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Daddy Issues (with Ryan Holiday)

June 11, 2023
Notes
Transcript

In the lead up to Father’s Day, author and podcast host Ryan Holiday joins Tim and JVL to talk the rewards and tribulations of being a dad. Ryan also talks to Tim about their similar experiences setting aside their less than moral professional careers to pursue more rewarding livelihoods.

Plus, Tim and JVL discuss the second indictment of Trump and the damning evidence against him.

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This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1

    Hey, guys.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:00

    This is Tim. We’re doing something a little bit different for the Sunday show this week because of all the news, because of indictment too, I’m so high on my own supply with Donald Trump once again having to face the music. We had a a really lengthy intro between me and JBL, where we got into this indictment, what the ramifications are, both legal and political, you know, some news that has broken since the Friday podcast. We covered that. And then we have a two part interview with Ryan Holiday.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:29

    The first is me and Ryan talking about his life and his career. Like me, he was a a medium even, a rat fucker, maybe even, and he decided he was unsatisfied with that. He wrote a wonderful book called Trust Me. I’m lying. About about marketing in the corporate world, out in the political world, and then he took a complete right turn in his career, and now has a podcast empire know, where you discuss stoicism and stoic virtues.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:58

    I think that you can get a lot of value out of that part of the podcast, and then there’s a second portion where we bring JBL in and talk about Ryan’s new book, The Daily Dad. We do advice on being a dad. What’s it like to be a gay dad? What’s it like to be a dad with teenagers? What’s it like to be ad who’s also a stoic expert and whether he lives up to his principles, you will enjoy at least one of the three parts I promise.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:20

    Up next is me and JBL. And then we’ll bring in Ryan. Enjoy. JBL, we’ve seen it. Jack Smith dropped the hammer.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:30

    We have an indictment before we get to our usual Sunday interview, I figured we had to chomp some wood on this. What is your what’s your reaction? Are you in the Hugh Hewitt camp? Nothing to see here?
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:43

    You hear it. That guy, it’s really bad. It’s really, really bad. It’s — It’s also really stupid. — the crimes are serious.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:54

    It’s very stupid. You have the guy I mean, not ticky tack stuff. You’ve got audio recordings demonstrating his state of mind. Right? Because everybody’s always you know, did he really understand that?
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:06

    And he’s, like, literally saying, yeah, these aren’t declassified. I didn’t do it before I left office.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:11

    You better not stand too close.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:14

    He’s got lawyers jumping offside here. He’s we’ve got him asking lawyers to lie for him to the it’s really bad. I just you know, it’s I I feel like though we’re in the dukes of Hazard and you and I and everybody else in America and Jack Smith are Ross go picotreme, and we’re just, like, how them Duke boys gonna get out of it this time? You know, and somehow, he’s gonna take the general Lee and jump over the river, and we’re gonna be left clutching.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:49

    I wanna talk about the endgame at the end, but I we do it’s just it’s crazy. And we have seven d indictments. The the details on this one, that time we taped both Secret Podcast and the Friday show was Charlie Sykes go, listen to. The actual indictment hadn’t been out. We knew a lot about what it was.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:02

    But but to pick, you know, some of the details that we’ve got in this indictment in these pictures, his bathroom And the thing that jumps out to me is there’s a text that just shows you how aware they all were of the criming they were doing. There’s a text from one Trump staffer to another Trump staffer that’s like, which, you know, it’s like the boss wants to keep his papers, and then it’s like, well, where should we put this box? And the one truck driver’s like, well, we’re There’s a little bit of room left in the shower. It’s like, if I do remember the movie below
  • Speaker 3
    0:03:30

    where they’re
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:31

    like, Johnny Depp’s making all this money, and they didn’t know where to put it in the house. Like, they had to start, like, putting it under floorboards and that they’re like, is there any room in the guest bathroom? No. Like, we’re out like, we have so many boxes of classified docks. That that we don’t we don’t even know where to put them, so that’s one element of it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:49

    You hit the lawyers. Now we also have his staff his his body man that has been also indicted, who who was specifically basically plotting with him On what should we do with this, should we get rid of these documents? You know, they’re discussing about how how the feds want them, and Trump’s just like, wouldn’t it just be better if we got rid of them? I mean, the specificity with which they acknowledge that they know that they’re doing something Will Saletan, and that they’re going to do it anyway because they don’t care. To me, like, number one, just is is it would be the perfect, most hubristic way for Trump to go down.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:34

    It’s like the classic Trump oh, I’m too you know, I don’t have to follow the rules thing. And then it would be the perfect way to Trump go down in the Vepish sense. Like, if the content gods are with us, this should have been the Dave Mandel interview because, like, the most v pitch grind of all time. But at so it is it’s his hubris, it’s it’s stupid, but it’s also just right there playing playing his day.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:56

    I can’t believe that so much of this is in writing. Right? I mean, I had always thought that one of the things Trump took from growing up in the seventies in New York around made guys all the time with it to do everything in person via voice. You do not write anything to yeah. Is there a famous scene in the wire where the the drug dealers have all gotten together — Straightrebel.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:19

    — organized. Well, they have a street
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:21

    belt in, like, classroom where he’s going through everything.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:24

    It’s like a conference room
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:25

    at a local conference room.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:26

    That’s right. Hysterical. And there’s one eager beaver, like, young drug board who’s there taking notes. And at the end, you know, I’m sure, like, what are you doing? And he’s like, well, like, we’re gonna be organized.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:35

    We gotta have minutes of the meetings. What I’m sure about is like, no. You don’t ever write it down.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:40

    You don’t take minutes on a criminal fucking conspiracy. Yeah. So I want my question for you, so two parts to this JVL that I want your reaction to. Before So let’s table the will we get to see Trump in orange? Orange is the new orange.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:54

    Element of this for one second and do the politics first. You know, a lot of our discussion with Charlie and Friday I’m assuming you and Sarah’s discussion on Friday was about the Republican response to this. You know, Charlie was, like, focused on the handful of good Republicans. But, it’s like, was pretty shocking that, you know, Mike Lee, constitutional as Mike Lee was, like, this is a banana republic PISES ALL BEFORE THE ENDIGHTMENT. Josh Haulley is out there saying, WE’RE JAILING PEOPLE, LIKE WHERE A Third World COUNTRY MARCO WAS OUT THERE SAYING IT, Kevin McCarthy, Mark Lavin, So, I mean, all these just just fucking Bose O’s, before they even saw the indictment were out there doing the, oh, this is you know, this is an illegal Biden regime attack on on Trump because he’s the leader in the primary.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:37

    All all the stupid nonsense. Can they keep that up in the face of this? Of
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:44

    course, like
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:46

    not only that. Let me tell you what’s gonna happen. There have been a handful of people in Conservative Bank who have, like, been really good on this over the last ten hours
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:54

    before I could advance. Eric Eric.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:56

    To Santa fans,
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:57

    we were looking
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:58

    at this and be like, what? This is bad. Those people I swear to God. I’m Tom reporting to you from the future. My time machine is right behind me.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:07

    I just parked it. When we get to to an actual trial, Many of these people are going to say, well, I mean look, what Trump did wasn’t good. But the horrible misconduct by this prosecutor here has made it so we just can’t you know, they that boy, this jury can’t pop find a a guilty verdict. There really there isn’t quite enough compelling evidence and the, you know, the prosecution, it’ll it’ll be literally this is January six impeachment two. Which you remember there were a lot of people on the Republican side were like, this thing that just happened, this insurrection was really bad, and then they got to impeach him, and they’re like, Well, I don’t know if Democrats really did this impeachment in the best way.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:51

    Yeah. I think the Democrats really needed to have done x, y, and z. And so therefore, I cannot good conscience support their effort to remove the Trump.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:59

    Impeachment. Oh, wait. And that would be gone. Oh, we can’t technically impeach somebody that’s not the president anymore. I am
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:05

    so sorry. And also, they didn’t call witnesses. If maybe if they had called witnesses, I could’ve you know what I’m saying? Like, John Bolton, who wouldn’t wouldn’t agree to come forward voluntarily as a witness — Yeah. — and then criticized impeachment for not having This is where where that’s heading.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:19

    Once we actually get to the rubber meeting the road of an actual prosecution I agree
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:23

    with you. Let me just do a little pushback. The fact Santis is out there, the fact that they haven’t they have an off ramp in a way that maybe they didn’t during those impeachments, a clearer one, at least, doesn’t keep a few more of them on side.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:36

    By the time we get to a trial, DeSantis will either be the future or the past. There. Right? And I mean, the no trial is gonna happen until we are we have just decided who the the next nominee is. And so I think what you’ll have is a dance where you’ll have DeSantis doing the performative I got I would pardon Trump.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:58

    This is weaponization of the government, and then you have the DeSantis conservatism, Inc. People saying, boy, this Trump stuff is terrible.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:06

    One more thing before we get to your second report from the future, then I’ll let you go. Merrick Garland side of this took a lot of heat — Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:13

  • Speaker 2
    0:09:13

    about moving slowly, you know, from the left, Obviously, he’s taking Bulwark, heat from the right about how, you know, he’s doing politicized attacks. It’s too late, everything has been by the book, They have the goods. He’s going to be in court, see you next Tuesday in in maybe an unfavorable district because they’re doing things by the book. Something to be said for that. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:35

    Does it matter that that that Biden, Garland, Smith, have just been choir boys on this?
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:43

    I mean, as a matter of politics, it doesn’t matter. But as a matter of good governance and return to norms and all that stuff, I mean, this is I said this to Sarah on the secret today. The level of projection here, which drives me absolutely effing insane, is you have the people who defended the Ukrainian drug deal, and was the president of the United States weaponized our foreign military aid to an ally, because he wanted to to force the head of state of an American ally to participate in a skunk Bulwark campaign against his likely presidential opponent. Those people complaining about the weaponization of the Department of Justice, their word. Because Merrick Garland has done everything exactly by the book in source the decision to an independent counsel, and the independent counsel is a, you know, a Republican conservative type guy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:37

    The the the level of hypocrisy there, I think might finally be off the I I don’t think there’s anything past that scale. We’ve hit the, you know, the the Google or Google Plex or infinity end of of the cardinality scale.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:53

    There okay. Here’s my final thing for you. I know. I’m I’m guessing I’m representing some listeners in this. I’ve been refusing to let myself even think about the possibility of Trump in jail.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:03

    I know you’re gonna try to rain on my parade here. I’ve been I’ve been I’d most of this funny, I know you’re trying to rain on my parade, but these are pretty cut and dry counts. I mean, it’s the type of thing that regular RANK AND FIL, MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY, etcetera, PEOPLE HAVE CLASSIFIED TO INFORMATION GET PUNISHED FOR ALL THE TIME. IS IT can I not at start to get a little hope? You can see the Twinkle on either.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:29

    I know this is audio only. So imagine the Twinkle in my eye listeners. Like, it’s possible.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:36

    I mean, anything is possible.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:37

    Did you say them there’s a chance?
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:40

    There’s a chance of anything,
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:41

    but why not? But I have
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:43

    a very, very difficult time imagining a scenario in which he sees the inside of a prison cell? I I just can’t see.
  • Speaker 2
    0:11:51

    Even looking at the indictment? Even with just how blanket it is. I mean, he’s says that he
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:56

    know that he is committing a crime and they have the goods. He’s pardoned or, you know, either by a DeSantis or by a Biden or by himself. Or he beats the wrap because there’s one juror who sort of nullifies the case or they cut a plea deal in which he, you know, pleads up something so there’s no jail time and the government could say face and he can say, you know, as soon as he’s done, he can then As Elon Musk has done with many of his plea agreements, you know, he can say all that stuff that I I swore to and that government thing with the as easy now, it’s all locked. This is total prosecution witch hunt. All of those things seem to me much more likely than he is convicted and goes to jail.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:40

    Alright. Well, I’m starting to let myself have a little bit of hope.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:43

    Just a little bit. Don’t do it, Tim. It’s the hope that kills you. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:49

    That’s a good way to leave it, because the next conversation is much more soul enriching and not about politics. Take a break listen to Ryan Holiday and I discuss, you know, how we, you know, got our wayward lives back on track, and then a little bit of time discussing fatherhood with Ryan JBL and me, and and he’s got a new book out that’s a great gift for dads of all ages. I hope you guys enjoy this. We’ll be back on Wednesday, but first, a friend at Asatong. Hey, guys.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:31

    Welcome to the next level podcast. I am here with my weirdly synergistically connected friend in Bass drop Texas, Ryan Holiday. I’m my b f f j b l b in for the second half of this podcast. We’re gonna talk about dad’s stuff. This is a pre father’s day.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:46

    Episode. So if you just, you know, if you’re just here for fatherly advice, you can fast forward thirty minutes. But in the meantime, me and Ryan are gonna talk about our feelings. Ryan, what’s happening, bro? Not much.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:56

    Not much. I love your background there. Where are you in your in your bookstore?
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:00

    Next to my bookstore in Texas. Just built out a studio for my podcast. So I don’t think this was done when you were here. I suppose that last summer.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:08

    No. Last summer, took an Uber straight in from the airport to check out the painted porch book, so I had to do it. Okay. So for people who don’t know you, obviously, you’ll have some super fans that are here of the daily stoic. I just wanna give a, like, one minute background on our relationship, and started.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:20

    I received a DM from you. I had not read, which was a personal failing, a book called Trust Me I’m lying, that you wrote, what? Ten years ago?
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:28

    I wrote it in two thousand eleven.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:29

    Yeah. So over ten years ago. So you’re like, read my book, and I think that we need to do a podcast together. Because we might be the same person — Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:36

  • Speaker 2
    0:14:37

    just kind of like a bizarre o in a bizarre o world situation. So you wrote this book, Trust, you know, I’m lying about your time as a corporate PR route fucker. I was a political p r rap fucker. The the book similarly is part expose, part Maya Colpa. And since then, you’ve turned to the light and had a just a unbelievably impressive run of books and podcasts and a whole little stoicism related mini industry?
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:02

    I don’t know. What do you call your stoicism vertical?
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:05

    Yeah. I don’t know. I talk about ancient philosophy, which you’d think would be profoundly unpopular, particularly on social media and the exact opposite has turned out to be true.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:17

    And I’m I’m happy for you on it. So we’re gonna get into stoicism. We’re gonna make stoicism cool for our listeners. But first, I wanna go back to that the original book. Trust me.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:26

    I’m lying. So, yeah. You are deep in the PR world doing, you know, marketing, PR stuff, or American apparel, and and other places. What was the process for you for deciding like this is very unfulfilling. I feel bad and I need to do something about it?
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:43

    Yeah. You know, I think when you were here, I I recommended that book to you the harder they fall about this publicist. And I remember reading that book. This is a book by Bud Schulberg who wrote on The WaterFront. It’s a sort of book about a a publicist, like, a mob affiliated publicist who sort of realizes that he’s a rat fucker to use your phrase and wants to get out.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:05

    And I remember reading that book and it being sort of like a total awakening and being like, I gotta get out of this. My contribution to society is net negative. This isn’t what I signed up for. Why am I doing this? You know, if people were doing what I was doing in other areas, the world would be really bad.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:24

    So I remember having that awakening and thinking that, you know, I moved on very, very quickly. And I remember recently I picked up that book, and I was looking at I saw these notes I wrote to myself about, and I was like, okay. Well, I could probably look on Amazon and see where I bought that. And then I would know that’s the date that it happened. And I left American apparel to go right.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:45

    Trust me. I’m lying sometime in two thousand eleven, And so I was like, oh, I must have bought this book in, like, the fall of twenty ten or something. And it was, like, I bought it in, like, two thousand seven or eight. Like, like, there is this thing we we tend to think when we, like, radically change paths in life or whatever, that it was a result of this epiphany where we just were, like, I’m wrong. I can’t do this.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:08

    But that’s not how it is at all. It’s so much more gradual. Cognitive dissonance is so much more insidious. So it’s really it was a much slower process where I realized I was part of the problem, and then I went on being a part of the problem for much longer than I could possibly justify. I
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:27

    I love that anecdote because it resonates so much. I had the same experience when I was writing the book on my work for Scott Pruitt. Yeah. So Trump wins, and I’m like, I gotta get out of this. Like, yeah, like, what am I doing?
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:37

    But I needed work. Right? So I take on this job helping Scott Pruitt on his confirmation because I know him. And and I remember having this, like, moment of moral clarity where I, like, called this spokesperson who was a friend of mine, and I was like, I cannot do this in good conscience anymore. I I I unless he’s gonna, you know, resign from the Trump administration, you guys cannot use my services.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:57

    And in my brain, you know, Trump goes in in January. Like, that was, like, in March or something. You know, like, that I survived two months of this. And, like, I went back and looked at my emails to find when that was, and it was, like, you know, winter. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:10

    And so that does really resonate. But what was it for you that, like, oh, when you were doing this kind of work you know, maybe it wasn’t an aha moment. But, like, what were the types of things that made you feel like you’re to use your phrase, you know, your contributions were net negative.
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:24

    Well, so I primarily worked. One, with this company called American apparel, which was at that time, in fastest growing fashion company in in North America, they made all their stuff in the US, there was this sort of ethical basis for what they were supposed to be doing. And then I also worked with lots of authors. So I thought, hey, like, First off, a corporate client is just supposed to be making the money that they’re supposed to be making. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:47

    Their obligation to society is significantly less. So when we would, I don’t know, make something up in a press release or troll and media outlet or leak something, you know, that maybe wasn’t true or, you know, you just do your sort of standard kind of Bulwark hat PR stuff. It just was what it was. And I was just thinking about, hey, does this help me? Does this help my client?
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:11

    Know, is this gonna get us what we wanna get? I wasn’t thinking, you know, hey, what if everyone did this? Right? And there was this other part of me that compartmentalization is very real. So it’s like I knew that the stuff that I was feeding these websites was complete and total garbage and that they couldn’t be trusted.
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:32

    And then I would read articles about world events on these same websites from these same reporters and go, oh, that’s what’s going on in or, oh, that’s what’s going on here. Or, you know, like, there is this sense that, oh, it’s only messed up in my area. And it’s not messed up in the area. So I think it was this sort of twin realization of going first off, like, I’m not unique. And second, if the way I am acting becomes even less unique, like, if these strategies bleed over to politics or to international affairs or or other, let’s say, higher stakes area of culture or information, you know, the consequences would be much greater, and I I was just sort of a realization that this was a road that wasn’t going in a direction that I wanted to be a part of.
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:26

    But like we’re talking about, that doesn’t mean I just pulled the car over immediately. I I sort of crawled to a stop. And then, you know, from time to time, if the money was right, would get back involved. That’s the the sort of shameful part of it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:41

    Yeah. The gut punch for me when I was reading your book was one of the examples you gave that was not you was about from the political world was about, you know, how can a phony some of the boom and bust side are of candidates. So, like, you send these stories to reporters to that, like, tear down the candidates. And, like, one of the examples you said, it was a story that I’d There you go. I was like, oh, oh, man.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:01

    Like like, our alignment was deeper than even you realized when you reached out to me. I’ve gotten a lot of questions. I’m sure you have too. I’m going to pick your brain on. Like, both of us have gotten, you know, lucky to a certain degree and like I said, certain skills or whatever, they’ll be able to repurpose to other stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:18

    Not like Not everybody has that. Right? Sure. I get reached out too from people who are, you know, doing PR and or doing you know, a similar type of work that maybe isn’t actively harmful to society, but, you know, they don’t feel fulfilled by. They don’t feel that good about.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:33

    But like, the zero to one of saying, okay, I’m gonna leave this and like, you know, and try something else, Yes. A, it’s a big leap. And then b, once you make the leap, it doesn’t not everybody like lands in a place that’s great, you know. Some people struggle. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:49

    Either financially or finding other Bulwark. So, like, what kind of advice do you give to people that I’m sure come to you looking for guidance on that?
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:58

    Yeah. I was very fortunate that, like, I really had no business working at American apparel at the age that I did. It was a totally dysfunctional, sort of, untraditional company that you know, I ended up being the director of marketing of a publicly traded fashion company at, like, twenty one or twenty two years old. So when I left in my mid twenties, Yes. I was walking away from something, but I was also still in my twenties.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:23

    I didn’t have kids. I wasn’t married. I didn’t have a mortgage. It was just like, this isn’t what I wanna do for the rest of my life. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:31

    I am both appalled by but also empathized with people that, you know, find themselves in you know, political organizations or on certain teams or whatever, where they’re really not just choosing to make a moral choice that moral choice if they make, it also involves blowing up their entire life. Right? Put aside, like, what else are they gonna do? It’s just they’re walking away from friends, they’re walking away from things that they’ve said, they’re walking away from comfort, they’re walking away from money, and that’s, like, extraordinarily difficult to do. It’s probably not as scary as it seems to them in the moment, but just thinking that it twenty three years old, it seemed scary to me.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:12

    And in retrospect, I had so much more freedom and so much more of a safety net than other people. So Yeah. It’s not something to be flip about. At the same time, when you do walk away, I think you do realize hey, you really can do whatever you want. Like, I think if you had said to me, hey, you know, do you wanna write books sell millions of copies about ancient philosophy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:39

    I would have said I’m a college dropout. I you know, I don’t speak any ancient languages. You know, I would have said all that’s impossible. But none of that prevented me from starting from trying a bunch of stuff and seeing sort of what worked out. So the alternative of continuing to work in an industry or a space where you feel more and more complicit, where you feel guilty, where you are trading your soul or trading against your values, I’m not sure that’s any less terrifying in the big scheme of things, if that makes sense.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:10

    Yeah. It’s the the mindset of that this is the thing that I’m I’m living is the bad thing, actually. Yes. Right? Like that the unknown, like, has some scary to it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:19

    But I need to focus on on the known, might be comfortable, but it’s creating all these other problems, right, in my life. And that’s what I try to advise people, but I I just it really it’s tough when I, you know, I’ve heard from people who say, yeah, I left my job and like, I’m struggling. Like, I need to find, you know, some other work
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:37

    Well, I remember I wrote about this in one of my later books. I’m doing this series now on the cardinal virtues, and I I wrote this book about courage, and I was telling the story where sort of late at my time in American apparel, Doug Charlie Sykes despite the ethical basis of the company seemed to be an individual who sort of corrupted and debased himself ultimately and sort of betrayed a lot of those values that a lot of us thought were really important. But there’s this time when he started being sued, the lawsuits are, you know, as as much as I do believe, you know, we should believe women and he was behaving inappropriately. These particular lawsuits, let’s say, were complicated. And the media coverage of them was not good or fair, And there’s this moment where he’s being sued by this woman.
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:21

    And he asked me to leak these photos that he had of this woman, that they had taken consentually that he felt sort of proved that the relationship was consensual. And he was like, I need you to to leak these to and he listed all these outlets. And I was like, I’m just not gonna do that. I was like, not only is that Will Saletan a terrible public relations strategy and it’s not gonna work. And the media is gonna eat you alive for trying to do so I didn’t do it, but that was sort of the extent of my objections.
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:53

    Right? I didn’t, like, quit on the spot. And when I walked into his office a couple weeks later, and he’s on a conference call with the New York Post and Gawker, and they’re looking at the photos together. Right? Like, I was wrong and that the media didn’t object to it, but actually did end up running the photos.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:11

    You know, I didn’t quit on the spot then. I didn’t stand up for this woman who, you know, didn’t deserve what was happening to her. And the reason I didn’t do that is that wasn’t a thing that you could do there and keep your job. Right? Like, if I had said something, if I push back that, I would have been sort of fired on the spot.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:31

    Well, obviously, several years removed from that. I’m like, I didn’t want to speak up about a thing that I thought was objectively wrong and illegal because I didn’t wanna lose my job. Right? What how insane is that that I wanted to keep a job from which that was a thing that you could be fired for. Do you know what I mean?
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:53

    And that’s kind of the twistedness of the logic that we find ourselves in when we get ethically and financially compromised in an industry. Like, you know you wanna get out, but you don’t do the things that you know are right that would get you out. Right? There’s this weird sort of self preservation. You could tell the person to their face that they suck, that they’re an idiot, that this is wrong, But you know how that’s gonna be received, and so you just kind of keep your head down and you keep going, and then you become, as a result, even more morally sucked into the the mess that is that place.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:32

    Yeah. For the purpose of stupid shit. I mean, like, one of my friends, I think about who made one of these decisions, like, left his parents, like, family company to, like, become to do videography work and — Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:43

  • Speaker 2
    0:27:44

    you know, his financial the financial change for him has been, you know, catastrophic if that’s what you care about. The happiness and the fulfillment and the value, you know, the type and the type of life you install has has improved, you know, tenth the opposite tenfold. Right? And so you don’t anyway My question for you, one thing I wanted to talk to you about moving to the stoicism. Wanna start from square one.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:03

    So you’ve written this book. Trust me online. It does well. I’m sure that the publisher’s comedy is saying, let’s do more expose books. Because I know what the publishers want.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:11

    Yes. And you say, no. I’m gonna become a modern day stoic philosopher now and write about that. Instead. Like, where did you get the the balls for that, frankly?
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:24

    I guess, is the question.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:26

    Well, look, that that’s sort of my point about transitions. Right? It’s like people see the end result and they go, oh, that’s obviously what you had in mind or that’s obviously the transition that you began in that moment. But, really, I just knew that I didn’t wanna write the same book again. And I thought that I had a pretty good idea for a singular book on one top Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:51

    The idea that all these other books would follow, that it would become this sort of multimedia, you know, platform that it would branch out in all these different ways. That would have been preposterous if I thought that would happen. And and if I did think that would have happened, I probably wouldn’t have settled for relatively minuscule amount of money that my publisher was willing to pay me for that second book. I got half but the first doses in book I wrote was the obstacles away. And I’ve gotten a a very big advance for Trust Anne Lying, and my publisher offered me less than half for the second book.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:27

    And I thought that was a great deal. Like, it it wasn’t like, oh, I know this is gonna pay off. So, of course, I’ll take less now to get paid more later. It was, like, Oh, it’s larger than one dollar. That sounds like a good deal.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:39

    You know? I just had some sense that it was something I was very interested in something that I thought could do okay. But beyond that, I was in the dark like everyone else. I just knew that as interesting as the media is in things about the media, that that was just not a sustainable like, area to carve out or to write about. And I’d always been really interested in philosophy and probably what I wanted to write about all along, I just had this other book that I had to get out first, which was like the one based on my actual experiences.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:16

    One of the thought log books that you’ve written called ego is the enemy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:19

    Mhmm. I wanted
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:20

    to ask you whether that was complaining what’s one of my friends about after a while we did, it came out about I don’t know what what I was talking about, seems too self important and too narcissistic to do. And my friend cutting me down for size. Right? It’s like, just writing the book you wrote is narcissistic enough. Sure.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:36

    So you need to, like, let that go. Right? The notes you’re writing a, you know, some a quasi memoir. How’d you balance that? Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:42

    You’re writing this book called ego is the enemy. But, like, just by the nature of of writing these types of books where you’re providing life advice to people, is an egotistical endeavor. So how do you, like, kind of process all that?
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:54

    Yeah. I mean, first up, I I would make a big distinction between ego and confidence. Right? And I think that’s one of the problems we have in our culture is that people who are not competent and people who are not confident themselves so they don’t know what that looks and feels like are very easily fooled by ego masquerading as competence and confidence. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:19

    Like, they go, oh, that person’s very loud that person’s very sure of themselves. That that person’s very aggressive. So they must be good. They must know what they’re talking about, and, of course, they don’t. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:31

    I think actual competent and confident people are usually pretty quiet, usually pretty humble. They’re usually focused on doing whatever it is that they do. They’re not sort of actively seeking out the spotlight for the most part. But, yes, the creative act is inherently you know, or at least partly rooted in ego. I’ll give you the good example.
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:51

    When the publisher ultimately ego’s enemy was sort of part of a trilogy of three books that I wrote about. So philosophy. But when I was doing the Eco interview, it was the second, and we weren’t quite sure that it was part of a of a series. And so the publisher had this, like, what they thought was this interesting idea for how to market it, and it was just an all white book that said ego is the enemy in the center, and then it didn’t have my name on it. It didn’t say, like, from New York Times best selling off.
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:17

    Like, it was just that he goes to the enemy and that was And I was, like, immediately no. Like, immediately no. Because it’s, like, I wrote this fucking book and you’re not gonna put my name on it. Like, there is something about publishing, of course, like, if we were truly and completely competent and self contained, Would you need to publish it? Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:37

    Would you need your name on it? Would you wanna go solicit blurbs from other important people telling you what a masterwork you’ve heralded. Right? So there is something, I think, inherently egotistical in all of us, and I think the idea that you don’t have an ego is a very egotistical thing. I just try to be very clear or honest with myself.
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:57

    I just try to think, like, am I doing this out of ego? Is ego blinding me here or have I thought about what am I actually trying to accomplish? So as it turns out, like, I want my name on the book because I want my name on the book, but also it wasn’t a very compelling concept, and it made it hard for people who had read my previous book. And know that it was from me. And so there’s all these different reasons that you end up doing what you’re doing, and I just think it’s important that ego not be the primary or the solitary reason you are doing what you are doing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:28

    And do you have check ins with yourself about this?
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:31

    I tried to, like, I I just got a round of notes from my editor on the book that I’m working on now. And, you know, your first instinct from ego is, like, what the fuck is this? You know? Like, who are you to tell me, like, how to do this? Like, I reject all of the you know, you wanna call your agent, like, tell him I’m not doing any of it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:49

    You know? But then when I sit with it, right, usually space is a nice sort of ego antidote When I sit with it, when I think about it, when I talk to other people, I you know, maybe there’s something here. I’m not gonna do all of it. I’m not like a pushover and I have no sense of self, but you had that sort of initial reaction out of ego, for instance, a normal person when they are attacked by the media doesn’t like it. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:15

    That’s not a thing that one enjoys. Now printing outset article and writing in Sharpie how much you hate the journalist who did it, This is a Trump tactic for people.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:27

    I I think I think people listening to this podcast are are catching the Trump references. By the way, I I got several of them in the dad book. I was saying the JBL is gonna be out. I have one other thing get you then bringing JBL for the dad stuff. But while it’s on the topic, you had a it was a very unsubtle lesson from Margaret Thatcher’s dad.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:42

    About accepting losses in the book. Yeah. And I think it’s under you have Republican readers of this, obviously, of what you’re doing. And so is that, like, purposeful? Are you trying to kinda nudge in, you know, trying to, you know, send him a little subliminal message?
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:56

    I do.
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:56

    I mean, I think it’s funny. Like, if any person raised Trump as their child, they would consider themselves an abysmal failure as a parent. Right? You’re like, okay. He’s incredibly vain.
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:08

    He’s, you know, incredibly entitled. He’s been married through like, you would list all these things out. You’d be like, even if they became the president, you’d still be like, what have I done? Right? You can’t dance around the fact that that’s sort of an objective truth, but I have said this to people who email me and they get upset about, like, why did you talk about this or that?
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:27

    I go, look, what is the point of having a platform if I can’t say what I think? You know? I’m very wary of and preemptively try to avoid audience capture. And I think among creators and writers, that is one of the big problems of our time. You have so much data and information And in some cases, like, if you’re a sub stack, that data is, like, directly tied to your monthly payment
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:58

  • Speaker 3
    0:35:58

    Yeah. — that really screws with writers. And I think this is why you see left or right. Somebody writes one thing, and it resonates with one audience. You can kinda just project where that arc is going to end up.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:11

    They’re gonna end up all the way on the other end of the spectrum. So I I try to avoid that entirely.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:17

    Will get to JBL and do our father, the extravaganza. But I have one last thing for you. Yep. You tweeted out your seven tips for life the other day.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:23

    Oh, okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:25

    And one of them is I think is particularly gonna be apt for the speak of audience capture for the audience, for the listeners, and viewers of this podcast is your second piece of advice. Don’t watch the news. Yes. So I think the Bulwark counts as that. I I think we probably have some audience members who are spending too much time watching the news, and I don’t think that means you should abandon us.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:47

    Give them some some wisdom related to to people’s current news habits.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:51

    Well, I know you just did a TV hit, so this is — I know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:54

  • Speaker 3
    0:36:55

    you know, biting the hand that feeds.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:56

    But And you could just just slay me, by the way. You could just totally slag me in my complicity in the, you know, cable news media political industrial complex.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:06

    I think it’s important. I didn’t say don’t follow the news. I said don’t watch the news. Watch the news.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:11

    Don’t watch the news. Yes. Sorry.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:13

    I don’t know anyone who I really respect who watches a lot of cable news. Right? Like like, it is the worst way to possibly become informed about anything that’s happening in the world. It is the worst way. I I interviewed Steven a Smith the other day, and I was talking to him about this.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:32

    I was like, it really hit me one time. I was watching first take and just, like, the nonsense that they get into on these it’s like It’s horrible. Is LeBron James the worst of all time? You know, it’s just, like, or, like, should Lebron
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:44

    j reticest? If you think Yokitch is better than Joe L and B? Exactly. Like, they literally have that excitement.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:50

    Picking up things to find conflict about. Right? But but when you’re watching it about sports, you see how preposterously impotent and pointless it is. Like, you Yeah. I like sports, but you know that none of this is having any impact on what’s actually happening.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:06

    Like watching football on Sunday is very different than watching Steven A Smith speculate about what may happen four days from now. So anyways, the point is cable news for the actual news is no different. In fact, it’s, like, even more insidious. My operative word there is don’t watch the news.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:25

    Okay.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:26

    At the same time, I feel like a lot of people are following the news when they would do better to wait a little bit and then find out what the news was.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:39

    Yeah. For sure.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:40

    Do you know what I’m saying? Like, reports about whether the debt ceiling bill would pass or not. Not being a hedge fund manager is not a relevant piece of information in my whether it happens or not. Right? Will Ron DeSantis enter the race or not.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:58

    Right? Is different than Ron DeSantis enters the race. Right? And the breakingness and the real timeness of news in whatever medium you’re following is I think largely the problem. And also, though, I go, like, look, I already know who I’m not voting for.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:18

    Right? And and so why am I following the fresh horrors of the people that I already know everything I need to know about?
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:27

    I think that, unfortunately, that is sage wisdom that I hope that the bulwark folks will take when it comes to the cable TV side, but maybe not the rest of it. You know, maybe just you know, we we can be, you know, the kinda cheat day, you know, on the don’t watch the news guys, the cheat day.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:42

    I like podcasts, though, in that they are less susceptible to sort of clickbait ism. You know, there’s no viral element. They’re also long form
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:53

    I come here when I have a nuanced opinion. Right? Like, I don’t tweet out when I’m like, I’m not really sure. That’s what anyway, we could do an hour on this. I wanna JBL and do the father’s day stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:02

    Mhmm. Alright. We’re back with JBL. The green room discussion is pretty good. These guys are working together on an R original magazine that will be only of niche interest to a few people who want to reflect on the news, to stoics.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:12

    Well, to stoics. To stoics philosopher. So and and I was interested in Stark philosophy. Okay. Here’s what we’re gonna do.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:18

    Next week is Father’s Day. We wanted to do it this week so that if you have a father in your life that needs you know, a nice little gift. We have two men that are authors. My normal cohost JBL wrote a book about, parenting. Ryan has written the Daily Dad, three hundred sixty six meditations on parenting love and raising great kids.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:35

    And so we’re gonna do this a little different than we usually do on Sunday, where I’m putting both of them in the hot seat. And so for starters, I want you guys to give our listeners your bona fides, how many children have you sired? And where and where are they currently in their lives?
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:51

    They know. I got four, fifteen, thirteen, ten, and six.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:54

    Ryan? Hashcat has a six year old and a four year old, two boys.
  • Speaker 1
    0:40:57

    I don’t wanna spoil the ride for you, Ryan.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:02

    It’s it starts to get dice here. Tell me if this is right or wrong. I made it through most of your three hundred sixty six virtues on the plane last night. And the core advice here to me was from one of the specific meditations, which is childhood can disappear with the disappearance of adulthood. It’s up to the parents to adjust their behavior and actions.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:21

    And so your advice to parents is is less really about about what to do with your kids that you’re annoyed with. But like, what to do with yourself in order to be a good adult and to protect their childhood? Talk about that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:36

    Yeah. I was thinking about this actually, really, because I I also wrote this book on discipline. If you said to a parent that discipline is essential to being a good parent. Our assumption is you mean, like, being a disciplinarian. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:47

    Like, enforcing discipline. But it’s actually self discipline is really the thing that matters being in command or control of one’s self that I think is the sort of critical variable that’s what stoicism is. Basically, the idea is, like, focus on you, not on other people, and sort of the rest follows. I think people have a lot that they try to make their kids do, that they don’t themselves do at all, or conversely, like, an example is, like, your kid is throwing a tantrum, and then you throw an adult tantrum in response, and you wonder why it doesn’t snap them out of it. You know?
  • Speaker 3
    0:42:22

    I do talk a lot about that in the book. It’s just, like, what do you need to do to set your kids up and your family up for success? That’s much more important and also much more manageable than the other stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:34

    Okay. Here was my problem with that, though. I said, god, sometimes you just I have no I mean, have you has your six year old never thrown a shoe with you in a music store? Okay? Because I had a shoe thrown at me inside a music store, and, you know, that’s not great.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:48

    Okay? That’s not a great experience, and you gotta get them
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:51

    Did you like Georgia b Bush, Josh?
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:52

    I just I know. I got smoked by the shoe. And you got to, you know, be able to get them out of the store. And you can’t have a stoic conversation with them about, you know, the values of temperance at that moment. And so This one’s to you, Ryan first, and then and then Jay, I want you to react to that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:10

    How do we discipline ourselves when, you know The kids are kids. They’re gonna act crazy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:14

    My six year old spit on me this morning. It was very Ron DeSantis. And, you know, I I know what would have happened if I had spat on my parents. Right? I would’ve got, like, smacked upside the head.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:24

    Right? Like, my parents would have responded to a violation with a violation. Right? And I tried to just catch myself. First off, she’s six.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:33

    This doesn’t say anything about him as a person. It doesn’t matter if anyone saw it. Thankfully, we were at home, but, like, I’m never gonna see these strangers in the store again. Why am I so concerned with what they think about it, you know, with how I look, Do I really need to extrapolate out that he’s gonna end up in prison because he has no self control, and he thinks you could split. Like, he’s not thinking about any of this.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:54

    He’s a child with poor impulse control. Right? As I was a child with poor impulse control, and nothing my parents did helped me with that impulse control, not being sick. Helped me with that impulse control. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:07

    So I was like, look, man, go in the bathroom and get a towel, and you can clean this up. Right? Like, this is on you. I didn’t spit on myself. You can go clean it up.
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:16

    Now was I upset in the initial moment? Yes. But I feel like I caught myself before I set a bad example in response to a bad thing that happened. Right? And then also, kind of, trying to dispense with the labels altogether, which is this is so minor and so low stakes, and it’s only my extrapolation out and my insecurities about whether I’m doing a good job as a parent or not, that is blowing this up into this teachable moment, you know, this stops here kind of a thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:52

    Hey, JBL, that’s all nice and good. I agree with pretty much all of it. You have four children in your house, though. And, you know, I mean, sometimes this is not realistic advice. You know, nicely asking them to go to the bathroom.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:03

    Ryan seems like he’s a very nice six year old. Actually, they’ve gotten spit on. Like, that sometimes doesn’t Bulwark. You know, sometimes they go into the bathroom and the toothpaste gets thrown against the wall and, you know, they pee on the ground and they start screaming at the top of their lungs. Like so, How are you navigating that in a Alpha four in a way that balances Ryan’s wise advice with like the realities of having a million children in your home.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:27

    I mean, he’s just right. Right? I mean, the the most powerful tool you have is the ability to model. Right? And this is, you know, which is I think essentially what he’s getting at when he says to be adult.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:39

    And that’s the thing which is gonna stay with them longest. And so what you have to do is you gotta like tamp down those reactions in you. And so you need I mean, I personally like everybody’s different. I personally really strive to have like tiny bit of ironic distance. Not so much so that you become like the bad father in persuasion, you know, or something like one of the Jane Austin books.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:02

    But enough so that you can be intentional. Because this is this is the real truth. I mean, you can do just about anything as a parent so long as you’re being intentional about it and you’re not reacting acting without control of yourself. Right? And, you know, so as long as you’re being intentional, that’s I think one of the keys.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:19

    Am I am I wrong about that, Ryan? What do you think?
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:20

    I think that’s right. And I’m not saying I don’t ever not do that. I I think everyone screws up all the time, which is the other thing that I try to work on a lot My wife and I talk about this. Yeah. I’m not sure my parents ever apologized or admitted error to me for any reason at any time in my entire childhood.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:38

    So when I do respond to being spit on with not self control and patience and
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:44

    understanding,
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:47

    I try to go, hey, man. I really didn’t like being spit on as people don’t like being spit on, and that’s why I reacted the way that I did. But that’s not how I should have reacted, and I’m working on not reacting that way.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:03

    Hundred percent. That’s such a powerful thing to do with your kid.
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:06

    Totally. And just understanding, like, the forces that are acting on you at any moment, like, it’s only in respect that I have come to understand, my parents were anxious when we were traveling at the airport, not that that’s how all people are at the airport port. Right? And that, like, I too feel anxiety and stress at the airport when I’m trying to get, you know, three people through the security into the gate on time but that I can be like, this is why I’m acting the way that I’m acting, and it’s not rational, and I’m working on it. And understanding that, oh, hey, I recognize why I’m doing what I’m doing, and that is the first step in hopefully not doing that thing anymore.
  • Speaker 2
    0:47:46

    I wanna get from each of you with
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:47

    I’m sorry. Tim, I I just never I think a very good life hack, especially for for young kids, small kids. This is a weird thing that I learned relatively late to the game. But when you wanna have a conversation like any of these sorts of conversations, either where, you know, you’re disciplining them or sending them to the bathroom or, you know, you’re apologizing to them. Literally get down to their level.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:13

    There is a weird thing where children respond differently to a an adult who is towering over them than they do to somebody who is at eye level with them. And I’ve seen this now through, like, parenting, through coaching, through talking to other people’s kids. It is like a magic trick.
  • Speaker 2
    0:48:30

    That is good advice, though. I have tried that before and been told I’m stinky. Well, I got closer to her. So You know, it’s not a hundred percent work. It does help.
  • Speaker 2
    0:48:39

    Okay. Wanna get from each of you. I wanna go quick. Like, I when I was reading Ryan’s advice, so I wanna get first, Ryan, your feedback on this, and I wanna hear from each of you what are the things that you struggle with about. The thing that really hit me of the reminations was one that said your kids can only read your lips, not your mind.
  • Speaker 2
    0:48:54

    Yes. And that was, like, kind of a wake up call for me because You know, I’m like pretty loose blipped, as you might imagine, as a podcast host, and you know, a lot of times, there is irony. Right? I carry through it this four decades of knowledge of, like, what I’m really meaning, what I’m really thinking, my husband Ron DeSantis, and that was kind of a wake up call to me. So I just wanted to hear you riff on that piece of advice a little bit right.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:18

    My wife and I worked together. Right? And we run this bookstore together. I couldn’t have done ninety percent of the things I’ve done without her sort of operating behind the scenes and making that stuff happen. So we have a lot of work conversations.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:30

    Right? We’re mostly on the same page, but we’re, let’s say, talking about someone that we’re both frustrated with. Right? Or that’s something that’s not going well or whatever. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:40

    And we realized that our kids thought we were fighting with each other, but we were talking about work. Right? So, like — Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:48

  • Speaker 3
    0:49:48

    like we could feel the tension that the kids were, like, sensing that something was wrong, that we weren’t getting along. Suddenly, they were misbehaving. They were acting out, and we’re, like, we realized, like, oh, we can’t talk about this stuff in front of them, or we have to say, hey, we’re talking about a work thing But between us, everything is good. We’re actually on the same team here. We’re just getting to the bottom of a frustrating situation, but there’s no love lost between the two of us.
  • Speaker 3
    0:50:16

    Right? And sort of realizing that, hey, yeah, when you’re making fun of someone or you’re being sarcastic, or you are venting because that’s how you’re dealing with something. Your kids are just thinking, oh, that’s what mom and dad think of their siblings. Right? You’re leaving Thanksgiving.
  • Speaker 3
    0:50:32

    And you’re making fun of your sister’s life choices or your brother’s life choices or whatever, they don’t realize that deep down, you love that person. Deep down, you accept that person, you know, that this is how you and your spouse are bonding or whatever. Right? Like, just understanding that you’re operating on levels of complexity that they are not operating on, and that it’s very unfair to simply expose that to them and not expect it to change how they treat people or in form what they think is normal or appropriate or what’s happening.
  • Speaker 2
    0:51:05

    I want from both of you, whoever has this, on the tip of their tongue can jump in first, So you’ve written these books that have, you know, guidance and wisdom. Ryan’s book in particular is basically modeling perfect behavior, perfect parental behavior, which is aspiration which I appreciate. So which one of the things that you’re writing this, or you’re suggesting this, you’re advising this. What’s the thing that you’re like? I’m putting this down, but I’m bad at this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:51:27

    And then how do you, you know, try to fight your instincts?
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:30

    Look, the thing which I focus most on is teaching the management of failure. And that is something that I did not do well with, and I got very lucky get. When I in general, I think most people wind up hitting some form of catastrophic failure in their lives. And when if it comes too early, then you don’t learn anything from it. And if comes too late, then maybe it wrecks your life.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:55

    Right? I mean, if if catastrophic failure hits you at like thirty five, it can be hard to to recover from it. There’s a sweet spot. Where if you fail at a really large level, you can learn from it and make it productive. I was very bad at that and something I’m cogas and dove and it’s something I’ve really thought a lot about with my kids is trying to sort of talk them up to about failure and try to help them be prepared to manage failure in productive ways when it does come to their lives.
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:25

    Yeah. I I would say I struggle with all three hundred and sixty six pieces of advice in the book. So that’s that’s sort of why I wrote it. I I found that when I wrote Daily Stook, that I got a lot out of writing it. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:38

    Like, it’s great for the readers, but the primary reason for writing it was that I get something out of writing. It’s sort of going over the ideas every single day, forcing myself to put down what I’m firing to be on paper and then returning to it. I found that to be true, not just with the book itself for the daily debt, but I I do this email version of it every day also. The idea of sort of meditating on these you know, let’s call it a dozen or two dozen kind of basic principles or ways of thinking has been really, really beneficial to me. But I I would say I struggle with all of them, probably getting up set being the most like losing one’s temper being the the one I struggle with the most.
  • Speaker 3
    0:53:19

    So my oldest is six, let’s say, in six years, I can’t think of a time where I got upset that now I’m, like, that was definitely the right call. You know? Like, I’m so I’m so glad I got mad at that four year old. Like, it really taught them an important lesson, and, you know, we’re closer for it. It never ages Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:53:40

    That’s what I have come to find. And that’s true, not just with kids, but in life.
  • Speaker 2
    0:53:44

    Alright. I want one piece of personal advice for both of you going forward. Then we’ll end up something sweet. Yes. My personal advice is so I was listening to another podcast we were talking about parenting, and the two guys were talking about their teenage son.
  • Speaker 2
    0:53:56

    And, you know, how to manage a teenage son that was a bit of a troublemaker. Right? And as somebody who was a teenage son, I was a bit of a troublemaker. And so, like, I was listening and I was, like, screaming through the thing. I was like, I know how to handle me.
  • Speaker 2
    0:54:07

    You know, I know how to handle this. But I’ve got a teenage daughter, essentially, coming in front of me. And that is a very different animal. You know? And it’s something I like had to think about.
  • Speaker 2
    0:54:17

    I know your two sons are in, but you’re still thinking about this process as a dad. And, like, in your book, you talk a little bit about leash, like, you know, letting them make mistakes and learning from the mistakes. And unfortunately, like for teen girls, Like that might not be as possible. Right? Like a bad mistake that leads to sexual violence or, you know, that can lead to, like, consequences, and so I just kind of wonder, how do you kind of think about that either, particularly the kind girls, but then just broadly about like that question of leash, giving enough leash to like let them find themselves without, you know, risking catastrophic consequences.
  • Speaker 2
    0:54:55

    Although it is funny. We think we know how to reach people.
  • Speaker 3
    0:54:58

    Like, I was talking to a friend of mine that I went to high school with, and I was talking to something and I was like, I wish someone had just pulled me aside and said this. Right? Like, I was like, that would
  • Speaker 2
    0:55:09

    Right.
  • Speaker 3
    0:55:09

    And and he just looked at me and he was like, what are you talking about? They did that several times. You know, he was like, that was the main thing that I heard adults say to you when you were that age. Right? Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:55:21

    So there is I think fundamental unreachableness on some things, like some things you just have to learn. You have to make those mistakes. I think that’s the scary high wire act of being a parent, though, is you are scared that any one of those mistakes are catastrophic or unsurvivable or that, you know, leads to some sort of lasting trauma or pain, and they may well be. And I not saying you just dismissed that, but it is the idea, though, that ultimately you’re trying to raise a kid who is resilient enough, competent enough you know, supported enough, loved enough that pretty much anything is survivable. So I think understanding that your kid is more resilient than you probably think they are.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:03

    It it should give yourself a little bit more leash. I’m totally intimidated by and baffle by how I’m gonna approach these things as they get older. And I think having some humility about it is really important. Like, I say this in the book, but, like, any parent who doesn’t think that they’re struggling or doing a bad job, the people who who aren’t thinking that are either terrifyingly egotistical and overconfident or are completely neglectful and not thinking about it at all. So to a certain degree, that kind of I’m not sure what I’m gonna do.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:37

    I’m not sure I’m up to this. That’s probably a sign that you are approaching it with the right sensitivity and earnestness and attention.
  • Speaker 2
    0:56:45

    How do you balance? Because we have this question that somebody emailed us the other day that said, I’m worried that my kid in college is gonna be a Tim, and I want them to be a Sarah Longwell he said, how do I stop that? And I was like, the harder you try to make that kid, not a Tim is more that they’ll become a Tim? What’s your advice on that? As you think about you know, the teen, the older years.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:04

    One thing Ryan said, you know, the the problem with the six year old is that he’s a six year old. Right? And will help him grow out of that and have his impulse control grow is is becoming like an eight year old, a ten year old, and all that’s true. It’s true through the teen years. Too.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:17

    And one of the things that I worry about is that the world has encroached with problems that used to be like problems you’d hit in your early twenties, became problems that you hit in your teens, what used to be problems that hit in your teens, now come your early teens or your tweens when kids are just as a matter of emotional maturity and experience and wisdom and all that stuff, just much less prepared to handle those sorts of challenges. And so, you know, my wife and I have tried to push back against that stuff just to try to keep it a little bit further out into the future. Part of that is like access to technology. And, like, we’re basically amish in that way. And I felt a little weird about it for a while.
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:02

    And look, not everybody can do that. Right? Like if you lay out in a situation where your kid needs to be, like, you know, taking a bus to get to school, like, you know, forty five minutes away and needs to pick up, like, they’re gonna have to have a phone or something. That’s But if you can — Right. — keep some of that stuff pushed back and away from them for as long as possible, all you’re really doing is buying them the space so that their brains develop and their experiential knowledge of the world develops enough so that when they hit the same type of stuff that again you and I would have hit at age twenty, maybe they’ll hit it at nineteen instead of fourteen.
  • Speaker 2
    0:58:39

    Okay. And we have to end on something positive. This is a Father’s Day episode. I wanna hear from both of you, an example of fatherhood that, like, has really inspired you, something that somebody has done, something you see, maybe it’s someone in your life or your father. Maybe it’s you wanna pat yourself on the back.
  • Speaker 2
    0:58:53

    I don’t wanna pre judge your answer. Fire away, Ryan. And JV, you
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:57

    can close us out. Oh, that’s a good one. I I write in the book about Bruce Springsstein, And he talks about this idea of being an ancestor or a ghost. Right? He’s like, are you going to deal with the pain and the struggles and problems and generational issues of your family and let it stop with you and help your kids sort of transcend that, or are you going to not just perpetrate it on them, but sort of haunt and hover over them?
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:26

    And I think he’s a fascinating guy. I mean, there’s not rock stars don’t have a great track record of raising great kids. One of his kids is, like, an Olympic equestrian and the other just became, like, a New York City firefighter. Like, it seems like he did a pretty good job. He’s been married to the same woman the whole time.
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:45

    You never know. You could bankrupt yourself speculating on what people are like in their private lives. But I I’m always inspired when somebody who came from shitty circumstances does a half decent job at a thing that nobody really showed them how to do. JBL?
  • Speaker 1
    1:00:00

    You know what? I’ll pat myself on the back. I’ll tell you about my single greatest moment of parenting.
  • Speaker 3
    1:00:04

    Right.
  • Speaker 1
    1:00:05

    So my oldest I
  • Speaker 2
    1:00:06

    love that.
  • Speaker 1
    1:00:07

    My oldest plays bass all. And when he was eleven, I wound up as a guest coach for the day for Little League. And so I’m just, you know, I’m following what coach Corey gave me to do and my kid is pitching and he hits a kid in the head with a pitch. It’s the first time he’s ever done this this kid goes down like a sack of flour. It is a horrifying moment.
  • Speaker 1
    1:00:30

    You know, both coaches me and the other coach sprint out of the dugout. Kid is knocked out. He wants to go to the emergency room. Everything’s fine. You know, the the end of the story is this other kid is fine, but it’s a terrible moment.
  • Speaker 1
    1:00:41

    And after about twenty minutes, the game finally gets back on and the ump says, play ball and I look out and my kid is standing on the mound sort of So I call time, I walk out, and I see he’s crying. And he says, hey, dad. I I can’t do this anymore. I don’t ever wanna pitch again. I cannot hurt somebody like that again.
  • Speaker 1
    1:01:01

    I said to him, buddy, listen. You got a job to do here, and your job is to just get your team through this inning. That’s all you have to do. They’re counting on you to do that. I said, and we have a Mercy role here.
  • Speaker 1
    1:01:12

    You can just walk the next seven batters. That’ll get them to five runs and then it’s done. Right? This is But you can do this because, you know, like, this is kinda your job and they depend on you, and and it’s gonna be okay. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    1:01:24

    And there’s and then I sort of, like, looked at them and I was like, there’s crying in baseball and realize they had no fucking idea what I was talking about because he’s eleven years old and he’s never seen Bulwark. Or sorry, league of their own rather. So, you know, when
  • Speaker 2
    1:01:36

    I Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    1:01:37

    And so, you know, I slapped him on the ass and, you know, jaunt it back to the dugout, and he stood out there and he and he finished the inning. And came off and and everything was fine and moved on and I think that became the genesis of my kid. He’s a very good pitcher. He’s a great fucking teammate. Like, he is a great great.
  • Speaker 1
    1:01:58

    He’s like, you know, on every team, he is the kid that everybody loves and he’s the guy who’s always talking guys up and I think that was the genesis of him taking sort of, you know, like leadership role in club stuff seriously. And so I crushed that one there. I’m a bad parent many other ways, but I did crush that one.
  • Speaker 2
    1:02:17

    Great job. There’s a I love that. I don’t know which delic virtue that is, wisdom, courage, justice, or temperance? That’s all
  • Speaker 3
    1:02:24

    of them.
  • Speaker 2
    1:02:24

    It’s all four. It’s been so good, Ryan. I apologize for keeping me a little bit over. Thank you so much for doing My Bizarro alter ego down in Bastrop. If you find yourself in Austin, go to the painted porch, go visit Ryan.
  • Speaker 2
    1:02:37

    Don’t go visit Elon Musk new monstrosity that he’s building down the road. It’s a wonderful store. Go buy his books. We’ll see you back here on Wednesday for the normal next level. Thank you all.
  • Speaker 2
    1:02:49

    See you next time. Peace. Yep.
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