What does Joe Rogen have to do with Alexis de Tocqueville? Why should you listen to one and read the other? Let me show you.
When Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America, he was amazed at how much Americans cherished equality (of opportunity) and liberty, going so far as to say: “Men are there seen on a greater equality in point of fortune and intellect, or, in other words, more equal in their strength, than in any other country of the world, or in any age of which history has preserved the remembrance.”
However, he also knew that the notion of equality could be warped in ways detrimental to the long-term health of the nation:
“There is … a manly and lawful passion for equality which incites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.”
We have reached a crucial point in American history, where the men who would prefer “equality in slavery” may outnumber the men who realize the difference between “equality of opportunity” and “equality of outcomes.” The reason we find ourselves in this predicament is because for far too long Americans have not been given “tough love.” The whiners and complainers have been coddled. They have been led to believe that in the movie that is their life, it is perfectly respectable to cast themselves as the victim.
A lot of people say “I just want to, sorta…” They’re kind of dabbling in the idea of improving themselves. And the real way to do it is you’ve got to write down what the fuck you want and go after it because otherwise you live in a wishy-washy world. If you decide I’m going to get down to — bang — I’m going to do this. I’m going to run a marathon in less than five hours. Whatever the fuck it is, you gotta write that shit down and go for it.
What I tell people, and this is the best advice I ever heard or came up with: Live your life you’re the hero in your movie and right now is when the fucking movie starts and your life is a shitbag disaster like every fucking Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where he makes blender full of pizza and ice cream and that’s what he eats. Do you know what I mean? Those guys who are on the brink. They put a gun in their mouth and then put it down because they sit a photo of their daughter… Pretend that’s you. Pretend right you are in the part of the movie that starts and it shows you like a fucking loser — and just decide not to be a loser anymore.
Live your life like there was a documentary crew following you around and you are analyzing your own behavior.
Do what you would want to do so that your kids one day would look back on it one day and see that documentary and look on it with pride like: “Wow, my dad was a bad motherfucker. He really did what he had to do. Wow, my mom really got her shit together.” I love a success story, but even more than a success story I love “a dude who fucks his life up and then gets it back together again” story. Those are my favorite stories. …
You have to think that you’re the hero in your own fucking movie, and then you have to sit down and write shit down. Write down what you need to do.
Most people play the role of the victim in their movie. … “This life is fucking me over, man. I could have had this, and I should have had that. And why does this guy have this and what does that guy get that?” — all things that are completely unrelated to you. All things where you find other people’s success is a downfall in your own existence. Instead of being inspired, instead of choosing to be positive, instead of improving constantly on the direction on whatever it is you want to achieve that is written down, you just sit around and spiral.
There’s nothing more miserable than sitting around someone fucking complaining all the time. It is one of the most annoying things ever. Everybody hate it when someone just sit around and they just complain about their life and they don’t do jack shit about it. And you tiptoe around it, you don’t know what to say. “Well, She get’s upset when you bring that up. I don’t want to bring that up.” And you want to go: “You fucking crazy bitch! You know what is wrong with you life. Stop announcing it to everybody else and go out and fix that shit.”
Tough love is what everybody needs. Me included.
That’s the only good thing about assholes on the Internet. Sometimes they say things that are right. … “Oh, that joke on the podcast. You’re an asshole for even thinking like that.” … You feel bad if things are correct. You feel bad if someone nails it. … You have to be able to have that honest assessment of yourself, and the only way to do that is if you’re taking account of yourself all day long. You have a mindset you want to maintain throughout the day.
Don’t let the world maintain your mindset. You choose what mindset you’re going to maintain.
Joe Rogan can come across as a cocky guy from time to time, but there is no denying that he’s a smart man. There is no denying that he has the recipe for success down pat. Take a moment to look back at your own life and try to step outside yourself and see it from an objective observer’s point of view. What kind of character are you? Are you more like the hero who is going to will himself to great heights, or are you more like a victim of cruel circumstances beyond your control? Is the world out to get you, or is the world your playground? The sooner you gain the ability to objectively analyze your life, the sooner you’ll be able to make the changes necessary to fulfill your true potential.
Will future generations of Americans revere Joe Rogan like history buffs revere Alexis de Tocqueville? If I was a betting man, I’d say no. However, that doesn’t take away the wisdom embedded within many of his podcasts. The point is this: Look for knowledge wherever you can find it. It exists everywhere. A Frenchman can “get” America better than most Americans, and a comedian/UFC commentator can impart more knowledge in a single podcast than many college professors can in an entire semester.
If you cast yourself as a hero in your own movie and look for learning opportunities from everyone you meet — including those who try your patience — life will reward you for it.