Ryan Michler (@orderofman) is a husband, father, Iraq combat veteran, founder of Order of Man, and author of Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men.
What We Discuss with Ryan Michler:
- How the dismissal of masculinity as a positive force in popular society has led to an alarming shortage of strong, ambitious, and self-sufficient men.
- The 13 virtues crucial for men to reclaim their own sovereignty — and what this means.
- How men can create a battle plan to level up skill sets within these virtues.
- Why acknowledging the enemy inside as the source of all troubles rather than blaming external enemies is ultimately empowering.
- How to formulate an after action review to analyze the effectiveness of every encounter, project, or conversation and grow from the experience.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
For Order of Man‘s Ryan Michler, being a man these days ain’t what it used to be. A society that once looked toward its men to protect, provide, and preside over themselves, their families, their businesses, and their communities has been dismissive of the whole concept of masculinity in the past few decades. As a result, generations of aimless men have learned to blame that same society for every problem that befalls them rather than taking the punishments and rewards that come with being in charge of their own lives. They’ve given up what Ryan calls their sovereignty.
Ryan explores this phenomenon in his new book, Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men. He joins us to discuss his own early lifetime of blaming everyone and everything else for the hardships and missteps he endured, how he began steps toward making a change for the better, and what we can do to regain our own sovereignty that so many of us have unknowingly given away. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
More About This Show
Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men author Ryan Michler grew up without a permanent father figure and has seen first-hand how a lack of strong, ambitious, self-sufficient men has affected society today. He believes many of the world’s most complicated problems could be solved if men everywhere learned how to be better husbands, fathers, businessmen, and community leaders.
It has now become his life’s mission to help men across the planet step more fully into their roles as protectors, providers, and presiders over themselves, their families, their businesses, and their communities. You can find him blogging and podcasting at Order of Man where he is working to help men become all they were meant to be.
While it’s true that this particular episode is geared toward men from a man’s perspective, women shouldn’t shy away from giving it a listen; there’s value here for everyone.
The Only Reward for Playing the Blame Game
“Every time I’ve had a failure or setback or less than what I wanted as far as the result,” says Ryan, “it was always because I was blaming it on somebody else or something else. I spent three decades doing that until I recognized and woke up about six years ago to the truth that I’ve got a lot more to say and do when it comes to my life than I give myself credit for.”
By blaming every external factor available for every time his expectations fell short, what Ryan was really doing was giving away his own sovereignty — the power over his own autonomy as a human being. Even though many of the excuses he made had a grain of validity (such as his business failing when the overall economy was tanking), absolving himself of any responsibility was admitting complete powerlessness over the situation at hand. It made him a victim at the beck and call of fate rather than an autonomous decision maker and problem solver.
Furthermore, when things went right, did he really have a right to claim them as a win if he wasn’t ultimately the one pulling the strings in his own life?
In the end, the only reward for playing the blame game is loss of sovereignty.
Ryan’s wife has an excellent saying to pull him back from participating in this lose/lose game: “Is there anything that you can do about it right now?”
“The answer when she says that is ‘No, usually not.’ Because she wouldn’t be asking that if it were the case!” says Ryan. “But I think it’s a really good question. If we take the information and the inputs and all of the information at our hand and we ask ourselves, ‘Is there anything that I can do with this information?’ If the answer’s ‘no,’ then we have to find a way to learn to let it go…if the answer’s ‘yes,’ good. Then we can start focusing on what we can actually do to move the needle. But I think asking yourself powerful questions is the very first step in any growth in your life.”
The After Action Review
From Ryan’s eight years served in the military, he learned the importance of reflecting on every engagement with an after action review — and found it translates well into civilian life as a tool for learning.
“Any avenue of life — after every conversation, after every podcast, after every relationship, after every project — whatever it may be, I’m asking myself five very simple questions that will allow me to continue to move the needle the next time — the next time I do a podcast or the next time I write an article or the next time I write a book.”:
- What did I accomplish?
- What did I not accomplish?
- What did I do well?
- What did I not do well?
- What will I do differently moving forward?
“Some people hear that and they think, ‘That’s a ton of questions! You do that after every conversation? After every podcast? Everything that you do?’ The answer’s ‘Yes.’ It’s not as scripted as it used to be, but I would recommend, at a minimum, you’re doing that on a daily basis at the end of your day,” Ryan says.
You can’t guide yourself in a new direction tomorrow if you don’t take stock of where you were today.
The 13 Virtues
Ryan mentions that you can Google “virtues” and come up with hundreds if not thousands from which to choose. So how did he come to focus on 13 by which to live his own life and share with others?
“What I did is I went through all of the things that I value and I got out a piece of paper,” says Ryan. “What do I value when I look at other individuals — men and women who I admire and respect — what characteristics do they possess that I respect? So I started to break this down; I had a list of probably 50 to 100 virtues.
Then I started looking at these things and recognizing that some of them directly tie into regaining and recapturing sovereignty in our lives…and others don’t. I look at love, for example, or empathy, or compassion. I don’t think anybody out there would say that’s something we shouldn’t strive for — we certainly should. But I think, indirectly, those things don’t necessarily lead to our sovereignty the quickest…”
His virtues were eventually whittled down to these 13 when he filtered them through the question: “Will this help me regain my sovereignty?”
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about how these 13 virtues help us regain our sovereignty, what Ryan means by the natural man, what we should do as individuals to address society’s dismissal of masculinity, the four categories of life (calibration, connection, condition, and contribution) enhanced by formulating a battle plan to keep our instinctive fear of discomfort and uncertainty from capsizing our desire — and ability — to progress, how Ryan has been working to recover from early negative influences and missteps, what got him started on the initial pivot, the miraculous healing power of serving others, the life-affirming lessons we can learn from writing our own eulogy, and lots more.
THANKS, RYAN MICHLER!
If you enjoyed this session with Ryan Michler, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men by Ryan Michler
- Order of Man
- Order of Man Podcast
- Ryan Michler at Facebook
- Ryan Michler at Instagram
- Ryan Michler at Twitter
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs
- Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
- World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars
Transcript for Ryan Michler | Why Man Is His Own Worst Enemy (Episode 39)
Ryan Michler: [00:00:00] It's the same thing with emotions, you don't need to be mad at the indicator. You need to figure out what it's telling you, so if you're angry which sometimes is the appropriate emotion, great. Figure out why you're angry and what you're actually going to do about it. If you're sad, well, that's an indicator that something's off in your life. So figure out what it is, address it accordingly, and then deal with that emotion. That's the more constructive way to deal with emotions rather than pent them up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:28] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my producer, Jason DeFillippo. On this episode, we're talking with my friend, Ryan Michler. He is the author of Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men. It's a great book. I wish I had it in my twenties, but I probably had been way too stubborn and arrogant to listen to any of the advice in here. It's not about being some sort of manly man who shoots things and eats them. A lot of this stuff is counter to the narrative of being some sort of unfeeling hard-ass, and I was really pleased to see that. Ryan grew up without a permanent father figure. He seen firsthand how a lack of strong, ambitious, and self-sufficient men has impacted society today. He's also a husband, father, Iraqi combat veteran, and the Founder of Order of Man.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:09] So this is the guy has been exploring masculinity for a while from a position of genuine curiosity because he didn't have the role models to develop this in a healthy way himself. So I really think this is a good episode for especially younger guys out there, but men and women alike of all ages have something to take away from this one. We'll discover that there's a far greater enemy inside of us than there is outside of us. It's good if we take responsibility for things because then of course we can control and improve them, and we'll discuss why we're on our worst enemy when it comes to that and why that's empowering. We'll also explore the idea that if we want to regain our sovereignty. We have to let our excuses die even if they are valid excuses and we'll also learn to formulate an after action review. This is a process that Ryan has implemented in his life with these five questions to analyze the effectiveness of every encounter project or conversation. It's really key to continual progression in every area of life and we're going to outline that for you here as well. Don't forget we have worksheets for today's episode so you can make sure you understand and get all the keys that Ryan is dropping today on the show. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[00:02:17] All right, here's Ryan Michler. Hey Ryan, thanks for coming in back on the show, man.
Ryan Michler: [00:02:20] Jordan, I'm stoked, man. It's been a while. I think we've had you on the show a couple of times our show, but it's been a while since I've been over here.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:26] Yeah, it has. And I remember talking with you at the beginning of the writing process or probably before the writing process and now you've got a book., you must feel pretty accomplished.
Ryan Michler: [00:02:38] I feel good. It was really weird. I was talking about this the other day. I feel good. I feel good about writing the book and going through the process, but it was fleeting. Like it only lasted for a minute because now I'm on to like, okay, I got that done, what's next? And so I'm like constantly thinking about what I can be doing next. But I was on a cloud for a little while there, and it was exciting to get the book under my belt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:58] So the book, Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men, great title. It really fits your brand. I was pretty impressed. I was like, wow, you really nailed that. When I think of guys doing their own thing and learning how to be a little bit more, I hate the phrase manly men cause it sounds too bro, for what do.
Ryan Michler: [00:03:18] Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:19]But you know like growing up, I guess as a man.
Ryan Michler: [00:03:23] Yeah. Well, I appreciate it, man. That's always been on my mind. And obviously, we have some guys that are younger, but this is really a mature thing, right? Like we want to uplift men, we want men to rise up, and so part of that is making sure that our language and brand and the things that we're doing measures the message that we have as well. So it's important to me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:43] Yeah. Well, reclaiming the power to control our own lives, our own destiny, if you want to romanticize it, in the book you've said, as much as I rave spent decades giving away the power over our hearts and minds in the form of excuses, justifications, rationalizations and lies, bold statement. But let's talk about that. What do you mean by this?
Ryan Michler: [00:04:05] So everything that I talk about is from my experience. And when I make that bold statement, the only reason that I feel like I have conviction behind that statement is because that's true for me. And when I grew up, I didn't have a father figure in my life and frankly, I used a lot of that lack of a father figure in my life to self-destruct in high school. And as I got into fights and got in trouble and did the things I probably shouldn't be doing. I was like, “Well, I didn't have a dad so I don't know how to be.” When I struggled in my marriage and almost ruined and burned our marriage to the ground, I said, “Well, it's all her fault,” this is the reason. When I almost failed in my financial planning practice within the first couple of years, which happened to be in 2008, 2009 in most everybody listening probably knows what was going on in the market then, it was all the economy's fault. And so every time I've had a failure or a setback or less than what I want as far as the result, it was always because I was blaming it on somebody else or something else. And I spent, well, three decades doing that until I recognized and woke up about six years ago to the truth that I've got a lot more to say and do when it comes to my life than I've given myself credit for.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:15] So a lot of people, including yourself, really, we give up our own I guess, sovereignty to throw the book title around as many times as we can by blaming your dad or the absence of your dad, the way you were raised, the economy. We can blame our boss, we can blame our spouse, basically anybody but me, right? Anybody but us, is a good, good scapegoat.
Ryan Michler: [00:05:37] Well, it is. And the reason that this is so hard and the reason I think we subject ourselves to doing this so often is because it's easy. Let's isolate one element of this, which was the near business failure, we'll call it, in 2008. Well, yeah, the economy was bad, the market was down. People were putting less money into the stock market. So that excuse that I came up with, was not only an excuse, it was a reason. It was a legitimate reason. But rather than focusing on the things that I could control, I decided to dwell exclusively on the reason that I wasn't having success, and therefore it became an excuse. Does the distinction make a difference?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:13] Maybe. So what you're saying is if we want to regain our sovereignty, we've got to kill these excuses and crush them even if they are valid in air quotes, even if they're valid excuses.
Ryan Michler: [00:06:25] Right, because there are valid, let's take a relationship for example. It's two people, right? So to say that the demise of my marriage is her fault or his fault, or my fault is not the entire truth. It takes at least two to tango. And yet there's not a single thing you can do about another person. So do we focus on what that other individual or that other excuse is, or do we focus on the thing that we can actually control?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:52] So how do you recommend that people ditch this? Because this kind of sounds like victim mindset, right? Where we're placing ourselves at the mercy and control of other people or of circumstances. Anyway, focusing on what we can control as a great antidote to that. But how does this look in practice?
Ryan Michler: [00:07:09] So my wife has this saying and every time she says that I roll my eyes at her because I get a little stressed out and I get a little frustrated with things when it comes to the business or whatever, just life in general. And she says, is there anything that you can do about it right now? And the answer when she says that is no usually not because that she wouldn't be asking you that if that weren't the case. But I think it's a really good question. If we take the information and the inputs and all of the information at our hand and we ask ourselves, is there anything that I can do with this information? If the answer's no, then we have to find a way to learn to let it go. And we've got the process for that of course, and we can get into that. If the answer is yes, good, then we can start focusing on what we can actually do to move the needle. But I think asking yourself powerful questions is the very first step in any level of growth in your life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:00] Okay, so do you have a practice for this? Do you ask yourself these powerful questions in a journal or something like that? Are you writing this stuff down?
Ryan Michler: [00:08:06] Yeah, yeah, I actually do what I've dubbed in after, actually, I say I, it's not I, I was in the military for eight years and we did an after action review after every military engagement that we engaged in. But this translates perfectly over into civilian life, any avenue of life. So after every conversation, after every podcast, after every relationship, after every project, whatever it may be, I'm asking myself five very simple questions that will allow me to continue to move the needle the next time. The next time I do a podcast or the next time I write an article or the next time I write a book, and those questions are powerful. I can get into those five if you'd want me to.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:46] Yeah, let's do it. Why not?
Ryan Michler: [00:08:48] Okay, so number one is what did I accomplish? That's the very first question.
And that question alludes to the fact that you actually set out to do something, right? Because if you didn't set out in the first place, well, there's no really metric to measure whether or not you accomplished it. So that that'll help you identify in the first place that you've got to have some sort of goal. You've got to have some sort of ambition. So what did I accomplish?
[00:09:12] Number two, what did I not accomplish? So I set out to do X, Y, and Z, like I set out to in the, in the last 90 days to lose 30 pounds. Well, I lost 20 but that means I didn't lose 10. Okay, well there's a gap, right? So we've identified now that gap. The third question is, what did I do well? Maybe I was extremely, extremely disciplined when it comes to going into the gym and doing the workout every day. And then you get to that fourth question, which is what did I not do so well? And in that case, maybe you really struggled with your diet. Maybe that was a big part of the issue, why you didn't lose that extra 10 pounds. And so now you know, okay, I'm good with the gym, I got to keep doing that, but I've got to dial in this diet a little bit more to make sure I hit my objective moving forward. And then the fifth question, and this is that growth mindset that you talked about earlier, and Carol Dweck talks about this, I know she was a guest on your podcast as well, is what am I going to do with this information moving forward?
[00:10:07] So what did I do? What did I not get done? What did I do well? What did I not do well, and what am I going to do moving forward? Now some people hear that and they think that's a ton of questions. You do that after every conversation, every podcast, everything that you do. The answer is yes, it's not as scripted as it used to be, but I would recommend at a minimum you're doing that on a daily basis at the end of your day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:28] So let's go back to how you learned some of this stuff for yourself the hard way, of course. I mean you've got these 13 virtues in the book. What are these virtues and how did you come to make these the centerpiece of your life, or put them at least in the center of the book?
Ryan Michler: [00:10:47] Yeah, this was a real challenge, and I actually figured we talk about this. So I thought about this and why this was the case. Because if you look at a list of -- just type in virtues in Google, or find the list of virtues and you'll find hundreds if not thousands of virtues. So the question is why these 13? So what I did is I went through all of the things that I value and I got out a piece of paper. What do I value? When I look at other individuals, men and women, who I admire and respect, what characteristics do they possess that I respect? And so I started to break this down and I had a list of probably 50 to a hundred virtues and I started looking at these things and recognizing that some of them directly tie into regaining and recapturing sovereignty in our lives, the control over our lives and others don't.
[00:11:34] Like I look at love, for example, or empathy or compassion. I don't think anybody out there would say that's something that we shouldn't strive for. We certainly should, but I think indirectly those things don't necessarily lead to our sovereignty the quickest. And so what I did out of all these virtues as I had, I just listed. Will this help me regain my sovereignty? And I narrowed it down to 13 virtues that I think if you'd adhere to these virtues will help you recapture control of your life in the shortest amount of time possible and move the needle as quickly as possible.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:10] I want to get into each of those, but I want to first go over the concept of the natural man that you discussed. Because I think a lot of guys, they're like, all right, the enemy is let's see, wimpy guys, so the enemy is women or the enemy is, and just fill in the blank, the political system or something like that. But your concept of the natural man really is that there's a far greater enemy inside us than there is outside of us.
Ryan Michler: [00:12:38] Well, and that's the problem. Like I'm in this space of helping and lifting of men. So one of the things that I hear all the time is, there's an attack on men, there's an attack on masculinity, there's a dismissal of masculinity. And we go back to that previous conversation about excuses and reasons, and is some of that true? Yeah, I mean if I look in society, I think quite honestly some of that is, is accurate. I think at a minimum there's a dismissal of masculinity in society, but again, we can't do anything about that directly. So why not focus on the things that we can control than the things that we can control is ourselves. We can look inwards and we can recognize where we are our own worst enemies and begin to work on that. And that's where this concept of the natural man comes in. The natural man, if you think about, I think about myself personally, I'm lazy, I'm immediate gratification. I want everything I can possibly have, so I'm greedy. And I want it all now with the little or the least amount of effort and work possible.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:41] You’re a good Mormon, Ryan.
Ryan Michler: [00:13:45] That's right, that's right. But that's how it is, right? I mean we're all like that. And I don't think that's naturally bad though, I mean think about that. If you are trying to get from point A to point B, well I don't think it's bad to look for the easiest route possible. I mean that's not a bad thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:01] I thought when a human nature and we mean it, right?
Ryan Michler: [00:014:04] Exactly, exactly. But then if you look at it from another perspective, what ends up happening is we don't strengthen ourselves or condition ourselves to deal with hardships. We run across this all the time, and specifically modern times with technology and modern advancements and climate controlled vehicles. And if you're cold at home, you turn up the heater and how quickly it is to order pizza and have it delivered to your door, like there's no earning it whatsoever. And so when we face difficult times and all of us as men and women will face difficult times, that natural man, human nature will kick in, and we haven't conditioned our minds and our bodies to be able to deal with those stressors.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:45] So if we take responsibility for things and we can control them, we can improve them. This is kind of -- this is empowering, right? Instead of going well it's all because of outside external locus of control type of circumstances. We can take the internal locus of control route and change the things we can actually change, right?
Ryan Michler: [00:15:05] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:06] So then we can stop just being a victim of circumstances, other people via economy, whatever it is.
Ryan Michler: [00:15:12] Yeah, that's exactly right. And it's a really difficult question to answer as far as like what, what might you be experiencing if you don't have control over your life? I think it's really easy, for example, to look at somebody and recognize somebody who does have things under control. We often write it off as the X factor, but it’s a little bit harder to recognize when you don't. And specifically in your own life because we live in this box and we put those barriers up and we put those walls up and we genuinely start to believe our own lies, and again, justifications and rationalizations because we've been telling ourselves those things for 30 years. And in many ways society has actually conditioned us to do that. One example I use in the book, and it seems like a silly example, but I remember sitting around the dinner table and eating dinner with my sister and my mom, and she would always make us recite, may I please be excused before we got down from the dinner table?
[00:16:09] And of course there's nothing wrong with that. But that's just one little small example of how from the time we were children to look to other people for permission to do certain things. We see it in the school system where we're told to sit down, be quiet, do what you're told, color within the lines. We have to ask our bosses for time off from work, and so we've been conditioned for a long period of time to give the responsibility to somebody else, like I don't want this responsibility. Give it to a boss, give it to his spouse, give it to a colleague, give to a friend. I can't handle it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:42] This episode is sponsored in part by The Great Courses Plus. This is a streaming service that has everything from business history, science, the arts. Courses from the world's best professors, best experts around. You can watch them from your TV, your laptop, your tablet, your smartphone, and my personal favorite, you can just listen. Just listen along with The Great Courses Plus app. You can switch from audio to video whenever you want. There's just something a lot of times they just don't need the video. I'm an audio book guy. I'm a podcast guy. I just like to listen. I know some of you are the same way. So that's what I like about this versus other streaming services where you have to watch and you're thinking, why am I wasting my battery on this one course? I recommend checking out. It's called Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business, and Beyond. It's taught by a Professor Scott P. Stevens, PhD. Sounds like a serious dude.
[00:17:32]He has great tips for applying the tools players use on the field to help make better decisions both at work, home, whatever, anywhere. There's lectures on credibility, deterrence, compelling. It's incomplete and imperfect information. Who can you trust? Signaling and screening, and of course. we've got The Great Courses Plus free trial, free month, any course in the whole lot just for free for the whole month. You could spend the whole month listening. You still won't get through all 8,000 or whatever they've got over here. Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/jordan, that's thegreatcoursesplus.com/jordan. This episode is sponsored in part by ZipRecruiter.
[00:18:08] Is your business hiring? Posting your position to job sites and waiting and waiting for the right people to see it, kind of a huge waste of time. And I've tried that many times and you get a lot of crap and response and get a lot of bad responses. You've got to hire someone just to filter the people that you're trying to hire into qualified and unqualified. ZipRecruiter learns what you're looking for and identifies people with the right experience and then invites them to apply to your job. So these invitations have essentially revolutionized how you find your next hire. 80 percent of employers who post a job on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate through the site in just one day, which is pretty amazing. I mean that's should speak for itself. The right candidates are out there. ZipRecruiter is how you find them. Businesses of all sizes, small to large trust ZipRecruiter for their hiring needs. And right now our listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free. Just go to ziprecruiter.com/jordan, that's ziprecruiter.com/jordan. ZipRecruiter the smartest way to hire.
[00:19:09] Well, I like the idea of taking responsibility, but I think also that a lot of us are afraid to make changes in our lives, not just when it comes to responsibility. I think men, or men and women in general, we're afraid to change because we might lose friends. People might make fun of us if we start doing this. It might make other people uncomfortable. But I think in the end, what really afraid of is making ourselves uncomfortable. So how do we get over that hump if we're thinking like, all right, I'm going to draw the line and be responsible for myself and for other people for that matter. Where do we begin with that? Because that's kind of intimidating.
Ryan Michler: [00:19:42] It is intimidating. And you're right about change. I mean changes represents a level of uncertainty, and even if you're in a difficult situation, let's say you're in some level of poverty or an abusive relationship, even though you know deep down inside you know that's not the best place for you, it's certain, right? There's certainty in it. Now, if you leave that relationship or you leave that job and you risk potential financial income into your household, to go do something else that you know has potential, it still represents this level of uncertainty. So I think as human beings, what are we constantly trying to do? Look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right? We constantly strive after these things to make sure that we're in a position where we'll give by, it's the survival of the human race, if you want to call it that.
[00:20:27] And then we can worry about prosperity and abundance after we have the necessities taken care of. So that uncertainty is, is a challenge, I think when it comes to recognizing this. I think there's certainly a bit of faith, but I don't want to use that as the cop out answer because that's easy to say. But you've got to have some sort of ambition, like there's got to be some sort of worthy and worthwhile goal and thing that you want to obtain. John Eldredge, he's the author of Wild at Heart. He says, deepen his heart. Every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue. And so if you think about that, that's all the pursuit of something new, and if you genuinely have a goal and objective, a desire, then in order to achieve that, I don't want to put that in anybody else's hands.
[00:21:18] I don't want to subject myself to, is there objective in line with my objective? I want that to be as much within my hands as possible and we can talk about how to recapture that. But the very first step to your question is starting to articulate what exactly you want. And these have to be objective goals and ambitions. They cannot be subjective because what a lot of people will say is they'll say, well, Ryan, I just want to make more money. Wow, okay, that's great. Making more money is great that that's worthwhile, but that's subjective, right? Or I want to be rich or I want to lose weight or I want to be healthier, I want to have a good relationship, great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:56] Subjective because it's not measurable or something. Is that what you mean by that?
Ryan Michler: [00:21:59] That's exactly right. You have to be able to articulate those ambitions in a very measurable way. Otherwise, you'll never know if you are achieving what you say you want. What does it mean to be a good father or husband?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:13] It's like a compass that just continually turns in a circle. You're like, well, I think I'm going North, but I don't really know. Now I just keep walking around in circles. I think maybe, I don't know. So you have to have a battle plan, and that's what you call it in the book as well, and sovereignty, you say create your own battle plan. Can you take us through a brief example of what this might look like, and we'll throw this in the worksheet. Of course, we make worksheets for every episode. It'll be in the show notes, but you have this battle plan. You have a battle plan, plan.
Ryan Michler: [00:22:39] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:39] That's through the battle plan, plan.
Ryan Michler: [00:22:39] A plan for a battle plan, that's right. And it is, it's so important that you have some, and we talk about this all the time. I mean everybody, you've had podcast guests, I've had podcast guests. Oh, you have to have a plan. Good. What are you doing? We'll just think about what you want. It's a little bit more in depth than that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:55] I hope so.
Ryan Michler: [00:22:56] So here's what I would suggest first and foremost, is we break this down into four very distinct categories. And I think it's easy to look and just kind of throw it out there like spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks. I don't think that's a very tangible way to approach this. So what we do is we measure four key components of our lives, and granted it can be split down further from this, but these are the four main components.
[00:23:20] So the first one is calibration, and calibration is getting right with yourself. It's your mind, it's your soul, it's your spirituality. We'll talk about that last because that's kind of the hardest one. The next one is connection, and connection is about the relationships you have. That could be a relationship with a spouse, relationships with colleagues, employees, employers, maybe having a group of people that you band together with on a weekly or monthly basis. Connections is next. Third is condition, and condition is your physical health. So your stamina, your strength, your sleep, your conditioning. And then the fourth is contribution, and contribution is showing up as a person of value. Sometimes will be compensated directly for showing up and being valuable. For example, work, you add value and you're compensated for it through clients or advertisers or whatever it may be, sometimes it's not, you're not compensated for it. We might, my son and I, just a couple of days ago, mode the neighbor's lawn. Well, we didn't get directly compensated for that, but we're trying to be men of value in the community.
[00:24:25] So the first thing that you have to do is you have to figure out what categories that you're going to start benchmarking and measuring your results and your progress in your life. So that's where I start, having those four key components.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:39] I like that. So you sit down and you write these out in some sort of journal or something like this.
Ryan Michler: [00:22:45] I don't use a journal for these. I actually use a battle plan. So I do this on a quarterly basis. So their 90 day objectives. So some people will say, and they'll tell me, they'll say, “Ryan, what's your five year goal?” I'm like, “Dude, I don't even know what I'm going to eat for dinner, let alone what I'm going to do in five years.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:03] I now. I am the same way, man. Yeah, even in one year it's like, it's very big picture, 30,000 foot. I might have one or two things in there.
Ryan Michler: [00:25:12] And I have an idea of like which direction I want to move. Like I know generally like who I want to be and how I want to live, and what kind of abundance I want to have in my life in a year, but very tactically. Yeah, that's pretty hard to measure out because who knows what's going to happen. And well, think about in your life, what's happened in the last 12 months that you couldn't have anticipated happening? It's very hard to plan for. So what we do is we look at 90 day objectives. So what we ask people to do is to choose one, not 10, not seven, not three, one simple measurable objective in each of those categories that they can start tracking and working towards. And of course, we can articulate this even further, but you've got to have something in place before you move from there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:01] So what about you, man? I mean you grew up, is it safe to see grew up without a dad? Is that entirely accurate? Maybe not really yet.
Ryan Michler: [00:26:08] Yeah, that's how I say it. I mean, my dad was out of the picture by the time I was three years old. Unfortunately, he got into drugs and alcohol and him and my mom split. I had a stepfather come into my life when I was nine, and I remember like glimpses of a good relationship. I remember, and in fact, I still have two Pinewood Derby cars that him and I worked on together. And I remember going to sprint car races. Have you ever been to a sprint car race?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:35] No, I don't even know what that is.
Ryan Michler: [00:26:36] They're these little buggies essentially. And they have these huge fins on them and they race around in a dirt track. It's absolutely amazing, it's so fun. And we would go to those races and just have a blast. But at the end of the day, he was an alcoholic, so he just wasn't there and available. He's never abusive, but just not present and available as a father, I think it should be. And then by the time I was 14 years old, I had another step father come into my life who was verbally and emotionally abusive and most of that was not directed at me. It was directed mostly at my mom that he was extremely successful, charismatic, really successful in business. But he used his talents and his abilities and gifts to push people down as a way to lift himself up rather than lifting people up. And so yeah, to say that I didn't have a father in the home, and when I did, I had a less than stellar example of what it meant to be a man. That stuff started pouring out when I got married and when I started having kids ,and I became the same kind of guy that I was raised by.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:38] Oh man. So how did you start to change, to shift that? Because there's probably guys right now that are listening, or men and women for that matter that are like, I had really crappy examples, and now they're starting to show up in my life. How did you start to shake those influences?
Ryan Michler: [00:027:50] I wish I could say that, that we as human beings can simply make a pivot.
And we're fully capable of doing it because we are human beings. We're fully capable of consciousness and projecting ourselves out in the future and recognizing ourselves objectively. But it's infinitely harder than going through a painful experience, and that's what happened to me. I got kicked in the teeth, man. I had my son, let's see, that was about 10 years ago. And he was six months old, my wife and I got into an argument one evening and I can't remember what the argument was about, but I remember saying the words vividly and it breaks my heart that I even said this and I can still think about it, that I don't even want to be married anymore. And she said, “Good, me neither.” And the next morning she left, and she took my six month old son with me. And that next morning, I remember going on a drive. I was heading North for some training, four hours North, and I got about an hour North and I thought to myself, what the hell are you doing? Your marriage is falling apart, she's taking your kid.
[00:28:58] So I actually turned around, and I came home and she was still there. And I tried to convince her to stay, but she was having none of it. She's like, “No, I'm out of here.” And my natural response to that was defense mechanism. Put up the walls, put up the barriers, make the excuses. So I started blaming her like how could she do this? Why was she disloyal? Why couldn't she see all the sacrifices I was making? How could she take my son away from me? She did this to us, and it was all blaming her. And I'll tell you what changed for me, and this is the realization that I hope other people don't have to get to, but quite honestly sometimes going through an experience like this is exactly what it takes.
[00:29:43] I wish that weren't the case, but it is. And you can either learn from it and grow, or you can let it destroy you, which is what a lot of people do. But I was driving down the road, I remember the road I was on, I remember the cross street I was on, and I had this thought come over me. And it was not a pleasant thought, and the thought was four years into our separation that our marriage was over. And as much as I didn't want to admit that, and as painful as that thought was, that one thought was the most liberating thought that I've ever had. And it's completely changed and revolutionized my life because at that moment, what I said was this marriage may be over, so you need to stop focusing on her. And that's what I was doing, I was doing everything I could to change her, to manipulate her, to strong arm her, to try to get her to change. So she would see the error of her ways and then come back to me. And when I resigned that relationship, and instead I said, and I remember vividly, this is my thought. “You know what, man? This marriage is over, but you're going to be a damn good catch for the next woman to come into your life.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:54] Yeah. Come hell or high water, right? Like I'm going to figure this out.
Ryan Michler: [00:30:57] I'm going to figure this out because it was dark man. Anybody who's been through a divorce or separation can attest to that. They know exactly what that's like. It was the darkest time of my life. And I've thought to myself, I don't want to experience this, so I need to do something that I can do in order to change this. And we can talk specifically about what that is. But that was the moment and the catalyst for change in my life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:22] Yeah, I would love to talk a little bit more about this because I think a lot of us, especially younger guys, I went through this as well. We want to accept all the glory, but we never really want to accept the consequences if we did something wrong, right? So if something goes right we're all about it. But if something goes wrong, somebody else to the economy.
Ryan Michler: [00:31:39] Yeah, that's exactly right. But it's so liberating to say, yeah, maybe the economy had something to do with it. But then objectively, if you look around in 2008, 2009, I had two high producing financial advisors in our office. And regardless of what the market was doing, they were consistently producing big, big numbers. And so knowing that, knowing that somebody is having success where I'm not, tells me that it's not a universal truth, that the reason I'm struggling is because of the market. The only common denominator or the only denominator here is me. Like I'm the variable, not the economy.
[00:32:20] And so when I started to figure out that, that I needed to change and I wanted to change, the very first thing I did is I started thinking about what do I want. And at the time for me, it was a thriving financial planning practice and it was to lose a little bit of weight. Like that was my ultimate objective. Two things. And with regards to the business I about washed out. I was really close to throwing in the towel because I wasn't having success like I wanted, and I didn't have a backup plan, which was good. It worked out in this case because I needed to make it work. And so I said, well, before I quit this financial planning business, let me just go talk to these two producing agents and just see if they'll share some insights with me. And that was really, really humbling because up until that point, everything that I'd ever done and tried, I had been relatively successful in, and it was this one thing that seemed to get the better of me.
[00:33:16] So I went to these two agents and I said, “Hey, you know what? I'm fairly new in the business. I'm struggling here a little bit. It seems like regardless of what's going on in the outside world, you are always, always producing. Would you mind if I just took you to lunch? And both of them said, “Yeah, absolutely.” And what I ended up doing is I started working with these guys and they started going on appointments with me and they would rescue me a little bit when I needed rescuing in an appointment and didn't know what direction to go. And I started splitting it, they wanted to split cases with me, which was a challenge because I wasn't making any money. I'm like, well, I'm not making any money. Like I can't split business with you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:52] Yeah, half of zero is still zero guys, I don’t know who did the math on this.
Ryan Michler: [00:33:55] Exactly, yes. So I figured that out and threw their help, and it was amazing how much growth I saw in a very, very short period of time. And just through asking for some help and some guidance and direction and looking at people who were having success, it completely revolutionize the way I run my business. And eventually I went on to start my own financial planning practice. That's been very, very successful. And now our organization, and I'm actually looking to sell the financial planning practice this year simply because I had the willingness and the humility at that point to reach out and ask for some help.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:32] Interesting. I didn't even know that about you at all. I had no clue that, that you'd ever gone through that. I just thought you were getting bored of the financial management game. Which of that I understood being a former financial guy, my myself. I think a lot of guys, and this sort of dovetails with what we were just discussing, a lot of guys will suppress our emotions. For example, you were splitting up with your wife, you write a lot in the book about, well, okay this, I don't want to feel this. I don't want to experience this, and I think even just said, I don't want to experience this again, but the difference is that you leaned into it that time instead of just avoiding it. But I know a lot of guys, we suppress our emotions and you explained that this is damaging. You want to speak to that a little bit.
Ryan Michler: [00:35:12] A damaging to withhold or to express those emotions?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:15] Oh sorry, to suppress. I don't know if I said suppressor express, but what I mean is it's damaging to suppress your emotions.
Ryan Michler: [00:35:21]I think it's actually, and I'm a little counterintuitive on this, I think it's actually damaging to do both depending on the circumstances. I think there's certainly a time and a place where you should suppress your emotions. As people who are trying to achieve. You wouldn't be listening to this if that wasn't you. There's a time and a place where frankly, we just can't be emotional and we have to put our head down, we have to do the work and we have to get after it. But then there's other times where if we suppress those emotions and we don't allow ourselves an outlet to deal with those emotions, then that's going to backfire. It's going to bottle up and pent up and over time you're going to explode or do something stupid based on those emotions.
[00:35:59] But what I think a lot of people have a misunderstanding with regarding emotions, especially men. Men are guilty of this, I think more than women. I know I certainly have been in the past. That emotions are something to be hidden and something to be quote unquote “controlled.” But I don't believe that anymore. I think emotions, even what we would consider negative emotions like anger, jealousy, greed, resentment. I think emotions are simply a metric. They're an indicator of what's working and what isn't working in our lives. And if we as men and women learn to listen to those emotions and look at those indicators, I think we'd have a lot more success.
[00:36:36] The analogy I use is if you look at the gauges on your vehicle and you're driving down the road and you run out of gas, well you're not going to be pissed off at your car for running out of gas. You're simply going to use that metric and say, well, I guess I ought to fill up next time, or I guess I ought to fill up right now before I run out of gas. It's the same thing with emotions. You don't need to be mad at the indicator. You need to figure out what it's telling you. So if you're angry, which sometimes is the appropriate emotion, great. Figure out why you're angry and what you're actually going to do about it. If you're sad, well that's an indicator that something's off in your life. So figure out what it is, address it accordingly, and then deal with that emotion. That's the more constructive way to deal with emotions rather than pent them up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:23] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. You need a stable place on the internet that you can call home, a place you can send people to find you no matter what website is popular this week and that is why we recommend HostGator's Website Builder. You can easily create a professional looking feature packed website and the best part, no coding, no searching around hunting pack for the letter or a dash that's out of place. That's making everything line up weird. You don't have to deal with that anymore. If you ever made a website in the past, forget about how that worked. Here's the new way. Choose from over a hundred mobile friendly templates, so your site's going to look great on any device, so it's going to look good on a phone, a tablet, a desktop. It's not going to look great just on your computer and like crap on everyone else's. Remember those days, Jason, you'd make a site and it would just be like, it looks perfect and the other person tries to load it, and it's all junky, and the images are broken.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:38:11] What do you mean you're using Internet Explorer version three, I didn't code for that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:15] Or Internet Explorer at all for that matter. HostGator gives you a lot of add ons. You can do things like you can increase your search engine visibility. You don't have to be some sort of SEO expert and figure out how to hack Google. You can also integrate with PayPal, allow customers to buy directly from your website and 99.9 percent uptime guaranteed, which means your site's not really to go down, which is great, especially not just because you have a bunch of traffic or because something you did suddenly got popular. And, “Oh gee, we're down for the next three weeks.” That's not them. They've got 24/7 support and they're giving us 62 percent off, up to 62 percent off all their new packages. For new users, go to hostgator.com/jordan to sign up, that's hostgator.com/jordan.
[00:36:56] This episode is also sponsored by Organifi. This is the green juice, well, it's not just green juice anymore, Jason, right? They got the red juice, they got the protein, they got the green stuff, they got the travel packs. I'm a big fan of pretty much everything these guys make. What are you using these days from Organifi?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:11] Well, in the morning I start with the green juice to get started. Around lunchtime, I have a little red juice. In the evening, I go for the gold juice, and if I do need to skip breakfast then I will have the protein shakes. All in all they can, they saved me on my trip out to California from Chicago.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:26] I didn't even know about the gold juice. I'm only hit to the red and the green. I'll show you what I know, but Organifi, this stuff is upgraded with 11 superfoods. Sounds great, tastes great, and really what I really like is the fact that they come in these little travel pouches that work out to like two bucks a juice. So basically you can bring it on a plane, you can bring it on a train or a road trip. You can bring it to a conference, and then instead of drinking your 17th diet Coke, not that there's anything wrong with that Coke, you're drinking something that's actually good for you. So when you invest in your health, you gain more time of course, because you have more energy and focus to get through the day instead of just recalculating and a try for yourself. That's what I recommend. Organifi.com, and use the code harbinger to receive 20 percent off your order. O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com code harbinger at checkout to receive 20 percent off.
[00:40:16] In sovereignty, you explained that there's a service component of this, and this was great because I was really, I was getting a little bit nervous. I mean I know you personally, so I wasn't that nervous, but as getting a little nervous, I was like, “Oh man, is this just going to be about shooting things and eating them or something like that?” Or is this going to be—
Ryan Michler: [00:40:32] I don’t even think I talked about hunting in the book. Maybe I did, I don't know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:34] Not at all, there's not a shred of that in there, from memory. And or is it like, you know, this is going to be this -- I actually noticed a lot of the book was counter to the narrative of being some sort of unfeeling hard-ass, and I was pleased to see that, you know this is the book I wish I had in my 20s, of course, then I would have been way too stubborn and arrogant to listen to any other advice which is, I mean that's how it goes. That's the cruel irony here.
[00:41:00] But the service component, this really is at odds with a lot of other men's stuff out there that I think is, is unhealthy. Like it's men going their own way, which I don't want to slam a whole movement because I don't know everything about it. But you're sovereign man movement, if I can call it that. I don't even know if you use that terminology.
Ryan Michler: [00:41:19] I like it, I should start using it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:21] That might be something else. They'll Google it because I know there's sovereign citizen stuff and they're like kind of crazy. But the sort of men going their own way thing. These are like the guys that say, “Zero folks given bro,” anytime they do something rude like they'll you know, drink somebody else's drink and then they're like, “Don't give a fuck.” And it's like, “Nah, you're just a really insecure prick.” That's like an a hole, because you don't have proper behavior and you're used to being bullied. So now instead of being bullied, you just turned into a bully instead. And I think that this can be really problematic. And so you really lean into the mindset and skills to serve and you lean into the importance of that. Speak to that a little bit. I don't want to let you go without explaining that because I think that's really one of the keys in the book is the service of others.
Ryan Michler: [00:42:06] Yeah, I was actually really concerned when I used the word sovereignty because I thought it would be looked at and exactly that. Men going their own way and like who cares about what anybody else thinks, like you do you and all that kind of movement, which I completely disagree but not completely, but I disagree with a lot of it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:22] It's a little cattle ranchers holding off the federal government kind of thing.
Ryan Michler: [00:42:25] Exactly, that's exactly right. And then the other side of it too, quite honestly if you look at me and my lifestyle, I think it'd be very easy to jump to the conclusion that that's how I am. From the things that I do, hunting and woodworking, and working out and the in the adventures that I try to participate in to the beard that I have, I mean.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:46] Yeah, well I'll be honest man, some of your Facebook posts, when we became friends I was like, I don't know, man, his kids holding in like a machine gun type looking thing. But I was like, I know him in person so I'm going to give him the right, and the more I decided to view you as, as not just another crazy gun guy. The more I was like, “Oh okay, actually you and I have a lot of common ground.
Ryan Michler: [00:43:09] Absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:09] And I don't think you're a crazy gun guy. I actually understand your viewpoint in a lot of different ways. And I think you and I had a conversation years ago where I said, “Hey, if you're going to run a business online, you've got to be very careful with your political stuff.” And to some degree you listened and to another degree you didn't, and I'm still fine with that. And we're still friends even though we disagree on some of this stuff. But I think this is important because you've really leaned into the idea that you have to be a-- and I'm sort of romanticizing this a little bit, but a mentor and you have to serve other people. And I do agree that that is one of the cornerstones of masculinity or of humanity in general. And I think it's neglected in the other movements that tried to address the same thing.
Ryan Michler: [00:43:48] A 100 percent. I told you before we started this podcast that my boys are walking home from school. In fact, they should be walking in here in the next 20 minutes or so. Well, I knew I was going to be down here, and I just put a little note on the door and I said, “Hey boys, I'm downstairs, I'm recording. Just peek your head in quietly, tell me your home and then run back upstairs. You guys can watch a show until I come upstairs and I signed it with, I hope you had a good day. I love you boys.” And as I wrote it, I got thinking about that where society's like, I think with men a lot is like, don't express that, that's weird. But that's not how I want to be. Like I want to be loving. I want to be kind. I want to be empathetic. I want to serve other people. I want to see somebody who's in need and be able to recognize that they're struggling.
[00:44:31] If there's one thing that we're supposed to do as human beings, like you said, it's to help other people. The reason that we go through our experiences, the positive ones and the negative experiences is so we, as individuals can learn from those things. And then also that we can help other people learn the lesson to be learned as well. So they don't have to struggle. You know when I have a guy who reaches out to me and he says, “Hey man, like my wife last night told me she wants a divorce and she's been cheating on me for a year.“ That literally stings man. Like it hurts me because I know not the cheating part, but I know exactly what that individual is feeling. And if I have some information or some capacity to be able to serve, then I have a moral obligation to do that.
[00:45:17] And if you look at part in part of the book is, is our mission. And I've identified as at three main points specifically for men, but I think women can also take these mantels as well, is to protect, provide and preside. So it's protection, provision, and preside is synonymous with leadership. Well, if you look at those three components, every single one of those has an element of service. You're protecting other people, you're providing for other people, you're leading other people, and so it is at the root of what it means to be a human being, to be able to serve and give service. And I do it from a position of strength, which is why people look at me and think and maybe jump to the conclusion that I am a hard ass or that I don't care, but that's the furthest thing from the truth. I truly do. I may just come out of it a little differently than somebody who may take a softer approach to it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:11] I agree with you that in that the mindset and the skill set to serve as important because otherwise we end up, at least for me, if I don't work serving other people, I tend to isolate myself. And I think that's not just because I grew up as an only child or whatever. I think men do this, and then we end up depressed, right?
Ryan Michler: [00:46:30] Oh yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:31] A great way to not do that is to focus on serving other people. And ironically, by focusing on serving other people, at least for me, I end up maintaining a little bit more sanity than I otherwise would because otherwise I would just be focused on myself, beating myself up all the time about not getting everything perfect, et cetera, et cetera. So focusing on other people, being able to serve, and I think having that strong why and having other people relying on us, like your kids is a powerful motivator to serve and do the right thing.
Ryan Michler: [00:47:00] Oh, I think so much of society, and I think this is a relatively common or a recent movement, is to buck responsibility, right? Like don't give me the burden that's like we use those words synonymously, responsibility and burden. I don't find that to be the case. I find that every time I take on a new responsibility, whether it's in business, one of the things that I really, really enjoy is coaching my boys sports teams, baseball, football and basketball. We're in the middle of baseball right now. And yeah, it can be looked at as a responsibility. I'm coaching his team, and I'm literally gone four nights a week. So yeah, that's hard on the family and the business and things like that, but I get so much joy and satisfaction from watching a kid who's never hit a baseball before, hit the very first ball and run to first base and see that huge smile on his face and know that I had a small part to play in that.
[00:47:54] And you hit on depression, which I think is really, really important specifically for men. It's important for everybody, but there's a study out there that suggests that suicide rates are five times higher for men than they are for women. And I think part of that is because we do isolate. I know I certainly have in my life, and one thing I've recognized is that I've never, never been down or depressed when I'm anxiously engaged in meaningful work and/or serving other people. The only time I get down on myself is when I'm in here, and what I've dubbed the dungeon by myself working on my stuff. And so if you want to overcome the feeling of hopelessness or depression or anxiety outside of medical illness and things like that, I would say just get your butt up and go help other people. You'll feel a lot better.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:44] Yeah, I agree with that. In fact, whenever people tell me that they're depressed, my first recommendation is, of course, see a doctor and a therapist because you never know what the causes. It's just a lull in the cycle. Then volunteer, it's so cliché, but volunteering to read the kids or go to a homeless shelter or something like that. If we're not talking about actual medical depression caused by hormone levels or something that, or big life event. If we're just thinking like, “Oh, I just got out of a relationship or I'm in a job I don't like, I'm a little bit depressed and demotivated.” That can be quote unquote “Cured by going to a library, taking care of some animals, taking care of homeless people.” I mean it's like a miracle drug when it comes to that. But of course, there's also real medical causes for depression, so I don't want to, I don't want to—
Ryan Michler: [00:49:29] We don't want to overlook that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:31] Exactly. Yeah, I don't want to paint it like, “Oh, you just need to volunteer more.”
Ryan Michler: [00:49:35] Just volunteer, or get tough.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:37] Yeah, tough enough. Exactly. There was a little cartoon I saw a long time ago, a little comic strip, and it was like if you treated depression like you treated any other disease, and they show this guy laying in the hospital with all these broken bones and people are like, “Have you tried just not being—
Ryan Michler: [00:49:55] Not having broken bones.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:56] Or something like that, yeah. And then they're like, maybe you just need to be more positive. It's like you would never say that about any other disease, but with depression, we're kind of still, they have a stigma around it because we think people can just shake it off because we all think, “Oh, I've been sad before and then I just got over it.
Ryan Michler: [00:50:11] Right, and it’s different. There’s varying degrees of it, right? So yeah, there's one thing to be down because you lost a client or something, and then clinically depressed, right? There's varying degrees.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:21]Exactly. I just want to throw that little caveat in there. All right, so for each of the 13 virtues that you have in the book, and we don't have time, nor desire to go over each of those here on the show. Because people can pick up sovereignty and have a look. You have these two skill sets that you can develop for each of the 13 virtues, which I think are useful. And a couple of things that stood out to me were -- you essentially give yourself a poll, when have you been the most satisfied and when have you been the most content? Can you take us through that? I think that's a useful exercise for a lot of people who are thinking, I don't know what I'm doing. Am I on the right path? Sort of serving yourself in this way. It could be really helpful.
Ryan Michler: [00:50:59] And that's the beauty. And I talked about it a little bit ago. That's the beauty of being a human being, is we have this ability to look back at our life and draw upon those positive memories and then also learn from our mistakes. And then we also have this amazing ability to project ourselves out into the future. So one of the questions I get all the time is something along the lines of this. “Ryan, I'm working with a job that I hate but I'm making decent money and I have this opportunity to go do something I love, I absolutely love, but I won't be making as much money doing it. What should I do?” And I'm never going to answer that question for somebody because that's not a question I can answer. But what I do suggest somebody do is very simply project yourselves out 20 to 30 years from now and look back at your life and ask yourself which decision you will have been happy to have made?
[00:51:53] And it's pretty amazing when you just sit with yourself and you wonder about when I was the happiest and what was I doing and what was I enjoying and what was life like and what was the scenery and what was the activity and who I was with? Because those are the little clues that help us identify what it is that we should be doing moving forward. So it's cool because we can do this in a time like backwards, what happened in the past, and we can do it forward, what do I want life to look like moving forward? It's a pretty cool exercise.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:24] Okay, I did that. And the reason we have to do this on paper is because otherwise we try to go -- if you're anything like me, you just sort of think about it in your head totally doesn't work at all.
Ryan Michler: [00:52:32] Well, I mean how many times have you had this like really, like the next quote unquote “Million dollar idea,” and you're lying in bed at night and you have this idea and you're like I'll just write it down in the morning. And you wake up in the morning, you're like, how could I forgot that? I can't think of it, and you'd literally cannot think of what you had thought about just six hours ago. So it's really important that you start because it's great to visualize, and we have, and I don't want this to be woo-woo, it's great to visualize and all of that. But you have to be able to bridge the gap between vision and implementation. And I think that's the biggest gap that people have or the biggest problem people have. I've never met a human being who didn't have some sort of idea or vision or thought about what they wanted their future to be. But I've met plenty who haven't been able to bridge the gap. And the first step is writing it down because you start to make it a little bit more tangible when you start writing these down.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:26] Last but not least, I love this exercise. I've done this at some workshops as well and had other people do it, back when I was teaching the boot camps. Write your own eulogy. Not exactly the most warm and fuzzy exercise, but extremely useful because of the realization that a lot, well frankly, the realization a lot of us come to is, “Holy crap, I'm not doing the important stuff at all.” How does this exercise work?
Ryan Michler: [00:53:48] Well, so for me, this is a really big exercise in legacy, and I think this comes back to service, but then at the end of the day, what you're doing, again, we're talking about projecting, you're projecting yourself to your death, which is morbid, but it's also a really fascinating idea. It's this idea of this stoic idea of Memento Mori, recognizing and knowing that you are going to have to die. We’ve all, I think heard that idea. When you can do it that way. Now, you can use that as a benchmark for the decisions that you make. And that's exactly what this is. This becomes a barometer or a metric for the way that you engage in your life. So if you write your eulogy and who's going to be at your funeral and what they're going to say about you and what your legacy was and what you left behind. Now, you have this very clear, concise document when you're struggling with a decision or you're running against some issue that you're dealing with, it's very easy then at that point to go look at this eulogy and think this is what I want to do.
[00:54:45] This is what I want to be remembered for. So part of my eulogy is that my children will be there and recognize, and this is very specific for me, that if they said one thing about dad, it's that he always did what he said he was going to do and always implemented his ideas. He was always willing to take that risk. Now, I know that I can see in my mind, I can see vividly my four children talking about me that way, and then when I come to a crossroads where I have this decision to make or this idea I want to implement or the opportunity to get out of a commitment, I can now look at that and say, “Nope, this is what I envisioned for myself.” This is what I see people saying about me and I now know what I need to do moving forward. It just paints the road a little bit clear for people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:36] Yes, I dig that. That will also be in the worksheets for this episode. Those are always in the show notes. Ryan, thanks so much, man. Is there anything that you want to leave us with that I have not dragged out of you quite yet?
Ryan Michler: [00:55:49] You know I think we talked a lot here, and we really went into detail. Anytime somebody gives me the opportunity to say anything else, I always go back to what are you going to do now? It’s really easy to listen Jordan to you. It's really is easy to listen to me and the thousands of other podcasts that we could potentially listen to, and buy and read the books that we could buy and read. But at the end of the day, if you can't implement any of that stuff, don't even waste your time and money and energy consuming it. Go out, do something, download the worksheets, get to work, implement this stuff in your life. That's the only way it's going to.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:23] Ryan, thank you very much man. The book is called Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men, with that'll be linked up in the show notes as always. Thanks so much for coming on.
Ryan Michler: [00:56:32] Hey, I appreciate you. I appreciate our friendship and you're somebody I remember specifically, it must have been a three or four years ago, and I was driving home from salt Lake, which is about four hours North of where I live. And listening to an interview of you and I thought, man, this guy like I need to get to know this guy. I really want to know this guy because I was so impressed, and so it's really cool to be talking with you and call your friend, man. I really appreciate the opportunities.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:57] Likewise man, I always enjoy these conversations and I'm looking forward to seeing you again. This'll go down great. And I know that a lot of the women are thinking, what about me? I think this stuff applies equally to men and women and sure some of this is very specific to men, but I really think there's a lot of takeaways in here for everybody. So if you're listening to this and you're thinking, well, there wasn't much in here for me as a lady, I would disagree. I think there's a lot in here for anybody who's leading, especially in a family setting. I don't think it's limited to just guys.
Ryan Michler: [00:57:23] Let's be honest here. I mean most of the principles that we talk about is, is for everyone. I mean from a standpoint of the way that I communicate it, it might be differently than the way I communicate between men and women because we receive information differently generally speaking. But at the end of the day, the principles apply across the board. You just have to consume it and take it for what it is, which is actionable human life advice.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:46] Thank you very much, Ryan.
[00:57:48] Yeah, good show, Jason. I was a little worried initially like, okay, this is a book. It's for guys in their 20s kind of what are we going to get out of this? Does this fit what we're doing? But I like Ryan. I know he's a smart guy, he's been through a lot of stuff and this really is the book I wish I had in my 20s, but I kind of know that I would've read half of this and been like, this is dumb. I already understand everything that's in here.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:58:09] Well, you are an idiot in your 20s as are most men like myself as well. But it's funny because we had Ryan on the show, the old show a couple of years ago, and we said, “Yeah, this isn't really working out. Why don't you go write a book and come back to us when you're done with the book and then we'll have you on the show.” And he did it. It's amazing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:25] Yeah. Usually when we say go write a book and clear your thoughts and then come back, people don't actually go and do it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:58:31] He's the first one that actually did it. And it's funny because on the road trip that I just made from Chicago to LA, I had Bob, our show notes guy with me, my oldest best friend in the car. And we listened to this on the road trip and we're like, damn good book. And Ryan read it himself. So as a first time author and audio book reader, I thought he'd knocked it out of the park.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:53] Yeah, I actually wrote him a text when I was reading it and I went, “Oh this is really good. Who goes through, wrote this for you?” And he's like, “I'm going to try to take that as a compliment.” And I was like, oh yeah, that really sounded rude because it was like, I know you didn't write this. It's too good. Who wrote this for you? Whoops. Yeah, smooth move [indiscernible], all right.
[00:59:14] Great big thank you to Ryan Michler. The book title is Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men. And if you enjoyed this, don't forget to thank on Twitter. That'll all be linked up in the show notes for this episode, which can be found at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Tweet at me your number one takeaway from Ryan Michler. I'm @jordanharbinger on both Instagram and Twitter, and don't forget, if you want to learn how to apply everything you actually heard today from Ryan, make sure you go grab the worksheets also in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[00:59:42] We've got an Alexa Skill. If you've got an Amazon Echo, go to jordanharbinger.com/alexa from your computer and you can install it from there. Or you can poke around in the Alexa app and just search for my name, and it'll give you your flash briefing in the morning with clips from the show so you can figure out which episodes you want to listen to that day, or just get some of the latest little tips or even refresh your memory on an episode you've already heard. That's jordanharbinger.com/alexa or poke around in the Alexa app on your phone and install it by searching for my name. It's real easy.
[01:00:11] This episode was produced and edited by Jason DeFillippo. Show notes by Robert Fogarty, booking back office and last minute miracles by Jen Harbinger. And I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. Throw us an iTunes review. We're trying to get back on top of that mountain. This helps and it helps share with friends and helps tell other people, “Hey, this is worth listening to,” and make up a nice, unique nickname. Otherwise it won't post in iTunes, won't tell you why. Not sure what's going on there. Instructions on how to review at jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Share the show with those you love and even those you don't. We've got a lot more like this in the pipeline. We're excited to bring it to you. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen and we'll see you next time.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.