Insights from Tara Brach, Ryan Holiday, Maria Popova, and Cal Newport (#626)

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is usually my job to deconstruct world-class performers to tease out the routines, habits, et cetera that you can apply to your own life. 

This episode is something different. It’s an experimental format that I’m super excited about, and it’s back by popular demand.

This is an episode that scratches an itch I’ve had for years. I am not always able to listen to every great podcast episode out there, even when they are by some of my closest friends. The answer to my predicament was to ask them to send me a top segment from their podcast that I could listen to and—more importantly—also share with you, my dear listeners. 

My team edited them together, and here we are! This episode is a compilation of 15-to-30–minute clips from some of the best podcasters—and also best interviewees—in the world and certainly some of my favorites.

At the beginning of each clip, you will hear an intro from the host and where to find their work and podcast. I’ll also share one or two of my favorite clips from episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show.

You can view this episode as a buffet, and I strongly suggest that you check out the shows included. If you like my podcast, you will very likely enjoy the featured shows in this episode.

And before you go: Do you like this format? Please let me know on Twitter at @tferriss and also mention @TeamTimFerriss.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Maui Nui Venison wildly delicious venison, Eight Sleep’s Pod Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#626: Insights from Tara Brach, Ryan Holiday, Maria Popova, and Cal Newport

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Tim Ferriss Show listeners can get 15% off on practically everything Maui Nui is offering by visiting! Just use code TIM at checkout. This is the first discount they have done in more than a year, so you are getting something special, folks!

This episode is brought to you by AG1! I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG1 further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

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

Want to hear the previous Insights episode? Listen here for nuggets of wisdom from Dr. Andrew Huberman, Greg McKeown, Jocko Willink, Brené Brown, and Naval Ravikant about tuning your dopamine system for discipline and motivation, finding flow through the genius of routine, understanding the opportunities presented by problems, reconciling self-acceptance with the urge to achieve and improve, how to get rich without getting lucky, and much more.

#616: Insights from Dr. Andrew Huberman, Greg McKeown, Jocko Willink, Brené Brown, and Naval Ravikant



Connect with Tara Brach:

Website | Email List | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Tara Brach’s Appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast:


Connect with Ryan Holiday: | Daily Stoic | Email List | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ryan Holiday’s Past Appearances on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast:


Connect with Maria Popova:

The Marginalian (Formerly Brain Pickings) | Twitter | Instagram

Maria Popova’s Past Appearances on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast:


Connect with Cal Newport:

Website | Blog | YouTube

Cal Newport’s Past Appearances on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast:



  • [08:39] Who is Tara Brach?
  • [10:29] How meditation allows us to be present in the moment.
  • [12:56] Disentangling from self-judgment.
  • [19:07] The meaning of radical acceptance.
  • [20:24] RAIN: recognize, allow, investigate, and nurture.
  • [28:01] A brief RAIN meditation.
  • [34:17] A gift to a stranger.
  • [38:55] A short prayer.
  • [40:00] Who is Ryan Holiday?
  • [40:54] Who am I spending time with?
  • [41:36] Is this in my control?
  • [42:25] What does my ideal day look like?
  • [43:27] To be or to do?
  • [45:11] What am I missing by choosing to worry or be afraid?
  • [45:54] Am I doing my job?
  • [46:37] What is the most important thing?
  • [47:39] Who is this for?
  • [48:20] Does this actually matter?
  • [49:17] Will this be alive time or dead time?
  • [50:15] Is this who I want to be?
  • [50:58] A bonus question from Viktor Frankl.
  • [53:01] Who is Maria Popova?
  • [54:21] What does Maria’s current day look like?
  • [56:04] Good sleep makes everything else possible.
  • [59:13] Meditation.
  • [1:01:22] Workouts.
  • [1:01:46] How Maria reads at the gym.
  • [1:02:32] Methods of note-taking.
  • [1:08:53] Seneca as a gateway drug into philosophy.
  • [1:12:41] Who is Cal Newport?
  • [1:14:16] Three properties any time management system should have.
  • [1:17:03] Capture.
  • [1:19:23] Configure.
  • [1:20:49] Control.
  • [1:23:36] How Cal implements this system.
  • [1:29:47] How this system will benefit you.
  • [1:31:17] A bonus property: Constrain.


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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4 Replies to “Insights from Tara Brach, Ryan Holiday, Maria Popova, and Cal Newport (#626)”

  1. Wanted to share this with Tim
    [Moderator: YouTube link to “Phoenix Rising: Silkroad Ensemble with Rhiannon Giddens – ‘Omoide'” removed per embed policy.]
    Also, it would be lovely to have him interview Rhiannon Giddens one day, perhaps Rhiannon and Francesco together would be awesome.

  2. Hi Tim, your podcast, with its amazingly curated guests, is such a source of insights. Question for you: Is there any way to get clearance to use a short snippet (<200 words quoted/paraphrased from one of your guests, with attribution) for a book? You would have the opportunity to review the passage before publication. Thanks.

  3. Hi Tim and team. Not related to this but just some general feedback for the 5 bullet Friday email. If you’re going to refer products and exclusive discounts can you highlight that some aren’t available outside of the US? I’m tired of getting pumped to get onto something you’ve recommended (Levels!) and when I add to cart it’s US only. Very frustrating! And btw, who the heck doesn’t post worldwide these days, haven’t they read the 4 Hour Workweek! 😎 Thanks heaps! Lucas

  4. On handwritten indexes in the back of books for personal research (Maria P segment)–

    1) I’m thrilled other people do this sort of thing!
    2) If you want to take it to the next level, try indexing software to gather themes from across your reading/listening/watching. (Though the pro software I use, Cindex, runs $550, open-source Picardy is in development and looks to have decent features.) Your index entries (topic, author, etc.) can point you to abbreviated book titles with page numbers (ie Rad Accept – 49) or your pile of brainstorming thoughts (ie file 0104 is Wednesday’s rough brain dump of recent miscellany, to which the index gives you access). Hello, cross-genre connections!