New Year’s Resolutions, 2010-2019 Lessons Learned, Relationship Tips, and Much More – Kevin Rose & Tim Ferriss Chat on The Tim Ferriss Show (The Random Show)

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Check Out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Polarity in masculine/feminine traits is critical for a relationship’s success, particularly in the bedroom 
  • It’s essential to have regularly scheduled times to discuss relationship issues with your romantic partner
  • The language you use with your romantic partner is of the utmost importance
    • For example, during a fight, instead of saying, “You did X to make me feel Y,” say, “The story that I’m creating in my head is that you did X because…”
  • Never be afraid to admit you don’t know something
    • “The quicker you are to come forward with the fact that there’s a hole in your knowledge, the quicker that hole will be filled.”Kevin Rose
  • Continually ask yourself: “In what areas of my life can I make one decision that removes hundreds or thousands of potential future decisions?”
  • “Time management is important, but time management doesn’t matter unless you have attention management”Tim Ferriss
  • Stop putting it off—say what needs to be said
  • With supplements, the greater the effect, the greater the side effect—there are rarely free lunches when it comes to biochemical enhancement
  • “Peace isn’t found through understanding; peace isn’t found through more striving; peace isn’t found through more achieving; peace is found through greater acceptance.”Tim Ferriss
  • Psychedelics are going to change the way we treat mental health disorders 

Books Mentioned

Products & Supplements Mentioned


  • This is another episode of The Random Show, what Tim Ferriss (@tferriss) and Kevin Rose (@kevirose) term their not-so-regularly scheduled chats
    • Check out the Podcast Notes from the previous episode of The Random Show, which aired in October 2019

Relationship Lessons Learned Over the Past Decade

  • Kevin’s: Therapy is highly under-rated
    • Kevin credits much of his relationship’s success to seeing a therapist ~once a week for a few months at a time (he and his wife, Darya, have been together for ten years now)
    • Kevin & Darya’s goal with therapy: Using the time to have structured conversations that serve to figure out the best path forward 
    • Bonus: Find someone that you’re always on the same team with
  • Tim’s: Polarity is highly important
    • Expanded: Picture a slider with more masculine characteristics on the right and more feminine characteristics towards the left
      • “What I’ve observed for myself, and also in many friends, is that it’s very helpful to find someone who’s equally far away from that middle point in the opposite direction … Maintaining and enhancing polarity is very important for maintaining a relationship where there’s intense attraction and a healthy sex life.”Tim Ferriss
    • It’s critical to have a structure for cultivating the relationship—this may come in the form of weekly therapy, weekly date night’s, or quarterly “couples days” (which Tim does with his girlfriend)
      • In a way, these all serve to “cultivate the garden before it’s in trouble”

Relationship Check-Ins

  • Tim & his girlfriend have regularly scheduled times to talk about their relationship on their calendar—they prefer to batch these conversations as opposed to bringing issues up at random; here’s why:
    • Tim says he’s quite “sensitive”: “I find a lot of stimulation over-whelming .. I’m sensitive to having things I might perverse as criticism or suggestions that require me to make decisions coming at me at 3 PM on a weekday, no matter what I’m in the middle of.” 
  • The format for these batched conversations is as follows:
    • Tim & his girlfriend will first voice the things they think the other person is doing well since their last discussion
    • Then, they’ll discuss what they each believe they are personally doing well
    • Lastly, each of them discusses what the other person could being doing better
  • During these sessions, either Tim or his girlfriend will jot down meeting notes, after which they’ll email to the other person (Tim has an Evernote file where he saves them all)

The Language You Use with Your Partner is of the Utmost Importance

  • A related book recommendation for help: Nonviolent Communication, initially recommended to Tim by Neil Strauss
    • The takeaway: “If you phrase things such that you’re taking full responsibility for your experience and emotions, it disarms people and helps to avoid head-butting and defensiveness” Tim Ferriss
  • For example: Instead of saying, “You did X to make me feel Y,” say, “The story that I’m creating in my head is that you did X because…”
  • Another related relationship tip: If you feel as if your emotions are running high and discussing an issue will only result in a fight, delay the conversation
    • Said differently: Veto a conversation until you’re emotionally in a place where the content or tone of the conversation won’t take you sideways

Never Be Afraid to Admit You Don’t Know Something

  • “Looking back on the last decade, the one thing that I didn’t do soon enough was admit to myself and others that I didn’t know certain things. The quicker you are to come forward with the fact that there’s a hole in your knowledge, the quicker that hole will be filled.”Kevin Rose
    • Kevin’s mindset going forward: “If I don’t know something, I’m going to come out and just say so.”

Make One Decision That Removes 100 Future Decisions

  • Over the past few months, Tim’s been focusing a lot on saying “no” and developing rules/policies that allow him to say no easier/quicker
  • A question Tim’s continually had on his mind: “In what areas of my life can I make one decision that removes hundreds or thousands of potential future decisions?”
    • A few examples:
      • In 2015, Tim publically gave up startup investing
      • A while back, Tim committed to no longer doing any book blurbs
      • In 2020, Tim committed to reading no new books over the following year—he’s instead focusing on reading more books that have stood the test of time 
        • Why? – This decision gets rid of the FOMO that comes up every time a new book is released 

Attention Management > Time Management

  • “Time management is important, but time management doesn’t matter unless you have attention management” Tim Ferriss

Maximize Your Energy

  • A question Tim pondered going into 2020: “Over the last year, which categories of things have depleted my energy? Which categories of things have given me energy?”
    • Activities that give Tim energy:
      • Extended time in nature (he just spent two weeks in Utah with at least 1-2 hours of daily hiking)
      • Creative work in the morning (done before problem-solving/managing)
        • “I find that sets an emotional tone for hours, or the entire day, afterwards” – Tim Ferriss

Kevin’s 2020 Goals

  • Going in 2020, Kevin is trying to limit his exposure to BPA/plastic; how so?
    • By only storing food in glass containers
    • He stopped drinking out of cans (they’re all lined with BPA on the inside) and plastic water bottles
  • In the new year, Kevin’s trying to focus his exercise around a singular goal: making it to the Centenarian Olympics (just like Peter Attia)
  • In 2020, Kevin’s also trying to limit his alcohol consumption (part of the reason he recently helped develop the Less Alcohol Tracker)

Say What Needs to Be Said

  • In these Podcast Notes from Jerry Colonna’s appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show, Jerry discussed four questions you should continually ask yourself:
    • “How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?”
    • “What am I not saying that needs to be said?”
    • “What am I saying that’s not being heard?”
    • “What’s being said that I’m not hearing?”
  • In 2020, Tim is keeping the second question at the front of his mind (and he’s been having a lot of uncomfortable conversations as of late because of it—diving into old wounds/issues that were never fully cleared, trying his best to say what he needs to say, recognizing he can’t control the other person’s response)
    • (Think of these conversations as “closing a loop from an emotional standpoint”)
    • With these conversations, Tim adds:
      • “I’m not looking for any resolution; I’m not looking for a response. I’m only going about it because these issues have weighed very heavily on me. … I’m saying these things because I want to feel free after having said it; there’s no expectation of a solution, resolution, or behavioral change—none of that.”
      • “Whatever I expected in these conversations to happen—whatever I felt the most likely response was—was not the response.”
    • That said, Tim compares having these conversations to lightening the load of a heavy backpack you’re carrying around all day: “I didn’t expect these conversations to have the huge exhale and relief of tension of tension that they did.” 

Lessons Learned Throughout Tim’s Career

  • You need to control the distribution (and the only way you can fully control the distribution is by financing whatever you produce)
    • “I’ve had these projects end up being things I’m extremely proud of, but they’re locked in a vault somewhere from a distribution standpoint. That’s been very, very painful. I’ve had to learn that lesson over the last ten years multiple times.” – Tim Ferriss
  • Get EVERYTHING in writing (preferably in a contract)
    • In the past, Garry Keller told Tim: “You should view every agreement as a disagreement because its most important function is to tell you what happens and what the options are if there’s a disagreement.”
  • Before starting a project, always ask: “What might this look like if it were easy?”

Does Tim still biohack?

  • After all, The 4-Hour Body was ground-breaking!
  • “On the biohacking front, I’ve dramatically simplified” – Tim Ferriss
    • Tim only supplements with Magtein Magnesium L-ThreonateAscent Protein, and Athletic Greens (when traveling)
    • 🎧 One reason for the simplification: “Generally speaking, with supplements, the greater the effect, the greater the side effect. If you don’t know what the side effects are, and the supplement has a very high amplitude effect, then you’re just the sucker at the poker table who doesn’t realize he’s the sucker. There are very rarely free lunches when it comes to biochemical enhancement.”
    • And another: “Supplements can become a crutch for people who aren’t paying sufficient attention to their diet, sleep, and other parameters—they become a Band-Aid to cover other bad decisions.”

Tim’s Shifted His Biohacking Focus to Psychedelics

  • Notably, he’s donated a lot of money to the cause
    • Why? – Psychedelic compounds have proven useful for treating a variety of ailments:
      • Anorexia, which has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder
      • Nicotine addiction (studies show that after just three psilocybin sessions, in conjunction with psychotherapy, 6-12 months later, 80% of people entirely give up smoking)
        • For reference, psilocybin is the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms
      • Treatment-resistant depression
      • End-of-life anxiety in terminal cancer patients
      • Opioid addiction
      • PTSD (This is a HUGE problem: ~23 veterans/day commit suicide)
  • Future studies plan to examine psilocybin’s effect at limiting cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients
    • “I do think that psychedelics could offer plausible mechanisms of action for extending cognitive function” – Tim Ferriss
  • All in all, with psychedelics: “We’re in a position to discover fundamentally new ways of looking at the mind and consciousness—and therefore reality as we experience it” Tim Ferriss

Be Unrushed

  • Psychedelics have also had a profound effect on Tim personally, allow him to feel much more at ease
    • “I feel like, fundamentally, a different person today than I did 7-8 years ago” – Tim Ferriss
    • 🎧 One of his most profound realizations: “Peace isn’t found through understanding; peace isn’t found through more striving; peace isn’t found through more achieving; peace is found through greater acceptance.”Tim Ferriss
  • Kevin, too, is trying to focus more on cultivating a sense of peace
    • Reading both The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer (and taking Michael Singer’s course) have certainly helped
    • “Having that patience, being able to exhale, and realizing that you’re going to miss most of life if you don’t enjoy the day-day-day dance of it all is something I’m striving to do.” – Kevin Rose

A Must-Read?

Lessons on Self-Love

  • “For my entire life, I viewed self-love as self-indulgent in the sense that I felt that it’d be narcissistic, selfish, and unproductive to cultivate self-love in any way. I drove myself by constantly picking apart everything I was or did in a brutal fashion—in terms of internal monologue. I think that’s part of drove me so close to the edge in college—that incessant inner voice.” – Tim Ferriss
    • That said, with some deep inner work, Tim’s been able to flip this mindset: “I still have my moments where I beat myself up, but it’s less than 5% of what it was 5 or 6 years ago”
  • “How you treat yourself, in some way, influences how you treat other people. If you’re violent and angry towards yourself, there will be an element of violence and anger towards other people.”Tim Ferriss
    • Related, Jack Kornfield once told Tim: “If your compassion doesn’t extend to yourself, it’s incomplete”
    • Tim adds: “A lot of people who pride themselves on being achievers spend the vast majority of their time whipping themselves”
  • Related to the above, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach is a must-read; Tim found it incredibly helpful

Tim’s Next Book?

  • Tim, one day, plans to write a book on his “self-love journey” diving into everything that’s worked for him, including:
    • Meditation
    • Limiting caffeine intake
      • “You can either meditate once or twice a day for two weeks or just cut your caffeine consumption down to one cup of coffee a day; the results are very often the same” – Tim Ferriss
    • Stress-testing self-narratives (as recommended by Byron Katie)
    • Regular psychedelic therapy
      • “Responsible, supervised sessions with psychedelics have provided a reset/reformatting that’s difficult to achieve via other means … These compounds have been integral to providing enough slack in the system and different perspectives from which I can look at myself as an observer—it can be very difficult to see your own stories … Psychedelics, in a proper setting with supervision, can provide one the opportunity to do a radical self-assessment that shows you where your blind spots are.” – Tim Ferriss
        • “It’s incredible when you witness what can transpire for someone in a 4-6 hour session, and how completely their conception of themselves, problems, relationships, and addictions can change.”
    • Regularly spending time in nature

Lessons in Investing

  • Kevin’s done quite well over the last ten years investing in the public markets; his formula:
    • Hold your age in bonds (or similar safe investments)
      • For instance, if you’re 40, you should hold 40% of your net worth in bonds
    • Allocate 20% of your net worth to ultra-risky investments—but only in areas where you’re expert—that have the potential to return 25-100x
      • This rule led Kevin to invest in Apple in 2001 when the stock was trading at ~$1.60 a share, Bitcoin, and several other tech companies
  • How does Kevin know when to sell off an investment?
    • If the underlying fundamentals of the business have changed and their stock price is dropping, it might be a good time to sell
      • (But if the underlying fundamentals of the company haven’t changed and you’re seeing a stock price decline due to normal market truculence, it’s actually an excellent time to buy more)
    • Sometimes, it makes sense to sell a stock for tax purposes
    • If the business will soon be facing a ton of incoming competition (like Netflix is with all the new streaming services) it might be a good time to think about selling
    • Related: Tim “panic sold” off his Shopify stock pre-IPO
      • (After investing early in Alibaba, Tim also sold prior to their IPO)
    • It’s time to rebalance your portfolio when your 20% allocation in ultra-risky investments grows to 40%+
  • “You can f*** up a lot as long as you play to your core strengths and make a few good decisions once a year, or once every few years in the startup investing game” – Tim Ferriss

Living Well is the Best Revenge

  • This is something Tim’s been trying hard to keep at the front of mind  
  • Instead of getting angry or upset about a particular issue, and fantasizing about some sort of retaliation, LET IT GO
  • And remember: “If someone really f***s you over and they’re a bad person, chances are they’re not very happy … A lot of the people who do awful things are pretty miserable. Letting them wallow in their own misery and not engaging—because it will contaminate your experience—has been key for me.” Tim Ferriss
  • Another related quote that’s stuck with Tim: “Don’t wrestle with pigs—it makes you filthy and the pig happy”

“Serve the Moment”

  • This is a quote from Michael Singer that’s always stuck with Kevin
    • “Being so present that you’re serving that moment in time, it’s just a beautiful thing if you can pull it off” – Kevin Rose
  • To apply this quote, Kevin will frequently ask himself: “Where is my head right now? Am I giving my focus, attention, and brain space to those around me? Am I serving them to the fullest?”

Additional Notes

  • Tim currently has 618,952 unread emails, 287 unread texts, and 99 unread Asana notifications
  • Tim’s girlfriend works out of his house, while Tim works from an office in downtown Austin
  • Kevin is currently 42
  • Tim recently completed a 280-mile mountain bike trek on The Hayduke Trail
  • Tim has one ApoE4 allele, making him 2x more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than the average person
  • Tim is think of host a high-end art auction and donating all proceeds to psychedelic research
  • David Hockney is one of Tim’s favorite artists 
  • Tim is pondering the idea of hiring top-tier journalists at top-dollar (~$2/word) to write investigative long-form posts for his blog; topics he might want covered include:
    • The science behind the expansion of time
    • Profiles of not-so-well-known, but worthy, individuals
  • “Hire for reliability, trustworthiness, and attitude first. There are lots of skilled, smart people out there who may not have the best ethical compass, and you have to guard against that.” Tim Ferriss
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