#599: New Insights from Sam Harris, Dr. Peter Attia, Ramit Sethi, and Elizabeth Gilbert | The Tim Ferriss Show

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Key Takeaways

  • How many things in this life will you experience for the last time? And how do you know? Long before you die, you will cease to have certain experiences—many that you currently take for granted.
    • Pay more attention: If you think of everything as a potential last time and treat your actions as finite opportunities, you will live a more fulfilling life
  • “Meditation is a skill that opens doors that you might not otherwise know exist” – Sam Harris
    • Meditation helps you practice mindfulness – “you break the link between the thought and the behavioral imperative it seems to communicate”
    • Example: practice ignoring the urge to check your email while you’re actively engaged with your kids
    • You’ll begin to realize the lies you can no longer tell yourself and understand your true motives
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer Is Essential To Focus On:
    • The Colon being the most important, ~40% of GI cancers, top 3 leading cause of death for men and women
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Get super aggressive to reduce ApoB
    • Leading causes of CVD – Smoking, Hypertension, Hyperbetalipoproteinemia (high LDL, VLDL, etc. = ApoB)
    • ApoB Reduction: Single most important biomarker your risk of heart disease (more useful than LDL alone)
  • DEXA Scan: Best and surprisingly affordable (as low as $100) way to understand body composition
    • Data is more useful than other methods, segmented data by fat free mass index, ALMI, visceral fat, etc. – this all matters than total body fat alone
  • Exercise/Strength Training Is Essential: Improvements in all cause mortality are significant as you move up to higher percentile for strength
  • “It’s often the things that make us successful in the first place, that turn around and cost us everything” – Remit Sethi
    • It’s very hard to turn the page in your rich life: Being frugal may be necessary at some stages of your life, but cheapness is one of the most difficult habits to break—cheap people don’t really think its a problem. Don’t over attach your identity to your spending habits.
    • Ask yourself: What is your philosophy on money costing you?
  • Your intuition is a compass that is never wrong
    • Your intuitive nature will take care of everything, but you have to learn how to step away from trauma and culture—you have to unlearn everything you have previously been taught
    • “Anytime you say yes with your mind when your body says no, you will lead yourself farther and farther away from your path” – Elizabeth Gilbert quoting Martha Beck
  • “There are certain moments of your life where your staring at a bonfire and you have to jump into it. You have to be willing to burn away everything you’ve been taught and everything you’re afraid of” – Elizabeth Gilbert quoting Martha Beck
    • It’s a win-win scenario: Either you learn the bonfire is not really a bonfire, or you’re completely incinerated by the metaphorical bonfire and you get to be reborn.

Intro

  • What are Tim Ferriss’ favorite podcasts to listen too? Well he’s so busy that he doesn’t always have the time to consume all the podcasts he wants to.
  • Tim’s solution: He asked some of his best friends in the podcast industry to send him their most interesting and valuable segment. This podcast is a compilation of those clips.
  • We’ll hear from: Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg), Dr. Peter Attia (@PeterAttiaMD), Ramit Sethi (@ramit), and Elizabeth Gilbert (@GilbertLiz)
  • Like what you hear? Use the search function on Podcast Notes to learn more from these brilliant minds.

Sam Harris – Mindfulness, Meditation, and Consciousness

  • Sam first previewed his Waking Up app on the Tim Ferriss Show about three years ago—in his compilation segment he shares some samples of lessons and reflections that can be found in the app.
  • How many things in this life will you experience for the last time? And how do you know? Long before you die, you will cease to have certain experiences—many that you currently take for granted.
    • Good and bad experiences are equally cherishable in their last instance (EX: the last time you get woken up by your baby)
    • The Tail End from Tim Urban’s Wait but Why blog gives a profound visualization of a lifetime of experiences: Each time you do something, its one step closer to your last—if it isn’t already.
    • Pay more attention: If you think of everything as a potential last time and treat your actions as finite opportunities, you will live a more fulfilling life
  • Meditation has the power to cause structural and functional changes in the brain—but anything you do changes your brain
    • Having breakfast in the morning and remembering the action is enough to trigger a change in the brain
  • You’re always meditating on something – “we’ve largely become what we pay attention to” – Sam Harris
    • Mindfulness is the ability to prioritize your attention to good things
  • “Meditation is a skill that opens doors that you might not otherwise know exist” – Sam Harris
    • Meditation helps you practice mindfulness – “you break the link between the thought and the behavioral imperative it seems to communicate”
      • Example: practice ignoring the urge to check your email while you’re actively engaged with your kids
    • You’ll begin to realize the lies you can no longer tell yourself and understand your true motives
  • “Your mind is the most rambling, chaotic, needling, insulting, insufferable person you will ever meet” – Sam Harris
    • Thoughts do not hold rightful claims on your life—meditation helps you welcome the good ones and ignore the bad ones
  • “We spend our life seeking, and the goal of our search is poorly defined” – Sam Harris
    • Many of our pursuits are not our own, they are reflections of cultural expectations
  • “It’s against this background of seeking satisfaction amidst ceaseless change, that you can see how radical an act of meditation actually is—meditation is the act of calling off the search, it is the art of doing nothing.” – Sam Harris
    • The real way of doing nothing isn’t to stop doing anything, but to recognize that everything is already happening on its own
  • Read more Podcast Notes with Sam Harris

Peter Attia – Cancer, apoB, Time-Restricted Feeding, and Exercise

  • Gastrointestinal Cancer Is Essential To Focus On:
    • The Colon being the most important, ~40% of GI cancers, top 3 leading cause of death for men and women
    • Screening alone COULD prevent all deaths
    • Peter recommends colon screens ever 1-2 years starting as early as 40 with no family history (vs. standard of 45) to take Colon Cancer of the list of Top 10 Reasons people die
    • Scanning more often isn’t worth it given the likely speed of cancer growth vs. the cost (~$2k)/pain/perforation/risk of the scan (e.g. anesthesia)
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Get super aggressive to reduce ApoB
    • Leading causes of CVD – Smoking, Hypertension, Hyperbetalipoproteinemia (high LDL, VLDL, etc. = ApoB)
    • ApoB Reduction: Single most important biomarker your risk of heart disease (more useful than LDL alone)
      • Age of Treatment: Starting treating in the 20’s, you can’t wait until there an issue
        • Target: Aim for ApoB from 20-30 mg/dl and essentially prevent all CV deaths (if you start in the 20s)
        • Anything over 60 mg/dl is the limit in your 30’s/40’s
      • Rx for ApoB/LDL – Statins + PCSK9s
        • 5% of people have muscle soreness from Statins
        • Other options: Ezetimibe, bempedoic acid and more
      • Push your doctor to test for ApoB, NOT just a standard panel
  • Intermittent Fasting: Most of the benefit is from caloric restriction.
    • It’s mostly just harder to overeat in a smaller feeding window
    • Risk: Can be that people lose more muscle mass than fat mass, which is counter-productive (likely not eating enough protein)
    • OMAD: One Meal a Deal have this risk and often getting impaired glucose tolerance too (not good)
  • Eat More Protein: All people likely benefit from more protein
    • Especially in middle aged women – often no muscle mass, not eating protein and no strength training = recipe for a shorter/lower quality of life
    • RDA amounts are the minimal not to die (.8gr/kg – “pathetic), NOT to Thrive
    • Aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
    • Toxicity of too much protein (in kidneys) is way way higher (3-4 gr/kg)
  • DEXA Scan: Best and surprisingly affordable (as low as $100) way to understand body composition
    • Data is more useful than other methods, segmented data by fat free mass index, ALMI, visceral fat, etc. – this all matters than total body fat alone
  • Exercise/Strength Training Is Essential: Improvements in all cause mortality are significant as you move up to higher percentile for strength
    • This effect DWARFS the level of impact by quitting smoking
    • Grip strength is a key indicator for strength
      • Train by carrying heavy things such as a Farmer’s Carry
      • Dead hanging for as long as you can (Peter’s record is 4 min and 35 secs)
    • VO2 Max is a way to track cardiovascular health
    • Good News/ Bad News: Exercise is the most effective, easily accessible and HARDEST/TIME CONSUMING way to live longer
  • Check out many more Podcast Notes from Peter Attia on his show The Drive and other guess appearances

Remit Sethi – I Will Teach You To Be Rich

  • Remit Sethi’s ‘I Will Teach You To Be Rich’ podcast analyzes the psychology of money through anecdotes and interviews with everyday people. Here are some common themes:
    • What words come to mind when you think of money: guilt, stress, and not enough
    • What’s your rich life: I want to do what I want, when I want—but nobody really knows what they that means
    • Everybody knows how to save, but no one knows how to spend
  • “Nobody likes to hear all the things you might do wrong” – Remit Sethi
    • A little trust in your financial partnership can go a long way
  • “It’s often the things that make us successful in the first place, that turn around and cost us everything” – Remit Sethi
    • It’s very hard to turn the page in your rich life: Being frugal may be necessary at some stages of your life, but cheapness is one of the most difficult habits to break—cheap people don’t really think its a problem. Don’t over attach your identity to your spending habits.
    • Ask yourself: What is your philosophy on money costing you?
  • Worry-free number: Have a set number for spending where a debate isn’t even required.
    • For example: $20—buy it. $100—buy it. $500—talk about it.
    • Unnecessary debates on money—when it’s clearly within your means—is a pain point for many relationships.
  • Check out the Podcast Notes from Remit’s appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show and more

Elizabeth Gilbert – Philosophy with Marcus Aurelius, Integrity with Martha Beck & Saying No with Byron Katie

  • Elizabeth Gilbert is a massive fan of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
    • “Marcus Aurelius was of course the great philosopher king. Plato had always said that the ideal society would be a society where the king was also a philosopher—we have that right now in America…(jokingly)” – Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Philosophers have a unique ability to analyze the human condition, which is equally useful for being a leader
  • Marcus Aurelius asked life’s great questions that transcend eternal time frames
    • What is the meaning of my life?
    • How do I serve without being destroyed in service?
    • How do I handle failure?
    • How do I handle difficult people?
    • How do I handle the limits of my powerlessness?
    • Can I survive my emotions?
  • Let your fear speak – journaling is a great opportunity to listen to yourself
    • After letting your fear speak, let your wisdom take the mic
    • This the format in which Marcus Aurelius wrote Meditations
  • Martha Beck was the original life coach
    • Martha didn’t play the game of life, she took the ball and left the arena
    • She was Oprah Whinfrey’s life coach
  • You intuition is a compass that is never wrong
    • Your intuitive nature will take care of everything, but you have to learn how to step away from trauma and culture—you have to unlearn everything you have previously been taught
    • “Anytime you say yes with your mind when your body says no, you will lead yourself farther and farther away from your path” – Elizabeth Gilbert quoting Martha Beck
  • “There are certain moments of your life where your staring at a bonfire and you have to jump into it. You have to be willing to burn away everything you’ve been taught and everything you’re afraid of” – Elizabeth Gilbert quoting Martha Beck
    • It’s a win-win scenario: Either you learn the bonfire is not really a bonfire, or you’re completely incinerated by the metaphorical bonfire and you get to be reborn.
  • Integrity cleanse: Every 30 minutes, check to see if your currently lying to yourself. No more social lies, no more spending time on things you don’t want to do—just being honest with yourself.
  • Respond to things you don’t want to do with “Thank you, and no”
    • Saying “but no” leaves the door open to manipulation
    • People may call you selfish, in which you can respond “you may be right, and no”
    • Control the open door (if you would like) by saying “If I change my mind about this, I’ll let you know, and no”
    • “Let it sit at the no. The more words you add after that, the more entangled you get.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Learn more about Byron Katie and her process of sticking to your true self in conversation and decision making
  • Check out the Podcast Notes from Elizabeth’s appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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