David Rubenstein, Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group, on Lessons Learned, Jeff Bezos, Raising Billions of Dollars, Advising Presidents, and Sprinting to the End (#495)

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“Honor your parents.”

David Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein (davidrubenstein.com) is co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm with $230 billion under management.

David is chairman of the boards of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Harvard Corporation, and a regent of the Smithsonian Institution.

David, an original signer of the Giving Pledge, has made transformative gifts for the restoration or repair of the Washington Monument, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian, National Archives, National Zoo, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

David is host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and the author of The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians and How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers.

David is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by ShipStation shipping software, Headspace easy-to-use app with guided meditations, and Theragun percussive muscle therapy devices. More on all three below.

#495: David Rubenstein, Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group, on Lessons Learned, Jeff Bezos, Raising Billions of Dollars, Advising Presidents, and Sprinting to the End
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The Master and the Fool

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The book Mastery by George Leonard has been recommended to me by many people, including chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley, swimming legend Terry Laughlin, and drumming phenom Dave Elitch.

One of my favorite sections is the epilogue, titled “The Master and the Fool,” which I’ve posted below with permission from Plume, an imprint of The Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

It explores a question: What are the keys to rapid and lifelong learning?

There are many keys, but arguably the most important is found in this five-minute read…

The Master and the Fool

“I want you to tell me how I can be a learner.”

It was not so much a query as a demand, almost a threat. He was a mountain man, with the long black hair, bold moustache and rough-hewn clothing of a nineteenth-century outlaw, one of a breed that lived illegally in the rugged hills of the Los Padres National Wilderness Area along the Big Sur coast of California—a place of buzzards and hawks, mountain lions and wild boar. Having just turned in the final proofs of a book on education (it was in the late 1960s), I had driven four hours south from San Francisco for a weekend of relaxation at Esalen Institute.

As I approached the lodge—a rustic building built at the edge of the Pacific on one of the few areas of flat land between the sea and the mountains of the Los Padres—I heard the sound of conga drums. Inside, the mountain man was sitting at one of the drums, surrounded by eight other people, each also at a drum. He was apparently giving an informal lesson to whoever cared to participate. One of the drums was unoccupied. I pulled up to the unoccupied drum and joined the others, following the instruction as well as I could. When the session ended I started to walk away, but the mountain man came after me, grasped my shoulder, and fixed me with a significant look.

“Man,” he said, “you are a learner.”

I stood there speechless. I’d never met this person, and he certainly had no idea I had just finished a book about learning. My conservative city garb had probably led him to think that I was a complete novice at the conga drum, the instrument of choice of the counterculture, and thus he must have been impressed by my seemingly rapid progress. Still, I was so pleased by his words that I didn’t inform him I’d played before. He proceeded to tell me that he was a sculptor who worked metal with an acetylene torch, and that he was badly stuck and had been for a year; he was no longer a learner. Now he wanted me, a learner in his mind, to come up to his place in the Los Padres, look at his work, and tell him how he could be a learner. He was leaving right away and I could follow him in my car if I wished.

Continue reading “The Master and the Fool”

Essay I’m Reading — “Still Alive”

Still Alive” by Scott Siskind, better known as “Scott Alexander” (@slatestarcodex). This really struck a chord, and if you are considering growing your audience or “platform,” make this essay part of your required reading. This bullet will be a bit longer and more heated than usual, as it reopened old wounds.

Some of my dear friends are journalists, and they’re wonderful people. They measure twice and cut once. They are thoughtful, unrushed, and considerate, despite organizational pressure and incentives to be the opposite. That takes extraordinary discipline, and it’s fucking hard. It isn’t the path of least resistance, and I admire the hell out of them for doing what is right, despite the uphill path. This includes some amazing humans at the NYT. This praise doesn’t mean that they write fluff pieces; it means they aim to be fair and humane and take the time necessary to think about ethics and the Golden Rule.

That said, there is a great-to-terrible spectrum for any professional group, including surgeons, elementary school teachers, politicians, hot dog vendors, and, yes, even journalists. There are people in all walks of life who are spiteful, narcissistic, harried, or simply uncaring. They do what is easiest and best for them personally, and what is expedient, without thought to those vulnerable to their mistreatment. Perhaps it’s from fatigue, perhaps it’s from outside pressure, perhaps it’s from ill will, but the outcomes are often the same. Sadly, there are journalists who earn a living by repeatedly earning trust and betraying it; they are a minority, but they clearly exist. I don’t say this about anyone referred to in Scott’s essay, as I’m not in the know, but based on my personal experience with hundreds of interviews over 10+ years, plus other authors’ similar experiences. There are great people in the unlikeliest of places, and there are bad apples at even the best publications. Don’t assume a good masthead means you are in safe hands.

This entire essay by Scott can serve as a cautionary tale about public exposure, fame, privacy, and living life. The “don’t kick me in the balls” section speaks to deeper truths and risks of the spotlight. Personally, I’ve been misquoted by tier-one newspapers and even threatened by one writer at a newspaper of record. Why was I threatened? Because I asked that he only include my answers if he quoted them in full, instead of pulling single sound bites out of context, which he’d done before. This was for an online piece, so there were no space constraints. He got very upset and wrote directly, “You are not in control,” and proceeded to explain the power dynamic. Endearing, eh? I immediately saved and drafted that exchange as a just-in-case blog post, which I still have. Thankfully, I didn’t need it then, and I can only guess that he realized the liability of explicitly typing what he did. That’s an edge case. There are tougher cases that don’t leave as obvious a paper trail. For example, I’ve had fact-checkers at a magazine famous for fact-checking *not* make the corrections I provided via phone, which resulted in a grossly inaccurate profile that will sit in Google results for years and probably decades. Lesson learned: only do fact-checking via email. For these reasons and more, I rarely do print interviews any longer, and if I do, I use email or insist on also having recordings of the conversations. Pro tip: ensure you ask to record on your side and have your own audio (via Skype, QuickTime, Zoom, or other), as I’ve also had several writers promise to send their audio and then never do so, despite multiple follow-ups. As Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) says in Fort Minor’s “Get Me Gone”:

“After that I made it a rule:
I only do E-mail responses to print interviews
Because these people love to put a twist to your words
To infer that you said something fucking absurd

Now I’ve got the interviews on file
Which people said what, which number to dial”

Again, in the world of media, as in any group of humans, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are some beautiful humans and some deplorable humans, and a vast majority fall somewhere in between, depending on which side of the bed they wake up on. Plan accordingly. And if you want more scary bedtime stories, alongside some tactical points, consider reading 11 Reasons Not to Become Famous.

Fame, even micro-celebrity, is like a razor-sharp scalpel with no handle; it easily cuts both ways.

[This post originally appeared in the “5-Bullet Friday” newsletter.]

Michael Phelps and Grant Hackett — Two Legends on Competing, Overcoming Adversity, Must-Read Books, and Much More (#494)

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Trying to do something that no one’s ever done before, you really have to approach it in every single different way possible than ever has been done before. There is no blueprint for it.”
— Michael Phelps

“Just be you and feel comfortable in that.”
— Grant Hackett

Michael Phelps (@michaelphelps) is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. He captured 28 medals, including a record-setting 23 gold medals, and set 39 world records over the course of his career. Michael utilized his performance bonus for winning eight gold medals in 2008 to establish the Michael Phelps Foundation, which promotes water safety, healthy living (physical and mental), and the pursuit of dreams. The foundation’s signature program—IM—is a learn-to-swim, healthy living, and goal-setting curriculum based on the principles and tools Michael utilized in his swimming career and is available through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics International. His advocacy for water safety and mental health has earned him the recognition of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (Champion of Youth), American Image Awards (Humanitarian Award), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Special Recognition Award), the Ruderman Family Foundation (Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion), and PR Week (Health Influencer 50 and 2020 Communicator of the Year), among others.

Michael served as an executive producer and featured talent in the HBO documentary The Weight of Gold, which explores the mental health challenges Olympic athletes often face. In addition, he has published two autobiographies, No Limits: The Will to Succeed and Beneath the Surface, which were New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, and one children’s book, How to Train with a T-Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals.

Grant Hackett (@grant__hackett) represented and captained Australia in swimming at the Olympic Games. He collected a total of 58 medals over the course of his swimming career—with 26 gold at Olympic, Commonwealth, and World Championships levels—along with 16 world records. He remained unbeaten for 11 years in his pet event, the 1500m freestyle. Grant also received prestigious honors such as the Order of Australia, Centenary Medal, and Australian Sports Medal. Grant is a member of the Sports Australia Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame.

His qualifications include an executive master of business administration with first-class honors, a diploma of business law, and a diploma of financial services. Grant is the CEO of Generation Life, an Australia-based investment firm managing more than $1.3 billion.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing, Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, and ButcherBox premium meats delivered to your door. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#494: Michael Phelps and Grant Hackett — Two Legends on Competing, Overcoming Adversity, Must-Read Books, and Much More
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A Simple 2021 Reboot — My Short Letter to a Friend Who Wants to Get In Shape

Photo by Todd White

Happy New Year, all! 

A close friend of mine recently asked me for a cheat sheet for getting into better shape in 2021. He specifically asked about supplements and abs several times. He’s looking for a rapid reboot.

The below is what I sent him, along with a copy of The 4-Hour Body, which was recently featured in a USA Today list of the top-10 most popular diet books of the last decade.

This blog post is minimally edited. I’m not trying to be Tolstoy; rather, I wanted to share a quick and dirty email of tactical advice to a friend who has limited time, a bunch of kids, no ability to go to a public gym during COVID, etc.  

I’m also simplifying a lot to get my point across quickly, so read it with that in mind. Needless to say, I’m not a doctor and none of this is medical advice. Chat with your MD and do your homework on supplements before consuming anything new.

My friend is also a roughly 200-pound male, so adjust kettlebell weights accordingly. Pavel Tsatsouline has excellent further resources.

Enjoy… 

###

Ahoy, Santiago!

If you follow the directions in the below links for four weeks, you should see some significant changes.

Continue reading “A Simple 2021 Reboot — My Short Letter to a Friend Who Wants to Get In Shape”

The Random Show — Bitcoin Pros and Cons, 2021 Resolutions, Fave Books, Lucid Dreaming, Couples Therapy, and More (#493)

Technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose) rejoins me for another episode of “The Random Show.” In this one we discuss Bitcoin, portfolio rebalancing, energy management versus time management, maximizing our enjoyment of nature, lucid dreaming, couples therapy, healthy Hawaiian venison, and more.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Magic Spoon delicious low-carb cereal; LinkedIn Sales Navigator, the best version of LinkedIn for sales professionals; and FreshBooks small-business accounting software. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#493: The Random Show — Bitcoin Pros and Cons, 2021 Resolutions, Fave Books, Lucid Dreaming, Couples Therapy, and More
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My Favorite and Most Impactful Reads of 2020 (Plus: How to Remember What You Read)

Photo by Todd White

This post will share the most impactful articles and books that I’ve read in the last 12 months.

If you’d like to learn more about how I read, keep track of things, and review highlights, you might enjoy this YouTube video.

The below descriptions originally appeared in my free newsletter, “5-Bullet Friday,” which I send out every Friday. It’s a short email of bullet points that describe the five coolest things I’ve found or explored each week. “5-Bullet Friday” often includes books, gadgets, quotes, experimental supplements, and useful stuff from all over the world. To subscribe and join 1.5+ million other people, please click here. It’s easy to unsubscribe anytime.

***

MY FAVORITE AND MOST IMPACTFUL READS FROM 2020

What I’m reading — (week of December 30, 2019)
How Kepler Invented Science Fiction and Defended His Mother in a Witchcraft Trial While Revolutionizing Our Understanding of the Universe. Maria Popova (@brainpicker) is simply amazing. Her prose is worth reading for its beauty alone (keep in mind that English is not Maria’s native language!), and the stories in this essay highlight just how brilliant, stupid, ignorant, and insightful humans can be… sometimes all at the same time. Hat tip to JZ for the recommendation.

What I’m reading — (week of January 6th)
Having Kids
by Paul Graham (@paulg). Here is one of my favorite sections: “I remember perfectly well what life was like before. Well enough to miss some things a lot, like the ability to take off for some other country at a moment’s notice. That was so great. Why did I never do that? … See what I did there? The fact is, most of the freedom I had before kids, I never used. I paid for it in loneliness, but I never used it.”

Continue reading “My Favorite and Most Impactful Reads of 2020 (Plus: How to Remember What You Read)”

Richard Schwartz — IFS, Psychedelic Experiences without Drugs, and Finding Inner Peace for Our Many Parts (#492)

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We are locking up these parts of us that are so wonderful and have so many talents when they’re not locked up and when they’re not stuck in the past.

— Richard Schwartz

Richard Schwartz is on the faculty of the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

He began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief. In asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationships that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence, and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s.

IFS is now evidence based and has become a widely used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and—more recently—corporations and classrooms.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Helix Sleep premium mattresses, LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 700M+ users, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#492: Richard Schwartz — IFS, Psychedelic Experiences Without Drugs, and Finding Inner Peace for Our Many Parts
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This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Dr. Stefi Cohen — 25 World Records, Power Training, Deadlifting 4.4x Bodyweight, Sports Psychology, Overcoming Pain, and More (#491)

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[Visualize] a negative outcome. We don’t want to plan for it, but we need to prepare for it so we know how to react. Can you keep it together and try again, or will you crumble under pressure?

— Dr. Stefi Cohen

Stefi Cohen (@steficohen) is a 25x world-record-holding powerlifter and the first woman in the history of the sport to deadlift 4.4x her body weight. She is a doctor of physical therapy, author, co-host of the Hybrid Unlimited podcast, and business owner passionately educating people with her NO BS, evidence-based view on all things training and nutrition.

Stefi is the co-owner of Hybrid Performance Method, where hundreds of thousands of strength seekers go monthly to find progressive strength training and nutrition programs plus tons of free articles and videos. Stefi is a creative mind and loves collaborating with the Hybrid team and partners to develop powerful content, inspired fashion, and both fitness and nutrition tools for a stronger life.

Stefi is also the co-author (with Ian Kaplan) of Back in Motion, now available for pre-order.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Tonal smart home gym, LMNT electrolyte supplement, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#491: Dr. Stefi Cohen — 25 World Records, Power Training, Deadlifting 4.4x Bodyweight, Sports Psychology, Overcoming Pain, and More
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This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Dr. Jim Loehr on Mental Toughness, Energy Management, the Power of Journaling, and Olympic Gold Medals (#490)

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The power broker in your life is the voice that no one hears. How well you revisit the tone and content of your private voice is what determines the quality of your life. It is the master storyteller, and the stories we tell ourselves are our reality.

— Dr. Jim Loehr

Dr. Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist and author of 17 books, including his most recent, Leading with Character, which also comes with The Personal Credo Journal: A Companion to Leading with Character.

He also co-authored the national bestseller The Power of Full Engagement.

From his more than 30 years of experience and applied research, Dr. Loehr believes the single most important factor in successful achievement, personal fulfillment, and life satisfaction is the strength of one’s character. He strongly contends that character strength can be built in the same way that muscle strength is built—through energy investment.

Dr. Loehr has worked with hundreds of world-class performers from the arenas of sport, business, medicine, and law enforcement, including Fortune 100 executives, FBI hostage rescue teams, and military special forces.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Helix Sleep premium mattresses, 99designs global design platform, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#490: Dr. Jim Loehr on Mental Toughness, Energy Management, the Power of Journaling, and Olympic Gold Medals
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This episode is brought to you by 99designs, the global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. Its creative process has become the go-to solution for businesses, agencies, and individuals, and I have used it for years to help with display advertising and illustrations and to rapid-prototype the cover for The Tao of Seneca. Whether your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99designs.

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This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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