Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned award-winning law professor and bestselling author of Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life. His latest book, Awaken Your Genius: Escape Conformity, Ignite Creativity, and Become Extraordinary, is out now.
What We Discuss with Ozan Varol:
- Just because you’re recognized as being good at something doesn’t mean you have to do it forever — or even ever.
- The skills we build and the lessons we learn don’t go away when we decide to change course — they get repurposed and built upon for the journey ahead.
- Change doesn’t have to be permanent. If a new path doesn’t work as expected, consider it a failed experiment and keep experimenting until you find the right fit.
- How to develop a curiosity over victory mindset in which exploring new perspectives and ways of thinking take priority over always being right.
- How to discern between belonging to a supportive community and getting sucked into blind, cult-like tribalism.
- And much more…
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When the thought of change is too painful to consider — even change that would benefit us in the long run — perhaps it’s time to examine the shackles that keep us tethered to the status quo. Are we sticking with an unfulfilling job simply because it pays the bills and we don’t want the skills we’ve built along the way to go to “waste?” Are we tied up in non-critical ways of thinking or stuck in roles that no longer define the people we are today?
On this episode, we’re rejoined by someone who knows a thing about making painful but necessary life changes — Ozan Varol, a rocket scientist turned tenured law professor turned author of Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life and Awaken Your Genius: Escape Conformity, Ignite Creativity, and Become Extraordinary. Here, we discuss how to repurpose our skills when we make a course correction, what we can do to disengage from thoughts and identities that no longer represent us, how to develop a curiosity over victory mindset in which exploring new perspectives and ways of thinking take priority over always being right, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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Miss our out-of-this-world conversation with Bowie-strumming astronaut Chris Hadfield? Catch up with episode 408: Chris Hadfield | An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth here!
Thanks, Ozan Varol!
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Awaken Your Genius: Escape Conformity, Ignite Creativity, and Become Extraordinary by Ozan Varol | Amazon
- Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan Varol | Amazon
- Ozan Varol | How to Think Like a Rocket Scientist | Jordan Harbinger
- Ozan Varol | Website
- Clint Watts | Surviving in a World of Fake News | Jordan Harbinger
- Steven Pinker | Why Rationality Seems Scarce | Jordan Harbinger
- Mick West | How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories | Jordan Harbinger
- Dave Farina | Debunking Junk Science Myths | Jordan Harbinger
- Julia Galef | Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t | Jordan Harbinger
- It Is Difficult to Get a Man to Understand Something When His Salary Depends Upon His Not Understanding It | Quote Investigator
- Kobe Bryant | Dissecting the Mamba Mentality | Jordan Harbinger
- Ryan Holiday | Discipline is Destiny (Live from Los Angeles) | Jordan Harbinger
- Looking Back on the Worst Chapter of My Life, Four Years On | Jordan Harbinger
- The Raft: A Buddhist Parable Shows Us How We Waste Our Lives | Psychology Spot
- The Sunk Cost Fallacy | The Decision Lab
- When an Argument Gets Too Heated, Here’s What to Say | HBR
- Nope, Aristotle Did Not Say, “It Is the Mark of an Educated Mind to Entertain a Thought Without….” | Sententiae Antiquae
- Too Much Mindfulness Can Worsen Your Mental Health | Verywell Health
- Richard Feynman | Wikiquote
- How to Overcome Tribalism, the Shouty Minority, and Facebook Toxicity | Politico
- Jonathan Haidt | The Danger of Good Intentions and Safe Spaces | Jordan Harbinger
- Too Much Tribalism? National Service to the Rescue | The Brookings Institution
- Anderson Cooper | The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty | Jordan Harbinger
- Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury | Amazon
- Bradley Hope | The Secret Mission to Overthrow North Korea | Jordan Harbinger
- Daniel Kahneman | When Noise Destroys Our Best of Choices | Jordan Harbinger
- Cal Newport | Reimagining Work in a World without Email | Jordan Harbinger
- Why You Compare Yourself to Other People (And How to Stop) | Jordan Harbinger
- Get the Most Out of What You Read | Readwise
- Oliver Burkeman | Website
- Dr. Anders Ericsson | Secrets from the New Science of Expertise | Jordan Harbinger
- The Office | Prime Video
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- The Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy: “After This, Therefore Because of This” | Effectiviology
825: Ozan Varol | How to Awaken Your Genius
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:03] Ozan Varol: I think there's also this problem with belonging in the modern world. Like we've lost touch with so much that makes us human. Like we don't belong in nature, we don't belong, uh, we live in these suburban boxes, disconnected from neighbors, disconnected from animals, disconnected from nature, disconnected from so much that makes us human. And so we're craving belonging. And I think things like conspiracy theories give people a sense of belonging because now you believe this thing that other people don't believe. And by the way, you can find other friends online who also believe that thing. And you can get this sense of belonging in a way that, unfortunately, we're so deprived of.
[00:00:42] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with scientists and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional Emmy-nominated comedian, investigative journalist, Russian spy, or gold smuggler. And each episode turns our guest's wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better thinker.
[00:01:12] If you're new to the show or you want to tell your friends about the show, I suggest our episode starter packs. These are collections of our favorite episodes organized by topic. That will help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show — topics like persuasion and influence technology and futurism, investing, financial crimes, abnormal psychology, crime and cults, and more. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start or search for us in your Spotify app to get started. By the way, if you want to make your own starter pack of sorts, you can go to jordanharbinger.com/ai, search for any interest, and our AI chatbot will tell you what to listen to. Pretty cool function, sort of new jordanharbinger.com/ai.
[00:01:52] Today, my old buddy, Ozan Varol, is back on the show. Basically, a rocket scientist writes a self-help book, cute. Actually, he's a lawyer, a professor, and a rocket scientist. No big deal. Ozan is a brilliant mind. Obviously, he's great at helping us clarify our thinking, undue damage to our critical thinking skills that's often done in education systems, aka school, like the ones we all grew up in. In this episode, we also explore why what we do isn't and should not become our identity and how to make that shift. There's a whole lot here on good thinking, good thinking habits, getting out of bad thinking habits, and of course, as the book title suggests, awakening our genius. All right, here we go with Ozan Varol.
[00:02:38] You've had quite a path. You grew up in Turkey, which I guess makes sense given that your name is Ozan Varol. I never really put that together, and then you immigrated to the States, pushed your education really hard, became an actual rocket scientist. So one of the things that I appreciate about you is you've got your thinking mind on lock, and lately, it seems like you've been doing more thinking about thinking. Where I would love to start, I read the book, I really enjoyed it. We take in so much input from influencers, friends, family, community, and news sources. I'm paraphrasing what you said here, but where are, our thinking is basically a mashup of those people's thinking or their output. And I'm wondering sort of how that works and does that serve us? Why or why not? Because shouldn't we become a product of the thinking that goes on around us? Maybe yes, but only if that thinking is high quality.
[00:03:25] Ozan Varol: Yeah. I think that's part of it, but also we should become a product of our own thinking too. I think from an early age we are conditioned to look externally for answers and that starts with, you know, our schooling. In primary school, you were taught that answers have been determined by someone far smarter than you. Your only job is to memorize them and then regurgitate them back out on a standardized test. And so life is a series of right or wrong answers determined by other people. And there is really no curiosity, no wisdom within in most education systems. And so then you leave the education system perfectly conditioned to thrive in a world that doesn't exist because we're sort of educating children to still thrive in the industrial age, to comply and conform and not to look within for answers. Now, that doesn't mean you ignore all the wisdom out there, but it also means that you strike a balance between consumption and creation. And that also means that you pay closer attention to the types of sources that you consume, realizing that there is so much junk information out there. And even information dressed up as healthy ends up being unhealthy in so many ways.
[00:04:36] Like my recent favorite has been the news, especially in the last few years. The news has turned into this form of entertainment. It's like professional wrestling for intellectuals where everyone is cheering on their favorite wrestler as they beat each other over the head with folding chairs. And the same, like the same information repeats and breaks and predictable cycles. And so if you're paying really close information to the news, you're going to have a very skewed perception of reality. Number one, you're going to think the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Like it's all drama and conflict, the type of content that's going to draw eyeballs and clicks. And number two, you're going to think, you know, the world is only determined by these pieces of information that's been selected by reporters and journalists for mass consumption. And that will give you a really skewed perception of reality.
[00:05:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, my parents were just visiting for a few months and they're always on their iPads, which is funny because I remember them being like, "All you do is watch TV," when I was a kid. And now, they're so addicted to their iPads and all they do is read things that people share on Facebook and other news sites. Whenever I go anywhere they're like, "You know, it's dangerous there. It's not like it used to be." And there's a lot of talk, there's a lot of lunch talk about how things are so much more dangerous now than they used to be. And if you look at crime statistics, I'm pretty sure that that's not true. And it's, "Oh man, there's so much more child molesting and abuse now." And I'm like, I guarantee you, there's not more now than there was when no one talked about it and they didn't have words for pedophile and they didn't have investigative units and families sweat that crap under the rug. I'm like, there's no way there's more now. There's just no way.
[00:06:19] Ozan Varol: Yeah, totally. The other problem is you see the same piece of news repeated across different news sources, so your confidence in its accuracy increases, and more than that, your friends and colleagues are also reading those same sources. So then they're repeating this information back to you, and so you're getting it from multiple news outlets and multiple friends, which means your confidence in its accuracy increases, and so you end up with a skewed perception of reality.
[00:06:44] Jordan Harbinger: I think Steven Pinker talked about this on the show where it's like now's one of the best times to be alive. Not just because of medical technology and things like that, but because for the most part, crime is on a downswing. Pandemic sort of blip things back up for a second, but I don't think it's where it was in the '70s or the '80s. For example, like New York was really sketchy in the '80s. It's maybe worse now than it was in 2019, but it's not as bad as it was in 1988 where you couldn't even go to Times Square after Sunset because it was too dangerous. Now there's no sunset there because of all those damn billboards that light up. But I'm getting a little bit off track here.
[00:07:18] We come up with conspiracy theories and we think we're independent thinkers when it seems to me like a lot of conspiracy thinking is just maybe people who recognize that they're hearing the same thing everywhere and they're like, "Ah-ha. Now, I'm just going to think the opposite." Not based on anything other than, I'm hearing this in so many places, I just want to think the opposite. And they'll say that everybody who believes what they see somewhere is sheep. And I understand why they think that, but it seems like they're just countering sheep thinking with sheep thinking that's the opposite of the mainstream.
[00:07:53] Ozan Varol: Exactly. And it's conformity of a different kind, right? And so the only thing you're doing is reacting to the mainstream, and then you're defining yourself by your adherence to this conspiracy theory and that you're right. That's in part fueled by if you're looking at the same types of news sources and getting the same type of information that confirms what you think is true, then your reality is going to be skewed. I think there's also this problem with belonging in the modern world. Like we've lost touch with so much that makes us human. Like we don't belong in nature, we don't belong, we live in these suburban boxes, disconnected from neighbors, disconnected from animals, disconnected from nature, disconnected from so much that makes us human. And so we're craving belonging. And I think things like conspiracy theories give people a sense of belonging because now you believe this thing that other people don't believe. And by the way, you can find other friends online who also believe that thing. And you can get this sense of belonging in a way that unfortunately we're so deprived of.
[00:08:54] Jordan Harbinger: The idea that "you think for yourself," I think some people conflate that, and you write this in the book, they conflate that with thinking by themselves. So we end up with crap that gets revived, where if you'd bounced it off, maybe anybody else with two brain cells, you'd be like, "Oh, that can't be right," like flat earth. And I'm doing a Skeptical Sunday on this. I started the episode with the science teacher. I said, "Well, we've known the earth was round for hundreds of years." And he is like, "Let me stop you right there. You're thinking of heliocentrism. The sun goes around the earth." We went thousands of years with very few people thinking the earth was flat, except for people who were completely uneducated and had absolutely no idea. Now, we have people who graduated from college and they're like, "The earth is flat, man." These are people who work in skilled trades. And they're like, "Nope." And the reason is because I think a lot of us recognize that if we think like others, we're in this sort of human tribe, and it's like, "I don't want to be there, I want to find my sense of belonging in this other area." But the problem is they develop these ridiculously strong convictions, and it's not independent thinking. It's kind of the opposite. It's just different-flavored tribal nonsense.
[00:10:05] Ozan Varol: Yeah, exactly. And part of it also becomes the identity. So if you define yourself as a flat earth, that's part of your identity. It becomes really hard for you to change your mind because changing your mind or seeing a different perspective means changing your identity. And that's something that most egos will refuse. There's a famous quote by Upton Sinclair that I love. He says it's really hard to get a man to change his mind if his salary depends on it not changing his mind. I think the same idea applies to identity too. If your identity depends on you believing something, then it's going to be really hard for you to change your mind because it will mean you're no longer flat earther or you're no longer paleo. You're no longer vegan or you're no longer fill in the blank.
[00:10:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, exactly. We can get to some of the identity stuff cause I think it crosses over into what we do for a living as well. I want to really rip that open later in the show. First though, going back to something you'd said earlier, undoing the damage from school. Well, the school is never my strong point, and I did okay. Right? I went to law school, which is hard to get into. I got good grades, but I had trouble fitting into an education system that was sort of designed to grab the lowest common denominator of thinker and then bring them up to a certain level because that unfortunately also required all divergent thinkers like me, and I'm not saying like, oh, I'm so smart. I'm a divergent thinker. I just mean anybody who thinks even remotely differently or can't sit still in a seat. It requires the hammering down of those folks as well in order to fit through or into the mold. And I think you phrased it well when you said they treat everyone like airlines treat economy class passengers, the same bag of nuts, which are pretzels now, I guess because some people have allergies, but that just proves your point even further, the same bag of nuts for every seat. So it's efficient but it's not effective.
[00:11:51] Ozan Varol: Exactly. Yeah. I miss the peanut days. Yes, now, it's pretzels. Absolutely, and research shows that creative students are rated as problematic by their teachers precisely because of the reason you just described. Creative students tend to be divergent thinkers. They don't like conforming, they don't necessarily like rules. They like asking questions that are different from the questions that the textbook is giving people. And so they're labeled as troublemakers and rated poorly by their teachers. And by the way, so I excelled in this system and it's sort of embarrassing because like what I give keynote speeches, most of the time they read my official introduction, which includes like, he graduated number one in his class from law school with the highest GPA in the law school's history, which is accurate, but it's really embarrassing because it doesn't mean I was smarter than everybody else. It doesn't mean that I would be the best lawyer that my law school ever produced. By the way, I quit the practice of law after like two years.
[00:12:50] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, we have that in common too. I forgot about that.
[00:12:51] Ozan Varol: Yeah.
[00:12:52] Jordan Harbinger: I forgot about that. Yeah, we both went to good law schools and lasted not even quite two years.
[00:12:58] Ozan Varol: And it, it meant one thing only I was really good at conforming.
[00:13:02] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:02] Ozan Varol: Like if the teachers said, go read this thing, I would go read that thing. And I was really good at thinking through what my professors thought, what they wanted to see on an exam answer. And I would write the exams accordingly. And so that the compliance and conformity are what's rewarded, which means if you're doing well in law school as I did, I'm like, okay, I was a really good conformist. Now let me find my way back to myself instead of trying to think like my teachers and think like my professors.
[00:13:33] Jordan Harbinger: I want to carve out room for great teachers because there are so many, and—
[00:13:36] Ozan Varol: For sure.
[00:13:37] Jordan Harbinger: —they might be the exception in some places instead of the rule, but I think great teachers, they want to foster that great independent thinking in kids. But I think especially when I was going to school, it was just too, It was just too damn hard. I even had some teachers tell my parents, like, "Your son really thinks differently and he's really good at all these different things." But like there's 25, now, there's probably like 40 kids in a class. There's probably 20 when I was growing up, it's just, what are you going to do with the couple of smart kids? You can give 'em different assignments, but I mean, you can't sit there and nurture them when you're administrators yelling at you to pick up the last 10 kids who can't multiply, even though they're in ninth grade now, right? So I have some sympathy for that. And I just want to say that before I get a bunch of emails like, "We care about our kids." Like I know, I know you do.
[00:14:22] Ozan Varol: And if I could add to that.
[00:14:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:23] Ozan Varol: I totally agree. I totally agree. And I wouldn't be where I am today were it not for teachers who actually leaned into my curiosity and who encouraged independent thinking, and that's actually why I dedicated Awaken Your Genius to specifically naming 10 teachers who did exactly what you described, who encouraged my creativity and curiosity because I wouldn't be where I am without them.
[00:14:42] Jordan Harbinger: We mentioned identity and essentially fearing change because of what it does to our identity. And you brought up this awesome anecdote that I had no idea about. Kobe Bryant said something like, famous people especially start to value themselves for how the world sees them. And this is definitely not relegated only to famous people, but of course, him being a superstar, basketball player, maybe people value him only for that. If you're an awesome writer, famous writer, and I see this all the time, Ryan Holiday is a good friend of mine, and he'll say something on social media that's like, "We really need to start doing x." And half the comments of the people that disagree with him are like, "Shut up and write about stoicism. We don't care about your opinions," other than stoicism, where we revere everything that you put on paper, right? And it's really easy to listen to that peanut gallery or pretzel gallery, I guess now, and you start to believe that that is who you are. Not necessarily what the commenters say you are, but that look, if you're a writer, if you're a podcaster, you start to value yourself as a podcaster, which is kind of weird because myself, me of all people should know that I'm more of a three-dimensional person than just who I am on this show. But it's really hard to break out of that. And I'm not even an actual famous person. Imagine how somebody who's Kobe Bryant level famous in basketball, imagine the struggle they go through, and I know, cry me a river, but imagine the struggle they go through in trying to shed the identity as only an NBA player when the entire planet sees them that way and there's billions of dollars in media being created around them and that brand. It's like, "Well, wait a minute, I'm also a dad and I like writing." And it's like, "Shut up, man. We don't care. We're just trying to profit from this." It's got to be really hard to break out of that.
[00:16:22] Ozan Varol: It's so hard when you're being rewarded for something, for being something like in the case of Ryan, for being the stoic guy, or in your case being the podcaster, in Kobe Bryant's case being the basketball, it becomes so hard to change. It becomes so hard to diversify your identity and do something else. And I experienced this firsthand myself. I was a law professor for 10 years. Shortly after I got tenure, this was in 2016, I decided that that career was no longer for me.
[00:16:52] Jordan Harbinger: But great timing, wait until you—
[00:16:53] Ozan Varol: Yeah, great timing, right? I'm like, you get tenure. And then I'm like, all right, I'm done.
[00:16:56] Jordan Harbinger: It's like going to the Olympics and being like, you know what? I don't like running. I'm going to leave. I'm out.
[00:17:02] Ozan Varol: Yeah, exactly. And I thought, you know, there was a time when I thought I'd be a professor for the rest of my life. And that's what you do when you get tenure, is you get tenure, and then you'd relax. You show up to the law school, you know, twice a week, you teach your classes and then you go home. I remember distinctly one day I walked into the class, I put my notes down on the podium. And my whole body sank, like my shoulders collapsed. My heart sank with this feeling of not again.
[00:17:26] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:27] Ozan Varol: Like, I can't believe I'm about to teach Marbury versus Madison again, for God knows how many times. And I thought evenly maybe, you know, I'm like, maybe that's a fluke. But it wasn't. It kept repeating itself. And then I thought, all right, well, there's something here. I'm going to explore other possible futures for myself. But the moment I even said that, the moment that thought came up, my ego started kicking and screaming. And it was started kicking and screaming because with this voice of, "Dude, you're a law professor," right? And I've had professor in front of my name at that point for seven years. It's so tightly wound into the identity that is part of your name, your Professor Varol, and all of a sudden, if you are even thinking about shedding that you're dropping your title, you're leaving behind everything you work so hard to build and you're starting over from scratch. And it's a really humbling experience because no one cares when I started writing online that I was this accomplished scholar in comparative constitutional law, like that didn't matter at all. There was a lot of creative freedom in that because now you can do whatever you want. But it's also a really humbling experience because you go from being somebody to being nobody and your ego hates that.
[00:18:38] Jordan Harbinger: I remember when I had to restart this show and I had disagreements with my business partners and I was in this training company and yada yada. Leaving and starting over was hard but one of the major components of that was it was like, who am I? And I remember even thinking and saying out loud, who am I? If I'm not Jordan Harbinger of X, Y, Z podcast, what am I just Jordan Harbinger and I going to just start a new show? Like, can I do that? Am I still the same person? And my wife was like, "What are you talking about?" My parents and wife were like, "What are you talking about?" Because they saw me more clearly and more three-dimensionally but I was really stuck in, but I'm this person of this organization who does these things? Those are over now. This should have been an explosion somewhere off, I don't know, starboard side of the ship. It shouldn't have been a torpedo in the hull. Or maybe if it was, I shouldn't have taken on so much water to torture the metaphor, but it really was screwing me up, right? Because I confused my skin, I guess, or the external layer with who I was on the inside. And it seems corny, but I think a lot of people do that. I think if you transition out of something, it's almost always harder because you view yourself in that identity. But if you get booted out of something, it's very tough. You know? If you get kicked out of the NFL, then what are you? Are you a football player? No, you're an ex-football player. Well, that's lame, right? Because you weren't ready for that. So that's extremely unsettling because it rocks the core of who you are.
[00:20:02] Ozan Varol: Exactly. Identity, we often equate it with a self, but identity actually obscures the self in many ways and it feeds into your ego so it becomes really hard to let go. There is this parable I share in Awake Your Genius, this Buddhist parable about a man who builds a raft to cross a raging river. He gets over to the other side, he picks up his raft, and like he starts walking into the forest and the raft starts snagging against the trees and impeding the man's forward progress. But he refuses to let it go. He says, I built this thing like it saved my life. I'm not going to let it go. But to survive today, he has to let go of the raft that saved his life yesterday.
[00:20:42] So to step into who you are becoming, you need to let go of who you once were. And that's really difficult to do. But one of the things that helped me was realizing and having these like internal conversations, as woo-woo as it sounds, having these internal conversations with the parts of myself who were doubtful, who were saying, for example, you spent seven years of your life bringing you to where you are today. You are about to let all of that go to waste. And you know, economies call these sunk costs. The time, money, and resources you spend to go to law school or start a podcast or start a business, whatever it might be, but in those conversations, I was having with myself, I told myself, none of that is a cost. It's actually a gift from my former self to my current self. And I can take those gifts and repackage them and reimagine myself as something new.
[00:21:32] So I took my rocket of science pass, for example, and that's another layer of identity that I had shed even before I went into law school. I took that and that became part of this critical thinking toolkit I had, and it formed the subject matter for my last book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist. A decade in academia gave me the tools to write. I mean, I spent so much time writing. And it gave me the tools to story tell and teach and engage audiences because I taught these big first year classes, required classes filled with students who didn't want to be in the room. And so I had to engage them in some fashion, and I learned to become a storyteller. I learned to tell out captivating stories and look for stories that would peak the interest of those who didn't want to be in the room. And so none of them is a waste. None of that is a waste. Now I can take my storytelling skills and use them in the keynote speeches I give and the books that I write.
[00:22:25] So that framing of looking back at your past as like a compost pile fertilizer was really helpful in getting over the fear of like, I'm just about to lay waste to everything I worked so hard to build.
[00:22:40] Jordan Harbinger: It is tough to do that though because, of course, we crave what we don't have. But then at the same time, I also fear losing what I already do have. So I'm like, well, okay, do I want to let go of that to get something else? That seems dangerous. But what you're saying, it sounds like what you're saying is don't view it as letting go of something else that we already have. View that as laying the groundwork, the seeds, whatever for the new thing. And you give this sort of snakeskin analogy in the book, you can shed your beliefs like snakeskin and that's scary. But as humans, we can always put our old skin back on. And I think it's really hard to look at change as potentially temporary. You can try something new and you can always go back. I mean, I guess if you quit a tenured position, it might have been hard to go back and be like, "Hey, can I get that back? I shouldn't have done that." Maybe you can't. I'm not sure. But the idea of finding that you are not your identity, I mean, that's tough because even our language starts to reflect this identity. And you see it all the time. I'm a Democrat, I'm a Republican, or I'm a whatever, insert religion here. And if our language structure is the way we think, then it's going to be really hard to shed the idea that we are not that when we constantly say that we are literally.
[00:23:50] Ozan Varol: Yeah, exactly. And I want to go back to something you mentioned about, you know, the snakes shedding skin and that not being permanent for humans or some things you can go back to what you were doing before. Not in the case of a tenured job. I probably would not be able to get that back. But because of that, it was really important for me, I didn't just blindly leave, I didn't quit cold turkey and leave. I think it becomes really important to experiment with potential futures. And so while I was still in academia, I was placing little bets on the side trying on different potential futures to see which like, does this new skin suit me? And I tried coaching, I hated that. I tried consulting, found some success with that, but I wasn't enjoying it. And really what brought me alive was writing and writing online. And then all of a sudden, you know, after a year of writing online, this relatively large audience formed itself. And that culminated in a book deal back in 2020 and the book became successful. It is only after that that I felt comfortable leaving my tenured job because that would've been a permanent move.
[00:24:55] And so the mindset of approaching your own self as like a curious scientist, and I think we all need our own R and D departments, research and development departments where like you're trying on different things for yourself, where you're experimenting with potential futures, where you're placing little bets on the side, that becomes really important in determining like what you're actually going to enjoy and what you're not going to enjoy. But I think it also makes change a little less scary because you're framing it as an experiment. And experiments by definition are, you know, you're just trying it out. If it works, great, you can go down that path. If it doesn't work, you can go back to what you were doing before.
[00:25:35] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Ozan Varol. We'll be right back.
[00:25:40] This episode is sponsored in part by ZipRecruiter. I'm a business owner and whenever we need to hire, it's not exactly the most fun thing in the world. Do you know it can take up to 11 weeks on average to hire for an open position. Ain't nobody got time for that. Well, if you're listening today, I've got some advice for you. Stop waiting and start using ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter can help you find qualified candidates for all of your roles fast. And right now you can try it for free at ziprecruiter.com/jordan. ZipRecruiter uses powerful matching technology to quickly find and send you the most qualified people for your roles, so you don't need to waste your valuable time laboriously sifting through candidates. What I really like about ZipRecruiter is you can personally invite your favorite candidates to apply with one click that makes people apply even sooner. And as they say, four out of five employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day, which is a hell of a lot faster than I did when I was hiring people back in the day. So speed up your hiring process with ZipRecruiter. 3.3 million businesses have come to ZipRecruiter for their hiring needs.
[00:26:37] Jen Harbinger: Just go to this exclusive web address to try ZipRecruiter for free, ziprecruiter.com/jordan. Again, that's ziprecruiter.com/J-O-R-D-A-N. ZipRecruiter, the smartest way to hire.
[00:26:50] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by SimpliSafe. Jen and I are doing a little spring cleaning, decluttering, de-organizing, well, actually reorganizing, not de-organizing. It just looks like that. Having organized surroundings helps promote mental clarity and decrease stress. My advice is to keep your house clean and then protect every inch of it with SimpliSafe home security for even greater peace of mind. We've had SimpliSafe for several years now. I can't imagine living without it. It's part of my daily routine. I feel like be like naked. You know, not having my phone on me or not having a case on my phone maybe, but like times a million. There's really no reason not to get SimpliSafe. It's affordable. It's less than a dollar a day, easy to set up. I'd rather set up SimpliSafe than deep, clean the house. So keep that excuse in your back pocket, fellas. We got sensors all around the house, panic buttons hidden in a few areas. We're not paranoid. I mean, I don't think we are, but we like to be prepared. We've caught vagrants trying to get into our backyard. I caught some knucklehead looking under my electric car from my catalytic converter. That's not there. We set our SimpliSafe alarm every night before bed and sleep easy. Knowing that SimpliSafe's 24/7 professional monitoring agents have got our back and CNET named SimpliSafe Editor's Choice.
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[00:28:13] Jordan Harbinger: If you want to know how I managed to book all these great folks for the show, it's always about my network. And I know networking is kind of gross. It's one of those things people don't like to do. I understand that people have ruined the word itself. I am teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty and build relationships like real ones that are not gross before you need them. And that course is free. I'm not taking your credit card, none of that nonsense. It's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. It's down to earth, it's easy, it's not cringe. It's really just a real way, non-awkward way to build better relationships, be a better connector, be a better colleague, a better friend, a better peer. jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it.
[00:28:51] Now back to Ozan Varol.
[00:28:55] I'm curious how you develop a curiosity over victory mindset. So in other words, trying to explore other thinking or other ways of thinking, other ideas without getting attached to being right, which is hard even when you know you're doing it and obviously next to impossible if this is a blind spot for you.
[00:29:11] Ozan Varol: When you're engaging with someone and you go into that engagement with the goal of, "I'm going to convert the other person to my side," then you've already lost the battle. Then that's the sort of the victory over curiosity mindsets, and that often backfires. It backfires because you're not going to be able to convert the other person in most cases, and you actually end up convincing yourself that you're right because you're finding more arguments to support what you already believe and research backs this up as well. Your beliefs are just solidifying. And so curiosity over victory means you lean into the conversation, not with a goal to persuade, but with this curiosity, again, going back to the scientist mindset of just leaning in and saying, "Ah, that's really interesting, like I wonder why this person believes what they believe. Like how do they actually end up here? What is their life story like? What are their experiences like? What perspectives do they have that led them here?" And when you adopt that mindset, one, the interactions become a lot less confrontational and life becomes a more interesting because you're just finding things out and you're learning. And honestly, it becomes less frustrating because when you try to persuade someone and you know it doesn't work, you end up getting really, really frustrated, especially if they're refusing to see your perspective. But if you lean in and see their perspective, it just becomes more interesting. Now, you've learned something new and you can still believe what you believe, but you now have a data point that you didn't have before.
[00:30:40] Jordan Harbinger: One tactic I loved was restating what the other person says to their satisfaction before you go any further. Can you take us through that? I never thought to do this, but this is actually like simple genius.
[00:30:53] Ozan Varol: Yeah. The next time you're about to have a confrontational, potentially confrontational talk, and this could be like at the Thanksgiving dinner table with your Aunt Millie, or it could be at work, whatever it might be. The goal is to say, okay, I am not going to respond to what you said until I repeat and rephrase what you said and explain it back to you, to your satisfaction. So for example, if your aunt believes that the earth is flat and you're about to have this really confrontational dynamic over Thanksgiving dinner about why the earth is not flat, you have to listen to what she has to say. And then you have to repeat it back to her, and then you have to check in with her and say like, was that answer satisfactory? Did I miss anything that you said? And then give her a chance to clarify. And once she's satisfied, then you get to respond. And then she has to do the same thing. And so that reduces the confrontational dynamic a little bit because now you have to listen, you have to lean in, you have to engage because you're responsible for repeating back to the person what they said versus in the typical dynamic, you're ignoring what the other person's saying, right? Like, you're so focused on your own clever retort that you're not even paying attention. And that way of operating disrupts that, that typical dynamic.
[00:32:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's interesting. It also, I would imagine, forces you to try and see their perspective and their argument and then understand it correctly, even if it's complete nonsense. Like, "Okay, so the earth is flat because when you fly your low-altitude plane, you don't see the curvature of the earth." "That's right." Okay. And then, they have to do the same thing for you. "So what you're saying is, if I could fly higher, I'd see the curvature of the earth." "Yeah, that's what I'm saying." It's almost like when you're close to things, they look flat, and when you're further away, you can see the shape more accurately, but whatever. This reminds me that Aristotle quote or I don't have the quote in front of me, but it's the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
[00:32:47] Another tactic that I love, or another idea or methodology that I love is instead of saying, "This is what I believe," go with, "This is how I currently understand the issue." what does this do? This seems like a language reframe that's useful.
[00:32:59] Ozan Varol: Yeah, exactly. The language reframe basically disrupts this dynamic of what I believe is my identity. So I'm a Democrat or I'm a Republican, I'm a fill-in-the-blank. Instead, you're saying, this is how I currently see the issue. Look, I'm a work in progress. My beliefs are a work in progress. This is not tied to who I am, this is how I'm viewing it. And so it becomes easier to change it.
[00:33:21] And I'll give you an example from my life. I'm a big believer in meditation. I've been meditating for years and years and years, and I came across this research study. It was a meta-analytic study that reviewed other research studies on meditation. I don't remember the exact numbers, but dozens of research studies in meditation that show that not insignificant number of people actually, they don't benefit from meditation, but they also experience adverse effects like anxiety, increased anxiety, and meditation is supposed to do the opposite. And when I first saw the research study, my immediate reaction was like, that's BS.
[00:33:56] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:33:57] Ozan Varol: That can't be right. You know, because I had defined myself, my identity as a meditator, right? And if I have not only defined myself as that but spent years and years preaching the benefits of meditation, it's going to be really hard for me to see and read a research study that totally disrupts what I think is true.
[00:34:16] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:17] Ozan Varol: So the reframing of the language was helpful in that regard. And I leaned in and I read the research study, and then I decided to share it with my email list. And the whole goal was to meditate on the dangers of thinking in rigid categories of like, yes, no, Democrat, Republican, right, wrong, you know, college is essential, or college is useless, or Elon Musk is a villain, he's the hero. And sort of see the gray that exists between those extremes and accept that like, yes, meditation can be an extremely useful tool for some people, but it can also cause adverse effects in others. And I got more hate mail for that post than anything else I've written. And it's really ironic because here's a bunch of meditators—
[00:35:01] Jordan Harbinger: Watch your back, Ozan. I'm coming for you.
[00:35:03] Ozan Varol: Yeah. Very, very un-zen and really ironic because meditation teachers lose attachments to thoughts and ideas and opinions and here they were just displaying the exact opposite of that. But like, I get it, and the reaction is all too human. We are taught and conditioned many ways to put things in people into boxes and say, this fits into this box and not this box. But there's so much beauty in complexity and there's so much beauty in gray thinking. And the moment you say, "I'm a believer in this or I am this," then you close yourself off to those possibilities. And so to go back to your question, the reframing of this is how I currently see this issue, and see your own thoughts and yourself as a work in progress makes it easier for you to change your mind.
[00:35:53] Jordan Harbinger: One of the hardest things about changing a belief is that you have to turn around and admit that something that you once knew as an absolute fact was just wrong.
[00:36:00] Ozan Varol: Yeah, it is hard. And so you can actually play a little trick here and you can say to yourself if this helps. You can say to yourself, "Look, what I thought was accurate, given what I knew at the time. Like that actually was not an inaccurate conclusion given what I knew at the time. But now that new facts have come to light, like now that I'm seeing this research study that shows that meditation is not a universal remedy, my mind can also change." So that way you're not invalidating or canceling your past self, you're simply updating it.
[00:36:30] Jordan Harbinger: I think it's also important to differentiate between opinions and beliefs that are maybe a little cult-like or identity level. The way to do this, you explain it so well in the book, is ask yourself what fact would change my views or change my opinion. And if there isn't something that you can come up with, then maybe you don't have an opinion. Talk to me about that.
[00:36:53] Ozan Varol: Yeah, it's a really simple question. I sometimes ask this to other people too, but often I ask it to myself. Again, just let's go back to the research study on meditation, just as an example of that. If I'm stepping back and saying, I don't believe this and I catch myself doing that, then I can ask myself, all right, like, what fact would change my opinion on this. And if the answer is no fact would change my opinion, then I don't have an opinion. I am the opinion. The opinion is so tightly wound into my identity that I have now become the opinion. And as Richard Feynman says, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." You become really, really easy to fool when you are the opinion. And so I find that a useful question, a check, sort of a trip wire when I find myself getting caught in my own identity.
[00:37:44] Jordan Harbinger: It seems like that the dangerous attachment to dogma, that's sort of the dangerous tribalism that we were talking about before, right? Because the question, what facts would change my views or my opinion, it doesn't just work for online disagreements. There's outright cult-like groupthink tribalism. I'd love to talk more about how tribes form, how we then pick up dogma and behavior from those tribes as well.
[00:38:08] Ozan Varol: We touched on that a little bit, but I think tribes, especially modern-day tribes, have become this metal to our magnet of craving to belong. So we don't find belonging in traditional sources, and so instead we go to modern-day tribes now.
[00:38:22] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:23] Ozan Varol: There's nothing wrong with belonging to a community. I think where tribalism gets dangerous is when it enforces conformity. When it says, you cannot think differently than we do. You cannot read anything that's not on the approved reading. When it pushes, when tribes push their members to do things that they wouldn't otherwise do individually and respects them and respect them for what they say versus like who they actually are. I think that's when we end up in dangerous territory. Because now as a member of a tribe like that, you've outsourced all of your thinking. You've given up all of your thinking to the tribe. And so, you know, if your tribe believes that immigrants are destroying our country, then you believe it too. If your tribe believes that Elon Musk is a devil, then you believe it too. And then, if you at all, even a little bit deviate from tribal conformity and tribal group thing, you get shamed, cancel, and shown the door. You also, by the way, get shown the door if you don't disagree with the right people. And social media arguments, by the way, have turned into these like membership cards. You're not really posting things on social media to engage with other people. You're just sort of waving these membership cards saying like, I'm saying the right thing here, therefore I belong.
[00:39:39] Jordan Harbinger: So virtue signaling, is that the same thing?
[00:39:41] Ozan Varol: Yeah, exactly. Virtue signaling. Yeah, same thing.
[00:39:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:43] Ozan Varol: And so there is no room for individual thoughts? There is no room for any deviance from the tribal dogma because tribes feed on that. Tribes feed on having a singular dogma and having a membership that doesn't deviate from that dogma. So the moment you say anything different or you read anything different, you get shamed and canceled.
[00:40:03] Jordan Harbinger: The problem is that we end up following the dictates of our tribe without thinking critically about them. It's not just that we end up in the tribe and end up picking up dogma and behavior from the tribe itself. It's that they circumvent whatever filter we might have had. I noticed this when I talk to people online or elsewhere about these types of beliefs, they think that they think critically about those beliefs, and I'm sure I'm the same way. "Okay. You picked up a belief from your tribe." "No, I've really thought about this and I've weighed the pros and cons." "Have you, though?" Because I've noticed the most brain-dead tribal followers seem to be the ones who just cannot shut the hell up about how they're independent thinkers and that's why they believe that Anderson Cooper is a reptilian alien, Illuminati something, something. It goes back to some of the conspiracy thinking we discussed at the top of the show. It's almost like the more you feel like you've got a really strong, logical filter, the more easy it is for the tribe to just drop a random belief, identity, belief, whatever way of thinking on you, and you just swallow that sh*t hole.
[00:41:06] Ozan Varol: Exactly. And it's especially true if all your friends are also flat earthers, right?
[00:41:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:41:10] Ozan Varol: If all your friends also believe the same thing that you're believing, then you're being exposed to the same opinion. Again, going back to something we talked about already from different sources, and people do this all the time, they cut their own, say political groups, slack. So if you're a Democrat, you might cut the New York Times some slack, and then you scrutinize a lot more closely, well, assuming that you're even reading anything from a conservative source, assuming, which in many cases, not even the case, but even if you are, you're going to scrutinize that so much more closely than you might a news story from the New York Times. Simply being aware of that tendency, I think is important, and then just sort of being objective and saying, "Look, my tribal affiliation, like my identity doesn't define who I am." And so just because I voted Democrat in the last election doesn't make me a Democrat. I'm not going to pause critical thinking. I'm not going to pause independent thinking. I'm going to look at what I'm reading as objectively as possible, as difficult as it is to do. But if you're able to do this, by the way, if you're able to do this, you are going to see things that few other people see because the truth — you know, people say, well, the truth is somewhere in the middle — the truth often isn't even in the room. There is so much smoke and mirrors. But if you can step back and act as the objective observer who looks at the frenzy and drama and the conflict from this removed place, you're going to be able to ask questions that no one else is asking and see things that no one else is able to see because they are so, so, so stuck in their own identity.
[00:42:40] Jordan Harbinger: Why do we think this is, I know we reject info from competing sources regardless of its quality, like you said, but is it that tribalism provides some sort of certainty? Is that what we're looking for? Because it can't just be the social connections, especially if they only exist online, or is that just because they're better than nothing, but it's like, to me, If somebody agrees with me on Twitter, it does virtually nothing for me.
[00:43:02] Ozan Varol: I think social connections are part of the story. If it's a single person on Twitter, sure. But if you're, you know, hanging out in the subreddit of people who think like you, then that actually might give you some warm, fuzzy sense of belonging that Trump's critical thinking. So that's certainly part of it. But then you've hit the nail on the head with the other part, which is tribes introduce certainty into this really uncertain world that we live in. Like there's so much conflicting information out there, and so if the tribe is able to say, "Look, this is the line we're drawing, this is right and this is wrong," then it just becomes easier to make sense of the. Then you're not lost in the world in this uncertain place, not knowing what to think or who to believe.
[00:43:46] Now, you're going to be defined by the tribal certainty. It goes back to what we talked about with like the meditation study, for example, right? So if you are a meditator and you belong to that particular tribe, then you believe, you might believe meditation is a universal remedy, and that produces some certainty as it did for me, right? It was easy for me to say, meditation is going to be so helpful to everybody, versus having a question mark and saying, you know what? Actually the issue, the tool is more complicated than most people believe, and it makes sense to approach it with that nuance and uncertainty. But now, now the certainty's gone. Now the boxes are gone. Now the lines are gone. Now it's a lot messier and multi-dimensional. But I think, you know, leaning into that and leaning into the beauty of that and saying like, "Huh, like how interesting. This is actually not a universal remedy. There is more than one perspective to this. I find that really fascinating." Instead of approaching that, we reject it and go back to certainty. And I do think there is some genetic wiring involved here.
[00:44:52] Jordan Harbinger: I was just going to say, it's got to be wired in.
[00:44:55] Ozan Varol: Yeah. Our aversion to uncertainty.
[00:44:57] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Like if you think differently, other people might think differently, that's going to weaken the tribe.
[00:45:02] Ozan Varol: Exactly.
[00:45:02] Jordan Harbinger: Et cetera.
[00:45:03] Ozan Varol: And that's definitely part of it. And another genetic wiring might also be an aversion to uncertainty. So, you know, thousands of years ago, something unknown, something uncertain could present a potential danger to you. And so leaning into certainty might be genetically wired. It's certainly reinforced for the reasons to be discussed by the education system. You know, there's only right or wrong answers and you memorize them. And if you give the wrong answer on the test, if you say meditation is not a universal remedy, then you're going to be penalized for that. And that certainly plays into it.
[00:45:33] Jordan Harbinger: You give the example of Fahrenheit 451, where it's the dictators, they're trying to control people's thoughts, the information they take in. But it ends up being the other people that are policing. And you see this in North Korea too, which is top of mind, because I just did an episode about North Korea. But you see it there where yes, the police are there and they're going to make sure you're thinking a certain way. Yes, there's propaganda on television. Yes, there's propaganda in schools, but there's also these meetings you have to go to every week where you, I think they're called struggle sessions or something like that. Not in Korean, obviously they have a different name. But you go there to study communist thought or socialist thought or Kim Jong-un thought or whatever it is. And you also rat on your neighbors or your friends for not being part of the revolution enough or whatever the hell, sort of like not being in the tribe enough. Then you rat on yourself and you say like, "Here's where I failed the revolution this week when I fell asleep while studying, instead of staying up and lighting a candle and working deep into the night to understand Kim Jong-un's genius," you have to do stuff like that. I've asked North Koreans about this, and they tell me that this is what you do. Like they don't even know that. It's weird, unfortunately. It's really sad, but it really reminds me of that right? Where you're self-reinforcing, it's socially reinforcing, and there's like state level, depending on where you live, state-level resources being dedicated to this.
[00:46:55] Ozan Varol: Yeah. Interesting. So it's like confession.
[00:46:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:46:57] Ozan Varol: But in a, like a political setting, not a religious one.
[00:47:00] Jordan Harbinger: Right. But you're giving essentially like this, this cadre ammo to use against you later. because I have no doubt that this is all being recorded and or jotted down so that later if they need you on trumped-up charges for being corrupt, they can say, "Look at all these things you admitted to over the years. Look at all these infractions." And why not weaponize that? I mean, that's the whole point anyways, being intelligent, not an antidote to this by the. I know from, what is it, Kahneman and a zillion other people who've been on this show, smarter people are even more susceptible because we're just better. I include myself in that, you're welcome, we're just better at spotting patterns, which makes it even worse. Tell me about this.
[00:47:39] Ozan Varol: Yeah. You're better at spotting patterns. You're better at coming up with evidence and supporting arguments to support your position. And, you know, the more you come up with those arguments and the more you try to convince other people that you're right, you actually end up convincing yourself. And then the smarter you are, the worst a tendency gets. And so, yeah, being smarter is not an antidote to this. You still have to think critically in ways that a lot of smart people don't.
[00:48:05] Jordan Harbinger: In the book, you mentioned something called the digital morning routine and I didn't think I had this, but I actually do. And I'm not talking about like waking up in the morning and meditating and making coffee and this and that. It's the real morning routine that you actually do. And I hate the term morning routine in the first place because it, it's the focus on what successful people do in the morning. That's another topic, we'll get to that in a minute. But tell me about this because I thought, oh, I don't have a morning routine and I totally, unfortunately, do.
[00:48:29] Ozan Varol: Yeah, the digital morning routine, which was a question that someone asked me and my reaction was exactly the same as yours, Jordan. I'm like, I don't have a digital morning routine and I absolutely did. So these are the first like five apps or websites that you check every morning. So you reach for your smartphone if you're like most people, you wake up and then you know, you check Instagram and TikTok and the New York Times and stock market, whatever it might be. We all have our vices. And what you're doing and what I was doing was essentially gorging on a giant bucket of M&M's for breakfast in the morning. Like I was taking all of this information that is completely unhealthy and junk and feeding it to my mind. And if you know junk in, junk out, basically if that's what you're paying attention to, then the output is also going to turn into junk.
[00:49:19] We have this misconception that our most scarce resource is time or money, but our most scarce resources are attention because you can only pay attention to one thing at a time. Attention doesn't scale. And this is why, you know, tech companies have discovered the value of this resource. You give your attention to them for free and they sell it for a fee. This is what the whole social media business model is all about. It's like when what they say in the movies, like, be careful where you point that thing when it comes to a gun in a movie. Same thing with your attention. Like be careful where you point that thing. Your moment-to-moment reality is defined by what you pay attention to and the easiest way to change your reality is to stop paying attention to junk.
[00:50:05] So get rid of your digital morning routine. And I know this is easier said than done. One of the things that I found really helpful is to look for the unmet desire behind the digital morning rotation or behind the need to reach for your smartphone. And often when I reach for my smartphone, I'm doing it because there's an unmet desire for excitement or adventure or distraction. I like need something new. And after repeatedly checking in with myself, and I encourage you to do this, by the way, you can pause this conversation. Go spend 10 minutes checking your favorite sources of distraction if you're listening to this. So stock market news, whatever it might be, come back and ask yourself, number one, whether what you just did reliably satisfied the desire you had for excitement and adventure. And number two, also check in with yourself about how you're feeling.
[00:50:57] If you're like me, most of the time when I engage in that digital morning rotation or when I check my favorite sources of distraction, not only do they not satisfy this need that I'm seeking, they actually leave me feeling worse. Like there's this low-level buzz of stress and anxiety in the background, like Twitter makes me neurotic. Facebook makes me feel like I'm reliving the worst parts of middle school. Instagram makes me feel less than, and so it's not like through discipline that I sort of train myself to not check my phone. It's just like after repeatedly checking in with myself and paying post attention to how I'm actually feeling, I just know that it's not going to reliably fulfill whatever desire I have, it's actually going to end up making me feel worse.
[00:51:44] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Ozan Varol. We'll be right back.
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[00:55:13] Now for the rest of my conversation with Ozan Varol.
[00:55:18] I couldn't agree more it, especially if you make a living creating and or monetizing some sort of online presence. I mean, people might not see podcasting in the same light, but it is really easy to look. First of all, my feed is, of course, filled with other creators, and so it's like, "Oh man, look, this person got this guest," or "Oh, they're doing this type of thing. I should be doing that," and my wife is always, "Give FOMO about and then fill in the blank," whether it's a good friend of mine getting a victory where I should be happy for them and I am, but I'm also like, "I should be doing that too." Or it's just somebody I don't even know and I'm like, "Oh man, I should have done that." It's really, really, really bad. There are days where I'll just be like feeling sorry for myself for a couple of hours and I'm like, my kids in the other room, he wants to play with me and I'm over here being like, "Weh, why didn't I book celebrity that I don't give a sh*t about," but that I care about so much now because somebody else is sitting in front of them. I just have to think, "Am I going to care about this even tomorrow, let alone in like 10 years?" And the answer's always no. But it's very, very hard because this whole thing is almost designed for you to feel that way. Uh, it's the worst. Maybe it's worse for us because we make our money online. Maybe it's different if you're just like a school teacher and you're like, I don't care. This person's interviewing a celebrity. It's not my thing. There's just a different flavor of FOMO probably for each person.
[00:56:36] Ozan Varol: For sure. But they're going to be comparing themselves to other school teachers or whoever they aspire to be like. I write this in the book. I think this is an exact quote actually, if I'm remembering again correctly, but competition and comparison are a form of conformity. So when you do that, you are basically judging yourself according to someone else's metrics. Like when you're, for example, feeling bad because someone booked a celebrity that you don't care about. You're like, "Okay, well, now I'm going to judge myself by a metric that I didn't have before," but I'm going to adopt that metric because this other person clearly cares enough about the celebrity—
[00:57:09] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:57:09] Ozan Varol: —to bring them on their show. And so then you lose sight of who you are. You lose sight of what you care about, and you lose yourself in these vanity metrics that you don't personally care about. There's certainly metrics that are worth caring about as long as they're aligned with who you are. But you lose yourself in metrics that other people care about. And then you're like, "Wait, why am I working so hard to book the celebrity? Or why am I working so hard to hit whatever number it might be?" And the answer is because someone else cared about it and you adopted it without picking through it.
[00:57:40] Jordan Harbinger: You said if the average adult read books instead of social media, they would read about 120 books a year. That's super depressing, man, because most people read zero or what is it? Like two books a year or something like that. How many would I read if I didn't read social media? It'd be hundreds because I already read like a hundred books a year, so I could double that if I didn't use social. Well, I guess, it depends. I use social media probably less than most people, but that's really something. I mean, that really puts things into perspective—
[00:58:04] Ozan Varol: It really does.
[00:58:05] Jordan Harbinger: —if you could read 120 books a year. That's—
[00:58:07] Ozan Varol: Yeah. Totally
[00:58:07] Jordan Harbinger: freaking bonkers.
[00:58:08] Ozan Varol: And the numbers are in the book, I don't recall the exact like the average number of minutes that everyone spent or the average person spends on social media a day, but that's right. So you would read about a hundred books and it goes back to this idea of like, be careful what you're paying attention to. And I think we lose sight of how much time we spend on junk information because it's like death by a thousand cuts, right?
[00:58:31] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:58:32] Ozan Varol: If someone took everything, like all the meaningless stuff we ingest, we consume on a daily basis and like gave it to us in a book form and said like, "I want you to read all this from start to finish," like all the meaningless status updates and Instagram photos and like tweet storms. You would almost certainly say no. Like, there is no way I'm going to read this thing. But if it's given to us in these like digestible chunks, two to three minutes here, two to three minutes here, then it becomes easier to say yes. But over time it's death by a thousand cuts because all of that time adds up, not just in terms of time you're spending, but in terms of fragmented attention. If you're constantly fragmenting your attention, you're not going to think clearly. You're not going to be able to reflect, you're not going to be able to do a lot of the things that we talked about earlier in the show in terms of like critical thinking and independent thinking because all of that requires sustained attention to what's going on. And if your attention is fragmented, you won't be able to do it.
[00:59:28] Jordan Harbinger: I found the reading list in my web browser recently. It's probably been there for 20 years, whatever, I don't care, but I never used it. Now, when I see an article that I want, I save it in the reading list, and then I go through that list like on Sunday morning when I'm in bed or something early before the kids get up, and almost exclusively, I'm just not really interested in reading that thing that I saved anymore. I would say three out of four. I'm like, I don't need to read this, which to me turned out to be kind of a genius discovery because it really made me realize, okay, there's certain stuff. I'm so glad I saved it because this is going to be really interesting. Most of it was just mindless entertainment that came up in a push notification or happened to be on the cover of whatever app I opened at that time and seemed interesting when I was waiting for my dentist to call me in for a cleaning. But really, I mean that's just another flavor of entertainment.
[01:00:23] Ozan Varol: Yeah, exactly. And I love that you do that. I do the same thing with both read-later and watch-later lists. So when I find something in the moment, I'm like, "Oh, this sounds really interesting." I'll just save it to a list. And at like you going back to that list, it's like, nope, 95% of this is junk. And with time comes perspective. So in the moment what looked irresistible, not only resistible, but also useless with the benefit of time, even if just you just spend a few days. So you can do this, like you can save article. And then check them once a month or once a week. I use ReadWise to do this, and I found it really helpful. Yeah, I get rid of 95% of that stuff, and I also don't treat it like a bucket to be emptied. This is a quote from Oliver Berkman, but it is it more like a stream where you're like picking things here and there, from that list that sound really interesting with the benefit of time. Not like I'm going to read every single thing that, that I save to this list, and then you get rid of a lot of the stuff that otherwise would've fragmented your attention.
[01:01:22] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, by the way, you were the only other person I know in the world who has created their own concentration in undergrad. And I've talked about this on the show before, but I think this is such an interesting idea. I always thought like, oh, I'm hacking the system, right? because I could skip some of those bullshit weeder courses that are designed to just infuriate students. You are a professor, you know these exist, right? They like accounting 201. It's really hard. It's graded on a curve. The professor's top grade, he gives one A, everybody else gets B's or C's or D's. And it's designed like you have to take it because it's required for whatever major. So I got to skip those and it gave me such free reign to actually explore what I wanted to do that I would never do college a different way if I had to go again.
[01:02:07] Ozan Varol: I totally agree. Yeah. I remember when I was a freshman, I went to Cornell, sitting down with a course catalog and just flipping through all these required courses and majors. And thinking, man, none of these worked for me. Like I really wanted this, I wanted to combine astronomy with physics and geology, and there was nothing that captured what I wanted to study. And then I had this thought, I thought to myself, well, can I go off menu? Can I design my own major? And I trekked to the registrar's office and ask them, and it turns out the answer is yes. So just like you, they freed me of all degree requirements, except I needed 120 credits to graduate. But then I could design my four-year adventure for myself as opposed to, you know, contorting myself and Tetris-ing myself into shape to fit a box that someone else had designed.
[01:02:54] And I was 17 at the time. That lesson stuck with me of like there's actually a world or a way to live where you're not just forcing yourself to pick things from a predetermined menu, because the best things in life are not on the menu. And there's so much value in going off menu. Like once you decide what you want, and by the way, most people find that a really difficult question to answer — what do you want? Like what do you actually want? But once you've determined that, ask for it. If it doesn't exist, create it. Because yeah, you get to design your own life. You get to design your own adventure and like becomes a lot more interesting and fun.
[01:03:32] Jordan Harbinger: And the other best part is you get to name the concentration, right? So you think of the fanciest, most advanced sounding thing and you put it in there and then when you apply to grad school, they're like, what the hell is this?
[01:03:42] Ozan Varol: Astrophysics.
[01:03:43] Jordan Harbinger: Integrated international commerce. Wow, tell me about that. So you always have this spiel to start from because you didn't just like start with calculus or political science. Literally the name was integrated international commerce, which at the time made sense because it was like the world is becoming more global now and people were like [mind-blowing sound] right? Now, it's obvious. Back then, it was kind of like, "Did you know you can manufacture things in other countries and then ship them back over here and it's cheaper?" And people are like, "Ah, I've never heard of that." I love the idea that you can create your own doors rather than contorting yourself to go through the same doors that other people have created for literally everyone else. And I think that's what this type of thing allows you to do, but it just highlights also just how much a predetermined course schedule is nonsense. Because there's courses in there that are designed to be way too hard. There's courses in there that you're totally not interested in that you just have to make it through. That doesn't make any sense to me most of the time.
[01:04:40] Ozan Varol: Yeah.
[01:04:40] Jordan Harbinger: It just doesn't make any sense.
[01:04:41] Ozan Varol: Exactly. And having spent some time on a faculty, like I know that those decisions were made years, if not decades ago, what, by somebody, and they're not going to change. They're not going to change because academia doesn't change often, and so the status quo bias is extremely strong. And so then you're stuck with these courses that are, might be too hard, might be uninteresting, or might be totally just out of alignment with what you want to do in life. So, yeah, I think back to that moment frequently, whatever I like, find myself saying, oh, I need to like Tetris myself into shape. I think back to that moment of like, no, wait a minute. I wonder if there's a way to go off menu here.
[01:05:19] Jordan Harbinger: We've talked on the show before about deliberate practice. That was episode 396 with Dr. Anders Ericsson even that was a replay. It's been a long, long time. I'd love to talk about play and what it does. I mean, it's no big secret that play is good for you and that it interrupts certain patterns. Tell me about this, because I think a lot of us, we might know this, but I certainly don't try to like trigger play every day. It's an idea that I bat around that sounds good in email newsletters that I probably never actually do.
[01:05:49] Ozan Varol: Yeah. So deliberate practice is great for honing a specific skill that can be performed the same way over and over again. Like deliberate practice is how you, I don't play golf, but that's how you perfect your golf swing. You just practice it the same way. And as the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and that's part of the problem. If you're constantly practicing the same move, the same thought pattern, the same behavior over and over again, it's easy to get stuck. If your goal isn't to just like repeat what you've done in the past. If your goal isn't to just execute, if your goal is to generate something new that wasn't there before, if your goal is creativity, then play is essential. So breaking practice with play is essential. And that word gets bandied about a lot, of course. And it's hard to sort of like think about how play might fit into work. And one of the examples I give in Awaken Your Genius is from The Office.
[01:06:47] The Office is one of my favorite TV shows of all time. It ran for a really long time, over 200 episodes, and it's hard for the writers of the show to maintain momentum for that long, whenever they found themselves in a creative rut, they would do something really interesting. They would stop working on the office and they would play on somebody else's show. So they would sketch out an episode of Entourage, which if you don't know, this was an HBO show about the actor Vincent Chase and—
[01:07:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:07:15] Ozan Varol: —his buddies, his entourage who lived in LA. And they would sketch out an episode of that show. They only had one rule in place. The episode had to end with Vincent Chase winning the Oscar for best actor. And with that guardrail in place, they would just play and they'd take like 10, 15 minutes to do this. And then they would set that down and they would go back to working on The Office. Now, if you're listening to this, you might think, well, that's a giant waste of time. Like, why would you spend your valuable time working on someone else's show? One that's never going to air. But if you think about it, there's genius at work or really genius at play here because what they're doing was essentially warming up. So warming up their creativity muscles. By saying, we're going to set up this playground where it's okay to fail, where it's okay to air out unreasonable ideas, seemingly crazy thoughts, because we don't care. It's somebody else's show. But then, when they went back to working on their own show, they would bring that playful mindset back to The Office. And so ideas that they couldn't see before would suddenly fall into place.
[01:08:18] And so you could do this with whatever it is you're working on. So if you're a marketer, you can take 10 minutes in a brainstorming session and design a marketing campaign for your competitor's product. So if you work at Nike, take 10 minutes to design a marketing campaign for an Adidas shoe, or you know, design your best friend's career from scratch. That idea of like removing yourself and then playing with something else triggers creativity in the brain and will help you generate ideas and see possibilities that you otherwise would've missed.
[01:08:47] Jordan Harbinger: I would've never have thought, oh, I'm really stuck in the writer's room for The Office. Let's write an episode of Entourage. But it must be, you have unlimited freedom, right? because it doesn't have to match the characters or the plot arc or the whole season, or you can just write this ridiculous thing knowing you're not going to turn around and sell this to the writers over at Entourage. You're probably making fun of it, if nothing else.
[01:09:09] Ozan Varol: Yeah.
[01:09:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So you, you just completely loosen up, all the boundaries are gone, and then you can come back with that loose mindset and do the same thing. It makes me wonder how I might apply that to podcasting, right? If I could craft an interview of somebody that I'm not going to get because it's not a fit for the show. And just try to do some of that prep, and that might be an interesting exercise for me to do.
[01:09:31] Ozan Varol: Yeah. Come up with ridiculous questions that you would ask them and go with it. I sometimes will write an outline for, I'm not a fiction writer, but I'll write an outline for a novel or like pull up a Google document and write a few lines for a screenplay. I'm not a screenwriter, but that's sort of like playing around, just, I see it as warming up your muscles before you start lifting heavy.
[01:09:54] Jordan Harbinger: How do we know what kind of criticism and feedback to listen to? Surely, you've been through this a bunch in all of your multiple professions as rocket scientist, lawyer, professor, et cetera. How do we know what's good, constructive feedback versus, I don't know, somebody either trying to tear us down or just not useful for some other reason? How do you filter this out for yourself?
[01:10:17] Ozan Varol: A generous critic will give you feedback without calling you names, without insulting you. The feedback will be intended to improve your work. So they'll say, "Look, here's what I noticed. Here's what you can do to make it better, or even better you." They can leave the solution to you, but whatever it is that they're doing, their goal is to improve your work without personally attacking or insulting you. That, unfortunately, is not the type of criticism that you find online. Most of the criticism that I encounter is of the hate mail kind, right? I mentioned I got a bunch of hate mail in response to that meditation post, but I get hate mail on a regular basis, and it's the type of like conformist criticism from the pretzel gallery that just telling you like you have no business doing what you're doing, go back to coloring between the lines. And that type of criticism has to be ignored. Because if you listen to that type of criticism, you're going to go back to like fitting in, trying to belong and trying to contort yourself into shape, to basically blend in. And the problem with blending in is that you become invisible.
[01:11:26] We notice things because of contrast, right? So something stands out because it's different from what surrounds it. If there is no contrast, no anomaly, no fingerprints, no idiosyncrasy, you become invisible, you become the background. And people do this, businesses do this, like, oh, here's this like website font, let me copy it. And then life turns into this game of like this race to the center where everyone is aiming at the same obvious target. And then, you know, everyone becomes really bland and unremarkable as a result. And so there is so much value in leaning into those useful idiosyncrasies, but knowing that when you do lean into those useful idiosyncrasies, you will probably end up being chastised, the way that you were chastised in middle school for showing your useful idiosyncrasies. Then like you might have to contend as an adult now with your version of like sitting in the cafeteria alone from time to time, but it's well worth the effort.
[01:12:23] Jordan Harbinger: I spoke about this with my friend, Ramit Sethi, who is like financial advice and business stuff, and one of the things he says all the time is the market will always try to turn you into vanilla, but then the market hates vanilla. It's true. The amount of feedback that I get on the show that's like, "You should do this," and it's always just the most, go do the same thing everyone else is doing. Like, don't talk so much on your own show. Just let the guest talk. And it's like, well, isn't that what sort of a lot of these news programs are? Isn't that what every other podcast is? Isn't the only sort of thing that's different about this show is that I'm here. I mean, it's not like you can't find these people in other places most of the time. So if I follow that advice, this show ceases to be what the show is. And then the vast majority of those same people who even the people who gave me that feedback are probably going to be like, "I don't know, it's boring now," and leave. And you do have to be really careful about what kind of conformist criticism you allow versus useful feedback. Because yeah, the market will constantly try and make you vanilla and then you'll find out that the market already has vanilla and/or doesn't like vanilla.
[01:13:27] It's kind of a similar problem that I have with, and I'm going to throw a shot across the bow to my friend Tim Ferriss here, where he used to be really obsessed with other people's morning routines. I'm not sure if he still is, but it used to be like, "Oh, what do you do in the morning?" And it was like, "Ah, get up. And I drink three protein shakes and I hop on the Peloton and then I go running for 12 miles," and it's like, great. But none of that is also going to help me become Warren Buffett or whoever the person is, you know, saying this, or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's totally irrelevant. And what is the name of the fallacy?
[01:13:56] Ozan Varol: Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
[01:13:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yes that. The Latin stuff is tricky for me to remember even after law school. Post hoc ergo procter hoc. So in other words, the reason somebody became something must be because they did the things that came before it. Is that kind of—
[01:14:11] Ozan Varol: Yeah.
[01:14:11] Jordan Harbinger: Is that essentially that? Yeah.
[01:14:12] Ozan Varol: Yep, exactly. So post hoc ergo procter hoc literally means after it, therefore, because of it. So they did A, B, and C and became a billionaire where they followed this morning routine and they became really successful. And so A, B, and C must therefore have something to do with their success. It's a fallacy because A, B, and C may have nothing to do with their success. It might be that it was X, Y, and Z. It might be that they got lucky. You can't copy and paste someone else's path to success because if you try to do that, you are thinking these are the things they did to get to where they were, but you're not seeing all these other variables that was responsible for bringing them to where they are. And you might repeat the same recipe and get a completely different dish as a result.
[01:14:57] Jordan Harbinger: Ozan, I could talk to you for a long time. There's a lot more in my notes that we haven't gotten to. There's of course an earlier episode that we did that was all about thinking like a rocket scientist as well. So thank you once again for coming back on the show. Always good to hear from you. Always good to talk to you about your ways of clarifying our thinking, which I think is sorely needed today.
[01:15:13] Ozan Varol: Thank you so much for having me back on the show. It's always a pleasure, Jordan.
[01:15:18] Jordan Harbinger: You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with retired astronaut Chris Hadfield.
[01:15:24] Chris Hadfield: I watched the first two people walk on the moon and I thought, wow, I'm going to grow up to be something. Why don't I grow up to be that? That's the coolest thing ever. It is purely the direct results of all of those little minute-by-minute decisions that I made since starting when I was a kid, just turning 10.
[01:15:44] When I got the telephone call asking if I would like to be an astronaut, I was at the top of my profession. I was the top test pilot in the US Navy as a Canadian, and then to be selected as an astronaut, suddenly, I'm a guy who knows nothing. I sit in my office and I'm like, I'm a complete imposter. I have zero skills right now. Whenever anybody has offered to teach me something for free, I've always taken them up on it.
[01:16:11] How are you getting ready for the major events in your life, the things that matter to you, the things that have consequence? Are you just sort of waving your hands and go, oh, probably turn out okay? Or are you actually using the time available to get ready for it? Maybe it will turn out okay, but if the stakes are high, to me, that's just not a gamble I willingly take.
[01:16:28] If at some point in life you think you know everything you need to know, then you're just in the process of dying. What astronauts do for a living is visualize failure, figuring out the next thing that's going to kill you, and then practice it over and over and over again until we can beat that thing. We know how to deal with it, then you do a much better job and a more calm and comfortable way of doing it as well. You don't miss it. You're not overwhelmed by it. It's something you could do while thinking of something else. You notice how beautiful it is, how magnificent it is, how much fun it is. You're not just completely overwhelmed by the demands of the moment.
[01:17:04] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how Commander Chris Hadfield managed to stay focused on his dreams, starting at age nine to become the first Canadian to walk in space, check out episode 408 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:17:16] Always a brilliant conversation with Ozan. Excuse me, Dr. Professor Ozan Varol, Esquire, PhD. As he said on the show, social media debate turns into professional wrestling matches with people beating each other up with a verbal or written folding chair. I love that analogy, that metaphor. The demand for news is actually higher than the real amount of news. So news elsewhere is usually just recycled, and that's part of the problem with social media, getting news from television, radio, the Internet, clickbait-y stuff. The realization that there's an infinite number of pieces that I can read or consume, or an infinite amount of information available, the ice cream cone is always going to be melting because there's infinite ice cream, no matter how fast you eat it. And this might sound depressing depending on how much you like ice cream. But actually, it's liberating because it means we can be more selective with what we consume, and there's really no consequence because you're never going to run through all of it, kind of like your email.
[01:18:12] I also love this bit of advice from the book he wrote in deciding what you want to do with your life instead of what you think other people want, ask yourself what your average Tuesday looks like. For me, I do this all the time. My Tuesday is reading books, talking with show fans, looking at interesting people online to see if they're a fit for the show. My Tuesdays are not usually sitting down with some A-list celebrity or brilliant writer, and having an engaging conversation like this. But I still love what I do, of course, only because I'm making sure my Tuesdays still kick ass. And I think that's a really important thing to do. What you don't want is to do something where the 10 minutes of your work or half a day of your work every month, is something that you love and you're really rocking it and it's all fun and games. If you are want to be a rockstar and you're only thinking about the concert and not the practice, you're going to do it wrong and you're going to be miserable.
[01:19:03] There's a lot of practical exercises in Ozan's book as well, such as exercising skeptical curiosity. Essentially debating in your head with authors while you're reading. If I were debating with the author, what might I ask? We actually do this on the show. It's harder than it seems without having a habit in place. Of course, I do it because I might end up actually asking the author a question when I do the interview, but if you build that skill while you're reading, you'll be critically thinking during the learning process. There's a lot more to it. Also, researching the opposite of your conclusion, not just looking for material and information that supports your own beliefs. Always going against those cognitive biases is tough, but it's very important.
[01:19:40] Also, beware, the tyranny of convenient. If you don't think for yourself, someone else will think for you without thinking of you. Don't treat information like you treat Netflix, where you turn it on and it's like, "Hey, here's what's popular. Here's what's going on today. Here's a trailer for something." That's fine when you want to turn your brain off. It's not good when you want to make sure that you are learning. If you are learning by going to YouTube and you're just listening or watching whatever, it's feeding you not ideal. This is bad. You basically got to become an information hipster. You got to dig deep on things you want to learn, not just learn things that whatever algorithm is feeding you, especially if the algorithm is a news source, a television, something along those lines.
[01:20:22] Other career advice that I thought was really, really good — find what ages well. Ozan calls this the George Clooney effect, which is clever. So don't ask what's going to change in the next decade. That's really hard to answer. Very, very difficult. There's a lot of predictions, a lot of conflicting advice. Instead, ask yourself what is not going to change in the next decade. Again, hard but much easier. So, for example, decentralized podcasting, it's been around for a while. It's unlikely to get disrupted in the short term. There may be a pivot to video. There may not be, but it's not going to be something that radically, radically changes in the next five or 10 years. Email marketing that supposedly was dead in the late '90s, it's more popular now than ever. Or something more meta, good content that engages people deeply versus short prank videos on something like TikTok or Instagram, doesn't matter what the platform is, those things are going to change. They've changed in the past. If you look at old YouTube videos that used to do well, completely different. However, podcasting largely the same. There's more genres. But you don't even have to look at podcasting. You can look at, is a book something that is good content that engages people deeply? Yes. How long have those been popular? Uh, a few millennia. So y'all get the idea. I love that idea that you're looking for what's not going to change instead of trying to predict the future in a way where you're finding something that is going to come about. I really like that. Look for something that's not going away.
[01:21:43] By the way, we did an earlier episode with Ozan from a few years ago. That's episode 338, if you like what he had to say, you'll dig that episode as well. All things Ozan will be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Go check out our ChatGPT bot at jordanharbinger.com/ai and ask it questions and try to get it to say something weird and then send me a screenshot, love that. Transcripts are in the show notes, videos on YouTube. Advertisers, deals, discount codes, all the ways to support the show are all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I've said it once. I'll say it again. Please consider supporting those who support the show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. I love hearing from you anywhere and everywhere.
[01:22:23] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using the same software systems and tiny habits that I use. It's our Six-Minute Networking course. That course is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty, folks. Most of the guests on the show subscribe and contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company. But not as smart as Dr. Professor Ozan Varol PhD Esquire.
[01:22:45] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who can use a little bit of a kickstart in their critical thinking, or you think they'll dig this episode with Ozan Varol definitely share this with them. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on this show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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