ryan-holiday

How to Use Stoicism to Choose Alive Time Over Dead Time | Ryan Holiday on The Tim Ferriss Show

Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Tim Ferriss has been using his fear setting exercise for worse-case scenarios during the pandemic
    • He writes out all of the worst things that could happen and then looks for ways to decrease the chances of them happening and decrease the damage if they do happen
  • A question you should ask yourself: “How do we ensure we don’t die: physically, financially, how do I ensure that my clan doesn’t die?” – Tim Ferriss
    • Focus on what can control and have the wisdom to know what you can’t act upon
  • “Fear is a gift in many cases, it tells you what is wrong” – Tim Ferriss
    • It’s okay to feel afraid, it doesn’t make you flawed–Tens of millions of people, if not hundreds of millions, are feeling afraid right now
  • “It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you miss, it matters how many opportunities you take advantage of” – Tim Ferriss
  • Ask yourself: “How can I make the next 3 to 6 months some of the most enjoyable or productive of your life” 
  • Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome during the Antonine plague and sold items from the imperial palace to revive the economy 
    • “When stuff breaks down, real leaders stand up” – Ryan Holiday

Intro

Books Mentioned

Applying Stoicism To COVID-19

  • Tim keeps a bust of Seneca in his house to remind him about the importance of stoicism
  • Tim has been using his fear setting exercise for worse-case scenarios during the pandemic
    • He writes out all of the worst things that could happen and then looks for ways to decrease the chances of them happening and decrease the damage if they do happen
      • Tim also envisions worse-case scenarios and imagines what it would feel like–E.g.: He imagined the stock price of Uber falling from $40 to $15 but he still wouldn’t sell his shares, then 2 weeks later Uber’s stock fell to $14
  • Ryan keeps a small statue of Marcus Aurelius from the 1840s as a totem to remind him that humans have survived dozens of pandemics and wars
  • A question you should ask yourself: “How do we ensure we don’t die: physically, financially, how do I ensure that my clan doesn’t die?” – Tim Ferriss
    • Focus on what is in your locus of control and have the wisdom to know what you can’t act upon
      • Don’t try to save the world, instead, try to help the people around you
      • Donate to food banks or buy gift cards to support local businesses
        • Your support doesn’t have to be monetary, it could be just reaching out and showing you care about someone
  • Marcus Aurelius was the emperor of Rome during the Antonine plague and sold items from the imperial palace to  revive the economy 
    • “When stuff breaks down, real leaders stand up” – Ryan Holiday

Markets & Decisions

  • It’s not too late to make money in the stock market
  • “It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you miss, it matters how many opportunities you take advantage of” – Tim Ferriss
    • In other words: It doesn’t matter how many people don’t read your book, it matters how many people do read your book
      • Life is a marathon, not a sprint, there will be more opportunities in life–Even in a bear market, there are opportunities you can take advantage of
        • Investor Bill Ackman made $2.6 billion from shorting stocks in February
  • Tim believes that a rushed decision, increases likelihood of making a bad decision and “the cost of undoing a bad decision can also be quite high”
  • Tim isn’t a financial advisor but says that if you have extra cash it could be a wise move to invest in stocks now because prices are low
  • It’s in the world’s best interest for the US not to fail, too many countries rely on the US economy

Managing Anger & Fear

  • If you’re feeling angry, ask yourself, is anger productive? 90% of the time anger makes things worse
    • Ryan recites a quote from Euripides: “Why should you feel anger at the world as if the world would notice”
      • There’s a big difference between doing angry and doing things out of anger, the latter can cause more trouble
        • If you’re angry, use writing as a way to turn down the volume to get back to your regular baseline
  • “Fear is a gift in many cases, it tells you what is wrong” – Tim Ferriss
    • It’s okay to feel afraid, it doesn’t make you flawed–Tens of millions of people, if not hundreds of millions, are feeling afraid right now
      • You always have choices, it’s just that your current choices may be unattractive–You could move in with your parents, ask a friend for a loan, sell some excess belongings, etc.
        • Remove the word ‘unfair’ from your vocabulary–even if you’re a victim, saying life is unfair is paralyzing and will compound your fear

Alive Time vs. Dead Time

  • Ask yourself: “How can I make the next 3 to 6 months some of the most enjoyable or productive of my life” 
    • Tim has been spending this extra time getting rid of excess clothing and cleaning up the garage 
  • Whether the quarantine lasts for 2 weeks or 2 years, time will still go on, it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to use it
    • This lockdown isn’t fair and it’s not your fault, but it’s here and we should make the best out of what we have
  • When Malcolm X was sentenced to prison, instead of doing nothing, he spent everyday reading, writing, and studying
    • Nelson Mandela has a similar story
      • Use this time productively instead of letting it go to waste

Additional Notes

  • The 3 great correctors of the human population are war, pestilence, and famine
  • Everyone in life is playing a game–for politicians, that game is reelection
    • If you want someone to do something, you have to think about the incentives at play–if you can help a politician get reelected, they’re more likely to do what you want

Tim Ferriss Show : , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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