Fitness, Motivation, Mentorship, and Life's Calling | @MorePlatesMoreDates | EP 421

Fitness, Motivation, Mentorship, and Life's Calling | @MorePlatesMoreDates  | EP 421

Tour update 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces his new tour for 2024, starting in early February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," to be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:40)

  • Entrepreneurs often advise aspiring individuals to offer value or work for free to stand out.
  • Despite this advice, few people actually implement it effectively.
  • The key is to position oneself in a way that makes it easy for the desired person to say yes.

Intro (00:01:06)

  • Jordan Peterson introduces Derek, a Canadian social media influencer and entrepreneur behind the YouTube channel "More Plates More Dates."
  • Derek runs three companies: Marek Health, Guerrilla Mind, and Intelligent Shop.
  • The discussion covers Derek's transformation, career journey, impact on relationships, financial success, and entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Topics related to men's mental and physical health, performance, fitness, motivation, enthusiasm, and confidence are explored.

Derek started the “More Plates More Dates” blog, which evolved into his YouTube channel and podcast (00:02:51)

  • Derek introduces himself and explains his background.
  • He started a blog called "" in 2016 while recovering from an injury.
  • The blog focused on fitness and self-improvement topics.
  • The blog gained popularity and led to the creation of the "More Plates More Dates" YouTube channel in March 2016.

Early advice from Victor Pride, the value of a like-minded mentor, staying in tune with new tech in order to grow an online viewership (00:05:21)

  • Derek received advice from Victor Pride, a successful figure in the manosphere and self-improvement community, to publish content everywhere.
  • Derek recognized Victor Pride's success and authority in the niche, making his advice seem reasonable and efficient.
  • Writing content was more time-consuming than creating YouTube videos, so Derek saw the efficiency in focusing on YouTube.
  • Despite recognizing the value of expert advice, many people struggle to accept their own ignorance and make necessary changes.
  • Derek was motivated by the efficiency of YouTube and his interest in the topic, leading him to put everything into practice quickly.

Derek’s need to write due to personal injury, how the manipulation of search algorithms has led to lapsed credibility even when fact-checked (00:07:23)

  • Due to an injury, the YouTuber began creating content on multiple platforms.
  • The online environment is constantly changing, and staying relevant requires adaptation and innovation.
  • Search engines are manipulated, making it challenging to rank without conforming to certain practices.
  • The YouTuber chose business administration as a practical degree but lacked entrepreneurial knowledge.
  • The traditional accountant career path appealed to him due to its clear goals and pathways.
  • The YouTuber learned about online publishing from his future business partner, a popular influencer on YouTube with around 40,000 subscribers.
  • The influencer provided valuable information on self-improvement, communication, and desirable traits for a teenager facing various challenges.
  • The speaker was particularly drawn to the influencer's teachings on becoming a high-performing or high-value individual.

Feelings of greater calling, forming a covenant with the spirit that guides you (00:13:12)

  • Many people feel destined for more than what they are currently doing.
  • This feeling is often referred to as a calling.
  • A calling is an independent spirit that requires cooperation and agreement (covenant) to act upon.
  • Individuals can choose to ignore or avoid their calling, but it is not within their control to choose what interests them.
  • The concept of a calling suggests the existence of an autonomous force that operates within individuals.

The interplay of true calling and relative success (00:15:48)

  • Abraham's story exemplifies the interplay of calling and relative success.
  • Despite his privileged background, Abraham followed a voice that led him to adventure and challenges.
  • The desire to be attractive to women is a significant motivator for men, as socioeconomic success is a key predictor of male mating success.
  • Women seek partners to share the economic burden of pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare.
  • Societal norms often suppress the voice of true calling, but it persisted in Derek.
  • Derek initially pursued a conventional path with business school and a college job.

Why Derek turned to writing, connections to the “Manosphere” (00:18:28)

  • Derek's injury created an opportunity for excess free time.
  • Derek turned to writing as he had been a writer and had knowledge in topics like supplementation, human biology, performance enhancements, and preventative medicine.
  • Derek's business partner, an influencer in the "manosphere," offered him a business opportunity as a blog writer and customer service assistant.
  • Derek had been following his business partner's content for years and found it compelling.
  • The "manosphere" refers to online communities focused on men's issues, self-improvement, and relationships.
  • Derek found value in tracking his own self-improvement journey and those of others in online forums.

Jocko Willink, acknowledging your capability for harm in order to evoke positive change in others (00:20:11)

  • Jocko Willink, despite his potential for violence, found fulfillment in mentoring younger men and guiding them on a path of improvement.
  • Derek compares this instinct to the generalized manifestation of the instinct for fatherhood, a profound instinct crucial for the survival of the species.
  • The paternal instinct is more subtle and less targeted than the maternal instinct but is equally powerful, as evidenced by the 18-year dependency period of human children.
  • This call to adventure, the desire to guide and mentor others, can be a powerful force for positive change.

Realizing what you’re supposed to write about, positioning yourself to avoid obstacles (00:21:54)

  • Derek's interest in fitness, motivation, mentorship, and life's calling began in his teenage years and was further inspired by others pursuing similar interests.
  • Derek's writing skills developed as he combined his passion for his interests with the economic opportunities of blogging.
  • Despite initial psychological obstacles and self-doubt, Derek persisted in writing regularly and eventually overcame these challenges.
  • Derek learned to write effectively for WordPress blogs by incorporating SEO techniques and structuring his content with keywords and subcategories.
  • Derek's decision to pursue writing was influenced by the success of his mentor, Chris, who had built a successful path through blogging.
  • Fitness, diet, nutrition, performance enhancement, and preventive medicine are valuable disciplines to pursue.

Balancing quality with the necessity of communication (00:28:04)

  • There's a balance between the quality of content production and the necessity of communicating it effectively.
  • High-quality production alone doesn't guarantee success, and having no content also hinders progress.
  • Content mills prioritize quantity over quality, polluting the informational environment.
  • AI will exacerbate this issue.
  • It's important to find a balance between artistic integrity and effective communication.
  • Artists shouldn't adopt a pseudo-moral framework of rejecting commercial success without considering actual offers.
  • Contempt for the audience hinders communication and limits impact.

2022 Elvis Biopic: how Presley paired a culturally suppressed music style with the emerging popularity of rock’n roll (00:30:18)

  • The Elvis movie explored the balance between artistic integrity and commercial success.
  • Elvis successfully merged black music with emerging white rock and roll, revolutionizing the music industry.
  • His promoter struck a balance that led to Elvis's stellar career, despite potential exploitation.
  • Maintaining integrity of content while effectively communicating it is crucial.
  • Artists should approach content optimization as a creative problem.

Respect for your audience needs to be aligned with the desire to broaden influence (00:31:35)

  • Contempt for the audience hinders effective communication and limits influence.
  • Respect for the audience should align with the desire to broaden influence and increase financial opportunities.
  • Finding the right balance between artistic integrity, effective communication, and commercial success is important.

Be obsessed with your interests until you are the expert, insights on male stubbornness gained from the Future Authoring Program (00:32:13)

  • The speaker became an expert in his field by developing a deep interest and researching heavily for over half a decade.
  • The Future Authoring Program helps individuals develop a vision for their life by imagining what it could be like if they took care of themselves and made improvements in various areas.
  • Students who completed the Future Authoring Program were 50% less likely to drop out of university in the first year compared to those who did an equivalent writing exercise.
  • The program had the biggest effect on young men who had a less than stellar academic career.
  • One reason for underperformance in young men is the lack of a compelling reason to do anything.
  • Men tend to be less driven by biological necessity compared to women and may delay taking action until much later in life.

When abstract knowledge stacks on genuine expertise (00:35:14)

  • Genuine expertise combined with abstract knowledge can lead to valuable insights.
  • Genuine knowledge is important because it provides a foundation for abstract knowledge to build upon.
  • Find someone experienced in the field and learn from them.
  • Dive into your own experiences and share your knowledge.
  • Derek started his fitness journey at a young age, around 15 or 16 years old.
  • He was very thin and had little muscle mass.
  • Through hard work and dedication, he transformed his body and became very fit.
  • He started weightlifting around 17 years old.
  • His friends who were making progress in the gym inspired him to start working out.
  • He didn't play many sports as a kid because he was younger than his peers.
  • He started playing team sports and working out when he went to graduate school.

Feeling weak, using objective metrics to stay motivated against fatigue (00:38:06)

  • Positive peer pressure and seeing success in others motivated the individual to go to the gym.
  • Initially, going to the gym was challenging due to being very weak, but progress was seen after adaptation.
  • Objective metrics, such as strength numbers and scale weight, provided positive reinforcement and motivation to continue.
  • Weightlifting provides objective metrics of progress, which can help prevent discouragement compared to relying solely on mirror perception.
  • The individual's friends were all doing it, and he felt left out and weak if he didn't.
  • Positive peer pressure, fast results, and enjoyment of the process led to the individual becoming "bit by the iron bug."

Tempering expertise for the communication of ideas to early zones of proximal development (00:40:23)

  • People who are still learning and may not know everything can still share their knowledge and experiences because they may be in the zone of proximal development for others.
  • People tend to admire and learn from those who are slightly ahead of them in terms of skills and knowledge, rather than those who are too far ahead.
  • As a teacher or mentor, it's important to inhabit the zone of proximal development of your audience and communicate ideas in a way that is accessible and relevant to them.
  • Having confidence in your own knowledge is important, especially if you have gained it honestly and through your own efforts.

The Acton Academy’s philosophy on mentorships (00:43:59)

  • The Acton Academy believes that choosing the right mentor is important.
  • Working with a celebrity mentor may not provide relevant takeaways for your current situation.
  • Derek's vlogging and self-education journey on YouTube may have attracted mentors.
  • The Acton Academy has an exercise where young people identify a business domain of interest and write a letter to someone in that field, explaining why a mentoring relationship would be beneficial.
  • To find a mentor, you need to offer something in return for their guidance.
  • Derek had existing content and a track record of success in his chosen niches, which attracted mentors like Chris.

Positioning yourself as competent so a prospective mentor will be excited to say “yes” (00:46:20)

  • To stand out when asking for something, position yourself as a credible communicator and offer value, such as creating a thumbnail or validating health information using AI.
  • Developing a relationship with a mentor is crucial for proper guidance and mentorship.
  • Be cautious when selecting mentees or collaborators, as one bad apple can negatively impact the entire group.
  • When given a task or project, overdeliver and go beyond expectations to demonstrate your capabilities and potential.
  • Successful individuals who complete tasks despite challenges often have a mindset that doesn't allow problems to hinder them.

What working ten percent longer will do immediately for your paycheck, and long-term for your career (00:51:43)

  • Working 10% longer hours can increase earnings by 40%.
  • Going above and beyond in your work can set you apart from your competition.
  • Making your extra effort known to your superiors can increase your chances of promotion.
  • Hard work and dedication can lead to opportunities for career advancement, even without formal credentials.
  • Intelligence and conscientiousness are key predictors of success in complex enterprises.
  • Conscientiousness can be developed through discipline and self-improvement.
  • Delivering results when opportunities arise can significantly advance your career.

How Derek weaponized early mornings, silence, and fasting to stay mentally dialed-in to his writing goals (00:54:48)

  • Derek wakes up early and fasts to stay mentally sharp.
  • He has a 7-8 hour window where he can crank out content creation.
  • He puts on headphones and goes on airplane mode to avoid distractions.
  • He sometimes listens to soft music that's not distracting.
  • He doesn't allow for distractions when he's serious about writing.
  • Derek writes about topics he's interested in and is willing to get obsessive about.
  • He believes that unidimensional obsessiveness driven by interest is a fundamental male trait and the pathway to success.
  • His interests have transitioned over time from body composition and performance enhancement to preventative medicine and longevity.
  • His content is now less oriented towards bodybuilding and more towards science-based longevity tactics, blood work analysis, and preventative medicine.

Outgrowing the 23-year-old mindset, underlying importance of symmetry and optimized health in sexual attraction (00:58:11)

  • The vague sense of business as a career choice at 23 was not entirely wrong, just not fully refined.
  • The initial interest in women and being attractive to them led to a deeper interest in performance.
  • True sexual attractiveness is associated with optimized health.
  • Markers of biological health, such as waist-to-hip ratio and symmetry, are found attractive in both sexes.
  • Symmetry indicates untrammeled neurological and physiological development.
  • Butterflies can detect a deviation from symmetry in a potential mating partner of one part in a million.
  • Sexual selection is a major force that governs evolution and our sense of beauty.
  • The instinct for self-development that best produces survival and reproductive fitness manifests as the desire to be attractive to women.
  • Women become the judges of performance.

How Derek grew to appreciate mental and cognitive health in addition to physical health (01:01:26)

  • Derek initially focused on physical appearance but later realized the importance of mental and cognitive health.
  • He noticed that engaging in conversations with attractive women improved his conversational skills and charisma.
  • Derek believes that physical exercise is the best way to sustain and develop cognitive function.
  • Derek's desire to communicate effectively stemmed from challenging conversations with attractive women.
  • He realized that improving his communication skills would benefit him in business interviews and presentations.

The core attractor that is seldom taught to men (01:04:45)

  • Being articulate is more attractive to women than physical appearance alone.
  • Poets and musicians are attractive because of their charisma and ability to articulate.
  • Young men are not taught the importance of being articulate.
  • Articulateness is an indicator of general competence.
  • Willink learned the importance of being articulate as a commander in the Navy SEALs.
  • Russell Brand and rappers are examples of people who are charismatic and articulate.
  • Ben Shapiro's recent rap music is funny because he has been criticizing rap for years.
  • Articulateness indicates a person's capacity to be articulate and is a great indicator of general competence.

How writing helps streamline the facilitation process of ideas (01:07:40)

  • Writing was a byproduct of the only medium Derek knew to communicate his knowledge at the time.
  • Writing allowed Derek to build a more intimate relationship with his viewers.
  • Writing helped Derek formalize his thoughts and express himself more articulately.
  • Writing gave Derek the reinforcement that pursuing content creation was worthwhile.
  • Writing helped Derek identify what his market was interested in.
  • Writing is a meticulous process that ensures work is perfected before it goes out.

Everything has gone spectacularly well when you can end it on a punchline, have a problem in mind you genuinely want to solve (01:11:08)

  • Derek thinks through a problem and shares his findings with the viewer.
  • Derek uses stories to investigate a problem.
  • Derek ends his lectures with a punchline that addresses the problem.
  • Derek believes that writing and speaking require a problem in mind and that the product should circle around that issue.
  • Derek believes that the issue should be compelling to the audience.

Market testing: the audience will tell you what they want (01:11:50)

  • Market testing is a dialogue between the creator and the customer base.
  • Serial entrepreneurs launch versions of their products quickly to gauge audience response.
  • Paying attention to the audience can reveal their wants and preferences.

From writing to video, hyper-accelerated exposure, and how the bottleneck effect comes into play for cross-platform content (01:12:43)

  • Transitioning from writing to video led to hyper-accelerated growth and exposure due to increased output efficiency.
  • Frequency of content creation was the bottleneck for gaining influence over time.
  • Derek reached a peak of two 20-minute videos per day.
  • The videos addressed specific topics with varying lengths, ranging from 15 minutes to an hour.

Aligning personal interest with broader necessity for understanding (01:14:02)

  • Derek started by addressing standard fitness questions such as losing fat, gaining muscle, and maintaining a healthy diet.
  • He targeted his content towards a demographic similar to himself five years ago, focusing on topics he was genuinely interested in and knowledgeable about.
  • By aligning his interests with his content, Derek attracted an audience that resonated with his expertise and enthusiasm.
  • Finding personal interests and pursuing them authentically helps gather a like-minded audience.

The feminine imagery in “Sleeping Beauty,” building fortitude against the harsh scrutiny of the dating market (01:16:50)

  • Derek draws a parallel between the story of Sleeping Beauty and the challenges faced in the dating market.
  • The evil queen, depicted as a feminine image, represents the harsh scrutiny and rejection individuals encounter in the dating scene.
  • Overcoming this scrutiny requires letting go of superficial qualities and developing inner strength and resilience.
  • The harsh reality of the dating market, especially in online platforms, demands self-awareness and acceptance of one's worth.
  • Avoiding the path of resentment and bitterness is crucial, as it leads to negative outcomes.

How Derek’s growth on YouTube led to multiple positive business ventures (01:18:01)

  • Derek's 20-minute videos focused on topics that appealed to both younger viewers and those interested in self-improvement.
  • His YouTube success led to the creation of "Merri Health" and a supplement company.
  • The work on YouTube deepened Derek's interest in self-improvement and optimization, leading to a transition from superficial concerns to a more integrated focus on health and well-being.

Plunging the depths, the symbolism of the essence of being as it appears in Moses’ encounter with the burning bush (01:19:19)

  • Moses' encounter with the burning bush symbolizes the journey of self-discovery and transformation.
  • The burning bush represents the essence of life, a living flame that attracts and draws one closer to its source.
  • As Moses approaches the burning bush, he treads on sacred ground, shedding his shoes as a sign of humility.
  • The voice of God speaks to Moses, transforming him into a leader capable of standing against tyranny and slavery.
  • The story highlights the idea that paying attention to life's callings can lead one to discover their purpose and become part of a greater, eternal process.

Reaching a point of expertise that allows for ease of growth and spontaneous innovation (01:22:30)

  • As expertise in a specific niche develops, individuals may identify gaps in the market for high-value services or products.
  • Lack of readily available, high-quality products or services in certain industries can be frustrating for experts who want to provide the best to their audience.
  • Expertise and proximity to experts in the field can lead to the identification of unmet needs and opportunities for innovation.
  • Personal frustrations, such as limited access to certain services or treatments, can also motivate individuals to pursue solutions and fill the gaps in the market.

Proofing self-confidence against potential delusion and error (01:25:13)

  • Derek believes in his progress because he values transparency and bases his content on scientific literature.
  • He learned to read scientific papers over the years by being enthralled in the subject and going beyond what he learned from gym bros and online forums.
  • Derek's unique overlap in different areas of discipline caught the attention of experts in the field, which helped reduce his impostor syndrome.
  • He doesn't make medical recommendations but points to guided encouragement based on what he deems worthwhile for himself and his family.
  • Derek's genuine interest in learning about health and helping others sets the framework for evaluating scientific literature.
  • Having a clear vision and self-interest helps Derek pursue the truth in a positive manner.

How Marek Health prioritizes curative and preventive treatment over last-resort symptom suppression (01:29:46)

  • Derek, the speaker, discusses his experience with Mer Health, a personalized healthcare service, and the challenges he faced in accessing quality healthcare in Canada and the US.
  • He emphasizes the importance of preventative healthcare and personalized medical oversight that considers individual needs and circumstances.
  • Derek's company, Marek Health, has been operating successfully for almost three years, connecting clients with highly qualified doctors committed to preventative medicine and continuous education.
  • Marek Health conducts comprehensive medical assessments, including advanced blood work, to identify health risks and genetic predispositions that may not be routinely tested in standard medical assessments.
  • The company takes a proactive approach to healthcare, focusing on health optimization and prevention rather than reactive treatment of illness.

Death statistics among bodybuilders, Marek's plans to tackle the root cause (01:41:41)

  • Bodybuilders are dying young, often due to anabolic steroid use.
  • Marek's team provides non-judgmental medical oversight to high-level athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs.
  • This helps to attenuate the damage caused by these drugs and prolongs the athletes' lifespans.
  • The majority of Marek's clients are seeking to optimize their health and performance, rather than compete at an elite level.

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