The AJAC & Ed Podcast – The Journey of Life, Talent, Teaching, and Skill Acquisition

Listen to the podcast here

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re strong and are reasonably fit, it means you have discipline – people judge this whether you want them to or not
  • If you can change your body, there’s no reason you can’t change your mind
  • “I think one of the things that separates people who have a continually improving quality of life and are always getting better is this almost masochistic nature… they love the feeling of being a beginner and pushing through it” – Ed
  • If you really want to understand something on a deep level, you have to be able to teach it an infinite number of ways
  • Continually trying new things and forcing yourself to be a beginner helps you become a better teacher
  • The secret to producing quality content is to produce a high quantity of content
  • The next year is going to go by whether you’re doing something about your life or not
    • Either you set out to achieve your goals and change your life or let the time pass you by

Books Mentioned

Intro

Online Etiquette

  • “I’ve been working at trying to have better online etiquette. I feel like people are just burned out about being outrageous and being nasty to each other.” – AJ
  • “Just have some God damn manners and respect” – Ed
  • Ed will block liberally on Twitter:
    • “I got no bandwidth in my mind for online hate”
  • AJ said building his following online has caused his tolerance for negative interactions to decrease significantly
    • He’s blocked 4k+ people so far on Twitter

A Little Bit About AJ’s Background and Current Work

  • “You always want to leave someone with value… you always want them to leave you feeling better than when they first met you” – AJ
    • No matter what you do in life
  • 3 years back, AJ was living in Florida working at a gym for $10/hr. while in debt
    • He started tweeting around this time (~2016) as a way to practice his writing – “I didn’t really expect it to turn into anything”
  • “Physical training does something really transformative psychologically for people, but most just talk about the exercise portion”
    • AJ has a knack for taking fitness to the psychological and mental level
      • Ed adds – “Anyone can help change your body… but changing a mind is the real value. That’s the thing people feel like they can’t get.”
  • When AJ first started working out, he weighed 160 lbs. (he now weighs about 205)
    • He’s 6′ 2″

Everything Starts With Your Health

  • What limits people’s fitness is NOT a lack of information or not having a gym available
    • “Everyone has the necessary tools, it’s the mentality they approach using those tools with” – AJ
  • EVERYONE’S personal evolution starts with their health
  • Your physical evolution eventually turns into a mental evolution
    • If you can change your body, there’s no reason you can’t change your mind
    • “When you recognize you can be strong, a lot of change takes place… a whole lot of change” – Ed
  • If you’re strong and are reasonably fit, it means you have discipline – people judge this whether you want them to or not

The Curse of Talent

  • “If you truly have an incredible aptitude for something and it just comes naturally to you, you never really know why you’re good and thus you can’t really teach it” – AJ
    • In a sense, this is the curse of being gifted
  • “If you have a natural gift, you can’t even imagine what it’s like for other people [not to have that same gift]” – Ed
  • However – “If you have something you truly are gifted and talented at, there’s probably immense prosperity in that area if you pursue it”  – AJ

Skill Acquisition and Teaching

  • “I think one of the things that separates people who have a continually improving quality of life and are always getting better is this almost masochistic nature… they love the feeling of being a beginner and pushing through it” – Ed
  • In many ways, continually trying new things helps you be a better teacher
    • When you continually put yourself in the position of being a beginner, it keeps you in a beginner’s mindset (which is good for life and in turn, helps you teach)
    • “When you already have an intuition as to what the questions will be, you can teach much more effectively and address them before they come up” – AJ
  • “Just because you know something doesn’t mean you can teach it. Teaching itself is a skill.” – Ed
    • You have to remember what it’s like to be a beginner and the only way to do it is to actually go be a beginner in areas you aren’t skilled in
  • On a basic level, a lot of what we’re “weak” at, we just avoid because we’re fearful of 
  • “If you want to know how if someone is really good at teaching something, whatever their domain of knowledge is, ask them how many ways they can teach the same thing” – AJ
    • If you really want to understand something on a deep level, you have to be able to teach it an infinite number of ways (because there will be infinite number of questions that people have)
  • “Mastery is a grind, it’s not always enjoyable” – AJ

Physical Training

  • Many physical trainers focus on creating an extremely hard workout for their clients to make up for their lack of knowledge about technique
    • The idea behind it – if a client feels like they got a really hard workout, then it must be valuable
    • Just because a physical trainer is making you struggle, it doesn’t mean they’re doing a good job… AT ALL
  • Real physical trainers train their clients in a way so that they eventually don’t need them

Ed’s Twitter Growth

  • How did Ed grow his Twitter following? It takes two things:
    • Tweeting interesting ideas (which come from life experience) communicated clearly
    • Being consistent – day after day, you gotta post
  • Ed adds:
    • “There’s the content you tweet about and then there’s the way to express it. A lot of that is innate, but a lot of it is practice, honing, and finding the innateness in you.”
  • Ed says watching Dave Chappelle‘s stand-up helped hone his “tweet delivery” and allowed him to better curate the twist of humor he adds to his knowledge bombs

Put in the Work

  • Many people have undiscovered talents
    • “If you give yourself a year, dedicated to doing something consistently, you’ll be amazed at how competent, and maybe skillful, and maybe how good, you get at it”  – AJ
      • But you need to put the time in
  • Many people ask AJ how he puts out so much written content
    • “I’ve trained, over 5-6 years now, by forcing myself to write every day”
      • You have to force yourself to get over the resistance
  • And in many ways – the secret to producing quality content is to produce a high quantity of content
    • Done over and over again, you’re forced to get better at something
    • (AJ used to have a personal commitment to write 100 tweets/day and 3 emails/day)
  • Realize this – Your life can change in 1 year if you put 1-2 hours/day of work in 

Wrapping Up

  • The time is going to pass regardless, either you set out to achieve your goals and change your life or let the time pass you by
    • No matter what you achieve, you’ll at least learn something about yourself

Additional Notes

Bookmark