Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide

timterrace___Flickr_-_Photo_Sharing_This happy-looking shot was taken in 1999, when I almost destroyed myself.

In this post, I’m going to talk about suicide, and why I’m still on this planet.

These are stories I’ve kept secret from my family, girlfriends, and closest friends for years. Recently, however, I had an experience that shook me — woke me up — and I decided that it was time to share it all.

So, despite the shame I might feel, the fear that is making my palms sweat as I type this, allow me to get started.

Here we go…

A TWIST OF FATE

“Could you please sign this for my brother? It would mean a lot to him.”

He was a kind fan. There were perhaps a dozen people around me asking questions, and he had politely waited his turn. The ask: A simple signature.

It was Friday night, around 7pm, and a live recording of the TWiST podcast had just ended. There was electricity in the air. Jason Calacanis, the host and interviewer, sure knows how to put on a show. He’d hyped up the crowd and kept things rolling for more than 2 hours on stage, asking me every imaginable question. The venue–Pivotal Labs’ offices in downtown SF–had been packed to capacity. Now, more than 200 people were milling about, drinking wine, or heading off for their weekends.

A handful of attendees gathered near the mics for pics and book inscriptions.

“Anything in particular you’d like me to say to him? To your brother?” I asked this one gent, who was immaculately dressed in a suit. His name was Silas.

He froze for few seconds but kept eye contact. I saw his eyes flutter. There was something unusual that I couldn’t put a finger on.

I decided to take the pressure off: “I’m sure I can come up with something. Are you cool with that?” Silas nodded.

I wrote a few lines, added a smiley face, signed the book he’d brought, and handed it back. He thanked me and backed out of the crowd. I waived and returned to chatting with the others.

Roughly 30 minutes later, I had to run. My girlfriend had just landed at SFO and I needed to meet her for dinner. I started walking towards the elevators.

“Excuse me, Tim?” It was Silas. He’d been waiting for me. “Can I talk to you for a second?”

“Sure,” I said, “but walk with me.”

We meandered around tables and desks to the relative privacy of the elevator vestibule, and I hit the Down button. As soon as Silas started his story, I forgot about the elevator.

He apologized for freezing earlier, for not having an answer. His younger brother–the one I signed the book for–had recently committed suicide. He was 22.

“He looked up to you,” Silas explained, “He loved listening to you and Joe Rogan. I wanted to get your signature for him. I’m going to put this in his room.” He gestured to the book. I could see tears welling up in his eyes, and I felt my own doing the same. He continued.

“People listen to you. Have you ever thought about talking about these things? About suicide or depression? You might be able to save someone.” Now, it was my turn to stare at him blankly. I didn’t know what to say.

I also didn’t have an excuse. Unbeknownst to him, I had every reason to talk about suicide. I’d only skimmed the surface with a few short posts about depression.

Some of my closest high school friends killed themselves.

Some of my closest college friends killed themselves.

I almost killed myself.

“I’m so sorry for your loss,” I said to Silas. I wondered if he’d waited more than three hours just to tell me this. I suspected he had. Good for him. He had bigger balls than I. Certainly, I’d failed his brother by being such a coward in my writing. How many others had I failed? These questions swam in my mind.

“I will write about this” I said to Silas, awkwardly patting his shoulder. I was thrown off. “I promise.”

And with that, I got into the elevator.

INTO THE DARKNESS

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”

– Mexican proverb

There are some secrets we don’t share because they’re embarrassing.

Like that time I met an icon by accidentally hitting on his girlfriend at a coffee shop? That’s a good one (Sorry, N!). Or the time a celebrity panelist borrowed my laptop to project a boring corporate video, and a flicker of porn popped up–a la Fight Club–in front of a crowd of 400 people? Another good example.

But then there are dark secrets. The things we tell no one. The shadows we keep covered for fear of unraveling our lives.

For me, 1999 was full of shadows.

So much so that I never wanted to revisit them.

I hadn’t talked about this traumatic period publicly until last week, first in a reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), then in greater depth on Derek Halpern’s podcast.

What follows is the sequence of my downward spiral.

Reading the below, it’s incredible how trivial some of it seems in retrospect. At the time, though, it was the perfect storm.

I include wording like “impossible situation,” which was reflective of my thinking at the time, not objective reality.

I still vividly recall these events, but any quotes are paraphrased. Please also excuse any grammatical/tense errors, as it was hard for me to put this down. So, starting where it began…

  • It’s my senior year at Princeton. I’m slated to graduate around June of 1999. Somewhere in the first six months, several things happen in the span of a few weeks:

  • I fail to make it to final interviews for McKinsey Consulting and Trilogy Software, in addition to others. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, and I start losing confidence after “winning” in the game of academics for so long.

  • A long-term (for a college kid, anyway) girlfriend breaks up with me shortly thereafter. Not because of the job stuff, but because I became more insecure during that period, wanted more time with her, and was massively disruptive to her final varsity sports season. What’s wrong with me?

  • I have a fateful meeting with one of my thesis advisors in the East Asian Studies department. Having read a partial draft of my work, he presents a large stack of original research in Japanese for me to incorporate. I walk out with my head spinning — how am I going to finish this thesis (which generally run 60-100 pages or more) before graduation? What am I going to do?

It’s important to note that at Princeton, the senior thesis is largely viewed as the pinnacle of your four-year undergrad career. That’s reflected in its grading. The thesis is often worth around 25% of your entire departmental GPA (English department example here).

After all of the above, things continued as follows…

  • I find a rescue option! In the course of researching language learning for the thesis, I’m introduced to a wonderful PhD who works at Berlitz International. Bernie was his name. We have a late dinner one night on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. He speaks multiple languages and is a nerd, just like me. One hour turns into two, which turns into three. At the end, he says, “You know, it’s too bad you’re graduating in a few months. I have a project that would be perfect for you, but it’s starting sooner.” This could be exactly the solution I’m looking for!

  • I chat with my parents about potentially taking a year off, beginning in the middle of my senior year. This would allow me time to finish and polish the thesis, while simultaneously testing jobs in the “real world.” It seems like a huge win-win, and my parents— to their credit —are hugely supportive.

  • The Princeton powers OK the idea, and I meet with the aforementioned thesis advisor to inform him of my decision. Instead of being happy that I’m taking time to get the thesis right (what I expected), he seems furious: “So you’re just going to quit?! To cop out?! This better be the best thesis I’ve ever seen in my life.” In my stressed out state, and in the exchange that follows, I hear a series of thinly veiled threats and ultimatums… but no professor would actually do that, right? The meeting ends with a dismissive laugh and a curt “Good luck.” I’m crushed and wander out in a daze.

  • Once I’ve regained my composure, my shock turns to anger. How could a thesis advisor threaten a student with a bad grade just because they’re taking time off? I knew my thesis wouldn’t be “the best thesis” he’d ever seen, so it was practically a guarantee of a bad grade, even if I did a great job. This would be obvious to anyone, right?

  • I meet with multiple people in the Princeton administration, and the response is — simply put — “He wouldn’t do that.” I’m speechless. Am I being called a liar? Why would I lie? What was my incentive? It seemed like no one was willing to rock the boat with a senior (I think tenured) professor. I’m speechless and feel betrayed. Faculty politics matter more than I do.

  • I leave my friends behind at school and move off campus to work — I find out remotely — for Berlitz. “Remote” means I end up working at home by myself. This is a recipe for disaster. The work is rewarding, but I spend all of my non-work time — from when I wake to when I go to bed — looking at hundreds of pages of thesis notes and research spread out on my bedroom floor. It’s an uncontainable mess.

  • After 2-3 months of attempting to incorporate my advisor’s original-language Japanese research, the thesis is a disaster. Despite (or perhaps because of) staring at paper alone for 8-16 hours a day, it’s a Frankenstein’s monster of false starts, dead ends, and research that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Totally unusable. I am, without a doubt, in worse shape than when I left school.

  • My friends are graduating, celebrating, and leaving Princeton behind. I am sitting in a condo off campus, trapped in an impossible situation. My thesis work is going nowhere, and even if it turns out spectacular, I have (in my mind) a vindictive advisor who’s going to burn me. By burning me, he’ll destroy everything I’ve sacrificed for since high school: great grades in high school got me to Princeton, great grades in Princeton should get me to a dream job, etc. By burning me, he’ll make Princeton’s astronomical tuition wasted money, nothing more than a small fortune my family has pissed away. I start sleeping in until 2 or 3pm. I can’t face the piles of unfinished work surrounding me. My coping mechanism is to cover myself in sheets, minimize time awake, and hope for a miracle.

  • No miracle arrives. Then one afternoon, as I’m wandering through a Barnes and Noble with no goal in particular, I chance upon a book about suicide. Right there in front of me on a display table. Perhaps this is the “miracle”? I sit down and read the entire book, taking copious notes into a journal, including other books listed in the bibliography. For the first time in ages, I’m excited about research. In a sea of uncertainty and hopeless situations, I feel like I’ve found hope: the final solution.

  • I return to Princeton campus. This time, I go straight to Firestone Library to check out all of the suicide-related books on my to-do list. One particularly promising-sounding title is out, so I reserve it. I’ll be next in line when it comes back. I wonder what poor bastard is reading it, and if they’ll be able to return it.

  • It’s important to mention here that, by this point, I was past deciding. The decision was obvious to me. I’d somehow failed, painted myself into this ridiculous corner, wasted a fortune on a school that didn’t care about me, and what would be the point of doing otherwise? To repeat these types of mistakes forever? To be a hopeless burden to myself and my family and friends? Fuck that. The world was better off without a loser who couldn’t figure this basic shit out. What would I ever contribute? Nothing. So the decision was made, and I was in full-on planning mode.

  • In this case, I was dangerously good at planning. I had 4-6 scenarios all spec’d out, start to finish, including collaborators and covers when needed. And that’s when I got the phone call.

  • [My mom?! That wasn’t in the plan.]

  • I’d forgotten that Firestone Library now had my family home address on file, as I’d technically taken a year of absence. This meant a note was mailed to my parents, something along the lines of “Good news! The suicide book you requested is now available at the library for pick up!”

  • Oops (and thank fucking God).

  • Suddenly caught on the phone with my mom, I was unprepared. She nervously asked about the book, so I thought fast and lied: “Oh, no need to worry about that. Sorry! One of my friends goes to Rutgers and didn’t have access to Firestone, so I reserved it for him. He’s writing about depression and stuff.”

  • I was shocked out of my own delusion by a one-in-a-million accident. It was only then that I realized something: my death wasn’t just about me. It would completely destroy the lives of those I cared most about. I imagined my mom, who had no part in creating my thesis mess, suffering until her dying day, blaming herself.

  • The very next week, I decided to take the rest of my “year off” truly off (to hell with the thesis) and focus on physical and mental health. That’s how the entire “sumo” story of the 1999 Chinese Kickboxing (Sanshou) Championships came to be, if you’ve read The 4-Hour Workweek.

  • Months later, after focusing on my body instead of being trapped in my head, things were much clearer. Everything seemed more manageable. The “hopeless” situation seemed like shitty luck but nothing permanent.

  • I returned to Princeton, turned in my now-finished thesis to my still-sour advisor, got chewed up in my thesis defense, and didn’t give a fuck. It wasn’t the best thesis he’d ever read, nor the best thing I’d ever written, but I had moved on.

  • Many thanks are due to a few people who helped me regain my confidence that final semester. None of them have heard this story, but I’d like to give them credit here. Among others: My parents and family (of course), Professor Ed Zschau, Professor John McPhee, Sympoh dance troupe, and my friends at the amazing Terrace Food Club.

  • I graduated with the class of 2000, and bid goodbye to Nassau Hall. I rarely go back, as you might imagine.

Given the purported jump in “suicidal gestures” at Princeton and its close cousins (Harvard appears to have 2x the national average for undergrad suicides), I hope the administration is taking things seriously.  If nearly half of your student population reports feeling depressed, there might be systemic issues to fix.

Left unfixed, you’ll have more dead kids on your hands, guaranteed.

It’s not enough to wait for people to reach out, or to request that at-risk kids take a leave of absence “off the clock” of the university.

Perhaps regularly reach out to the entire student body to catch people before they fall?  It could be as simple as email.

[Sidenote: After graduating, I promised myself that I would never write anything longer than an email ever again. Pretty hilarious that I now write 500-plus-page books, eh?]

 

OUT OF THE DARKNESS

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage…”

– Lao Tzu

First, let me give a retrospective analysis of my near obliteration.  Then, I’ll give you a bunch of tools and tricks that I still use for keeping the darkness at arm’s length.

Now, at this point, some of you might also be thinking “That’s it?! A Princeton student was at risk of getting a bad grade? Boo-fuckin’-hoo, man. Give me a break…”

But… that’s the entire point.  It’s easy to blow things out of proportion, to get lost in the story you tell yourself, and to think that your entire life hinges on one thing you’ll barely remember 5-10 years later. That seemingly all-important thing could be a bad grade, getting into college, a relationship, a divorce, getting fired, or just a bunch of hecklers on the Internet.

So, back to our story–why didn’t I kill myself?

Below are the realizations that helped me (and a few friends).  They certainly won’t work for everyone suffering from depression, but my hope is that they help some of you.

1. Call this number : 1 (800) 273-8255. I didn’t have it, and I wish I had. It’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (website and live chat here). It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in both English and Spanish.

If you’re outside of the US, please click here for a list of international hotlines.

Sometimes, it just takes one conversation with one rational person to stop a horrible irrational decision. If you’re considering ending your life, please reach out to them.  If you’re too embarrassed to admit that, as I was, then you can ping them “just to chat for a few minutes.” Pretend you’re killing time or testing different suicide hotlines for a directory you’re compiling. Whatever works.

Speaking personally, I want to see the gifts you have to offer the world. And speaking from personal experience, believe me: this too shall pass, whatever it is.

2. I realized it would destroy other people’s lives. Killing yourself can spiritually kill other people.

Even if you’re not lucky enough, as I was, to feel loved by other people, I think this is worth meditating on.

Your death is not perfectly isolated. It can destroy a lot, whether your family (who will blame themselves), other loved ones, or simply the law enforcement officers or coroners who have to haul your death mask-wearing carcass out of an apartment or the woods. The guaranteed outcome of suicide is NOT things improving for you (or going blank), but creating a catastrophe for others. Even if your intention is to get revenge through suicide, the damage won’t be limited to your targets.

A friend once told me that killing yourself is like taking your pain, multiplying it 10x, and giving it to the ones who love you.  I agree with this, but there’s more.  Beyond any loved ones, you could include neighbors, innocent bystanders exposed to your death, and people — often kids — who commit “copycat suicides” when they read about your demise. This is the reality, not the cure-all fantasy, of suicide.

If think about killing yourself, imagine yourself wearing a suicide bomber’s vest of explosives and walking into a crowd of innocents.

That’s effectively what it is.  Even if you “feel” like no one loves you or cares about you, you are most likely loved–and most definitely lovable and worthy of love.

3. There’s no guarantee that killing yourself improves things!

In a tragically comic way, this was a depressing realization when I was considering blowing my head off or getting run over.  Damnation!  No guarantees.  Death and taxes, yes, but not a breezy afterlife.

The “afterlife” could be 1,000x worse than life, even at its worst.  No one knows. I personally believe that consciousness persists after physical death, and it dawned on me that I literally had zero evidence that my death would improve things. It’s a terrible bet. At least here, in this life, we have known variables we can tweak and change. The unknown void could be Dante’s Inferno or far worse. When we just “want the pain to stop,” it’s easy to forget this. You simply don’t know what’s behind door #3.

In our desperation, we often just don’t think it through. It’s kind of like the murder-suicide joke by one of my favorite comics, Demetri Martin:

“Someone who commits a murder-suicide is probably somebody who isn’t thinking through the afterlife. Bam! You’re dead. Bam! I’m dead. Oh shit … this is going to be awkward forever.”

4. Tips from friends, related to #2 above.

For some of my friends (all high achievers, for those wondering), a “non-suicide vow” is what made all the difference. Here is one friend’s description:

“It only mattered when I made a vow to the one person in my life I knew I would never break it to [a sibling]. It’s powerful when you do that. All of a sudden, this option that I sometimes played around in my mind, it was off the table. I would never break a vow to my brother, ever. After the vow and him accepting it, I’ve had to approach life in a different way. There is no fantasy escape hatch. I’m in it. In the end, making a vow to him is the greatest gift I could have given myself.”

As silly as it might sound, it’s sometimes easier to focus on keeping your word, and avoiding hurting someone, than preserving your own life.

And that’s OK. Use what works first, and you can fix the rest later. If you need to disguise a vow out of embarrassment (“How would I confess that to a friend?!”), find a struggling friend to make a mutual “non-suicide vow” with.  Make it seem like you’re only trying to protect him or her. Still too much? Make it a “mutual non-self-hurt” vow with a friend who beats themselves up.

Make it about him or her as much as you.

If you don’t care about yourself, make it about other people.

Make a promise you can’t break, or at the very least realize this: killing yourself will destroy other people’s lives.

 

PRACTICAL GREMLIN DEFENSE

Now, let’s talk day-to-day tactics.

The fact of the matter is this: if you’re driven, an entrepreneur, a type-A personality, or a hundred other things, mood swings are part of your genetic hardwiring.  It’s a blessing and a curse.

Below are a number of habits and routines that help me. They might seem simplistic, but they keep me from careening too far off the tracks.  They are my defense against the abyss. They might help you find your own, or use them as a starting point.

Most of this boxed text is from a previous post on “productivity ‘hacks’ for the neurotic, manic-depressive, and crazy (like me)“, but I’ve added a few things:

Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.

Here are some of my coping mechanisms for making it through the day:

1) Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.

2) Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh like this) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.

3) Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.

4) For each item, ask yourself:

– “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”

– “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”

5) Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.

6) Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.

7) TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.

8) If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.

9) Physically MOVE for at least 20 minutes each day. Go for a long walk, lift weights, take a free online yoga class (YouTube), anything. Ideally, get outside. I was once asked by friend for advice on overcoming debilitating stress. The answer I repeated over and over again was: “Remember to EXERCISE daily. That is 80% of the battle.”

10) Follow a diet that prevents wild blood sugar swings. This means avoiding grains and refined carbohydrates most of the time. I follow the slow-carb diet with one cheat day per week and have done so for 10+ years.  Paleo also works great. Don’t forget to eat plenty of fat. High protein and low fat can give you low-grade symptoms of rabbit starvation.

11) Schedule at least one group dinner with friends per week.  Get it on the calendar no later than 5pm on Monday.  Ideal to have at least three people, but two is still great medicine.

12) Take a minute each day to call or email someone to express gratitude of some type. Consider someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time.  It can be a one-line text or a 5-second voicemail.

Congratulations! That’s it.

Those are the rules I use, and they help steer the ship in the right direction.

Routines are the only way I can feel “successful” despite my never-ending impulse to procrastinate, hit snooze, nap, and otherwise fritter away my days with bullshit. If I have 10 “important” things to do in a day, I’ll feel overwhelmed, and it’s 100% certain nothing important will get done that day. On the other hand, I can usually handle 1 must-do item and block out my lesser behaviors for 2-3 hours a day.

And when — despite your best efforts — you feel like you’re losing at the game of life, never forget: Even the best of the best feel this way sometimes. When I’m in the pit of despair with new book projects, I recall what iconic writer Kurt Vonnegut said about his process: “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”

Don’t overestimate the world and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.

TO WRAP UP THIS LONG-ASS POST

My “perfect storm” was nothing permanent.

If we let the storms pass and choose to reflect, we come out better than ever. In the end, regardless of the fucked up acts of others, we have to reach within ourselves and grow. It’s our responsibility to ourselves and–just as critical–to those who love and surround us.

You have gifts to share with the world.

You are not alone.

You are not flawed.

You are human.

And when the darkness comes, when you are fighting the demons, just remember: I’m right there fighting with you.

The gems I’ve found were forged in the struggle. Never ever give up.

Much love,

Tim

P.S. If you have tips that have helped you overcome or manage depression, please share in the comments. I would love for this post to become a growing resource for people. I will also do my best to improve it over time. Thank you.


Additional Resources:

If you occasionally struggle like me, these resources, videos, and articles might help you rebound. I watch the video of Nick Vujicic quite often, just as a reminder of how fortunate I am:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1 (800) 273-8255 (website and live chat here). It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in both English and Spanish. Outside the US? Please click here for a list of international hotlines.

My recent interview with Derek Halpern – The core of the conversation is about how to overcome struggle and the above suicide-related story, but it also includes business strategies and other lessons learned.  My apologies for the weird lip smacking, which is a nervous tic. I thought I’d fixed it, but these stories brought it back 🙂

15-Minute Audio from Tony Robbins I asked Tony for his thoughts on suicide. He responded with a very insightful audio clip, recorded while in the air. It covers a lot, and the hilarious anecdote about the raw-foodist mom at the end alone makes it worth a listen. NOTE: Of course, NEVER stop taking anti-depressants or any medicine without medical supervision. That is not what Tony is recommending.

Listen in the player above, or download by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”

The Prescription for Self-Doubt? Watch This Short Video (Nick Vujicic)

Harnessing Entrepreneurial Manic-Depression: Making the Rollercoaster Work for You

Two Root Causes of My Recent Depression – This article is by Brad Feld, one of my favorite start-up investors and a world-class entrepreneur in his own right. It’s just more proof that you’re not alone. Even the best out there feel hopeless at times.  It can be beaten.

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach.  This book is not nearly as woo-woo as it might seem.  It was recommended to me by a neuroscience PhD who said it changed her life, then by another cynical friend who said the same.  It is one of the most useful books I’ve read in the last two years.  It’s easy to digest, and I suggest one short chapter before bed each night.  For those of us who beat ourselves up, it’s a godsend.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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1,233 Replies to “Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide”

  1. Tim,

    Please consider changing the URL for this article. I applaud you for writing this article however sharing a URL with someone that includes “how to commit suicide” when they may be considering committing suicide seems more than a little troubling.

    Thanks for all that you do,

    Brady

  2. I like to think I was destined to see your 4HWW book in Barnes n Noble that day. It was simply once of the lowest points in my life and I set off into that store that day specifically to find a “pick-me-up” kind of book. Stuck in a dead-end relationship and career, while also feeling stuck in a world that seemingly didn’t understand me, I’m not ashamed to say that the thoughts of suicide entered my mind more than one time- in fact, as the tears begin to fill my eyes- more times than I’d like to admit. The worst part is I kept those thoughts and feelings bottled up for the better part of a year and to this day, have not shared them until now either. But that book, which I read in just a few weeks, truly gave me hope and a belief in myself that I can and will create a life not only worth living, but on my own terms. More than anything, it gave me a sense of purpose- purpose to create a better life for me and for others.

    A year later and those evil thoughts never enter my mind. It took a lot of hard work but once I decided on the pursuit of happiness and found some things to truly believe in- myself being one of them- my feelings about life began to dramatically improve. The road is still difficult many days but I’ve learned to embrace the adversity and use hard time as learning opportunities. We obviously cannot change our environment- only how we respond to it. Not only are my thoughts now pure, but my life is too. I’m dreaming big, Tim, and I’m dedicated to exploring this world with purpose not only for myself, but so others may feel how wonderful it is to turn their life around too. The world can be a dark place but not when the light inside is shining brightly.

    Thank you is not enough so show my gratitude so rather, when people ask me how I got to this point in my life, I will say Tim helped me and then direct them to the nearest bookstore where they can make one of the most important purchases in their life.

  3. I purchased the TV series, The Tim Ferriss Experiment, and tried to download the form required to provide a screenshot of my purchase but the form is unavailable now. I was hoping to get the podcast transcripts. Is this still possible??

    JG

  4. Tim, thanks brother. Your experience mirrors the thought process of many that have carried that bring s them to think that suicide is the answer – and it is not. Most religions propose that such an act will cause the deceased to be treated MUCH WORSE afterward and leaves many more victims here in this realm. My GF has now tried to commit suicide twice int he last 3 months, despite all my massive amount of support that I offered after the first attempt…and I had applied and advised almost every single tool and view point you offered herein…and much more. In the end, I was fighting a battle that i could not win. Through the last few months of hell that I suffered with her, i came to realize that it is entirely unfair for the person considering suicide to be the only victim. What the person puts everyone else through is hell..and it is an extraordinary selfish act. ANY other avenue seems to be a better alternative that killing one’s self. Any other poor decision upon how to deal with one’s depression can be cleaned up or fixed later. thanks again man.

  5. I recommend reaching out to survivors and families of service members. Military suicide rates are of the highest, in comparison to the whole. I am a survivor, so far. Thanks for your words. They mean as much as you can only imagine.

  6. Tim, I haven’t a clue who you are, but this deeply compassionate writing will help many others. It shows an all to rarely seen generosity of spirit and helps us remember what it is to be human. Tim Ferriss, I salute you!

  7. People… LISTEN to Tim! This kind of sudden death creates so many “brokennesses”…even with time, the broken edges catch, and unexpectedly start the grief, tears, and bleeding again. And, truly, nothing is solved. Moms and Dads/ lved ones/friends live on, talking to the wind–wondering what they did not see–did not do right…even if there is no answer.

    Choose life! so you and your children may live. There is a way through the storm–calm yourself–the storm will pass.

    There is enough love to hold you together, though you feel you may fall apart–love is the medium that holds you together–like glue. You can be sure that joy will come in the m orning. wait for it in trust.

    Just hang on–anyone who has ever lived thru a suicide of a loved one would encourage you in the same way. <3

  8. Thanks Tim, very candid and helpful article. I recently turned 23, finishing up university much like you were at that point. I had been spiraling down for a while until I could take it no longer without going bad-shit crazy. Things like becoming detached from others (even my homies I live with), family and a general sense of “why don’t I enjoy life anymore?”. Soon enough, you’re looking for ways to distract yourself from the constant bullying of my mind, putting myself down for every decision, every move, even every thought. Drugs would get in the way of achieving whatever I had to do.

    The worst, was that I had tried psychedelics before and knew the spiritual healing effects it had on me. But at that point, I was scared shitless to even drop psychedelics for fear of looking at myself. After couple months of postponing, I finally did drop cid (by that time, it had been a year since the last time). And it all came down that night while standing by myself in the mirror. The tears, the pain, the loneliness that had been compartmentalized in some dark area of my brain for months, perhaps years. It had been accumulating ever since I looked the other way., god knows for how long.

    I learned for the first time, the importance of really looking at yourself, your naked ego, a connection to mysef I had always lacked. This voice I had in my head had become like a bully. Now I was free. Not a slave of my thinking, I was in touch not just with my self but became aware of my feelings, why I would feel sad, angry.

    Anyways, it was a critical point in my life. A moment of persona growth. I am forever grateful. Things can get lonely and nothing ever seems fair but that’s the game we all play and the word really does change just by how you start looking at it.

    Thanks Tim, you’re a great inspiration.

  9. 1. Examine how you talk to yourself-I realized that I would never allow another human being to speak to me the way I spoke to myself in my head. I started to treat myself the way I treat other people. Talk to yourself like you are a trusted and beloved friend.

    2. Move-especially partner dancing. Learning a new physical skill gets you out of your head. And physically connecting with another human being is invaluable. Remember we are monkeys. We are made to use our hands, bodies, and hug people. That hit of dopamine that you get from being in another person’s arms (platonically) and crazy high of some fast dances will change your life. Also being terrible at something and getting better with a group of people creates really strong bonds.

    3. Be open, be authentically yourself in public with other human beings, some percentage of the time. Share yourself, your stories, the good and the bad. Human being are made to connect with each other. That is our purpose. If you consistently hide yourself, you are making it impossible for people to connect.

    4. Do the work, examine yourself. . . But not all the time—I usually pick July and January for the work (I’m always miserable in January and always pretty happy in July) to do the most in depth soul searching. Choose a time when you can spend time alone, but have an activity or obligation in the evening that brings you joy, gets you out of your head and into your body and forces you be with other human beings. Go to bed physically drained and exhausted.

    5. See a professional, look around chances are you can see a therapist for free depending on your job/school/situation. The freedom of being completely open and honest without someone offering you platitudes or advice is liberating. Somethings have to be said out loud to another human being to allow change to occur. Also if professional help is difficult for you check out peer counselling. It is a fantastic option where people who are recovered (ing) from depression, mental illness, addiction, Military PTSD, general PTSD are trained to counsel others. Look for it in your area.

    6. Listen to other people’s stories. The podcast Risk! is really good. It has harrowing stories of mental illness (and hilarious ones about crazy and insane misadventures). Tell your story.

  10. Tim-

    Have you ever looked into adult stem cells? They are used in mainstream medicine; mostly in bone surgery. I have multiple sclerosis and would like to know more about their use. In one of your writings you mentioned looking to weight-lifters and the rich– and copy them. I have personally seen results from non-tested medicine ( low dose naltrexone ). I don’t care if there is “long -tested” empirical data; I want to treat me– now. Do you know what the silicon valley rich do for multiple sclerosis?

    I have a ton of data/ information about stem cells and treatment (mostly autologous) and would love to hear what you know/ think.

    Thank you in advance for you time and/or response. 🙂

    ~Sara

  11. Thanks a lot for sharing this. It hit home. Right now I’m writing my postgrad thesis and am beyond anxiety. I understand the situation written about, being suicidal about college work sounds petty overall, but for people who are perfectionists or over achievers it’s usually stressful. I want to pick up on a couple of points:

    Personally I experienced the stress of academics all through my college years and job rejections as an academic overachiever are very hard, particularly in the recession it’s effecting almost every graduate I know. I found college difficult in my first term I dropped out and regrouped and went back.

    As a young teen I was in a really dark place, and it went downhill very quickly. During that time I prayed to God and made a hopeful ‘pact’. I always drew on that experience as a student and adult, because if you can deal with things as a kid, you can deal with things 20x easier as an adult, even if you feel that you can’t, even if they are devastating things.

    In my opinion universities mental health services do not do enough for their students, they are often well meaning but disorganized sometimes dangerously so, I speak from my own and friends experiences. I wish students would know not to rely on student counselling services,when private or charity run services are more professional.

    thanks for sharing you’re story, advice and some solid links.

  12. Good stuff Tim. Thank you for sharing. I have been through dark times as well and found that considering the impact it would have on others (especially my mom) kept me from doing anything drastic to take my life. My fear of the afterlife also played a role. You brought up many good points and I appreciate your candor. I think more of us deal with these issues than we are willing to admit. I applaud your efforts to get the word out. There is hope. Thank God I am here still to be able to say that.

  13. In the depths of despair and failure, it occurred to me that if I failed at suicide as I was seemingly failing at life, I would probably just end up crippled or blind and still alive. Then I would be even worse off and still alive…

  14. Talking to a friend was what really saved me when I was in the most danger. I told him about my problem and he really help me work through it.

    Here are some things that I do now to help keep the darkness away. The best technique the I currently have for dealing with emotional pain is to do an intense workout. Practicing Jujitsu has helped me through a few tough situations. Exercise also helps me deal with stress. The physical movement, the exhaustion and the burn give me something to focus on, to distract my mind from whatever is pulling me down or stressing me out. The endorphins make me feel great. And I the knowledge that I’m working to improve is also a plus. Yoga has has also helped me quit a bit. If you can do group exercise it’s even better. Knowing that you are an excepted member of a group will provide tons of benefit.

    Another thing that really helped me was to cultivate and internal locus of control. Instead of thinking why is this happening to me, or this always happens, or I can do anything about this. I challenge myself to come up with ways that I can affect the out come of the situation.

    Example if I hate my job. I might start looking for a new one or start brain storming idea for my of business. I acknowledge that there are thing that I cannot control and I look to control the things that I can.

  15. Thanks for this Tim, extraordinarily helpful for anyone in times of stress.

    I just wanted to add something extremely simple that has helped me immensely in times of emotional stress.

    Say ALOUD 5 things you are grateful for (no matter how small) as the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep.

    It’s amazing how quickly you realise that as much as things might be shit right now, you have reasons that make your life worthwhile.

    Something simple that takes 2x 30 seconds each day that had a huge impact on me. It’s not a cure all, but it does help reaffirm the good things in life.

  16. Tim, this post is everything. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. I have shared your blog now on my Facebook page, I will be re-blogging it here, and I will share your words with others in person. Your vulnerability in sharing your story is going to help many others.

    I do a project that is essentially about communication and building self-esteem, which recently has been tackling the issue of suicide among young people. It was so important that we brought the project across the country, from Washington state to Iowa, because of this very matter. If you have time to give it some attention, I’d very much appreciate it. I could use someone like you in my corner, if it’s something you feel like you could stand behind. If it’s anything that you think would have appealed to you and possibly helped you in your story…

    https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/suicide-insecurity-self-esteem-and-the-power-of-communication-group-11-decorah-iowa-teens/

  17. I’ve had long standing depression, and some of it is the same academic perfection gene. Hotlines are good, as is monitoring how serious it is: at the hotline i staffed we learned the process: 1. suicidal ideation 2. coming up with a plan, to having means and opportunity. I watch where I am on this process to determine what must happen. Next, like you I insist on getting my physical act together, not just exercise and vegetables, but eliminating alcohol/drugs and cutting down on sleep. At least for me, depression manifests as sleeping for half the day, and for some reason that means I’m unlikely to get anything done besides eating junk food and watching TV. Sometimes forcing myself to do one night of 1-4 hours of sleep – clean a bedroom or frig and other chores – will turn my mood 90 degrees at least. A week of 6 hours and not more or less can usually give me enough energy to get my home in a livable state and resets the upward spiral.

    next, I remember that suicidal ideation is often the first step of crawling OUT of depression and so the next steps must come if I let them. In your story, the month of doing nothing was your “rock bottom”. Usually considering suicide, if I can get past that one solution, is a matter of loosening my grip on all the expectations I have of myself and others and brainstorm other answerd. If I can consider suicide, then I can consider divorce, or estranging myself from my difficult parents or giving up a child for adoption or walking away from a thesis advisor. If I’ve painted myself into a corner and I’m thinking about blowing up the room, I realize I can just, you know, pick a direction and walk in it. Yes some of the painted areas will have to be redone when I do that. So what? Easier done at 22 than 45, but probably not the pervasive problem.

  18. Hi Tim, it’s me again – just wanted to say that today is Mental Health Month Blog day organized by the APA, would be great to spread the word on mental health!

    Cheers

    Noch Noch

  19. Who knows how many lives you may have saved in writing this. Tremendous. Also, brave. It’s giving me courage to share my struggles in new ways; and in that way redemption comes and true community (common-unity) with others, who are hurting, is built. Using your platform (fame, renown) for this is noble and life-giving and maybe part of your vocation/mission in this world. Just brilliant. thank you.

  20. Thanks Tim,

    You brought tears to my eyes through a simple post via a newsfeed email.

    You make a difference in my life.

  21. this really spoke to where i’m at right now and it has me feeling a lot better. i’m really happy that i took the time to read your ‘long ass post’ and i’m grateful that you took the time to write it 🙂 thanks tim

  22. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for sharing this. I just started listening to your book on audible. I figured I would see what your blog was about. Love it by the way.

    I will say this hit home with me. I am a growing entrepreneur with dreams just to have the freedom to choose how I want to live everyday without someone else telling me how to do it. Becoming an entrepreneur and fighting for my dreams wasn’t always the case.

    When I was 17 I decided to join the army reserves so I could afford to go to college. At 19 I volunteered to head to Iraq in 2010. Now I never saw combat and I wasn’t there long. President Obama was pulling soldiers out at the time.

    The thing was that when I was over there I didn’t really have a mentor to guide me. I had to follow orders for missions and “suck it up” attitudes. After a while it started to ware on me. I started to feel alone like no one cared just get the job done. To me I started to think that this was all to live for. Following orders from others over my happiness.

    I will guess you might relate to a feeling I got in my stomach. It was like a burning pain almost as if someone stuck a torch in me and crept it up to my chest. All I wanted to do is just stop the pain and I tried.

    I don’t think you want me going into to many details but needless to say I forgot something which actually saved me at that moment. The pain subsided for a time but it didn’t go away for about 2 years. I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t get treatment.

    What turned me around was I discovered a network marketing business that showed a way to have the freedom I wanted. (don’t worry I won’t spam this is not the purpose of my story). At an event I found out how real dreams can come true if you work for them instead of just sleepwalking through a 9 to 5.

    “Every failure brings with it the equivalent seed of success.” ~ Napoleon Hill

    The moment I gained hope to my dreams and goals was the moment I was pulled from depression. I shared my story on a after party stage. One guy came up and hugged me after. He had a similar pain but he found out he wasn’t alone. I helped save this man by just sharing how I crawled out of my own hell. The moment we find out we are not alone is the moment we begin to have hope and hope is what can set people free of depression. Especially military.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. You gave me more hope at becoming a successful entrepreneur and writing this post you will help a lot more people.

    Sincerely,

    Colton Bridges

  23. Thx Tim!

    Mindfulness meditation is helping me. Depression comes from imagining way too much and meditation helps to focus on the present and not on what may or not happen in the future!

  24. Suicide is not always the product of depression. In my case it will be the product of a long term resignation that this life just didn’t click for me. I have been consumed by fantasies of suicide for over a decade. During that time I have conjured some very creative ways to execute the dream; none involving other people. In the end it will simply be a bullet through the roof of my mouth. I will take the shot outside an emergency room, easy cleanup. Cremation instructions will be in my shirt pocket. However, I will wait until my 89 year old mother dies as she is the only one who would be saddened. My wife and daughter long ago (and understandably) excluded me from their lives. Violence was never a factor, we just never “bonded.” This is not a take a fist full of pills, get my stomach pumped and do a month or two of counseling. Mine will be a dispatch with prejudice, nothing “attempted” about this event. True believers do not attempt suicide, they commit suicide. No desperate calls to a suicide prevention line because I very much look forward to hitting the reset button. Death is, after all, the ultimate adventure; nothing sad about that. The point is, not everyone wants to be talked out of suicide, to some the thought is remarkably comforting.

    1. What is the difference between depression and a “long term resignation that this life just didn’t click for me”?

      Otherwise I agree with you (nice plan). I wished I didn’t have anyone caring, just like you. But I had back then, so I live. I’m not sure I am glad about that, but life is much more fun now (after starting taking AD), so I don’t really care. Taking AD was much easier to do and it doesn’t limit me in any way. Why not try it out, it could work for you too, maybe?

  25. I’ve delt with similar kinds of struggles and depressions (high-achiever, too) for about 10 years (repeatedly came back every year) now. I tried almost every suggested recipe including many listed here. What helped me at last (I hope) was finally going to psychiatrist who prescribed me antidepressives.

    Sometimes your physical predispositions for depression might be too strong to fight it just psychologically (I’ve had mentor, two psychologists etc. and nothing worked overall). Don’t try to save yourself. Ask doctor for a help. The life becomes bearable again. 🙂

  26. Great post. I’ve been there, and suicidal feelings are a lot worse than those who haven’t experienced them think they are.

    One thing that is extremely important if you’re suicidal is that you get help. In my view, it is simply not true that all counselors are of great help, but when you’re doing really bad, they are at least of some help and you may take it from there.

  27. Thank you, Tim. I’m a new follower. I run a non-profit called This Is My Brave [Moderator: Twitter removed] with the mission of ending the stigma surrounding mental illness through storytelling. When we share our stories, we open up the conversation. I thought it was interesting too, how you used the custom url to draw in people who may be hurting so they can see that suicide is not the answer. We’re all human. We all go through life’s ups and downs. By sharing our stories, we allow others to gain perspective into our struggle, and how to help us. Thank you for using your platform for such a worthy cause. [Moderator: hashtags removed]

  28. Struggling in the darkness, I’ve found myself rationalizing my sadness, that there’s no reason to be happy, even when I’m back to being okay. I just realized nature wouldn’t have made us, if we weren’t supposed to thrive. That was all I needed

  29. It is really important that we reach out to our loved ones, to people who we consider that are important to us. Who would have a thought that your simple greeting, a call, or a text message might lift up a person and might save this person from ending his/her life. This article is a wake up call to those who are depressed and thinks that they are beyond help. Everyone of us has our own battle, our own problems that we want to get rid of, and deep dark secrets that we swore not tell anyone but we must bare in mind that nothing is permanent and this too shall pass. The problems and storms that we have does not define who we are as a person. This article reminds us that we are important to the people around us, that we have a gift to offer this world and the suicide is not the answer.

  30. Thank you so much for addressing this. As a visual artist/athlete caught up in a corporate life situation I fantasize on ending it all. I started listening to your podcasts and it got me inspired, woke me up to new possibilities for making money and living life without a dictatorship. I have a son and realize the x10 feeling of pain that haunts me isn’t worth leaving him and my family with that mess. But sometimes working for “The Man” and living for other people seem kind of similar. I want to be free. I know that is selfish

  31. Suicide is the only the only way out for certain people. It doesn’t fucking matter if it will “hurt” other people by it. What good does it do for someone to live a miserable life till they die of old age simply to avoid making someone temporally sad by killing themselves. Suicide is peace in the mind of a suical person. No more suffering. And please stop it with the whole afterlife bullshit.

  32. I have read this blog since before 4HWW came out & never commented – but I found out 20 minutes ago that have a friend in the ICU right now.

    I saw him Sunday night (it’s Friday). He was last seen at work Monday morning, before being found in his apartment a few hours later, seizing, covered in blood, with the gas on (pills + wrists + CO). People say you feel numb when something traumatic happens. I feel lightheaded, empty, like I could float away. Maybe because something like that sucks all the heaviness of life out of you. I am not and cannot think about email or my calendar anymore. But you don’t feel free like someone lifting a burden off your shoulders. You feel like a hot air balloon that can be blown about by the whims of the wind. Because if the love and connection you feel from your friends (as well as the supposed “understanding of each other”) can be proven so immediately to be completely false, can you trust any part of your reality? And love and connection between people is the cornerstone of the human experience. It is both the most rewarding and most important part of living. And when this most important part of your reality goes from “understanding and being understood” by someone you love…to vapor, you and your life feel…well…the opposite of grounded, oriented and purposeful.

    But I feel a little convicted about both blowing my horn at all on this blog (it helps that this comment will not likely be seen much, if ever, thanks to the 900+ comments preceding it) as well as starting at first by talking about how it makes ME feel. He’s in a coma. And his family…he was a bigger part of their reality and a greater source of love, connection, and sense of purpose than I could even start wrap any part of my brain or my heart around. But I can’t write about how they feel or even about how he feels because I had NO IDEA. If I was going to make a “Most Likely To Commit Suicide” list out of that group of friends, he’d literally be on the bottom. Maybe even below me.

    Right now the only thoughts I can have (emotions haven’t come yet. like, none of them. at least not ones I have words for) are 1. what could I have done? and 2. what can I and should I do?

    1. What could I have done?

    I can think of zero things that I could have done differently in our relationship. Other than asking that question. He and I had some deep talks about life and purpose and what it all means, but I never just said “You ever thought about killing yourself?” And then said, “hey, promise me that if that ever crosses your mind that you’ll talk to me first. I won’t talk you out of it or give you shit, I just want the chance to be your friend and know about the important stuff that’s going on in your life.” So I guess I just thought of a thing. The thing. Shit. It never crossed my mind before to do that. I’m going to block off my Saturday and call some people. I guess that starts my answer to question #2.

    2. What can I and should I do?

    Besides what to say to family and if/how I could visit him now, I think I’m going to try to spend more time one-on-one with friends and push the vulnerability button a little harder on myself in order to get more out of them in terms of warning signs (this also deepens and strengthens the relationship as a whole regardless of what you find). When we hung out Sunday night it was with a big group of people, and I really just wanted to hang out with him. He told me before I left that he wished we could have talked more that night, too. When we were away from the crowd we’d get a bit of real stuff in (love interests, life direction, personal doubts) but it was just a few words at a time. Always interrupted after a sentence or two. Never revisited. In the future, I’m not going to miss opportunities like that, even if it’s a bit awkward for others perhaps. I would give anything to have just gone on a walk around the block with him. And I’ll be staring at the ceiling tonight thinking about what he might have shared with me and what I could have perhaps said or done to save his life if he would have given me the chance.

    I’m also going to take pictures. We could have got a great group shot of us all sitting around the table exploring new music, watching movie trailers, playing chess. We actually ate at a burger stand that he had discovered a few months ago and that everybody ended up loving. But we don’t have what – God forbid – might be the picture of his last night. A fun evening with his friends, playing his favorite game.

    I’ve got an aversion to taking pictures, especially of myself, because I don’t want to seem (or to be) vain or fake (We all know that picture of us being “crazy” was us posing for four awkward seconds. We weren’t in the middle of having that much fun. So why don’t we stop lying to people about how fun our lives are so that they’ll “like” us more). But the only things I will have until I the day I die are memories of my experiences and the people I had them with. I also used to think that interrupting a truly fun and special moment, in order to take a picture, at best distracted from it and at worst “cheapened” it. But now I see it as an investment in the memory. It increases the emotional ROE by making the memory last longer and more vividly. And some memories, you discover, are truly priceless. Not just for you, but for people not even in the photo. I won’t make that mistake again. And to everyone who deserves that picture more than I do: I’m sorry.

    I don’t know why I started writing. I probably should have led with that, but I didn’t have anything. I just knew this post had connected deeply with me and that this was a place where my story (so selfish sounding to say that. HIS story…but I don’t know his story, how he felt, why he did it, what the suicide note says) would be appropriate. I still feel empty, dizzy, disoriented, emotionless. But at least I now have some important phone calls to make and a camera to buy. And either could end up being the most important call or purchase I ever make. Honestly, for the piece of mind and the richness of memories, I think they will be, regardless.

    So I guess that’s my answer. I wrote this because I wanted to do something. And this seemed the like only thing I could do and the most useful place I could do it. And now I’ve got a few more things to do that might make me feel more grounded, purposeful, human. Or at least they’ll be something to do while I pass the time, waiting to be myself again, and waiting for news about how my friend is doing and how, if he makes it out of this okay, he actually is in the first place. I’ll never again assume I already know.

    I love you. I miss you. I’m praying for you. I’m so, so sorry.

  33. You’ll be my one minute of gratitude today, so thank you for your honesty, courage and for sharing your experience and coping techniques.

    It first occurred to me that I might have depression during my year as an (Eastern European) exchange student in the US. Where I come from, personality disorders are still often dismissed and not considered pressing medical conditions. I slept for 10-15 hours a night to escape my own thoughts. Ten years later, I am still learning to live as fully as I can, one day at a time.

    1. What helped me was keeping a daily journal of my mood swings, so that, on the darkest days, I would compare symptoms, changes in my environment from one day to the other and I’d ask myself if there was a real reason to feel sad or if it were the illness. For women, I highly recommend correlating the mood journal with a menstrual cycle tracker (there is plenty of info and apps). You will soon see patterns and be able to plan stressful events accordingly.

    2. Last year I came across Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon, which brought back many painful memories and awakened what I thought had been long buried, but it also helped me accept depression as a part of my personality by identifying myself with the stories of so many others. While symptoms and episodes come and go, the illness is permanent and a strange comfort came from accepting that. Exercise, being around people and habits like the ones shared here make it manageable and can prepare us for when the fog takes over.

  34. I also had a horrible last term academic experience very similar to yours- where I had spent my entire life in super high achievement (extra cirriculars, all the clubs and sports and advanced classes and competetions…) and I also ran into a single professor that could sour my entire academic career- the whole thing. Lots of uptight people are in those posistions of control and seek to put out bright lights and students with high potential around them, its pretty sadistic. Just wanted to say I’m very proud of you that you made it through that- the way the whole education system is set up can be very traumatizing (and is actually not based in reality at all) Thanks for being a light for so many others and sharing your story!

  35. thank you for your bravery. There is such a stigma associated with suicide and by you making this post opens up the topic. I lost my brother to suicide 5 yrs ago. Like so many others suffering he was on a wait list for help. There is an amazing website nowmattersnow.org for those who need help NOW! Please visit and stay with us💗

  36. I’ve been there to and I’ve always been afraid to talk about. This article was courageous as he’ll. way to go Tim “stoic” Ferris!

  37. Truly thought provoking and inspiring. Being brave enough to expose dark times is frightening. I’m glad you were brave and shared. Thank you.

  38. Tim- thank you for this post. I lost a friend to suicide exactly one week before you posted this. He was a wonderful super successful guy. He was smart, fun to be around, so handsome plus he had a beautiful wife and two very young kids. If someone is seriously contemplating suicide, they have to understand that their brain is sick because in a healthy brain, we all have the inherent drive and will to survive. If all of a sudden that drive turns into a drive to die, then our brain is sick and we need to get help for that. So many people who are suicidal think that they are a burden, or that they don’t deserve help or that the world and their families would be better off without them. They really believe that. Their perspective is so skewed by the lens they are seeing things through that they can’t see anything else. Even if their life is perfect, even if they have children who are loving them and depending on them, even if they’re wildly successful (like Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, anyone else who left this world too soon). Suicide is not selfish, it’s part of a dire illness that isn’t widely recognized. Thank you for shining a light on this topic.

  39. Today I was in a very very dark and hopeless place, I googled your name to research something related to your book and I stumble on this article. It was great! Thank you.

    I am not out of the woods yet but I felt identified with your feelings and thought process… It feels good to know others are like-minded.

    Thank you.

  40. I seriously cannot thank you enough for sharing this story. I’m on the board of directors for a non-profit organization (Please Live) that focuses on mental health issues in teenage and college age students, and I’m always thrilled to see incredibly successful people discuss their battles with mental illness. It goes such a long way in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. You are a perfect example of someone who made it through their struggles and went on to change the world for the better. Everyone needs to know that there is help available and that life is worth living.

  41. Thanks for this post Tim. I’m sure it will help a lot of people and also your perfect storm is long gone I hope it relieved you in a way too.

    There is a huge taboo around suicide and it just isn’t discussed enough.

  42. Your piece very inspiring. Ive been to that place. I went to the hospital was diagonsed with schizophrenia based on my psychotic state. Was told I’d never live on my own. But I said fuck that looked for a cure didn’t find it outside but found it within myself. Basically I hear voices all day saying people hate me and that I’m a horrible person and all this bullshit that’s not true. I reality check every once in a while to make sure I’m on track. Basically what I’ve learned is people are generally nice and compassionate. What drives me is what this doctor said to me once is that I would have to change my expectations dramatically to live. I let that fuel me day to day never push to hard never let off the gas. That doctor gave me what I needed. Doubt.

  43. Thank you for this post. There are so many people that struggle with this, don’t talk about it, are good at showing a smile to the world but are thinking of suicide. So great that you mentioned the stats for suicide in schools. While I was in school, there was more than one person I knew who was really having a hard time with school and becoming a mess.Human beings shouldnt get to a point where they are so sad. There definitely needs to be better initiatives for mental health, people being nicer to each other, and schools that offer better programs and services to handle school life and stresses.

  44. I do not have a comment except to thank you for this post. A loved one struggles with a mood disorder, has felt low enough to voice thoughts of ending their life, and is struggling to move forward, but their fear and anxiety makes it difficult. I will share your words of wisdom, in the hopes that it will make a positive difference. Hugs!

  45. Thank you. I have been struggling with so much unhappiness lately. It’s hard to see yourself as not being alone, to realize there are other people out there who have felt the same. Fear overwhelms me and it feels like some days I’m drowning in it. I’ve started exercising and meditating and that’s started to stem the tide. I’m looking forward to trying your morning ritual. Thank you again.

  46. Tim-

    Thanks for this post, it came in a timely moment.

    While I wasn’t wanting to commit suicide just yet, I recently took out a large life insurance policy so that in the event that I did commit suicide in a weak moment that my wife and kids would be taken care of. However, I again saw how coward, destructive and selfish the act of suicide really is.

    Also, the idea of making a vow with a friend was a new one and as soon as this comment is finished, I’m sending an email to do just that.

    On another note, one simple thing that I discovered for myself, in addition to the things you mentioned, was to take a small caffeine pill (“drugs” per 4HB 😉 of at least 100mg, and then continuing to take 100mg every couple (1.5-2) hours until I get rolling. I do this so o don’t have to be consuming energy drinks or coffee to get the caffeine. (These caffeine pills are usually labeled as ‘alert aids’ I.e. No-doze, etc.)

    I take the caffeine and it works for me because my depression is usually the result of a big task/issue in front of me that requires a tremendous push/pull to get started/handled. However, once the momentum is up and going (thanks to a little caffeine) I’m encouraged to keep going due to my already-positive results.

    Also, I’ve noticed that taking the caffeine, then getting back to what I was doing, that within 30-45 minutes my mood is brighter and the way I look at the things around me has changed. Usually, I will have forgotten that I’ve taken the caffeine, but later on realize that my improved state could be partially attributed to the caffeine earlier. (Again, the caffeine gets me out of the slump, then I keep going by feeding off of my small wins.)

    To be clear, this is only something I do at most 2x per month.

    I hope someone else can be helped by this tidbit!

  47. Very important post for me to read. Thank you for putting this out there. I am someone who was briefly on the other side of the table (longer story), and I used to feel ashamed/embarrassed that this happened to someone very close to me. I never wanted to talk about it and felt embarrassed for even thinking about talking to someone about it. I realized that I really should have, because as time has passed, I recently found out a close friend of mine tried to kill himself 9 months ago. Had it worked, I would have never forgiven myself because I never spoke up about my dealings with the suicide attempt by the person noted earlier. I have realized that this isn’t something to be ashamed of for either parties. As you said, we are all human. Moving forward, my hope is to share my story, even if it only impacts one life. Thank you again for posting this, Tim.

  48. Powerful advice. Just like you, type A overachiever, and have had to learn that emotions are chemical reactions. If I can acknowledge the emotion and let it run its course, it is fleeting. It’s only when I grab on to the emotion and try to change it, alter its course, that it persists and becomes a problem. Sitting with a negative emotion while it passes is not easy. I am not patient. But over the years I’ve learned it really is the fastest path to overcoming it. The other piece of advice, know your DNA. I have 6 gene mutations, 3 of them doubles. What it means in the real world is that I can’t take any mental health meds. Ever. And I need to supplement my B vitamins. And most importantly, I’m hypersensitive to synthetic folic acid. It makes me whackadoodle, irrational, and unable to handle stress. And its in a lot of regular foods, and vitamins. Avoiding it and my other food “allergies” has changed my life for the better. I’m productive and most importantly, happy. I wish all kids knew what I know now and could avoid the emotional rollercoaster that sometimes takes them over the edge.

    So thank you Tim, for baring your soul and saving lives.

  49. bawling my eyes out right now. i have been grateful for the opportunities i’ve been given in the past, grateful for the abundance i thrive in, but it doesn’t keep the dark thoughts at bay. tony die-hards might argue that the compelling future i’d set for myself isn’t leverage enough. i don’t know,i needed this tonight. thank you for sharing, tim.

  50. Nice post tim but a bit too complicated

    I recently found a better solution to the problem

    Depression occurs when a person cannot deal with their current fears

    Facts about fear

    -Fear of Rejection -leads to inaction.

    -Fear of Failure -leads to depression

    -Fear of Success -leads to excuses

    -Fears breeds all negative habits

    Actions to take to overcome your Fears

    1 Name and write down your fear.

    2 Define its beginning and end

    3 What will i lose if I keep this fear?

    4 What will i gain when i kill this fear?

    5 What’s the worst that could happen

    6 How will I deal with this fear

    7 Do some gradual desensitization

    8 study your fear

    9 Take Small Consistent Steps

    10 Kill Excuses

    11 see yourself overcoming your fear

    -thanks for a great website

  51. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for normalizing a subject that “successful” people would rather ignore and pathologize. All humans have “mental health issues,” to some degree or another throughout our hopefully long lives. It’s just a matter of who is willing to admit it and talk openly about this part of the human journey. I appreciate the courage it took to be honest about your personal experience with this subject. I have respect that you are willing to open this dialogue and share what you learned. If only more people in leadership roles, especially academic administrators and teachers, shared your courage and confidence.

  52. Thank you for having the courage to post that.

    A deceivingly simple trick I learned to manage the downward spiral of self-talk (which only led to worse depression, not improving anything), was to

    1) recognize that I was imagining negative outcomes/conversations/etc

    2) replace it by trying to list (in my head or on paper) as many happy/positive things I could think of as fast as I could think of them.

    Sometimes it was hard to come up with more than one positive/happy thought, and often they were little, trivial things. A sample list read:

    Flying a kite,

    Butterflies

    Ballroom dancing

    sunsets

    puppies

    etc.

    But it doesn’t matter what is in your list. And it doesn’t matter if it makes you feel happy listing things off (it probably won’t). The point is that it stops your brain from further entrenching the pattern of negative self-talk which is doing you a great disservice and making your life very difficult. The negative thoughts will still pop up, but by countering them with this game whenever you notice them, you re-train your brain to notice the positive and sidestep the negative self-talk.

    Good luck.

    Amanda

  53. This is a great, honest post. Thank you. It’s amazing how many people feel the same things, but are too ashamed or embarrassed to speak about them openly. I love your suggestions–especially blocking time to handle that ONE thing that’s been hanging over your head. Thank you, Tim.

  54. Thank you so much for sharing this Tim. My father committed suicide and I too, have contemplated a similar way out on more than one occasion. Knowing that one is not alone helps and believing that the storm does pass in time, makes a huge difference.

  55. I have had many days like this, I hate these days, the burden is to heavy,

    My heart is deflated, my soul feels worn out, and my knees are closer to the ground than they’ve ever been. I am sitting with my back bent over carrying the burden of the world on my shoulders.

    Worry seeps through every vein in my body, my bones ache with every burden that darkens my mind.

    I’m trapped in a maze and every time I turn each corner to what I believe is the way out I end up back at the centre with more troubles than when I left.

    Every new answer creates a new ever-expanding circle of confusion, a never-ending spiral of sadness that runs deep into the very essence of my life.

    I’m shrouded in a deep misery of what my mind tells me is my own doing and this is something I do not want to believe…But it is true…

    The weights, worries and the burdens are the result of endless mistakes, mistakes I try to glean knowledge from in my search for the meaning to my existence but it seems relentless, pointless even, and brings nothing but deep seeded sadness.

    My spirit is burning dim like the last light of a candle, the flame flickers small but the darkness of the shadow cast is black.

    The memory of the man before who strode with pride in every step and his head held high is but a distant one replaced by the feeling of being a near crippled man hiding under the black cloak of failure, hobbling along the path of life.

    False happiness and a painted smiles are the shields I cling to in hope they will hold back the slashing sword of inner pain that haunts me, but they do not.

    I am tired, the darkness I once hated so much has become my only friend. When I am sat in the silky silent blackness of the dark no one can see in and I can not see out, and eerily I’m comforted by my lack of self-worth.

    Sometimes when the light seeps in it allows me to look out, but all I see are the failures and the heartbreak of the past, the light becomes the pain and once again I crawl back into the darkness, knowing that is where I can not fail.

    In the blackness nothing matters, there are no consequences, just stillness, quiet, un-soulful stillness that holds no aspirations, no ambitions, no goals and no failure.

    The blackness becomes safety where no mistakes can be made and no souls can be destroyed.

    Like a white dot on a satin black cloth fading into eternity…

    That is how I felt when I was depressed….

    I now Write constantly and I have wrote a best selling book and two more, i have trained Olympic and world champions, achieved a 4th dan Blackbelt, and blue belt in jiu it su, I’ve made short films, I have a degree, and all because I decided not to throw my life away.

    Blogs like this are gold dust. never stop writing tim.

    Much love. Peter Skillen. The Twelve Step Warrior

    UK

  56. Probably the most important thing I have ever read. The timing couldn’t be better. I too was at a similar place (for different reasons). I didn’t share with anyone b/c my external life was perfect. I couldn’t understand why I was depressed internally. I’m at a better place, and this article helps me feel like I’m not alone. I want to share my experience with others…to prevent others from doing it, and to help the ‘normal’ people understand why others get to this point…this may be the true value I can add to this world. I hope I can turn this negative into a positive for others.

  57. I have suffered from depression most of my life and often struggled with suicidal thoughts. I’ve been on antidepressants for years and have visited psychiatrists and counselors for extended periods. These coping mechanisms have helped and I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from seeking them out.

    In doing my own reading on the topic, however, I’ve come to realize that the most effective therapy is “self-therapy.” When I read that depression is basically anger and other negative emotions turned inward, on yourself, it was a revelation. Rather than openly expressing negative emotions–in non-destructive ways, of course–people with depression internalize them, and they start to erode self-esteem and self-confidence. In addition, people with depression typically haven’t developed the “self-talk” skills to cope with these negative emotions like other people have. Instead, in the depressed, the “self-talk” becomes a downward-spiraling and reinforcing cycle of self-recrimination and self-criticism that becomes very difficult to break.

    To improve my own self-talk and self-therapy skills, I’ve gotten in the habit of asking myself questions whenever I start to feel down or depressed. I ask myself: “What has upset me, and have I expressed this upset to someone?” Almost invariably, the answers are: “Yes, that thing bothered me or upset me, and I haven’t said anything about it.” The corrective part of the self-therapy is realizing you don’t have to react the way you are reacting. You can step outside of yourself for a moment and tell yourself: “You are letting that event bother you, and you don’t have to. You can choose to ignore it or simply not let it bother you. If it’s about something important, you can choose to speak to the offending person about it.” I’ve found that this isn’t easy to do at first, and that it takes practice, but it has helped me start to overcome my depression more than any other single therapy.

  58. Very well said. I never really had suicidal thoughts like many people do. But in my son’s senior year at SF State we got a call one fall evening. He said that he wanted to quit his job to focus on his studies. We have good jobs, but the strain of supporting two college students in San Francisco was definitely felt. That my son’s soul crushing job at Olive Garden was not ideal we can all agree on. The job did allow him to make decent money working 4 six hour days though. My wife started to freak out (money does that to her) and she handed me the phone. My son did not sound right. So I started asking questions about school, getting specific.

    My son was a Women and Gender Studies Major, and SF State is one of the top programs in the US. He had been asked to write an undergraduate thesis (the first in the programs 40 years), and was doing amazing historical research on the aids crisis and a lot of complicated stuff I can’t summarize well. Gradually, question after question it came out that he had been depressed, not going to class and really went into a crisis when he asked a professor to allow him extra time on a routine paper. The professor was horrible to him. We quickly shifted into crisis mode and got him to head to the Doctor’s.

    It turned out that he had been so depressed that he was staying at home, and my daughter, her roommate and his boyfriend were all taking turns skipping class to keep him from jumping out their 10th floor windows. I was glad of that, but his boyfriend was in his final year of law school, and was under similar pressures as he was. My son got the help he needed, and was diagnosed Bi-Polar II. He has continued on his path with many stops and starts: the boyfriend turned out to be abusive, he struggled with getting to the GRE so he could complete grad school admissions requirements.

    He was also very fortunate to have the support of his Department Chair and Thesis Adviser, I admit to being a little nervous now that he has moved to Minneapolis, but he is in a great PhD program with a full scholarship for four years. Depression and Bi-Polar run on both sides of our families, and we have had to deal with my daughters depression and suicidal thoughts as well. I do want to encourage anyone who can to take a Mental Health First Aid class. Many counties have a non-profit or mental health department that teaches this. I took it when I was a volunteer EMT, and despite my family history and personal experience I learned a lot about mental health, and really got an opportunity to work on my empathy skills. It is very easy for someone like me to say “You can get through this” or “It will get better”, but talk is cheap. I think it really helps to hear stories like yours.

    As a human I have almost no anxiety. I also joke “I need more anxiety”, but it is true really. But the anxiety and fear of my child dealing with suicidal thoughts and urges was just horrifying. Please look out for your kids, and your school mates, random people in your dorms and work places, I don’t believe in any post life consciousness, I believe this is the only life we have.

  59. Tim. I think this is the most important post you’ve ever written. I hope as what you teach continues to evolve, you eventually write a book about what I think you’re really about – serving others. Perhaps “4-hour enlightenment”?

  60. Thank you. This post was an incredible gift. Both timely and impactful. I know that sharing this was hard but I wanted you to know that it made a real difference. And gave me another chance.

  61. There’s probably little original that I can add to the 934 prior comments, but, thank you for sharing your dark times and “embarrassing” struggles. What has helped me through some of my dark times is the thought that I want to see how the story — my story — turns out. Will our heroine make a better choice next time? Will she finally get a break? Will she finally learn from her mistakes? Stay tuned to find out.

  62. I’m sending this to my 2 sons. Not because I think there’s a problem. Because the pressures and expectations of young adults can be overwhelming. I’m also hoping they’ll start following Tim. Pretty deep shit to start off with. But important

  63. Thanks for this post! So glad to see the conversations about suicide moving out of the shadows. Check out suicide prevention activist Dese’Rae Stage’s beautiful “Live Through This” project. The two of you are kin in the cause for prevention.

  64. I had skimmed this once before and fully read it this morning. My ex husband committed suicide a year after our divorce. 2 days after final legal papers on the house were signed. Leaving our then 4 and 6 year Olds fatherless. People forget pain is temporary and this solution is permanent and just takes your pain and transfers it to everyone left behind. In this case the legacy has been that his tough year and final choice made our last 7 200% more difficult in every way possible and in ways we have still not recovered from. There are ways to work with the nervous system that help depression in ways superior than CBT for treatment even. As a therapist who works neurobiologically wi th SRT…self regulation Therapy, I know that there is hope for people to change their brains and get better faster than they think and permanently. There are many ways now of treating depression so that it’s not a life sentence. Suicide is not an exit…it’s a payment transfer system leaving other to pick up the pain and rebuild their lives around the shards. Good post on this and lots of good direction and perspective for those suffering in the same way. Back to raising these magnificent children. …

  65. Wow thank you so much for posting. It means a lot. I was on the verge of suicide last year and I literally didn’t think I would make it to the end of the year. I picked up lots of tricks that helped me in those emergencies. One of the life savers I had is acupuncture. At that time, I decided if I am going to die, it’s not like I will take money with me, so I used any money I had to make myself feel better. I went to acupuncture and massage, which literally saved me in the moments when I thought I was ready to end it. Honestly. Life saver. Secondly, I hired people to help me. A lot of therapists would give discounts if you ask them. I got a health and wellness coach who, I met with for 6 months and I got a therapy session with a psychotherapists here and there because I couldn’t afford more. Most importantly, I got into juicing. When you feel tired and ready to give up, you can really lose your appetite. I did not consume the nutrients I needed and found it difficult to eat but I have always like juices. I found books and learned how to use juicing particularly for depression and it worked. I feel much better now, even though I am still depressed, I have more hope and I am not suicidal. I have lots more tricks that I used, I personally cannot live without aromatherapy. Lavender oil on pillows, bath, on my body, drinking lavender as tea. Also ingesting valerian helped relax a lot at nights that helped. I don’t take anti depressants, but have thought about it but I avoid like the plague. Lots more I learned

  66. I wish I could’ve shared this with a friend of mine before he took his own life. I KNOW it would’ve made a difference.

    Thank you for sharing and I plan on sharing this post as well. If it helps just one person it’ll be worth it. However, I doubt it will help just one…it will save many.

  67. Wow ! I’ve never laughed so much while reading a post about suicide ! 😀

    On a more serious note, I can totally relate to what you’re saying.

    Thanks for the good read !

  68. Beautiful post. I’m climbing out of a ditch right now and the main thing that has helped me is exercise. I can’t seem to get a handle on anything else, but everyday I can workout, sweat, and be grateful for the ability to move and become stronger.

  69. My 20 year old son committed suicide 2 months ago. I went thru clinical depression for years. My kids were what kept me going. I wish I would have explained that to him. Kudos to you for speaking out this will save a lot of lives! …seriously it will.

  70. Thank you, Tim. I’ve been dealing with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder for most of my life but only recently (about a year) have I been diagnosed. Medicine only works to a degree. I still have dark thoughts from time to time. I won’t say your post saved my life but damn did it give some much needed insight and help in a time of extreme darkness for me. There’s something about being able to connect on such a personal level with someone you admire /look up to. Thank you so much for this post. I needed it.

  71. Very courageous of you to tell your story ,and be vulnerable ,it is the hardest thing to do, much more than acheiving goals and being good at everything you do(:

  72. not sure if i can leave a url, but google matt rasmussen’s poetry, or look at the poetryfoundation website–it’s about his brother’s suicide, and the aftermath on his family. this line especially struck me:

    A hole is nothing

    but what remains around it.

    a close friend of mine has a friend who jumped off the golden gate bridge. i’ve read her LJ entries from those days, and…wow do i wish i could die sometimes, but i can’t break loved ones’ hearts like that.

    another friend had just left her workplace when someone jumped (landing where she’d just been walking)–missed it by minutes. she’s still really disturbed by that.

  73. Commenting before I read the article, only to note that the URL address ends “/how-to-commit-suicide/” which may be problematic. I don’t know if you can change it or not.

  74. Tim, thank you for sharing your story. I am embarrassed that I am just now reading it. You shed light on something that has troubled me for the past eight years. To try and summarize, my Father committed suicide March 2007. To the obvious surprise to all of his friends and family, it was not just that he decided to end his own life; he made an extensive effort to plan it.

    He left pages upon pages of writing in the form of notes to his closest friends and family (each note/letter was about a page to three pages typed to his immediate family, about half a page to another 30 friends). Anyway, in almost every letter, he acknowledged thinking and planning of his demise for the previous six months (he also outlined his wishes for his memorial, a statement to read there, his personal belongings, etc. etc., all with a bit of dark humor, typed, organized…you get the picture). It was a more than surreal experience going back and thinking of the interactions I had had with him (I was out-of-state in college at the time, so it was six to seven times) and what I would have done if I had known what was going through his head. And more poignantly, what must it have been like to wake up each day and end each day with the same thought: I am going to end my own life.

    I apologize for the rant/story, but I have never, ever had anyone articulate their innermost emotions (especially so eloquently) in all of my learning/reading of suicide since his passing. Let alone, someone who actually planned, calculated, and was willing to execute such plan.

    To say that your Mother calling you after receiving the note from the library was a miraculous coincidence is insanity. Yes, thank God you are here. But not just because you did not put your loved ones through the agony of losing you, guilt, shame, and forever questioning their closeness to you…but because, your time was ultimately NOT UP. Case in point: your books (which have changed my life), lectures, podcasts, website, experiments, relationships and unwittingly (or happily?) touching hundred of thousands (nah, it’s gotta be millions) of lives, in one way or another.

    The sharing of your story is just another way to perpetuate the touching of these lives. Fuck sour professors and the hell you went through. Thank you to your Mother, the library and your courage to see yourself through and out of the delusion. Thank you for abandoning your plans. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world.

  75. Occasionally, I pop onto your blog occasionally to read something you wrote. I’ve never commented until today. I commend you for writing this. Thank you.

  76. My brother was a senior at Harvard when he took his own life back at our home in SC- I wish more folks talked as openly as you are now about causes, resources and tactics for prevention. Thanks for sharing this- my heart aches for my brother and for others grieving a suicide.

  77. I lost my wife of 1 and a half years 3 weeks ago. I am 27, and she was 24. I thank God for landing on this page today, because God knows after you have been too close to it, differentiating can be challenging. I am still surviving. Thank you for the share.

  78. Tim, this was magnificent. As a career therapist who has worked with many people who felt as you did, I particularly appreciate your perspective. Glad you decided to stick around. [Moderator: link removed]

    Many blessings,

    Edie

  79. Thank you so much..from a 42 year old whom has suffered from depression since 15…Two failed attempts and in a crisis at the moment. I needed to read this !

  80. This article is fantastic; thanks for sharing. My mother killed my father and then herself when I was 15, and then his father killed himself 10 years to the day later (his suicide note to my grandmother said “so you only have to mourn on one day” – how screwed up is that?). When I was in therapy after my divorce, I was asked if I ever contemplated suicide and the answer was yes: it has been demonstrated to me to be an option. I know it’s a terrible option, but it’s still on the table and crosses my mind on occasion. I have kids and know personally how devastating it was to me to live with my mother’s decision, so I’m thankful that I have learned from history. I’m also thankful for this article.

  81. Thank you, Tim!! When I first discovered “The 4-Hour Work Week,” the business model made perfect sense to me… but there was something in the back of my head that wondered whether I could really reproduce those kinds of results. I thought to myself,”Obviously, this guy is naturally confident… he probably has some biochemical edge.”

    Years later, I stumbled across your podcast, and the first one I listened to was “Productivity Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me).”

    I can’t tell you how thankful I was to learn that you’re just as crazy… just as prone to self doubt… just as easily distracted as me… and it inspired me to make some massive changes in my life.

    Thank you for your willingness to be make yourself vulnerable and share this story. You’re an impressive guy. Keep fighting the good fight, my friend!