When I first launched the Knowledge for Men podcast back in 2013, before people even knew what a podcast was, Joe Rogan was one of the primary “virtual mentors” who influenced my journey and style.
Founded in 2009, Joe’s own podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the longest-running podcasts in history.
When he first started, his podcast was little more than an excuse for him to get high with his friends and ramble about hostile alien invasions, politics, and psychedelics but today, his show generates more than one billion (yes, with a ‘b’) downloads a year and has quickly surpassed major news and media outlets all over the world…
He interviews some of the most famous and prolific experts, celebrities, and politicians (ranging from Kevin Hart to Elon Musk to Bernie Sanders), and has given a voice to men all over the world while sharing insights and wisdom to help his listeners improve their lives in practical ways.
Unlike most podcast hosts, however, Joe isn’t afraid to challenge his guest’s assertions and he never shies away from respectfully debating their views in an edifying and intelligent way. His raw, no-bullshit style, and unabashed authenticity have turned him into one of the most influential (not to mention wealthiest) men on the planet and irrevocably changed the landscape of modern media.
Over the past decade, I’ve listened to well over 300 of his 2-hour+ interviews and, along the way, kept a journal of my favorite Joe Rogan quotes and lessons which I refer back to time and time again.
And today, I want to share them with you.
The following is a list of my favorite Joe Rogan quotes to help you as Joe likes to say, “conquer your inner bitch”, embrace your masculinity, and live your life like your the hero of YOUR story.
11 Joe Rogan Quotes to Help You Conquer Your Life and Be the Hero of Your Own Movie
1. “I love a success story, but even more than a success story; I like a dude who fucks his life up and gets his life together again story.”
This is one of my all-time favorite Joe Rogan quotes for a simple reason…Everyone wants to be a “success”, whatever that means to them. But all too often, we forget the fact that success is messy. It isn’t a straight line and it’s rarely simple.
More often than not, reaching the pinnacles of success requires that you first experience the depths of desperation and failure. Failure, “fucking up your life”, and hitting rock bottom create a depth of character that nothing else can.
Until you’ve experienced the lowest of lows…until you’ve been addicted…until you’ve been broke…until you’ve been depressed, suicidal, and hopeless, you cannot appreciate the sweetness of life and true success.
This is not an encouragement to intentionally screw your life up. Simply a reminder that the valleys through which you’re currently walking will one day make the peaks you reach much sweeter.
If your life is a mess right now. If nothing is working and it feels like the world is falling apart around you…good. This is how it’s supposed to be.
The pain you are experiencing today will only serve to make the success you experience tomorrow that much greater.
2. “That’s my only goal. Surround myself with funny people, and make sure everyone has a good time and works hard.”
All too often, we overcomplicate our lives and our definition of success. We buy into the lie our society has manufactured that success is about the number in our bank account, the size of our house, or the number of women we’ve slept with.
But in reality, living a happy and fulfilling life really only comes down to two things. Spending time with positive, fun, and happy people. And working hard on something we enjoy.
When you accept this, life becomes a lot easier (and a lot more fun). You don’t need to be a titan of your industry, make millions, or live in Penthouse in the Hollywood Hills to be happy. You simply need to do work you enjoy–however much it pays–and surround yourself with people who make you feel alive.
If you can do these two things, you’ve already won at the game of life. Everything else is bonus.
3. “When someone comes along and expresses him or herself as freely as they think, people flock to it. They enjoy it.”
The single most attractive trait you can develop and express is 100% unadulterated authenticity. We live in a world filled with liars and fakes. People who, intentionally or not, repress themselves, their thoughts, and their gifts in an effort to be liked and avoid rocking the boat.
But the simple fact we all forget is that you will never be liked by everyone 100% of the time. No matter how hard you try, how “nice” you are, or how agreeable you try to be, there will be people who will never like you. And that’s okay.
Your goal should not be to garner the approval of everyone you meet. But rather to express yourself so freely and honestly that you naturally attract the right people into your life and filter out those who are a “bad match.”
When you do this, you will fill your life with friends, colleagues and lovers who love you for who you really are, not who you pretend to be in society. And from this place, you will achieve true social and interpersonal freedom.
4. “If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.”
Life is, if nothing else, absurd. Our lives and existences are nonsensical. Nothing about the rock we inhabit makes sense and none of us have any clue what’s going on.
Yet through years of social conditioning and being inundated with countless constructs, we learn to treat life like some sort of serious “life or death” game.
But it isn’t. The simple truth is, we’re all dead at the end of the day and nothing we think or do really matters in the grand scheme of things. As we catastrophize the smallest of setbacks and conflate temporary obstacles with “the end of the world”, life keeps moving forward, unphased by our seriousness and anxiety.
So relax. As Emerson said, “Life is far too short to be taken so seriously.” You’re a talking monkey on an organic spaceship flying around a giant ball of superhot gas at millions of miles an hour.
I promise, that dick-head comment your boss made, the bad traffic, and fight you got into with your spouse simply aren’t that important.
Just laugh at the absurdity of life like Joe does.
5. “The key to happiness doesn’t lay in numbers in a bank account but in the way we make others feel and the way they make us feel.”
Humans have this weird proclivity to “guess wrong” at what will make us happy. Erroneous social memes about happiness have been embedded in our psyche since we were little boys. We were taught that happiness is contingent on the amount of money in our bank accounts, the size of our house, the number of horses powering our cars, and the label on the clothes we wear.
But research has proven, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt, that this is not the case.
According to an 80-year study conducted by Harvard (which included some 1,800 participants ranging from schizophrenics to presidents to multi-millionaires), the quality of our relationships, not our socioeconomic standing or financial success is responsible for our happiness.
Yet most of us live our lives in such a way where money is our first priority and relationships come second. Many gurus often purport, “Make money at all costs,” even if this includes working 80 hours a week for years straight.
But if you want to experience the greatest depths of happiness and fulfillment, you must flip this script on its head.
Put your relationships with others first and your pursuit of the almighty dollar second. Often the fulfillment received from powerful friendship and connection fuels your professional life as well.
Realize that money, while an invaluable tool that can be used to improve the lives of everyone you love, is not the sole arbiter of success nor a fast track to anything other than a bigger door.
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the people with whom you shared your life. The love, the laughter, the experiences, the adventures.
That is what makes life worth living.
6. “We define ourselves far too often by our past failures. That’s not you. You are this person right now. You’re the person who has learned from those failures. Build confidence and momentum with each good decision you make from here on out and choose to be inspired.”
Most of us are quick to define themselves by what has happened in the past…the breakups, the bankruptcies, the debt, the lost jobs, the failed businesses. But we forget that we are not our failures.
The past is the past and we can’t go back and undo our mistakes or change what we said or did. We can only learn from those mistakes and failures and decide to use them for the betterment of our future.
Learn to see your failures for what they are. Momentary setbacks and invaluable learning opportunities.
Every failure comes with a lesson and no one who lived a noteworthy life did so without overcoming great adversity.
If you can learn from your mistakes and be made better by them, there is no limit to the success you can achieve and the life you can create. Learn to be informed by your failures, not controlled by them and life will open up to you in ways you never expected.
7. “By putting yourself in that intense form of stress, it makes regular life more peaceful.”
Life in the 21st century is easier than it’s ever been in human history. We have access to clean water, food, shelter, safety, and medical care in unprecedented abundance. If you’re reading this right now, chances are you aren’t worried about putting food on the table of finding a warm place to sleep at night.
But this unprecedented ease has come with an unintended and often unaddressed consequence…
It’s made men weaker.
Today, more than ever before, men are fragile. We are blown to and fro by the slightest breeze and crippled by the most minor of setbacks. Our ability to handle and respond to stress has all but evaporated and even trivial inconveniences–like traffic, unexpected bills, or a broken hot water heater–become seen as the end of the world.
To live truly fulfilling and satisfying lives, we must combat this systemic castration and commit to regaining our masculine edge. And this is only possible by intentionally and consistently subjecting yourself to an intense form of stress.
Whether it’s a tough CrossFit workout, a 20-minute sauna session, a 3-minute ice bath, or a strenuous hike, we must inoculate ourselves against the stressors of modern life by putting ourselves into physically and mentally stressful situations.
By resetting your stress response through intentional exposure to acute challenges, the rest of your life becomes much more peaceful. The stress of salary negotiation or long workday pales in comparison to the stress of a 15-mile ruck or 60-minutes of hill sprints.
When you experience real physical stress, the rest of your life will be more peaceful and you will find that anxiety and depression begin to dissipate.
8. “90% of success is just showing up. Get there and start working. You’re not going to feel perfect every day. There’s gotta be those days you push through.”
As a society, we are quick to forget that the most important component of success is simply showing up. Despite what your social media feed would lead you to believe, success rarely, if ever, happens in great quantum leaps or by happenstance.
Success is achieved day by day, brick by brick, positive action by positive action. If you will commit to showing up consistently, to doing something each day–no matter how small it may seem–to get you closer to your dream life, eventually, you will achieve the goals you’re after.
Because it’s the small daily decisions, made over and over again that determine the quality of your life.
The decision to eat healthy whole food instead of fast food. The decision to work on your side hustle when you’d rather play the latest Call of Duty. The decision to take your spouse out for a date night instead of getting drunk in the garage watching sports. The decision to speak your truth instead of repressing it.
These are the decisions that determine the trajectory and quality of your life.
9. “Get better at whatever you’re doing. So what if you suck at it now? Everybody sucks at everything when they start. But if you love it, and don’t lie to yourself, then get better at it.”
With the myriad of “overnight success” stories proliferating social media, it’s easy to buy into the lie that other people are simply born into greatness. That the most talented, successful, and prolific individuals came out of the womb with some advantage or predisposition that allowed them to achieve unprecedented success.
But the simple truth is success takes time, and a lot of it!
Whatever your calling, whatever skill you are pursuing, you are going to suck… at first. No one walks into a gym for the first time and benches 315 lbs. No one is born understanding the nuances of social dynamics and seduction. No one is born a prodigy at what they do and becomes great with little practice.
To succeed, you must first suck. You must embrace the process of growth and realize that success is messy. You will suck in the beginning. But with time and effort, you’ll begin to suck a little less.
And eventually, you’ll suck so little you’ll become one of the “greats”.
10. All the time that you spend complaining, you could instead be hustling. You could be chasing your dream. You could be figuring out what you’re doing wrong and improving your life.
Life in the 21st century offers no shortage of problems about which we can complain. It seems as if social media was created for one-sided debates on egregious human rights violations, corruption in politics, the systematic destruction of our planet, legislation that infringes on our freedoms, and social problems too numerous to count…we have our pick of the litter.
But we are quick to forget that our complaints don’t do anything to change the quality of our lives. Bitching about politics doesn’t change the political landscape. Complaining about environmental problems does nothing to curb pollution or reduce our carbon footprint. Arguing with coworkers about various social problems does nothing to make the world a better place.
It simply drains our energy, time, and attention and distracts us from taking action to fix and improve our own lives.
Instead of complaining, take action.
Invest the time and energy you would have otherwise wasted bemoaning the faults of our modern world and pour them into solving the problems in your own life. Into improving your physical health, your social circle, career, and financial standing.
If you do this, you will be amazed by how quickly and markedly your life improves.
11. “To really appreciate life, you got to know you’re going to die.”
Our lives are spent in constant denial of our own mortality. Whether through sedation or expansion, almost every activity in which we engage is little more than a paltry attempt to assuage the fear we feel around our inevitable demise, whether conscious or unconscious.
Whether it’s the “low life” who spends his days getting high and binge-watching Netflix to distract himself from the hard truths of life or the high-achieving hustler who attempts to earn “immortality” through achievement and success, most of us are living our lives to escape the uncomfortable fact that you, me, and everyone you saw today and love will one day die.
But to truly appreciate life, to max out your short time on this planet and live in such a way that you die fulfilled…you must embrace your mortality.
Because it is only by accepting the brevity of life that we are free to truly live.
When you realize that no matter what you do or accomplish you’re going to die, you achieve true freedom. You will no longer fear failure, other people’s opinions, or hardship. Instead, you will experience a radical and fundamental shift in your way of being.
You will realize that life is a game and it’s meant to be played with excitement and audacity, not fear and trepidation.
If you’re going to die no matter what, you might as well live in such a way that you die without regret, knowing that you gave life your all and left no thread of curiosity unpulled and no path untrodden.
Life is, more than anything else, an adventure that is meant to be lived and enjoyed.
And it is only by accepting death that you are free to experience the depths of that adventure.
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