Q&A With Tim on Wealth, Legacy, Grief, Lyme Disease, Gratitude, Longevity, and More – The Tim Ferriss Show

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Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Select projects based on skill acquisition and relationship development
    • That way, if the project fails, you’ll still win (the skills and relationships transcend any given project)
  • If you wouldn’t work with someone forever, don’t work with someone for 10 minutes
  • If you love someone, let them know – you never know what tomorrow brings
  • You ALWAYS have options
    • If it appears options A and B are the only ones on the table, there’s very often an option C, D, or E you’re not seeing
  • “The questions you ask yourself create the lens through which you view the world” Tim Ferriss
  • Happiness is the absence of the desire for happiness
  • A great question to ponder:
    • “How much would I pay to relive this experience two years from now?”

Books Mentioned

Products and Supplements Mentioned


  • This episode is a replay of a live Q&A Tim (@tferriss) hosted for supporters of his podcast during a brief experiment in which he got rid of sponsors

A new book?

  • At the time of this recording, Tim was working on a new book about saying “no” (which he’s since canceled, as described in these Podcast Notes)
    • But, while still in the process of writing, Tim would frequently work while slightly buzzed on alcohol late into the evening (just like Ernest Hemingway)

How to Get Rid of Verbal Tics and Become a Better Speaker

  • Record yourself – you need something you can analyze
    • This could be a simple dinner conversation with friends or some sort of interview
  • Tim used to have the bad habit of saying “pretty” too much
    • To get rid of it, he forced himself to say “f***ing” after every time he said “pretty”
      • For example: “That’s pretty f***ing cool” 
  • Another method: read transcripts of yourself speaking

How to Build Wealth

  • Select projects based on skill acquisition and relationship development
    • That way, if the project fails, you still win (the skills and relationships transcend any given project)
      • “What I’m trying to ensure is that I can win over time, even if the project fails. When I’m choosing different projects, I’m looking at opportunities that will help me to develop relationships with people who I enjoy spending time with, are good at what they do, and I could work with for my entire life.” – Tim Ferriss
  • To add: If you wouldn’t work with someone forever, don’t work with them for 10 minutes
  • “You don’t need to collect 100 business cards in your pocket to build a fantastic network” – Tim Ferriss
    • A-tier players tend to know other A-tier players (across industries)
  • Always be looking to cap your downside
    • When you do so, the upside often takes care of itself

What concepts and philosophies would Tim teach his child (if he had one) to optimize their probability for success?

  • It depends what you mean by “success”
    • Instead, Tim would do everything he could to make them “highly capable and intelligent”
      • Intelligence = the ability to adapt, learn, and solve problems
  • Advice from Mike Maples to new parents: “The most important thing is to teach your kid is to be an optimist”
    • Why? – When you’re an optimist, you’re more likely to see solutions (as opposed to problems)
  • Tim would also teach his child to code
    • For one, it’s an effective way to develop structured thinking/an excellent problem-solving ability
    • Second, being able to code is a great skill set to have in this technology-driven world
  • Lastly, Tim would encourage his child to develop skills related to observation (particularly those related to art and music)
    • Tim recalls a quote: “Drawing is not about learning how to move your hand; it’s learning how to see.”
    • Music also helps cultivate perception, awareness, etc.

What does Tim want to be remembered for down the line?

  • “I don’t think too much about legacy to be honest” – Tim Ferriss
  • Realize: Almost nothing you do will last and civilizations down the will have no idea who you were (even if you’re successful)
  • But, if Tim had to pick something: He wants to create millions of learners who are better at learning than himself

How to Handle Death

  • Recognize that it’s natural and healthy to grieve/mourn
  • Remember EVERYONE you know will eventually die – it’s morbid, but also a reality check
    • “There’s tremendous value in realizing this because it increases the perceived value of the time you have left with the people you care about” – Tim Ferriss
  • Read:
    • On Grief and Grieving, recommended to Tim by Matt Mullenweg
    • The Tail End by Tim Urban
      • One astonishing fact from this piece: By the time you graduate high school, you’ll have spent 93% of all the in-person hours you’ll ever spend with your parents
  • Tim adds:
    • “I would surmise that many of the regrets people have when someone close to them dies occur because there are things they wanted to say that they didn’t say” – Tim Ferriss
      • If you love someone, let them know – you never know what tomorrow brings
    • Past personal experiences with psychedelic compounds have led Tim to be much less anxious/scared of dying

You ALWAYS have options

  • If it appears options A and B are the only ones on the table, there’s very often an option C, D, or E you’re not seeing
  • “If you don’t like your situation, you have options. You always have options. You just not like those options. Never forget that you have agency.” – Tim Ferriss

What has Tim learned about love from his latest relationship?

  • Your partner doesn’t owe you anything – you chose them
    • (Similarly, your kids don’t owe you anything. They didn’t ask to be brought into the world; you brought them in.)
  • For love to flourish, express it
    • It’s that simple

Tim’s Morning Routine

  • (At the time of this recording, as mentioned above, Tim was working on a new book about saying “no.” However, this project has since been canceled.)
  • “When I’m on book deadline, the closer to Groundhog Day I can get with my days the more productive I am” Tim Ferriss
    • Because of this, Tim wakes up and immediately starts writing (skipping meditation, journaling, etc.)
    • “I really try to win the morning to win the day”
  • The routine
    • Tim wakes up around 6:30 AM:
      • Tim is by no means a morning person, but he’s structured his schedule, as seen below, to make it so if he doesn’t wake up early, none of his writing gets done
    • He then heats up some water to 190 °F and takes a variety of supplements
    • Next, in a thermos, he mixes the hot water with Four Sigmatic Chaga Mushroom Powder and a teaspoon of Leão Yerba Matte Tea
    • Tim then walks to his outdoor patio and immediately gets to work at his wooden table until 9:30-10 AM
    • Then, Tim exercises (either cycling, weight training, or walking in the sun) until 11:30 AM
    • Next, he has lunch
    • Tim then writes until ~7 PM, taking short 5-minute breaks for ping-pong with his researcher
    • Then, Tim eats dinner (he mostly eats out) around 7:30 PM
    • Tim might end the night with a sauna session
    • Finally, he heads to sleep with his white noise machine turned on

How has getting a dog changed Tim as a person?

  • We’re all self-centered, whether you want to believe it or not
    • “Having a dog has forced me to constantly consider the needs for someone, or something, outside of myself” – Tim Ferriss
  • “It’s also forced me to contend with messes of all sorts. My dog gets diarrhea in the middle of the night and sh**s all over my room, which has happened. I had to have carpets removed. It makes no sense to get mad at my dog. My dog doesn’t want to sh** on the carpet. She’s not doing it to exact revenge on me. She doesn’t have thumbs; she can’t open the door.”
    • This is like a “mirror” in the sense that Tim is better able to examine his reactions to things outside his control
  • Related:
    • If you’re thinking of getting a dog, consider adopting
    • “Don’t get a dog if your plan is to fit it around everything else in your life” – Tim Ferriss
      • It has to become one of your top priorities

How did Tim cure his Lyme disease?

  • He did a proper cycle of Doxycycline (an antibiotic)
  • “The mistake I made was that I waited for symptoms to appear” – Tim Ferriss
    • Do NOT wait until you get a bulls-eye rash (by then, you already have Lyme)
      • (20-30% of the people who contract Lyme disease don’t show any skin effects)
  • The ketogenic diet helped tremendously (we’re talking deep ketosis – a ketone level of at least 2.5 mmol/L as measured on a Precision Xtra)
    • (If you decide to purchase a Precision Xtra, use these lancets these test strips)
    • “As soon as I got to 2 mmol, I felt like a different person… I felt like ‘old Tim’ overnight” – Tim Ferriss
    • “Staying in deep ketosis for a few weeks and then coming back out to a lower-carb diet for a few months was what seemed to have saved me” – Tim Ferriss

What supplements does Tim take for anti-aging?

  • He’s experimented with intravenous NAD+
  • He’s taken metformin in the past (1996), but not currently
  • Rapamycin is of interest, but it’s challenging to figure out the optimal dose (Tim is lettering Peter Attia be his test monkey)

Any books or tips on breaking with long-term/under-performing business partners?

  • First, know that this is very common
  • Take a look on Venture Hacks, a Naval Ravikant & Babak Nivi creation
    • The blog has multiple posts about things of this nature
    • Also, there might be some advice on Hacker News 
  • “Ultimately, the break-up should be navigated quite easily because the terms had been pre-decided” Tim Ferriss
    • “If you’re trying to figure out the terms of your divorce agreement when you’re getting the divorce, you’re a one-legged man or woman in an ass-kicking contest. You’ve really f***ed up.”
  • The terms of a business partnership should state the termination clause clearly
  • Books that may help:

What books does Tim recommend to those undergoing a significant life change?

How did Tim deal with going bald?

  • “I have probably more private messages and DMs from men agonizing over this than anything else. It was hard for me. It really was.” – Tim Ferriss
  • After noticing he was balding, Tim tried Minoxidil, but it killed it sex drive
    • Eventually, he just decided to shave his head
  • MANY women are into bald men – embrace it!

Buried or cremated?

  • For the longest time, Tim preferred cremation, but he’s since changed his mind
    • “I think I’d like to be fed back to the Earth. I think it’d be selfish of me, after consuming so many plants, animals, and resources as a human, not to offer my body back to the Earth to be digested.”Tim Ferriss
      • (Tim would prefer to be buried without a coffin)

Is it okay to stay in ketosis indefinitely?

  • It probably is (Peter Attia did so for 3 years)
    • But do you really want to? – How boring!
  • It’s probably better to cycle in and out of ketosis from a muscle-building standpoint
    • (Ketosis is a sub-optimal state for building muscle)
    • How might you do this?
      • Eat a ketogenic diet Monday through Friday, and after a glycogen-depleting workout on Saturday, carb-load until Sunday evening
  • Tim notes that alpha-lipoic acid may help some accelerate the descent into ketosis
    • What else helps? – Long walks (while fasting)

How to Pick a Good Coach

  • When looking for a coach, pick someone who’s done what they’re teaching
    • There are MANY people out there who teach & don’t do (or teach because they can’t do)
    • “If you’re taking advice from anyone who hasn’t done what they’re preaching, you are compounding all sorts of problems” Tim Ferriss

On Happiness

  • “Stressing out about being happy every day will make you really unhappy” – Tim Ferriss
  • Tim recalls the following quote: “If you stop searching for happiness and sit down every once in a while, happiness, like a butterfly, will land on your shoulder”
    • And another: “Happiness is the absence of the desire for happiness”

Suggestions for a first date?

  • Take your partner to dinner and say upfront that the meal’s on you
    • “I find it informative to see how someone responds to that opener, so you’re not covering it at the end of the meal” – Tim Ferriss
  • As a conversation starter, have each of you repeat the following:
    • “If you really knew me, you would know that ___.”
    • “If you really, really knew me, you would know that ___.”

What is Tim grateful for?

  • “I’m grateful for everything, honestly. There is happiness and success all around you.”Tim Ferriss
    • “Just the fact that I can sit and do this, just the fact that I can see this screen, just the fact that I can taste this wine, just the fact that I have people willing to read what I write or listen to what I record for the podcast… all these things are miracles in a sense”
  • A great question to ponder:
    • “How much would I pay to relive this experience two years from now?”
      • (Asking yourself this question has the magical property of making you experience the present so much more)

Additional Notes

  • “The questions you ask yourself create the lens through which you view the world”Tim Ferriss
  • When’s the next in-person meet up?
    • Tim hopes to have many more of these in the future – they’re quite fun!
  • Does Tim drink beer?
    • Not anymore
  • Check out Tim’s podcast – How to Build a World-class Network in Record Time (or the Podcast Notes) if you want to improve your networking skills
  • Listen to Tim’s interview with Dr. Gabor Mate for help getting over an addiction
  • When Tim ended his fan-supported podcast experiment and switched back to ads, he refunded everyone who donated and matched their donation with an Amazon gift card
    • Those who supported Tim with $1,000 got a $1,000 Amazon gift card!
  • Tim is a “huge fan” of Rick and Morty
  • “I try not to think about cryptocurrency much. I do have money in cryptocurrency, but I delegate the decision-making to other people because I have no confidence in my ability to operate in that sandbox with any advantage.” Tim Ferriss
  • Are kids in Tim’s cards?
    • It’s something he’s been thinking more and more about… stay tuned!
  • “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule by Paul Graham is a fantastic essay for those of you who have ‘t read it” – Tim Ferriss
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