The Art of Manliness Podcast #40: The Undefeated Mind with Alex Lickerman

by Brett on January 25, 2013 · 31 comments

in Podcast


So after being on hiatus for nearly a year, I’ve decided to bring back the Art of Manliness podcast. Thanks to all those who emailed and messaged me asking that I bring it back. Your desires have been granted!

To kick off the resurrection of the AoM podcast, I talked to Dr. Alex Lickerman. Dr. Lickerman is a practicing physician and author of a recently published book entitled The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of  Constructing an Indestructible SelfIf you enjoyed our series on the power of resilience, you’re going enjoy my conversation with Dr. Lickerman and his book, Undefeated Mind


Highlights from the episode include:

  • How to not only survive adversity, but thrive in it
  • What Buddhism and Stoicism can teach us about building resilience
  • Why perception is key to building the undefeated mind
  • How you underestimate your ability to face adversity
  • How to turn poison into medicine
  • And much more!

Listen to the Podcast!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rusty January 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm


2 Chad January 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Great to have the podcast back!!!

3 Mato Tope January 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Excellent stuff!

4 Nate January 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I was so stressed out this morning I skipped breakfast and lunch. Figures that I get a podcast on resilience the same day to listen to.

Thanks :)

5 Chris Hluzek January 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

“A” for effort but there are harder tests in life than heartbreak, if this is this guy’s hardest trial in life he’s in for a rude awakening. Problem with individuals like this is the live behind a desk not in the real world and encounter real dangers. I someone who knows fortitude from research and studies had zero clue Imo. Again, “A” for effort but I a different speaker with better credential would have held more weight with me.

6 Neil January 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

That was a great podcast on a great topic! I only wish it could have gone on longer.

I definitely clicked through the link and ordered the book. Looking forward to reading it!

7 Jeremy January 25, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Love the podcast. I found it interesting to compare Buddhist chanting with the Christian idea of breath prayer. The idea is very similar: “picking a single word or short phrase and repeating it in conjunction with the breath.”

I’ve practiced this with some regularity for the last handful of months, and I can honestly say that I feel more connected and aware of what’s around me. I feel a little bit lighter in my spirit. No matter how you do it, this type of practice can help one’s mind and spirit tremendously.

8 Steve January 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Great Stuff..Keep them coming!

9 Aaron Lembo January 26, 2013 at 7:43 am

Outstanding post! Thank you both, gentlemen, for the inspiration and all – I will definitely have to check out this book soon.

10 Paul McKay January 26, 2013 at 8:26 am

Great podcast many thanks!

I worked briefly in India about 10 years ago for an investment company, training new staff. I remember a couple of the girls who worked there were starting Buddhism and they recited their chant to me – “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo”. Weird hearing that again and it prompted some good memories.

Look forward to the next podcast and I’ll be working my way through the back catalogue!

11 Jesse January 26, 2013 at 8:39 am

Great podcast, Brett. I am going to pick this book up today. The principles can be applied to so many aspects. As I listened to the podcast, I couldn’t help but think about the last guy standing in this weekend’s GORUCK Selection event.

Interesting how some one can completely miss the point of what your guest is saying too.

12 Chris January 26, 2013 at 8:48 am

What was that old time music playing at the start and end of podcast? Would love to have more of that in my collection?

13 Dale Melchin January 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

Need moar! This is good stuff. One question though not having to do with the podcast. What is the song that you play for the intro and the ends. Thanks!

14 Dan January 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Would love to hear this but it looks like your non-iTunes subscription link is broken. As someone who would rather jab a philips head in my eye than use an Apple device I am out of luck without an alternative. Looks great though.

15 T January 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Any way to add a volume control to these podcasts?

16 Josh White January 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

AoM has a podcast? How was I not aware of that? Very excited to catch up on the old ones.

17 Ouroboros January 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

A bit off topic, but, what so the authors on this site think of women being in front-line roles in light of the new restrictions being let go?

18 Jeremy January 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

@ T — If you click the link to listen on a separate page, you’ll get some more volume control.

19 James January 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

A great talk about acceptance and resiliency with pain. I have found that it is very true that we are stronger than we think we are. My ex-wife said she was just done and wanted a divorce just a couple months ago. At first, I thought my life was over. All my plans had crumbled and I was at risk of losing my daughter, the one person in the world that I ever truly loved. Since then I have grown more in just a couple months than all the previous years. I have become closer to all of my family, faced an addiction that has plagued me for over 25 years, and I have become a much better father to my daughter. And I have more work to do. I have never been happier in my life on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. It is true. Instead of resorting to whatever drug you use to cope with or avoid pain (alcohol, drugs, painkillers, sex, dependency of any kind), you will experience true strength by facing and accepting your pain.

20 Rene January 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

Great podcast! I connected with the topics in many ways – dealing with loss, realizing how perceptions work – including those around pain, and motivation and resilience. Thanks!

21 Christopher Souter January 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm


Again this website has come through for me. I listened to the entire podcast and learned a lot from Dr. Lickerman.

Believe it or not, I ordered the book yesterday after listening to the podcast, and finished it (with notes) in two days.

To have found the email from you, about the podcast, on one of the worst days of depression in my life, is a God send.

Recently my girlfriend left me, my sister tried to take her life, and I lost my job. The Undefeated Mind could not have come at better time. It has not changed be over night, that is going to take a lot of work, but it has helped IMMENSELY.

Thanks again Brett.

22 Dave January 28, 2013 at 5:36 am

Great Podcast, I could get something out of it.
I noticed a whitenoise throughout the Interview which stopped at the end when you werent talking and the end-music started. When I record my voice I always use audacitys “remove noise”. Maybe you should try that too.
Once again, love to hear your podcasts.

23 Stace January 28, 2013 at 6:30 am


Any chance of a direct download?

24 Matt January 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

Awesome! Can’t wait to listen.

25 Christopher January 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm

The Bible and faith in Jesus Christ alone is the ultimate accent for the mind. The book of Philippians is all about a victorious mind. ” I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”Philippians 4:13


26 Christopher Battles January 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Thank you. I subscribed to it and will enjoy listening to it I am sure.

27 Matt January 29, 2013 at 3:05 am

Awesome. Thanks for the post. Great question at the end about maintaining motivation. His answer, that it is the subsequent days of withdrawal and defeat that kill us rather then the initial day, is so true; I never thought about that until now. I started P90X 12 days ago with my roommates but they both stopped after day 10. It made it way too easy for me to quit as well; it gave me a good enough excuse. I’ve missed the last couple days but will definitely be going back at it tomorrow, and for the next 77 days. Thanks for the motivation.

28 t January 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm

My mother has bipolar and recently her manic phase kicked in and she is pretty much out of control. Her manic phase I includes psychosis. This has been very difficult for the whole family. I find I have to cry in the shower just so I can stay strong . I went to the gym and tears started roling down my eyes as i lay down for a bench press. I guess I am trying to say thanks. Everyone is tested in different ways. Its how you deal with it that makes you a survivor.

Thank you

29 Weegiefox January 30, 2013 at 7:51 am

Fantastic Podcast – pay day tomorrow and the book is getting ordered..! Can’t wait to get the book and research the idea further. Brilliant website – so glad I found it.

Best wishes from Scotland to all AoM followers..!

30 over February 3, 2013 at 4:19 am

Nice podcast, though this sounds like just another motivational book. How is this better than Dale Carnagie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”?

31 Jonathan February 19, 2013 at 10:26 am

Thanks for bringing the podcast back! I thoroughly enjoy them.

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