Myers-Briggs, Diet Mistakes, and Immortality (#250)

In this episode, I’m answering your questions. I’m responding to the most upvoted questions from subscribers to 5-Bullet Friday, the newsletter I send out every week. It explores five cool things I’ve found, including apps, books, gadgets, albums, articles, new hacks/tricks, and — of course — all sorts of weird stuff I dig up around the world.

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#250: Myers-Briggs, Diet Mistakes, and Immortality

Want to hear another Q&A episode? — Listen to this episode where I answer questions drunk. We discuss tantric sex, how I view and organize my various income streams, marketing yourself in job interviews, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#197: Drunk Dialing -- Ladies Night Edition!

This podcast is brought to you by AudibleI have used Audible for years, and I love audiobooks. I have two to recommend:

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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

Show Notes

  • How do I feel about personality metrics such as Myers-Briggs, and what’s my type? [05:09]
  • Ways I study questions to prompt introspection. [05:49]
  • What are the most common misconceptions people have about my work or philosophy? [08:00]
  • What missed the cut for Tools of Titans? [12:35]
  • What I think about before putting anything out into the world. [15:12]
  • What do I see myself doing when I reach old age, and would I take immortality if it became medically available? [20:30]
  • What is my current view on balancing future focus goals and enjoying the present moment? [26:28]
  • Why I don’t say to go after your “vision” or “passion” — and what I prefer instead. [30:49]
  • Why I endorse being a jack of all trades. [34:16]
  • What is my self-talk in difficult situations? [37:41]
  • How many guests do I think would be where they are now if they followed their own advice to their younger selves? [42:43]
  • Memory retention, 80/20 breakdown, and training advice for students preparing to take a big test. [46:47]
  • Effective ways to cultivate higher confidence. [54:09]
  • Subscribe to 5-Bullet Friday if you want to ask me questions for the next round [1:00:49]

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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52 Replies to “Myers-Briggs, Diet Mistakes, and Immortality (#250)”

  1. Hey Tim!

    I’ve been busy for the past months with my new job but where are your fans submitting questions for you to answer on the podcast?

  2. hi Tim, I really like your podcast, but english is not my mother language, I used to find the podcast in your youtube channel as there’s the option of auto- subtitle, but not all your podcasts could be found there.

    Is there any way that you could post the script of each episode or maybe upload the podcast to youtube channel in the same time as podcast?

    greets from Málaga, Spain!


  3. Tim why would you think some people can eat whatever and stay skinny? I’m sure metabolism is it but something more I would think. Trying to hit ketosis to burn fat buy eating low carbs makes sense but when people eat carbs forever and stay lean…. I once heard Tony Robbins explain fat was a buffer and it was your bodies way of helping you from giving the liver poison. So are the people who are skinny and eat all processed foods the unlucky ones?

    1. I can eat anything and remain relatively skinny. Do I have a six pack? No. But I have the cardio of a monster and women are always glancing my way which turns my wife on for some strange reason.

      The reason fat is so hard to get rid of around your midsection is because it’s protecting your organs. I don’t believe in cutting anything out of your diet but eating everything(including vegetables) should be done in moderation.

  4. I know Myers-Briggs as well anyone, and I know INTJ’s, and I know ISFP’s and they are surprisingly similar, and you could be – INTJ – possibly… but I would look at ISFP – because you are WAY too much into philosophy… granted you could be a centric INTJ but you seem way to open to many things, not nearly narrow enough in your interests… I think there is about a 5% chance of you being INTJ, you are an artist.

    1. I respectfully disagree! Tim definitely strikes me as an INTJ.

      – NT is consistent with love of philosophy (philosophy is largely brain exercise and is often “woo-woo,” something more likely to be tolerated by Ns than Ss).

      – Stoicism as the poison of choice also makes sense.

      – Tim’s so hyper-organized and analytical that he researched his suicide plans and organized them in a spreadsheet.

      – INTJs are known for being a “jack of all trades” and being more confident and less withdrawn than many other Introvert types.

      – INTJs can come off socially like extroverts on the surface due to this sure-footedness and are said to have their “pick of careers.”

      I’m an INTJ myself and a couple of my closest friends are also INTJs. As a lifelong musician I’ve worked with ISFPs and my cousin (foodservice) is also an ISFP. Even a somewhat headstrong ISFP style is probably still softer than the most understanding and caring amongst INTJs. Yes, Tim may come off as an “artist” but being a creator does not an ISFP make — some of the most dedicated creatives I’ve worked with are INFPs (which I think are a good deal more alike ISFPs than INTJs) and Tim is both too critical and too organized in my observation to be anything FP.

      Just my $0.02 — personality theory is fun but in practice basically useless without using a lot of them at once… if we wanted to get all into the weeds we could consider how Tim’s Enneagram type makes him a certain sort of INTJ.

      1. I respectfully disagree as well! 🙂 Living with an INTJ, I find Tim’s empathy off the INTJ charts. Also INTJs are not the most ethical ones. But you know who are? INFJs! So I’m placing my bet on this type and my fingers crossed, Tim, you’ll take the test someday!

    2. Hi Seth,

      What worked for me were the explanations on the Online Personality Tests website. They have a few methods on determining your real type and materials on how can you use it in your career.

  5. Great episode – I have a question.

    Are you happy with the way Tools of Titans turned out? Whether it be number of books sold, time on the best sellers list, lives impacted etc And is there anything you would have done differently?

  6. You’re most likely INTJ for most of the time, you sound like one, but according to the situation you’re most likely getting into Feeler/Perceiver – because you’re developing empathy etc.

    Myers-Briggs is a great test, but the unreliable image it has in the science community is because results won’t replicate through time because it is depending on the situation and mood, especially ppl who work a lot on themselves.. they will adapt. Under pressure one is INTJ, but remove time & danger – they might be INTP.

    I’m also INTJ and I’ve taken the test several times, but with women I prefer to be ENFP to ensure we calibrate better 😉

  7. Hey Tim!

    Halfway through listening and as always, great, useful information – thank you!

    I do have a question about fasting and the slow carb diet. Is it “better” to have the 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking to start the day as you write in the book or is it better to stick with black coffee, water, or green tea and keep with the intermittent 16:8 fasting? I usually have a protein shake (plant based protein and water) and I’m guessing that breaks the fast. I’m trying to cut a little more weight and get the best results most efficiently. Also, I’m usually waking up around 6am so if I try and do both, I’ll technically be done eating by 2pm, and that’s a little less than ideal…

    Thanks again!

  8. I knew it! When I read The 4-Hour Workweek I knew I found a kindred spirit. I am also an INTJ. We are a rare breed indeed.

    1. Fellow INTJ here, I felt the same way! In fact often times I think of something independently only to hear Tim say it on a podcast or in a book not long afterwards. Hearing him say he’s been labeled an INTJ came as no particular surprise and explained a lot.

  9. I love your podcast, you have influenced me to transform myself and my life, bit by bit, habit by habit.

    I was struck by the mention of self talk and wanted to share my systematic approach to self talk in the hopes it can add value to you or to your followers.

    I approach self talk from two angles: (1) distinguish feeling from thought and (2) dissect language.

    This plays out as follows…

    (1) We often inappropriately assign feelings to thoughts. For example, I may say “I feel like you are not listening to me.” This is not a feeling. A feeling is the experience of a physical sensation. The appropriate expression would be “I feel nervous/angry/pain/(blank) because I think you are not listening to me.” In distinguishing I take personal responsibility for my feelings and the perception I choose to have; I am grounded in reality and can proceed to dissection.

    (2) We think in language and we create what we think, therefore our language requires hyper awareness. To illustrate, I recently found myself saying “I am struggling” during a personal transition. I repeated the word “struggling” over and over and it occurred to me that I was making things worse than they were, stirring unhealthy anxiety, and overwhelming myself to paralysis. I stopped and asked myself is this true? Am I really struggling? If I had to put my life on the line to defend my position of alleged struggle would I? No, no I would not. What language would be more appropriate-feel real while creating a new story? I shifted to say I am experiencing challenges-I see a lot of uncertainty, I feel uncomfortable and scared. I could sink into that sentiment and move forward, it didn’t have the same impact of struggle and I wasn’t pretending to be in a place I wasn’t.

    And a third new tactic I use is speaking to an imaginary half time coach. I say “coach, put me in”. It’s my way to declare the past doesn’t matter, lessons learned, all that matters is that I play full out now, in this moment.

    Thank you again!

  10. Hi Tim

    Love your show. I am in London ON (Canada)

    Need to see transcripts attached to your podcasts (sometimes I do not have the time to listen to the podcast) and would like to scan the script (and cross it off my to-do list).

    Thanks for your time

  11. I’m not sure where to post this question, so posting it here.

    Is there any online community of people who have read and follow TFHWW, where I can seek guidance from people who have successfully applied these principles or are trying? I tried reddit but I was unable to find any subreddit for this.

  12. Loved this one, the I have not even finished listening to it when I got to the coffee vendor in out building, and I did the coffee challenge immediately!

  13. When asked about immortality, you talked about doing what you are doing “… teaching the cream of the crop.”

    How hard is it to teach people who are already the “cream of the crop” to be the “cream of the crop”?

    I will agree with you about following your “passion” or doing what you are good at is not going to make you successful — even if you are good at it.

    Just heard you advertising 99designs on the next podcast.

    I’m a graphic designer, by the way.

    You are right. Don’t follow your passion. Follow the money.

  14. Tim I have written to your attention before. I want to translate some of your books to Portuguese language… a potentially huge Market. Other ideas cross my mind… please see if it is fit for you [Moderator: contact info removed.]

  15. What I enjoy about your Q&A episodes are the straight-forward answers and the authenticity you bring to them. While the longer shows and conversations are fantastic—these offer a glimpse at your personal approach. Thanks for doing these! I look forward to more.

  16. Love your stance on the benefits of being a ‘jack of all trades’ and also your mentioning a 6month-plan instead of a 10year-plan… it helps calm the anxiety of overly-curious and enthusiastic ‘generalists’ like me that are seemingly supposed to ‘identify one passion for life and work on it’ – love your podcast, keep up the good work! <3

  17. INTJ sounds like a great type to be! I am an INFP, and now I’m wondering if I can focus/organize myself to be a bit more of an INTJ type character – just seems more focused! INFP’s (or at least me) or so value based (led/motivated by the underlying values and not plum curiosity), sometimes I feel I’d be stuck in a small, wandering loop. Thanks for all that you do, Tim.

  18. Hi Tim,

    Great point on free time and idleness as being end goals for so many confused folks. After I read 4 Hour when flying from Lima, Peru to NJ I saw that freedom, fun and service were the 3 intents. The Holy Trinity. Build your life around being free, having fun and being of service to human beings by working. Then, receive money for offering services. Then, allow that money to free you, as you build a prospering, freeing life from the inside out.


  19. 5 bullet Friday’s are a fantastic conversation starter piece for my wife and I over Saturday morning coffee! Keep them coming! Thanks!

  20. Hi Tim!

    I’m a big fan and have listened to many of your podcast episodes.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on an important lifestyle question: what do high achievers think about having children (how many/when/ etc.)? I believe Sam Harris touched upon this question in your interview with him, but I can’t think of anyone else.

  21. Tim, g’day from wintery Perth, Australia. First of all, thanks for all that you do. You rock.

    Given your passion for health and well-being, as well as your commitment to a better world, I would love for you to dip your toes into the rabbit hole of food systems and sustainable agriculture. Living in SF I’m sure you would have come across this stuff, but I’m talking implementation systems rather than organic chia seed smoothies.

    It would be awesome for you to have some of the leaders of this field on the podcast to explore these ideas with your audience. Individuals like Joel Selatin, Eric Toensmeier, Dave Jacke, Lisa Fernandes, Dwaine Lee (check out the doco “Inhabit” for a run down on some of these people).

    The mix of physical activity, cooperative working, amazing produce, artistic creation, soil, plant, animal and human health, the integration of natural and social systems and nature-based psychological grounding would probably hit a few of your buttons.

    From a world’s best performers perspective, what are these people offering? World leaders in sustainable human systems, and, Hell Yeah (as DS would say) do we need more of this.

    Cheers & keep up the good work!


  22. I know the Myers Briggs is well known and catches peoples attention, but it would be great if you, as a man of science, would not help to continue this non-scientific mumbo jumbo horoscope testing.

    Adam Grant at Huffington Post wrote a good blog piece about it back in 2013.

    It is unscientific and about as useless as a horoscope.

    Other than that love the pod, keep it up! 🙂

    1. Few things are black and white (thank goodness); but even though it makes broad generalizations, the paradigm has usefulness – much different than a horoscope. It’s not for everyone; But also, out of hundreds of millions of people, there obviously can’t be merely 16 distinct, perfectly-defined kinds of people. No one wants to be pidgeon-holed like that, nor can we be.

  23. Tim, Q&A are always a hit for me. The anticipation builds as soon as I see a Q&Apisode arrive in the feed! One question I am dying to ask is what was your earliest influence or introduction to Stoic philosophy – will keep a look out for the next Q&A invite…

    Really valued the cornerstone mantras to Slow Carb…that apply to eating well: if you can’t control your portion size, it’s not allowed. And, if it’s white it’s not allowed.

    Oh, and I one-clicked on If, being too a student of great questions!

  24. On your love for randomness. You should really check out the live and works of Brian Eno. He makes music inspired on randomness. Try to get him on your show. I’m sure he’ll blow your mind!



  25. Thoroughly agree with your recommendation of The Graveyard Book written (and read) by Neil Gaiman. Easily the best audiobook I’ve listened to. Neil is magical.

  26. Anonymous genetic testing — The details were left out of your book for a good reason; however, is there a way for the non-faint-of-heart to find out such great nuggets like this, if we were to “sign a waiver” of sorts? The M-B test says I am INTJ too – looking for more data of course.

  27. Really enjoyed the episode, thank you as always! Question, one of the things I swear you mentioned in this episode was a blog post that said among other things ‘over the course of the average human lifetime, you spend this much time with your parents’ etc. I was trying to track that down again but didn’t see it in the above resources. Which made me think, I think there’s quite a few things (such as that post) which are quite often mentioned in the various podcasts, and wouldn’t it be cool if there was a master list of all the resources/selected links from the various podcasts, maybe even ranked by frequency. Does such a thing exist? If so that would be pretty handy!

  28. Tim,

    Love the Q&A, I’m an ISFP as far as Meyers-Briggs is concerned and I fell deep into your content recently. I’ve made some big changed in my life, focusing on my strengths and how I can best the serve those in my life. It’s been a journey so far and failures/struggles have been happening. I am now a daily 5MJ writer and love my “Morning Pages”. They help to tremendously shape my day and get the nonsense out of my head to focus on what is of the utmost importance.

    Reading the “4 Hour Work Week” now, got a few stunningly out of my league women’s numbers and make a lot more eye contact now…

    Thanks for the consistently awesome content and idea inspiration.


    Oh, and by the way, Four Sigmatic beverages are delicious and I am enjoying them thoroughly each morning! I purchased Mushroom Coffee – Lions Mane & Chaga as well as Mushroom Coffee – Cordyceps & Chaga. Delicious with no jitters, until I cave for a regular cup of coffee a few hours later…

  29. Hi Tim,

    I tried the 10percent discount at my local coffee shop today and I learnt a valuable lesson of always providing a good reason when asking for things. The person taking the order was happy to provide the discount if I lied it was my birthday and we had a good laugh about it. But no discount for me this time!

  30. Hello Tim, first time commenting. I’m really enjoying your podcast! Listening to this podcast and the question about aging made me think you may enjoy a book, Being Mortal about Atul Gawande. In a sentence, it’s about aging and dying in the United States. But what it’s really about is finding meaning in your life when the body starts to fail, as it will for us all eventually. You may find it interesting food for thought and I bet Atul Gawande would be a fascinating interviewee.

  31. A Master Class in Practicing under Stress

    Phillip Pettit joined the Ringling Brothers as a teacher after walking a tightrope between the World Trade Towers. A friend of mine taught clowning at the time and he would go into the gym where Pettit would practice. Here’s what he did:

    Pettit would stretch a rope from the floor at one end of the gym to the ceiling at the other end. He would then slowly walk up the rope and practice falling, catching the rope, getting back on. He would repeat that as he slowing ascended to the ceiling.

    That’s commitment.

  32. Self-knowledge is an essential ingredient to personal growth. One of the best ways to get “metrics on your soul” is through an in-depth psych. eval from a psychologist who goes beyond discovering how crazy you are, and helps you make sense of your wounds, discover what really drives you, and helps you to clarify a more effective recipe for happiness. Its not cheap, but you will get what you pay for if its the right match!

    As a psychologist, I’m not a huge fan of the Myers Briggs. It is more of a personality description than a tool that lends a deep understanding of who your are. I often find that it uncovers the kind of personality you want to have as much as what your personality actually is.

  33. Hey Tim!

    Regarding diet mistakes – I can’t seem to find a solid answer (w/ scientific backing) over whether to eat whole eggs or egg whites. In trying to get 30g of protein in as early as I can, eggs are my go-to breakfast. One of your blogs mentioned that you’ve switched from whites only to eating whole eggs again. Thoughts?

  34. What could a person do to get themselves to do something they know they want to do but can’t get themselves to do it.

  35. Hi Tim, I always listen to your podcasts when I have time. They’re great but did you change your microphone for this episode? It could definitely do with some de-essing if you use it again. It would make it infinitely easier to listen to on the speakers in our office! Thanks and all the best.

  36. I thought that Tim’s ideas about exam studying could really apply to any big exam including the LSAT or the CPA exam.

    The book that he mentioned for memory improvement was “Your Memory” written by Ken Higbee.

  37. Have you heard about Big 5 personality traits?

    Check it out on wikipedia (spam filter prevents me to post URL here)

    It’s what Cambridge Analytica used.

    MBTI is just a scam. (again, check wikipedia criticism section for basic reasons why)

  38. Hey Tim,

    I’ve found the MBTI is useful in getting to know myself and others. I have my employees take it. (To the detractors: Are other “personality tests” useful? Yes. Is MBTI the end all be all? No. Is the MBTI useful? Yes.)

    Anyway, as an ambivert, I am a borderline I/ENTJ, but if I

    d to choose one I’m an INTJ, so I understand both types fairly well. I’ve read your books, heard you speak and watched you speak and my best guess is that you are an ENTJ (i.e. you are probably an extrovert). Why? 1. You are action-oriented (Te is the dominant function of ENTJs) more than intuition-oriented (Ni is the dominant trait of INTJs), 2. When you speak you mostly look directly at the speaker or camera without looking around. These are both traits of extroverts. Introverts look down, to the side and around more than 50% of the time when they speak to people – it’s the opposite with extroverts. For whatever it’s worth.

  39. Tim is an ENTP-X. The reasoning:

    Exxx = Extroversion. He’s a networker and connected in his career with a lot of people constantly, and still does. Being in the foreground, selling himself as the brand, like to talk a lot (just see his podcast show).
    xNxx = Openness to Experience. Abstract thinker with many “what if”-scenarios. He is definitely not an xSxx Type.
    xxTx = focusing on money and logical aspects. He’s also definitely not an xxFx Type.
    xxxP = Using swearwords in his book, having randomness and extreme versatility in his writings and books. Just scroll up and check out the versatility. xxxJ are more structured, but their structure leads to a much less level of entertainment.
    ENTPs are also known for being debaters, Life Hackers, ensuring generating money with lesser work (being a bit lazy/smart), finding ways when others don’t find ways. Just read the Bio on Tim’s website, that’s typical ENTP style, it’s not INTJ, ENTJ or INTP style. And we know that Tim wrote his Bio. He’s also not a xxxJ type, because they do not produce much content due to their structuralism and rationalism, they are more like directors, that have people that create content for them on Social Media. Just watch out for xNTJ authors, and for xNTP authors, you will see that Tim is much more of an xNTP author, he’s way too creative and too combinatorial for being xNTJ, as those are more structural and organizational.
    xxxx-T = Neuroticism. He said he had to cope with Fear/Anxiety, but he’s successful and smart, so he probably goes today more into xxxx-A, for generalization, let’s keep it on xxxx-X.

    Tim produces so much content, he must be a type of xNxP. And we know he likes to talk: ENxP. And we know he’s not an ENFP. Also, his books are covered by many topics from different perspectives: A topic collection which is more xNTP. If he wrote a book and focus in extreme depth, which he doesn’t, just the topic, it’s more xNTJ as they have a low randomness-level. xNTJ and xNTP think differently. xNTPs have a high randomness-level.

    It could also have been that he was once INTP-T, because they heavily focus on philosophy, as time studied Asian philosophy, but INTP’s not always but often keep in the background, Tim does not. And he’s too skilled in communication for being an INTP.

    Many people that make the MBTI the first time score as INTJ’s even if they are not, it’s known. If you want to know it better, then take the IPIP 300.

    He also often referred to himself as a “Human Guinea Pig”. Which firstly is some kind of humor (xNxP) (yes xNxJ are not very humors, but they are extremely sarcastic). And “being” such a Guinea Pig is also much more ExxP than IxxJ.

    He also has too much self-esteem for being an INTJ. So who’s an INTJ? Mark Zuckerberg (INTJ-T) and Elon Musk (INTJ-T). What is strongly different? They appear “robotic” and a bit insecure (Tim does by far not appear robotic, he’s a very skilled communicator).

    While the Neris MBTI has strong connections to the Big5 Model (expect from the value of Agreeableness as there can also be “Thinkers” with high Agreeability, see the blog from, the cognitive functions (Te, Ni, Se, etc.) have never been yet successfully proved in science. Big5 Model is the truth, cognitive functions are more a “blabla”, that’s why the traditional MBTI got that reputation.

    INTJ and ENTP are both scarily smart in their own way. They both are very extremely different, but also highly compatible to each other.

    But Tim is not an INTJ, he’s very clearly an ENTP. Very clearly. If you still don’t believe it, then start a discussion at any MBTI-Board on the internet about Tim.

    Best regards from an xNTJ-A.