Lessons from Warren Buffett, Bobby Fischer, and Other Outliers (#219)

Adam Robinson and Warren Buffet

“Geniuses have very limited toolsets — they have a hammer, and their genius is in looking for nails.”

– Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson (@IAmAdamRobinson) first appeared on this podcast in the “Becoming the Best Version of You” episode (#210) alongside Josh Waitzkin (chess, jiu-jitsu, investing) and Ramit Sethi (personal finance, entrepreneurship).

By popular demand, this is a dedicated episode of Adam’s stories and life lessons.

Adam Robinson has made a lifelong study of outflanking and outsmarting the competition. He is a rated chess master who was awarded a Life Title by the United States Chess Federation. As a teenager, he was personally mentored by Bobby Fischer in the 18 months leading up to his winning the world championship.

Then, in his first career, he developed a revolutionary approach to taking standardized tests as one of the two original co-founders of The Princeton Review. His paradigm-breaking — or “category killing,” as they say in publishing — test-prep book, The SAT: Cracking the System, is the only test-prep book ever to have become a New York Times bestseller. After selling his interest in The Princeton Review, Adam turned his attention in the early ’90s to the then-emerging field of artificial intelligence, developing a program that could analyze text and provide human-like commentary. He was later invited to join a well-known quant fund to develop statistical trading models, and since, he has established himself as an independent global macro advisor to the chief investment officers of a select group of the world’s most successful hedge funds and family offices.

In his spare time, he’s also become pen pals with Warren Buffett.

This is a wide-ranging conversation (aka conversational parkour) with lots of takeaways. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it!

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#219: Lessons from Warren Buffett, Bobby Fischer, and Other Outliers

Want to hear another podcast with Adam Robinson?In this episode, we discuss a variety of topics on business, wealth, and happiness, and are joined by Ramit Sethi and Josh Waitzkin (stream below or right-click here to download):

#210: Becoming the Best Version of You

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Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you — for free — exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Adam:

Website | Twitter

Show Notes

  • An anecdote about Warren Buffett’s day planner and thoughts on what Warren Buffett actually does. [06:51]
  • Can you be a stock market gladiator? [08:36]
  • Planning on investing? What is your edge? [10:48]
  • Warren Buffett’s one-sentence secret to being a great investor. [12:52]
  • How Adam turned a chance encounter on the street with his hero — the reclusive chess champion Bobby Fischer — into a lasting friendship. [14:51]
  • On informed simplicity via Bobby Fischer, Picasso, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. [28:14]
  • The limited toolset of genius. [30:47]
  • The “read far and wide” genius of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. [32:24]
  • Looking for patterns and things that don’t make sense. [34:05]
  • Adam’s decision-making process for choosing opportunities. [38:15]
  • The last thing Adam’s father said to him before passing. [41:30]
  • Adam’s nutritional odyssey: Granny Smith apples for optimizing function (and avoiding English institutional food). [44:31]
  • The three rules for success. [53:03]
  • On coping with depression and learning to focus on needs of others over needs of the self. [56:14]
  • If you suffer from bouts of depression, become aware of the biochemical markers that forewarn of its onset. [1:01:12]
  • The three Bs of creativity. [1:02:57]
  • On hearing and paying attention to what the unconscious mind is trying to tell you. [1:06:00]
  • Does Adam view himself as a risk-taker? [1:15:20]
  • On hedge funds that don’t hedge. [1:17:22]
  • Stoicism vs. Hedonism [1:21:13]
  • Philosophers or thinkers Adam recommends. [1:27:03]
  • How is the next day different when deciding to break from the past? [1:30:39]
  • A gambler walks into a bar… [1:36:00]
  • An example of magic and being one-upped as the world’s best gift-giver. [1:42:10]
  • The fulcrum moment: “Now is the time to act.” [1:48:15]
  • Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative. Create delight. [1:49:45]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 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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172 Replies to “Lessons from Warren Buffett, Bobby Fischer, and Other Outliers (#219)”

  1. This episode is filled with so many gems! Would of needed a long chapter in Tools of Titans! I can’t wait to try the Granny Smith strength program. Thank you.

    1. Thank you!! Mind you, I wasn’t urging fruitarianism on everyone, but rather the importance of optimizing food intake and the dramatic effects it can have when pursued passionately — which is actually easy because you’re just taking in more of what boosts your energy and system, and less of what depletes it. The key TF principle in everything is to experiment — judiciously!! — doing more of what works and ruthlessly editing out what doesn’t!

  2. “Geniuses have very limited toolsets — they have a hammer, and their genius is in looking for nails.”

    – Adam Robinson

    I love the quote. Nice podcast.

  3. Very interesting episode, thank you very much Tim!

    More content about investing/trading in the future would be awesome!


  4. Tim, thanks for inviting Adam Robinson back. The 92Y introduction at the end of 2016, was a great appetizer for this full meal. Appreciate Adam’s perspective on surprising and delighting those we encounter, and expecting magic to happen with each connection with others. With the divisive language that permeates the air we breathe, it is time to push back with care. The insight into depression was remarkable and deserves a billboard. Tim, thanks for continuing to deliver amazing discussions. Adam, thanks for being Adam, and sharing your world, it is needed.

  5. Received a nice blurb about Tim from Jon Morrow so took a peek. Tried to find the beginning of this blog and ran google chrome out of memory! Learn something new every day. All this in 15 min/wk. I found lots of helpful information, but will take me more than 15 min to devour. Bill

  6. Yes! Thank you! I was hoping for this!

    The other Episode with him, JW and RS was super fresh and exciting! Just ordered his book “What smart students know”.

  7. Thanks a lot Tim, Adam – I so loved this conversation!

    Brought me back to the magic I felt at 92Y event. 🙂

    It was great to hear more intimate and personal conversation between you two, learning more about Adam’s life and background – I always seem to learn more from background stories, revealing where what is in a persona today might come from.

    My favorite lesson, just like it was at 92Y:

    Creating magic for the other.

    Need to focus more on mastering it in real life.

    “Lean in into each moment to create magic.”

    “The secret to creating anything – have a vision of whats possible and excite the other, your partner(s), about it to make magic happen.”

    – that’s the best life/business advice. It’s all about visions in this life and being convincing enough to persuade other people to leap with you to create that magical vision. Very limited things can be done by one person only, almost nothing.

    Some more quotes I loved:

    “The purpose is to delight another person.

    I’m playing the game I can’t lose.

    I need nothing – I offer everything.”

    3 rules of success:

    1) Importance of enthusiasm about everything we do

    2) Connecting with The Other

    3) Expecting magic in every moment

    3 Bs of creativity:

    Bed (go to sleep, take a nap, dream state)


    Bus (traveling, switch locations)

    “To create an electric circuit you need two.”

    “Playing not to lose VS playing to win”

    “That what life is all about.

    Creating delight for others and in doing so create delight for yourself.”

  8. Thanks Adam and Tim, there is a lot of treasure in this podcast. What stood out most is the advice to cultivate the intention to create delight and magic for others. I would love to hear more about how to create the initial spark of magic in an encounter or relationship, for someone who feels like they’re bad at this.

    1. Like all things Paul, you develop and refine the skill of delighting and creating magic by REHEARSING it daily, at every opportunity. However fleeting an encounter, see what you can do to delight. Bus driver. Waiter. A passerby on the street (without getting weird about it of course!) Practice on your friends, and relatives. Think of delight as creating little surprises.

  9. Brilliant podcast Tim and Adam…….thankyou.

    Tim – brilliant job and wonderful questions as always.

    Adam, the lessons and sharing was a true gift,…… thankyou for your sincere generosity to share so openly, honestly and with true passion.

    I love your approach to life and interacting with others…..taking each social interaction as an opportunity to find something amazing. Your energy comes across in your words.

    I was fascinated in the sharing of your times with Bobby Fischer…..allowing us all to drill into that amazing journey you had with him, ….wonderful memories for you and incredible insights for us.

    A question – how did you prepare the apples prior to eating?

    Thankyou again and hoping there will be a part 2.



    1. Lindsay, thank you!! We did a group podcast #210 with besties Ramit Sethi and Josh Waitzkin, true geniuses! And great hearts all of them. Now Linds, the apples, I wasn’t urging people to become fruitarians, which is what essentially I did. Just the TF principle of endlessly experimenting, finding the foods that actually boost you, weeding out relentlessly the foods that drain you, and your system will get increasingly sensitized to the difference, so your optimizing your food intake actually accelerates. For you it might be steak and broccoli that boosts you, each person is different, and likely it would depend on seasons, too.

  10. Thanks Adam and Tim!

    “That’s how genius manifests itself: as a childlike simplicity.” – Adam

    Greetings from de Vie in Ojai

  11. What a gorgeous man Adam is; expecting magic and miracles from everyone he meets, with a core mission to add fun, delight and enthusiasm to the other person. So delighted for him that he has discovered the power of truly connecting with others.

    From the tone of his voice it sounds like he personifies the curiosity and enthusiasm about life that he finds so admirable.

    You two make a wonderful pair with a poignant, deep, and wonderful conversation.

    Thank you immensely.


    1. Thank you Claudine! I am humbled. I have stepped out from the shadows and am sharing more at @IAmAdamRobinson, we must all celebrate together. Too much darkness in the world. Too much pain. We can change things, move back towards the light.

      1. Hello Adam, your openness is a pleasure to behold. I’ve appreciated your candor in each of the episodes with Tim. Quality. I look forward to more positivity, more light emanating from you kind soul.

        When the time comes, from a different SAT story to yours, we perhaps shall discuss with Tim, Josh, et al how best to apply the powers of the mind, belief systems, habits and more to reach a higher percentage of genius level successes.



        [Moderator: Twitter handle removed]

      2. This conversation was energizing, joyful, and a call to action to love fearlessly.

        I will assign this podcast to my business undergrads to help prepare them for their upcoming “Committing Random Acts of Kindness (RAK)” assignment the entire week of 2/13 – Valentine’s Week! – to support them as they are pushed out of the comfort zone of the classroom into the ‘real’ world to exercise the muscle of empathy, and to build their EQ, by committing RAK’s at least once a day the entire week and journaling/sharing their experiences.

        Thank you for the affirmation that generosity and kindness are, indeed, as much ‘core competencies’ of the successful as keen intelligence and hungry curiosity; it’s one thing for them to hear me talk about love and discovery and generosity and improv principles in business (they think I’m nuts), but to witness it so powerfully and genuinely from sources they look up to from Silicon Valley is a treasure, and valuable conversation to keep building on. Thank you!

        Kind Regards,


        PS – hugs to sweet Molly!

      3. You are being so brave Adam! It’s really lovely and it’s also powerful.

        I agree 100% with you- we are the light we hope to have all around us and we do make a difference with every connection, every bit of love and appreciation we give out. It is utterly infectious (for those who are capable of receiving) as well as being a source of true inner joy,

        After I listened to your podcast I went out for a friends birthday and really committed to making a connection with everyone- literally everyone I passed, looked at and spoke with. I am already a person who that “goes first” and mostly I am pretty good at it. But last night I went ALL in with it, with everybody, and the outcomes were amazing. It was really genuine and really beautiful.

        Keep sharing the good stuff and may magic be with you everywhere you go.

        See you in the twittersphere and beyond! Thank you again.

  12. What a great episode, definitely one I’ll have to go back and take notes on. Thank you both!

    For both Tim and Adam, a good book that might connect the ideas of listening to your intuition/body with overcoming depression (and even learning to connect with others better) is The Body Keep Score. It talks about trauma, but I think the insights of how our mind is interlinked to our bodily processes can inform us all.

    Definitely not a fully formed thought, but I believe there’s something worth exploring within those 3 pieces (intuition, connection, and the body). As someone who, similar to Tim, learned to ignore those intuitive signals, this book has been part of a journey to start understanding the power of that intuition. It, and the likes of Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, provide some physiological understanding for intuition too.

  13. Tim,

    Thanks for creating this community. I just spent the last 30 minutes unsuccessfully trying to figure out which virtual assistant companies you are using now. Would you please let me know the updated va companies you use now?

  14. Hi Tim! I discovered you and your work a few months ago and it’s remarkable how much some of your tricks and overall philosophy have helped me gain more control over my life. I look forward to listening to your podcast whenever I get the chance.

    I recently went back and listened to your episode with Eric Weinstein, and I want to make a suggestion for another mathematician I would live to hear you interview if you can get him: Bernd Sturmfels. I feel a bit pretentious describing his achievements in a public forum like this so I will be somewhat vague and say that he has made an inhuman number of contributions to math and its applications, he is a leader in multiple areas of research, and has a reputation as an excellent mentor.

    I believe that he will be in the Bay Area for the next few months – he is currently a professor at Berkley, but is leaving soon, and is also a director of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. His website is here: https://math.berkeley.edu/~bernd/index.html

  15. I loved this episode. I love Adam’s perspective on life-I can experience Rumi threaded throughout.

    I noticed he never answered the childhood question, though became vulnerable when asked about his depression and dad.

    I always want to know about people’s childhood experience and find it is something we protect, regardless of what was. I wonder if people would be more open to the question “what beliefs, decisions about yourself, framework do you think were unique to your childhood experience?”

    To frame it as an opening and allowing for the person being asked to be responsible for their perception. A safer place.

    Thank you! I wrote on the board after the last Adam episode, he is effective, poignant-this episode came at the perfect time. Thanks again! I love the content you put out.

    1. Gabrielle, THANK YOU, wow!!! Which childhood question did I not answer? I would be glad to answer you. In our conversational parkour I probably forgot it, we were all over the place. Tim is the best at eliciting the core lessons and truths.

  16. Tim, were you able to restore your microbiome? I can’t find anything much by you about that since your 2015 interview with Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Please update us on what worked & didn’t when you can. Thanks!

  17. I liked your book

    After I took an exacto knife to the Peter Thiel section of course

    Five pages lighter made the book much better

  18. Adam- Did you spell “of” with an f or a v?….you went through your systematic approach to spelling this word on which you were stumped…. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I am curious whether you latched onto the f because of recognition, “of”, or v, which would be the phonetic choice.

    Super episode! Many nuggets in there!

    1. Thanks!! I didn’t spell it with either. It was a momentary thing, as a child in class, I realized the spelling just then — that moment — flew out of my head, and yet I knew it had two letters, a vowel followed by a consonant, so I spent the rest of the day working through every single combination, all 1200 (6 vowels x 20 consonants), attempting in vain to find the pair that was of. Now as a speech pathologist, worth knowing, that I probably fixated on the second sound, the “v” sound, because when I got to o-f, I probably pronounced it in my head as “ahf”, and then dismissed it because of the f sound.

  19. Loved Adam’s comment (paraphrasing here) that his goal is in human interaction is focusing on the other person with the intent to delight & honor them with full attention. I appreciate Adam’s belief in the power of thoughtful unique gift giving. Very thoughtful & sincere discussion … thanks Tim!

    1. Tracey, thanks so much!!! Tim is the best, goes always straight to the heart of the truths to be found. I’m expanding on all those themes and more on Twitter.


  20. Totally awesome podcast. I think Adam’s voice sounds like Malcolm Gladwell. I love Adam’s stories about running up to Bobby Fischer in the street and I think the focus in creating magic, leaning in and causing delight in the other is truly, fundamentally awesome.

    Cool quotations from the podcast :

    “I mean this is Omaha, come on.”

    Note – I have been to Omaha several times, I have friends from there, I love Omaha.

    “Is what I am going to say going to create light in the other person…if not don’t say it.”

    1. Nicholas! I LOVE Omaha, too!! I grew up in Evanston, for gosh sakes, so I am a proud son of the Midwest!! I was trying to say, it didn’t come out right as soon as I said it, that she was NOT volunteering to go to Omaha because she had some OTHER reason to go there, she was JUST doing so for me! Came out wrong! That’s why I immediately corrected myself and Tim laughed! Tim’s the BEST!!!!!

  21. Adam is such a love and your interaction is delightful. Listening to this podcast was a great way to spend some time this evening. Thank you. 😀

    1. Sue, YOU’RE the love for saying so! So back at you! I enjoyed doing our group podcast (#210) with my other besties Ramit Sethi and Josh Waitzkin, like Tim brilliant, brilliant — caring souls!

      1. Thank you, Adam. <3 I enjoyed your last visit with Tim and the guys so much that I downloaded it to relisten to whenever I need a lift, Adam, and reminders of all the great advice. "Meeting" you in that episode caused me to be thrilled when I realized you were having the one on one with Tim. 😀

      2. Sue!! You made my evening (I’m in London, back home to NY end of week!). Stay in touch via twitter, I’m actively developing these themes in real time!

  22. Tim – are you aware how the changes to Dodd-Frank impacts services like Wealthfront? If reversed, we will not be able to share the financial information across institutions and thus not able to compare services like Wealthfront.

  23. Adam- the discussion about depression, and the fact that depression confuses your mind to think that the good times were the delusion and that the depression is your reality, really hit me. The whole episode was fantastic, but that may have been my moment and I felt like you were sitting across the table from me, helping me. Thank you both.


    1. Ry, brother, if that is something you have dealt with, or deal with, never alone, please. I am so glad it resonated with you. If you need to, reach out to me.

  24. Great episode Tim / Adam! So many takeaways – I’ve been living the “go first” attitude introduced by Gabby Reece for about 18 months now, and it’s done wonders for my self confidence, and you know what – the world seems a happier place!

    Towards the start of the episode you mentioned a quote attributed to Warren Buffett about Time being his greatest asset – I can’t seem to find this attributed to him anywhere?

    Adam, given the unbelievable strength gains from the Granny Smith and Carrots diet, why on earth did you go back to eating “normally”? 😉

    1. Because I kept losing weight, and I became concerned the energy and power were physiological compensations for a body in extreme stress. And I was a bore to dine with!

  25. THANK YOU for this one, Tim. I was hoping you would have Adam on for a solo podcast episode, and I am so grateful you did. I’m not even done listening to the podcast and I wish if would never end. Adam is a delight to listen to, and, I’m guessing, a delightful person. I love his mind. I wish he would start his own podcast. More, more, more is all I can say. Please have him on again. This is what I call QUALITY to the max!!!!!! One of my favorite episodes.

    1. Dear Regina, thank you so much!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I’ve begun actively tweeting every day, just started, so please follow, I’m really just getting started. We’ll see about a podcast

  26. Two philosophers in the ring – moments of relaxed oddness and magic in another wonderful episode.

    Where I stopped to note:

    – “Suffering is an excessive focus on yourself” Tony Robbins

    – Creativity is getting in touch with your subconcious: bed, bath, bus.

    – The continuous reminders – per Gabby Reece – to “Go first” and “live the magic”.

    The joke, at 1:36m is stunning.

    And being in part about stakes, quite Ferrissian too…!

    Tim, very much a couch episode. Could we have a picture with host, guest and Molly licking the guest as the episode pic, in the future!?

    1. I found a piece of paper with more notes to myself and adding since this has played on my mind all week and came back to me repeatedly in journalling…

      “Adam’s philosophy on life, and how to live:, his “three rules for success” that Adam observed and learnt in 2016: 1. “the importance of fun, enthusiasm and delight in everything that you do. 2. connecting with everyone that you encounter. 3. to lean in to each moment and each encounter and everyone you meet expecting magic or miracles. (Notice that none of these have anything to with self.).”

      Saved forever.

      Adam, thank you 🙂

  27. Enjoy the podcasts and just had to comment on a particular. The Beeman’s gum story does not reflect well on the guest, as it is hardly bringing delight to others to say “why would anyone want go to Nebraska?” especially if his good friend is a lifelong resident who loves the place. It was actually kinda dickish.

    Kudos, Tim. It was a nice save to say “It was winter.”

    The second observation is in the form of an alternate hypothesis to his “pay it forward” conjecture: the gal working at the gallery was heading home for Xmas. She was from Omaha (we’re everywhere!).



    1. MK, apologies, but you missed entirely the point I was making in real time during our conversational parkour. I am from the Midwest, I grew up in Evanston, and I LOVE the Midwest, always have, more than New York, where I live. What I MEANT to say — it just didn’t come out right, and I immediately immediately CORRECTED myself in the conversation — was that Tim was suggesting that maybe she just wanted to got to Omaha Nebraska when I had to deliver something there, and I was correcting that, to say, but it didn’t come out, what-are-the-odds-that-a-gallery-owner-in-New-York-City-in-the-dead-of-winter-is-going-to-want-to-go-to-Omaha. I LOVE Chicago, where I grew up, and heck, there are months of the year I wouldn’t want to go. My point — and if you listen to the podcast carefully you will see — was that she was going OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF HER HEART, to do MAGIC, and NOT NOT NOT because she had some OTHER reason to go to Omaha. Regarding your d*****h comment, I will remind you of the spirit of these comments, not to be rude.

      1. PS: She was headed home for the holidays to visit her family in CHINA, by the way, as to your alternative hypothesis.

      2. Apologies, I wish to reset, apologies. I can see how you would have taken what I said, and that was not my intention. Listen again to the heart behind that podcast, I apologize. Reset.

  28. The three rules were the best takeaway for me.

    I even wrote them down to share with others. I have

    long believed in the concept of “servant leadership”

    and these three rules just boiled it down to its


    1. Yes William, and it makes “serving” FUN, and the universe has your back so whatever you give you more than get back!

  29. Fantastic episode Tim! Long time listener. First time commenter. This one was golden. Had to listen twice to retain it all. Bloody fantastic. Please have him back again. 🙂

  30. I really enjoyed this one(as usual). I did an almost exclusive apple diet while backpacking through Europe 20 years ago.(Due to lack of funds) I was a lean machine by the end of the summer. I assumed it was from walking everyday endlessly, maybe the apples played a roll.

    not trying to be a prick, but the term you and Adam want to use is “EXCISE” not “INCISE”. AN incision is just a single cut, (like draining a cyst, “I&D”, watch that on youtube). AN excision is typically an elliptical shape actually removing the diseased tissue. (I remove skin cancers for a living)

    Cheers to Adam for sharing his extraordinary story, and Tim for bringing it to us. Aaron in Montana.

    1. Aaron, thank you for your kudos, however, for the life of me I’m 99.99999% sure I never used the word “incise” as a verb, ever.

  31. Just finished listening the Adam Robinson podcast. I felt compelled to step up and let you know how greatful I am that I could Listen to someone clearly articulate what I feel about this “Life”. There is something about coming to age and realizing this “Thing” that we all on is more then just pleasing our own desires and wants. It’s truly amazing when you dial in to the Other, to service the Other, to really be authentic with the Other. This is a powerful experience to be in. Keep up the good work that you have start, Tim!

    1. Mike, thank you SO much for sharing that, I am so thrilled that my words resonated with what is already in your heart, mind, and soul. I know there are others who feel/think/ARE the same way. And together maybe we can turn the world back towards the light, because it’s moving too rapidly away from it every day.

  32. Wow This episode is my favourite to date….and I have been a fan for a long while Tim. Thankyou; all the way from New Zealand.

    1. Craig, you are too kind!! Wow, wow, I am humbled. Really too kind. Episode #210 was also fun, less personal because it was with besties Ramit Sethi and Josh Waitzkin, in front of 1000-person audience, standing room only, so not as personal as the one-on-one, of course.

  33. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever heard such an accurate description of the kind of depression I experience too.

    I wrote it down in case any of you were looking for this quote as well:

    “One of the sinister things about depression is that it works by getting a vice grip on your thinking. So you’re incapable of thinking outside of yourself.

    “The worst aspect of depression between the ages of 14 and 30 there wasn’t a day I didn’t wrestle with the Hamlet question of to be or not to be. Some days for example, I remember a period of a couple of months I didn’t leave my apartment. I had my blinds drawn, I’d order in from a deli.

    “The worst aspect of depression is you come to despise yourself. And you believe that only now in depression are you thinking clearly. And that before you were delusional. And you hate yourself for it. You hate yourself for being deluded and that no one understands now. And now I’m thinking clearly. And now in depression nothing matters. And that’s really the devil at work.

    Because depression traps your thinking. It hijacks your thinking like a virus and you despise yourself. You despise yourself for being deluded previously.”

  34. Once again, an very interesting episode. Thank you for this Tim!

    I would love to see more content around the trading stuff 🙂 Would be awesome!

    Greetings from Germany!

  35. I love your visual of the closed circuit, Adam. Fear not about doing it all on your own before you understood the magic that comes from working with / in service to others. Some of us are working in the opposite order, trying to shore up our half of the circuit. Both have their challenges, but I’m delighted the world will benefit from you making this connection (pardon the pun).

    1. AMY, thank you! Yes, it’s a visual image, and the reason I like “lean in” to each moment is that it has a physical image that creates and heightens a sense of expectancy. I’m talking about these themes a lot on twitter, now that I just started tweeting!

  36. I have listened to all of your 219 podcasts Tim (some even twice), and this has to be the best one yet.

    What an absolute pleasure to hear you interview this man. Thank you.

    1. Wow, Emil, I am humbled. Thank you. I am sharing these and many many other thoughts now that I’ve started on Twitter, lots more still to share!

  37. Hey Adam,

    I am currently reading thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman and have found it to be quite troubling. I have read books from authors such as Jim Rohn, Peter Drucker, Tony Robbins, Stuart Wilde, Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill etc and believe that adopting a view of thinking which is aligned with this type of philosophy can be quite resourceful. I’m doing my MBA at Ryerson university and working with a professor in a directed reading (of which the material being given to me is inclusive of Kahnemans work and similar readings). I really resonated with what you were saying about decision making where you took the conscious view or system 2 approach first but allowed for your unconscious or system 1 to make the final decision. I have been going about my life this way (somewhat aligned to thought mechanisms present in buddhism/those represented in Siddhartha in terms of my mental state) and have found it to be completely awesome and empowering. I’m 26 and don’t want to act naive when dealing with my professors or just be that way in general, but also don’t want to turn into someone who is indifferent when it comes to my responsibility upon outward results/circumstances or negative and living through statistics. I wonder if you have ever dealt with this issue in your life or what material you consumed that allowed you to adopt the views you currently have? I’ve truly enjoyed both of your appearances on Tim’s podcast and was super happy to hear someone like you going against the grain so to speak. The only issue I have with Kahnemans book is how he keeps referring to luck and in my opinion essentially diminishes the merits of those who have done well. I feel like the section on overconfidence would be applied to my (and maybe yours too) way of thinking and going about making decisions. This has caused me to feel that my values are now conflicting in some scenarios. Thx a lot and keep up the good work!

      1. Mark, If you haven’t read it “The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds,” about the relationship that Kahneman had with his partner and its’ background might add some additional food for thought. And Micheal Lewis sure can tell a story.

  38. I’ve been a LONG time fan of Tim, having read everything he’s written and listened to every podcast. I’ve never left a comment on his blog or Facebook post…until now. This podcast with Adam was remarkable. Adam is remarkable, and recency bias notwithstanding, probably one of most inspirational guests I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to on the podcast. Moreover, after the last podcast which I have to say was the first one that left me disappointed, the stark contrast between a self-aggrandizing narcissist vs. Adam made me actually appreciate the previous podcast (via negativa). I aspire to Adam’s level of focus on those around him, and his humility. Thank you for the gift of this podcast.

    1. Aravind, it is I humbled by your words of support, I am so glad the podcast resonated with you. [ Just trying to keep the recency bias going in my favor!! 😉 ]

      Doing the podcast with Tim inspired me to start tweeting, so I’m sharing lots and lots more there every day, TONS!

      And thanks to Tim for being the beacon of brilliance he is.

    1. David, you are too, too funny. I am the younger — poorer — one!!!! The other fellow is the world’s greatest inspiration, my hero.

      1. okay Adam, you’re the guy on the left then, great. Thank you for replying that is kind of you. I am not sure you specified exactly in the podcast who ‘the worlds greatest inspiration; your hero’ is, just checked the show notes and I can’t see a reference either. If they were a world icon for humanity so to speak, I’d be sure I’d recognise the face, anyway glad they are important personally for you, and you have strong feelings, that is still something. Thanks so much for sharing!

  39. Hi Tim

    I have followed your podcast and u tube video since my husband suicide from depression one month ago. Your positive & tactical reinforcement have helped me a lot during this period of time. Please keep on doing and producing brilliant episodes specially related to how people overcome depression.

    On other note, please consider overseas purchase of your TV show and some of the products you recommended, as people like me can order from singapore.

    1. Lisa, my heart breaks for you. I send you love from the United States. I am writing on these and other topics every day on twitter.


  40. I absolutely loved this podcast for so many reasons. Adam, thank you for being so open and honest with your personal struggles with depression and the changes you made and what you do now to keep it at bay. I particularly identified with your desire to connect with all whom you come into contact. I try to do that as well and I don’t think I realized until just recently that I did. I also loved your optimism about 2017. I think it’s exactly what I needed to hear… your unique way of looking at the world and calling this a fulcrum year gave me more optimism. Personally, I am making some big changes this year as I hit my goal number to become financially independent and I have no idea how I will use my time or talents (I’m staying laser beam focused on the present right now) in the future and hearing your perspective made me more excited and hopeful.

    1. Thank you so much! Tim has dealt honestly with his own struggles with depression, so I was following his lead. In most things Tim is at the vanguard. I’ve begun tweeting about all the themes you mention, just started! @IAmAdamRobinson, so stay tuned. Reach out if I can help.

      1. Wow, you’re sweet…. I’ve been through my own struggles with depression and spent lots of time, effort and money in therapy and Alanon meetings and really reprogrammed my brain to think differently about things. It was worth all the effort to get out to the other side. Your comment just made me stoked to figure out “what’s next”…. and that perhaps this crazy 2017 will lead me in a completely unexpected but awesome direction, especially now that I have taken the need for full time work out of the equation. Keep up the amazing work, Adam! We are listening.

  41. It would be incredible to have a lunch with one of my heroes — the human gineau pig, Tim Ferriss.

    Another uplifting & enlightening episode:

    Loved relationship advice given via chess strategy. Translational on all accounts.

  42. Thanks, Tim! My favorite lesson from this episode was the gambler walking into the bar. It reminded me of both Richard Feynman’s escapades and your aggressive poker strategies that worked so well in your TFX episode.

  43. Very good interview!

    In this interview and in the one with Ed Catmul I was a bit worried you would neglect your guest and use him as a source of indirect interview to someone else they know well. Here was Warren Buffet, and with Ed was Steve Jobs and George Lucas. In both cases you did very well, asking them a few question about those amazing friends of them, and than coming back and focusing on them.

    I guess the curiosity on such figures is only normal, and I’m happy you were able to both bring out information about their notorious friends, and then fully appreciate what they have to say for themselves.

    As always, thanks for the amazing work, keep going, as long as you’re having fun, it’s an honer to be on the receiving end!!

  44. Can you risk/afford not to know what your readers think about your product? Yes, you can’t spare the time to read & digest x000 emails. So, hire someone (not me).

  45. I absolutely loved this podcast for so many reasons. Adam, thank you for being so open and honest with your personal struggles with depression and the changes you made and what you do now to keep it at bay. I particularly identified with your desire to connect with all whom you come into contact. I try to do that as well and I don’t think I realized until just recently that I did. I also loved your optimism about 2017. I think it’s exactly what I needed to hear… your unique way of looking at the world and calling this a fulcrum year made me re-frame my thoughts. Personally, I am making some big changes this year as I hit my goal number to become financially independent and I have no idea how I will use my time or talents (I’m staying laser beam focused on the present right now) in the future and hearing your perspective made me more excited and hopeful.

    1. You are so welcome!! I thank Tim because he’s been honest about his own struggles, and in this and in so many many things, Tim takes the lead!

      I have been sharing lots more thoughts on everything we discussed in the podcast every day via tweets, so be sure to follow!

      Spread the magic!

  46. Tim / Adam,

    Loved the episode, thanks so much. Really appreciated your openness and vulnerability in talking about depression. The topic of learning to quieten your mind and listen to your intuition is one I’m exploring a lot at the moment. Glad to hear it is for you guys too, it also helps to affirm my practice. Lovely to hear about your bringing ‘magic and miracle’ into the rational / business world.

    So many points to take away and mull over. Some of my favourites are:

    The 3 secrets of success …

    -The importance fun enthusiasm and delight (especially for the other person) in everything you do

    -Connecting with everyone you encounter, however fleeting a basis

    -To lean into each moment, in every encounter, with everyone you meet, expecting miracles

    These are all about the other person. You are going [to an interview / date / pitch etc] to delight the other person, that’s what you are there for, first and foremost, to make a connection. And if you do, if that’s your purpose, as opposed to getting the job / funding, that’s when you get magic and miracle. It gives you infinite power, because you want nothing and you are offering everything. You are playing a game in which you can’t lose. You are in total control and you don’t want anything.

    Suffering is an excessive focus on yourself.

    Your unconscious mind / the muses are whispering all the time, you need to close out your conscious mind to hear those voices

    Getting out of myself, it’s all about the other person. To create an electric circuit you need two, you can’t do it alone, when you charge with another person, you open up a cosmic circuit … you create magic.

    Thanks again.

    1. Damian, thank you so much. Tim always goes for the solar plexus of truth with his guests, he really does! What an excellent summary of the ideas we played with, conversational parkour. I just just started tweeting about these ideas and a whole lot more, be sure to follow,


      THANK YOU!!

  47. What was the two-letter word he talks about. I’m so embarrassed that he was embarrassed about it when he was 9 years old and I am 27, and don’t know what word that is.

    1. Anupum, nothing to be embarrassed about! Sometimes hard to convey things in conversation without a diagram. It was the word “of”.

      1. Adam, had a similar experience but in a 4th grade spelling bee where we all stood up and then sat when we were wrong. Imagine my embarrassment at being stuck on “of” in front of the class.

  48. Wow! That’s truly impressive. Tim, your podcasts always feature impressive stuff, but this one really was a whole extra league above.

    Sometimes the self-experimentation and self-improvement focus can become a little too self-absorbed (not meant as a criticism Tim, it’s part of the genre, and none of us would be here if we weren’t a little guilty), but Adam cranked this up a notch, showing how genuine further improvement can really only come through interaction. Through seeking improvement externally. Through giving.

    There really wasn’t a dull moment. Not even the occasional pauses Adam took to speak, which after a while became almost a suspense-inducing device as we waited for another zinger. I reckon Tim waited until after Tools For Titans came out to interview Adam, because he knew he would have to add a whole chapter after this!

    I’ll definitely listen to this again, and Mr Robinson, please, please do hurry up with that book! (PS, I already checked amazon, and I am guessing you’re not the person with your name writing “The Best Team Wins”, are you?).

    Cheers – and thanks again!

    1. Wow, Michael, thanks so much! Tim is the best! I love the way you summarized the conversation, wow! I’ve FINISHED the book! I did two weeks ago, now editing, having artwork done, and then unleashing it on the world. I didn’t write that book, another Adam Robinson (Hireology)! And there’s yet another Adam Robinson who wrote a book on Bin Laden! So confusing! I’m tweeting about ALL those themes and so much more, just started a week ago, @IAmAdamRobinson. THANKS AGAIN MICHAEL!!

  49. Dear Tim and Adam,

    My favourite quote or phrase was actually the joke about the gambler, it caught me by surprise as being the funniest joke I’ve heard in ages!

    This is The Best Podcast I have listened to, to date. I listen to your podcasts on my drive to work, and when I caught myself I was grinning the whole time. Adam mentions he looks to make a connection with everyone he meets… Well I was absolutely captivated and listening to him brought me so much joy! Why are chess players so interesting???!!! From talking about depression to being the best gift giver… I cannot speak higher of this! I’m downloading the prequel right now! Thank you so much for recording this ❤

    1. Jasmine, wow, thank you!! Wow! Let me just say again, wow! I’ve just started tweeting about all those themes and so much more, @IAmAdamRobinson. Please stay in touch!

  50. I was very taken with the many interesting conversations of this podcast. In particular, Adam’s story of playing chess and hearing a “voice” tell him that he could win the chess position. You both then spoke about wanting to clear space in your minds to hear that whisper that is always there in the background. I’m wondering if you have explored this further, or if you might be interested in doing a podcast exploring this concept. I have been trying to tune myself into my intuition since I was in my mid twenties (20 years ago), culminating in purchasing a one way ticket to India in order to force myself to stop listening to my conscious mind and try to learn to follow my intuition. The result was an amazing array of experiences, where each taught me something about myself I had not realized or accepted before. I fully believe that we have access to knowledge that we can’t rationally or consciously explain, and in my experience, at least, learning to tune into this voice has resulted in a life that surpassed any dreams I used to have.

    1. Yes Jason, SO important, learning to listen to that voice. I’ve begun tweeting a week ago, and I will touch on this theme and others, @IAmAdamRobinson

  51. If you are a student struggling or if you have a child say late middle school or high school, please check out Teacher Adam Robinson’s book What Smart Students Know. I found this book about 10 years in desperate research to find something to help some students. To me it was “wow” because I saw it as a training manual on the thought processes for school. Please don’t scoff off some of the “obvious” truths with “well, of course”. Many do not know them or if know them, do not have conscious control for max use. The book can be overwhelming because it gets pretty detailed. I recommend small bites at a time. Many students have come back to me with marvel and appreciation.

    So, Teacher Robinson allow me to say thank you. You threw out powerful magic into the world. I hope more people will pick it up.

    1. David, many thanks for your kind words. I WISH I had the time right now to rewrite What Smart Students Know, because I have a MUCH simpler way to express the concepts, having pondered the material for many years!! I have already shared some concepts via Twitter, so follow me there, all bite-sized lessons!! @IAmAdamRobinson

  52. In this podcast you talk about a deal that you were struggling over of which your then gf asked if you even trust the guy. You said no and you didn’t go through with it, which turned out to be the right decision.

    In the previous podcast, Becoming the best version of you, you talk about the similar incident in which you did go through with the deal, which turned out to be horrible.

    It sounds like you are talking about same event in both instances. Are they two different occasions?

  53. Well shit, if Adam is still answering questions, then I’d like to know if you continued on with training after finding out that you were effortlessly lifting heavy weights after eating granny smith apples. Were you able to continue to lift that way? Did you change your eating habit? Did that change your strength? What happened with your training?

  54. While I’m at it, Adam, can you give more examples of the times you’ve heard the voice of your unconscious manifested physically?

    1. Donghoon, I’m tweeting actively on all these themes and more, so follow me there! @IAmAdamRobinson. By the way, the apples weren’t training, they were just the end result of Tim-Ferriss-like experimenting with optimal food intake, weeding out the foods that made me feel bad, consuming more and more of the fewer and fewer foods that boosted my whole system. I stopped because I lost way way too much weight, and I was no fun to eat meals with, and because there are other pleasures to be had with food variety. Also, I became concerned that the strength was my body’s overcompensation for dramatic weight loss. When I began eating “normally” again (which took nearly a year of gradual transitioning), yes, the strength gains were lost and I “regressed” back to my normal strength, which was still considerable.

  55. I love the specific and sensible thinking from Adam Robinson. Just realized a couple of days after hearing this that his three B’s for creative inspiration: bath, bed, and bus – would be much easier to remember and a bit more of a match as: bed, bath, and beyond.

    Really not trying to undermine Adam. But I hope this helps someone else too!

    1. Tatyana, you are a doll! I was on back in December, #210, which was great great fun, and I’m ALWAYS down with Tim-led conversational parkour!! I’m sure he has a whole queue of outstanding global titans to share their wisdom. In meantime, be sure to follow my twitter feed, I am writing about those themes and many others every day!


  56. Tim, as always your podcast episodes are stellar. My favorite quote from this episode was about “simplicity on the other side of complexity.” Also, I’ve found the same results with green apples as you and Adam talked about (I prefer golden delicious though).

    Josh Waitzkin is probably my all-time favorite of all your guests, and Adam is right up there as well.

  57. Adam was an amazingly generous guest. Tim, you have really mastered your interviewing craft. Your style of drawing Adam out and moving from topic to topic and even the placemakers you returned to seemed effortless. I was right with you, ever time you asked Adam probing guestiond and together you extracted gems. Bravo!

  58. Merci beaucoup for this great and very generous conversation. The most important part for me is when two successful men openly talk about listening to their intuition and inner voices. The entire exchange is very inspiring! I wish you all the best.

    1. Caroline, avec plaisir! Conversational parkour with the Master Ferriss always guaranteed to get to true wisdom. I am sharing more on Twitter, @IAmAdamRobinson

  59. Adam, Tim,

    This was exactly what I needed today. How do I delight the other? How do I create the magic? Lean in and be there! The day started with an argument with my wife followed by an unproductive exchange with my son’s teacher the only thing in my head with both exchanges, my issues, my time, my priorities and my opinion. Bothered me all day as I thought how do I fix this, improve MY outcome and then I listen to ‘focusing on the other’.

    Great talk, thanks for sharing. Really easy knowing what to do with my wife, keep leaning in and opening up more. School, I have a much better idea on how to manage my day to day interactions, lean in and create delight nothing to lose on that! What we do long term something else; however I’m not going to improve the situations walking in thinking of my position only.


    John Pierce

    1. John!! I’ve been tweeting about this actively since I started tweeting just a week ago! And lots more, but about PRECISELY YOUR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS!! SO glad you reached out!



  60. Adam, Thank you… This conversation touched every cell in my body and i must admit; i got teary eyed several times as I took in the genuineness in your voice (I doubt reading the same words would have had the same effect). I cried during my morning commute on 101S with an especially large smile on my face during the part in which you talk about Bobby. The first encounter you explain; walking straight up to him in NYC and bombarding him with questions is just so extraordinary and yet so beautifully simple at the same time. Aren’t moments like those similar to when you met and the friendship shared later on great examples of what you mean by “magical miracles”? What a great outlook to adopt! The idea to expect magic and miracles everyday is so exciting and so beautiful to me; thank you for sharing.

    1. MEL, wow, thank you! I am touched that the podcast resonated so profoundly. Truly. By the way, we also did a group podcast, #210, worth listening to, but it was in front of an enormous standing-room-only audience in NY, so less intimate, and because a group conversation (with my besties Josh Waitzkin and Ramit Sethi), less personal and intimate, but I share lots of insights. ALSO doing it on twitter, which I just began two weeks ago, @IAmAdamRobinson. Send me your email, mine is Adam@RobinsonGlobalStrategies.com, and I will send you advance copy of my manuscript (it is done, just doing final edits, cover art, then unleashing on world by my birthday in March).

  61. Good one, enjoyed that.

    Never knew there was such a thing as fruitarianism, I’ll have to look deeper.

    I “went Paleo” a few months ago. Cut out cereals, sugary stuff, processed stuff and most dairy.

    After the initial spell of not really feeling right, then feeling better than ever, I started to notice that I actually do really well on fruit, and really badly on vegetables.

    Leafy greens are great, I grow my own mostly, but carrots and potatoes leave me feeling horrendous and mega irritable the next day.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been a little concerned about how much fruit I can eat.

    It’s like three quarters of a trolley full every week, and not a great deal of fat meat.

    I’m tall, wide, not fat, (muscular, but I don’t like to brag….) and very physically active, I know when I’m not getting the sustenance I need, I’m a manual labourer.

    A heap of fruit just hits the spot, but I guess I was kind of not accepting that.

    Now I know it’s actually a thing, with a bit of science backing it, I’ll have to explore a little further, and try and optimise it.

    And yeah, 2017 feels like a fulcrum year, there’s something in the air. Heaps of stuff that was kind of stuck last year is coming unstuck, things are getting clearer, been feeling it a while. (and no, it’s not to do with my fruit consumption….)

    Thanks for the podcast and the wisdom.

    1. Mr. Dee, thank you! But just to be clear, I was NOT advocating fruitarianism. Key point was the very Ferriss-onian principle of endless experimenting to find the optimal anything, in this case food intake. As your body becomes attuned, you will discover certain foods make you feel really good, certain foods make you feel really bad, and a lot of foods are neutral. So you weed out the “poison” foods and increase your intake of the elixir foods, and you will see your strength grow amazingly, and I’m sure on other metrics. The foods that my body optimized with in my early 20’s are not the foods that create optimal functioning now, and you’ll further discover that it depends on the season most likely.

      Yes, 2017 is a fulcrum moment, for everyone as individuals, and for groups, and nations. Time to act.


      1. Yeah, no, I understand you weren’t advocating fruitarianism, I realised I made it sound a bit like that afterwards. It was more the fact that I found it interesting that some folk do well on a high fruit intake.

        Keep experimenting, keep journaling.

        Had two great big fat people with sickly little kids ask me all about Paleo the other day. Was a pleasure to explain to them. I’m hoping they take action, I think they will, it’s pretty obvious they are super fed up of their health levels.

  62. This week, I tried the fruitarian diet, along with living like a caveman and sleeping on the ground, and being outside more and walking. The fruitarian diet lasted less than 48 hours before I had stomach pains, so thanks for warning about it being seriously a bad idea.

    Tim, I’ll be sending my new planner by email soon on inspiration from morning journal and your obsession with Japanses and language learning. It’s called Godzilla’s Playbook or english version: Unhinged Titan’s Playbook

    1. Joe! The fruitarian diet, as I described in the podcast, evolved over MONTHS!! I began to notice which foods made me feel good, and which ones made me feel bad (there were a lot of neutral foods), and I GRADUALLY (it wasn’t a conscious regimen, as Tim would have adopted, or I would have now, I just fell into it) added more of the elixirs and eliminated the poisons. GRADUALLY!! And I wasn’t advocating fruitarianism, by the way, those are the foods that made ME powerful, for you, it might be meat and vegetables. Interestingly, meat was a neutral for about half a year, and then fell into the negative category.

  63. While I still have 26 mins remaining in this amazing podcast (can’t wait to get back in the car and finish it this afternoon), I wanted to know whether there was something or a particular connection in 2016 which led Adam to discover or perhaps rediscover the importance of connecting with others and the notion that it is not about us but all about others and what gift to others that really matters. So these 3 things (fun, enthusiasm and delight in everything; connecting with everyone you encounter; lean into each moment and every connection and expect magic and miracles), what was it about 2016 that brought these to light? say versus the time when Adam was so connected to Bobby Fischer. Thank you for Tim for bringing Adam to us and thank you Adam for sharing in such a passionate way your life, your journey and what you continue to learn.

    1. Wow Lilian, you’re a love! Such a great question, and surprisingly, the answer is that I have absolutely no idea those insights came from, another dimension, questions I’d been asking for years. But that’s true with absolutely all of my ideas and insights ever — they come from out of the blue, I have absolutely nothing to with their arrival, as if they arrived on my doorstep, delivered by I have no idea whom or what. SUCH a genius question about then how was it different when I was younger: I was not conscious of these rules whatsoever. Now what I became aware of this year is that my meeting Fischer on the corner of 34th Street and 6th avenue — across a wide avenue of cars racing by, and thousands of people out on a beautiful Easter Sunday — was NOT a coincidence. I made him appear. Unconsciously, an innocent’s passionate love of his hero, Fischer had to appear — just as he had to come into my consciousness (imagine if I had been looking just 5 degrees away, I would not have seen him). And this year, I’ve begun to master the conscious control of what had previously appeared coincidences. I’m sharing these secrets on twitter Lilian, @IAmAdamRobinson

  64. Wonderful episode!

    Brave Adam – thanks for being so open. In regards to “The Other” and connecting by creating delight for others – great philosophy. Some analogies that came to mind…

    You mentioned this is somewhat of a new concept in your daily life (~1.5 yrs). Static electricity: From listening, it seems as if you have built up lots of potential electricity, just waiting to connect with others. Whereas there might not be an abundance of this potential energy in someone who continually connects with others. I ask myself, How can I build this static electricity within myself to share with others?

    Adapters: Throw caution to the wind. Constantly creating magic by reaching for connection with others can mistakenly connect you to the incorrect voltage. Sometimes we need adapters or our systems will inadvertently fry out.


    Justin M

    1. Hi Justin! By the way, if I said static electricity I mean potential energy, converting into kinetic energy!!

      Another analogy is nuclear fission, magic chain reactions, when the magic created with this person ripples out to magic with multiple Others, which in turn each ripple outward to magic in still others.

      I was creating magic in Dubai, for example, and that led to my being invited to The Vatican for a global summit on ending slavery worldwide by 2030, and I’m sure that in turn will lead to still further magic.

      Yes, you are right, the individual will be energized by connecting and magic-creating, and must pace himself or herself!

      More on this daily in my tweets!


  65. Great podcast Tim I listen your podcast everyday and new tactics morning rituals, Please podcast with Brian Tracy he is great speaker and author you know him Tim I love to listen him on fourhourworkweek podcast.

  66. Great talk, thank you two! It would have been interesting to ask Adam, whether he had fits of Depression while on his “Apple diet” or if this form of “clean eating”, as it is labeled sometimes nowadays, influenced that too. Best regards!

    1. Thanks!! I still had depression while on the diet, and by the way, not on it any more (explained why above). The clean eating gave me astonishing power, but it did not eliminate the depressions, though as I discussed, for me (and for others) much of depression is tied to actual physical energy levels. Follow my tweets, @IAmAdamRobinson

  67. Hi Adam-

    I am very curious to know what your favorite/most gifted books are? I know this is a loaded question, so perhaps you could recommend either book lists to follow or books you might give someone in their 20’s?

    Thank you, I cannot wait for your book to be released!

  68. Hi Adam-

    Thank you so much for coming on the show, this was my favorite podcast of Tim’s (though he has many awesome ones!). One of my favorite parts of Tim’s shows are the book recommendations from the guests, as I am an avid reader. You had mentioned in the previous podcast that your favorite or most gifted books depend on the person, and I was very much hoping you might be able recommend some books for someone in their 20’s to read. If possible, I would love to hear your personal favorite books as well, or how you tend to find your next book. I cannot wait for your book to come out too!

    1. Sean! Thanks so much!! I think EVERYONE in his or her 20’s should read Wishcraft, by Barbara Sher (OUTSTANDING manual on getting in touch with what you truly want to do with your life — well, first career anyway, and then subsequent ones), also the book Passages puts your 20’s in the context of the decades to follow, which is important. Others I could recommend depending on your interests, career or otherwise. Follow me on Twitter, because every day I’m offering new advice and insights! Thanks again! @IAmAdamRobinson

      1. Hi Adam-

        Thank you for taking the time to respond to all of these questions, it certainly means a great deal. Career-wise, books for someone hoping to pursue research in math/science, particularly through graduate school would be of great interest!

  69. Love this lesson: You don’t have to swing.

    “The market is a pitcher, and everyday it’s going to pitch lots of balls to you. You don’t have to swing. So wait for a fat pitch and than you swing for it.

    Dangers when you want something your conscience mind will rationalize (it’s a good deal), meanwhile your unconscious mind is screaming: don’t do it, walk away.”

    Love this, thank you so much to point out the importance of the unconscious mind. Especially excuse our society overvalues the rational apparatus for making decisions. Which you now clearly explained is greatly flawed. Thank you so much of making me conscious on this lesson!

    Melissa, entrepreneur in Amsterdam

  70. Tim,

    I quite enjoyed the spirited conversation with Adam Robinson. In listening to the 3B’s of creativity, the Bus metaphor reminded me of an interview I once read with Britt Daniel, the primary songwriter of the band, Spoon. I thought to pass this along as it is a wise practice and use of this tool and perhaps a future interview source for you.

    When he goes to write a new set of songs for a new album, he rents an apartment in a city where he doesn’t know anyone and goes it alone, a stranger in a strange land. He fully realizes the powerful creative and transforming effects that changing one’s environment can have.

    This is a tried and true tradition in the creative arts. He is alive unlike other past subjects of this method. Just mentioning in case you could make use of this.


    George Bolanis

  71. The 3 rules for living – amazing gems! Thank you Adam.

    Suffering = excess focus on self. Thank you Tim and Tony!

  72. “Go into every moment expecting magic.” This entirely changed my mindset on how I approach every moment in life. It also led me to me getting my first dog the day after finishing the podcast. I’ve always been hesitant to get a dog for multiple reasons. I randomly drove by a pet adoption agency 2 days ago and decided to go in just to check it out. I went in expecting magic. As soon as I walked in one specific dog immediately stopped playing with the people it was playing with and made a beeline to me. She followed me around the entire time I was there and wouldn’t leave my side. To sum it up, I went in expecting magic and left with an incredible rescue dog! I can thank you guys for this!

    1. Wow! How thrilling! Listen also to Ep. #210, when I introduced the dog who reminded me of leaning in!!!

  73. This was one of my favorite episodes on the podcast. I have been feeling down and unsure about how to grow my business. What Adam said about creating a positive vision and magic for other people reminded me why I started my business. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and creating magic in my day, Adam!

    1. You are so very welcome! Truly humbled that my words resonated with you. I have been tweeting a lot about these themes, and will continue to do so going forward!! @IAmAdamRobinson Please reach out whenever you have specific questions via tweets.

  74. Hi Adam, as most, I am so happy to have been exposed to you via Tim. I look forward to more of your content and wisdom.

    Could you expound upon your encounter with the waitress and how you created delight for her? I am interested in trying this as a tactic in all interactions but am unsure of how to get started. What are some of your techniques or method when you have 30 seconds to make an impact?

    Best Regards,


    1. Greetings Sven, I have been tweeting about this and other themes every day, @IAmAdamRobinson. Rather than think of it creating delight as a “technique,” think of it as a MINDSET, and then whatever inspiration flows organically from this mindset will be AUTHENTIC. If it helps, playful, positive surprises always create delight, as well as a joyful enthusiasm. Again, the “what” that you do in any situation should flow organically from this mindset of creating fun and delight for The Other, without any ulterior motive. So I genuinely wanted to create delight for the maitre d’ not because we wanted a table — but rather because it delighted ME to do so. Getting a table was icing on the cake. As I stated elsewhere in the podcast, when you come from a position of wanting NOTHING and OFFERING EVERYTHING — fun and delight and an enthusiastic presence — others will naturally gravitate to you. The key is genuinely to want nothing other than delighting the other, which should delight you.

  75. Yeah… for that part about getting more in touch with our emotions (specially in our decision process), I recommend the book “Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain” (Antonio Damasio, neuroscientist), to see from a scientific perspective, that for us humans it is all a little connected, and we should trust a little more in our emotional part, as you mentioned in the podcast.

  76. An incredible episode. I may have to re-listen a second or third time. The “parkour” of dialogue was very exciting and entertaining. Great joke about the gambler! Haha! Adam’s 3 rules of success struck a chord with me…I hope to have fun, enthusiasm, and delight, connect with everyone I encounter, and to expect magic or miracles the rest of 2017! Thanks for this episode Tim and Adam!

    1. Fist bump Michael! Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m tweeting on those themes and lots more every day, @IAmAdamRobinson. Stay tuned!!

  77. Thank you so much for this discussion with Adam Robinson. I have just listened to it for a second time and I can honestly say each time I listen to it changes me a little bit for the better. It is certainly the best podcast I have ever listened to so most grateful for that opportunity.

    1. Norman, thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve been exploring those themes and lots more every day on Twitter, @IAmAdamRobinson, with more to follow.

  78. I was going through the list of episodes I missed over the winter and even though I’d never find the time to catch them all up I picked one, this one. Why? I don’t really know. But it turned out to be a great choice.

    Following this episode, I had to edit my life list (the things and principles I want to live by each day) with bits of wisdom from this podcast.

    Expect magical miracles from every encounter. Dare about everything. Do everything for others. Give. All that good stuff and much more align with and augment my life philosophy. Thanks Adam for sharing your thoughts and Tim for giving your guests the opportunity to do so!

    1. Mathieu, you are too kind! I’ve been tweeting on these and other themes several times a week at @IAmAdamRobinson, so stay tuned!