There’s a Lot of Remarkable Stuff You Can Learn from Joe Rogan

Tim Denning

Even if you hate macho American heroes, as one spectator put it.

Image Credit:Michael Schwartz/Getty Images

Joe Rogan makes my brain think deeply.

Whether he is right or wrong, he makes me think. And being forced to think is a good thing in a world where we’re drowning in consumption and starving for our own unique thoughts.

Joe Rogan’s podcast equals thought creation for your mind.

Now before you think I’m some macho dude who worships jock bros holding rifles and screaming “hell yeah!” know this: I can’t play sport, I don’t watch sport, and I don’t bro clap at the gym (the gym is still shut anyways).

Diverse thinking from different sources is better than the watered-down traditional media that spreads fear, sensationalized headlines, and any content they can find that will increase pageviews and sell mediocre content known as “ads.”

Joe Rogan actually does have a heart too.

He’s deeply empathetic. People often misunderstand that he is either joking or acting to get a person he interviews to share their thoughts, unfiltered. I respect how he turns and interview on its head for the benefit of everybody listening. This is the reason Spotify paid him $100M for the rights to his podcast show.

Acting Dumb Is Really Smart

When Joe’s friend Bari Weiss interviewed him for the New York Times, his immediate answer to all questions before they started was “All the answers are: I don’t think about it. And P.S. I’m dumb.”

Often, Joe pretends to be someone he’s not for the benefit of the audience. He is whoever you want him to be as long as you pay attention to the conversation. Joe isn’t dumb; he’s really smart.

Joe is leading the conversation on topics that many media companies are staying away from because they are worried about the backlash — or the Twitter comments.

Like Joe, I learned early on that you can’t worry about opinions or the backlash if you want to bring the gift of “thinking” to the world. What you say is going to be critiqued. If you veer too far off from society’s playbook then you’re going to get a rude surprise on Twitter. But who you help in the process by being the guinea pig like Joe Rogan is far more important.

Human consciousness changes when the way we think does.

You’re a Cuddly Empathetic Bear Deep Down

The macho American character of Joe Rogan, deep down, is a big cuddly empathetic bear. Joe couldn’t control himself when he said this:

“There’s no empathy in these conversations and that’s a big part of the problem. You don’t see the people. You don’t feel their pain. So you can say horrible sh*t to them.”

All of us have empathy deep down. The challenge is that the internet has made it easy to judge a person. It’s only when you’re in somebody’s presence that you dial down your ego and feel people with a high-powered sense of human nature — aka empathy.

Empathy can solve so many of the world’s problems.

Empathy makes us listen.

It Pays to Be Generous When Nobody Is Watching

My new writer friend Jon Brosio told the story of meeting Joe Rogan when he was a waiter at the restaurant Bianconi, which burned down in 2017.

He called me over and put two $100 bills in my hand. Told me everything was great with the meal and thanked me for my service.

Writer, Ayodeji Awosika, says you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat service staff. If you’re not generous behind closed doors, or before you become financially wealthy, you never will be.

You’re Captivated by Conversation

Traditional content requires a lot of thinking. The format of podcasts, according to Joe, “doesn’t require that much thinking at all. You get captivated by the conversation.”

Conversation is incredible. It’s a different way to learn. When you hear a person’s voice and feel the emotion in their voice, your brain opens up to considering some or all of the way they see the world.

If more people could see other people’s view of the world then we’d go a lot further as a species and stop looking for black and white solutions to complex problems.

Anybody can be an expert with Google. Very few people can lead a conversation they might disagree with.

Looking People in the Eye Is Powerful

I watch Joe on Youtube. I like seeing him sit so close to his guests and look them in the eye.

Joe goes to a lot of trouble to make his interviews happen. He flies guests to his studio with his private jet and gets them to do a covid test before they appear on his show. All of this so he can look them in the eye and work out whether he has extracted enough value from the conversation for his listeners. The same superpower applies to your life.

Plenty of people have got used to the Zoom culture of video calls, but what you lose is the intimacy of in-person conversations.

The real story is found in the eyes of a person.

You Can Extract Humanity from a Person’s Mind

Joe got the genius that is Elon Musk to put his futuristic view of the world on hold for a few moments.

Like a brain surgeon, Joe extracted this thought from Elon:

Elon: This may sound corny, but love is the answer.

Joe: It is the answer. It is. It sounds corny because we’re all scared…if we could all just relax and love each other.

Elon: It wouldn’t hurt to have more love in the world.

Does that sound like something a selfish jock bro who is a total imbecile would say on a podcast listened to by millions? No. It’s these moments that make Joe a unique individual.

Simple reminders about love get lost in this noisy world. Joe finds a way to relink our hearts to what matters. That’s a lesson you can apply to your life that pays massive dividends.

Unpolished Content Matters

“Podcasting is all freeballing. It’s the opposite of polished. And because of that, it resonates,” says Joe.

If you ever decide to take up a job in content creation you’ll realize this important lesson from Joe is inevitably true. Perfection is boring, and unrelatable. Show your imperfections, thus showing your soul.

The world doesn’t need more influential people pretending to be perfect while secretly taking drugs, swearing at their employees (Ellen Degeneres), and being a genuine nuisance to society to inflate and protect their fragile ego. Fame is a nightmare.

Unpolished says “this is me. Take it or leave it.”

And unpolished people teach some of the most helpful lessons in life. You can learn from flaws but it’s incredibly difficult to learn from fake perfection, because you have zero chance of ever reaching that level in life. You will screw up. And that is sexy, damn it. So learn this from Joe:

Embrace your unpolished side.

Be Whoever You Want

“There is no balanced perspective to say: Be free! Change your pronouns, change your name, be whoever you want.”

There aren’t a lot of people in society spreading that message. The world is quick to tell you what you can’t do, not what you can do.

Joe offers a glimmer of hope for those who have been oppressed or had their voices silenced for most of their life. Speak up. Step out of the darkness and into the light. If Joe can, then why not you?

Life is too short to be somebody else.


Nobody is a perfect role model. Sorry.

There are flaws to Joe Rogan too. Some of his guests spread conspiracy theories. Some of what he says can be offensive. There are times where I shake my head or see the incredible privilege that money has afforded him.

It’s not all roses with Joe Rogan and that perhaps the most important reminder of all.

If you’re looking for the next perfect Oprah to show up and bless the world with kindness then you’ll be disappointed. Why does that matter? Because waiting for perfect role models to show up means you’ll miss all the imperfect ones who stuff up like the rest of us and might just change your life.

It frustrates me to no end to see people criticize Joe and expect him to get everything right or always say the right thing or jump to conclusions about the way he lives his life. Joe’s way of life is not for everybody and he never said it was. He doesn’t force-feed you his view of the world — quite the opposite.

You can learn a small piece of wisdom from anybody.

Final Thought

Joe’s podcast has been part of my life for many years. I initially didn’t like him because I don’t subscribe to the bro life of muscles, cars, bulletproof coffee, cold showers, and building huge followings.

I’m glad I kept listening to his interviews because there is a lot of subtle hints about how to view the world differently, sprinkled amongst his interviews like hidden treasures waiting to find you. Open your mind. Be open to Joe Rogan, even if you never want to be like him.

The best life lessons come from the people you least expect to get them from.

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Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship


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