Joe Rogan on the Problems and Traps Within Society

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I’ve posted extensively about the broken mindsets that society programs into our brains in regards to our relationships with things, with money, with conformity, and with what we optimize for in life. Below is one of my favorite clips from Joe Rogan in which he talks about some of society’s traps.

If you’re thinking about how to live a more purpose and happiness driven life then I’m sure you’ll find this interesting and insightful.

The Written Version:

Folks, it ain’t about that.

It ain’t about the guy who drives by a clean car when you’re dirty; it’s not his fault. It’s, you should figure out how to be clean, you should figure out how to do a job that doesn’t involve you walking in mud all day.

And that’s possible because somebody else has done it.

I don’t buy the idea that, you know, the society the way it is, right now, it has to be this way, someone’s always gonna have to work at Burger King, someone’s always gonna have to, I don’t buy that. I think people are pretty fucking flexible.

If you look at the broad spectrum of humans, and human behavior from different cultures all over the world, it’s pretty obvious to me that there’s a lot of different ways that people can act. We don’t have to have fast-food workers. We don’t have to have people who work shit jobs. We don’t have to. We just need to figure out how to restructure society. So everybody, somehow or another, plays a part. Has something to contribute, has something to share. I mean, that’s what a real estate, it’s supposed to be like.

I’ll give you some coconuts, you give me some fish, you know. We make a deal and you do it back and forth and left and right.

And when there’s nothing to contribute, then you start looking, “the president needs to give us jobs, we need jobs.” So instead of something to contribute, just find something to do with your time. And then it becomes about doing that more than it becomes about finding something to contribute.

So society gets wrapped around becoming a part of a machine.

Society, instead of becoming a bunch of individuals that are expressing themselves in unique ways. And everybody sort of borrows and shares and sells this and you sell that. And we all sort of figure out how we can contribute in society.

We got sidetracked and diverted into these boxes that they call companies and corporations, and we got stuck into these containers, they go cubicles or offices, and we got forced into the system.

So our time, instead of it being invested in making pottery or fixing cars or doing something where you have a passion or you have some sort of a connection to, instead of that you’ve sold your life to sit in a box and work for a machine, an uncaring machine that demands productivity. Doesn’t understand you, it doesn’t want to understand you. It has a bunch of very strict things in order to keep the humor at a minimum in the office, just in case when he fuckheads says some stupid sex jokes, it gets them sued, and they have to give somebody a million dollars.

So get it together. And this is your life. Now. No natural behavior.

Everybody’s wearing clothes, they don’t want to wear. Everybody’s showing up and doing something they don’t want to do. They have no connection to.

That’s the problem with our society. And then what’s the reward for all this stuff? Go on. Get a big TV. Go home, you’re going to get a shiny belt buckle. You’re going to get a nice purse. You’re going to wear shoes that you couldn’t afford last week. You’re going to get that dream car.

And every week we’re chasing down this new object. And every week we’re trying to fill this hole in this this this sad shadow of a life that we’ve been left with after work. That you work eight to whatever, two hours a day plus commuting.

And then you’re like this.

And that’s your life.

That’s your real fucking life.

All that other stuff is not your life anymore. All that other stuff is work. And most of us have committed to that. I know you’ve been there before, and I’ve been there before.

And we understand that it’s trapped because we got out of it.

But for the people that are in it, a lot of times they don’t even understand it’s a trap. They just think it’s a good job. Good thing they got dental. I’m doing really good. I got my own parking spots. Got my name on it.

You’re just a piece of heartless shitty machine that makes money.

“But don’t you think you have to go through all that just to figure out what you want to do?”

I think I did. But I don’t think you have to. Look, I did. But when I became a comedian when I was 20, I was 100% convinced that I was gonna be a stand-up comedian for the rest of my life.

Like, I didn’t need to worry about what was next. I was like, “this is what I’m doing. Like, I’m, there’s no way I don’t want to do anything else. Like this, this is what I’m doing.” Once I found it, I was good.

All the jobs were just to feed myself while I was trying to make that work.

But it’s to get one and commit to it and have it become a part of your life becomes really problematic. Because if you’re a dirtbag like myself, who drove limos and did construction and do all these, you know, almost kind of temporary jobs that a lot of people drift in and out of, there’s nothing expected of you.

But if you get hired by a major corporation, become a big part of their, you know, their program.

Like, let’s say, you’re also an animator and you get a gig. Like I have a friend who was an illustrator, and he was working for Nickelodeon, and he got fired, and he was panicking. And he’s like, “shit, I don’t know what the fuck to do.” He’s like, “you know, I gotta, I gotta figure out another job.”

So he started making paintings and selling his paintings. It was the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him now. His name’s Todd White. He’s a super successful artist. He makes like this kind of Martini style, like cocktail was from the like, like cocktail parties from the 1920s. Like those cool kind of cartoonish martini glass things.

It’s got a real specific distinctive style. It’s really cool. He’s a great artist, and he’s also a black belt in jujitsu. I know him from John Jacques Machado. He’s a great guy, but it was an opportunity for him to lose a job and even a job that he loved as an illustrator.

But you know, I’m sure he’d much rather do what he wants to do, and do what’s going on in his mind.

And that’s cool stuff.

Oh, he’s really cool. He’s badass. And he’s a great guy too, and very cool guy.

I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.