Best Decisions, Daily Routines, Mind Training, and Much More | Hugh Jackman on The Tim Ferriss Show

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Key Takeaways

  • Hugh’s routine: wake up, make coffee, take a cold shower, read for 30 minutes, and then meditate
  • “The trick to life is to not letting the mind be your master but let it be your servant” Hugh Jackman
    • Meditation allows you to quiet your monkey mind
      • “I have a feeling of coming home, a feeling of experiencing my true self and not just being caught up in the monkey mind or being reactive to life” 
  • Whatever you want to accomplish in life, you can’t sit around waiting for luck to happen. You have to chase success.
    • “My feeling was you have to drive, you have to work. You cannot be a victim, you cannot wait for the phone to ring. You have to go out and generate and get your brand out there and get going.” – Hugh Jackman
      • “Be stoic, be hopeful, but work your ass off”
  • Most actors are unemployed so if you get a job you need to work like hell
    • “Work your ass off, as though this is the last one, and you have to be at your best to get there because that’s kind of what it takes.” Hugh Jackman
  • Also, say yes to any role you can get
    • “I just had also this attitude you got to say yes to everything when you graduate. Just say yes, go for everything.” 
      • Even though Hugh wasn’t a singer, his agent told him to audition for the role of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. Hugh ended up getting the role.
  • A north star that Hugh uses to make life decisions: Is this good or bad for our family?
  • “So if it’s bad, we won’t do it. And if it’s good, we will. So that’s a very simple thing, but that’s my number one priority.” – Hugh Jackman 

Intro

  • Hugh Jackman (@TheHughJackman) is an Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe- and Tony Award-winning performer, who has made an impression on audiences of all ages with his multi-hyphenate career persona, as successful on stage in front of live crowds as he is on film.
  • Host: Tim Ferriss (@tferriss)

Books Mentioned

Daily Routines & Book Recommendations

Meditation

  • “The trick to life is to not letting the mind be your master but let it be your servant” Hugh Jackman
    • Meditation allows you to quiet your monkey mind
      • “I have a feeling of coming home, a feeling of experiencing my true self and not just being caught up in the monkey mind or being reactive to life” 
        • After meditating, Hugh feels that his attention is clearer and he can listen better 
  • Hugh meditates twice a day almost every day
    • He uses Sam Harris’s Waking Up app 

Broadway Routine

  • When Hugh is on his Broadway tour:
    • He doesn’t drink alcohol
      • “It’s really important for me to wake up in a good frame of mind” – Hugh Jackman
    • He doesn’t go out and party afterwards
      • “The party I had on stage is better than anything I can imagine anywhere else”
    • He limits the amount of coffee intake
    • He tries to quiet his monkey mind before going on stage by stretching and doing his warm-ups

Lessons From His Parents

  • A few lessons Hugh learned from his parents:
    • You cannot overinvest in education
    • If you are ever in doubt of what to do, go and learn more
    • Everyone needs to feel appreciated. It doesn’t matter what they do, it doesn’t matter who they are, that’s a need in everybody.
    • If you’re a guest, always offer to help clean up
    • You always keep your word

Discovering Acting

  • After finishing high school, Hugh decided he wanted to study economics and law
    • However, halfway through his gap year, he realized that wasn’t the direction he wanted to go into so he switched to communications
      • Hugh ended up graduating college with a degree in journalism
        • In his last semester, he took a theater class because he needed to fill an elective and the class had no exams. Hugh ended up getting the lead role.
          • It was around that time that Hugh had the epiphany that he loved theater more than journalism or any other subject
            • Hugh graduated from drama school when he was 26
  • Coincidence or faith?
    • Hugh got into acting school, didn’t have the money to pay for it but the next day, he got a check from his grandmother’s will—she had died three months before—the exact dollar amount of his tuition

Work Your Butt Off

  • Whatever you want to accomplish in life, you can’t sit around waiting for luck to happen. You have to chase success.
    • “My feeling was you have to drive, you have to work. You cannot be a victim, you cannot wait for the phone to ring. You have to go out and generate and get your brand out there and get going.” – Hugh Jackman
      • “Be stoic, be hopeful, but work your ass off”
  • At 31 years old, Hugh landed a role in the X-Men series
  • Most actors are unemployed so if you get a job you need to work like hell
    • “Work your ass off, as though this is the last one, and you have to be at your best to get there because that’s kind of what it takes.” Hugh Jackman
      • Also, say yes to any role you can get
        • “I just had also this attitude you got to say yes to everything when you graduate. Just say yes, go for everything.” 
          • Even though Hugh wasn’t a singer, his agent told him to audition for the role of Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. Hugh ended up getting the role.

Puzzles

  • Hugh loves doing puzzles, he recommends getting a 1,000 piece puzzle from Wentworth
    • “Start with a Wentworth one-thousand-piece” – Hugh Jackman
  • When he’s working on a puzzle, Hugh has to set an alarm to remind him to go to sleep or otherwise he’ll stay up till 4 AM working on it
    • Doing puzzles puts him at ease
      • “I think it’s probably another form of meditation in a way” 
  • Hugh likes to turn memorable photos into puzzles; he uses MyJigsawPuzzle to do so

Additional Notes

  • One of Hugh’s favorite films of all-time is Chariots of Fire
  • Hugh is a big fan of following your gut or as Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss”
    • “There is some calling that is beyond the conscious brain’s strategizing of how to be happy and successful or meaningful in life. There’s something elemental and instinctual.” – Hugh Jackman
  • A north star that Hugh uses to make life decisions: Is this good or bad for our family?
    • “So if it’s bad, we won’t do it. And if it’s good, we will. So that’s a very simple thing, but that’s my number one priority.” – Hugh Jackman
  • At the end of each day, Hugh rates the day on a 0 to 10 scale
  • Hugh is a big fan of the rowing machine
    • “The rowing machine—I think if you add in some chest work, some pushups, that’s everything you need to keep fit, healthy, strong.” – Tim Ferriss
      • Rowing is one of the best ways to get lean:
        • “Seven-minute row, four times a week, and the goal is 2,000 meters. And when you try it, at some point, you’re going to hate me for it, but still. That’s the quickest, best way.
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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