The Random Show — New Year’s Resolutions, 2010–2019 Lessons Learned, Finding Joy, Energy Management, and Much More (#408)

Technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose),  rejoins me for another episode of “The Random Show.” In this one we explore the language of relationships, polarity, energy management, difficult conversations, finding peace and patience, the importance of self-compassion, the search for palatable decaf coffee, panic-selling, serving the moment, and much more!

Please enjoy! 

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

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the conversation on YouTube

#408: The Random Show — New Year's Resolutions, 2010-2019 Lessons Learned, Finding Joy, Energy Management, and Much More

This episode of The Tim Ferriss Show is brought to you by Calm. What did LeBron James tell me was the single most important element of his training regimen? Sleep. Whether you’re an athlete, programmer, or student, healthy sleep is essential to peak performance. It strengthens your immune system. It improves cognitive functions like problem-solving and decision-making. It gives you creativity and energy.

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


Want to hear another episode of The Random Show? — Check out my conversation with Kevin when I was in his neck of the woods a few months back in which we discussed Japanese whiskey, domestic speakeasies, wooden saddles, poetry, the art of surrender and letting go, and mushroom cultivation in the Pacific Northwest. (Stream below or right-click here to download):

#391: The Random Show — On Fasting, Forest Bathing, How to Say NO, Rebooting the Self, and Much More


  • Connect with Kevin Rose:

The Kevin Rose Show | Oak Meditation | Zero | Instagram | Twitter


  • Why is Kevin introducing this show like he’s the 2020 incarnation of Rain Man? [04:03]
  • Why was wine appropriate for the 10-year anniversary of Kevin and Darya’s first date? [04:57]
  • Opining on lessons learned from past relationships, polarity, sensitivity, and cultivating the structures that make our current relationships work — even when there’s an occasional breakdown in communication. [07:09]
  • What did therapy look like when Kevin and Darya were seeing a therapist, and what are the most valuable tools they took away from the experience? [20:12]
  • What a writer can learn when they get language wrong in a relationship and their partner is patient enough to guide the conversation toward a more understanding tone. [21:48]
  • What comes to mind most when Kevin reflects on the past decade and what the years ahead have in store? In what area does he feel he’s improved upon thanks to lessons and interactions from the past? [25:33]
  • Why I tend to err on the side of admitting I don’t know something or someone rather than trying to fake it, where I think my biggest knowledge gaps are currently, and how I’m trying to minimize the number of decisions I’m obligated to make. [28:28]
  • Why I’m now so committed to strategically saying “no” when I used to say “yes” to everything. [31:22]
  • As someone who’s known me since well before I had 618,952 unread emails, 287 unread text messages, a neverending supply of unsolicited spam books from publishers, and occasional recognition from strangers on the street, Kevin wonders if I maybe feel a little overwhelmed these days. How am I dealing with time, attention, and energy management? [35:00]
  • What are the categories of things that have depleted our energy versus the categories of things that have given us energy? What would we like to more of/less of in 2020? [39:53]
  • Pondering questions Jerry Colonna asked me in episode 373 and applying them to the new year (and heavy conversations I’ve had over the past two weeks): How am I complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want? What needs to be said that isn’t being said? What’s being said that I’m not hearing? What am I saying that’s not being heard? [45:32]
  • Thoughtful notes to the living and dead, why I resolved to have some recent difficult conversations by voice instead of mail, why I don’t write Kevin as many love letters as I used to, and why a resolution can serve the purpose of closing a loop even if it doesn’t offer any solutions. [51:29]
  • Important realizations I’ve had when thinking back over the last 10 years. [58:11]
  • What does the next decade look like for me from a bio-hacking standpoint? Is it still something I focus on, or have I moved away from it intentionally? [1:01:30]
  • How my interest in bio-hacking began as a self-defense mechanism, and why my focus has shifted more from the known to the unknown in terms of how treatments for certain maladies and disorders are being explored now. [1:07:15]
  • A realization I’ve had recently about finding peace, and why I’m not making a million resolutions for 2020. [1:16:39]
  • To what does Kevin credit his greater sense of ease and patience over the last few years? How does this contrast with the way he dealt with situations in the past — even situations he should have been enjoying but couldn’t? [1:17:42]
  • A book I’m really enjoying now that would have earned mockery from the me of 10 years ago — and how it’s helping me reframe some of the mental struggles that both of us have endured. [1:20:15]
  • A lot of people who take pride in being achievers don’t extend compassion toward themselves — and I think Kevin and I have both fallen prey to this self-neglect in the past. If you’re having internal dialogue that’s critical without being compassionate, how might we suggest breaking away from its influence for a fresh perspective? [1:27:04]
  • Is there such a thing as good decaf coffee? If you know of any, please tweet Kevin! For my part, I’m happy to be the first non-caffeinated monkey shot into space on the quest to enlightenment through abstinence. [1:31:32]
  • Addressing one of the biggest self-help elephants in the room. [1:33:54]
  • If psychedelics become a legal form of therapy, can the world look forward to Tim Ferriss-branded psychedelic treatment mall kiosks? [1:37:37]
  • One fun money-generating idea for psychedelic research charity I’m thinking of pursuing in 2020, how Kevin’s connections may already be able to help, and why I think money spent in the direction of this research is capable of such monumental, world-changing results. [1:44:52]
  • Dream artists I would love to have participating in this effort. [1:48:23]
  • What uninvestigated secrets might be revealed by paying top-tier journalists $2 a word to find them? [1:49:57]
  • What does Kevin feel he did quite well over the past 10 years, and what insight might he offer others seeking similar success? [1:55:13]
  • What is Kevin’s framework for deciding when it’s time to sell off investments — or buy more? [1:59:19]
  • A time I most regret panic-selling an investment, why it happened then, and what I’ve learned since that decreases the likelihood of panic-selling as my go-to strategy now. [2:01:14]
  • Understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses, the luxury of being able to make occasional mistakes in the investment game when you hit home runs more often than you strike out, and how Kevin plays this game safer than it probably looks to an outside observer. [2:04:50]
  • What is Kevin’s “20 percent ultra-risky” strategy, how did he invest when he didn’t have much to risk, and what happens when that 20 percent grows to 40 or even 90 percent? [2:08:40]
  • On living well as the best revenge, becoming better at following my own advice over the past 10 years, and why letting an Internet troll starve is ultimately better for you and the troll. [2:13:08]
  • How Kevin applies Michael Singer’s quote to “serve the moment” to his own circumstances. [2:19:12]
  • Final thoughts. [2:20:32]


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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34 Replies to “The Random Show — New Year’s Resolutions, 2010–2019 Lessons Learned, Finding Joy, Energy Management, and Much More (#408)”

  1. Tim thought of you as I am listening to this youtube interview. This man is one of the best interviewers in India, to the point that the current Indian government refuses to talk to him because his questions are too probing and he has previously exposed the current Prime Ministers failings. Thought you’d find his work interesting since the secret to your podcasting success is – the art of questioning!

    [Moderator: YouTube link to “Devil’s Advocate: Karan Thapar in conversation with Anjana Sankar” video removed.]

    1. I’d chip in a few hundred dollars for the time-bending article. Just now I have yet again run in to the condundrum of feeling rushed just because of an upcoming appointment. Maybe that might also be a mystery worth of being investigated within such research.

  2. It sounds like you are implementing the “Grief Recovery Method” in your life!

    [Moderator: link removed.]

  3. Would you please try to get astronaut Jonny Kim as a guest on your podcast? He’s also a combat-decorated Navy SEAL and an MD, and graduated from Harvard Medical School.

    I would really like to hear his stories and learn more about what makes him tick, and you are the best person by far to do that interview.

    I am a long-time fan of your books and podcasts. Thank you for all the joy and knowledge you have passed along.

  4. Tim, I don’t always listen to the podcast but I’ve become a diehard fan of The Random Show. Thanks to you and Kevin for sharing your thoughtful conversations and also the beauty of true friendship. May you be forever united in bromance 🙂
    I’m excited for your next book. God bless you in 2020!

  5. Devoted listener + not-usually-a-commenter, but this one necessitated compliments and thanks. This episode was outstanding. The thoughtfulness, candor, contemplation, and connection was stellar. It exceeded even the normal high standards that define The Tim Ferriss Show. And I say that as a dedicated listener, one who takes notes on, studies, and incorporates lessons and questions each episode raises into daily life and practices.

    Tim’s 2020 projects, particularly the discussions around writing projects and around future psychedelic research, fundraising, and exploration, defined “inspiring”—not for being shiny, highfalutin’, or high-minded, but rather for how rooted, grounded, and purposeful they felt.

    The conversation around the daily work of sustaining fulfilling relationships raised a topic often skipped over—despite its outsized daily impact—in optimizing life. Thank you. For raising it, for the candor, and for the actionable ideas.

    Another highlight: the renewal of the topic of compassion, the return of the quote “if your compassion doesn’t extend to yourself, it’s incomplete,” and the the examples of growth mindset and normalization of changing ones mind as one learns new things. Again, sadly rare: places where people show the confidence and comfort in saying, “I thought one thing ten years ago [co-sign to the woo-woo!] but have learned new things and gathered new insight that’s given me a different perspective.”

    Across the entire episode: loved the camaraderie, loved the encouragement of each other’s goals, dreams, and progress. This conversation epitomized what a great deep friendship looks like and can be.

    Tim, Kevin, and teams supporting Tim and Kevin (not to mention the partners discussed in the episode!), jazz-hands high fives, hat tips and thank you for the gift of sharing this with us, and in its entirety. The raw and honest insights into both Tim and Kevin’s lives as individuals as well as institution-builders and -shifters is a gift. Thank you for choosing to share it with us.

    One question on future projects. Tim, noting the tension you raised re: ethical compromises + related challenges from journalism-grounded writers, will there be an opportunity for other seasoned writers to submit applications/portfolios?

    I hope so. I find the podcast consistently propels past “great” to “exceptional” not because of the guests—many of whom can be found on other podcasts—but by Tim’s skills as an interviewer. Looking forward to seeing more such high-caliber writing and research to come from Tim and others, both on emotional wellness, as well as on people out there doing great work with great potential for impact, who need and deserve a great platform on which to be seen. Can’t think of a better place for them and this.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Tim, I was intrigued by your idea of an art auction. An auction house you may want to consider talking with is located in Dallas, TX. I would recommend reaching out to Jim Halperin, co-chair of Heritage.

  6. As enamored of Stoicism – and Japan – as you are, you should give “Constructive Living” by David K. Reynolds a look. It’s a wonderful melding of both – one of my favorite books, along with Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, of course.

  7. Hi Tim, I live in Austin (right next to Mozart’s coffee). Glad to invite you to get coffee one afternoon. I’d invite your thoughts on what to do with a PhD in advertising and how to make the most of a first-time SXSW Interactive badge. The dog park right by there, Red Bud Isle, is also a pretty neat spot to walk and chat. Best wishes for 2020, Justin

  8. Hi Tim,

    Love your idea about hiring writers. I’d be a good fit to profile top performers. I specialize in extracting expert information from eccentric people and communicating it to a broad audience. I’ve ghostwritten philosophy and strategy pieces for top tech executives & VCs (e.g. Justin Kan, Sam Altman, Ann Miura-Ko). Email me if you’re interested.


  9. Love what you said about releasing the need to chase a lot of goals and going slower. Especially considering your body of work, it seems pretty profound to me.

    I read the Surrender Experiment this fall while in Japan. I thought I’d knock out so many goals here, but instead I am super limited in what I can do for my consulting business, writing and creating. I worked through a lot of what you shared around the need to achieve, having more self compassion and being ok with none of this changing…ever. And yes it does move something. A lot of areas of my life are bubbling up and enriching, including work, but it is deeper than that after this acceptance.

    I have a book I am editing also. In my book Freedom Year I will be publishing my experiences with LSD at 22 and ways it helped me to process trauma. I appreciate what you are doing by sharing your experience and also investing in research. It can help a lot of people. I believe sharing personal experience really makes a difference in the way people perceive the possibility that psychedelics can be medicinal, not just scary. That is why I am sharing as well.

  10. Long time listener, 1st time commenter. Thanks for all the thought provoking discussions.

    In the Kevin Rose/#408 podcast you discussed art auctions for neurological disorders. Like Mr. Rose, this is a great idea. An artist you should contact for this is Nan Golding. In addition to her own struggles with depression & addiction, much of her art over several years has been activism drawing attention to the opioid crisis & the key role the Sackler family/Purdue Pharma have played.

  11. Another great one – it makes me so happy to see where you have emotionally grown. Keep up the self-compassion! And have some babies <3

  12. Wow, what a great podcast. So many things to contemplate!

    The few minutes of conversation re: achievers beating themselves up, the constant sometimes brutal narrator in our brain, learning self love – SO TRUE. Anyway, love the show, I am one of the (I’m sure) many who’s life was changed by 4HWW: I’m in the middle of my 6 or 12 or ?month sabbatical from my start up, living and traveling through México…so thanks!

    And even though decaffeinated coffee is a sin, the best is roasted and brewed by Blue Lava Coffee Roasters in Mt. Hood, Oregon. Not only do they live for coffee, all of their beans are ethically sourced through small farms from around the world.

    Keep up the good work you do, Tim…

  13. PSILOCYBIN related question: Do you have a “how to” guide for people interested in taking this drug? This would also include nearest trusted location either endorsed or recommended by you. I think this would be great! It’d be awesome if there’s a podcast episode answering this question, so far I’ve only heard of benefits and experience related discussion, thanks for the work that you do Tim!


  14. I really appreciate the emotional maturity you both are showing in this episode, especially Tim. While it’s always fun to hear you two discuss the latest gizmos, gadgets, tips, and tricks, this episode felt more grounded and reflective. Thanks for continuing to evolve.

  15. Hi Tim. Long time listener, first time commenter here. I am listening to this now & implore you to have someone look into the whole time distortion thing! My partner and I spent 9 months in SE Asia in 2017 and the time dragged – in the best possible way. I wrote (very briefly) about this when I got back and put it down to breaking routine. When we reflect back on a mundane week, it all seems the same. But, try a new exercise class or cook something new that week, and it will give you a point of reference. it’s my personal time distortion hack 🙂

    1. I came to say the exact same thing! Isn’t it funny how we say (and feel) that time flies by when we’re having fun and yet, afterwards when we reminisce on the past, the most interesting and exciting experiences we’ve had seem to account for the most time in our memories? The 8 months backpacking around the world with my sister takes up just as much (or more) “time” in my memory as 4 mediocre years of university. I also believe we can “expand” time by intentionally making lasting memories- breaking up routine as you say.

  16. To support your idea for an art auction benefiting the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, you may wish to check out Hauser & Wirth in NYC. Text from their press release: “Curated by Philip Larratt-Smith, the exhibition takes its title and inspiration from Daniel Paul Schreber’s 1903 book ‘Memoirs of My Nervous Illness,’ a landmark in the history of psychoanalysis that has inspired countless analysts, intellectuals, and artists – Louise Bourgeois, Isa Genzken, Rodney Graham, Philip Guston, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Mike Kelley, Maria Lassnig, Glenn Ligon, Paul McCarthy, Pipilotti Rist, Lorna Simpson, and Alina Szapocznikow, Francis Bacon, E.J. Bellocq, Joseph Beuys, Adam Fuss, Robert Gober, Douglas Gordon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Agnes Martin, Piet Mondrian, Alice Neel, Lucas Samaras, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Andy Warhol, Weegee, and numerous others.”
    Jecca, NYC

  17. Surprised to hear Tim isn’t supplementing much these days. Would like more details as to why – didn’t work, or eventually decided they weren’t necessary?

  18. Hi Tim, I’m a cognitive science journalist from Portland, currently based in Berlin. I write for the MIND Foundation (European Foundation for Psychedelic Science), most recently about the role of predictive coding in the psychedelic experience. At the moment I’m working on a piece about the insular cortex (arguably the “seat of consciousness” as well as the social-emotional center of the brain) and what it can tell us about human consciousness, particularly as it relates to mental illness, substance abuse, and addiction. There’s some fascinating research on its role in the psychedelic experience as well. So far I am working with Phil Corlett at the Yale School of Medicine and Katrin Preller at the University of Zurich. I’m looking for more support for the piece to reach a wider network of both researchers and readers. Please let me know if you’d like to see an early draft. Cheers, Saga

  19. Great decaf: Nespresso’s Decaffeinato range is hands down the best tasting decaf out there (Arpeggio and Ristretto Decaffeinato being my faves)

  20. Renee Brown, “the story I am telling myself”, a life changer. I first found her on your podcast years ago, thank you. No plastic water bottles and containers, way to go Kevin! Grateful for what is always an informative hour.

  21. Dear Tim:

    Your comment to Brene about wanting to understand ‘why are high performing people miserable’ really resonated. With a profession in academic research, I am surround by high-performing, miserable people. I place concerted effort into avoiding this pitfall, but find it increasingly hard not to slip. I would welcome more attention focused to this question in your episodes and would love to contribute in any way that I can.

    Thanks for doing what you do.

  22. Art auction is a great idea. Some artists to talk to would be Robert Williams ( Did Guns and Roses cover that got banned), Ron English, Anthony Austang, Clark Fox, Ramaleez estate, Shepard Fairey and Jeff Koons.

  23. Hi Tim,

    Per your recommendation a couple months ago, I watched From Shock to Awe. I found it incredibly moving and felt compelled to share the film with others. Thus, I’m currently in the process of arranging a multimedia event in Austin: a screening of the film, an accompanying art show, and a Q&A with one of the veterans and one of the film’s producers.

    This seems right up your alley, especially after hearing of your art auction aspiration to raise funds for psychedelic research. Please let me know if you’re interested in learning more or even participating.


  24. Loved this episode – the depth of friendship and mutual respect is palpable! I’m going to have to listen to it again to ensure I fully digest the wisdom.

    The environment and personal sustainability is my first passion and having someone like Kevin as an advocate and promoting a move towards a plastic free life is very powerful.

    Thank you both for allowing me to eavesdrop on your inspiring chat!

  25. Hi Tim,
    I listened to this episode during a recent alpine ski tour and found it to be highly informative and inspirational. I’m a multidisciplinary evolutionary biologist, plant breeder and entrepreneur with extensive academic and technical writing experience. I would welcome the opportunity to submit a long-form scientific blog post for you to consider publishing. I agree the neuropsychology of how we experience time expansion and dilation would be of great interest to your readers. The science suggests there are methods that can be applied to modulate how we experience the flow of time, making it a relevant and actionable topic for readers. Another possible topic I could write up that may be of interest to your readers:

    InflammAGING: managing chronic low-grade inflammation can extend life span.
    This is a broad scientific hypothesis with actionable implications for anyone interested in life and health extension.

  26. Wow, just wow!

    Having managed to systematically mess up all my long-term relationships, I literally ended up taking notes as I listened a couple more times to the first 25 minutes or so of this episode. I really love how you guys were so open and honest and how you apply your analytical (and problem solving) minds to relationships also.
    I must admit that I probably was in the mindset of “when you find the right person, all will be fine”… yeah, it doesn’t really work that way.

    Having recently listened to James Clear’s Atomic Habits, I had planned – for 2020 – to implement more systems, optimise environment and such but somehow would have forgotten to apply systems and frameworks to relationships also… might not sound very romantic, but it sure sounds effective.

    I am currently listening to the rest of the episode again since there is so much wisdom to extract from your not-so random chats… already looking forward to the next episode.


  27. Tim and Kevin, this random show resonated with me on some many levels. Thank you for your candid and honest stories. It’s wonderful to observe how your friendship evolves over years.

    Tim, it’s a bit puzzling for me. You put a huge emphasis on building your skill in saying “no”, yet your email/text inbox seems to be flooded. I still wait to see the blog post about how you said no to writing a book about saying no. Before that happens I wonder if email/text assertiveness is something you are looking for.

    If so, maybe the online service from a fellow blogger would be best for you. Yaro Starak, who you know from an interview you did together, opens his email inbox only once a month. He reached that thanks to custom designed filters, systems and virtual assistant. Now he’s offering it as a service called InboxDone. Hope that can be useful for you, Tim.


    I can’t wait to see the Artist Fund idea materialize. It seems that Kevin’s network can really help here. Tim, are you planning to open a submission form for all artists? Or the fund would reach out to selected artists?