Joel Cox

Episode 14 – Jordan Peterson

“Don’t practice things you don’t want to be good at.”


In 2016, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos criticizing the Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (Bill C-16), passed by the Parliament of Canada to introduce “gender identity and expression” as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

12 Rules for Life

  1. “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.”
  2. “Treat yourself like you are someone you are responsible for helping.”
  3. “Make friends with people who want the best for you.”
  4. “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”
  5. “Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.”
  6. “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”
  7. “Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).”
  8. “Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie.”
  9. “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.”
  10. “Be precise in your speech.”
  11. “Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding.”
  12. “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.”

Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life

  1. “Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement.”
  2. “Imagine who you could be and then aim single-mindedly at that.”
  3. “Do not hide unwanted things in the fog.”
  4. “Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated.”
  5. “Do not do what you hate.”
  6. “Abandon ideology.”
  7. “Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens.”
  8. “Try to make one room in your home as beautiful as possible.”
  9. “If old memories still upset you, write them down carefully and completely.”
  10. “Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship.”
  11. “Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful, or arrogant.”
  12. “Be grateful in spite of your suffering.”


Akira the Don

Self-authoring suite

Episode 13 – Fictional mantras


  • The Matrix Trilogy
  • Altered Carbon
  • Dune
  • Ducktales
  • Fight Club
  • The Edge

The Matrix Trilogy

  • Choice. The problem is choice
  • You have to let it all go, Neo – fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind!
  • Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”
  • …you have been done there. You know that road. You know exactly where it ends. And i know that’s not where you want to be.

Altered Carbon

  • Get to the next screen
  • The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice
  • Reality is so flexible these days, it’s hard to tell who’s disconnected from it and who isn’t. You might even say it’s a pointless distinction.”


  • Fear is the mind killer
  • It is by will alone I set my mind in motion
  • The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”


  • Work smarter not harder

Fight Club

  • This is your life and its ending one minute at a time
  • It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything

The Edge

  • What one man can do another man can do
  • I’m gonna kill the bear

Episode 12 – As a man thinketh


  • As a man thinketh by James Allen

“A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses.”

Your actions are outgrowths of your thoughts.

Thoughts become your actions, actions become your habits. Your thinking becomes your habits.

Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit

You shape the world just as much as it shapes you.

Extreme ownership. Everything is your fault.


Shifting your perspective can make all the difference

Episode 10 – Courage is Calling (Stoicism)


  • Courage is calling by Ryan Holiday

What is stoicism?

Quick overview since we covered it in episode 5

The four cardinal virtues

  • Prudence
  • Justice
  • Courage
  • Temperance


  • Why are we afraid?
  • Defeating fear with logic


  • If not you, then who?
  • Just a few seconds of courage
  • Make it a habit

The heroic

  • What are you willing to pay?
  • You must burn the white flag

Episode 9 – Habits 4 of 4


  • Atomic Habits By: James Clear
  • An atomic habit is a practice or routine that is small and easy and a component of a system of compound growth
  • Bad habits repeat themselves because you don’t have the wrong system in place to change them.
  • Small changes seem unimportant at first but consistency will result in compound results like interest
  • Habits can be seen as the compound interest of self-improvement (1% better example)
  • To get better results focus on the system instead of setting goals
  • You will get better results if you focus on who you’ll become instead what you want to achieve.  
  • Four laws of Behavior change
    • make it obvious
    • make it attractive
    • make it easy
    • make it satisfying.
  • Environment shapes human behavior
  • Outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits
  • Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. 
  • Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy
  • When you finally break the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an overnight success
  • Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons: 
    • trying to change the wrong thing
    • trying to change habits the wrong way 
  • It is a simple two-step process:
    • Decide the type of person you want to be
    • Prove it to yourself with small wins
  • Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
  • The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them
  • We tend to imitate the habits of three social groups: 
    • the close (family and friends)
    • the many (the tribe)
    • the powerful (those with status and prestige).
  • Every behavior has a surface level craving and a deeper underlying motive
  • Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes progressively more automatic through repetition
  • We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work
  • Using technology to automate your habits is the most reliable and effective way to guarantee the right behavior

Episode 8 – Habits 3 of 4

 The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 8 outline: Habits 3 of 4

Book: You Are Not Your Brain By: Jeffrey M. Schwartz M.D., Rebecca Gladding

  • The brain sends  false messages referred to in this book as Deceptive Brain Messages, you aren’t defined by them.
  • Example of  a Broadway performer who froze in front of a producer. Since then his brain honed in on all his imperfections and ignored all the positive qualities  (all or nothing thinking)
  • It might seem like we have to follow what our brain tells us we can actually work around it.
  • Instead of working on the problem we turn to temporary fixes and our brains associate the temporary fix with relieving the problem.  For example an executive who turns to drinking to relieve stress. The brain actually associates the temporary h with drinking as an association and anytime he felt stressed he craved alcohol.
  • The mind’s ability to change the brain, called self-directed neuroplasticity.
  • Neuroplasticity is the ability of our brain regions and connections to adopt new functions. 
  • Example of a woman who suffered from a stroke on the left side of her body.  The right hemisphere of the brain rewired itself to control both sides of her body
  • you shouldn’t attempt to stop the deceptive brain messages from arising, instead, the aim is to teach you how to discount the false brain messages.
  • Four Steps to change unhealthy thoughts and habits.
    1. Be mindful and relabelling the situation, “I’m having the urge to go on Facebook.”
    2. Reframe the situation: “Checking Facebook reduces my anxiety that I might not be able to complete the work I should be doing.”
    3. Refocus the  situation  by doing something productive like beginning the easiest work task.
    4. Revalue the situation by recognizing that this impulse is just a deceptive brain message, and needn’t be taken seriously.

Keep a notebook of healthy activities. So that you have a list of healthy or fun refocusing activities.

Episode 7 – Habits 2 of 4

 The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 7 outline: Habits 2 of 4

Book: The Power of Habit By: Charles Duhigg

  • More than 40% of the actions you take each day are actually habits.
  • Habits are choices that you continue doing repeatedly without actually thinking about them. 
  • A habit has 3 steps:
  1. A cue, a trigger that tells your brain which habit to use and puts it into automatic mode.
  • The cue: End of afternoon, feeling a bit tired
  1. A routine, which acts out the habit. This can be physical, mental, or emotional.
  • The routine::  Ask a colleague to have a coffee break
  1. A reward, which is the result of the routine and reinforces the habit.
    • The Reward: coffee boost that you are looking for, just need a break, Or it’s the social aspect to chat with some colleagues
  • At one point, habits started with a decision, but they eventually became automatic.
  • The Golden rule of habit change is based on two steps. For changing a habit:
    • identify the components of the habit loop
    • change only one part in the loop
  • Habits have a powerful effect on our lives.
  • New habits can be installed, 
  • Have a simple cue,
    • This could be a poster of your favourite sports person 
    • It could also be by playing a motivating song
  • Have a routine – 10 minutes stretching and pushups   
  • Have a reward – It could be the endorphin rush or reward yourself with  favourite drink afterwards
  • Not all habits are created equal – There are keystone habits
  • Some habits have a ripple effect and produce much greater effects. They start like a chain reaction
  • willpower is the single most important keystone habit   because it translates to all other areas in life
  • Almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories:
  1. Location
  2. Time
  3. Emotional state
  4. Other people
  5. Immediately preceding action
  • If you’re trying to figure out the cue for a habit, write down five things the moment the urge hits:
    • Where are you?
    • What time is it?
    • What’s your emotional state?
    • Who else is around?
    • What action preceded the urge?

Episode 6 – Habits 1 of 4

Book: Making Habits, Breaking Habits By: Jeremy Dean

  • Habits are repeated behaviors with little to no conscious intention.
  • A minimum of ⅓ of our waking life is powered by our unconscious, where we operate on auto-pilot
  • A survey conducted in the 80s, at the University of Scranton, found 60% of  213 people surveyed, 

weren’t able to stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

  • Habits are strongly influenced by our environment
  • Training new habits requires patience
  • Most of our behavior is influenced by our unconscious mind
  • We register a number of clues, often without noticing it
  • Having certain routines makes us feel safer
  • Change a habit by replacing it with a different one
  • Performing actions unconsciously can lead to slips
  • Habits related to the Internet can turn into addictions
  • Use the WOOP method to form a new habit
    1. Wish – State what you wish to change
    2. Outcome – what do you wish to happen
    3. Obstacle – What will stop you
    4. Plan-  how are you going to overcome your obstacle
  • Adopt good habits and become happier
  • You can manipulate your habits
  • Determine your motivation.
  • Next, remember to repeat your actions, as repetition leads to automation. 
  • The Habit Loop
  1. Trigger
  2. Routine
  3. Reward 
  • The more you do a habit the more ingrained it becomes in your mind.
  • You can’t ever break an old habit.
  • You can manipulate the habit
  •  Hebb’s law and: Neurons that fire together, wire together.
  •  Quantum zeno effect. – a system can be frozen in its state, if continuously observed.

Episode 5 – Stoicism

The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 5 outline: Stoicism


  • A guide to the good life
  • Meditations
  • Daily Stoic
  • Ego is the enemy
  • Letters from a stoic

What is stoicism?

Why is it having a resurgence now?

What you can control

  • A short list


  • The observer/watcher

How to practice it?

  • Detachment
  • Emotions versus thoughts
    • Becoming a cyborg
  • Finances
  • Insults
  • Death