Please enjoy this transcript of another episode of “The Random Show” with technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose). In this one we explored 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! Transcripts may contain a few typos—with some episodes lasting 2+ hours, it’s difficult to catch some minor errors. Enjoy!
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.
DUE TO SOME HEADACHES IN THE PAST, PLEASE NOTE LEGAL CONDITIONS:
Tim Ferriss owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as his right of publicity.
WHAT YOU’RE WELCOME TO DO: You are welcome to share the below transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles (e.g., The New York Times, LA Times, The Guardian), on your personal website, in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., Medium), and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include attribution to “The Tim Ferriss Show” and link back to the tim.blog/podcast URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.
WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED: No one is authorized to copy any portion of the podcast content or use Tim Ferriss’ name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services. For the sake of clarity, media outlets are permitted to use photos of Tim Ferriss from the media room on tim.blog or (obviously) license photos of Tim Ferriss from Getty Images, etc.
Kevin Rose: Hello friends, this is Kevin Rose. I’m here with Mr. Tim Ferriss. Welcome to episode number 947 of The Random Show.
Tim Ferriss: You’re losing your flare, man.
Kevin Rose: What? What happened?
Tim Ferriss: I’m just busting—
Kevin Rose: Wasn’t that good?
Tim Ferriss: I’m just busting your balls! It was good. But you looked off to the side like Rain Man, which I liked on the video.
Kevin Rose: Oh, did I?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Yeah, but I liked that.
Kevin Rose: Oh, shit! I had my 10-year meetup anniversary with Darya last night. It’s our official 10 years together, from our first date, I should say. And yeah, had some wine. I hate wine.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. It’s a love-hate thing. Tell me about it. First of all, congratulations, because 10 years is no joke. That’s huge.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it is huge. It has been a crazy ride with lots of lessons learned, kids, all kinds of insanity.
Tim Ferriss: Now, it’s appropriate that you would have, I’m not sure if you’re willing to go into this. I don’t see why not. But it’s appropriate that you guys would have wine last night because maybe you could talk about one of your first dates and how wine played into that.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I mean I basically walked into this bar I had—well, I should back up. Here’s the quick—I don’t want to spend an hour on this—but here’s the quick little overview. I met Darya through Twitter, of all places. We met on Twitter because I was very fortunate enough to talk Ev Williams, the then-CEO, to add me to the suggested user list. This is when Twitter had like 15 people on the suggested user list, so I was one of the default recommended people to a lot of different folks. This was before they used algorithms for all that stuff.
Anyway, Darya ends up following me. She retweets me on something that I had mentioned Dr. Andrew Weil. She retweets that. I see her little 20 by 20 icon, I’m like, “Who’s this little sexy little icon?”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. The green cutoff shirt, probably back in the day?
Kevin Rose: Probably. That sounds about right. And so I clicked through on it and she said she’s into wine, into food, she’s a neuroscientist, I’m like, “Check, check, check. That sounds amazing. We should go hang out.” And so ended up DMing her, we met up at a bar. I walked in, saw her, was blown away and immediately realized I needed a substance to kind of like, calm my nerves a little bit.
Tim Ferriss: I thought you were going to say “To dumb her down so she would succumb to” your charms. But—
Kevin Rose: Pretty much. I think a little bit of both, actually. I ended up just walking up and bought a whole bottle of wine and brought it to the table. Apparently, she thought that was a pretty ballsy thing. She’s like, “Who just buys a bottle of wine?” But I don’t know, I just felt like we were just going to sit there for awhile. I knew we had a lot of overlap and even if we were just friends, we’d have a lot to talk about.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. For sure.
Kevin Rose: That was the first date.
Tim Ferriss: I say “Dumb her down” because for people who don’t know, Darya is razor-sharp and extremely intellectual, very well-read, and a scientist. So she’s extremely, extremely strong in the hardware brain department.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, she’s really good at calling me on my bullshit, which is great.
Tim Ferriss: It’s important. Super important.
Kevin Rose: It is.
Tim Ferriss: I think that’s what good friends do too, sometimes.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, no doubt, dude. Yeah. What are we going to do on this episode? You had mentioned you wanted to reflect back on the last 10 years, right?
Tim Ferriss: I was thinking we could talk about resolutions. We could talk about for 2020, or anything that we’ve thought about for 2020, and also look back over the last 10 years, which is crazy for me to even contemplate. I was looking at some of the landmarks along the way and it simultaneously seems not long ago at all and a hundred years ago.
Kevin Rose: Well dude, I would love to continue this little theme that we started on because I know your fans always like to hear this stuff, is like talk to me about your last 10 years of relationships. I know that’s tough, but lessons learned. Let me just start off with a 32nd version. My lessons learned are find someone that you’re always on the same team with. So knowing that you’re together in this, versus fighting someone or having to have your own side is a big one. And the second thing for me was therapy. Therapy and what got me here today in a very happy, positive relationship is Darya and I, at multiple times, went to a therapist and sat down and had a third party kind of analyze and help us work through some of the issues so that we could figure out how to be on the same team. But I’d love to hear, I mean I’ve known you personally for a long time, so I’ve seen you through all types of ladies.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. We have mutually assured destruction on this one. If either of us go nuclear. But we have seen, we’ve watched each other with many different relationships and trials and tribulations and learning moments, teachable moments. I would say that looking back, there are few things that are very present for me now that may have come through some really bad decisions in the past. And also just kind of mileage, right? I mean, you start to realize better what you need over time, also. Polarity, number one, I would say is extremely important. And—
Kevin Rose: What do you mean by polarity?
Tim Ferriss: We can spend a lot of time discussing various ways to consider polarity. But what I mean by that is, let’s just say you have a sliding scale. This is probably going to get me in all sorts of trouble, so for people listening, I don’t care if you’re Martian, U.S., Japanese, male, female, trans, in between, there are different types of polarity and I’m going to use probably heteronormative language. So if you want to crucify me, go for it. But let’s just say you have a slider that goes out this way and right in the middle you have, not as related to an anatomy, but rather characteristics, let’s arbitrarily call like, pure androgyny in the center. And then you have feminine characteristics, and let’s just assume for the sake of argument that each person is going to decide for them what that means.
But feminine characteristics this direction, masculine characteristics this direction, so you have sort of—then what I have observed for myself and also in a lot of my friends is that it’s sometimes very helpful to find someone who is equally far away from that middle point in the opposite direction. If you have someone who is maybe hyper-excessively developed in terms of masculine traits, however, you want to look at that, very often they’re going to pair well, from what I’ve seen, with someone who is as far in the opposite direction and likewise like this.
There are books that discuss this. I read The Way of the Superior Man a hundred years ago by David Deida, which talks a lot about this. And I don’t agree with everything in that book, but I do think polarity, maintaining polarity, enhancing polarity, which can be done through any number of different practices or reframes, I think is very important for maintaining a relationship where there is intense attraction and a healthy sex life, for instance. I think that’s very important. That’s one.
Two would be, and this relates to what you said, having structure for cultivating the relationship. That could come in the form of therapy, it could come in the form of having, say, a date night once a week, having a couple’s day once a quarter, which I do with my girlfriend where we spend a day talking very candidly about the things we like, the things we’re afraid of, sort of fears, desires, boundaries, negotiating new things, testing new things, etc. We spend an entire day doing that, and it’s blocked out and it’s known in advance that it’s going to be once a quarter.
We have different types of say, systems, if you want to call it that, for cultivating the garden before it’s in trouble. Does that make sense? I think that for a long time all was well until there was a code red and things would devolve, people wouldn’t say things they needed to say, resentment might build, and then something would explode. Then everyone is firefighting trying to figure it out. And by that point emotions have run so high, elbows are coming out, and it doesn’t mean both sides, but very often elbows would come out from someone and it would just devolve very quickly.
Kevin Rose: How do you handle when you have these? Because everyone has disagreements and they have these little things that may rub them the wrong way when you’re in a relationship, and there’s this balance between taking everything personally and just constantly responding back to your partner being like, “I didn’t like this, I didn’t like that, I didn’t like this.” Then it becomes this little nitpicky type of relationship, versus some of it you may want to just bundle up and discuss at a later point in time. How do you know when something reaches a certain threshold to where you bring it up with your significant other?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I have, and I don’t mention my girlfriend’s name because the Internet’s fucking crazy, so I like to try to protect her. You guys are both public figures, so it’s part of the game in a sense for you guys, but in any sense, or in any case, I should say, that’s why I’m referring to my girlfriend as “my girlfriend,” but she and I generally will batch. And I think that’s in large part because I’m very sensitive. I’m a sensitive guy in a lot of ways. I don’t use sensitive, I used to view that word in a very negative light and very negative connotation because we think, “Oh, he’s so sensitive,” meaning he or she takes everything personally.
But I had one of my closest friends, who you’ve met actually, before, ask me maybe two years ago, he said, “When did you know that you were really sensitive?” The question really confused me and I’m going to get back to the relationship and timing question. What I realized is my instrumentation in certain ways is just very, very sensitive. It’s almost like a scale. It just has more decimal points for certain things and I find a lot of stimulation overwhelming, and for that reason. So at a young age I learned how to turn that off or numb that sensitivity, but I don’t want to do that in a relationship. So I’ve, over time in the last 10 years, also learned that turning off or compartmentalizing emotionally is short-term effective, long-term very destructive.
Coming back to the timing question. I’m still very sensitive to having things I might perceive as criticism or suggestions that require me to make decisions coming at me at like 3:00 p.m. on a weekday if I’m in the middle of some type of phone call or project or writing or whatever it might be. There are some timing solutions to that, there are also structural solutions. My girlfriend tends to work at home and I work downtown. I have a separate place that I use for work. That in and of itself solves a lot of problems. You don’t have to figure it all out being within 20 feet of each other at all times, like that is a perfectly valid answer. That’s one.
Number two is that we will block out time, so we’ll block out two hours or three hours in a given night. I’m making this up, but let’s just say once every two weeks where we’ll do batching. The format of that is not what we tested in the beginning, which was like, “Let’s voice all of our complaints!” But when we started with that, in other words, this litany of charges against each other in the beginning, it poisoned the well and turned into a very unpleasant experience for both of us that we didn’t look forward to. We kind of dreaded doing it. And my girlfriend suggested a much better format because I’m like, “Hey, good news takes care of itself. Let’s just—like, tell me the bad news first.” That turns out that’s also pretty counterproductive in a lot of cases.
We start with what we think the other person is doing really well since the last batching session, and what they’re paying attention to, and what we like. Then we will talk about what we think we are doing well personally as a partner and then what we would like more of. And the phrasing is really important, right? It’s not what you’re fucking up, it’s what I would love more of. It’s sort of positive reinforcement if we’re thinking about it like dog training. You’re trying to shape a behavior instead of whacking the dog with a newspaper, you’re giving a little Scooby Snack to push them in the right direction when they get something approximately right. That’s the format.
We do that and what’s important to us at least, maybe important to me, important to both of us, is we take notes. So if there are commitments that are made or important points that are brought up, we have something that we can then refer to before the next batching session and we can see where homework wasn’t done. If some—
Kevin Rose: That sounds really powerful just to have that. I mean I like the way that you structured that, because I could see very quickly how that could just be a negative kind of bitch fest if you don’t have that structure around it.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I’m extremely lucky that my girlfriend’s a very clean fighter. That’s something I’ve also learned that’s extremely important. Because the good times are the good times. But I’ve heard someone, I don’t remember who said this, but the quote is, “Not that adversity builds character, but adversity reveals character.” You really want to know that your partner can navigate rough emotional waters when things are difficult and not immediately pull out a gun and shoot you in the face.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I’m very fortunate there too. That’s something that Darya has taught me a lot is that it just, “Where are you coming from in this discussion?” If it’s from a place of “I want us to be stronger and better together, and we are on the same team trying to solve the same problem,” then it’s very constructive versus it being about tearing down someone.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. There’s a framework that the Conscious Leadership Group uses, Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and so on, that I like quite a lot. I was introduced to their book, which I think is The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, by Dustin Moskovitz a long time ago, a couple of years ago. They have this concept of being above the line or below the line. I’ll let people look it up if they’re interested, but it’s a very easy way to check in with yourself or with someone else to see how they are engaging in a conversation or how you’re engaging in a conversation, and if it’s likely to go sideways or if it’s more likely to be constructive. And so the phrasing they use is “above the line or below the line.”
I have found all of these helpful and I think, in part, what I’m trying to say is that what’s important is not that you use exactly someone else’s system or someone else’s habits, but that you think about developing and using systems or structure of some type.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I mean so many people out there, and I was one of these people as well, just believe that if you find the right person, everything will be fine. I was always looking for that perfect person and it just doesn’t exist. We’re unique creatures, and so the second you can realize that and then you realize, “Well, I do need a framework for this.” You’re just going to be in such a better place.
Tim Ferriss: What resources or practices have you found helpful in your relationship aside from the therapy and when you were doing the therapy, when you found it most impactful, how often were you doing it? How long were the sessions? Was there a particular type of therapy? What did that look like?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. Basically on the therapy side, it was about an hour-long session and we would go once a week, and we did that for a couple months. And really that was—her position is like, “I’m not a mediator here. I’m here to give you and teach you tools so that you can go off and do this on your own. This isn’t about the chiropractor method where you just have to keep coming back for one more session; your back will be fixed.” Actually, Darya is in that right now. I keep telling her, “Stop going to the chiropractor.”
Tim Ferriss: You’ve got to make sure they’re not adjusting you one week and then putting it back how it was the next week and then just rinsing and repeating.
Kevin Rose: Exactly. But once we had those skills, and I think a lot of it came down to the language we use with each other, and then also just stopping before the conversation even begins and realizing—and both acknowledging—that the conversation we’re going to have is so that we can figure out the best path forward because we both deeply love each other and we want to find a solution to this. And so that kind of just starting up from that, if you can both get in that mindset, it just really defuses things right off the bat, and that’s like 90 percent of it.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, language—I am embarrassed how long it has taken me, as someone who is supposedly a writer, to pay close attention to the language I use with my partner. I’ve always been semi-aware of the language that I’m using, but I’ve very often become impatient and wanted to cut to the chase in conversations where that is kind of lighting your hair on fire and then looking for the fire extinguisher. It backfires more than it helps. Nonviolent Communication has been a door that opened a lot to me in the sense that there’s a framework for nonviolent communication. People can look this up. The audio book of the same name was recommended to be by Neil Strauss initially, and what it made clear to me is that if you phrase things such that you are taking full responsibility for your experience and your emotions, it really disarms people and helps to avoid a lot of headbutting and defensiveness.
For example, one of the phrases that my girlfriend uses a lot, there are two things she does that I think are very remarkable. At least that’s how I felt and how I still feel. Number one is, she will very often preface any type of criticism with the story or something that’s bothering her. She’ll say, “The story that I’m creating in my own head is that you… You did X because you wanted me to feel Y and therefore it hurt my feelings.” But it’s fundamentally different from saying “You did X to make me feel Y.” My response to the first is very soft and I’m engaged and I listen, versus the second.
The second thing she does, which I think is very mature and that I’ve copied, is there are times when I’ll ask her a question, maybe we’ve had an argument or maybe simply it’s been a difficult day. I might ask her, “What’s wrong? What’s on your mind?” And she’ll say, “I have a lot on my mind, but I’m going to spend some time processing it. I’m feeling a little tired or a little upset and I feel like if we talk right now, I’m just going to make a mess of things. So let’s talk later.” She will veto my attempt to engage if she feels like she is emotionally in a place where the content or tone of the conversation might take us sideways.
Then next morning she’ll be like, “Great. Can we put some time on the calendar to talk? Maybe we can go out to dinner and get it in the calendar.” Then she’s in a better place after a good night’s sleep, some exercise, then we talk. I have, as someone who has often been in a rush to rip off the band-aid with everything, found that very wise and really, really effective. I’ve applied that, not just in my interactions with her, but with other people also. If they call me for a big conversation about something that’s sensitive and I’m exhausted, maybe I drank too much coffee and I’m a little twitchy, then I will use effectively the exact same phrasing to reschedule.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, that’s brilliant. I’ve never thought of that, and it makes complete sense. I mean, just hitting pause for a moment to recalibrate. I think sleep plays a big role in a lot of this stuff. I will feel completely different about a subject the next morning when I wake up and had a good night’s sleep.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Well, it’s on my list of things that certainly I have all these lists in front of me, but how have you been thinking about either 2020 or the last decade? Because I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this. I’m not done thinking about it. But what is anything that comes to mind in terms of looking forward to 2020 or looking back from 2010 to 2020 for you?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I think when I look back, I try to think about a couple of things. What were some of the big “aha” moments that I had that when I look at, I’m like, “Gosh, wish I would have done that sooner.” But there’s not much you can do because they happen when they happen and that’s fine. Then what’s worked well and what do I want to continue forward with and to continue to bring forward into this new decade? And then also what are some of the things that I totally missed the boat on that I need to go, and especially now given my age now that I’m well into my, well not well to my 40s, but I’ll be 43 this year, what do I want to address to set me up for the long term? And so that’s how I’ve kind of been putting these things into buckets.
Tim Ferriss: What do you have in any of those categories? I’m particularly interested in the last one, but I’m interested in all of them. Any examples that you can give?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I think that I wrote down a handful of things when I was kind of doing my prep for the new year. Looking back on the last decade, the one thing that I didn’t do soon enough was admit to really to myself and to others that I didn’t know certain things. I think the quicker you are to come forward with the fact that there is a hole in your knowledge, the quicker that hole will be filled. I think that oftentimes I tried to cover that up because you get in certain situations, when I was working at, let’s say, as a partner over at Google Ventures or when you’re working with people that seem to be a little bit more well-rounded than you in certain areas, and there’s this kind of fear of, “Oh, maybe they’ll find out that I really don’t know as much as they think I do.” Or—and you have these little holes and it can be in all different aspects of life.
I’ve kind of given up on that in the last couple of years and just been like, “Screw it. If I don’t know something, I’m going to come out and just say so and just try and pick it up from mentors.” This was turning people, rather than treating them as like, someone that’s going to judge me, as to someone that I can learn from. That has been just something that in probably the last few years I’ve gotten a lot better at, but earlier in the decade I just really avoided and hid from people. That was—you’ve always been really good at that, though. You’re the master of learning new things and admitting when you don’t know something.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, thanks for saying that. That is, I mean I’ve got plenty of weaknesses, but I do think that I am, for whatever reason, very good at very quickly saying “I have no idea what that is or who that is.” I think the podcast has helped quite frankly, because people bring stuff up and I’m like, “If I pretend and nod along like I know what’s going on, this could get really ugly.” So if they’re like, “Did you see this movie?” I’m not going to be like, “Oh, yeah, great movie.” And then I’m like, “Uh, oh, I’m going to get called on this.” So I’ve become faster at saying, “I’ve no idea who that person is.”
Kevin Rose: Where do you think your holes are right now? Because I know you have dabbled in so many different things and we share that common interest, where do you think like, “Gosh, I really wish I was a little deeper in this given area?”
Tim Ferriss: Well, it’s an area that I’ve spent a lot of time studying and focusing on in the last six to nine months, which is saying no and creating rules and policies that allow you to say no easily, and/or more quickly. I think I’ve over—
Kevin Rose: You’ve been practicing that for a while though, because you’ve been saying no to investing for a very long time. I haven’t been able to get you to invest in a deal in like 10 years.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. That is the result of that, or I should say the reason that is something I’ve been able to do is that I set a policy and made a public announcement—in, I want to say 2015—that I was stopping startup investing. And so you can analyze very easily actually why it’s easy for me to do that versus saying no to some other things. And a commitment that I’ve wanted to make for 2020 and beyond, and this was informed by a Seth Godin blog post actually that I put in my newsletter in “5-Bullet Friday” about not trying harder, but creating better systems and rules instead, and there are a number of anecdotes in that, that really drive the point home. It’s a very short piece. People can find it. It’s one of the most popular on his entire blog of his 10 million posts that he has.
I’ve been looking for, and I know you’re a fan of the book Essentialism, and Greg McKeown was on the podcast not that long ago. The filter that he uses that I’m trying to also use more is: Where can I make one decision that removes a hundred, or a thousand, or 10,000 decisions? The startup retirement is a great example. It’s public. It’s something I can point to. It’s accountable—or I can be held accountable. It’s not personal. It’s been depersonalized, and that has removed so much stress in my life. It is hard to overstate how—
Kevin Rose: What do you think, but where did that come from? Because when I think about the things that I’ve seen you say yes to in the past, they have been these epic things like adventures, travel, new different types of things from doing sauna and ice training or you name it. You’ve done so many crazy body hacks. It’s like that was all because you said yes to everything. Where are you saying no to now?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Well, I should say that what’s important to note there is, I thought you were going to mention startups, but it applies in the same way. Is that there’s a survivorship bias in the sense that what I say yes to is visible, or my friends at least might be aware of it. But behind the scenes I’m saying no to almost everything. I’ll give you an example of something that I’ve been thinking about.
First I have an announcement already on the blog and so on, which says I do not do book blurbs. That was a decision I made because I didn’t want to have to pick and choose among friends, which could create all sorts of bad blood and drama that I didn’t want in my life, and therefore I decided on a blanket no blurb policy. Nonetheless, I still get sent dozens of books every week by publishers who have put me on their spam mail lists. I have dozens of unsolicited books that get sent to me and I have many books—
Kevin Rose: Dude, I get the same thing—
Tim Ferriss: You get the same thing?
Kevin Rose:—and I don’t know how to turn it off, it’s like spam.
Tim Ferriss: It is. So I’m going to maybe do some public shaming with these publishers. So publishers, if you’re listening, please take me off your mailing lists. I have not asked ever to be on a single one, but I won’t hurt the authors. Don’t worry about that. I’m not going to shame the authors because I don’t think—
Kevin Rose: I’m going to start sending you random books, like unsolicited—
Tim Ferriss: Such a fucker, such a fucker. But what I realized is that the no blurb policy isn’t enough. It’s not upstream enough to try to address the problem, because I’ll still get tons of books. And if you do the math, you read The Tail End by Tim Urban, you realize, I might only be able to read, I don’t know, a few hundred books before I bite the dust, let’s just call it. If we’re looking at good books to take a long time to digest, some of the classics, let’s say, you do not have the luxury of reading books that you are not in full stoke about. And part of finding books that are more likely to invoke full stoke, is looking at books that have stood the test of some time. It doesn’t need to be 100 years, but it could certainly be five years, 10 years, something like that.
So one of the commitments that I’m making, and this is the first time I’m talking about it, for 2020, is I’m not going to read any new books. And new books means no books published in 2020. I’m not going to read any books published in 2020. And that will immediately, I’m going to write a post about that, it will be public and I’ll just be like, “Hey, that’s the policy.” So for whatever reason, once making that announcement, I will be ridiculed and called a hypocrite and given unending shit from my loving audience—because that’s what they should do—if I betray that. So I have to be very, very thoughtful about making that type of decision. But that removes so much of like, the FOMO, the neomania, the keeping up with mentality, that I think that could really, really, really return a lot of dividends. So that’s one blanket—
Kevin Rose: One of the things I want to call out, and I’m curious to—the reason I like talking about this is we know each other pretty well and I like to poke in a little bit further.
Tim Ferriss: Poke away.
Kevin Rose: The one thing I realized with you is you, and correct me if I’m wrong or how you feel about this, I’m curious to see—
Tim Ferriss: Oh God, that’s a lot of softballing up!
Kevin Rose: No, no, no it’s not bad, but when I think about you—when I first met you, you were relatively unknown in that you didn’t have a big following.
Tim Ferriss: That’s right.
Kevin Rose: You had your book coming out and people were excited about that, but nothing compared to what you have today.
Tim Ferriss: No, my mom and a few friends read my blog, that was about it.
Kevin Rose: Right. So I’m curious when I hear you say things about like, “Publishers are sending me too many books,” and “I want to make sure not to do blurbs” and things like that, it feels to me like you’ve been bombarded with too much, to where you feel overwhelmed. It’s like everybody wants something from Tim, like the number of times that people have pinged me and been like, “Dude, you know Tim? Can you send him this thing? Blah, blah, blah!” It must just be anxiety-provoking in some sense, in that you’re being pulled in so many different directions. It’s like in a way, I mean you’re not like a celebrity like, you walk down the street and I’m sure people do recognize you, but not to the sense that—not like a—
Tim Ferriss: Brad Pitt, right—
Kevin Rose:—massive movie star, Brad Pitt or something like that, right? But is that true? And does that bother you? Does that get under your skin a little bit? It feels like it’s a lot for you to handle.
Tim Ferriss: It’s a lot. As someone who is also taking the armor off of a lot of these sensitivities, because I want to cultivate them instead of pushing them underwater, it’s a challenge to do that while simultaneously being bombarded with so much stuff, for sure. I mean I was pulling up my phone just to look at unread emails. 618,952.
Kevin Rose: Holy crap.
Tim Ferriss: Right? Then I have 287 unread text messages. 99 notifications on Asana. It goes on and on. But the point being, I don’t expect much sympathy because these are taxes that I pay for, also, a wide range of different types of access and so on that I do have from the size—
Kevin Rose: Yeah, the private jets and—
Tim Ferriss: No private jets. I’d like to use yours, when it’s idle, I’ll take your private jet. I’m happy to cover the beverage costs.
Kevin Rose: Nice.
Tim Ferriss: But it is, it is challenging from an energetic management perspective. So I find as I get older and looking back at the last decade and looking forward to 2020, that time management is important. But time management doesn’t matter unless you have attention management. Because you can stare at a screen and have blocked out two hours, and if your mind is wandering all over the place and you’re getting hit with push notifications that you can’t focus, it is rendered useless, let’s say. So you have time management, attention management, and then if you even have—I’m sorry, you have time, attention, and then even if you have attention and these are related, but if you are lethargic, you haven’t slept well, or you have been depleted from making too many decisions, you are going to make poor decisions. Or the likelihood of making bad decisions is really high. And I’ve—
Kevin Rose: Well there’s also prioritization of things at that point.
Tim Ferriss: Sure, yeah.
Kevin Rose: Because you need to know how to prioritize certain things. Otherwise you could spend time on the wrong things and attention on the wrong things.
Tim Ferriss: Right. So I mean it could be a zen—a zen, wow. Well it could be a zen, but it could be a Venn diagram with say, five or six interlocking circles. And you’re looking for that sweet spot. And a big part of that is energy management. And one of the best tools I have found for that is looking at your inbound and your projects in terms of categories, looking at, as I did just recently my last year, looking at energetic peaks and energetic troughs, like what robbed me of energy, the types of things. Not single things, single things can be helpful, but the types of things. Were they speaking engagements? Were they long conversations with lawyers? Were they—you name it, spending too much time in cities.
Kevin Rose: Taxes.
Tim Ferriss: Taxes, right—
Kevin Rose: K1s—
Tim Ferriss: K1, oh, K1s. Love those K1s.
Kevin Rose: Herding cats.
Tim Ferriss: Love those K1s. All of that. What are the categories of things that have depleted your energy and what are the categories of things that have given you energy? And—
Kevin Rose: So what were those for you? I’m curious, especially on the giving energy side.
Tim Ferriss: Giving energy side: extended time in nature, for sure.
Kevin Rose: So you like the forest bathing stuff and—
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I just spent two weeks in Utah and spent almost that entire time with at least an hour or two in the mountains every day, and it was incredible. I mean, incredibly recharging. I was getting a lot of activity every day, because that is certainly interrelated with sleep quality, sleep onset, and so on. Lots of activity, exposure to sun and so on. Made a huge difference. And I came back to—I love Austin, but it’s funny how these shifts can be so relative. If I go to New York City, and then I come back to Austin, I get off the plane and let out a huge sigh of relief. I’m like, “Oh, thank God.” And my blood pressure drops 20 points and it’s extremely relaxing. But going from these secluded mountains of Utah to downtown Austin around rush hour, I found completely overwhelming.
So I’ve been very, very tired for the last two days, since I got—
Kevin Rose: You’re going to be in a cave, in Utah.
Tim Ferriss: I might be in a cave. Yeah, so that’s one that I find very energizing. Number two would be creative work before problem-solving or managing anything or anyone. So having time blocked out in the morning to do some type of creative work. It doesn’t have to be writing a long blog post or a chapter. It doesn’t have to be a painting. It could just be taking a photograph on a hike to share on Instagram. But something that is productive in the most literal sense, like it’s producing something that in some fashion uses a creative muscle. I find that sets an emotional tone for hours afterwards or the entire day afterwards. So it’s really more important than I would have expected, to have that. There are lots of other things, but what about yourself?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I mean for me, well you mean just in terms of things that energize me?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, we’re thinking about 2020, things you want to do more of, or things you want to do less of.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I’ve picked some very specific things. One of them is no BPA or plastic this year. So I will not drink a beverage out of any type of tin can, they’re all lined with BPA on the inside. And no plastic containers. So I’m using all glass for anything that I drink out of. And so that’s been a big thing for me. I just kind of want to get away from plastics in general. Aside from that, core strength. I’ve thrown my back out, as old and lame as it sounds, a couple of times over the last six months. Probably carrying kids too much. But so I’ve been getting more into—I’ve been doing PTs, some physical therapy around that. Also, I’m getting back into pilates, and then Peter Attia, who you’ve had on the show multiple times, he recommends a system called Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, DNS.
Tim Ferriss: DNS.
Kevin Rose: And so—have you heard about this at all?
Tim Ferriss: You know, I have read of it. That’s a tough acronym to choose for the internet, but yes.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, that’s right. So that’s something that Peter has been into over the last probably a year plus, and I’m starting to get into as well. So really excited about kind of building that foundation. Peter has this thing where he talks about the Centenarian Olympics. Like, what do you want to be able to do when you’re 100? Like, you want to be able to get out of a pool without climbing steps and like—so I think now is the time in our life where we could set ourselves up for that future. So I really want to start taking that seriously. The next thing is a big one for me and that is really tracking both—well mostly my drinking over time. So I want to be very mindful about how much alcohol I am consuming.
And so one of the things I did is I worked with the folks over at Zero, the intermittent fasting app that I started a couple of years ago. There’s a whole team around that now and they built an app called Less, L-E-S-S, and so that just launched on January 1st. And it helps you—it’s completely free, there’s no ads or anything like that. But it just allows you to track all of your alcohol consumption. And you can set maximum amounts of drinks per week. You can see your week over week, month over month progress. And it’s just a great kind of like beautiful little calendar to track and eventually compare with friends. So we could be able to have like a friend group and see who’s drinking what. But there’s some accountability there that could be pretty interesting. So they started off by me and a buddy, my buddy Mike Maser just tracking all this stuff in a spreadsheet and we just had it in a Google Sheet, but it was a pain in the ass to kind of put in new new figures every day by opening up the spreadsheet.
So now we have it in a little app form. So that’s a big piece of it. Also, I’ve been getting into home automation a lot from my house. So I really have finally—I think that home automation is here and not in the way I thought it was going to be, but I’ve been starting to mess around with a lot of that stuff just to set up routines for my house to consume less energy and really just coordinate different things around the house. Bring more music into my life, and so part of that is just making it super simple to kind of play and automate throughout the house.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I was thinking about this call and this conversation and took all sorts of notes. And when I look over it, I mean a lot of this all comes back thematically to energy awareness and energy management. And looking for, at least in my case, some of the energy drains that you’re simply or I’m simply unaware of, or have been unaware of for a long time. And I had Jerry Colonna, you may know the name, The Coach With The Spider Tattoo, I believe it was the name of the podcast, but he does exec coachwork with all sorts of CEOs and so on. And he had a series of questions that really struck me, that I’ve revisited a lot since my conversation with him. And I did over New Year’s. And I’m still looking very closely, and I’ll paraphrase, these aren’t going to be perfect wordings, but roughly the questions are, how am I complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?
Right, so how am I actually, very—perhaps subconsciously, but nonetheless—very actively creating the conditions that I bitch and moan about? That’s one. The other is—or there are three others. What needs to be said that isn’t being said? And another way to phrase that would be, what am I not saying that needs to be said? That’s actually a huge one for me, and I’ll come back to that. What’s being said that I’m not hearing? I think that’s very helpful for me at least in the context of a relationship. And what am I saying that’s not being heard? I don’t feel too focused on that one. But what needs to be said that isn’t being said, I think that from a very young age, for whatever reason or a number of reasons, I have protected a lot of people who have inflicted harm on me. And that the goal is not to make 2020 the year of vengeance, but rather to recognize, at least for myself, I’ve had a number and by a number, I mean probably six to eight, very uncomfortable conversations in the last two weeks.
Kevin Rose: Are these relatives or friends, or what are you talking about here?
Tim Ferriss: Across the board, across the board. So these could be people I’ve worked with for a long time. Could be family, could be close friends. And by uncomfortable, I don’t mean confrontational, necessarily. So some of these are talking to people about episodes or issues or old wounds that were never fully cleared. Does that make sense? And trying to do so in a way based on all of the wonderful schooling I’ve had from my girlfriend. And I mean that very sincerely in communication, doing it in a way where everyone comes away from the conversation, ideally feeling better. But doing it first and foremost to say what you feel you need to say. And recognizing that you cannot control the response of the other person. So not going in with any hope or expectation of how someone will respond, but simply to clear the air.
Kevin Rose: And do you think that’s because you’re feeling the burden of that?
Tim Ferriss: 100 percent.
Kevin Rose: So you have these things that are unsettled basically, and you’re like, “I need to release it,” basically, I mean you release that by having a conversation with them.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, and some of these are months old, some are years old, some are decades old. And it could also be, on the flip side, things that are very positive. But for instance, reaching out to mentors who I never properly thanked. People who really helped me and kind of saved me in a way during high school years. Reaching out, and if I get voicemail, leaving a really heartfelt thank you for all the help that they gave me, that at the time I was just too young—I don’t want to blame it on youth, though. Self-absorbed maybe, caught up in my own shit to realize just how valuable they were and how much thought they put into helping me, that type of thing. And it’s been so freeing, I have to say. So those questions are questions that I want to pay, in addition to other questions, a lot more attention to in 2020. Because there’s been such a process for me of unburdening, and I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but let’s just say you have a backpack and it’s full of shit that you’ve been carrying around for months, right?
There’s just stuff that sits in there. It could be like, oh yeah, the ball I think I’m going to roll my feet out on, and the extra battery, and the this, and the book, and the notepad, and the this, and the that. And then one day you’re like, “Oh, yeah okay, well I’ll take a new backpack.” And you just stick in what you need, like a laptop, and you walk around and you’re like, “Oh, my God, now my back doesn’t hurt.” And you just didn’t realize because the new normal was carrying around all that bullshit that suddenly became your new basis. It became your new reference point. So for me, having these conversations started off as an experiment. And I say that’s the big takeaway. Or one of the big takeaways from the last 10 years for me is the value of viewing things like this as short-term experiments. But I didn’t expect these conversations to have the huge exhale and relief of tension and the persistence of that feeling that ended up being the case. It’s been really remarkable. I’ve been very impressed and relieved with that.
Kevin Rose: That’s awesome. And do you ever do any of this—well, I’ll give an example. A friend of mine sent me a really nice note a couple of months ago that was a handwritten note that he spent the time to thank me for something and I just read it and I was like, wow, that was a really thoughtful thing to do. And also I know that there’s also power in even writing notes to people that are no longer here. You know, someone’s passed away and you have something you want to say, doing that as well. Have you done any of that? Or it’s just been mostly just in-person coffees and phone calls and things like that?
Tim Ferriss: It’s been mostly voice. And in part because I’ve had, I think, fear and hesitation around using voice, so I’ve wanted to face that, to—
Kevin Rose: Oh, interesting—
Tim Ferriss:—hopefully prove to myself that—
Kevin Rose: Why was there fear around using voice? I would think there would be fear around writing something down that I would post it on the internet if you sent it to me.
Tim Ferriss: Well, there’s that too, which is why I send you fewer love letters than I used to! But the writing I find is a viable option. It allows a certain degree of predictability. You can hone your message and it can be asynchronous. You don’t have to respond in real time. And I think that with saying what needs to be said, in many of these cases, I wanted to see and feel the responses from these people. Whether I was thanking them and expressing gratitude, or perhaps making clear that something that was done or something that wasn’t done for me was not okay, and that it’s had repercussions. And that it’s something I’ve suffered through and that I’m not looking for any resolution. I’m not looking for a response, but it’s weighed very heavily on me, that I have kept this to myself. And felt like it was a secret that I alone needed to carry.
And I make that really explicitly clear too, in a lot of these conversations. That I’m saying it just because I want to feel free after having said it. There’s no expectation of a solution, a resolution, behavioral change, none of that. And that I’m just looking for an opportunity to voice something. So I’ve done almost all of it via voice.
Kevin Rose: That’s great. It sounds like it’s such a freeing thing. How many of those did you have to do? Do you still have more to go through? Or is it—
Tim Ferriss: There are—it sounds like Arya Stark’s list—
Kevin Rose: Right, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: It’s not a long list. It’s really in certain moments, whether it’s taking a bath or going for a long hike, I will have these moments of clarity where I’m like, “Oh, yeah, that thing. There was never any resolution.” It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s also not like, “I’m hunting down the guy five years ago who cut me in line at Starbucks to send him a confession,” I’m not doing that. I’m looking for the anchors that I, at some point, never was able to reel in, if that makes sense. It’s like there was something that was never completed. There was a sense of no resolution. And by resolution, just to make it super clear, I don’t mean solution, I mean closing the loop. From an emotional standpoint.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I think we can all think of one or two of those that we all have. Like I have one at the top of my mind where I’m like, huh, I should go back and close that loop.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it’s like, did you do something to—also apologies. I’ve also issued apologies and given apologies to folks. So it could be apologizing for something you did, that at the time you felt you were in the right in doing, and looking back you’re like, that was stupid. Even perhaps you were in the right, but the tone and the delivery you used was really aggressive or unnecessarily heavy-handed. It’s like, okay, then that’s a closed loop. Or a loop that you could benefit from closing. And it’s been an exercise for me. And a very valuable exercise. I’m not saying it applies to everyone, but for me Jerry’s questions have been really important because for me, they tie together.
And let me explain. So let’s take, what am I not saying that needs to be said or that should be said? And then you have number one on my list, how am I complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want? Well, if by not speaking truth in some fashion, I have developed resentment towards someone. Whose fault is that? One could argue that it’s my fault, because I kept that inside. In which case, I’m complicit in creating this sort of emotional terrain that breeds resentment. I am complicit in creating those conditions.
Kevin Rose: And oftentimes, some of the times those are in your own head, you’ve made up this story of why this person is this way, and then you have the conversation and you’re like, “Oh, I’m actually the asshole. I’ve misunderstood where they were coming from.”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, absolutely. And I will say also that in almost every instance, whatever I expected in these conversations to happen, whatever I thought the most likely response was, was not the response. And that has been fascinating. I’m like, “Well that person is this type of person. When I say X, they are likely to respond with A, B, or C.” And when you use very thoughtful, delicate language, like “The story I’ve created in my own head is…” suddenly people you think you know really well can surprise you. And that has opened up a whole new level of depth in many relationships in my life, having these conversations. That’s been the icebreaker that’s been months or years overdue. It’s been really, really quite profound. I’m going to name a couple of other things real quick, the realizations I had when looking back over the next 10 years and—the next 10 years, wow, I’m time traveling, back to the future. The last 10 years.
Because I have four books right, 4-Hour Body, 4-Hour Chef, Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors. Then we’ve got the TV, and got all of these different projects. Couple of things, we’re getting out of the maybe hyper-emotional stuff. Happy to go back, but 4-Hour Chef, since that was an experiment in distribution where Amazon Publishing was boycotted by everyone—Barnes and Noble, indies, big box retailers—and this was reiterated for me with some of my television experiences, is you need to really understand or ideally control distribution. And the only way that you’re going to do that, very often, is by financing and owning whatever you produce.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I was just going to say that.
Tim Ferriss: Full stop, that’s it. Like if you are not paying for it, you are not going to have—if you are a persnickety perfectionist like me, the degree of control that you will want, particularly when it comes to choosing distribution.
Because I’ve had these projects that have ended up being things I’m extremely proud of, but they’re locked in a vault somewhere, from a distribution standpoint. And that’s been very, very painful. So I’ve had to learn that lesson over the last 10 years, multiple times. And also this seems so childish, or it’s embarrassing to admit but, you’re going to laugh, get everything in writing. If someone tells you via email or this or that, “Yes, we’re planning on this type of A, B, C, D, and E,” it needs to be in the contract. And one thing that I really liked as a frame for agreements, which only came up recently with Gary Keller, who’s a huge real estate magnate, he innovated a lot in that space, based here in Austin. He said, “You should view every agreement as a disagreement, because its most important function is to tell you what happens and what the options are if there’s a disagreement.”
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: So that’s been something I’ve learned repeatedly. And then the other question that I still pay a lot of attention to, that led me from 4-Hour Chef to years later, because I took a long break, for me at least, from books, to Tools of Titans was, “What might this look like if it were easy?” That’s become a really important go-to question for me. Because I think that I pride myself on being able to handle complexity, and sometimes that results in me coming up with somewhat ridiculously unnecessarily complex solutions to things. Where the easiest solution, like rather than spending the next year figuring out the perfect wordsmith thing so that I can manually reply to everybody who asks me about books, and doing this, and promoting on the newsletter, and doing the podcast, maybe I just do a blog post that’s 200 words long that says, “I am not reading any new books published in 2020 in 2020.” Like that is how I got to that, was by asking this question. So those are a few things that have come up for me.
Kevin Rose: I’m curious, one question I had about this new decade going forward, in looking at your career arc over time and knowing you since The 4-Hour Body and seeing the focus and emphasis on bio-hacking and wellness and health and nutrition and cooking and then moving a little bit more into mentors and interviewing other folks and then your experience with psychedelics. And it seems like the last three to five years has been really focused on emotional well-being and improvement there. When do you eventually, or are you still involved in the kind of bio-hacking stuff and do you see that, what’s the next decade look like for Tim? Before you read your books and it’s about optimizing testosterone and certain things in there that, like masturbating with your off-hand or whatever it was that. You don’t talk about it. These little hacks to get testosterone boosts.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, that was actually your ebook on masturbating on the off-hand. That was a great experiment. Little side hustle.
Kevin Rose: But you got stuff like that in there. But maybe I got the wording wrong but you know what I’m talking about.
Tim Ferriss: I know.
Kevin Rose: And I’m just curious, what do the next 10 years look like for you on that front? Is that something where you’ve kind of said, “Screw it, I take vitamin C now and that’s it.” Or what are you doing there?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, on the body-hacking front, I’ve dramatically simplified for a host of reasons. Number one is The 4-Hour Body at its time I think was, it was just, given the reception and the success of the book, it was a bit of a category-killer, right? It was a very different book. But there are many people who picked up that torch and ran with it who do all sorts of crazy experiments. Things that I would not necessarily do. So I feel like there’s a wealth of self-experimentation and many different folks who are continuing to bio-hack. I have continued to do experiments.
Kevin Rose: What does your regimen look like today? I’m just curious, what do you wake up and take? Just on the supplement side.
Tim Ferriss: On the supplements, I take very, very few supplements. Right now the basics are magnesium.
Kevin Rose: You’re getting old, man! For sleep?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I take now Magtein, specifically, so Magnesium L-Threonate, which was recommended by our friend earlier, Peter Attia, and otherwise I’ve really tried to minimize supplements and that’s not because I think they are bad. I think it’s like saying “drugs.” There is a very wide spectrum of drugs and generally speaking, the greater the effect, the greater the side effects. And if you don’t know what the side effects are and it has a very high amplitude effect, then you’re just the sucker at the poker table who doesn’t realize he’s the sucker because there are very rarely free lunches in biochemical enhancement, usually.
Kevin Rose: Dude, I’m blown away by that, because as someone that’s been in your house and seen your medicine closet or cabinet back in the day, you had—
Tim Ferriss: I had a pharmacy.
Kevin Rose: Hundreds of bottles, you had a whole pharmacy. You could have sold out of there. You had everything.
Tim Ferriss: Timmy’s Bodega.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, that’s right.
Tim Ferriss: There’s still a time and a place for that, right? So if I were optimizing for a particular type of competition and really, really focusing on, say, endurance development at altitude or something like that, then I would have a particular regimen. I do supplement with protein at this point. I mean there’s sponsors to the podcast, but I vet everything, I’ve turned down millions of dollars worth of sponsorships from supplement companies, but Ascent Protein made the cut. So I use Ascent Protein. I use Athletic Greens just for covering my bases, especially if I’m traveling to help mitigate sickness when, for instance, I did a Grand Canyon trip. Actually more recently I did a 250 or 280-mile bike trek, mountain bike trek on the Hayduke trail from, because we started in, I want to say, Grand Junction—I might be getting that roughly off—ending in Moab.
I took two days off to ride in the service truck because I was so destroyed, but the point being where we were staying at the front end and the back end, this is basic airport hotel food and I will use supplementation more as it’s intended—to supplement—when my whole food options are suboptimal, right? But I do think supplements can become a crutch for people who are not paying sufficient attention to their whole food, to their sleep, to other parameters, right? It becomes a band-aid to cover other bad decisions. But from a bio-hacking standpoint, I’m still extremely interested in it. But I’ve shifted my focus a bit, so if you look at say The 4-Hour Body, right? We’re talking about hormones, right, testosterone and so on, growth hormone, and there are chapters on doing all sorts of wacky things with different hormones and vertical leap, maximal speed, a relative strength improvement with deadlift, all this craziness, right?
Then you have The 4-Hour Chef, which was very much cognitively focused and got into different smart drugs and using vasopressin to enhance short term memory and all this crazy shit. Then if you look at the last, let’s just call it five to six years for me, the fact of the matter is I’m still very interested in bio-hacking, but it starts to get into some very, very fascinating alien terrain that Western medicine and really no single medical system or scientific system explains very well and that is use of compounds, as one example, classical psychedelics like mescaline, psilocybin, and so on, but not limited to those. You could also include in that group MDMA for PTSD, compounds that seem to exert an effect with rapid onset and extremely long duration of effect, meaning in the cessation of smoking studies that have been done, so nicotine addiction studies that have been done at Hopkins.
You have people who six, I want to say six or 12 months later, 80 percent of the subjects are still non-smokers after two or three sessions with psilocybin combined with psychotherapy, but nonetheless, you’re looking at three sessions, each of which lasts, let’s call it four to eight hours, and the half-life of these drugs is very well known. Nonetheless, these paradigm—and I do rarely use this word—but sort of paradigm-shifting, mental reorganization and the sort of reformatting of the belief systems and stories these people use to govern their realities have changed so fundamentally that their behaviors remain changed even in the face of extremely addictive compounds like nicotine six or 12 months later. So one could argue that I’m still very much in the bio-hacking game, I’m just going from the knowns, right? If we look at testosterone, like testosterone, whether that’s naturally produced or the injectables, testosterone cypionate, or in any type of means of administration or HCG or whatever.
These things are all very well understood, right? Aspirin, very well understood. Some of the smart drugs like hydergine, very well understood and at least very well studied. So I’m moving from these knowns into this area of unknowns with psychedelics where we could, unlike the use of testosterone, or at least at this point, with the technology we have access to, FMRI and otherwise, much tighter study design now than say in the ’50s, we are in a position to discover fundamentally new ways of looking at the mind and consciousness and therefore reality as we experience it. And that to me is the money shot, right? Everything else—
Kevin Rose: That seems like a slight refocus though, right? Because that’s more of a focus on brain and mental health and rewiring that’s done there versus longevity.
Tim Ferriss: Well, I mean yes and no. Right? So there’s longevity. I do think that psychedelics actually could offer plausible mechanisms of action for extending cognitive function.
That’s a whole separate conversation. But I have Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s on both sides of my family. So my initial interest as an undergrad in neuroscience was purely self-defense. I wanted to learn as much as possible to help my parents, my family, and yours truly to, at the very least, delay the onset of—
Kevin Rose: Are you a three-four?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Oh you are? Okay. So you have the genetic marker that gets you, what, you’re like four or five times more likely to get Alzheimer’s than the average person?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, so if we’re looking at it from a software perspective, right, I’m coded to have a much higher predisposition to certain types of neurodegenerative disease and that is the hand I’ve been dealt. So the question is how will I play that hand? And looking at, say, Hopkins where all of this is led, especially as a nascent, what I would consider still a very nascent field, the ability to put in relatively small amounts of money, although I mean, I’ve committed a lot for me, about $3 million or $4 million now, to scientific research related to psychedelics.
And I should say that psychedelics are tools in the toolkit but really what I’m looking at is potential novel treatments of what are considered intractable psychiatric conditions, right? Anorexia, highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, miserable track record in terms of effective treatments; treatment-resistant depression, end of life anxiety due to a terminal cancer diagnosis, nicotine addiction —
Kevin Rose: Opioids.
Tim Ferriss: Opioids, opioids. Yeah, so at Hopkins there are a number of studies that will be getting underway at the first dedicated center for psychedelic and consciousness research in the US, which is going to be based there, looking at Alzheimer’s, looking at opioid use disorder, which I mean is opioid addiction, effectively. And so my shift has been a shift, but I would argue that, and this is going to be a fortune cookie/cliche that I’ll use, but it’s not about how many years I can put into my life, but also about how much life I can put into my years.
So I think it’s important for anyone who’s seen my TED talk on fear setting or read my post, titled Some Practical Thoughts on Suicide. I almost offed myself in college. And there are many people who live a long time but are trapped in these endless loops of self-recriminating thoughts. They’re trapped in the past and depression. They’re trapped in the future and anxiety. And I would argue that that is not living, at least not as I would like to experience it. That is surviving, right? That is being a physical form that is not dead, but that is not the same as thriving. So if we look at the staggering growth of, say, opioid use in the US, particularly synthetic opioids, if we look at the veteran suicide rates, many of which are comorbid with opioid use disorder. But if you look at, say, the number that I’ve heard, it may or may not be statistically defensible, but something along the lines of 23 veterans per day committing suicide.
If you look at the rates of depression and substance abuse among teenagers say, there, to my mind, are clearly societal factors at play that are the perfect soil for producing these types of coping mechanisms. And so for me, yes the bio-hacking has shifted, but the same toolkit that I applied to trying to optimize sex drive or testosterone or whatever it might be, the same literature review and research that I had to do there has been much improved and refined over the last five years, in particular, to look at psycho-emotional health. And I am really, really, really optimistic. And that’s coming from someone who thought he had problems that were sort of personalized and permanent, unfixable: “Let’s put a bullet in the head, instead,” bad, which is something many people feel. And I am now at this point, extremely optimistic about some of these new novel treatment procedures. Ketamine is very interesting, has its own challenges. Both psilocybin and MDMA have been granted breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA to expedite the review process. So I’m cautiously optimistic, but have seen such a difference in my own life. And you’ve known me for a long time, man. I mean, you’ve known me since 2007. I feel like fundamentally a different person today than I did six or seven years ago. Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. And I mean, I can definitely see it in you. I can tell a difference for sure. Just the way that you carry yourself. Even when you came over to our house like a couple months ago, Darya was like, “Tim, he just carries himself differently.” You’re a lot more relaxed, you know.
Tim Ferriss: At ease.
Kevin Rose: At ease!
Tim Ferriss: And that’s why I actually had trouble preparing for this conversation because I was looking at 2020, I was like, “Man, well I guess people are going to expect me to have like a million resolutions,” but I don’t. And I have a handful of things, but what I’ve realized is that, for me at least, peace is not found through understanding, right? Peace is not found through more striving, peace is not found through more achieving. Peace is found through greater acceptance. That’s what I’ve found for myself. And what does that mean? It doesn’t mean accepting shitty things and allowing bad behavior and awful atrocities or trends to continue. It just means taking time to recognize that in most circumstances, you are okay, things are okay, and allowing yourself to bask in that. Does that make sense?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, it totally makes sense dude, I get it.
Tim Ferriss: You know, and I feel like you have also, especially in the last, I want to say, two years and I don’t know, two or three years, how much of that is kids? How much of it is going through programs like you did? Is it Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. He has one on surrender that’s phenomenal.
Tim Ferriss: On surrender, but I’ve noticed that you still get a lot done, right? You’re still very engaged with creative projects, but you seem to me, I was very impressed with this and I mentioned it to my girlfriend last time we were at your place, I said, “It’s really nice to wake up, go upstairs, and see Kevin just sitting with his kids drinking a cup of tea or a cup of coffee completely unrushed.”
Kevin Rose: Yeah. It’s funny that’s on my list of things that I had to talk about today. I wrote down “Not everything has to be done today. Patience.” And I think that when you think of things having to be done today and everything has to be done today, then you’re anticipating the feeling of completion and when you’re anticipating that you’re not enjoying what’s happening right now, because you’re thinking, “I’ll feel so much better when my to-do list is done; I’ll feel so much better when I complete this project.” And the thing that I’ve realized over the last couple of years more than anything has been that I have, over the last 10 years or even in founding Digg in 2004 and staying with that for seven years, I never enjoyed it. I never was able to, cause it was just like, “Oh, I’ve got to run, I got to do this, I have to make this, I have to launch this, I have to grow faster, I have to do all this.”
And I look back and I’m like, “Wow, there was no joy.” I mean there was little wins and of course, certain things brought me joy, but it was so rushed that I was never here. I put my head—my brain was always focused on tomorrow. And so just having that patience and just being able to exhale and realize that dude, we’re going to miss all of life if we don’t enjoy the day-to-day dance of it all, you know? And that’s what I strive to do. I don’t always do that, but hopefully that is something that I will focus on over the next, you know, five to 10 years is just really taking it all in and smiling, and spending, and I think kids help with that. That’s why I’ve been pushing you to have kids!
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I know! You and I have been trying and trying. It doesn’t—it doesn’t seem to be working!
Kevin Rose: It’s just not working, damn it.
Tim Ferriss: The focus on not rushing is one I think is very important, at least for me. And that, for me, luxury in a way more than anything else is the feeling of being unrushed, right? And I think that as a goal of sorts, as a litmus test, has many, many ripple effects that are beneficial, which come out of that, and there’s a book I’m reading right now, I’m not done with it yet, but called Already Free, which I suspect is probably quite similar to some of Michael Singer’s work.
Kevin Rose: That just came out this year, right?
Tim Ferriss: I don’t know the date, it was recommended to me.
Kevin Rose: Nah, I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding!
Tim Ferriss: Did not come out this year. It was recommended to me—
Kevin Rose: What’s it called again? I’m going to look it up.
Tim Ferriss: Already Free, and it combines Western psychotherapy with Buddhist practice and concepts from Buddhism, which if you’d told me 10 years ago what I just said, I would have vomited a little bit into my mouth and said, “Yeah, I’ve been to those bookstores too, with all the crystals and the dream catchers, and there are thousands of those books and I just don’t have time to sort through what is bullshit and what might have validity.”
But this book was recommended to me by a top tier therapist who has, she would never say this, but she’s saved the lives of hundreds or maybe thousands of people. She’s incredibly adept and she recommended this book to me because she has found it compelling, and I’m going to butcher it, but do you, do you have the name of the author up in front?
Kevin Rose: Yeah it’s Bruce Tift, MA, LMFT. Is that what you’re talking about?
Tim Ferriss: Oh wow. Could be. If you just search for Bruce Tift, but Already Free is the title of the book, and I’ve found this book to be very actionable and very compelling and one of the—apologies to the author if I’m misremembering this—but one of the practices or steps that he will often take with clients is something along the lines of the following. If they complain that say their boss never recognizes them, therefore they have struggles with self-worth and this, this, this, this, and this, and that is a complaint that they have, something they’d like to fix that comes up continually in therapy, is he will try to get to them to the point where they are willing to accept that they could have that feeling for the rest of their lives unresolved. And will guide them through thought exercises and hypothetical scenarios. So they get to the point where they’re willing to accept that as a possibility. They will never get rid of that. And what often seems to happen, and I’ve noticed this for myself, is that they’re then able to let out this big exhale, because it’s no longer mandatory that they push this boulder up a hill and fix the problem, and all of a sudden their experience changes. And that, at that point, they become able to think more clearly and respond less reactively because they’ve accepted that if that were to happen, they’re going to survive, there will still be moments of joy. They can still build other valuable relationships. And it just reframes the whole thing. So I have found that to also—and it is a close cousin to a lot of the fear-setting, but I think that that type of reframe can be very, very powerful.
And for me, a lot of it comes back to good questions, right? Which is why I collect questions, why I enjoy asking questions, why I enjoy borrowing questions from other people. And I would say also looking back at the last 10 years for my entire life, I viewed self-love, I think, as self-indulgent in the sense that I felt it would be narcissistic and selfish and unproductive to feel or embrace or cultivate self-love in any way. And in fact, the way to drive myself was to constantly pick apart everything I was or did in a very brutal fashion in terms of internal monologue.
And I think that is part of what drove me so close to the edge in college is that incessant abusive inner voice, and I got a lot done, you know, I did a lot of things and at the end of the day, who the fuck cares really, right? Like in 200 years we’re all dust. No one’s going to remember us. It doesn’t matter. Right? So, great. I got a better grade on my junior term paper. Who the fuck cares? Right? At the end of the day, that voice almost drove me to extinguish myself. So what I’ve also found is that looking back at the last 10 years, like how you treat yourself in some way influences how you treat other people. So if you are violent and angry towards yourself, there will be an element of violence and anger towards other people. Whether it comes out really obviously or it comes out in the form of like resentment and complaining and passive-aggressiveness, it’s going to manifest.
So spending time with Jack Kornfield has had a huge impact on me and this was a few years ago when I first met Jack. He’s a very famous meditation teacher, wonderful human being, walks the walk. There are a lot of poseurs in the mindfulness meditation world. A lot of people who really are of the “Do what I say, not what I do” school, if you look under the hood. Jack is so adept and has such an incredible tool kit, also is a clinical psychologist for helping veterans, and adolescents who are self-harming and cutting. He’s very skilled. And we had a conversation at one point and he said something that stuck with me, and I’m going to paraphrase it because the exact words aren’t important, but the gist is, and that is: If your compassion doesn’t extend to yourself, it’s incomplete. And that seems so obvious, right? But I do think that a lot of people who pride themselves on being achievers spend the vast majority of their time whipping themselves.
Kevin Rose: I mean I think everyone has that internal dialogue and some days it can be more intense than others in terms of being critical or for me it’s not so much critical of myself as it is just ruminating on certain thoughts and over and over again, I’ve had a lot of that. How did you break out of that? Is it something that you still struggle with today? Like if someone’s listening to this and they’re like, “Oh, my God, that describes me to the T, I’m constantly so harsh on myself,” what are the steps that someone would take?
Tim Ferriss: Well, some are easier to recommend than others. I’ve done a lot of really wild stuff and some very, very aggressive stuff. And it’s not to say that all tools will work for all people, but I do think that there are certain books that have had a large impact on me that have helped other people. And in fact, now that I think about it, I believe that one of them, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, was recommended to me by Darya, which surprised the hell out of me because Darya is very sharp, scientifically minded, very skeptical, and at least back in the day, my experience with Darya was that anything remotely woo-woo or hand-wavy, she was just like “Talk to the hand; not interested.” Right? So when she recommended this book, very generic title and the subtitle, I can’t remember at the moment, but Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, and I thought, “Oh my God, has Darya had a frontal lobotomy?” Like, what happened?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, she hasn’t. Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: I don’t know how this book would make it through her filter. And it was incredibly helpful. So radical acceptance, self-acceptance, making peace with parts of us, aspects of ourselves, emotions we have grown to believe are negative or unwanted. You know, reconciling, re-integrating yourself, in a way, is a worthy goal. And I think I’ve largely succeeded. I still have my moments where I beat myself up, but it is less than five percent of what it was five or six years ago.
Kevin Rose: I feel like this could be a good book for you, honestly.
Tim Ferriss: Oh, I have a Scrivener file with hundreds of thousands of words already put together.
Kevin Rose: Oh really?
Tim Ferriss: It’s not in book form, but this is the book that I want to work on, and this is the book I talked about in my episode with Greg McKeown as the thing that I feel I need to do and for 2020, and I started this already at the end of 2019, but I’m getting back to writing regularly on the blog for that reason. It’s sharpening the saw so that when I really sit down to put together prose I want it to be as good as possible and this is definitely a calling. I feel called to do this, in part because I’ve seen the effects, not just through using books but certainly practices. I think that Byron Katie’s The Work can be very helpful. It can be also a little confusing. But Byron Katie’s The Work as a means of testing assumptions and stories that you tell yourself, kind of stress-testing them, and as an exercise being forced to come up with evidence or examples that counter your statement, your belief, can be very eye-opening, especially when done in a group context. Then you have certainly meditation without a doubt, especially in my case when combined with either entirely cutting out caffeine or dramatically cutting out caffeine. That is nontrivial for me.
Kevin Rose: That’s tough to do. I did that about a month and a half ago. I wanted to go one month without caffeine and I was weaning myself off a little too aggressively and I started getting those horrible caffeine headaches. But I was able to do it and then I actually just switched to decaf coffee, which has a tiny trace amount of caffeine. But that stuff is horrible. There’s no good decaf coffee out there. If somebody out there is listening and knows of some, please let me know somehow. Just tweet at me. Really appreciate it!
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I tend to use my time in nature or time fasting, which I’ll often do in nature. But if I’m spending a lot of time in nature, let’s just take this last Utah trip as an example. Unlike a day like today where I am mostly sitting inside, if I’m mostly sitting inside, I have an oral fixation and I’ll just drink iced tea and coffee all day because it’s sitting in front of me and I’m looking for a fidget. Just like I fidget with my pen and flick my pen around. It’s a fidget. Whereas if I’m in Utah and I want to get to fresh powder and I’m waking up early, I’ll have a cup of coffee in the morning but then I’m on the slopes or outside for at least a few hours when I’m consuming nothing but water.
And what I realized after a few days of that is that I feel like I’ve been meditating twice a day for a month, and perhaps being outside skiing and so on is a form of meditation in and of itself. But suffice to say, often I’ve thought to myself, you can either meditate once or twice a day for two weeks or just cut your caffeine consumption down to one cup of coffee a day. The results are very often the same. If you combine them, all the better.
Kevin Rose: I’ve never heard of anyone obtaining enlightenment via less caffeine. You might be the first.
Tim Ferriss: There’s always a first. There’s always a first. I’m happy to be the first non-caffeinated monkey shot into space on the quest to enlightenment through abstinence. I don’t like making a recommendation with the following, but it would be the elephant in the room if I left it out: psychedelics. Responsible, supervised, facilitated sessions with psychedelics have provided a reset/reformatting that is very difficult to achieve via other means. I don’t think it’s impossible, but it’s very challenging. I simply have no way—I have theories—but no way to explain quite how profound and lasting the changes can be or how they’re produced. It’s still very poorly understood.
What we do know is that in some cases, say with psilocybin, the toxicity is exceptionally low. I mean, it is far less than say, acetaminophen, Tylenol, and many other things. I do not take this stuff every afternoon. I try not to be a hammer looking for a nail. I do not think these drugs are panaceas. I do think there are significant risks, possible risks, for those who, say, have a family history of schizophrenia. And you can make very poor decisions—you can make dangerous decisions—while under the influence, which underscores the importance of facilitated, supervised sessions. But these compounds have been integral to providing enough slack in the system and different perspectives from which I can look at myself as an observer, right?
It can be very difficult to see your own stories because your entire reality—what we look at, what we hear is not the only reality, right? Our brains are interpolating and filling in a lot of gaps as we use generic concepts and stories to interpret and make sense of everything around us. And I’m not the first person to come up with this metaphor, but it’s like trying to look at the lens of your own eye as you’re looking through the lens, you just can’t do it. But psychedelics in proper setting with supervision can, in some instances, provide you the ability to sort of rotate out or above and really do a radical self-assessment that shows you where your blind spots are and it shows you where your stories and your software are out of date.
But I do not recommend people break the law. If you want to talk about side effects, the legal side effects can be significant. I mean, you can go to jail for a long time if you possess or distribute these compounds. They are currently schedule one and this is why I’m dedicating—I’ve dedicated more capital and energy to psychedelic research than anything else in the last few years and it is, I want to say at least it is close to or more than all of the capital I’ve invested in startups over whatever it was—an almost 10-year period.
Kevin Rose: So when this becomes a legal form of therapy, are we going to see Tim Ferriss branded psychedelic pop up shops around the country?
Tim Ferriss: Tim Ferris psychedelic treatment mall kiosks?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, exactly.
Tim Ferriss: And right next to it—
Kevin Rose: Buy it directly from Five-Bullet Friday.
Tim Ferriss: Right next to Express Spa in the airport?
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: Why travel sober when you could?
Kevin Rose: Would you ever be involved in anything like that though? I mean, all kidding aside, or is it that you’re just more interested on the research side?
Tim Ferriss: It’s not just a question of interest. It’s a question of maintaining a neutrality so I can be more effective. I don’t want people to question my motives, which is the same reason, by the way, I did not invest in or create any supplement companies before The 4-Hour Body. I could have made tens of millions of dollars doing that, easily. And I knew that because as you know, I mean, I used to own sports nutrition companies, so I know how those businesses work. I could build one very easily. I have access to all the right people. I didn’t do it because I didn’t want people to question my motives. I wanted to be as objective as possible and for people to view me as objective or as objective as possible.
And in the world of psychedelics, I don’t want to place any bets in a for-profit capacity that would lead me to even subconsciously exert bias in who I help or what I help. And even if I could make a for-profit bet that would not affect my objectivity, it would affect how others perceive me in the field and that would inhibit my ability to move the needle in a number of different ways. And last, I will say, and this is also vocabulary, these are phrases that Tim of 15 years ago would just be disgusted by, but he didn’t know. He didn’t know what he didn’t know. This is a very sacred space. This is, in some ways, very sacred work.
It’s incredible when you witness what can transpire for someone in a four to six-hour session, and how completely their conception of themselves and relationships, problems, addictions can change. You feel like you’re witnessing something very special, and you are witnessing something very special, something very unusual that many people hope their whole lives for and never get. And to that extent, you and I have been very fortunate and we’ve had all sorts of advantages. We’ve also had certain disadvantages and we’ve made lucky bets and we’re in a position where we don’t have to make compromises. We don’t have to make compromises to generate income. We’re not worried about how to pay the rent next month. And for that reason I like having this entire field to be, for me, a capital off-limits, a money off-limits, area in my life. Does that make sense? It’s just a complication that I don’t want and don’t need.
For that reason I would be very surprised, I’d be very surprised if there was any Tim Ferriss-branded airport psychedelic kiosk. There may be outfits that I assist in some way, but I can’t imagine that I would ever tie financial incentives or financial return to anything that I do in this space. I would be disappointed in myself. Unless something very, very significant changes and I just can’t imagine quite what that would be.
And let’s say I did something, who knows? Let’s just say some gigantic pharma company said, “Will you advise us on blah, blah, blah, blah, blah?” As long as I could be convinced, and this would be a long shot, but let’s just say I and my advisors were convinced that they weren’t just doing this to sort of whitewash their sins and provide a human riot shield for whatever they were going to do, and they wanted advice of some type and they were offering advisory compensation. All of the funds would have to go to funding other types of research or to some other recipient besides myself. Perhaps it goes into a foundation and then gets funneled directly into some related cause that I care deeply about.
Kevin Rose: It’d be interesting to see how you could think through that a little bit further to figure out if there is an opportunity there that you could just roll it into a complete non-profit, so that you could participate in some of the upside, because obviously there are going to be—when this stuff does all finally come around and it is stamped with the, whatever it may be, FDA or whoever has to stamp all the way through to actually launching something as a therapeutic product for the consumer, there’ll be multi-billion dollar businesses built on the back of this in some capacity, right?
Tim Ferriss: There could be. There definitely could be. I think it’s going to be a lot trickier than folks expect and I hope that the current means of administration, meaning, let’s just call it two or three active sessions. There may be placebo sessions, but let’s just call it two or three active sessions with long-term, persistent effects. I hope that that does not get corrupted and replaced with some type of analog that is—or close cousin—that is then turned into a maintenance tool. In other words, I hope that the business priorities of drug developers do not affect the beautiful elegance of how these tools can be used, in such a way that they get converted into something that needs to be used three times a week just to get by. And I absolutely expect there will be people who attempt to do that, but I certainly don’t want to encourage that. But there could be a lot of money made, and there are possibilities.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. My only point was that I would rather see those funds flow into someone’s non-profit, like your own, that would then go right back into research, than have to go to someone else. Because I would entrust you with those funds to do the right thing.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. And there are things I want to do. One idea that I had for 2020 that I thought could be fun, which is not the same as a for-profit business that then provides upside that can be funneled into a non-profit, which is entirely possible. I mean, that’s what I’m doing with my foundation right now, but I’ve been thinking about doing a high-end art auction and I know people have done this in the past. I believe that, I want to say Leonardo DiCaprio has done a very good job of this. Don’t know Leo personally. But the concept would be getting pieces donated, and it’s unlikely to me that a Sotheby’s or a Christie’s or someone would do this. They might. But to have incredible pieces of artwork donated by extremely famous artists and to take the proceeds and donate them to psychedelic research or scientific—
Kevin Rose: Oh, dude, you could have this happen in two seconds. I know a ton of the auction folks through my time at Hodinkee.
Tim Ferriss: Okay, great.
Kevin Rose: So if you want to talk to any of the Christie’s or Sotheby’s or Phillips folks, this happens already. For example, there’s an auction each year that’s called Only Watch, and every—one of the high-end watch manufacturers will create a special one-off, limited edition watch, or not limited edition but just one-off, and they raise tens of millions of dollars for—I can’t remember, it’s muscular dystrophy, or what the actual cause is. But it’s a wonderful cause and it happens every year. This could be that for psychedelics.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. So that excites me because—
Kevin Rose: You have to do that. That’s a no-brainer.
Tim Ferriss: Because it could be paintings, but it could also be watches, it could be anything. And what’s so nice about that is people are bidding, there are certainly tax advantages for people who are buying these items, I would imagine. Maybe, maybe not. But nonetheless, I mean, they’re going to a good cause. They are paying for one-of-a-kind or, at the very least, highly sought after, scarce items that have sustained value. So you’re not just begging for money with your hat out. And what’s so incredible about the psychedelic research space right now is that for $10 or $20 million, I mean, you can potentially bend the arc of history. It’s so nascent and so much can be done with so little that what would be considered a drop in the bucket for cancer research or any number of other conditions could actually lead to fundamental breakthroughs in an entirely new field.
And not just breakthroughs as it relates to a specific compound, but breakthroughs and how we begin to understand how the mind and the brain work. Where is the seat of consciousness? Does such a thing anatomically exist? These are real questions that people are investigating and I don’t think we fully appreciate the implications of figuring some of that out. I mean, it’s incredible. And there’s so many artists, as you know, who suffer from absolutely depression, from anxiety.
Kevin Rose: Absolutely. That’s why it’s a no-brainer. This is like a perfect match. You have people that suffer with something like that—you must know Banksy at this point, right?
Tim Ferriss: I don’t. I would love to. If you have a connection, I would love to connect with Banksy for a million reasons, but I do not yet know Banksy. I did go to his hotel in the Middle East, which was amazing and pretty incredible. I’ve studied him, I know of him, I’m very familiar with his work, but don’t know him.
Kevin Rose: I feel like if we can get him to commit a piece, that’s a good place to start.
Tim Ferriss: That would be a great place to start. That would be a great place to start. There are a number of artists I find absolutely incredible who, were they willing to participate, they would act as the lead domino that tips over everything else. Because you really just need that first tenant. The first person who says, “I believe in this.” I haven’t reached out to anyone at this point, but one of my favorite artists in the world is David Hockney. He’s so, so incredible. You should check him out. And there’s a wonderful documentary about him called, I want to say, Learning How To See or The Art Of Seeing that you should check out. And he just seems like such a beautiful human being. Very well spoken, very humble. It should be doable. This does not strike me as insane.
Kevin Rose: Let’s talk offline, because I have some people you should talk to. I think we could make this happen. That sounds really cool.
Tim Ferriss: All right. Amazing. Amazing! That’s so exciting. The other thing that—this is jumping around topic wise. But the other thing I want to start doing this year is something that I spoke with Nick Thompson ages ago about, and that is hiring top-tier writers at say, I think the rate he suggested was maybe $2 a word or something like that. But really paying top dollar for good, long-form journalists to write pieces on my blog. To investigate topics that would otherwise not get investigated. I’ll give you an example. I was having a long conversation with one of my closest friends about a week ago about how the preceding two days felt like two or three weeks.
A lot of things had happened. We’d moved locations a lot. We were spending a lot of time in backcountry doing really strong, physical exertion and we both noticed that the preceding two days seemed—it was like, “Oh my God, that happened two days ago? It seems like three weeks ago.” And yet there are also weeks that go by where you’re like, “What the fuck did I do this week? I know I was sitting around doing stuff, but like it just went by like that.” Let’s just say that’s one example, like investigating the expansion of time. What does the science say? What do—
Kevin Rose: If you want someone to pitch in on that, I’ll throw some cash towards that article too.
Tim Ferriss: Okay, cool.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I’ve always been fascinated by this. I would love to go in deep on that one.
Tim Ferriss: Right? It’s like so let’s get someone who puts out just stellar, stellar, long-form pieces that they can take some time on because I don’t need this tomorrow. I’d love to have it tomorrow, but if it takes two months, if it takes three months, so be it. I care more about the quality but to have, let’s just say to have five of those at any given time in motion, it just seems like an excellent use of money. Or there are certain people I would love to have profiles, right? Like people who are doing incredible, weird things that I don’t think would ever make it onto the radar of some of the larger publications I respect. But they already have, I would imagine, an abundance of wonderful ideas and I have some say A, leads and B, suggestions that could really help people gain access to folks who otherwise wouldn’t be accessible or otherwise would never get covered. I mean, it’s that kind of thing. It’s like, “All right, let’s do a human interest story.”
Kevin Rose: Do you have people in mind, on the writers side, that you would use? Because I know we could probably reach out to Evan Medium, I’m sure he’s got a bunch of great independent writers that you could hire.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I spoke with Nick about this. There are a few writers I’ve worked with in the past who I have found to be really, really sharp and also very ethical. Those two don’t always go together, as we know, which is a huge bummer. That’s another thing I’ve learned in the last 10 years is like, hire for reliability and trustworthiness and attitude first. Lots of skilled, smart people out there who may not have the best ethical compass. So you have to really guard against that. But there are a number of writers I’ve worked with who have done fantastic work and they’re on the shortlist. They’re kind of the first list that I have.
But there are so many great writers out there and it should be possible to get someone, since I would be the editor, so to speak. And I have no delusions of thinking I’m David Remnick of the New Yorker or anything. I do not think that I am the best editor in the world, but nonetheless, it’s my blog, so I have to look at the stuff and I’m pretty good. I think I’m a very fair—I’ve edited a lot of my friends’ books because I can’t not edit if they give me something to review. But I would be bringing these people in because they are extensively, I mean almost certainly, better writers than I am. So that’s really exciting to me. Just to kick the tires and try it.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. That’s awesome.
Tim Ferriss: And it’s also one of those examples of one decision that removes a lot of decisions. It’s like let’s just—time is a nonrenewable resource, I’m very confident I can make money back if I need to. Let me just place some bets and let people run. And then it’s like, oh, lo and behold. Three months later, an email comes in, got a first draft, or got a third draft, whatever it might be. That’d be very exciting to me. Yeah. What else have you put on your list of things to remember for 2020, pay attention to, or just notes from the last decade? I’ve got one but I’m going to hold on to it. We can talk about it in a little bit. Not that we have to go for five hours, but anything else that comes to mind that you’d like to mention?
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I think that one of the things that I look back on that I feel that I did quite well over the last 10 years was my track record of investing in the public markets. And I think that I know why.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, you’re very good. You’re very good.
Kevin Rose: I appreciate that. I think, I know—I have kind of put my formula down on paper so I have a sense of how I am able to take big risks without them feeling like big risks, and I think that’s key for me not to freak out and sell things off. So essentially what I’ve figured out is my mixture of investments, and for me, you’ve always heard that—well, I mean, there’s that saying that I guess most people would think is bullshit, which is probably true. Which is to hold your age in bonds, right? Like the old saying is if you’re 40 years old you should have 40 percent of your net worth in bonds.
I have always liked having some security like that. I think that that is not a wise strategy for young investors because I think they are too heavily weighted in safer investments when they should be taking the most risk upfront. But now that I am into my 40s, I don’t think of it as just bonds, I think of it as what are some safer investments that I can have that 40 percent in? That could be higher yield bonds, it could be dividend-paying stocks that are blue-chip, dividend stocks that I hold in a basket or an index. But the thing that that’s—
Tim Ferriss: Exotic animal farms.
Kevin Rose: Exactly. You know my investment types. But that there’s nothing—that’s all—you can pick this kind of stuff up in any investment book. What I have done that is different is that I’ve said that 20 percent of my net worth, whatever that may be, is going to go into alter-risky investments. But only ones that kind of, soup to nuts, I understand at a very, very deep level. That means these really risky tech investments for me and that has led to early investments in Bitcoin, early investments in Apple. I remember when Apple came out with OS X, the first version, and I was just blown away and I knew this was such a brilliant new direction for the company. That was in 2001. The stock back then was trading at a $1.60 or so a share, which is just insanity. But more recently, in the last few years, that would be the Shopifys and the Teslas and things like that.
But also avoiding stuff I didn’t understand. I think, it’s like the saying no. For example, everyone was jumping on Netflix five years ago, maybe even longer. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand how this wouldn’t become just like the music business and the margins would be ultra-thin. I had no idea about creating original content, what the cost structure for that would be. It was something that a lot of my friends were making fantastic returns on, but it’s something that I ended up not buying. And I missed out on that one, but that’s fine, because I was able to concentrate my bets on things, products, not only that I used and enjoyed, but understood completely. That, for me, taking that 20 percent of my investments and focusing them on things that I believe that could truly have 25 to 50 X returns over the next couple of decades, I think, has been key in kind of growing my net worth over time.
Tim Ferriss: So we’re talking about—or you’re talking about—buy decisions. What’s your framework for deciding when to sell things, if you have one? And it could be any category or all categories, but you’re somewhat famous for telling me what you’re going to buy and then not telling me six months later when you sell it all.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I mean, I think the thing is, it has the underlying—no, that’s true. I think I have—
Tim Ferriss: And then 18 months later I’m like, “Aw man, tough quarter, huh?” And you’re like, “I sold that a year and a half ago.” I’m like, “Ah, you fucking bastard.”
Kevin Rose: Exactly. Well, I think like, have the underlying fundamentals of the business changed? I think that, if the answer is yes, then I consider selling it. If the answer is no, but you’re seeing a decline due to other market turbulence, then that’s actually when I buy more. So if I see a big massive dip and it has nothing to do with the company, but it was just something that came out of Trump’s mouth, I’m going to double down and pick up some more stock on sale, right?
Tim Ferriss: Yeah.
Kevin Rose: So, and then also working with your tax accountants so that you know when you can take some gains off the table, and tax-wise that makes sense for you. But I would say that I am even more skeptical and scared of stocks like Netflix today, because I look at all the other entrants in the market that are both coming and have recently launched, whether it be Apple TV’s streaming services or the new Disney+, or Peacock, which is coming out, because it’s going to be so much competition for that five to $10-a-month kind of cable plus plus that it’s a little frightening.
But, that’s how I look at shop, well also, I think there’s a couple of things. One, what’s the total addressable market of this business? How big is the TAM there and do they have room to grow? So Shopify today—I’m not sure where they’re at, $50-some billion company; they were around five early on—well, actually dude, Shopify was the one that you’re probably killing yourself over.
Tim Ferriss: Yep, I am. I made a terrible decision. Well, you know that I have a history, now I have improved, but I’m—
Kevin Rose: You were an advisor to them before they went public.
Tim Ferriss: When they had eight employees. So I was with them—
Kevin Rose: Oh, my Lordie.
Tim Ferriss:—from day, not day one, but very early, and I panic sold. And that was maybe right after lockup expired. So this would be like, whatever that is, six months after IPO, and I just made a terrible decision and sold a bunch of it.
Kevin Rose: I’m curious, what was the underlying reason though? With the talking about when to sell, the business was having great numbers quarter over quarter, if you looked at all the fundamentals there, I mean, granted they’re not profitable, but revenue was increasing, cost of acquiring customers was going down. What was it that you freaked out about?
Tim Ferriss: I mean, I don’t think that freakouts are generally a rational decision. I’m not like, “Well if A, and if B, and therefore C, and one, two, three, four, five, freak out!” It’s not like that is at the end of a long deliberation. I think that the gain, since my cost basis was effectively zero, right? My gain was such that the absolute number of dollars was enough to, at the time, move the needle for me and provide a level of security that I didn’t want to risk. It doesn’t mean that there were a bunch of risks, I just didn’t know, and you never know what you don’t know. Do you know what I mean, though? I was like—
Kevin Rose: Oh, dude, there’s that first wave of, “I want to take care of myself, pay off my bills, pay off my house, this is something that’s going to secure my future,” that you would just be a foolish not to take, and I get that. It sounds like that’s what you were doing.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, that’s what I was doing. And the challenge has been—and we don’t have to spend a lot of time on this because I think we’re getting into rarefied air here but, updating that script, right? Because it’s not the only example of me panic-selling. And I panic-sold other things, I mean panic-sold is very dramatic, but I emotionally sold other things. Alibaba, I invested early in Alibaba, their pre-IPO, and all sorts of companies that I sold once they went public, and it has taken a lot of reflection and training and planning. That’s number one for me. Have a plan, right?
Don’t go into a fight with no plan, then get hit and try to figure out your game plan. Have a plan going in. So I’ve done that in the last few years, and I have not panic-sold or emotionally sold anything in the last few years. That’s a lot easier to say of course now that I have more security, but the point is, even after the point that I had more security, I had not updated my OS, right?
My operating system was still Windows 95, panic, panic, crash, panic, crash, and I had to become aware of that before I could change anything. Does that make sense?
Kevin Rose: Yeah.
Tim Ferriss: So you are 100 times better than I am in the public markets and you’ve been very comfortable in the public markets for a very long time, from my perspective, at least what I’ve seen. I mean you’re a very rare breed of investor, because you are successful across many different classes and many different assets. So you can go super early stage, I mean white paper early or back of the napkin early, all the way up to mature public.
And I’ve seen you hit home runs in almost every band of investment, in terms of size and also in terms of technology, it’s been very impressive to watch. And I have to first admit to myself, lest I get my face ripped off, that I’m not you, right? I just have a different way of approaching this stuff, so —
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I mean, dude, you’ll laugh at some of the grammar I write you in the email, so we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Some of the things that I produce on other fronts are laughable, so I think it’s just kind of knowing what those pieces are and playing to your strengths.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Play, but you can fuck up a lot as long as you play to your core strengths and make a few good decisions, I mean, once a year, once every few years in the startup investing game, right? Hopefully, they’re not all predicated on luck. But if you have a decent process, right? You said you missed out on Netflix, doesn’t matter, right? If you hit a home run, you can strike out, if you hit a few home runs that are real home runs right? Which you have, you can strike out a whole lot, and that is—
Kevin Rose: Oh, and you expect to, it’s like—
Tim Ferriss: Or better yet—
Kevin Rose:—that’s just part of the game—
Tim Ferriss: Or you can miss out, that’s a better way to put it. You can pick, you can wait for the fat pitches, and if you have rules and certain systems which I’ve seen you use, which has been the impressive part, right? If someone’s just consistently lucky, I can’t model that, right? And I know those people too, you and I both know those people. Where it’s like, “All right, that article paints them as genius, but we all know they flipped a coin after drinking a bottle of tequila and then here we are.”
So I can’t model that type of dumb luck. And there are some people who just seem to be hardwired for incredible luck, I don’t know what that’s about. We both know a few of those too, where it’s just like, PATA Gold falling out of the sky into their lap every two years, I just don’t know what that’s about.
And then there’s people who have rules and they have systems and they have criteria, and I think you’ve done really well with that. So that’s something I’ve always watched with admiration, and that is something that I’ve tried to model. But not by duplicating all of your rules, but simply having rules, certainly helps a lot.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. And I mean, I think that the one thing I want to emphasize on that last little piece that we talked about on the investing side, the reason why 80 percent of my stuff is in standard boring index funds, bond funds, things like that, is because I know how risky the rest of it is and I expect to lose a lot of it, so I would never advocate—well, first of all, I’m not even in the position to give investment advice; I’m not legally allowed to, but I wouldn’t advocate investing more than you can lose, because you never know, because there’s so many other factors. You could have the best company on earth and you could have a downturn in the market that’s going to last a decade, and you’re still going to be underwater. And so you always have to factor that in as well.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. I’m still, I would consider myself super conservative, and I also want to emphasize—or maybe clarify is the right word—that you talk about ultra-risky, right? 20 percent ultra-risky. And it’s true that each of those bets you place independently could be considered ultra-risky, but you maybe could speak to this, but I mean you also have a portfolio approach and certain advantages, right? Informational advantage and so on.
I’m not talking about any public stuff, but with these super early-stage companies, with different types of currencies and so on, meaning cryptocurrencies and blockchain and whatnot, that you have. You think about portfolio construction and you think about allocation, you think about bet-sizing, right? So that these individually ultra-risky bets, when viewed in total, underscore the possibility that each of them could say, “Return the fund,” so to speak, right?
Kevin Rose: Right.
Tim Ferriss: So even though it’s a collection of ultra-risky assets, the way that you approach it, while it’s still risky is certainly stands a very high likelihood of success, right?
Kevin Rose: That’s right. Yeah. I mean that’s a classic venture rule that, “It depends on whose math you’re looking at, but 80 plus percent of the deals that you do will go to zero, but the ones that do make it, you’re hoping are the massive 1000 X kind of fund makers that you can find, especially at the really early stage.” But yeah, that’s part of getting comfortable with all that is saying goodbye and not taking it when things don’t work out, and not taking it personally, just realize it’s the riskiest thing that you can do.
And some of the biggest mistakes I see angel investors make without a doubt, is they go out and do two deals, they go out and do three deals. They’ll say—I would much rather—and this is how I started out in the early days, I went out and placed five to $10,000 bets, which from an angel’s point of view is really minimal dollars, because most Silicon Valley angels are doing 25 to 100,000 chunks when they invest in a startup.
I didn’t have that kind of money, but I knew the math, and the math is that most of them are going to go to zero. And so if that’s the case, rather than have two companies at 25,000 apiece and saying “I’m done,” I’d rather go out and have a whole dozen of them at a much lower, five to $10,000 kind of range and have a greater chance that I will find one of those crazy unicorns that’s going to return all the rest of them, so cover for the rest of them.
So whenever I meet someone that’s looking to get into that side of investing, on the angel side, it’s always, “Do more with less dollars in, and then if you have the opportunity to buy up in the future with pro-rata and you do see something that looks like it’s going to win, because you’re already on the cap table, you can go in and purchase more shares in future rounds of financing.”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty here, but yes, that could be a whole separate conversation on reserving a portion of your annual budget for follow on with the pro-rata and all that, but we can save that for our next Random Show.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. A last little thing I will say that I think is more broadly applicable is, you mentioned how do you decide when to sell? And this could be applied to public market investing, which most people are comfortable with. When your allocation in that ultra-risky category outpaces and outgrows, where all of a sudden that was 20 percent but now it’s actually 40 percent of your portfolio, then you need to rebalance, and that’s when you can do that.
Tim Ferriss: Yep. The most fun is when your ultra-risky has you locked up, so all of a sudden you’re at 90 percent, you can’t sell a goddamn thing, that’s always a really stress-free experience. Very important. That is an important point. And what should we close with? Any last thoughts? I mean, one takeaway that I’ve had from the last 10 years, and I have actually become much better at this, I’m much better at following my own advice.
I remember Sam Harris once, I think he said to me or maybe wrote it somewhere, but that “wisdom is largely taking your own advice.” There’s a quote and I can’t remember the attribution, somebody on the internet can certainly tell us, and I’ll put it in the show notes. But that, “Living well is the best revenge,” that quote has really been important to me in the last few years. And it comes back to what we were discussing, or what I was saying much earlier about treating myself with anger, and trying to really replace that with more acceptance and understanding and compassion, which I always focused outward; I never really focused it inward.
And a byproduct of that, meaning being less angry with myself was, trying to cultivate directing less anger at other people also. And I was never a yell and scream, throw plates against the wall kind of guy, but I would feel intense anger when I was wronged or felt wronged, right? And I mean if you’ve been in the business world long enough or if you’ve had enough relationships, you’ve been fucked at some point, and not in the good way. And I would get very upset, and I would fantasize, I wouldn’t always actualize, but I’d fantasize about the kind of eye-for-an-eye type retaliation. And the reality was that I very rarely indulged in that. But—
Kevin Rose: You rarely took eyes?
Tim Ferriss: I very rarely took eyes. As Colonel Hackworth—what’s his first name? I’m blanking, was that, “Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to smash a mosquito with a sledgehammer,” or something like that, or “Smash a fly with a sledgehammer.” I think there’s a time and place for that, don’t get me wrong, but one doesn’t want to set precedent in some unfavorable way. But the point being that I’ve become much better. And I’m not going to mention this person by name, but a very well-known person has as a reminder on his screensaver, on his laptop, “Let it go.” And this is a very accomplished person. I actually consider him to be very zen and emotionally resilient and calm. Nonetheless, he has that reminder, “Let it go,” on his desktop.
And I have realized tying in this energetic management that living well is the best revenge. If someone’s really fucked you and they’re that person, chances are they’re not very happy, right? That’s not always the case, there are some super-aggressive, Doctor Evil narcissist assholes who are quite happy, I hate to tell people out there, but they do exist. Nonetheless, a lot of the people who do awful things or break their word, whatever, are pretty miserable, and letting them wallow in their own misery and not engaging—because it will contaminate your experience—has been really key for me. Letting it go to the extent possible, right? And just “living well is the best revenge,” has really stuck with me, right? The best thing you can do is, yeah, live your life.
Kevin Rose: I think what you just said is really, it’s interesting in that, the way I’ve always looked at it is, if someone is being very verbally aggressive with you or angry or trying to push their energy onto you, if you take that and carry it on and then release it to other people, you’re just furthering their agenda of spreading that energy. And letting it go is just the ability to actually set them free in a way, you’re releasing that negative energy and you’re just letting it dissipate, and it’s such a freeing thing, it’s a beautiful thing if you think of it like that.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. You’ve taught me a lot with this in certain instances. I remember I got attacked by some troll, as trolls will do, many years ago, this is a long time ago.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I remember this.
Tim Ferriss: And I think, well let’s see. You might have a different example but, and you said something like, “Tim, do you really want to engage in a fight with someone with infinite time?” And I was like, “No, I don’t. When you phrase it that way, absolutely not.” And you’ve given me—because of course coming out of Digg and sort of early days, you had far more mileage with, unlike years—yeah.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. I don’t know if you remember this, but I think I told you also that, I was like, “When was the last time you’ve left a negative comment on somebody’s blog and been like, ‘Fuck you!’ on somebody’s blog anonymously?” and it’s like, “Ah, I don’t think I’ve ever done that.”
Tim Ferriss: Never.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, because you’re not that kind of person. Think of the type of person that is engaging with you here, and you don’t need to—it’s just that the one thing people don’t realize about the internet and that I learned through a school of hard knocks is that, just like in society, if you were to go and put 500 people in a room, there are going to be some assholes in that room, some complete dicks that are mean-spirited people that want to see other people in misery. The internet is no different.
You get a group of people, thousands, hundreds of thousands, and there are groups of very evil people, if you know that, then you can just be like, “Oh, that’s just one of those evil people.”
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, exactly. It’s when you walk by them on the sidewalk, you may not notice, but they’re there. And another quote that has kind of stuck with me, and I’m blanking on the attribution, is a very famous quote, but the paraphrase is, “Don’t wrestle with pigs, because it just makes you filthy and it makes the pig happy,” is just—
Kevin Rose: Oh, interesting.
Tim Ferriss: And it’s like, yeah, there’s very little to be gained from engaging with that.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. So my final quote for the day on my side is, since you gave yours, is from that Michael Singer course that I took on surrender, which I think is a phenomenal video course, but he says something in there that stuck with me, where he says, “Serve the moment,” which I thought was really interesting. Just this idea of being so present that you are just serving that moment in time, it’s just a beautiful thing if you can pull it off.
Tim Ferriss: How do you use that? I like the connotation of that, but do you use that with yourself?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I just think like, “Where is my head right now? Am I really giving my focus and attention and brain space to what’s going on right now? Am I serving those people around me to the fullest at this point in time?” And that can mean simple things from paying attention to my daughter when she’s playing and engaging with that versus being on my phone, to worrying about something or thinking about something in the future that may or may not happen, to wanting to gouge somebody’s eye out like we mentioned. That’s not serving the moment, that’s serving the imaginary land.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, it’s fighting with sock puppets. Yeah. And I really meant it earlier when I said I was really struck, because you’ve seen me through many chapters, I’ve seen you through many chapters, over many years. And there’ve been times when I’ve seen you, and this is the contrast, right? There was a time when, if you were sitting down with sort of nothing, no project to work on, I would see you on your phone. And when I was home with you, I came up and you’re just sitting there sipping tea, looking at your daughter, playing with blocks or whatever she was doing, unrushed and fully paying attention.
And that might sound quaint, it might sound simple, but if we look at the technological forces and the financial incentives and the funding and market caps of these companies, and the armies of PhDs who are attempting to do just about anything to make that impossible, it becomes all the more noteworthy I think, and all the more valuable to have practices and reminders that help you to have those kinds of moments.
Kevin Rose: Yeah, absolutely.
Tim Ferriss: And I’m happy for you man, it’s been really nice to see you—
Kevin Rose: Same dude. I mean, we didn’t say this on the show earlier, but I’m really stoked with your girlfriend now that shall go unnamed, she’s amazing. I got a chance to hang out with her and meet her when you were out here, and it’s really cool to see you happy, and I’m excited for you to have a baby soon, so that’s all I’ll say.
Tim Ferriss: Well, it may not be that far off, we shall see. But, nice to see your face and hear your voice brother, as always. Please give my love to the fam. And you want to share any particular resources or point people anywhere if they’d like to learn what you’re up to or see what you’re up to?
Kevin Rose: Yeah, I’d say most of the stuff I publish, I do on Instagram, so I’m just Instagram at Kevin Rose. And then, definitely check out the iOS app less, L-E-S-S, less drinking. I think it’ll help those of you out there that want to be a little bit more mindful about the beverages you consume, it’s just a fun little project we’re working on. Oh, and Zero too for intermittent fasting, dude, I don’t even think I told you this, we hit 1.3 million monthly fasters now. Not fast, but people fasting—
Tim Ferriss: People, yeah.
Kevin Rose:—on Zero.
Tim Ferriss: That’s incredible.
Kevin Rose: Yeah. We added 300,000 people this last 30 days.
Tim Ferriss: Wow.
Kevin Rose: So it’s nuts.
Tim Ferriss: I need your help with my email list. That’s incredible, congratulations. And I’m excited for 2020, I’m really excited about it, and yeah, I don’t have much. Everybody can find me at Tim.blog and check out the writing. I’m going to be doing more writing, certainly love the podcast, I’m going to continue to do that. But in service of eventually getting to the point where I’m working on this book on healing and psycho-emotional dynamics in a very concrete way. I mean it’s not going to be highfalutin and conceptual, there’ll be like in the trenches with some crazy fucking stories.
I mean if you imagine a kind of 4-Hour Body, but for mind and emotion, it would be like that, but much crazier, much—
Kevin Rose: Are you using 4-Hour anywhere?
Tim Ferriss: Nah.
Kevin Rose: I’m just kidding.
Tim Ferriss: I think I’m retiring the 4-Hour jersey—
Kevin Rose: You’re retiring the 4-Hour?
Tim Ferriss:—Of retiring the 4-Hour jersey. Yeah.
Kevin Rose: Is like I still get joy out of it, whenever I see 4-Hour somewhere. I remember when I saw the 4-Hour Cleaners in San Francisco and I sent you a photo of it.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah, I remember that. It’s on Lombard or wherever. And Van Ness—
Kevin Rose: I just want you to be known for that forever.
Tim Ferriss: Yeah. Well, we think we know what we’re doing, and then we’re like, “Oh my God, the blessing and the curse that will chase me forever, here it is.”
Kevin Rose: Exactly.
Tim Ferriss: But there’s certainly far worse prefixes, so I’ll take it for now. But loved doing the random show man, let’s do more of these, and let’s meet up in person before too long.
Kevin Rose: Let’s do it. Sounds good.
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.
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.)