The Joe Rogan Phenomenon Joe Rogan has become bigger than life. He has the most powerful podcast and gets the most interesting guests. He's known mostly for that. But that's just the tip of the iceberg - Joe is much more. If I were to pick an idealized male role model for society, Joe Rogan would be it. Here's why.
Heard in Rishikesh, India I've always known Joe Rogan as the UFC commentator faking a gravelly voice back in the day - and that's it, no biggie. He was just a one-dimensional guy to me then. However, when I was in Rishikesh in 2018, a cool dude I hung out with, Greg Goldstein, intimated that I should listen to any Joe Rogan podcast. Greg has a broad knowledge and a profound understanding of many things. For that, I knew I should listen to this 'UFC commentator' just because.
Growing on You I tried listening to him a few times, but I couldn't endure the 3-hour long podcast. It seemed like a guy and a buddy just ranting about anything under the sun. But he grows on you. As I listened more, I realized the virtues of this guy and his show - kinda like layering an onion. Although widely popular, he wasn't a household word yet.
I noticed that there are people you develop an instant liking to and people who could come across the wrong way, but grow on you. Anthony Bourdain was one of them. A friend suggested I watch him, and I did. I thought Anthony was a self-indulging narcissist. But watching more of him, I realized he just had no pretension about him and he was just being real - nothing narcissistic at all about him. I was deeply saddened when he left us.
Podcaster Qualities Joe Rogan's qualities aren't in-your-face when you listen to him the first time. But as you get to know him better, you get a better sense of him. As a podcaster, these are what makes him stand out.
Smart but not intellectual - as Jordan Peterson said, Joe is not intellectual the way Christopher Hitchens is, but Joe is very smart. He holds his own with the best of the crop.
Knows when to shut up - unlike some podcasters who make the show about them, Joe is inherently aware that the show is about his guests. Yes, Joe will insert his ideas and insight but it's still about the guest and what they have to say.
Asks the right questions - Joe manages to keep the conversation in a flow because he picks up his questions from the conversation, unlike some who prepare the questions ahead of time and ask them off-tangent to the topic in conversation.
Genuinely curious - Joe has no hidden agenda. He doesn't invite guests to expose them as frauds or misguided charlatans. He simply wants to know more. This has earned him the trust of many high-profile personalities who could be in the middle of a tight controversy.
Knows when to draw the line - When his guests cross the line, he's quick to put them back in lane. When Eddie Bravo talked about fake nukes, Joe said Eddie should stop hanging out with his losers friends.
Tells it like it is on an even keel - he can be politically correct, but he stays out of that lane and calls out the hypocrisy - even if he's the only one doing it. He talks shit about the hypocrisy of the woke movement, called out the standing ovation Will Smith received after slapping Chris Rock needlessly, called the moon landing a fake (which he later recanted) and openly discusses very controversial issues others won't touch (MK Ultra, Operation Paperclip). Glen Beck also talks about conspiracies, but is already unhinged - Joe never loses the balance of his mind
Guests come from diverse backgrounds - Joe keeps his podcast engaging by inviting the most talked-about guests from diverse backgrounds (comedy, politics, journalism, society, science, sports, biohacking, film, etc.). Joe holds his own and keeps the conversation going even if he's not knowledgeable in that field.
Guests are movers and shakers - not only are invited guests coming from different disciplines, but they are also the most brilliant minds (Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk, Eric Weinstein), the sharpest intellectuals (Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris), and the most interesting (David Goggins, Graham Hancock, Candace Owens).
Joe Rogan with one of my fav personalities, Jordan Peterson
Human Qualities Here is why I think Joe Rogan is a very good role model for a human being.
He's a regular guy - he doesn't prance around with an air of authority or moral mandate the way politicians or church leaders might - but he wields just as much power and influence. He's just a regular guy who mouths-off his convictions with unapologetic 'what the fuck's and talks about his experience with weed and psychedelics. He's a guy you'd like to be drinking beer with.
He immerses himself in many disciplines - Joe is not only a UFC commentator and podcaster but also an accomplished MMA fighter, biohacker (icebaths, nootropics), standup comic, etc. He explores his possibilities instead of just posing to look cool.
Spans a broad spectrum - Joe can geek it out with a nerd and then ride with members of an outlaw motorcycle club (I don't know if he actually has, but it would not be out of character). He is conversant with just about everything under the sun and will engage anyone. In sharp contrast, most people are nearly one-dimensional. Mark Zuckerberg, as rich and as powerful as he is, is a one-dimensional nerd-turned-billionaire - I just don't see him leaving a board room and riding his Harley with some badass big bikers. Maybe Elon comes close to spanning a broad spectrum too.
Insanely rich - being rich per se, isn't so much an accomplishment since there are so many rich people in the world. But Joe got rich being real, being curious, being transparent, being focused / motivated and being an all-around well-liked guy.
Wishlist for a guest?
Edward Witten - Ed Witten is the undeclared heir-apparent to Einstein's genius. As intellectual physicist Eric Weinstein claimed, he will debate anyone in Quantum Mechanics, but he is terrified of Ed Witten.
Ending Thoughts Indeed, Joe has so many unique attributes that may seem not too special individually (he hasn't won a Nobel Peace Prize or broke a Guinness World Record), but if you combine them all together, they add up to a synergistic lot. that's plenty. He makes many moves and they all seem to be the right moves. He's well-grounded, successful and still pushing boundaries. And becomes he's a regular guy, it gives hope to every regular guy (losers included) what possibilities are just around the bend.
Thank you Joe Rogan for being an inspiration to many (me included, of course) !!!
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