Today, I’m speaking with Joe Hanson about the science of health, happiness, and much more. Joe Hanson is a Ph.D. biologist who writes, hosts, and produces videos about science for his award-winning YouTube show, Be Smart (formerly known as It’s Okay To Be Smart) from PBS Digital Studios. The show has attracted 4.5 million+ subscribers and amassed more than a quarter billion views.
What’s really cool about this conversation is that Joe and I are real-life friends. Our families hang out with each other on a monthly basis in Austin, and I love pestering Joe with random questions about science as we do our best to make sure our kids don’t get hurt or end up with poop on themselves for too long.
Joe’s mission in life is to tell the world how awesome science truly is. And he’s doing that by changing the way science is communicated. He makes learning about it entertaining, accessible, and a lot more relatable.
I approached this conversation as a fitness professional interested in a scientist’s opinion on the best practices we can utilize – backed by science – to help our overall health and happiness, and Joe delivers! I know this episode will inspire you as it did me, and I look forward to you listening in for yourself.
The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!
Use the RSS link to find the Better Man Podcast on other apps: http://feeds.libsyn.com/404744/rss
Watch a Clip From Episode 004
Key Takeaways with Joe Hanson
- Changing the way science is communicated.
- Why science is the best tool to let new ideas emerge and survive.
- How daily habits and routines can change your brain.
- The dangers of cognitive biases and how they affect decision making.
- Embracing ignorance and being humble in your knowledge.
- Remembering that you will die—a great perspective tool for living in the moment.
- Tracing back how ideas form.
- Managing stress as a parent—and understanding the root cause for that stress.
- Are you waking up horny, happy, and healthy?
- A reminder that sleep is one of the greatest things you can do for your health and happiness.
- Getting vulnerable and speaking about your biggest challenges as a guy—an important step forward for men’s mental health!
Joe Hanson Notable Quotes
- “I think that movement and activity, as it promotes both brain and body health, is essential for being the best possible thinker.” – Joe Hanson
- “Books almost seem like magic, like unfair magic that we have in front of us for a few dollars or free if you have a library card. The greatest ideas from all of human history right in front of you for the taking.” – Joe Hanson
- “If we can get close to the ultimate truth in the world, it is about getting ideas that we can use to create new ideas. And science is the best tool we have for doing that because it only allows the best ideas to survive.” – Joe Hanson
- “The brain is a hunk of fat and meat, the same as is any other part of your body. And working it out releases really pleasurable chemicals and makes your life better in the same way that treating your body well can really age your life in the long term.” – Joe Hanson
Dean Pohlman: All right. Hey, guys. What’s up? It’s Dean. Welcome to the Man Flow Yoga Podcast. Today, I am joined by my friend and very smart person, Joe Hanson. Welcome to the Man Flow Yoga Podcast, Joe.
Joe Hanson: Thanks so much for having me, Dean. And way to put the pressure on me as an incredibly smart person but I’ll do my best to live up to that.
Dean Pohlman: That is literally this entire conversation, just based on your brain. So, bring the knowledge, bring the science. So, I wanted to first chat about how I know you. So, part of what you do is a very popular YouTube channel and you’re also here in Austin, Texas. And we actually met because your wife was a patient of my wife, of Marissa, and she had, correct me if I’m wrong, but your wife had knee surgery, and then she started seeing Marissa for physical therapy. And Marissa talked about you because you always came with her to the physical therapy and appointments. And usually, when she has a patient who does that, she’s like, “Oh, this is going to be one of those weird couples like he drives her to all our physical therapy.” But I think that was probably just because she couldn’t drive.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. I mean, I get it. There’s a lot of weird relationships out there but no. It’s so funny that that’s what it looked like from the other side. But, yeah, she injured her right knee so she couldn’t drive the car. And I ended up at the beginning be like, “Oh man, I guess I got to go sit at physical therapy,” but it turned out to be a really neat experience to support her in getting better but also to meet Marissa and then to meet you as like, “Hey, this really turned out to be worth it.” Yeah. I just sat there in the corner and brought my Kindle along and go through whatever book I had at the time. And it actually worked out for me pretty well, too, because I got my own physical therapy over there for my little aging broken body, too. So, that was a win for everybody.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Actually, she mentioned that. So, she said, “Yeah. He just sits in the corner and he reads his books. You would like him because he reads books a lot like you.” So, initially, I was probably like, “Yeah, I have to meet someone else.” But then we actually did meet and, yeah, you’re pretty cool. So, I’m glad that we met.
Joe Hanson: Well, likewise, Dean.
Dean Pohlman: Thank you. Yeah, we have a lot in common. We have YouTube channels. We have children. Our wives like us better when we work out. You know, all that normal stuff.
Joe Hanson: And trying to balance all three of those things. Which yoga poses that is spinning plates in the air? Because that’s the one I need to master.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That’s called spinning-plates-in-the-air-asana, I’m pretty sure. So, yeah, whatever that is. So, anyway, so you have a YouTube channel that is partnered, you’ll have to explain the exact details, but partnered with PBS Digital Studios. You have about 4.5 million subscribers on there, which is about 2,000% more than I have. So, that’s pretty cool. Also, Neil deGrasse Tyson is the world’s sexiest astronomer. Are you YouTube’s sexiest smart guy?
Joe Hanson: I’m not touching that second one. You know, everybody’s got their own preferences and feelings about that. But you know, I will say, Dean, you and I both get interesting messages, and I’m thankful for all the fans out there. I just keep it clean. That’s all I’m saying. It’s a family show. We try to make that. But you know, I think people are attracted to curiosity and displaying that love for lifelong learning. You know, just in why they want to follow content like the content I make and the content that a lot of other science communicators make on YouTube. It’s something that we sorely need, and it just feels really good. You know, the brain is a hunk of fat and meat, the same as is any other part of your body. And working it out releases really pleasurable chemicals and makes your life better in the same way that treating your body well can really age your life in the long term.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And you’ve put out a ton of content on that like we won’t get into all the topics but you’ve put out stuff on some things I do want to hear you talk about. You also talked about why do we cry? Why do we laugh? Why does music move us? Why do we have to sleep? Stuff about the placebo effect. I think you even did a piece on the science of marathon training. So, there’s a lot of really cool topics in there that I’d love to explore.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. Science is a huge universe. There’s infinite stories and everything from space to diseases. But the things that I think really resonate with people are the ones that show you how you fit into the universe as a person and how you work. You know, we are the most complicated machines from our brains to our bodies that we know of in the universe and to try to just pick that apart and learn a little bit more about how we function and that how we can function better both in our brains and our bodies and why we do the things we do. I mean, that lets you walk through life a little bit more of a complete and full human being.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And I think you do an awesome job of doing that in your videos, obviously, but what I really like about your videos is that they’re so engaging. Like, I never feel like, I mean, they’re relatively short. It’s not like I have to watch a 50-minute YouTube video yoga workout and do everything but they’re so engaging. Like, it’s so easy to watch. Like, I feel like my attention is like grabbed every three to five seconds. Your use of puns is fantastic. I was cracking up when I was watching one of your videos a few days ago. You were making a bunch of puns about hair. And you had a pun meter that was going on in the video, too. So, that was awesome. And then one other thing that I really like about you that I’ve noticed in-person is you never talk down to people with your knowledge, like you talk about it in a way that this is really cool and this made me really curious. So, I never got the sense that you were talking down to me when I would ask you questions about things. So, that’s also really cool because a lot of people just they want to show you how smart they are and they’re not talking to you because like they want you to know. They’re like they want you to know how smart they are and what they’ve learned. So, you genuinely give off this sense that, “Hey, this is just really cool to me and I want you to see how cool this is too.”
Joe Hanson: Exactly. The mission is to share my journey of how excited I was to learn that thing and to say, “Come and join me on this story and experience that fun of learning it. Not for me to just inject all the facts into your head, but to take you on a story so that you can experience that excitement.” And that’s where the humor and the engagement comes in because it’s not about for every single question topic out there, sure, somebody might already know the answer that clicks on that video but we all are going to have that first moment when we are exposed to a topic. And I want everyone’s first moment if they’re sharing it with me to be the best possible moment, not to be one of those boring moments where you’re just being lectured to in school but one to say, “Hey, come learn with me and I’ll show you how much fun it can be.” And so far, I guess, we’re doing an okay job with that.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Like, if I were a teacher, I would probably show your videos like, “Okay. I don’t want to talk for the next ten minutes. So, we are going to listen to Joe talk about this topic.” So, you were talking about – this just brought up a question for me but how did you develop this relationship with PBS? Like how did this all come about? Because that’s really cool. You have a show on PBS. You don’t just have a YouTube channel. You have like a show at PBS.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. It sounds pretty important. Doesn’t it?
Dean Pohlman: It does.
Joe Hanson: So, I’ve been communicating science to the public for a little more than 10 years now in various places on the internet. And so, I’m a biologist. I have a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology and in graduate school realized there’s a real gap here about what I understand about why I do what I do and what I do and why it’s important, and just what normal people understand about why they should fund it, why it’s important, why society should do these kinds of things, why it’s fun to know about this stuff. And so, I started working on different projects online. You know, social media was blowing up for the first time. It seems like ancient history but utilizing these new tools to reach people because I knew there were people out there that were curious about this stuff and wanted to know this stuff, but they just weren’t being reached in the old ways of doing things. You know, they’re not turning on television and watching science shows. There’s no science in the news. Nobody even read the newspaper anymore. So, it was looking for new ways to do these things.
So, it was blogs. It was Tumblr pages. It was Facebook and growing and growing and growing and experimenting with new ways of doing this and YouTube, I mean, it was just this incredible potential for reaching the entire planet of curious people on something they can carry in their pocket and telling them really interesting stories. So, I was lucky enough to actually get an email from PBS one day from work. I had been doing and had grown a pretty big audience of millennials and younger people online say, “Hey, we thought about doing this on video like the PBS, I grew up watching Mister Rogers and Sesame Street, and all of these shows like this was what made me. And now we watch Bob Ross and stuff as an adult so you keep it going.” But to continue on in making content for this incredible just like foundational organization of teaching people in America and now around the world was a real privilege like they’re amazing people to work with. They have a great mission to share information education with as many people as possible to make it free and easily accessible. And they let us go do amazing work and be creative. It’s such an awesome partnership and public media just rules, man. People got to keep supporting it.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Well, good to know when donation time comes around again to support that. So, something…
Joe Hanson: I don’t have a tote bag or a coffee cup I can send you, but…
Dean Pohlman: I definitely want a coffee cup just with your face on it. That’s it. And just remember to be smart today or something like that, “Hey, idea.” Anyways, so something I’ve stuck out while you were answering that is this idea of bridging the gap. And I think that’s so important because most people for me, for example, like I’m pretty dedicated to my fitness and I’ve learned a lot about fitness but most people aren’t where I am, so we have to be able to bring it down, not bring it down. We have to bring it over. We have to be able to bridge the gap because if you just start like, “Here’s what I’m working on right now. I’m doing handstands and I’m deadlifting 400 pounds.” If we just bring that over to someone who’s, “Hey, like, I want to get healthier, but I don’t know how,” it’s just going to go like that’s just completely uninspiring. So, it’s so important and I’m glad you’re doing such a good job of it but you’re bridging that gap between I have a Ph.D. to, “Hey, I just want to learn more about how does my body work.” So, that’s really cool. Do you want to talk anymore about that?
Joe Hanson: Yeah. I mean, I went to school for, let’s see, 20 years.
Dean Pohlman: That’s a lot.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. It’s longer than I’ve done anything in my life. I just got more experience and I speak a different language, right? I’m not a different kind of person. I’m at a different stage of learning and anyone can enter that pathway wherever they are. And their endpoint might not be the same as mine. You know, I’m not totally interested like my main goal is not to create more scientists that are working in labs in the world, but to create people who love science and use it as part of their decision-making process in their lives, with their own health, with their voting, with their families, with the choices that they make and integrate more scientifically literate people. And so, your end point might be very different. And I think that I can totally see that parallel with people’s fitness because everyone’s entering from a different place and people might ultimately have different goals. But you’re equipping them with tools and perspectives in order to create their own journey.
Dean Pohlman: So, that just made me think of I don’t want to talk about a specific topic, which as soon as you introduced a specific topic, it turns you off like, “Oh, I’m on this side, you’re on that side, and I don’t need to hear anything you say.” So, I would, however, like to – you are a scientist. You are in scientist world. Can you talk about the need for or how you remain objective in a world in which science and facts has become so political? I know that’s not something that we discuss at all, but it just came up for me, and I think it’s a really relevant question. How do you deal with that?
Joe Hanson: Well, I mean, science is something done by people. You know, the idea that science can ever be completely separated from human decision-making and the biases that we all carry around or that it is not political or can’t be political. I mean, these are things that I wish in some perfect Candyland world maybe they’re true, but science is a thing done by humans, and we have to learn how to navigate that stickiness. I think that when we go back to how people are taught this scientific method in school, right, that there’s these steps you somehow go through, you’re making a hypothesis and you’re testing it and you’re making conclusions. And it seems like this very ordered pathway that guides you to some point, some answer. And in reality, that’s not how science is actually done, and it’s not how science, if it has a method, really works. Science is about being conscious of our ignorances, and so we all have ignorance of some kind, and it’s about being comfortable with your ignorance and identifying it and consciously and constantly reflecting on it and knowing where that ignorance is so that you can identify those weaknesses.
Where you identify that ignorance is where you need to be the most careful to make sure that you have as much observation and evidence and things and experts that know things very well and have their own observations and evidence that you can trust, calling upon all these things to strengthen your ignorant spots. That is really what underlies the scientific process and method because scientists are testing each other. They’re testing each other’s evidence to make sure it holds up when it’s done, when it’s repeated another time. You know, ideas sort of survive by evolution and natural selection. Like, we have people talk about peer review. We can use this as an example like an idea goes out there and other people look at it and tell you how good it is and whether it deserves to be published. Well, that’s one step, and that’s a great filter that keeps a lot of BS out of the system. But some stuff makes it through. And we know that. How many times have we heard chocolate causes cancer then chocolate cures cancer then chocolate causes cancerous cures. You know, it’s so confusing to keep up with what does what.
So, some of those ideas might make it out and maybe they don’t pan out. But then there’s this natural selection of ideas that only the good ideas that are actually useful that can actually lead us to new ideas are the ones that survive, and those are the ones that are real. If we can get close to the ultimate truth in the world and like we can get, “That’s a very philosophical question,” it is about getting ideas that we can use to create new ideas. And science is the best tool we have for doing that because it only allows the best ideas to survive.
Dean Pohlman: That’s cool. I’ve never heard that before, I don’t think, at least explained like that. So, that’s awesome to hear. And I wrote this down. Science is about being conscious of our ignorance. I like it. So, the more you know, the less you know.
Joe Hanson: No. I mean, scientists are some of the most humble people, well, most of them, when it comes to realizing what they don’t know. One of the biggest things scientists can do is be comfortable in not knowing like to say, “I don’t know,” and not to have that to be a scary moment but had that be an exciting moment because that’s where the science begins. If we knew everything, we wouldn’t have anything left to do.
Dean Pohlman: Right. Cool. All right. Well, thanks for answering that. I’m going to ask you my next question. So, as a very smart guy who knows a bunch of stuff, let’s just talk about a few things that we humans should be aware of when it comes to our overall health and happiness. What are some habits, some mindsets, some practices, beliefs that can help us be happier, healthier, and more fulfilled? Just feel better about ourselves?
Joe Hanson: You know, one thing that I think is a huge trend today that we’re all seeing more and more conversation of and they’re all becoming more aware of is that there is no one answer to this and just can be more accepting of that of how varied the human experience is, how varied human minds are and human bodies about that there is no necessarily right and wrong way to reach these ideas of health and happiness and satisfaction because people are coming from completely different starting places. So, I feel like the starting point for any of these, the idea that I try to keep in my work all the time is one of kind of empathy and awareness of who I’m trying to reach and understanding what starting point they’re at. You know, who are they? Like, what’s motivating them? How did they become the person that they are today? Because I think that really affects what we can do with the messages we try to send and the stories that we try to tell. You know, another thing that people so one of my least favorite like science headlines and these clickbait-kind-of-level science stories that goes out there is such and such can change your brain. I get some sort of like magical power that all of a sudden like…
Dean Pohlman: I’m going to cross my next question off this list.
Joe Hanson: But the reality is that everything changes your brain. Having literally the cup of coffee you had this morning, the TV show you watched yesterday. Everything changes your brain and it’s a reminder of how adaptable we are. And there’s a term for this that feels like plasticity. We have plastic brains. This is the term neuroscientists use for your brain’s ability to rewire and adapt and make new connections. And that changes as we get older and things like that but keeping this in mind that everything you do can and does change your brain makes you, I think, more and more conscious of making of practice and habits and goals and having these sort of long term priorities in order to sort of maximize burning the right things into your brain, but also how difficult you need to change.
Dean Pohlman: You are what you do in a way.
Joe Hanson: Yeah, definitely. I sort of touched on this next one when talking about being aware of our ignorances and looking for those positive moments of ignorance where you don’t know things, but we all come from these places where we have blind spots. And the human mind has a lot of Achilles’ heels in terms of the biases that we carry along, the mental shortcuts that we’ve evolved to make. For instance, you think you’re making decisions based on the best information out there but subconsciously, none of us are conscious that we’re doing. We often and perhaps always we’ll have a tendency to please our group, whatever group you might identify that with. It might be we’re proud of being Austinites like that’s a group and that’s an identity. You know, we’re men who care about fitness and the lifestyles that go along with that like that’s an identity. But this also extends to politics and nationality and all kinds of things. And we all unconsciously are pulled to these shortcuts. And so, being conscious of them and what psychologists and scientists have become aware that we can be pulled and tricked into can help you see those blind spots of things like motivated reasoning and the biases that we carry along. And that’s one of those important sort of corrections and course corrections you can do to keep yourself on a path of reason and what is real.
Dean Pohlman: So, that kind of brought up. So, I’ve always heard the phrase we are not logical beings living emotionally or I can’t remember the first part but basically, we like to think that we are logical and we do not make emotional decisions but in reality, we are emotional and we make our decisions. We use logic to justify our emotions. And so, by the extension of what you said, our identity is something that we hold emotionally important on an emotional basis and the logic is something that justifies that identity and those emotions.
Joe Hanson: Yes, absolutely. We all can fall into that cycle of making our choice and using our powerful rational brains to justify that choice after the fact. We all do that. Even the most scientifically minded people do that but I think it’s about the consciousness that that’s happening and learning how to be aware of when it’s happening can help you step back and view those situations differently. And no one’s perfect in that regard. I mean, how many times have you been in an elevator or been sitting in a crosswalk, and you decide to tap the button again because the door is not closing fast enough or the walk sign is not coming up? It’s well known that like many elevator door buttons don’t do anything, and that many crosswalk buttons are completely disconnected from actually making the sign change. It’s just on a timer. But we do that because it’s an active thing that we can feel like we’re having this control. You know, it’s a cognitive bias and we don’t notice it.
Dean Pohlman: Gotcha.
Joe Hanson: I have a video on this that people should check out about why we used to blow in Nintendo games that I’m not going to spoil the ending of but…
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And before we continue, you should definitely go subscribe to Joe on YouTube. His channel is called Be Smart. It’s formerly It’s Okay To Be Smart, but It’s Okay To Be Smart was long so, I mean, you have your own reasons for changing it but it is now called Be Smart. So, you should definitely check it out.
Joe Hanson: We’re a little more urgent these days. Yeah. It’s less of a question and more of like, “Come on, guys.”
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. There’s no like, “Come on, guys. It’s okay.” You’re just like, “Just be smart. Just do it already.” I like it. So, what are some other things? Overall happiness, overall fulfillment, overall health? We’ve got the importance of recognizing our emotional and our identity biases as in our actions talked about.
Joe Hanson: Yeah, everything changes our brain. You know, remembering the sort of the variety of human experience.
Dean Pohlman: So, not as a huge topic then. Just being aware of yourself.
Joe Hanson: Exactly. And that’s about that self-reflection. And I touched on this but the idea of ignorance like embracing our ignorance and humility in our understanding is super important. That is something that really guides me, and I am excited by my ignorance in all of its most positive senses. I mean, what else could we do in the world if we had nothing else to learn, if we had nowhere else to go, nothing to progress through? I mean, that’s what guides us. The information is in the next book we want to read, in the next video that we want to watch. You know, these are the things that give us goals and let us build to something better. So, I embrace ignorance and being humble in my knowledge.
Dean Pohlman: Cool. So, that makes me think. Were you going to say something or were you going to bring up another?
Joe Hanson: Oh, I think that was for you. You said I was going to bring up a fifth one.
Dean Pohlman: Go for it. Please do.
Joe Hanson: And you know, I’ve done a little reading of stoic philosophy and stoic ideas and how they relate to our modern life.
Dean Pohlman: Some Ryan, Mr. Holiday stuff?
Joe Hanson: Yeah. Ryan Holiday stuff and a lot of things around that. I think if you’re a rational thinker like I try to be, I think it’s a mindset that really resonates with trying to navigate our complex world today. But of the many ideas in there as a dad, one that really resonates with me these days because we’re so busy and we’re drawn in so many different directions is the saying “Memento Mori” which is, “Remember that you will die.” Yeah. And that sounds like super dark and awful but when we’re pulled in so many different directions and we have our phones and jobs and we can stick our kids in front of TV or we can feed them dinner at a separate time and care about ourselves and try to do what we want to do, it’s a constant reminder to say, “What could be more important than this moment right now? Because I don’t know that I’m going to wake up tomorrow.” You know, I don’t know if a meteor is going to hit my house in the middle of the night. You have to remind to make the most of the moments you have in front of you and not putting those moments off to an uncertain future. I think it’s been a really good priority perspective changer as a dad who is busy and has a lot of stuff that I could be doing at any moment.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That’s great. So, that brought up the question for me. I was already going to ask this but this brought up the question. So, there are so many great ideas from books, right? So, I have tons of those stoic books. Actually, I met Ryan at a book signing, made him sign all of my books. I was telling him all about how well my first book, Yoga Fitness for Men, had done because of what I read in his book, The Perennial Bestseller. And he just wrote, “Don’t let the results go to your head,” like right in the intro, as I was telling him about how great it was with me. Ah, gosh, thanks, Ryan. But there are so many great ideas in books, and you know, I have a whole wall full of self-development books but there’s a huge difference between reading a book and actually implementing what it contains. Can you speak at all to – and this is something that I’m really interested in because I’m exposed and everyone’s exposed to these great ideas like these awesome habits that we should all be doing on a daily basis. You know, these different ways of interacting in our relationships and just being healthier, being happier. Can you speak to implementing knowledge just in general or however you want to interpret that?
Joe Hanson: Yeah. I mean, books almost seem like magic, like unfair magic that we have in front of us for a few dollars or free if you have a library card, the greatest ideas from all of human history right in front of you for the taking.
Dean Pohlman: Wow.
Joe Hanson: Why wouldn’t we be taking advantage of it? It’s an absolutely insane privilege to have access to these ideas. And so, I mean, the first thing you have to do is make a practice of experiencing these ideas. Some of those ideas are in stories and in fiction. You know, I read mostly nonfiction, I think you do too, and that’s certainly not the only way you experience ideas. You know, sometimes you have to read between the lines in literature to figure out what they’re getting at but it’s really not the only way to do it. But in that, you have to make it a practice. You’re showing yourself that it’s a priority and you have to expose yourself to many ideas. But of course, it’s easier to write a book and get a book out there and there’s a ton of books being put out, so we’re sort of flooded with ideas. And how do you make the most of your time and find the ones that are going to be meaningful for you? My first tip is if you don’t like something you’re reading, put it down. I hate to see people that’s like sunk cost fallacy with a book like, “Well, I picked it up. I’m going to keep on reading.” I’m like, “If you don’t like it, put it down. Nobody’s making you do it. It’s just a book.” There’s another one waiting, right? The next in the stack. We all have that stack. Just go to the next one.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And to that point, it’s really important because if you’re not emotionally interested in what you’re learning, actually, you’re not going to learn it anyways. You have to have some emotion. Jim Kwik does a really good job. I feel like you should be best friends with Jim Kwik, by the way, but Jim Kwik does a really good job of emphasizing that point. We have to be interested in what we’re learning about in order for it to stick anyways.
Joe Hanson: I mean, we all felt that in school, right? And that’s a big part of what drives the stories that I tell is developing that love first, that interest and that connection. And beyond that, for every new idea that I try to expose myself to, I’m really big on going back to ideas of old and that can be different. That can mean something from the 60s or 70s or 80s at this point or it could be something from the 1700s. I love inside of my science videos to try to trace back the origins of ideas because they are not as linear and as direct as we have been led to believe. They never are. They are not these, they are never, almost never, I very few times have ever recognized like true moments of light bulb genius. They are built from smaller ideas. They depend on random and confusing events. They are often could have been this guy but ended up being this guy. And many people have figured things out long before the people that take credit for them that we just were lost to history for various reasons. And tracing back how ideas form gives you a respect for digging into these older stories. I have several books that I love that I’ve read several times, science and nature books, that I keep going back to and trying to be exposed to those same ideas as whatever person I am today. And that’s a really great experience to show you that you don’t necessarily always need the new ideas, but that the ideas that have resonated with you can do so again in whatever place you are in your life right now.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, two things. First, if you can explore something in enough depth, you can apply that to everything else. But also, I had kind of a disillusionment with the whole self-development cognitive behavior, whatever department of books, a few years back because, one, I realized that I’m not going to be able to implement all, I’m not implementing all of this like I’m reading all these things but I’m not implementing it. So, what’s the point? But the second part was I was realizing that so many of the ideas that I was reading about were just older ideas that have been written about thousands of years ago that are just put into a different context. Like so much, if you’ve never read the early classics like if you’ve never read Aristotle, if you’ve never read Seneca, if you’ve never read the guys who have these bust, right, the statue heads, if you’ve never read them, go back and read them and then look at the dates which they read them and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, these people were thinking these thousands of years ago? This is profound. This looks like someone at Harvard, which is sitting in an armchair, and all of a sudden they said, ‘No, no, no, no.’ Oh my gosh, what a genius.” Yeah. That was thousands of years ago. So, I just think that…
Joe Hanson: Yeah. People have been facing a lot of the same core challenges and questions about life for a very long time. I mean, how long ago we proved that the Earth was round? How long ago ideas that things were made of small things called atoms? How long ago the ideas of the Earth actually orbiting around the sun actually first came up? The idea that the Chinese understood that we lived in a giant magnet and had invented a compass centuries before this ever made it to Europe. And the idea is that in the Arab world and in India, they understood numbers in mathematics to a degree that felt like millennia beyond what was going on in Europe. These are stories that have been lost to time that show you just how old and universal some of these questions really are.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. It’s just really cool to think about. So, I’m really into building habits. I want to talk about at least one of your videos. You made a video called How Habits Change Your Brain. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Joe Hanson: Yeah. This one grew out of personal experience because, I mean, we all have habits.
Dean Pohlman: We do.
Joe Hanson: They’re little things like biting our nails when I’m watching like I bite my nails when I watch anything on Netflix or something. I constantly catch myself.
Dean Pohlman: Your wife doesn’t reach over and hit you? Like, I’ll poke…
Joe Hanson: She’s just out of arm’s reach.
Dean Pohlman: Smart, which is probably a habit. Zing.
Joe Hanson: I know. It’s a behavior I’ve learned over time. We all have these and the key with habits is they’re unconscious. There are things happening below our conscious level and they can be good things. But they can also be bad things. Within the idea of how habits form, it is sort of helpful to look at the brain like a river. And so, anytime I make a decision to do something like I sit up straight like this is reminding myself about my posture. Well, I fired some circuit in my brain like a line of nerves has fired to simplify it. Now, every time I do that like that’s like water running over the dirt that’s created some, that’s eroded some little groove. Well, every time that I do that, that water is deepening that groove. It is strengthening that pathway. This is what we’re doing when we repeat behaviors and we do things with practice and dedication, we are making it easier for that particular pathway to fire again. And you can think about when you went to learn to ride a bike. If any of us can think back that far but having a kid who started to do this with, at first, there is so much conscious multitasking of like, okay, handlebars and balance and pedaling and steering.
And think about all of that active behavior that you’d have to master at the same time as a little wobbly kid trying to figure this out. Well, that doesn’t stop once you learn how to ride a bike. What has happened is all of those pathways of decision making and reaction and action have become so well-grooved, the water has run so deeply that they fire unconsciously. And this is why so much of the power of sort of mastering habits and especially changing habits because who doesn’t want to change some habit in their life? It’s about conscious practice and repetition that you have to put it back into the active part of your brain and dedicate it and do that sort of conscious repetition in order to help maximize the chances that those synapses at those nerve pathways are going to be a little more burned in. And a word like practice like it just gets thrown around so much today, just sort of like fades into the background but, remember, it’s a very real brain activity. It’s not just a philosophical thing. It’s not just an attitude. Practice is repetition and repetition is actually repeating, burning things into your brain and behavior, because your behavior is your brain, I mean, to 100% degree.
Dean Pohlman: So, in order to get to the point where a behavior that we repeat consistently is a habit is it has to be something that we just totally subconsciously do. It’s not like, I mean, I like to think about my yoga habit as something that is unconscious or something that I just do regularly so it’s a habit. But you know, in reality, unless I’m walking into the kitchen and the first thing that I do is, “Oh, I’m in the kitchen. I’m going to just do this pose,” like then it’s not truly a habit. It’s a behavior that I like to repeat.
Joe Hanson: And that gets at the second key part of reinforcing habits, and that is the reward. There’s this famous old story about how they got people to start using toothpaste and marketing this product. And I talked about it in the video but it wasn’t until they added the mint and people got this tingle and this sort of some chemical was released in their brain, some pleasure chemical that reinforced the firing of that pathway to say, “Ooh, this is also enjoyable,” in a conscious or unconscious way. Getting to that reward and we can get that reward in a lot of different ways. I mean, obviously, like exercise of any kind, it’s releasing various neurotransmitters and hormones and things like that that are pleasurable and make you want to do that again. Maybe not pleasurable in the moment all the time but the end result is to drive you to do it again. That’s why we turn crabby when we don’t get to exercise. We become very unhappy to be around.
Dean Pohlman: We’re going through withdrawal from our endorphins.
Joe Hanson: Very real.
So, in order to really make something a habit, there has to be that. And how quickly does that reward have to happen? Because there’s a difference between rewards and incentives. There’s a difference between me feeling great after I exercise and me finishing and then saying, “Yay, I got to go buy myself an ice cream at the end of the week if I do this three more times.”
Joe Hanson: I mean, that sugar in that ice cream is releasing dopamine in your brain. That’s giving you a pleasure signal and the endorphins.
Dean Pohlman: True. And the anticipation.
Joe Hanson: Yeah, the anticipation. You know, people are going to get various rewards and that’s why I don’t like to prescribe what should drive you, what should be your goals. If you want to be fit to move and to feel happy and healthy walking around your house, that’s great. I mean, I want to be able to pick up my children when they’re bigger and not hurt myself. I won’t be able to go for a hike or run whenever I feel like it. I want to be able to just not hurt and maximize my chances for being healthy. But everybody’s going to have different goals there. And throwing away these ideas of you have to do something for 10,000 hours before you’re good at it. These are, frankly, nobody knows exactly where these myths have come from. I think it’s like a study of violin players or piano players that sort of bubbled up to the surface and then they started applying this number to everything else. But the amount of time for any task in between different people and how and what that reward is, is so varied. And that’s why it’s so difficult to put one answer on things like this. But again, if you are conscious of what’s happening, if you know a little bit more about yourself then maybe you can notice as these things are happening to you.
Dean Pohlman: It’s awesome. So, my last question of “part one” is let’s talk about being a dad. So, you have two lovely children. My first meeting of Harrison, he came over to, I mean, you came too I think or maybe it was just your wife but they came over to our house and he was in his “I’m so brave” stage. So, he would do something and then he would say, “I’m so brave,” and then he would run over somewhere else and say, “I’m so brave.” And that was just really cute anyways. But what are some changes that you made in your life and your habits and just how you do things on a daily basis in response to being a father? And if you could, I’d like it to focus on the stress of being a dad because that’s what I am interested in, because there’s just a lot of stress. You have no time anymore to do what you used to do. So, what did you do to take better care of yourself in response to that?
Joe Hanson: I read this great quote the other day that said, “I was a great parent before I had kids,” which is so true because you instantly realize how little you know, and that everyone sort of adapting along the way. I have a busy job that’s about creating stuff every day with really uncertain timelines sometimes and it involves like digging into hours and hours of research and concentration. That changed for being able to have complete and total personal freedom to chase whatever my favorite idea of the moment was. And, frankly, to get out of that selfish mindset of like I have to learn how to accept that my life is about other people now and balancing those different draws in our time because those are very real and they can lead to very big stress. We’re business owners too, right? We make our own life in the work that we do, and it depends directly on that. So, being able to make sure that we feel like we’re committing all the time to meet our goals and continue to grow is a challenge, but also being a great dad and creating a comfortable life for my kids but also instilling in them all the skills and tools that they will need to do that for themselves is part of my goal as a human, not just being a business owner and YouTube creator, right? They’re going to be fine when it comes to science. That’s not a problem so far. We go out in the yard and look for bugs all the time.
Dean Pohlman: Nice.
Joe Hanson: You know, but dealing with that stress, there are a few things I have to continue to remind myself to do to take care of myself, you know, maintaining my fitness and maintaining those habits, things I know that bring me joy. Like, I get joy from learning so I make sure I’m still making time for my practice of reading and just learning for my personal enjoyment. But also taking care of things like sleep and rest and recovery and spending time purely just with my children and family. It’s a little bit difficult when you work on the internet all the time and to say maybe my free time doesn’t need to be about that thing that I use for work all the time.
Dean Pohlman: Productivity is just one swipe away.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. Here’s a new app that can help you with your productivity.
Dean Pohlman: Oh, good. Yay. More. How long did it take for you to figure that out that you had to do, that you had to like actually take care of yourself?
Joe Hanson: It’s about being sort of conscious about why I would feel tired or down or frustrated or reflecting on moments of stress. You know, one thing in our relationship with Beth and I that we’ve gotten so much better at over time is being conscious of stress and getting better at discussing and communicating to get at the root causes of it. Because talking through those things, things that we’ve both done and experiences like in therapy and through reading but through practicing with each other about realizing that it’s often and almost always not stress of the moment and perhaps the specific thing in front of you that’s taking the effect but identifying what the cause is and that might be exhaustion or not communicating shared responsibilities or making up for when the other person’s gas tank is a little bit lower. So, you learn how to read these things both in the past and anticipate them in the future. And that’s part of reflecting, personally, in a relationship about trying to read those because only then can you really adapt to them, right?
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. You have to be mindful of what’s really causing your stress, not just looking at, “Okay. This thing made me angry,” but what’s really underneath that?
Joe Hanson: Yeah. Because nine times out of ten, we’ve all had that situation. We’re like, “Wait, this doesn’t normally make me angry. Why am I pissed off that I’m on hold right now to take care of some car rental issue? Wait, this doesn’t make any sense. What’s really going on?” And that can really help you identify sort of the core things. And that’s when you can say, “Oh, wait, I’m stressed because it’s been raining all week and I’ve been sitting inside. I haven’t gotten some exercise,” or, “My leg hurts because I haven’t gotten on my roller,” or, “I haven’t gotten enough sleep this week,” and things like that, that’s when you can be conscious of the various things that are actually influencing the end behavior.
Dean Pohlman: Got it. Perfect. Thank you. Alright. So, now moving on to my other questions. We’ve gone through our hour-long podcast and at 58 minutes in, we’re ready to go on to part two.
If you’ve ever watched any of my workouts, you will understand that this is completely me. I plan on doing a 15-minute workout. I get to 14 and I’m like, “Oh, I’ve only gone through half the poses. Wonderful.” So, what do you think is one habit, belief, or a mindset that has helped you most in terms of your overall happiness?
Joe Hanson: I haven’t this big R-word reason that I try to hang over my head to guide me to say, “Am I being reasonable?” Can I look at my emotions and trying to figure out what’s driving or changing them? Can I look at my behaviors and try to figure out what is driving them? Can I make this decision that I need to make based on the best possible real and true information? Can I react to things in a way that is logical and reasonable? And it’s an aspiration. You know, there are many failures along the way but using that as a guiding principle, that’s my mindset is to be reasonable. That doesn’t mean being unfeeling. That doesn’t mean being a robot who’s taking data in and putting out decisions but it’s being conscious of what we know about how brains and minds and behaviors work, and the universe works to make the best possible decisions that will bring us the most satisfaction and success.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I’ve thought about getting a tattoo on my arm. That’s kind of just like a symbol of all the things I want to remember doing on a daily basis. In the last week, I was thinking about how do I add in brain to that or how do I add in thinking to that? That sounds like putting a reason or thinking about things, putting it into an overall context is… Anyways, so that makes sense.
Joe Hanson: I’m sure we can find a nice like Latin phrase or something. That always look better if you’re going to tattoo that.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I’m going to make sure it’s incorrect, though. So, I’ll just say it says something but really it says like donkey balls or something weird. All right. What’s been a powerful, transformative tool or practice or a service or something you’ve utilized in your life that you would recommend to other men as well?
Joe Hanson: I cannot imagine life without being active. I know this seems clearly obvious and cliché, especially on your podcast, but I am a nerd, but I was also an athlete my entire life.
Dean Pohlman: What did you play?
Joe Hanson: I played soccer from the age of six to like 30 and basketball.
Dean Pohlman: Well, you’re tall, so that makes sense.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. I was a goalkeeper. That’s why I have crooked fingers. I’ll show you next time we’re hanging out. They’re awful.
Dean Pohlman: Gross.
Joe Hanson: But getting up to very high-level playing and it was late in life that I realized that this was like strange combination like people didn’t usually, you know, that society didn’t value both of these things existing at the same time. We’re making it easier, acceptable for people to sort of exercise both parts of their being. I think that movement and activity as it promotes to both brain and body health is essential for being the best possible thinker. You know, there’s no – you can look back through history of people who, from Darwin to Thoreau and great thinkers throughout time, who at least just walked or did something. I think it keeps our brains active and healthy and lets you be the best possible learner that you can be instead of being tired all the time.
Dean Pohlman: So, actually, I’ve been reading this book for this guy who’s coming on the podcast. It’s called the Align Method by Aaron Alexander, and the whole point of this book is to talk about how our mind and our body and our emotions are totally connected and how movement has to be part of not just what you do for 45 or 30 minutes a day, but how to integrate it into your life, how moving your body in particular away, how opening up your chest and standing up with good posture versus hunching your shoulders, how that changes your mood. So, it’s really interesting that you’re talking about that. And I think you might benefit from reading this. I think it’s got a lot of studies in it, got a lot of peer-reviewed evidence I would say.
Joe Hanson: A good reference section and in my chair, it reminded me to sit up. So, it’s already working.
Dean Pohlman: Yes. Good. Cool. So, next question, what’s your current? So, are you still working out? Are you still working out as much as you had been?
Joe Hanson: So, my fitness practices changed a little bit over the past couple of years. Growing up playing soccer and running and doing a lot of distance running really, really focused on that for a long time. But you know, as you get older and it gets more difficult to do from wear and tear and everything like that, I never had any serious injuries but these things just sort of add up about how many miles some of us can comfortably put on our body, especially if you’re a taller guy like me. You know, as we get older, it’s more important to think about things like our bone and strength and maintaining muscle. So, I’ve got a lot more into strength training last couple of years and a little bit less on, say, like endurance aerobic activity but a lot more maybe like intense aerobic activity and high-intensity stuff. So, that’s been really great. So, I usually do some sort of strength training three times a week and then either smaller runs or even just getting out for like recovery like walk days and stretching and yoga on the days in between to try to maximize that recovery because that also gets a lot harder very quickly as you get older.
And I’m 40 now, so I’m learning that the hard way. So, everybody, there’s certainly people out there who know this but you get to a point where you feel you’re doing as much work to be able to continue to work out at some points as you are on the real stuff. But yeah, lifting heavy stuff and doing with as many complex motions. Really got into kettlebells lately. I feel like those are very functional compound movements that integrate a lot of the nerve firing and keeping that thing that sharp as aging starts to pull on it from the other direction.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, I can attest. I went back and I looked at some of your YouTube videos from like 10 years ago. You were quite skinnier than you are now. So, yes.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. When you’re putting on marathon and half marathon training mileage and riding a lot of bikes, you start eating yourself from the inside out. So, yeah, strength training is an important part of that.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I was doing a ton of yoga when I was younger. After I finished with my lacrosse, with my collegiate lacrosse career, I started doing a bunch of yoga and I was teaching a lot of classes. And I looked in the mirror one day and I was like, “Whoa, we got skinny.”
Joe Hanson: Where did that go?
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Like, I’ve put on probably 25 to 30 pounds since I’ve been at my skinniest since then. But yeah, I definitely feel a lot better with strength training and also with having a little bit more fat. Like, I look at some of my photos when I was 4% or 5% or 6% body fat and, yeah, I look really cut but I also look at it and say, “Wow, I look almost like skinny and unhealthy in this.” And I just remember being angry every three hours because I was literally running out of body fat to eat.
Joe Hanson: Very hangry. Yeah. One of the best things I’ve done is I think somehow I’ve let go of the aesthetics and concern about stuff like body fat. A long time ago, I accepted even when I was running like over 100 miles a month and doing 30, 40-mile bike rides and playing soccer like I was never a cut guy because you realize we all have different genetics, we all have different backgrounds, we all have different capability to do that. And focusing on feeling, how resilient am I? What’s my strength like? How can I get through my day? Can I do the things I want to do? That’s a much more satisfying goal because you can find, in my experience, you find the answer is right for you instead of saying, “We all got to look like Dean and his broad shoulders, wide chest.”
Dean Pohlman: Well, you too can ruin shoulders and do lots of bench press between your 19 to early 20s and then spend five years fixing your shoulders through mobility work. So, there, it’s an option. Yeah, my trainer likes to ask me or when we’re first starting out, he was asking me horny, healthy, and happy, “Are you waking up horny, healthy, and happy?” And those three things are a good indicator of, “Hey, what’s your fitness like?”
Joe Hanson: Yeah. Those are readouts of our hormones and our chemicals and our biology and that’s what we’re made of.
Dean Pohlman: Now, I know why. Thank you. All right. So, what’s one thing that you do for your health that you believe is overlooked or undervalued by others?
Joe Hanson: This is so obvious but I really try to take care of my sleep, and I think more people really need to do this. And I know this is repeated constantly but we know from surveys that people still are chronically under-rested, that they are getting poor sleep through their habits and behaviors. And it’s an epidemic and the stresses that it can lead to are very serious. It can lead to, really, can lean you at least to some really negative health outcomes. You know, you’re not going to guarantee it but it’s really not going to help you.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Well, we come from a generation that values less sleep like I know when I hang out with my mom, she’ll talk about me in a way that’s just talking about me as she remembers me but she’s bragging about it in a way. She seemed like, “Oh, well, you never needed much sleep. You were always ready to go.” And she would also specifically say, “Oh, well, you don’t need much sleep. You wake up early.” And I’m like, “No, I need a lot of sleep.”
Joe Hanson: Yeah. You’re ready to go, mom.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. But there is that the generation that preceded us, I think, severely undervalued sleep, and that lack of sleep is awesome or is often seen as a badge of pride rather than you know what it is, which is a severely negative impact on your health.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. I mean, this goes back in at least American Western culture to like Edison. When they were inventing light bulbs and trying to electrify towns like being able to have lights on at night was a mark of human progress, and sleep was viewed as a weakness and that idea has carried on. Just a couple of centuries ago, people did not sleep the way that we do. They would go to bed much closer to when the sun went down that often wake up in the middle of the night and they would go to sleep again. But our bodies were much more in tune to the natural day and night cycles, which is an ancient neurological cycle that exists down to single-celled creatures. It is following cycles of day and night, and that feeds our hormones, that feeds our digestion. It feeds our energy levels. It feeds your ability to recover and repair like to remember things, to learn. I mean, everything is based on that has some root in these cycles. So, we’ve gotten away from that, and staring at big, bright things at night doesn’t help. You know, we have got deep circuits in your brain that can’t tell your phone from daylight and are affecting our chemicals.
Turning that warm screen filter on might help but it’s not perfect. So, I think I know I’m the millionth person in the world to say it but taking care of your sleep is one of the greatest things you can do for so many parts of your health and happiness.
Dean Pohlman: Well, hey, one more person saying it will hopefully influence us to actually…
Joe Hanson: This is going to do it. This is going to push it over the edge.
Dean Pohlman: This time it’s going to make us sleep more for sure. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing men and their well-being right now?
Joe Hanson: Well, this has certainly only been accentuated by the pandemic but the ability for men to make and maintain relationships I think it’s highlighting how difficult that can be for many people because men have a tendency for their relationships to be built around activities and shared interests and be centered around something, and then the relationships build around that. They aren’t always organic or they are built from the other direction where you build that relationship and then you find some activities and stuff. So, it’s like you’re friends with the guys in your Fantasy Football League because you’re doing that thing together. You’re friends with guys at the gym because you’re doing that together. And we haven’t had as many of those opportunities. That’s a big challenge. And especially as people spend more and more time online, there are certainly ways and really good ways that people can build and maintain relationships online.
You know, technology can be good there but it can also make people more isolated. I think that’s a challenge for everyone right now but one that’s just been a little bit more highlighted for men but I think that there’s more of an acceptance or an incredible trend towards promoting and recognizing more about mental health. And I’m seeing a lot more men are a lot more comfortable being vulnerable and speaking about the things that challenge them. You know, some of the negative macho ideals are fading. You know, if we generalize the bell curves of male and female experience, right, these are very different experiences throughout life and people fall in various places along that. But recognizing those differences and our own experiences in that and speaking about them, it’s safer to do so. And I hope that continues because, again, people need it now more than ever.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Actually, that resonates with me a lot. One of the reasons I actually started this podcast was because I just wanted to have more conversations with people. So, like, yes, I am here because I want to help other people learn about these ideas and I think this is a good way to create content in a different way than I’m used to. But also, I want to have conversations with my cool friends and just discuss things and discuss challenges that we’re going through and discuss like how do we deal with that? So, that makes total sense to me. And also, I think that just kind of piggyback on what you say, I think that men, I mean, we know that men are different than women but also I think that men in general reach out to other men less than women reach out to other women but we need to have those connections as well. We need those interactions. So, I guess sometimes we justify them based on interest and based on activities but they’re important. So, I’m glad you brought that up.
Joe Hanson: And we all have room to improve, and the fact we’re talking about it is a great step in the right direction because there’s no great honor in suffering. You know, that’s not what courage and strength is about. You know, strength is about figuring out techniques and support to get through something. It’s not about the suffering itself, and there’s no honor in that.
Dean Pohlman: Got it. See, I thought it was you just carry as much as you possibly can until you throw off an angry rage and yell at everybody.
Joe Hanson: Yeah. Just talk to a mother about that sometime, a mother of a young child about carrying heavy things all the time, carrying the world on your shoulders.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I’ve seen that. So, how can people learn more about you or just follow what you’re doing? You have a Patreon, you have a YouTube channel. Where can people go to find your best content?
Joe Hanson: Head over to YouTube. Type in “Be Smart” or type in “Joe Hanson,” you will find the channel. Hundreds of videos waiting for you. I’m on social media @DrJoeHanson. Ph.D. Not MD, not that kind of doctor so don’t send me those questions. Yeah. You can get links to Patreon and how you can support the work we’re doing and everything there and all the stuff that I’ll be doing in the future because this won’t be it.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Cool. So, we’ve already discussed how important it is to support public education, so please keep that in mind. Joe, thanks a lot for having me. Wait, no, I had you on. Thanks a lot for joining me here on this video chat device. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the near future.
Joe Hanson: Vaxxed and boosted. Thanks for having me, and I hope everybody stays happy and healthy out there.
Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Awesome. All right. Thanks again, Joe. I’ll talk to you soon. Guys, thanks for listening. Hope you join me on the next episode of the Man Flow Yoga Podcast.\
- Be Smart YouTube channel
- Connect with Joe on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon
- Why Did We Blow On Nintendo Games?
- Ryan Holiday
- Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts
- Jim Kwik
- How Habits Change Your Brain (According to Science)
- The Align Method: 5 Movement Principles for a Stronger Body, Sharper Mind, and Stress-Proof Life
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