The Tim Ferriss Show – James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron on How to Think Big, Start Small, and Change the World

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  • James Cameron (@jimcameron) is the writer, director, and producer of The Terminator, Terminator 2, Titanic, and Avatar
    • He is currently in production on Avatar 2,3,4 and 5
  • Tim was given an Avatar staff t-shirt back in 2009, with a quote on the front which said – “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.”
  • Tim would recommend, as a consciousness practice and general health exercise, to eat a minimum of one plant-based meal per day – just try it out
    • “I’ll often impose certain constraints on my eating, eliminate a certain food product, or insist that I eat based on a spectrum of color, as a way to make my subconscious or automatic behaviors (i.e. eating), more conscious, so I’m more aware of what I’m doing, and what I’m eating.”
James’ Diet
  • Avatar
    • Everyone on James’ team, knew that when they began the Avatar project…”It was going to be the most difficult production in human history, just by its nature, where every blade of grass in the entire world we’re creating is created by somebody. You know by definition, it’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna be the hardest motherf*cker they ever work on.”
  • Here’s what James’ daily diet looks like, to help keep him healthy on set (copied from here)
    • 5am – Pre-workout – green smoothie (spinach, apple, orange, banana — heavy on the spinach), here’s the recipe:
      • 1 and 1/2 cup of water
      • half of an orange
      • small piece of orange peel
      • half of an apple
      • half of a banana
      • 1 stick of celery
      • handful of spinach
      • handful of beet greens
      • 5 ice cubes (make sure blender does not get hot)
      • Here’s the instructions on how to best prepare it:
        • Pour water in blender
        • Add celery, beet greens, and spinach
        • Blend slightly
        • Add the rest of the ingredients
        • Blend until smooth (usually 2 minutes)
    • 6am – 1 hour workout  – usually kickboxing, yoga or light weight training with high intensity intervals
    • 7:30am – breakfast – sometimes tofu “scrambled eggs” or a quesadilla made with plant-cheese, sometimes red beans and rice – always a protein shake made with fruit, nut butters, pea protein – use this to wash down supplements (hemp oil capsules, MSM for supple joints, vitamin D) – B12 is a sublingual tablet – and a cup of Oolong tea
    • 11am – mid morning snack of fresh fruit (grapes, watermelon, berries) on set
    • 1:30pm –  lunch – bowl of soup plus any one of the scores of great lunch dishes prepared by Brad and Sandy, James vegan chefs at the studio – Mexican fiesta, Indian, Thai, Italian (pasta, pizza, lasagna), burgers (Beyond or Hungry Planet)
    • 4:30pm – mid afternoon – a green salad, on set
    • 8pm – dinner – a very light meal, sometimes a plant-based burger, sometimes just some humus and pita and a handful of olives, sometimes an avocado chopped up with salsa – plus a glass of wine for stress reduction
What do James and Suzy do when they feel overwhelmed or unfocused?
  • James
    • He cleans off his desk
      • “Just the act of cleaning off my desk, is like a reset. Usually half the stuff that has accumulated, I can throw out.”
    • James will force himself to take a day, or a half a day, off, to just reorganize
      • “It’s amazing how things just pop into focus, and solutions present themselves, because I haven’t stopped running until that moment. I haven’t gotten off the treadmill to lift my head out of the day to day battles, to think about how to really win the war.”
      • “Just take a day for yourself, with no distractions, to just get everything in order.”
    • “Sometimes the best way to solve a problem, is to walk away from it”
      • This is hard for Type As to do
      • Think about a fly:
        • Imagine a fly, trying as hard as it can, to get past a window, just constantly banging against the glass
        • How often are you this fly? How often is there some higher level of perspective, that’s so simple, that you’re just not seeing, because you’re stuck in a particular way of thinking
        • Walk away and ask yourself – “What am I not seeing here?” – Look at the problem from a higher level
  • Suzy
    • She likes to take a blank paper, and write out everything she needs to do, she’ll then pick the top 2-3 tasks and tackle those first
What would they put on a billboard?
  • James
    • Live in a more connected way
    • See yourself as part of a global system. Every action you take and every choice you make, has a consequence, whether it’s using plastic, using electricity, or replacing your iPhone – that has an impact on somebody (or something) somewhere.
    • Take less and care-take more
      • Think about how decisions you make,and things you do, are affecting other people in other countries
      • “The choices that we’re making in our energy consumption, and consumption of natural resources, and consumption of foods, is impacting other people in other parts of the world. It will eventually come back to haunt us.”
  • Suzy
    • Realize that no matter what you’re doing, it’s going to affect the next 7 generations – Tread lightly on the earth
What are they currently most excited about?
Do James and Suzy have any requests, asks, or suggestions for the audience?
  • James
    • Read a lot, and check your facts
    • Be willing to look outside your confirmation bias bubble
      • Really examine your beliefs – Where did they come from? Why do you have them? Are they really true?
  • Suzy
    • Take the OMD pledge – eat one plant-based meal per day, minimum
  • James tells a good vegan joke
    • “How many vegans does it take to screw in a light bulb?”…”It doesn’t matter, we’re better than you”
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Notes By MMiller

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