jordans work
you’ll see that he talks about sorting yourself out and he’ll that’s what you
need to do is sort yourself out yes that’s become that’s become I mean my
guess you can buy it on t-shirts and all sorts of things so that and clean your
room yes yeah which is I really think that’s so funny it’s so it’s so absurd
so much of what’s happened in the last year is being surreal and absurd but
that’s certainly one of them you want to talk about absurd the other day I was
had my daughter cleaning her room and I was playing a judge on Peterson clip of
you telling people she’s getting so mad at him but I thought it was fun and then
and then she told me yesterday that she had had a conversation with her friends
about torturous things and mean things that their parents had done and that is
what she’s following oh yeah I can understand that
I can I can understand that but those YouTube clips a lot like how you say um
they made the rap video right yeah so a lot unlike me my brother would always
start he’d always say that what people do when they add the music to your voice
it almost gives it like this um you know like when this might be a crude
comparison but you know how like dogs you got to give them their medicine but
you got to put in the food you know so it’s kind of that you know like okay you
know this University of Toronto professor I get it
maybe other people might not get it cuz it’s just this quote/unquote boring
lecture but let me put some cool music behind it yeah well and I think people
are doing that because they do find something you know they find a statement
or two that hits them and you know yes then they like to play with it and as
far as I’m concerned like more power to them it’s really interesting to see how
that multiplies out you know it’s it’s been fascinating to watch that I’m a
degree into an artist a rap artists made a song the song is called to free and
it’s a guy rapping and I forget his name right now I apologize but he’s rapping
and then the song like his rapping fades out and uh in comes me talking about
discipline equals freedom in the middle of his rap song it’s it’s like the last
minute of his rap song thing and I was going back and forth with him on Twitter
and he said yeah man I really dug what you said I heard it on JRE yeah yeah so
you’re like a rapper well no he’s a rapper too though no you guys both are
straight-up rap artist rapper poet author that’s legit yeah nonetheless
YouTube that’s a good way to support subscribe you know chaco podcast the
legitimate jockle podcast though because there could be fake accounts I remember
there were Oh but yeah yeah YouTube channel that’s
what yeah actually it’s not very hard to distinguish at this point nonetheless
good way to subscribe also Jaco is the store it’s called Jacko’s store that’s a
cool name right it is it is it’s also like direct right right to the point
the whole deal yeah man just like just like the name of
I have the Jordan B Peterson partner real creative yeah you scored high and
openness a boat yeah but it is a legit store nonetheless I’m still a basic
store but what we got on there got some shirts some rash guards for jiu-jitsu
and surfing actually for pretty much any physical activity cycling whatever um
also some women’s stuff on there and hats hoodies are out mmm for the winter
yeah see he’s from Canada you need to legit yeah me too
he’s from Hawaii yeah he’s not he’s from Hawaii and last hoodies that he made
were thinner than your shirt that you’re wearing right now they’re inappropriate
as hoodies so he beefed it up again this year slight exaggeration but true
nonetheless so yeah they’re they’re thicker hoodies for sure and they’re in
some patches on there again some women’s stuff for you you know the lady troopers
gin after it um so yeah she’d be all good on there uh some new stuff coming
out I’m gonna let you guys wait on what those things are
ooh anyway let’s just go store calm that’s a good bike it’s this big thing
you know there’s four people that are waiting I’m just saying that’s the one
talking to boom anyway that’s called your coaster calm
easy to remember also okay so psychological warfare tell you what that
is makes sense too so when you’re on the path that’s what we’re calling it right
the path mm-hmm yeah discipline right don’t you know I like okay I’m gonna
take you got to keep doing that stuff you know you can’t just be like I’m
gonna quit drinking and then just quit drinking for one day you got to do it
for four good but some days you find that it’s like hard like would say I’m
gonna wake up 4:30 in the morning every morning now for the rest of my life one
day it’s gonna be like I can’t do hit snooze but now psychological warfare
it’s an album with tracks you can get on iTunes whatever and each track is for
each little weakness that might come up see I’m saying so let’s say you’re about
to wake up you want to hit the snooze instead of the snooze psychological
warfare get up and get after it that’s the name
of the track it’ll have Jocko telling you pragmatic
why you shouldn’t do that why you should stay strong stay on it stay on the path
you campaign against weakness and also you know it goes for a bunch of stuff
like you want to skip the workout that day or you’re procrastinating you know
and I’ll leave it for tomorrow whatever create a block all that stuff
anyway it’s called psychological warfare check it out see if the it see if any
one or more of the tracks addresses your potential weakness on your path that’s
what it’s for and that by the way that that album was the number one spoken
word album for something like nine months and it was only recently and this
is on iTunes it was only recently overtaken by another album that’s called
the discipline equals freedom Field Manual what is version audio version
which is now on iTunes and Amazon music and Google Play and other did you read
it yes you did yes yeah cuz I’ve been thinking about reading my book oh you
absolutely should I read this yeah I read this with my buddy life and this
book the kids book way the warrior kid my son read oh yeah he read the kid and
I read uncle Jake so I have fun with that kind of thing
also when you’re in Amazon you can get John a white tea which you may want to
try it do you ever dead lift weights yeah okay this will give you a minimum
deadlift of 8,000 pounds of white tea it will get you there 100% also on Amazon
obviously we got the books Jordans books maps of meaning and 12 rules for life
pre-order it the thing that this is what’s gonna happen and I had to warn
people that was gonna happen and it’s gonna happen to your book to your
publisher doesn’t understand what’s happening they don’t understand YouTube
they don’t understand your podcast they don’t understand this podcast that
understand Joe Rogan’s podcast and understand that and so they’re printing
books and they think oh yeah we think it’s gonna do okay the book is gonna
sell out so people don’t pre-order the book
they won’t get there’s two things first of all they won’t get it when it comes
out and second of all they won’t get the first edition copy which is kind of like
if you’re a book guy you want that thing if you want it to be first edition okay
that’s so if you want his book which you do preorder it and do it now way the
warrior kid if you want to put your kid if you want to sort your kid out and put
them on the proper path the proper path get them booked way the warrior kid you
said you read it yeah okay yeah it’s funny I use that term to in my in my
book the proper path my editor asked me quite repetitively I’d say what exactly
what I meant by that but it’s you know sort of implicit in the book but proper
is the right word for that for some reason it’s even though it’s a kind of
an old word in some ways old-fashioned word that’s okay there’s a lot of
old-fashioned words that we could put that we could use again I agree and I
wrote this book because all the books that were out there for kids we’re
telling them that there was okay to be weak and that it was okay to do bad in
school yeah maybe they weren’t smart enough to to know their times tables and
all these some maybe it’s okay if you’re scared of the water maybe should just
stay away from the water they took no no no and no right do you want okay you
want yeah it’s not okay to be like that yeah
it’s but it is okay to be strong and it is okay to study hard and work hard it
is okay to face your fears yeah it’s okay to stand up to the bully it’s okay
to do those things it’s proper to do yes that’s right that’s right well that’s
the problem with that damn self-esteem movement it’s like you know they what
you’re supposed to be telling kids is that who you are is more important who
you could be is more important than who you are because you’re living it’s like
what are you living for you’re you know if you’re already everything you should
be it’s like well you know you’re done so what good is it growing up that’s not
helpful it’s like you say look man you’re full of potential there’s those
worlds out there to conquer there’s things to do there’s people to help
there’s things to put right get the hell together get it together and don’t let
your fears stop you as opposed to everything is great and you’re you’re
you’re this wonderful child why would you want to then burden yourself with a
bunch of responsibility why would you do that doesn’t make any sense I’m already
good to go yeah no unburden me oh and the kids no that’s
not true because they’re not like and while people in general know this
because they’re not satisfied with their life they have a feeling that there’s
got to be more well there is more but the more isn’t by radical
self-acceptance of all your pathetic flaws extreme ownership another book you
can get it’s about personal responsibility and how that will make
you win as a leader so get that book if you don’t have it yet and if you don’t
have if you have it and you want your team to be better get the book for your
team so that they start taking ownership for the problems and and then the
problems start getting solved discipline equals freedom Field Manual it’s out
thanks to everyone that bought it and made it into a best-seller a New York
Times best seller a Wall Street Journal bestseller those things are cool
guess what appreciate it appreciate all you out there buying the book spreading
a word all everyone that sent pictures of 12 books stacked up that you’re
buying for everyone on your team or everyone you know or you’re buying them
for Christmas and your dad and your uncle thank you for doing that
because not only to help the book do well and continue to help the book do
well it’s also going to help those people out in my opinion okay not that
everyone’s gonna get it some people are gonna go this book is stupid impossible
you know yeah and what we talked about earlier some people read the book and
they go I already knew that well of course you did but why didn’t you do it
yeah why didn’t you do it because someone obviously thinks you need to do
it so okay you get it that’s fine yeah you know what you’re supposed to do
guess what we all know we’re supposed to do we all know what’s gonna improve our
station in life and what’s gonna make it worse why aren’t you doing the things
that you’re supposed to do question I don’t know now you get a man you
actually do it you want to know why could you lack the discipline you lack
the discipline to do the things you know you’re supposed to do don’t know you
might also lack the fear it’s like it actually matters if you don’t do it you
know matters if you leave things undone you leave the world in an uncompleted
state it hurts it hurts you it hurts your
family it hurts your society and it hurts the world so if you’re laying
there being useless and not getting at it then you’re contributing to the
catastrophe and it’s that simple so it actually matters if you do it and I
think sometimes people don’t do it because they don’t understand that you
know they’re they’re down on themselves they don’t think they matter it’s like
you matter a lot more than you think you you do and actually that’s rather
frightening you know because you think well wouldn’t it be nice if everybody
mattered it’s like you got to think that through if what you do matters you
better look out so get at it because you’re gonna pay
for it if you don’t know thank you yes I obviously agree that and and a lot of
people been asking for the audio version and like I said it’s on the mp3
platforms it’s on Google Play iTunes Amazon move music Spotify yes Spotify I
think you can ask your Alexa to play it right if you have that digital thing in
your yeah that if it’s on Amazon music I think it automatically does this I don’t
know for sure but if you need some leadership support training at your team
or your business a chillon front that is the leadership consulting company it’s
me Lafe babban JP Danelle Dave Burke info at Ashkelon font calm we’ll come
and get after it with you and your leadership team if you want to keep this
conversation going you can hit all of us up on the interwebs on Twitter Instagram
and on the face bulky echo is that echo Charles I am at Jocko willing and Jordan
is Jordan B Peterson on Twitter Jordan B Peterson on YouTube and dr.
Jordan B Peterson on Facebook and like I said you also have the podcast as well
echo do you have any clothing for the closing thoughts that’s it thank you so
much hey thanks for the invitation it’s been great yeah looks like we’re doing
the same thing from different directions so that’s and not so different even so
that’s pretty cool so yeah it’s good anything else from you nope don’t think
so appreciate it we’ll get you back on here before 12
rules comes out and we’ll talk about that book in a little bit more detail
okay in advance coffee awesome and thank you for coming on obviously but more
important thanks for being out there thanks for spreading a positive message
again very aligned with what I say you’re coming at people from a different
angle than I come from but that message I think is gonna make people better
which in turn as you just said is gonna make the world a better place and I know
I know that you are working hard to make this happen and I truly appreciate the
fact that you are doing that so it doesn’t doesn’t seem like there’s
anything better to do that’s kind of it seems like a basic truth doesn’t it it’s
like there are things that aren’t so good we could probably fix most of them
so like what you got something better to do than that doesn’t seem like it let’s
at least have a good shot at it Yeah right exactly exactly and to the
people that make this podcast possible and that is the soldiers sailors airmen
and Marines on the front lines who protect our right to free speech those
folks that are living out the archetype of the hero they’re out there fighting
the dragon and killing the snakes and protecting us from evil
thanks to all you servicemen and women for protecting us and to police and law
enforcement firefighters paramedics and other first responders thank you for
keeping us safe on the homefront and to everyone else that is listening remember
this there is evil in the world there are snakes and there are dragons and
there are depraved human beings and pathologies that can rip you apart but
there is also your world that you control and you have the ability to
stand up against evil and against those snakes in your own way
and make your world a better place so stand up and get after it
so until next time this is dr. Jordan Peterson and echo and Jocko