Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss (#556)

“Every day is an opportunity for a living masterpiece.”

— Michael Gervais

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

You’ll get plenty of that in this special episode, which features my interview with Michael Gervais from my 2017 TV Show Fear{less}. The “less” is in parentheses because the objective is to teach you to fear less, not to be fearless.

Fear{less} features in-depth, long-form conversations with top performers, focusing on how they’ve overcome fears and made hard decisions, embracing discomfort and thinking big.

It was produced by Wild West Productions, and I worked with them to make both the video and audio available to you for free, my dear listeners. You can find the video of this episode on YouTube.com/TimFerriss, and eventually you’ll be able to see all episodes for free at YouTube.com/TimFerriss.

Spearheaded by actor/producer and past podcast guest Vince Vaughn, Wild West Productions has produced a string of hit movies including The Internship, Couples Retreat, Four Christmases, and The Break-Up.

In 2020, Wild West produced the comedy The Opening Act, starring Jimmy O. Yang and Cedric The Entertainer. In addition to Fear{less}, their television credits include Undeniable with Joe Buck, ESPN’s 30 for 30 episode about the ’85 Bears, and the Netflix animated show F is for Family.

Please enjoy!

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

#556: Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss

This episode is brought to you by “5-Bullet Friday,” my very own email newsletter that every Friday features five bullet points highlighting cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, documentaries, gadgets, albums, articles, TV shows, new hacks or tricks, and—of course—all sorts of weird stuff I’ve dug up from around the world.

It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can subscribe now at tim.blog/friday.


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

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Sarah Silverman — How to Be Your Own Best Friend, Lessons from Therapy, and Grabbing Joy Where You Can Get It (#563)

Illustration via 99designs

“Mom always said ‘Be your own best friend,’ and I really, really mastered that.”

— Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) is a two-time-Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and producer.

She currently hosts The Sarah Silverman Podcast and stars in the HBO Max animated series Santa Inc., opposite Seth Rogen. She will next be seen opposite Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson in the feature film Marry Me. Other upcoming projects include TBS’s Stupid Pet Tricks, an expansion of the famous David Letterman late-night segment, and the indie psychological thriller Viral, starring alongside Blair Underwood.

Her first book, a memoir called The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, which went on to become a New York Times bestseller, is currently being adapted into a musical with the Atlantic Theater Company to premiere in April 2022.

Silverman served as creator, executive producer, and host of the Emmy-nominated series I Love You, America, which streamed weekly on Hulu and saw her connecting with people through honesty and humor. On stage, she continues to be recognized as a force in stand-up comedy. Her latest stand-up special, A Speck of Dust, debuted on Netflix in May 2017 and culminated in two Emmy Award nominations and a Grammy Award nomination. Her additional film and television work includes Battle of the Sexes, I Smile Back, Wreck-It Ralph, Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet, Masters of Sex, and Bob’s Burgers.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by Helium 10 all-in-one software suite to sell on Amazon, Dry Farm Wines natural wines designed for fewer hangovers, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement. More on all three below.

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

#563: Sarah Silverman — How to Be Your Own Best Friend, Lessons from Therapy, and Grabbing Joy Where You Can Get It

This episode is brought to you by Helium 10! Helium 10 is an all-in-one software suite designed to help entrepreneurs launch, manage, and scale a profitable e-commerce business on Amazon and Walmart.com. Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to start a business on your own terms or you want to scale your existing e-commerce operations, Helium 10 is here to help. They process more than 2 billion data points daily, have a robust 450+ million ASIN database, and provide at-a-glance analytics like seasonal trends for products, profit estimates, and more.

Join more than 1 million Helium 10 users worldwide by signing up for a free account at Helium10.com/Tim!


This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, 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 AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by Dry Farm Wines. I’m a wine drinker, and I love a few glasses over meals with friends. That said, I hate hangovers. For the last few months, all of the wine in my house has been from Dry Farm Wines. Why? At least in my experience, their wine means more fun with fewer headaches. Dry Farm Wines only ships wines that meet very stringent criteria: practically sugar free (less than 0.15g per glass), lower alcohol (less than 12.5% alcohol), additive free (there are more than 70 FDA-approved wine-making additives), lower sulfites, organic, and produced by small family farms.

All Dry Farm Wines are laboratory tested for purity standards by a certified, independent enologist, and all of their wines are also backed by a 100% Happiness Promise—they will either replace or refund any wine you do not love. Last but not least, I find delicious wines I never would have found otherwise. It’s a lot of fun. Dry Farm Wines has a special offer just for listeners of the podcast—an extra bottle in your first box for just one extra penny. Check out all the details at DryFarmWines.com/Tim.


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

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My Favorite and Most Impactful Reads from 2021

This post will share the most impactful articles and books that I’ve read in the last 12 months.

If you’d like to learn more about how I read, keep track of things, and review highlights, you might enjoy this YouTube video:

The below descriptions originally appeared in my free newsletter, “5-Bullet Friday,” which I send out every Friday. It’s a short email of bullet points that describe the five coolest things I’ve found or explored each week. “5-Bullet Friday” often includes books, gadgets, quotes, experimental supplements, and useful stuff from all over the world. To sign up and join 1.5+ million other subscribers, please click here. It’s easy to unsubscribe anytime.

***

MY FAVORITE AND MOST IMPACTFUL READS FROM 2021

What I’m reading (longer) — (week of December 28, 2020)
The Art of Seeing Things: Essays by John Burroughs, edited by Charlotte Zoë Walker (@czwalkergil). How do you sharpen the eye and mind? How can you more fully experience the vibrant details of nature? John Burroughs writes beautifully on these and many other topics. He can be heavy on the bird references, but the essay that is the namesake of this volume—“The Art of Seeing Things”—is simply outstanding.

What I’m reading (shorter) — (week of December 28, 2020)
100 Tips for a Better Life by Conor Barnes (@Ideopunk). This is a surprisingly good list, despite the generic headline. Thanks to Ryan Holiday (@RyanHoliday) for the recommendation.

What I’m reading (longer) — (week of January 4)
Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez. This is probably my favorite nonfiction book of the last five years. I received it as a Christmas gift, I devoured it in one week, and nearly every page is covered in highlighter. It’s truly that phenomenal. Barry’s mastery of structure and the written word echoes of John McPhee, and the beauty of his prose reminds me of Mary Oliver. Repeatedly, I found myself saying aloud, “Wow. How does someone DO this?” Here’s the description, edited for length: “Humankind’s relationship with the wolf is the sum of a spectrum of responses ranging from fear to admiration and affection. Lopez’s classic, careful study won praise from a wide range of reviewers, became a finalist for the National Book award, and forever improved the way books on wild animals are written. Of Wolves and Men explores the uneasy interaction between wolves and civilization over the centuries, and the wolf’s prominence in our thoughts about wild creatures. Drawing upon an impressive array of literature, history, science, and mythology as well as extensive personal experience with captive and free-ranging wolves, Lopez … immerses the reader in its sensory world, creating a compelling portrait of the wolf both as a real animal and as imagined by different kinds of men. A scientist might perceive the wolf as defined by research data, while an Eskimo hunter sees a family provider much like himself. For many Native Americans the wolf is also a spiritual symbol, a respected animal that can strengthen the individual and the community. With irresistible charm and elegance, Of Wolves and Men celebrates careful scientific fieldwork, dispels folklore … explains myths, and honors indigenous traditions, allowing us to understand how this remarkable animal has become so prominent for so long in the human heart.”

What I’m reading (shorter) — (week of January 4)
What Is Death? (Sunday New York Times) by BJ Miller (@bjmillermd). Dr. BJ Miller has helped more than 1,000 people to die. He is a hospice and palliative medicine physician as well as author of A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death. When people ask about episodes of my podcast that deeply affected me, I often mention my podcast with BJ, which was hilarious, heart-wrenching, and transcendent. I still remember many of the lessons, even though it was recorded in 2016. His new NYT piece is an outstanding revisitation of death, alongside the opportunities that lie within our collective and individual experiences of COVID. Here’s a sample: “The cumulative effect [of COVID-19] is shock fatigue or numbness, but instead of turning away, we need to fold death into our lives. We really have only two choices: to share life with death or to be robbed by death.”

Continue reading “My Favorite and Most Impactful Reads from 2021”

Dr. Michio Kaku — Exploring Time Travel, the Beauty of Physics, Parallel Universes, the Mind of God, String Theory, Lessons from Einstein, and More (#562)

Illustration via 99designs

“If quantum theory says that an electron could be in two places at the same time, then why can’t people also be in two places at the same time? And for that matter, why can’t the universe be in two places at the same time? At this point you may say to yourself, ‘This is weird.’ Well, get used to it. It’s called physics!”

— Dr. Michio Kaku

Dr. Michio Kaku (@michiokaku) is a professor of theoretical physics at The City College of New York, co-founder of string field theory, and the author of several widely acclaimed science books, including Beyond Einstein, The Future of Humanity, The Future of the Mind, Hyperspace, Physics of the Future, Physics of the Impossible, and his latest, The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything.

He is the science correspondent for CBS This Morning, the host of the radio programs Science Fantastic and Exploration, and a host of several science TV specials for the BBC and the Discovery and Science Channels.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by 99designs global design platform, Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, and Wealthfront automated investing. More on all three below.

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

#562: Dr. Michio Kaku — Exploring Time Travel, the Beauty of Physics, Parallel Universes, the Mind of God, String Theory, Lessons from Einstein, and More

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, 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 AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by WealthfrontWealthfront pioneered the automated investing movement, sometimes referred to as ‘robo-advising,’ and they currently oversee $20 billion of assets for their clients. It takes about three minutes to sign up, and then Wealthfront will build you a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs based on your risk appetite and manage it for you at an incredibly low cost. 

Smart investing should not feel like a rollercoaster ride. Let the professionals do the work for you. Go to Wealthfront.com/Tim and open a Wealthfront account today, and you’ll get your first $5,000 managed for free, for lifeWealthfront will automate your investments for the long term. Get started today at Wealthfront.com/Tim.


This episode is brought to you by 99designs, the global creative platform by Vista that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. Its creative process has become the go-to solution for businesses, agencies, and individuals, and I have used it for years to help with display advertising and illustrations and to rapid-prototype the cover for The Tao of Seneca. Whether your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99designs.

You can work with multiple designers at once to get a bunch of different ideas or hire the perfect designer for your project based on their style and industry specialization. It’s simple to review concepts and leave feedback so you’ll end up with a design that you’re happy with. Click this link and get $20 off plus a $99 upgrade.


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

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Rich Roll — Reinventing Your Life at 30, 40, and Beyond (#561)

Artist's rendering of Rich Roll
Illustration via 99designs

“Who are you becoming?”

— Rich Roll

At age 40, Rich Roll (@richroll) made the decision to overhaul the sedentary throes of overweight middle age. Walking away from a career in law, he reinvented himself as a globally recognized ultra-distance endurance athlete, bestselling author, and host of the wildly popular Rich Roll Podcast, one of the world’s most listened to podcasts, with more than 200 million downloads.

Named one of the “25 Fittest Men in the World” by Men’s Fitness and the “Guru of Reinvention” by Outside magazine, Rich shares his inspirational story of addiction, redemption, and athletic prowess in his bestselling memoir, Finding Ultra, and in the cookbooks/lifestyle guides The Plantpower Way and The Plantpower Way: Italia, which he co-authored with his wife Julie Piatt.

Rich is a graduate of Stanford University (where he was a member of their dynastic, multiple-NCAA-championship men’s swimming program) and Cornell Law School. He has been featured on CNN and on the cover of Outside and has been profiled in The New York Times, Forbes, ESPN, and many other prominent media outlets.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating, and Tonal smart home gym. More on all three below.

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

#561: Rich Roll — Reinventing Your Life at 30, 40, and Beyond

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, 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 AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM at checkout. 


This episode is brought to you by Tonal! Tonal is the world’s most intelligent home gym and personal trainer. It is precision engineered and designed to be the most advanced strength studio on the market today. Tonal uses breakthrough technology—like adaptive digital weights and AI learning—together with the best experts in resistance training so you get stronger, faster. Every program is personalized to your body using AI, and smart features check your form in real time, just like a personal trainer.

Try Tonal, the world’s smartest home gym, for 30 days in your home, and if you don’t love it, you can return it for a full refund. Visit Tonal.com for $100 off their smart accessories when you use promo code TIM100 at checkout.


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

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Zen Master Henry Shukman — 20 Minutes of Calm, Plus the Strange and Powerful World of Koans (#560)

Illustration via 99designs

“Through koans, you can meet in the boundless wonder of this other dimension of our experience.

— Henry Shukman

Henry Shukman (@mountaincloudzencenter) teaches mindfulness and awakening practices to a wide range of students from all traditions and walks of life. Henry is an appointed teacher in the Sanbo Zen lineage and is the Guiding Teacher of Mountain Cloud Zen Center. He has an MA from Cambridge and an MLitt from St Andrews and has written several award-winning books of poetry and fiction.

Henry’s essays have been published in The New York TimesOutside, and Tricycle, and his poems have been published in The New RepublicThe GuardianThe Sunday Times (UK), and London Review of Books. He has taught meditation at Google, Harvard Business School, UBS, Esalen Institute, Colorado College, United World College, and many other venues. He has written of his own journey in his memoir One Blade of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, a Zen Memoir.

Henry has also recently created a new meditation program, Original Love, which aims to provide a broad, inclusive path of growth through meditation.

Please enjoy!

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

Brought to you by GiveWell.org charity research and effective giving, Laird Superfood clean, plant-based creamers, and LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 770M+ users. More on all three below.

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

#560: Zen Master Henry Shukman — 20 Minutes of Calm, Plus the Strange and Powerful World of Koans

This episode is brought to you by Laird SuperfoodFounded by big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton and volleyball champion Gabby Reece, Laird Superfood promises to deliver high-impact fuel to help you get through your busiest days. Laird Superfood offers a line of plant-based products designed to optimize your daily rituals from sunrise to sunset.

My two favorite products are their Turmeric Superfood Creamer and Unsweetened Superfood Creamer. I put one of them in practically everything. Both can really optimize your daily coffee or tea ritual, and a $10 bag will last you a long time. For a limited time, Laird Superfood is offering you guys 20% off your order when you use code TIM20 at checkout. Check out LairdSuperfood.com/Tim to see my favorite products and learn more.


This episode is brought to you by GiveWell.org! For over ten years, GiveWell.org has helped donors find the charities and projects that save and improve lives most per dollar. GiveWell spends over 20,000 hours each year researching charitable organizations and only recommends a few of the highest-impact, evidence-backed charities they’ve found. In total, more than 50,000 people have used GiveWell to donate as effectively as possible.

This year, support the charities that save and improve lives most, with GiveWellAny of my listeners who become new GiveWell donors will have their first donation matched up to $250 when you go to GiveWell.org and select “PODCAST” and “Tim Ferriss” at checkout.


This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Whether you are looking to hire now for a critical role or thinking about needs that you may have in the future, LinkedIn Jobs can help. LinkedIn screens candidates for the hard and soft skills you’re looking for and puts your job in front of candidates looking for job opportunities that match what you have to offer.

Using LinkedIn’s active community of more than 770 million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn Jobs can help you find and hire the right person faster. When your business is ready to make that next hire, find the right person with LinkedIn Jobs. And now, you can post a job for free. Just visit LinkedIn.com/Tim.

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

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Forget New Year’s Resolutions and Conduct a ‘Past Year Review’ Instead (#559)

Im often asked about how I approach New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that I no longer approach them at all, even though I did for decades. Why the change? I have found “past year reviews” (PYR) more informed, valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions. I did my first PYR after a mentor’s young daughter died of cancer on December 31st, eight years ago, and I’ve done it every year since. Her passing was a somber reminder that our days here are too precious not to fill them with the people and activities that nourish us most. The PYR takes just 30–60 minutes and looks like this:

  1. Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
  2. Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.
  3. For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
  4. Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
  5. Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2022. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.

That’s it! If you try it, let me know how it goes.

And just remember: it’s not enough to remove the negative. That simply creates a void. Get the positive things on the calendar ASAP, lest they get crowded out by the bullshit and noise that will otherwise fill your days.

Good luck and godspeed, everyone!

###

If you prefer to listen to the audio version of this blog post, you can find the audio on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast:

#559: Forget New Year’s Resolutions and Conduct a ‘Past Year Review’ Instead

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

Q&A with Tim — Tools for Better Sleep, Musings on Parenting, the Different Roles of Fear, the Delight of Deepening Friendships, the Purpose of College, How to Boost Your Mood, HRV Training, and More (#557)

Illustration via 99designs

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is usually my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types to tease out the habits, routines, favorite books, and so on that you can apply and test in your own life. This time, we have a slightly different format, and I’m the guest.

As some of you know, I tested a “fan-supported model” in 2019, but I ended up returning to ads by request. That’s a long story, and you can read more about it at tim.blog/podcastexperiment. I recently sat down with the supporter group for a fun and live Q&A on YouTube.

I answered questions on plantar fasciitis relief, manga-assisted language learning and retention, breathing exercises, wolf conservation, parenting ambitions, mood and energy remedies, tools for better sleep, the different roles of fear, the value of college, favorite wrestling movies, and much, much more.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the Q&A on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement, GiveWell.org charity research and effective giving, and Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating. More on all three below.

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

#557: Q&A with Tim — Tools for Better Sleep, Musings on Parenting, The Different Roles of Fear, The Delight of Deepening Friendships, The Purpose of College, How to Boost Your Mood, HRV Training, and More

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1 by Athletic Greens, 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 AG further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

Right now, Athletic Greens is offering you their Vitamin D Liquid Formula free with your first subscription purchase—a vital nutrient for a strong immune system and strong bones. Visit AthleticGreens.com/Tim to claim this special offer today and receive the free Vitamin D Liquid Formula (and five free travel packs) with your first subscription purchase! That’s up to a one-year supply of Vitamin D as added value when you try their delicious and comprehensive all-in-one daily greens product.


This episode is brought to you by GiveWell.org! For over ten years, GiveWell.org has helped donors find the charities and projects that save and improve lives most per dollar. GiveWell spends over 20,000 hours each year researching charitable organizations and only recommends a few of the highest-impact, evidence-backed charities they’ve found. In total, more than 50,000 people have used GiveWell to donate as effectively as possible.

This year, support the charities that save and improve lives most, with GiveWellAny of my listeners who become new GiveWell donors will have their first donation matched up to $250 when you go to GiveWell.org and select “PODCAST” and “Tim Ferriss” at checkout.


This episode is brought to you by Eight Sleep! Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro Cover is the easiest and fastest way to sleep at the perfect temperature. It pairs dynamic cooling and heating with biometric tracking to offer the most advanced (and user-friendly) solution on the market. Simply add the Pod Pro Cover to your current mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55°F or as hot as 110°F. It also splits your bed in half, so your partner can choose a totally different temperature.

And now, my dear listeners—that’s you—can get $250 off the Pod Pro Cover. Simply go to EightSleep.com/Tim or use code TIM at checkout. 

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

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The Incredible Kyle Maynard — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss (#556)

“I know there are many people who, whether they admit it or not, view disabled people as inferior. We are ‘broken’ in their eyes. We are of no use, no value, and we are just running out the string on life. But I believe that we are all disabled in one way or another, including disabilities of character and personality. My disability just happens to be more visual than some.”

— Kyle Maynard

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

You’ll get plenty of that in this special episode, which features my interview with Kyle Maynard from my 2017 TV Show Fear{less}. The “less” is in parentheses because the objective is to teach you to fear less, not to be fearless.

Fear{less} features in-depth, long-form conversations with top performers, focusing on how they’ve overcome fears and made hard decisions, embracing discomfort and thinking big.

It was produced by Wild West Productions, and I worked with them to make both the video and audio available to you for free, my dear listeners. You can find the video of this episode on YouTube.com/TimFerriss, and eventually you’ll be able to see all episodes for free at YouTube.com/TimFerriss.

Spearheaded by actor/producer and past podcast guest Vince Vaughn, Wild West Productions has produced a string of hit movies including The Internship, Couples Retreat, Four Christmases, and The Break-Up.

In 2020, Wild West produced the comedy The Opening Act, starring Jimmy O. Yang and Cedric The Entertainer. In addition to Fear{less}, their television credits include Undeniable with Joe Buck, ESPN’s 30 for 30 episode about the ’85 Bears, and the Netflix animated show F is for Family.

Please enjoy!

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

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

#556: The Incredible Kyle Maynard — Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss

This episode is brought to you by “5-Bullet Friday,” my very own email newsletter that every Friday features five bullet points highlighting cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, documentaries, gadgets, albums, articles, TV shows, new hacks or tricks, and—of course—all sorts of weird stuff I’ve dug up from around the world.

It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can subscribe now at tim.blog/friday.


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

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The Liberation of Cosmic Insignificance Therapy

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

The book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman (@oliverburkeman) was recently recommended to me by Cal Newport, bestselling author of Deep Work. The first few pages hooked me, and I devoured it over several days, capturing hundreds of Kindle highlights in the process. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, and one of my favorite chapters is titled “Cosmic Insignificance Therapy.” Even by itself, this chapter left me with a profound sense of calm that lasted several days. It sticks with you.

In short, I loved the book, so my team reached out to Oliver to see if we might be able to share this chapter on the podcast and blog, and here we are.

“Cosmic Insignificance Therapy” is excerpted below with permission from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. If you prefer to listen to this chapter, you can find the audio on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast here. The author, Oliver Burkeman, can be found at OliverBurkeman.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @oliverburkeman

Enjoy!

Cosmic Insignificance Therapy

The Jungian psychotherapist James Hollis recalls the experience of one of his patients, a successful vice president of a medical instruments company, who was flying over the American Midwest on a business trip, reading a book, when she was accosted by a thought: “I hate my life.” A malaise that had been growing in her for years had crystallized in the understanding that she was spending her days in a way that no longer felt as if it had any meaning. The relish she’d had for her work had drained away, the rewards she’d been pursuing seemed worthless, and now life was a matter of going through the motions, in the fading hope that it somehow all might yet pay off in future happiness.

Perhaps you know how she felt. Not everyone has this kind of sudden epiphany, but many of us know what it is to suspect that there might be richer, fuller, juicier things we could be doing with our four thousand weeks—even when what we’re currently doing with them looks, from the outside, like the definition of success. Or maybe you’re familiar with the experience of returning to your daily routines, following an unusually satisfying weekend in nature or with old friends, and being struck by the thought that more of life should feel that way—that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the deeply engrossing parts to be more than rare exceptions. The modern world is especially lacking in good responses to such feelings: religion no longer provides the universal ready-made sense of purpose it once did, while consumerism misleads us into seeking meaning where it can’t be found. But the sentiment itself is an ancient one. The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes, among many others, would instantly have recognized the suffering of Hollis’s patient: “Then I considered all that my hands had done, and the toil I had spent in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

It’s deeply unsettling to find yourself doubting the point of what you’re doing with your life. But it isn’t actually a bad thing because it demonstrates that an inner shift has already occurred. You couldn’t entertain such doubts in the first place if you weren’t already occupying a new vantage point on your life—one from which you’d already begun to face the reality that you can’t depend on fulfillment arriving at some distant point in the future, once you’ve gotten your life in order or met the world’s criteria for success, and that instead the matter needs addressing now. To realize midway through a business trip that you hate your life is already to have taken the first step into one you don’t hate—because it means you’ve grasped the fact that these are the weeks that are going to have to be spent doing something worthwhile if your finite life is to mean anything at all. This is a perspective from which you can finally ask the most fundamental question of time management: What would it mean to spend the only time you ever get in a way that truly feels as though you are making it count?

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