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

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks