Tim Ferriss Interview: How to Overcome Fear, Practice Self Love & Build a Writing Routine

in this episode of marietv we do have some adult language so if you have a little ones around grab your headphones now hey it's marie forleo and you are watching marietv the place to be to create a business and life you love and today I am so excited to have a dear friend on who also happens to be quite a legend in the fields of publishing and podcasting and producing long-form epic content Tim Ferriss has been called a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk by the New York Times he's one of Fast Company's most innovative businesspeople and an early-stage tech investor and advisor in uber Facebook Twitter Alibaba and more he's also the author of four number one New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers the 4-hour workweek the 4-hour body the 4-hour chef and tools of titans he's been called The Oprah of audio due to the influence of the Tim Ferriss show podcast which has now exceeded 200 million downloads his newest book tribe of mentors is available now Tim Ferriss damn just so everybody watching we've been laughing our asses off before the cameras started rolling so this interview is gonna be fun it's gonna be long strap yourselves in we're gonna have a great time so you I realized when I was prepping for this I'm like OMG we've been friends for like a decade a decade and it took us this damn long to do this but but now it's a really good time let's started add more hair here in less hair here but still thank you thank you the internet is divided is it really I bet you know I but I like the Ming the Merciless look so I'm working on it I like it yeah you know what you're right when we met you did have a lot more hair so first congratulations on this next incredible book tribe of mentors you all have to get it I am very honored to be in it thank you so much course that little text over the summer I was like oh my gosh another book oh okay let's do this we're going to talk about that a little bit later but I want to go back because you know a lot of people when they see someone who they feel is so successful oftentimes they're like oh they just kind of popped out that way they got here didn't do any work they don't really know the history and while I'm sure so many of our viewers know exactly who you are what you've accomplished there might be some we're like well who's this Tim Ferriss guy so I want to take it all the way back all the way back let's do it you started out just like everybody no street cred no nothing no nothing in fact you were born six weeks premature and given a 10% chance of surviving so right out of the gate right a couple little challenges tell me about youngster Tim OH after Tim had a lot of issues ah this is going otherwise I'll show you something I've never shown you before this is about the premature bit you can see a scar here it looks like a big cigarette burn on my wrist that is from having having been intubated in my wrist and then also under my left side because I couldn't oxygenate my blood properly so I had I want to see five full blood transfusions when I was in the intensive care unit as a little kid and my little I mean little there's a photograph of my dad holding me in the crook of his forearm I was really small and from that experience few things at least this is my mom's theory came out of it number one I absolutely still have problems with thermoregulation so I overheat very easily and I've been hospitalized for heatstroke a number of times and that seems to be related to number issues when I was born this second is again that's more of reality and established fact but then the lifelong insomnia that I've had where I'd be going to bed at 2:00 3:00 a.m. even as a tiny little kid my mom thinks and this is plausible is due to the lights constantly being on in the intensive care unit in the hospital Wow so that has also been a lifelong journey and love affair / love-hate affair with being a night owl which has its own set of advantages and massive social disadvantages so Tim is a little kid was let's see very small very bullied mean beat up constantly so the playground was not a safe space for me so I'd usually stay in the classroom and read a book of some type I was very bad at ceding to Authority really really bad it wasn't so much that I was bad I asked a lot of questions and not all teachers like that so in kindergarten mrs. Bevan I'm gonna call you out I wanted me to learn the alphabet which in retrospect was reasonable but I wanted to know why why do I have to learn these weird things that you scribble on a piece of paper or whatever it is and she would just get angry she wouldn't answer it so she made me eat soap in the class which I thought I mean was just in the movies right but that's apparently a thing very old school and she put me in another friend of mine Dennis at the bad table but then she forgot it was the bad table so we were traumatized for the whole year because we were at the bad table for the entire year Wow and I then I'm not gonna take us through like a whole dr. dr. evil thing like grade my grade but in in first grade as a contrast mrs. Vince key who I ended up dedicating a lot to later pulled me aside except being so difficult I just said digging my heels on this alphabet thing she's like Tim do you realize that if you learn the alphabet you can read any book that you want and I was like what why don't we tell you this and my parents never had a ton of money and they never never made more than 50 grand or so combined your parents are so charming by the way yeah I mean I love my parents they're great they're very supportive didn't ever think we were poor or anything like that but looking back the only thing that they made budget for and they told me and my brother this which ended up I think being very smart even if they had had more money which was we don't have a lot for say new bikes and so on and so forth but we always have a budget for books so if has really budget for books yeah if you're really interested in a given subject want to explore something we'll figure it out and so we would then go every once in a while to the local bookstore to the remainder table where books are like 7080 percent off and we would get these books and I still remember to this day a number of the books that I got when I was five six I don't know seven eight years old that I still own that had a huge impact on me so yeah growing up what you want to be I want it to be first because I bought a book called fishes of the world and was obsessed with sharks super like a little boy thing right I want to be a marine biologist so I wanted to be a marine biologist for a really long time and then once I got to maybe age 13 or so I want to be a comic book penciler and wanted to be a cop a penciler for an extended period of time all the way up through a part of college and I was actually a graphics editor and did illustration and that was part of how I helped pay my bills was through illustration I see a marine biologist and for period I wanted to be vigilante so I was collecting The Punisher comic book turns out doesn't pay very well so no vigilante and then want to be a comic book penciler I actually wanted to be an animator for Disney for quite a little bit of time it's like so cool oh yeah it's fast those skills so when you were at Princeton you first started with a major if I'm not mistaken in neuroscience that's right what was the draw to that particular concentration yeah the draw to neuroscience was pure self-interest I had watched my grandparents who passed when I was relatively young descend into madness effectively because of neurodegenerative disease especially Alzheimer's but also Parkinson's very different diseases but I watched my grandmother just lose her sense of identity her ability to identify her grandkids mom Saturday mom side and dad side and that just terrified me I mean beyond anything else that I'd witnessed in my life so the neuroscience focus initially was to look at learning about these diseases so that I could hopefully figure out a path or tools that would enable me to stave off the onset of these diseases that family seems very predisposed to and I'm still I'm still very interested in that and have but instead of doing the research myself have supported a lot of research in those worlds so we begin with neuroscience there were also other interests I mean cognitive enhancement I was even in those days and I had not had any first-hand experience I was very fascinated by psychedelics and the applications of potentially LSD or psilocybin and so on in different capacities as so there was a lab in green Hall I think was called with Professor Barry Jacobs looking at sleep serotonin and he had also performed research on LSD which was very very hard to do and at that point probably illegal meaning he'd done it much earlier however to do the research in that lab you gotta pay your dues and the way you pay our dues is you're effectively an indentured servant I'm okay with that right I mean the odd because I worked in like crappy service jobs starting at age 14 gagging like grassed and yelled at by people from Manhattan as a relative it is a rat tail we're in town II on Long Island but so I get was good with the work I could do the work however you had to what they would call perfuse rats and it's not painful but the research that was being done required that you euthanize that you that you effectively bleed out like 10 20 rats a day and I just couldn't do it and I'm not saying it's valueless I think there is a place for a lot of this but I just couldn't personally do it I remember meeting this I have thought about this forever meeting this Russian graduate student who at the time I was like wow like an old graduate student she's like 33 or something Authority maybe even younger but I was just a little tyke I guess and she said you know it used to bother me but now I put fuse 25 rats I go have lunch and I was like you know I'm not really sure I want to get there I'm not really sure I want to get to that phone not a gold Marilu right so I thought of what else I might do and I had a real fascination with languages specifically Asian languages because I'd had this life-changing experience this year is the 25th anniversary actually of going to Japan my first real trip abroad midway through high school as an exchange student for a year which just changed my whole world and I'm still close to that host family to this day I'm actually taking my American family ie my real family to go meet my host family this year which I'm really excited about first time first time Wow and for all those reasons I ended up settling into more linguistics in East Asian Studies so focusing on Japanese Chinese Korean languages primarily but also spending time in in China and Japan and Taiwan so that was that was ultimately after a lot of pain and suffering in college when I graduated with a degree in speaking of which one of the things I was so heartened to hear you talk about more recently is your battle with depression and being bipolar and also almost committing suicide in college crazy it's crazy and I'm you know one of the things that you you said it was really just a matter of luck that I didn't wind up erasing myself so when are you can talk a little bit about that because I know your TED Talks fantastic I've read the blog post but for anyone who may have had an idea of who Tim Ferriss is but perhaps has skipped some of the more recent developments I think it's important for people to hear yeah it's super important because I think that and I'll definitely get into some personal details it's so easy to convince ourselves if we're going through a really dark period or suffering through the loss of a loved one or being brutal with ourselves that were uniquely flawed in some way and that feeling of isolation can put people into a very dangerous place and a number of my closest friends Highschool killed themselves it's very common in high-pressure environments one of my closest friends in high school one of my closest friends in Japan and that high school all killed themselves and these are some of the kids with the most you know seemingly the most potential that's commas are the most unforgiving with themselves and for a host of reasons many things that seem to just coalesce and hit me at the same time the end of a relationship in dramatic fashion a huge amount of tension and a dispute with the thesis advisor which is an enormous part of your entire four-year GPA which led me to believe that I was effectively going to be unfairly penalized in a bunch of different ways which would make it impossible to get a good grade on the thesis which would then wipe out all of the hard work that I put in to get these grades at a very difficult school it wasn't easy for me and on and on there were probably six or seven things that all hid in a short short period of time and yeah decided to take a year off and try number of different jobs to try to figure out what I wanted to do because I knew it wasn't Investment Banking I knew it wasn't management consulting but those are the only two industries really that recruited some other types of finance at Princeton so I took this year off which ended up being in a lot of ways a dangerous decision because I ended up living in an apartment a few miles from campus with two of my friends who'd graduated the year before they would go off to work and then I'm just in a house by myself trying to work on this thesis that isn't working and so probably most of us at that age and I don't know if this was true for you I just remember at that point in my life feeling terribly behind already yeah terribly behind yeah so I felt terribly behind and then the class that I went into Princeton with graduates so they're gone and ultimately and I won't go through the whole thing I mean for people who want all the details they can you know find the chapter in tools Titans or the blog post so I mean absolutely if anybody's in a really bad place get professional help number one number two if you just have a tendency and you fear getting to a dangerous place you can read this blog post which is some practical thoughts on suicide but giving the short version I felt completely trapped I felt like every option was a terrible option and that if simultaneously I had a lot going for me at a healthy family I was in Princeton despite all the problems and that if I couldn't be happy in these circumstances I would never be happy so I would be better off and everyone would been a bit better off if I could just erase myself and these thoughts bounced around for a while and I would I started sleeping in really late going to bed really late which is a trigger I've realized for a lot of people in depression is going to bed really late it ends up creating a vicious cycle that can make you even more isolated because you're you're sort of chronobiology is so shifted that you're not interacting with a lot of people and I recall one day walking through a Barnes and Noble unless it was in Lawrenceville at the time in the dirty Jers and wandering around and just looking at various books on tables and so on and I came across a book that was very Kevorkian like it was a how-to guide related to suicide and it was so crazy because I remember being really relieved I was like decide this is exactly what I needed and I sat down and for the first time in months I was really excited because now I had made a decision and I was just straight into planning mode so I I figured out all of the different scenarios I figured out how to mitigate a number of different things that I didn't want to have happen how to try to disguise it so we've seen like an accident all these things and it was basically on the calendar and I remember where I was when I decided it exactly and then the luck part is really lucky I mean the luck part was I had gone to Firestone library which is the big library Princeton to try to find another book because I'm doing my research you know I'm obsessive-compulsive with getting the details right so it's like alright well I really need to do my homework on how to do this properly and there was a book at Firestone library but it had already been taken out by another student which tells him a lot in and of itself so I put in a request for the book right and the way they notify you when the book comes in as they send you a postcard I had forgotten to update my address so the card went home to my parents and my mom got it so my mom calls and her voice is cracking and she's trying to hold it together she asked me about it and I was able to tap dance pretty quickly and I said oh you have nothing to worry about mom that was just for a friend of mine who goes to Rutgers their libraries and is extensive so I had requested it for him he's writing a thesis on it but I like totally lied in other words and covered it up but it was in that movie now have you ever talked to her about it oh well certainly now she does yeah I should have given my mom a heads up about the subject matter of the TED talk I kind of forgot that it was gonna be broadcast in theaters and my mom and brother went to see it and I did not give them a heads up partially because I threw out the TED talk I was going to do a week before Ted because I felt a moral obligation to talked about this stuff and furthermore to talk about the actual tools and routines and so on that I've vetted over time to be very very helpful for keeping me away from the precipice right and I realized after I had that conversation of my mom it was a bit of a slap in the face and the best way possible and it snapped me out of my delusion which was that I could somehow get away with doing it and not destroy the lives of the people I loved like there's there's no way to do that and I remember somebody said you're committing suicide is like taking all of the pain you feel multiplying it by 10 and then imposing it on everyone you care most about and that's the only reason I'm here I didn't update an address it's crazy right so since then I was like oh wow okay I don't want to leave that type of thing to chance ever again and that became a study for me and bau-t almost a year and a half ago I had my full genome sequenced and I I for a very long time stayed away from a lot of genome sequencing because I didn't want to give myself excuses or labels that I could use as a place to put blame if that makes sense and totally does right I mean thank God when I was a little kid for instance that the label ADHD and the prescriptions were not in vogue because I would have been so heavily medicated and I wasn't now there's a place for medication I don't say there isn't but I avoided the genome sequencing or the interpretation for so long and eventually I was like you know this is silly like I I should sort of accept realities and be informed at the very least is opposed to just doing the ostrich head in the sand routine yeah so I went through the two or three hour call with some doctors to interpret all this and I expected a few things like a PO three four so my predisposition to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's very obvious if you just look at the family history and I also expected to see something related to depression or manic depression and I anticipated that I would see a predisposition and then it would in some ways which I didn't want give me permission to be depressed more often or something like that I was very worried about that and the doctors were a bit surprised because they said really there are only a few things we want to point out and the last one what's this a sliding scale of predisposition manic depression it's kind of like spinal tap I was like 1 to 10 you're an 11 and I just started laughing it was like yeah doesn't surprise me but it had the opposite effect of what I anticipated it was a huge burden lifted because I no longer felt like I was making myself miserable I was like no this is my coat this is my coat like my software just has a bug in it and so it allowed me in some ways to stop blaming myself and it was really freeing in that respect so I'm really glad I did that I mean having been your friend and known you for 10 years now I can just say from an outside perspective which I haven't told you before I've seen a difference in you in the past like two years I would say no very very different that seems markedly not just that we're aging you know what I mean not just that we're not just the hair in there not just Aaron's beard it's not we're getting older and hopefully we're getting wiser and I don't know I was just thinking about it as I was getting ready for us to have this chat today there's just a different level of ease and you and when I say softness I mean that in a really beautiful way where I feel like I can be closer to you as your friend then perhaps some of the earlier days thank you yeah yeah it's it's only been in the last two years especially the last year I would say that I've I've come to realize a few things and we could get into how but we'll get into some pretty fringe edgy stuff rather quickly however if we do but I've realized that for instance you know I've spent most of my life and this isn't meant to be depressing it's just it is what it is yeah for for many due to many different factors and some really horrible stuff that happened to me when I was when I was a kid not for my parents I've spent a lot of my life really angry and using rage and anger a lot of it directed at myself as a fuel for becoming a competitor because the only well the only way that I felt validated or valuable was to win period that's it I was an instrument winning and competing and I only felt good in in relationship to other people by somehow being able to tolerate more pain work harder to be number one and it was more a relief of not feeling terrible about myself for a fraction of a day then it was the joy of winning if that makes sense it totally and so for my whole life I've been so completely brutal to myself and I've realized through a number of different means you know one of which anybody can pick up which is actually a book called radical acceptance by Tara brach which terrible terrible title love Tara brach but very very helpful introduction to thinking about the potential idea that if you want to really help people or you want to really love people you can't do it if you have if you hate yourself you just cannot fully do it you cannot I don't think it's possible so the last few years have been and especially the last one or two years a process of asking different questions and one of the questions there are many different questions but one of the most important which which is right up front in this book and the reason the book kind of exists in a way is what what might this look like if it were easy things are hard enough are they can be and there's so much uncertainty in the world that for type-a personalities or people who've been wounded and have become very highly competitive as a result are highly driven they're hardly driven yeah right and driven we usually use as a very complimentary descriptor but you know horse that's being whipped to run faster until it dies on the track is also being driven yes and that's not always a good thing and very often a bad thing that question what might this look like if it were easy is real deceptively leveraged question because you start to look for elegance and he is instead of the path of complexity that allows you to absorb and tolerate the most pain which some people myself included for a long time viewed as an indicator of doing the right thing or and sometimes for me of strength yeah yeah it's like oh yeah no I can read line for longer than all of you yep it's like wait a second yeah wait what do we talk yes and this is good yeah ii like and and there don't get me wrong there there is strength and there are advantages to having endurance but only when you're enduring things that are worth enduring mm-hmm as opposed to just making your life painful so long answer long monologue but I do think it's very important to talk about the darkness and the failures and the hard times and when I interview people I always try to bring that out because it's so easy like you said to listen to an interview or to see someone on the cover of the magazine and think to yourself wow I really wish I could do something like that but I'm me and they're them and they've got it figured out and they always wake up at 6:00 in the morning with like a mental karate chop to copy the day with no insecurities and that's just it's not true and I can tell you with first-hand knowledge knowing some of the most impressive people I've ever come across in the world who'd become my friends we all have our demons so I want I make a real conscious effort to talk about those so that people can try to create a safety net against self-destruction and certainly at least self-flagellation and berating and I read something recently which has really stuck with me and I've been repeating it to myself a lot which was from Gertrude Stein recently something that she wrote and it was paraphrase very simple it related to the the golden rule so for those people who need a refresher do you want to others as you would have them do unto you all right her point is it has to work both ways so do unto yourself as you would do unto others and so if the voice in your head is a voice that in a tone that you would never use ever with the people you care most about don't use it with yourself and train yourself not to use that voice it's it's one of the biggest gifts that you can give yourself and there's a lot involved in doing that and I think that for some people certainly working with the trauma specialist is critically important I've become really interested in the somatic aspects of that there's some great books out there by people like Peter Levine for instance and you know for others I think there's a place for therapy with pharmacological assistance perhaps in the form of say MDMA which is now being studied for use in PTSD and returning war vets and shows incredible promise or some of these other compounds that I've been interested in for decades now like psilocybin which I'm supporting through research at Johns Hopkins in other places because it's it has some tremendous tremendous applications to things like treatment resistant chronic depression so we'll see still all a work in progress but as we all are but I'm really happy that you're talking about it and it's and it's a focus and obviously myself and millions of others are really happy that you're here yeah me too so I'm gonna switch gears a little bit so I won't worry about the first time you experienced a pet dying oh god here we go no I want to talk fear and risk because I think that you have such healthy perspectives and fresh perspectives to share about this first let's start with the definition of risk how do you define risk you know this is an important question because I realized that a lot of the knots we tie ourselves into and the a lot of the anxiety that we feel is actually due to using words that are not defined very well like success I just wanna be successful well you better have a very clear definition on what that is if it's gonna be one of your mind and your main obsessions young lady or young man yeah happiness yep that's its slippery one too and risk is another one risk to me is the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome yes that's it that's it so define that way they're actually very few serious risks and I choose to take very few serious risks people might view me as a risk taker I don't think myself that way at all well I think partially that's ndu to a practice which I want to get into with you right now about fear setting versus goal setting you know one of the things that I hear from so many people all the time especially when I'm asking you know put something up on Instagram or I'll do a Facebook live or whatever we're doing it's like oh my god Marie I can't get over my fear of this and we've done Marie TV episodes about worst-case scenarios and best-case scenarios but I think people can't hear this enough should I'd love to talk about what is fear setting and I'm gonna put a pin in this that I want to get to the practice which I love we were talking about this earlier off-camera with my crew the value is like eating oatmeal just oatmeal for her – totally and connect all these things yeah alright so fear setting is a slightly modified exercise that I borrowed from a number of folks who died thousands of years ago so it's been used effectively by a lot of people over a long period of time and I just really codified it in a way that I could use on a pad of paper to make it an exercise that I still do I'd say at least once a quarter I do this exercise all the time but first let me talk about goal-setting so people are familiar with goal-setting and it has to be specific measurable etc or you don't have a target at all at best you have a moving target so it needs to be very very highly and unless your goals are specific you won't achieve them similarly unless your fears are very specifically defined you cannot overcome them critically critically important point that I reiterate for myself all the time and it doesn't matter how good the car is if you pointed in the right direction if you have the emergency brake on and the emergency brake on is metaphorically speaking these fears that prevent you from taking that first step the exercise itself is based on a lot of writing from stoic philosophers Seneca the younger specifically home huge huge fan of to the extent that I produced a free ebook that multiple volumes and hundreds of pages with illustrations at Diane's like oh yeah why not do that in my spare time oh my god but just gave it away for free so people can find that the Tao of Seneca is is something people can find for free there's no trick it's not paid there's no cross cell or whatever it's just free because I found it so useful yeah and fear settings part of that and I mentioned in Seneca specifically because there is a letter that he writes to one of his students one of his proteges is named Luke Ilyas and they're really practical people think philosophy and they're like barf like I remember those conversations in college or high school like well it depends on what is is and like oh stop it already okay yeah we're not talking about that kind of philosophy we're talking about really pragmatic letters from sénéchaux to the students saying oh dear Luke Elias I hear so-and-so is bad-mouthing you behind your back in the Senate and making it really difficult because a B and C is happening here's how I might handle that they're really tactical and one of his letters was on festivals and fasting yes I believe the name of the letter and in it Seneca talks about making yourself immune to most types of hardship by practicing hardship so even if you have a good amount of money for instance or a good amount of comfort saying practicing discomfort in their different ways you can do that so he says roughly you know to set aside a certain number of days each month during which you'll eat the cheapest of food where the grime iasts and coarsest of dress asking yourself all the while is this the condition that I so feared this is really important and a modern version of this could be for instance one thing that one of my friends and certainly mentors Kevin Kelly does Kevin Kelly the real world most interesting man in the world I mean has an Amish beard but he's a technology futurist builds his own houses travels a few months he or with his entire family the guy does everything he's really just fascinating and he will say grab a backpack and sleep on the floor or sleep outside for a week at a time and eat oatmeal and realized that far from being a huge burden and a disaster it's actually very freeing and he feels great feels light and that if you were to take things away from him he can still be content he can still do the things that bring him the most joy what does that mean then in terms of people listening and we'll get to fear setting but this is this is a part of it as a practice you could for instance like my trusty Bulgarians over there you could much like Steve Jobs also say we're the same type of t-shirt for a week or two straight or one or two pairs of jeans also for one or two strings right I said I do and and some people listen he might say but it's Excel people are gonna notice yeah but I'm wearing the same stuff they'll think I'm sleeping in my clothing good good Cato who's also very famous stoic used to deliberately and usually here's a lawmaker would deliberately wear clothing that was of an unfashionable color like a tunic of the wrong color which is back in Rome and is like oh gosh purple tunic or blue Turner Co what is he thinking and he would walk around barefoot which was not something that everybody did and he would get ridiculed and he did it very very much on purpose so that he would learn to be ashamed only of the things that are worth being ashamed of and that is not clothing that is not walking around barefoot you and I were you know chatting a little bit about this like the internet is gone like civil war on my facial hair a lot of people hate this crazy Ming the Merciless look that I've put on and the fact of the matter is a big reason I'm doing it is precisely to train myself to ignore that I love it yeah I mean the fact of the matter is I think I probably look better without it but I'm doing it and I'm doing it in a really public way right on TV to train myself not to care because it doesn't matter and when you train yourself in the little things and then you stand a chance of being courageous when you need to be for the big things you can't wait for the big things you have to practice on small things I always think about it as a fitness metaphor because you know I was like a girl on the Gold's Gym at like 14 15 and it's like you can't just get into Gold's Gym and just start pushing up a bunch of weights it's like you have to build up to that you have to build up to it same metaphor it's like you can't run a marathon timidly right right out the gate build up to it and you have so much more likelihood of being successful and being strong yeah and it's true with anything right public speaking it's true with negotiating it's like oh you're gonna go into big negotiation for a deal which could change your life or ruin your life and that's when you're gonna practice what you read in the book are you crazy no like go to Starbucks and ask for 10% off each day for the next week in a different coffee shop you're gonna get rejected half the time and like start there yeah which is something I should give full credit for – Noah Kagan that's something that he has a lot of people do which is a great exercise all right so we've already talked about the the the rehearsal of the worst case scenario this is important all right that's a piece of this exercise called fear setting and if your settings really really simple and there are a number of ways you can do it one of the ways that you can do it and that I do it quite frequently is you take the decision or the action that you're considering that maybe you've been putting off that makes you really uncomfortable it could be asking someone out it could be ending a relationship it could be quitting a job starting a company taking your first trip overseas it could be anything your first vacation in ten years all right could be anything that's making you really uncomfortable or that you're considering that strikes fear in your heart in some way so much like goal-setting now we're talking about fear setting and at the top of a piece of paper so you take a piece of paper let's just say this is a sheet of paper and at the top you just put you know what if I dot dot dot and you fill in what it is you're considering start a company start a company what if I started a company all right and then you make three columns to three the first column you get really detailed with all of the worst things that could happen company fails not specific enough asked so what so what so what let's get into the nitty-gritty all right I can't afford my rent my boyfriend or girlfriend leaves me because all of a sudden I'm not contributing enough to the household my kids I can't pay for their education I can't pay for the health care right all right I quit my job and then I can't come back into that industry whatever might be like write it all down but it has to be specific and you can put down as many bullets as you like really just brained up so it could be 40 it could be 10 it could be 20 at least ten all right so that's the worst-case column then in the second column this is prevent okay so the first column is defined second column is prevented what are the things that you could do or that you could ask someone else to help you do anything at all that you could do to decrease the likelihood even 1% of these things happening all right well you could look into food subsidies subsidies you could look into educational scholarships you could look into working for a gig economy type service like TaskRabbit you could look at Hoover driving you could look at there are then all of a sudden these remedies or preventive measures start to specific again has to be specific so for each of those worst-case scenarios write down one or more things you could do to decrease the likelihood of that happening there's almost always something all right though you make that list then in the last column you have repair what does this mean all right for each of these worst-case scenarios what is something that you could do to repair the damage even 1% or just get back on your feet temporarily what could you do could you move into a friend's guest bedroom could you as much as you might hate it take a temporary bartending job whatever yeah right what could you do to temporarily get back on your feet to figure stuff out or reverse the damage you go through the same exercise and look by bullet once you've done that and don't rush this this this will generally take at least a half hour and it would be the best time perhaps you've ever spent and I have used this for almost every one of the most important pivot points in my life whether it is the very first long trip that I took which was initially for weeks my first vacation in 2004 for weeks in London to either redesign my entire business and extricate myself as a bottleneck or shut it down which then turned into 18 months of travel but I didn't decide to take the four weeks to step back at the 30,000 foot view first like six to nine months so so terrified of doing it and it was just scary scary scary and a bunch of really nebulous shadow-puppet type forms it wasn't clear at all and so I couldn't do anything about it I just knew it wouldn't work could it wouldn't work because this would happen because I'd miss a letter from the IRS and then I get audited and I'd have to come back to the US and be a big disaster or my roommate would leave and then he wouldn't pay his part of the rent and then all my stuff would get like put into storage because ba ba ba like all this stuff yeah that I wasn't really unpacking in a useful way and then I did this exercise and I realized wait a minute if I'm thinking about risk as the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome all of these things that I just came up with are either preventable or fixable hmm what the hell am i doing and it was like a week later I bought a ticket and off I went if I hadn't done that I would probably still be running that business and miserable 4-hour workweek never would have happened and on and on and on and on I want to take it from there because for our work week I'm gonna shift us into writing now yeah do it for people that don't know which I don't know who to hell doesn't know you've been living under a rock you just celebrated the 10-year anniversary it was a blockbuster it was on the bestseller list for four years for five years for five years straight tail translated into 35 languages and this is the thing people I need everybody to hear this rejected 25 27 27 at least 27 people rejected that month thank you it's like and then you see what a monster not even nicely not in some cases really was it rude in some cases Homer so rude but isn't it so it's kind of feel a little bit good now like just a little just a little oh it's great it's great okay good just you know cuz that happened keep doing it yeah those rejection letters I was talking to actually someone on my team today we were practicing we were doing like a live call-in show that some never do now which I love it's super fun we have an aired one yet but I can't wait for it and someone on my team who's also writer she's like she's like legitimately she's like feeling bad about herself because she got all these protection letters and I pulled out your stat JK Rowling I'm like dude all of us all of us if you ever expect to be any like you want to actually pile up those rejections I'm not Chicken Soup for the Soul more than a hundred rejections yes now they've sold hundreds of millions of copies yes it's it's a good dude on the list there you want to start eating rejection letters for breakfast you're like this is good then you can use it you can also really use it for fuel and you know I think of Alexis Ohanian who's one of the co-founders are reddit and in the early days the reddit was starting to grow and they had a meeting at Yahoo to discuss some type of corporate of slash maybe acquisition who knows and this smug senior VP of blah blah blah at Yahoo looked at all the numbers and he goes wow yeah this is like a rounding error Oh for Yahoo and so Alexis went back to the office and he made a huge print out of you are a rounding error Yahoo and put it on the wall so people would just get pissed and motivate and motivated yes no I have I have more than more than one time taken of those really nice things that people have said to me and said it's like you fuel oh you know I mean I'm like the Jersey I me it comes out I'm like oh really oh okay that's what you think watch this and I'm like I take it and eat it for its like vitamins I use it I use it and I just as a quick side note because I don't think there's anything I've kind of publicly mentioned before for the 4-hour chef yeah I got attacked by someone in the New York Times and I took out this tiny little sound bite from the attack letter I think there's an op-ed piece that said it was meant to be like a sniping joke because it was in the context of much bigger piece but it said something like Tim Ferriss can not only walk on land but like walk on water or something and I just took that and then I put on the inside flap of the book and attributed it to the guy who attacked me that is good oh yeah so I love in any case yeah many many many rejections so how if at all has your writing process changed over there or not you know I'm asking this very selfishly because I'm I'm writing a book for the first time and like over 10 years yeah has it it has it's changed a lot and have you noticed any patterns in terms of do's or don'ts that you can swing over to a sister sure so so a few a few but a lot of it loops back to the question that I mentioned at the beginning of our conversation what would this look like or what might this look like if it were easy and there are several questions that I'll layer beneath that and really the objective when you're answering a question like that which I always do in journal of sometime is to go crazy what I mean by go crazy is like the more absurd the better okay like really go nuts nothing's off off limits and I will ask hypothetical questions that are really ridiculous like I had to write this entire book in two weeks had to gun to the head what might I do if I had to which I would never do but if I had to hire a ghostwriter to do this what instructions would I give them right if I had to write this book with money or dictate the whole thing couldn't touch a keyboard what might I do and I start adding all these constraints into the questions and trying to figure out all right like take away the keyboard how do I get this book done in two weeks oh right or you name it I start adding all of these really not arbitrary but difficult constraints and then answering in just stream of consciousness consciousness longhand and inevitably somewhere in there 90% it's gonna go straight into the garbage but there's gonna be something where you go okay that is interesting that is hugely leveraged and that's something we can use and then you test and you go holy that actually worked and now you've cut hundreds of hours or you know hundreds of self floggings out of the experience so the first would be asking that question on a very routine basis when I was writing trying mentors and when I was written the only two books that I've enjoyed writing are the last two books so I've changed my approach quite a bit that would be one the second is having a rock-solid daily routine where you do not have to think about logistics yes so my routine with with say travel mentors it was Gary and can tell you it was very boring Lee uniform asset wake up 20 minutes of meditation jump in the pool and you don't need a pool for this but some type of physical exercise jump the pool do 20 laps grab the paper from the night before that I've printed out to do hand edits on go into a sauna say it could be any number of things and there were there are a few types of exercise that I would vary some it might be instead of say the swimming I'm going to do one set of kettlebell swings just to get my nervous system lit up boom-boom same t same breakfast a bit of journaling right so maybe what would this look like if it were easy today with this given component of the book then work work work ride the bikes to a lunch have the exact same lunch every day sounds boring but useful Mediterranean raps we can talk about if you want and then same restaurants at night maybe two or three just so you don't completely died aboard them yep but by lots of tequila for the people working at those restaurants because I'm gonna want to stay late and I want them to love me yes so go to the same restaurant and let's say the first nine days of writing a book go to the same restaurant for Monday Tuesday Wednesday then the same rest a different restaurant the same restaurant for Thursday Friday Saturday and just buy booze for everybody and you just bought yourself the golden ticket because their restaurants closing yeah and you're like eh can we just chill all you guys are tallying up the bills and cleaning up and chilling the place settings for an hour they're like stay sure yeah stay as long as you want so there's that peace and also I realized that for myself it's very very important you're chatting about this a little bit earlier to have another human around so that I don't go cuckoo for cocoa puffs in my own head oh yes that that this is a mistake that I've made that I was just recently making and I've talked about we had one or two shows about I was like oh my goodness I am an enormous Lea collaborative human being and I have this incredible team that I'm always interacting with but made a few mistakes of like taking myself off into the cave which is good because it limits distractions but I went too far yeah you know way too far and I was like I am out in the middle of the ocean what the hell's going on yeah there is such a thing as too much time in your yeah especially this head like there's a lot going on and you know it's less like Iraq war than it was maybe three years ago but it's it's it's still a funky neighborhood in there and I would say other tips that have helped me quite a bit treadmill desk has helped me tremendously is there a little apparatus I can google this y'all but I'm just interested because it's fun we're having the conversation I was thinking if I could bring it to the gym because I don't have a treadmill in my house but I do go to choice I'm sure there's some contraption yeah you could then put on top of a treadmill because they have those dials on the sides so you could almost certainly put something on top yeah and then put the the laptop on top of that almost certainly and you know what my butt's gonna be real tight when with our people it's win-win yeah yes let's see also other things I've realized in my process which is not the same for everyone that I do my best synthesis or prose writing in the afternoon or evenings but I can do grunt work meaning outreach research fact gathering earlier in the day interesting but I do not do synthesis and actual prose output well in the morning so I like to bucket things in that respect also in terms of fuel coffee is not my friend I've realized as a caffeine fast metabolizer if I have one cup of coffee I'm gonna be exhausted 20 minutes later yeah and then it becomes 12 cups of coffee a day I'm a slow metabolizer so I'm lucky you're cruising yes in my case I'm going to turn myself into a fidgety tweaking anxious mess because once I've had one yes I'm gonna drop below my baseline I'll be worse off than when I started yeah just like that I don't need Cup after Cup after Cup so I buy both you long I'll just if people are interested there's there's a brand called Ito n which is very popular in Japan and you can buy cases of these on Amazon Prime so I will buy cases and cases of green tea and long tea which I alternate and I just have them stocked and ready to rock and roll and a SodaStream love me my carbonated water and those are a few of the approaches in terms of actual writing what I've realized for myself and I and I did learn this pretty early on but I've continued to develop the way I approach it is treating every chapter like a feature magazine article in the sense that there is a beginning middle end and it is valuable as a self-contained piece so that it is not necessarily dependent on other chapters what this allows you to do is to write out of order so that if you get stuck you have modular pieces and you can hit pause and continue working on something else so you don't go into a panic if you're frozen on a given chapter for a week that's actually yeah it can really freak you out because then because you're like wait a minute did I cover this yet did I talk about this did I set this up enough to be able to put this in this place right give it enough give each chapter enough self-contained context that you are ideally referring to other parts of the book as little as possible you can do that but there should be just enough context that the person does not have to go back and read that chapter so in doing that you also create a really curious benefit that I underestimated in the beginning which is your readers can then read the book or they can read the chapters out of order and this allows may a much higher percentage of people to actually complete the whole book because if they are dragging in a given chapter in the introduction which I typically call the you know how to use this book chapter so they'll actually read it and it's a skip around this is intended to be you know a buffet yeah and if if for whatever reason something is not grabbing your attention hit pause move to another chapter and you'll get a much higher conversion from consumption to action in readers if you approach it that way so that's another point of emphasis that I've really paid attention to over time I love it yeah very very helpful at least for me I feel like you just answered like two or three my questions but I'm going to ask one of these because I know everyone's interested I'm not at this space yet and you know I think the marketing in the promotion stage of almost anything I love it because I find it to be an art and I just it's such a joy for me oh here's another writing tip yeah forbid yourself from working on the marketing until you're done with your book I'm a winner do you know what I mean though because it is so much more appealing it's and so much shinier and sexier to think about all these incredible launch plans and writers will do anything to avoid writing at the end of the day yeah that's like you know oh my god these flowers look terrible I can't possibly write if these flowers distract it will take you know my shoes are so dirty I I really it's gonna be so distracting if I don't clean my shoes it's not gonna be right and it's anything in everything you can do to procrastinate you will do it absolutely I'm actually I'm really proud of myself because I've told everyone and in interior Lee I'm like you know it's quarantined off that it's not I'm not even gonna touch that until but I'm curious for anyone watching cuz at one of the questions we do get a lot is like how do I you know blah blah blah so I'm curious if there's any high level low level things that you've noticed have just changed because your monster when it comes to this for everyone watching part of the reason Tim Ferriss is so damn successful I mean there's many many things we could talk about but it's like you've been creating such prolific high quality content for super long you take care of your audience a lot of times my friends will joke though like you know but brie can you tell me how to just do what you do but just not with the hard work I'm like no no it's all it's actually it's all the hard work that's that's it but that said some changes when it comes to marketing a promotion that you've seen in books well I'll answer that by looking at the last few launches and I will talk about some things that have changed but my tendency is to look at the things that have not changed great because the let's say you want to learn to draw alright you can use a crayon you can use a pencil you can use a pen you could use think charcoal charcoal you could think of all of those tools that is mentioned as different types of say social media but at the end of the day you have to know how to draw yes so for instance in the world of social that might be really investing in learning how to write copy how to write period forget about copy learning how to communicate with words on paper or on the computer hell yeah right and reading a book like Cal Dinis book on persuasion and influence right we talk about this all the time I'm not not meaning to hijack this but we have something that's called the copy cure because I noticed so many of my b-schoolers super-smart so much integrity their copy was so far below what they needed it to be in order to have success so yes and if you want to get better go find say a continuing ed class at some local university with a writing teacher yeah and it doesn't have to be purely it can be I've read many books on copywriting or advertising you know olga Lyon advertising amazing okay I mean there are so many that I could recommend but ultimately it's thinking on paper so I would encourage you to also learn how to write period take a class could be creative writing could be nonfiction does not matter it could be creative nonfiction that is one of the best investments you can make so there are there are skills like writing and copywriting that that translate to any tool there are skills like storytelling so if you were to read say I think I may get the title wrong I always butcher it but the hero of a thousand faces Joseph Campbell yep getting a better understanding of story arc and a hero's journey so that you can tell stories that are remembered study that study oral traditions look at some of say the most popular TED Talks and forget about the how-to stuff and just focus on examining the personal stories how those are used because that's the glue that holds everything else together these are things that then whether it's Instagram snapchat film the blank social tool or tool that will exist three years from now after half of those have died you will be able to step right into it and win yes or do well and so this is I would say first and foremost try to invest in the skills and learning the principles that are more timeless because then you are infinitely adaptable that's the first thing out so the second thing I would say which is really important is in a world where word of mouth can kill you or make you this is your marketing yeah right when people ask me what are you doing to market the book and I say 90% of it is in the writing of the book making something it's not accidental for instance that in this book there are these poll quotes that are some of my favorite pull quotes that I'm using as a reminder for myself because ultimately every book I write is a book I couldn't find for myself yeah but these are also custom-made for sharing yes and people will share these and every single person in there for their benefit certainly also has their social handle listed well that facilitates things doesn't it yes and on and on and on but at the end of the day you can game a system you can you can cheat or game almost any system in existence but that's going to be very short-lived if the product or service does not stand on its own two feet absolutely so it's never been in some ways easier to market anything without marketing if you create a great service or product so that should be where the focus is I see so many people trying to like put a tuxedo on a monkey by putting out a mediocre at best save book yeah and then they want to dress it up and come in gold and saw it as the Willy Wonka golden ticket and within a week people are like this is garbage absolutely and then it's more of a liability than anything else so I would also say everyone who says I want to write a book do you though like do you really because it's a if it can't be your number one or number two priority ideally number one priority for a year it's going to be more of a liability than help to you and as far as things that change one of the questions that I ask myself prior to each launch there are a number of questions one is what is becoming less important or impactful and what is becoming more important so for the 4-hour workweek for instance there are these things called blogs brand new what are blogs oh my goodness and television is decreasing in importance in many ways an impact but it was heavily valued by publishers blogs in the meantime were very much neglected and we're skyrocketing and importance and are still important by the way so I ended up just doubling down and putting everything into focusing on blogs for say the 4-hour chef the answer is podcasts podcasts were just in this inflection point and moved the majority I would say if books that were sold for the 4-hour chef I'm constantly looking at what's becoming more important what's becoming less important and also what is out of fashion so for tools of titans for instance I did a bunch of billboards why because everyone was saying billboards are dead yeah what happens when everyone says billboards are dead there is more supply than demand and the prices go way way down yes all of a sudden you know it's at a low enough price almost everything is a good deal so if I can get bargain basement pricing on a given medium that may in fact be effective in sub capacity but is out of fashion I'll buy everything I can get plus how much fun is it though – there's like the fun factor of like I'm gonna do a billboard yeah earng totally yeah yeah and they're all they're all so well they're absolutely so there's there are absolutely things that I do in every book when I'm writing them so I don't go completely crazy just for fun so there are a few questions that I asked everybody you know one hundred thirty hundred forty people and tribe mentors that is just for me yeah it's it's really just for me like what is one absurd what is an absurd thing or behavior that you love yes my answers in there yeah because you get the wackiest and you realize wow everybody is this weirdo crazy yes so and that is very reassuring yes you know just like knowing people go through their tough times and there are a lot of perfidy p– meaningful profound hopefully questions and certainly answers in the book but that's like the fiber of knowledge it requires some digestion so there has to be some levity yeah to get people through it and especially when writing a book which is never easy to get these little Scooby Snacks of these ridiculous answers they were so funny made the process a little easier it let the stress out it was a stress release valve to some extent and in launches same thing I will do some just stupid ridiculous absurd stuff so that I don't burn out you're never gonna get the really serious stuff done if you're serious all the time yeah you'll flame out alright so I look at what's under valued and in terms of an e-book launch this is another constant I would say a very big mistake then I see as far as I'm concerned is trying to create something um that appeals to everyone or market something to everyone hmm who's gonna read your book everyone's gonna read my book well there there are a number of issues with that number one is that if you try to make something that everyone is gonna like it's you're gonna make something that nobody's gonna love period the next is that when you get to the point where your marketing and doing PR how affordable is it to market to everyone it is not it is very very very very completely futile a and even if you attempt it it's going to break the bank so instead of that I encourage that everybody read and I say this whenever I talk about launches I want to mention this 1,000 true fans which is an article by Kevin Kelly if you are able to identify the 1,000 perspective fans who you think can become your super fans your true fans they will become your most powerful unpaid marketing force and they will do the recruiting of say casual fans for you but to accomplish that you have to create something that is so fine-tuned so customized for those thousand people that once they get a taste of it they will buy anything that you do forever because it's so much a fit hand in glove for them and if that means by the way that they are all 23 year-old emo italian-american dyslexics awesome great don't be ashamed of that don't apologize for your lack of diversity of your 1000 your fans it sorry no it's no it's like you you need to have a very clear picture of who you are creating something for and ideally you were them and they are you right yeah that was actually one of my favorite pieces because I want to talk about this now try the mentors um there is one is it Tim Urban okay oh yes yes exactly yes who started writing who started writing so I thought that this was really helpful because a lot of people like oh gosh I have so many people in my audience and they're so you know and I can struggle with that too because I understand especially at this point the diversity in my audience people that are 777 and Oh 195 countries but I loved him Tim Urban's advice he's like I imagine I'm paraphrasing but there are just a stadium full of me yeah and I'm gonna write this book or create this thing for all of me and I'm gonna love it yeah actually it cheap exactly that's what he said and because I know exactly what they're gonna laugh about yep I know exactly what they're weird interests are yep and it turns out that your weird interests as unique as you may think you are are actually shared by a lot of people and you know Kevin's made this point before that is it even if your interest is a one million like the weirdest sexual fetish you can conceive of one in a million still means you have an entire like city full of people in the world who are the same thing yes I always discover that when I talk about because I love horror movies and zombies and different things oh my god me too I got in the email the other day it's like can we do haunted house together we do whole thing there's tons of us oh yeah yeah so embrace your rear itself because in fact there are thousands or millions of people are into the same stuff and as a case study for the 4-hour workweek I threw out the first few chapters I wrote because they're way too like pompous and Princetonian sounding it's just ridiculous terrible so I scrapped it and then I tried to do it again and the first few chapters were then really Three Stooges slapstick terrible like aha so tossed it because it's trying to write a book for a lot of people in both of those cases and then I sat down I'd maybe to just to be conservative maybe two glasses of wine and opened up word processor and started writing an email to two of my close friends one who was trapped in a job he hated but felt like he couldn't leave and another who was trapped in a company of his own making and felt he couldn't leave he was in a prison of his own making and so I wrote like hey so and so and so and so and I had like a preamble of a paragraph or two and then I started writing the first chapter and then the second chapter as an email to these guys I knew really well so I could be myself like if I wanted to curse I could curse but I'm not going to do it all the time yeah if I want to be funny they're gonna get my sense of humor fine they'll get it and that is when I finally was able to write the book and it turns out that even though my initial target market and the target is not the market it's an entry point this is a real important thing my original target to make the writing easier and also the marketing really focused was say 25 to 40 year-old tech-savvy males in a handful of primary cities that were very tech focused and then as soon as it got a toehold and started to spread in that demographic and psychographic then the 25 to 40 year old women were tech savvy in the same space as boom then it bled over into that and then it bled in both directions in terms of age and then it went international and it's now unlike 40-something languages and it never would have happened had I not been so focused on the beginning never would happen if you try to boil the ocean at once doesn't work damn alright so we're gonna keep going now we're in tribe of mentors which is so wonderful I'm so glad that you've done it now that you are properly warmed up I think I've warmed you up yeah I'm limber I want to hear your response to one of the questions that you sent to all of us let's do it so in the last five years what new belief behavior or habit has most improved your life so for everybody watching when you get this book this is one of the questions that many of us quote-unquote mentors have answered yeah I would say for me it is a consistent morning practice before taking my phone off of airplane mode of sitting and doing a meditative practice for say 20 minutes and it's stuck initially by taking a transmittal meditation class of perhaps three days when I was go through a very very difficult time and Chase Jarvis who's awesome and I've hugely successful commercial photographer he's worked at every big brand you can imagine and is also a very good CEO both he and Rick Rubin is like the most legendary music producer of all time and just look at his discontent discography it's insane it's like Johnny Cash Eminem jay-z Metallica you know the list is absurd it's like everybody you've never heard of and he also said to me at one point because I was going through a really rough time and I was very tightly he said have you ever considered TM and I'm like mantra like you pay them to give you a mantra it's a kolbe like I don't wanna be part of a cult and on and on and on and on they're like now it's actually really secular and I know there's like a little bit of weird stuff but you can just ignore that it's like the first hour of the talk just ignore it what do you have to lose and I was going through such a difficult period at one point I think you know that's a good point so I did it and that kick-started the meditation and then I experimented with other things like headspace which I have no vested interest in so it's you start with 10 minutes a day for 10 days as a proof of concept and the way I'd encourage people to think about meditation because it can sound very woowoo and I certainly was repelled by it for a long time is you are sitting down say on a couch to practice observing your thoughts and feelings and emotions for a very short period of time so that for the rest of the day you are less emotionally reactive what this means is you are rehearsing you're a training it's like going to the gym so let's say you're training for a sport all right so you're an athlete an X you go to the gym to do squats to do this this and this so that when you get on the playing field you can perform better it's exactly the same you're rehearsing and training for your day and then when you run into something that normally would trigger you whether that's a certain type of email whether that's an employee who has a habit that drives you insane or you being behind in your schedule and then the line at Starbucks is longer than you would like whatever happens to be the things that would normally cause you to get really tightly wound or explode or berate yourself or other people you will then start to spot before you have the reaction and then you say okay a half a second of breathing let me choose my response instead of being a hot held hostage to these loops and triggers that we all have so that has been enormous ly enormous ly helpful for me and there are many different entry points and I mentioned TM that's one way it's not the only my headspace I think is a fantastic option for people the 10 minutes a day for 10 days which is free or you could listen to a guided meditation there are many good ones out there Sam Harris who's also in here that's some fantastic guided meditations Tara brach also has some really hypnotic awesome guided meditations yeah we have one we have a free one you can google judge marie forleo free downloadable the ten minutes because it's been similarly it's been absolutely instrumental in my life I don't everything yeah so was a habit I'd say that's one last five years I mean I'm cheating a little bit because this is older but re embracing two-handed kettlebell swings as the go-to you just hit everything and in five minutes twice a week with something that takes up this much space on the floor you're done it's really bang for the buck just an incredible incredible exercise and I know I'm giving more than one I'm cheating a little bit in terms of belief this is really brand new but I would say the belief that you have to figure out a way to love yourself to love other people fully hmm that is just the state of reality there's really no way around it so that for me and I think for a lot of people it's just priority number one and I think it's Sharon Salzberg who's who's one of maybe five people who's who are credited with bringing Buddhist meditative meditation practices to the West has said and she's also in here pretty close to you I think and her expression is put on your first off I put on your oxygen mask first thanked before helping others put on your own oxygen mask and I think I've neglected that for a long time so yeah those are my answers what do you hope people get out of this I hope that they get a renewed sense of hope and optimism because you're not only learning the exact routines and tools and apps and supplements and everything that you can use today that have helped people to produce massive successes but you're also learning exactly how they dug themselves out of failures and dark periods and you need both like nothing drives me crazy er than motivational folks who offer no specific tools it makes me crazy it's like you're just getting people really excited to like get onto an airplane be like now pilot I got this and they don't have any training in an airplane what are you doing that's crazy yeah that's dangerous no no no I don't want you to do that I don't want you to be like yeah man I'll figure it out manifest at all let me just quit my job put my whole family at risk and then start a company that I haven't even thought about no no time out don't do that you need the training in the tools kiddo yeah no no you need a seat belt and so I love it's also spotting the patterns that's another thing that people will get from this is they will be able to there is absolutely there at least 10 people in this book for anyone that they will identify with who have the same set of maybe strengths and weaknesses and personality quirks so they can just copy and paste like right into their lives so that's really what I look forward to another all these books what I most look forward to is hearing the stories from people who get even better results then the people in the book yeah and I mean you were some people may not know this but you are a you were a model in the 4-hour body some people they're like Marie it's not you I'm like yeah cuz my brother called me said hey can you help me out in my book of course I got suit so so you're in that book and in the 4-hour body I remember when I first came out people are like that's crazy this guy's nuts like that stuff so extreme like you could never do this this this or this even though I documented all of it yes and now for every one of those chapters whether it's for fat loss for the orgasm stuff or marathon training vertical jump it doesn't matter for every single chapter I have dozens of people who had not only replicated what I did but have made it even better that's the best yeah that's the exciting part it really is because my goal with any of these is to make myself and I think any good say personal trainer yeah should have as a goal to make themselves obsolete as quickly as possible and that's my goal here it's like I don't want to be a guru of any type that people come to for answers but I'm happy to give you better questions and tools so you can then figure things out on your own exactly okay before we wrap up the last question I want to ask you before we let you go it's not from your list but I'm curious because you're such a voracious learner and you're so and we always always love hearing what you're up to next what are you working on getting better at right now whether it's mentally emotionally whatever what's something that's really blowing some wind up your skirt so to speak it's one your favorite things let's see love wind up the skirt Marilyn Monroe yes we can do a photo shoot later uh same there's so many things I would say not to sound like a broken record but honestly recognizing the incredible relief and ease with would end productivity that comes with being even a little bit nicer yourself it's so noticeable and it's so dramatic and a good place to start is quite frankly a gratitude list in the morning and I do this regularly in my journaling just write down three things each morning maybe before yeah I do it before I have breakfast with tea typically write down and say one person you're grateful for I often well just to avoid any pattern where it's like my family and my girlfriend and to avoid always using the same people like think of somebody from your history who really helped you from like high school from grade school college whenever it might have been and then second is whatever you think of and and then I always make the third something very small and I actually picked this up from Tony Robbins something really small like the yellow mug that I'm using for my tea the tea itself more I'm like yeah the sunlight or like a bird that's chillin outside something really small and what this trains you to do is to is to put a lens on for the day that selectively allows you to see more of the positive so I think of a lot of people who are achievement focused and successful in a given field have the tendency which has its place of looking at the hundred things they did and ignoring the ninety-eight that went well and just saying that's fine the good things take care of themselves let me just focus on the two where I made mistakes post game let's do it and the fact that or is this is a very new realization the good things actually don't take care of themselves you have to cultivate those you have to practice them or they're gonna go away yeah if you just focus on fixing the negative what remains is a void not all high fives and smiles and rainbows you you have to cultivate the positive so that's one another thing that I'm very excited by and interested in and it's it's multiplied I think just about every year and this might be a little out there so I'm not a doctor nor lawyer so do your own homework don't break any laws kids don't do this time exploring the applications of plants and compounds that have been used in traditional ceremonial contacts in almost on almost every continent in the world that would typically be referred to as economics I think there are wide-ranging deep powerful applications and potentially safe applications and supervised settings so that is something I'm spending a lot of time on and I'm really taking for instance all the a lot of the attention that I put into tech investing in startups for almost ten years yeah ten years Wow into scientific research related to better understanding the mechanisms of action subjecting to say double-blinded studies the the applications to say PTSD and treatment resistant depression other things that I'm excited about are honestly scheduling this is something I did you mentioned Timmerman earlier he wrote a piece this is long before I ever met him that was recommended to me by a friend who just lost his father unexpectedly young guy really sad and it was an article is an article everybody can find for free called the tail end by Timmerman on his site wait but why and the tail end points out and I think I'm getting this right but roughly if by the time you graduated from high school it might be college but by the time you graduate from high school or college you have spent eighty percent or more of the total hours you will ever spend with your parents before they died and when I read that and he lays it out in visual form and it hit me so hard that I then started this is a few years ago blocking out a two to four weeks every six months to take my family on a trip somewhere and it's it's become our relationships have never been better and what's so beautiful about that and I recognize not everyone can take four weeks off every six months of it or maybe it's a long weekend it doesn't have to be really really insanely complicated or expensive and we we collaborate and brainstorm locations and what we might do in those places and we put together these dream lists and so you'd not only get the trip but you get the anticipation of the experience for the entire year because there's something coming in no longer than six months and it's it's been I would have to say at least as a family by far and in my relationships with my family the best investment I've probably ever made in my life is committing to doing that and so that's something that's deciding me because I'm taking my entire family to Japan on the 25th anniversary of my fir real trip abroad which is a year in Japan freaking out talk about culture shock and then ultimately changed my life and introducing my my mom and dad and my brother to my Japanese mom and dad and brother for the very first time I just am so excited to do that and experience that and watch to watch my parents faces my brother's faces when they encounter the extreme weirdness that is Japan it's so awesome but it's so weird or thinking back to for instance I took my parents and my brother to Iceland because my mom had always wanted to see the Northern Lights I've never seen the nor license just like the look on her face on one particularly lucky night that was just spectacular like a grand finale fireworks show is so ethereal and otherworldly it's priceless yeah I mean it's absolutely no one can say for sure why we're here but I'd say that's a contender it's pretty close so certainly not something that's really exciting I adore you I love you congratulations on this for everyone I hope you've enjoyed this conversation it's been super fun and we will not wait 10 years until we do it again thank you for coming thank you dear love you yeah me too now Tim and I would love to hear from you so today I actually want to hear your answer to one of Tim's questions so in the last five years what new belief behavior or habit has most improved your life let us know in the comments below now as always the best conversations happen after the episode over at the magical land of marieforleo.com so head on over there and leave a comment now and while you're there if you're not yet already become an mf– insider and subscribe to our email list you'll get exclusive access to an audio I created called how to get anything you want plus you'll get some exclusive content special giveaways and some updates from me that I just don't share anywhere else stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that very special gift that only you have thank you so much for watching and we'll catch you next time on marietv b-school is coming up want in for more info and free training go to join b-school calm if I'm thinking about risk as the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome all of these things that I just came up with are either preventable or fixable the hell am i doing and it was like a week later I bought a ticket and off I went if I hadn't done that I would probably still be running that business and miserable 4-hour workweek never would have happened and on and on and on and on

29 thoughts on “Tim Ferriss Interview: How to Overcome Fear, Practice Self Love & Build a Writing Routine

  1. First of all Tim and Marie you are two of my idols! Second, Tim it is so refreshing to hear depression spoken about in the way that you have articulated it. Reading the four hour work week I feel like I can relate to you so much with all the random business ideas, travel and general inclination to try strange things for the challenge. I have done so many things in my life but it never feels like enough. I just want to be successful like the two of you are. I want to be happy and to make others happy. I hope that some day I can provide that kind of value for people!

  2. A quote for type A s like myself : "There is strength and there are advantages to having an endurance. But only when you're enduring things that are worth enduring, as opposed to just making your life painful"

  3. Thanks, I'm a bit lost. But I feel great listening. I love the comedy of struggle. Helps me relate. I'm going to have to watch this several times. The best (I've been drinking wine) money is being honest and having integrity as my currency(there it is). I have always believed that almost everyone is smarter and better than me. I live in an affluent area. As a kid, I got to see the wealthiest people in the world. I mean I got to go to their homes and businesses because I was ok looking (girls liked me) and I was funny. As we got older, I couldn't keep up with the costs. I made as much as I could and traveled all over the world but often my friends would have to pay for the room or the unusual thing that children often were excluded from. I now have lived the 08 traumas that nearly destroyed me. I know how to make gourmet food from Roman noodles. And I am happy about that now that things are going better. I have a leg up. But my self-confidence has been revealed to me. I could have been so much more. I now could advise huge companies with my knowledge and new confidence. But I am 57. I feel like I am at the beginning and am so valuable. But wonder if anyone will hire me.

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  5. Tim I really admire the way that you handle talking about everything and the way you focus on how people take your words and story and are conscious of what you say …

  6. Train yourself to not care what others think as you put yourself out there – that is a great concept to incorporate.

  7. I have been binge watching motivation and business interviews for about a month now and this is my FAVORITE one. I am shocked at how much this interview spoke to me and touched me on so many levels. Tim is nothing like what I thought he would be, I expected a more Gary V. type personality. This more than anything has reached me to finally start considering a morning routine. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!

  8. awesome interview I have learn a lot from both of you, please subscribe my channel also my friends you will get lot of videos in future that will improve your life

  9. Dear Tim. Love you. Have you ever heard about the Enneagram? So insightful to get to know. If not: Check out type number 6! Pretty sure, you´re it. Thanks for this, both of you <3

  10. Thank-You for addressing very real issues in such a candid and down to earth manner. Compassion and humanity are two qualities that I value in people more than anything. Thank-you for this interview it helps to restore faith at a time of so much uncertainty. Great teachers make us all want to be a better person.

  11. One thing that has dramatically improved my life quality is meditation and putting it together with physical training. Certainly Tim Ferris and Tony Robbins have helped me with this.

  12. Marisa Peer would probably say that Tim's root cause of feeling like crap was that he didn't think he was good enough.

  13. "There are advantages to having endurance, but only when you’re enduring things that are worth enduring, as opposed to just making your life painful."
    We live in a society that pushes the "no pain no gain" diktat so much that pain itself has become this sacralised thing that everybody tries to prove his worth with just to get the validation of other masochistic people. This is insanity. Pain has its place when it comes to achieving anything worthwhile in life, but showing off with it is NOT the goal in and of itself.

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