Simon Sinek: "Strong Thigh Muscles = More friends", This Is Why You Can't Make Friends!

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Simon Sinek: "Strong Thigh Muscles = More friends", This Is Why You Can't Make Friends!

Intro (00:00:00)

  • We are architected to be lonely due to modern lifestyle and technology.
  • Friendship is the best biohack for mental health and overall well-being.
  • We are not prioritizing friendships and lack the skills to make and maintain them.
  • Mass transportation, technology, and social media have disrupted our ability to make friends.
  • Old friends may not always bring joy or inspiration, and it's never too late to make new friends.
  • To make friends, learn how to be a good friend.
  • The key to making friends is to be a good friend.

Simon's take on the times we are living in (00:02:17)

  • The world has changed profoundly, leading to struggles in mental health, suicidality, and loneliness.
  • The rise of artificial intelligence, digitalization, and falling connections are additional challenges.
  • People are experiencing a lack of meaning and purpose, leading to the rise of populist movements and strongman leaders.
  • Anti-establishment movements are prevalent as people feel forgotten and left out by the establishment.
  • There is a lack of vision and leadership, with few people able to articulate what they are for.
  • Many people are concerned about the toxic male influences online, especially for younger generations.
  • There is a need for strong male and female role models who can teach what it means to be a good person.

We don't have strong role models anymore (00:05:43)

  • Strong friendships lead to better health, a longer life, and improved coping mechanisms, while loneliness increases the likelihood of addiction.
  • Overcoming addiction often requires community and friendship, as emphasized in the 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous, which encourages individuals to become friends and sponsors.
  • Despite the focus on leadership and parenting, there is a lack of resources and industry dedicated to teaching individuals how to be better friends.
  • Making and maintaining good friendships is essential for mental well-being and overcoming challenges.

Why isn't there demand for friendship therapy? (00:10:45)

  • Despite the prevalence of relationship and marriage failures, there is no industry dedicated to maintaining friendships.
  • People prioritize work meetings over friendships, assuming that friends will understand and be flexible.
  • Friendships are not given the same intentionality and priority as other commitments.
  • Will's friend's dad passed away, and Will reached out to offer support.
  • Will texted his friend, expressing his understanding and offering to call him every day at 9:45 a.m. without expecting an immediate response.
  • For the next 3-8 months, Will called his friend every day at 9:45 a.m., providing a consistent reminder of his support.
  • The friend initially didn't pick up but eventually started answering the calls, leading to daily conversations for months.
  • This example highlights the power of intentionality and consistency in friendship.

What really is a friend? (00:13:32)

  • A friend is someone who is there for you in hard times.
  • Fair-weathered friends are only there in the good times.
  • Foul-weathered friends are only there in the hard times.
  • True friends are there for you in both good and bad times.
  • Friendships require effort and maintenance.
  • Longevity studies show that people who eat with friends live longer.
  • Some people who focus on biohacking and healthy living are unhappy and lonely.
  • Strong social connections are important for overall health and well-being.

The most important metric for longevity (00:16:16)

  • Heart, lungs, and thighs are the most important organs for longevity.
  • Healthy thighs are crucial for mobility and maintaining friendships.
  • Historically, mobility and sociability contributed to a longer lifespan.
  • Technology, remote work, and increased screen time have disrupted our ability to make genuine friends.
  • Social networking, food delivery apps, and living behind screens hinder social interactions.
  • Making friends and finding romantic partners has become increasingly challenging.

Have we lost the skill of making friends? (00:18:29)

  • A young man in a crowd of 500 asked Simon Sinek how to make friends.
  • Sinek believes that we have lost the skill of making friends.
  • Sinek shares a story about a friend who was struggling in her career and marriage.
  • He met with her every Wednesday for 90 minutes to give her advice.
  • After several months, Sinek realized that he was not effectively helping her.
  • He remembered the 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is service.
  • He asked his friend if they could split their time together, with 45 minutes for him and 45 minutes for her.
  • By helping his friend, Sinek found that he was also solving his own problems.
  • He suggests that the young man find someone who is struggling to make friends and help them as an act of service.
  • Sinek believes that the true skill we have lost is service.
  • We have overemphasized taking over giving and selfish over selfless.
  • He thinks that we have lost the ability to serve society and each other.
  • He supports the idea of national service, but it does not have to be military service.

Why national service is so important (00:22:25)

  • Serving others, such as teaching in underserved communities, working in hospitals, or volunteering, can help individuals develop important skills and a sense of purpose.
  • Military service and volunteer work can foster a strong sense of camaraderie and responsibility, leading to deep bonds and a unique form of love among individuals who serve together.
  • Expressing emotions, especially love, can be challenging, but it holds immense power when done authentically.
  • True friendship involves service and a willingness to be there for others.
  • Making friends requires learning the skill of service and understanding the different levels of friendship.

The importance of belief (00:31:03)

  • Religion used to provide a sense of community, purpose, and moral obligations, but with the decline of traditional religious practices, people are struggling to find these elements in modern society.
  • Wealthy individuals in the past believed in a moral obligation to give back to society and established charitable institutions without significant tax incentives, while modern charitable giving often seems driven by tax benefits.
  • Traditional churches are losing relevance among young people due to their failure to adapt and modernize their practices, while alternative religious experiences like Kanye West's Sunday Service and Hillsong Church attract young people by offering a sense of community and relevance.
  • People are seeking a sense of belonging, belief, leadership, community, codes of conduct, and values to uphold in their lives, and the scarcity of such opportunities leads to people latching onto the first available option, presenting a significant business opportunity.

Remote connection vs in person (00:36:44)

  • The pandemic popularized remote work, but there are signs that people are craving in-person connections again.
  • Young people who started their careers during the pandemic are struggling with mental health challenges and may need help adjusting to in-person work.
  • Remote work can lead to mental unfitness, while in-person work can be an antidote to this.

Is the office outdated? (00:39:36)

  • Redesigning the office to foster a sense of community and connection is crucial in the modern workplace.
  • Incorporating communal spaces like central bathrooms and shared eating areas encourages serendipitous interactions and a sense of belonging.
  • Creating a comfortable and home-like work environment enhances employee well-being and job satisfaction.
  • Prioritizing service to others and considering colleagues' needs can lead to a more positive work culture.
  • Reducing unnecessary email communication improves productivity and reduces stress by using the phone when possible and removing unnecessary recipients from email chains.

The importance of acts of service (00:44:26)

  • The author shares an anecdote about encountering a man who parked his car in a way that left a lot of empty space on either side.
  • The author tried to politely suggest that the man could move his car to make room for another car, but the man refused and became defensive.
  • The author reflects on this encounter and suggests that the man's behavior is an example of individualism, which can be harmful to society.
  • The author argues that small acts of service, such as moving one's car to make room for someone else, can make a positive impact on society and foster a sense of community.

Is the rise of individualism hurting us? (00:46:20)

  • Modern society emphasizes rugged individualism and hero worship, neglecting the importance of collective effort and support.
  • Successful individuals often overlook the contributions of others, such as teams, mentors, and supporters, who play a crucial role in their achievements.
  • Parenting matters, and parents who build their children's confidence have a positive impact on their children's lives, while constant criticism can have lasting negative effects.
  • Declining birth rates in the Western world prioritize individual desires and career goals over the active service of parenting, leading to an aging population and potential societal issues.
  • Humans are social animals, and historical examples, such as the Blitz during World War II, demonstrate the willingness of individuals to sacrifice for the greater good and support the war effort.
  • The shame of not being called to serve during wartime was more overwhelming than the call to service, highlighting the importance of collective purpose and belonging.

What direction should young people be directing their life towards (00:49:44)

  • Young people are often given unclear or misleading advice about which direction to take in life.
  • The pursuit of money or social status may not lead to happiness.
  • Service and challenge are important factors in finding happiness.
  • Incels are young men who are involuntarily celibate and often engage in misogynistic and extremist behavior.
  • The rise of incels is linked to a lack of social connection, friendship, and romantic relationships.
  • Incels often find online communities that support their victimhood and anger.
  • Shame-based societies, such as those in the Middle East, can contribute to the rise of religious extremism.

Andrew Tate's approach validating young people (00:52:13)

  • Tate mocks and belittles his audience, validating their feelings of victimhood and loneliness.
  • He then offers them a solution, making them feel seen and understood.
  • This approach is effective because it plays on human emotions and the desire for a way out of negative feelings.
  • However, it can lead to extreme behaviors and reactions due to the intensity of the emotions involved.
  • Sinek discusses the importance of strong thigh muscles for making friends.
  • He explains that strong thighs allow for better mobility and flexibility, making it easier to engage in physical activities and socialize with others.
  • Additionally, strong thighs can improve posture and confidence, making individuals more attractive and approachable.

Are friendships the same as relationships? (00:54:19)

  • The speaker discusses the difficulty of finding friends and romantic partners in the modern world.
  • They suggest that traditional places for meeting people, such as church or village gatherings, are no longer as effective.
  • The speaker also highlights the challenges faced by introverts in social situations.
  • The speaker suggests that it is easier to make connections with people when standing next to them rather than across from them.
  • They also suggest that shared interests can be a good way to start a conversation and make a friend.
  • Standing next to someone makes it easier to be quiet without it being awkward.

Having our priorities wrong (00:58:32)

  • The speaker is at a crossroads in their life, questioning their priorities and considering fatherhood's impact on their life.
  • They are concerned about neglecting personal relationships, particularly their romantic relationship, due to their focus on work and material success.
  • Neglecting relationships can lead to disconnection and problems in the future, as they often become the "residual beneficiary" of time and attention.
  • Building strong relationships requires consistent attention to the little things that add up over time, and entrepreneurs may struggle with this aspect.
  • Prioritizing work over relationships can have negative consequences and make partners feel undervalued, so scheduling time for the relationship and disconnecting from technology during quality time is essential.
  • NordVPN is a useful tool for accessing geo-blocked content and securing Wi-Fi connections.

What is Simon struggling with (01:13:10)

  • Simon is struggling with reconfiguring what he wants to do with his life after taking a big step back from public speaking.
  • He is not motivated by money and does not want to be the biggest, richest, or most powerful person.
  • He wants to be happy, loved by his friends, and to love his friends.
  • Simon views money as fuel that helps him achieve his goals, not as an end goal in itself.
  • He does not own a car just to buy petrol, but to go places.
  • He believes that money should be used to enhance his life and career, but not at the expense of his happiness or well-being.
  • Simon only works with people he likes and trusts, even if it means turning down potentially lucrative opportunities.
  • He believes that working with people he enjoys fills him with energy and inspiration, while working with people he dislikes saps his energy.
  • He values the joy and fulfillment he gets from his work more than the amount of money he makes.
  • Simon attributes his success not to his intelligence or creativity, but to surrounding himself with people who fill him up, give him energy, and inspire him.
  • He believes that this is more important than hard work, as some things fill him with energy while others sap his energy.

Where does inspiration come from? (01:17:56)

  • Embrace a beginner's mindset, pretending to know nothing and approaching subjects as a student.
  • Ask questions that others may be embarrassed to ask, without fear of appearing foolish.
  • Admit when you don't know something and avoid pretending to be an expert in someone else's field.
  • Cultivate strong opinions that are loosely held, allowing yourself to change your mind when presented with new evidence.
  • Identify your passion and focus on bringing it to life, rather than aiming to become a public speaker for its own sake.
  • Practice the courage to admit when you don't know something.
  • Hone your technical skills in delivering ideas and speaking effectively.

Techniques for public speaking (01:21:28)

  • The motivation for giving a presentation or pitch should be to provide value and serve the audience, rather than solely focusing on personal gain.
  • Avoid exhibiting a "taker" mentality by excessively promoting oneself or one's products, as people can sense when someone is primarily focused on their own interests.
  • Be mindful of mentioning personal achievements or products too frequently, as it can come across as self-serving and detract from the conversation.
  • The author criticizes guests who appear on their show solely to promote their own projects without engaging in genuine and valuable discussions.
  • The author prefers guests who approach conversations with a "giver" mentality, sharing their knowledge and experiences to benefit the audience rather than solely aiming to promote themselves.
  • People are more drawn to those who have a giving mentality and engage in authentic conversations, as it creates a sense of trust and connection.

The difference between validation and insecurity (01:27:25)

  • Humans are social beings and our survival depends on our ability to trust and associate with others.
  • Validation is not the same as purpose, and goals are not the same as purpose.
  • We should focus on validating others rather than seeking validation from them.
  • The people in our lives matter more than we think, and learning to be a good friend is an important skill.
  • The most important things in life are not material possessions or recognition, but rather the experiences and connections we share with others.
  • Insecurity is focused on the self, while purpose is focused on giving to others.
  • Sharing experiences, money, and recognition with others is more fulfilling than keeping them for oneself.

Companies misunderstand what service means (01:32:19)

  • Service involves creating a work environment where individuals feel safe, valued, and respected.
  • Human skills, such as active listening, having difficult conversations, and effective confrontation, are essential for building a company that values service and purpose.
  • These skills can be learned and significantly improve productivity, engagement, innovation, loyalty, and customer service.
  • The greatest gift a leader can give to a company is taking care of and feeling taken care of by colleagues.
  • A company that values human skills and creates a positive work environment naturally engages in service to society.
  • Strong thigh muscles are linked to better listening and confrontation skills, leading to improved relationships at home.
  • Enhanced relationships at home have a ripple effect, fostering better connections in the community and potentially contributing to world peace.
  • World peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to resolve conflicts peacefully.
  • Successful relationships involve resolving conflicts peacefully, not necessarily agreeing on everything or liking each other.
  • The ability to have difficult conversations is crucial for building healthy and trusting relationships.

How to have those difficult conversations (01:38:12)

  • Having uncomfortable conversations is essential for addressing dissatisfaction in teams, organizations, and relationships.
  • Many leaders and founders struggle with these conversations due to a lack of skills and cultural barriers.
  • Teaching and learning the necessary skills can significantly improve relationships and work environments.
  • Effective communication requires active listening and constructive feedback.
  • When arguments become unproductive, consider changing the rules by focusing on self-criticism and acknowledging the other person's positive actions.
  • With practice, individuals can become remarkable listeners and enhance their relationships.

We undervalue stories (01:45:42)

  • People remember stories and forget explanations.
  • Stories create curiosity and emotional connections.
  • Data and facts should come after the story to support it.
  • Stories make people relate to the speaker's experiences.
  • People are interested in things that make them feel something.
  • Data is not effective in emotional arguments.
  • Good leaders and presenters know how to modulate emotions.
  • Stories produce emotions and allow people to relate.

Connecting with people (01:49:49)

  • Making eye contact with individuals in an audience or meeting creates a stronger connection and makes the speaker more relatable.
  • Vulnerability and sharing personal experiences make the message more powerful and relatable.
  • Using "we" instead of "you" creates a sense of togetherness and equality between the speaker and the audience.
  • The speaker emphasizes that they are on the same journey as the audience, learning and growing together.
  • The speaker welcomes questions, comments, and discussions as opportunities to learn and improve.

Last question (01:53:40)

  • Richard Branson built a successful business by delegating tasks and trusting his intuition, despite lacking business knowledge.
  • Trust your intuition and be cautious of people who feel wrong, even if they are experts.
  • Make deals with good people to avoid being taken advantage of.
  • Strong business relationships are built on trust, not contracts.
  • The Optimism Company teaches essential skills like winning friends, influencing people, listening, communicating, and problem-solving.
  • The speaker recommends the Optimism Company as a modern university that fills the deficit of disregarded or forgotten skills.
  • The speaker praises the Optimism Company for its actionable and friendly teaching methods.
  • The speaker's upcoming book will explore the topic of friendship.
  • Consider your long-term health and explore Zoe, a company that provides personalized food choices based on science and test results.

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