James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron — How to Think Big, Start Small, and Change the World (#346)

“Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.” — James Cameron

James Cameron (@jimcameron) is a filmmaker and deep sea explorer. He is writer, director and producer of The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2, True Lies, Titanic, and Avatar. Both Titanic and Avatar (the highest grossing film of all time) won the Golden Globe for Best Director and Best Picture and were nominated for a record number of awards. Cameron was also at the vanguard of the 3D renaissance, developing cutting edge 3D camera systems. As an explorer, in 2012, Cameron set the world’s solo deep diving record of 35,787′ in the Challenger Deep in a vehicle of his own design.

A dedicated environmentalist, Cameron founded The Avatar Alliance Foundation to take action on climate change, energy policy, deforestation, indigenous rights, ocean conservation, and sustainable agriculture.

He is currently in production on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Suzy Amis Cameron (@suzymusing) is a noted environmental advocate, mother of five, and the author of OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet and the founder of the OMD Movement, a multi-pronged effort to transform eating habits and the food system. She is also a founder of Plant Power Task Force, focused on showing the impact of animal agriculture on climate change and the environment, founded in 2012 with her husband James Cameron and Craig McCaw. In 2005, she founded MUSE School, the first school in the country to be 100% solar powered with zero waste and a 100% organic, plant-based lunch program. Additionally, she is a founder of Verdient Foods, Cameron Family Farms, Food Forest Organics, and Red Carpet Green Dress. As an actor she has been featured in more than 25 films, including The Usual Suspects and Titanic.

I thought this episode would be a good opportunity to give some air time to discussion of plant-based diets, but even if you disagree with the idea of plant-based diets, I suggest listening for at least three reasons: One, there’s plenty of non-plant talk. Two, as an exercise in patience. I do my best to expose people to different perspectives, and this is no exception. Three, OMD (One Meal Per Day) is worth learning about to understand the discipline that goes into conscious eating and habit formation.

Also not to be missed, James mentions in the full audio that unlike on previous films he didn’t get sick during the simultaneous filming of Avatar 2 and 3, which is astonishing considering, as he put it, that “they [meaning all staff] know coming in when they sign up that it’s going to be the most difficult production in human history.” So how did he do it? He credits it to his new routine, including a plant-based diet, supplements, exercise, etc. I asked him for a sample day, which he provided. You can find James’s super dialed-in daily routine for Avatar 2 and 3 at tim.blog/jamescameron.

Please enjoy!

P.S. And if you want to hear more from Suzy and James, you can find below two bonus episodes published on the Tribe of Mentors podcast.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#346: James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron — How to Think Big, Start Small, and Change the World

Listen to the full set of questions and answers on the Tribe of Mentors podcast: 

James Cameron & Suzy Amis Cameron (Uncut)

Listen to the short episode on the Tribe of Mentors podcast, which features Suzy and James’s favorite failures, bad advice they hear, as well as their favorite and most gifted books: 

James Cameron & Suzy Amis Cameron — Favorite Failures, Bad Advice, and Most Gifted Books

This podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now — this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

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…


  • Connect with James Cameron:


  • Connect with Suzy Amis Cameron:

OMD for the Planet | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  • When the Camerons feel overwhelmed or unfocused or have lost their focus temporarily, what do they do? What questions do they ask themselves? [10:32]
  • What would their billboard say? [17:57]
  • What are the Camerons currently most excited about? [24:27]
  • A request, ask or suggestion for the listeners of this podcast. [27:18]


  • Influential books the Camerons have given most as gifts. [08:18]
  • Favorite failures. [14:22]
  • Bad recommendations heard often in their areas of expertise. [25:06]
  • What new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved their lives? [32:41]
  • When the Camerons feel overwhelmed or unfocused or have lost their focus temporarily, what do they do? What questions do they ask themselves? [36:26]
  • What would their billboard say? [43:50]
  • What are the Camerons currently most excited about? [50:21]
  • A request, ask or suggestion for the listeners of this podcast. [53:12]


  • Favorite failures. [08:27]
  • Bad recommendations heard often in their areas of expertise. [19:10]
  • Influential books the Camerons have given most as gifts. [26:38]


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.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

17 Replies to “James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron — How to Think Big, Start Small, and Change the World (#346)”

  1. Tim! This is so great – thank you for sharing Suzy and James’ expertise here. Remember our chat on your first nordic ski in the hills of Sundance and we talked plant-based diets, what I had learned (add in before taking out – add in great plant-based food like veggie burgers that are satisfying, before going cold turkey), etc.? Thank you for all of the inspiration, quality insights and information, and new perspectives you bring! Best wishes!

  2. This was interesting but really served to illustrate why you’re important – maybe that was the point? Without someone to stick their finger in the wound you only get so far. Get back to work and employ that finger.

  3. It’s always awesome to see some celebrities (directors included) like Mr and Mrs Cameron using their fame and resources as a force for good. Awesome podcast!

  4. Greetings and Salutations Tim! How about a section just on Morning Routines. Maybe included in 5 bullet Friday’s?



  5. As always, you don’t disappointment Tim Ferris. Your intellect your candor and your humility keeps me listening. Thank you for be such a shining example of a human and inspiring me with your pod casts and your dedication with the 5-bullet Friday’s.

    Looking forward to listening to this newest podcast as a plant based eater and lover of all things that advocate and encourage childlike wonder. Plus being a huge fan of the message and concept of Avatar, excellence and our delicately intertwined connection to every living “thing”. Health, happiness and love to you!

  6. Unrelated to this post, but what are some of your favorite things to do in Nikko? My wife and I were planning our first trip to Japan next April and were contemplating splitting our time between Kyoto and Tokyo, but think we might do Nikko instead of Kyoto, unless you strongly suggest otherwise due to seasnality or otherwise.

    Thanks for all that you do.

  7. Takes a jet into the stratosphere spewing hydrocarbons to experience weightlessness in a parabolic flight, but lectures the world on minimizing our carbon footprint. Had to turn it off there.

    However, loved the fly against the window pane analogy.

  8. Hi Tim 

    Couldn’t find where to leave a comment about this week’s 5 bullet email.

    James Cameron has a New Zealand connection anyway.

    Great to hear you are an intrepid traveller and enjoy our stunning country of New Zealand.

    I know you’ve interviewed Phil Keogh who is a kiwi. Have you considered interviewing other New Zealanders? 

    Someone who comes to mind is Jake Millar who is a young entrepreneur who is based in the states. He has recently been named in the Forbes 30 under 30. Check him out if you get time in your hectic yet impactful schedule.

    [Moderator: Jake Millar website link removed.]

    Just wanted to say also that I love your work. Listening to your podcast has improved my life and way of thinking. I really enjoyed Tribe of Mentors as well and I’m sure I will be giving many copies away. 

    The courage you have shown talking about mental health is tremendous and I feel for me personally anyway this has helped normalized very common conditions. 

    I don’t expect a response but it’s great to have the opportunity to send you a message.

    Thanks for everything you do. 


  9. Hello Tim,

    This podcast truly warmed my heart, since moving to Colorado from Texas about a year ago, Vipassana has been calling my name louder and louder.

    I first heard about Vipassana during my yoga training certification, at the time I was too young (16) but I knew I had to do it, my head and my heart were in agreement. I followed this practice for 2 years after … each time repeating the pattern of falling off my meditation after a few months. Once I finished school as a Electrical Engineer and now being in the Telecommunications Industry as a RF Design Engineer for 5 years … parts of me have mature and I find myself thinking about my actions, my values and what am I choosing to do.

    Being in Denver, closer to nature, cycling, meditating, practicing cold training in rivers at 32 degrees … my mindfulness has reached new levels … and I find myself feeling quite lost and lonely at times… at work we are rushed to build more and more sites to prepare for 5G … within me I know how addicted I am to my phone and I am aware of the levels of depression and anxiety keep on rising. People I know continue to stay in the loop … and at times I feel guilt because I am helping build the cell sites to keep us more digitally “connected”. My heart screams at me to stop, to do something different … but recently I have come to believe that there has to be a way to coexist with technology and have it work for us … but how to communicate that to my manager, my director … if what they look at constantly is numbers, money, speed …

    I was once in that pattern and my new voice comes and goes at times… I continue to find my voice to speak up … I want to influence the people in my work to design with values … to design with love.

    I no longer want to run away from uncomfortable situations and being calm within the storm is a daily practice at my workplace.

    I am looking to start a mindfulness practice at the office and creating the seed of intention with every cell site i build … that people will use the information gained from the digital world in a way to help the world, to care about our planet, to be mindful and conscious of how are actions affect the generations after us.

    Thank you so much for helping stay mindful <3

  10. “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.”

    -James Cameron-

    I’m afraid that I’m always hoping to get lucky.”

    -John Bossard-

  11. A discussion between Tim and Cameron would have been so much better. Why this format and not a regular chat allowing to dive deeper in the discussion?

  12. Tim,

    Would you consider having Allan Savory on your show? I think you and your listeners would really enjoy hearing from him. I know that I would.



    1. Totally agree! I’d also like to hear more about why JC didn’t think Savory’s approach wasn’t sustainable. Regardless of whether he could actually reverse climate change, it’s a much better solution than the current model of animal agriculture.

  13. They are as awesome as their lives! Both are very talented and they use their talent wisely. They serve as an inspiration to many and teach us that life is what we make it. They show us that situations may be hard at times but we can always find ways to ease our struggles and explore the opportunity to share our blessings. Just like in earning income, taking care of our body requires discipline too. If we dedicate ourselves into doing something, whether it’s for business or for health, we should set our goals in the right direction.

  14. This was such a powerful show. The plant base foods. I was wondering if a cartoon series for children would be how to target kids to eating healthy.

    Just a suggestion.