Josh Waitzkin on Beginner’s Mind, Self-Actualization, and Advice from Your Future Self (#412)

“I think of learning as unobstructed self-expression.”
— Josh Waitzkin

Josh Waitzkin, author of The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance, is an eight-time national chess champion, a two-time world champion in Tai Chi Chuan Push Hands, and the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under nine-time world champion Marcelo Garcia.

For the past 12 years, Josh has been channeling his passion for the outer limits of the learning process toward training elite mental performers in business and finance and to revolutionizing the education system through his nonprofit foundation, The Art of Learning Project. Josh is currently in the process of taking on his fourth and fifth disciplines, paddle surfing and foiling, and is an all-in father and husband.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

#412: Josh Waitzkin on Beginner’s Mind, Self-Actualization, and Advice from Your Future Self
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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Comfort Challenge #1: Learn to Eye Gaze

If you try this comfort challenge, please share your experience in the comments below! I’d love to read them. It’s always a hilarious and valuable exploration of getting more comfortable with discomfort.

Here is the original text of the challenge from The 4-Hour Workweek:

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Richard Turner — The Magical Phenom Who Will Blow Your Mind (#411)

Photo of Richard Turner and Tim Ferriss during the interview

I am very, very excited to introduce this interview, as I’ve been wanting to meet today’s guest, Richard Turner, for almost two years now. I first came across Richard Turner (richardturner52.com, youtube.com/richardturner52) in the documentary Dealt, directed by Luke Korem.

I can’t remember the last time I finished a documentary, only to want to watch it again immediately afterward. I also can’t remember a doc that made me as emotional as Dealt did, pushing me from laughter to tears. It has 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and won the 2017 Documentary Feature Audience Choice Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Everyone should watch it.

But let’s get to my guest. Who is Richard Turner?

Richard is regarded as the best card mechanic and among the best up-close magicians in the world. He has entertained millions of people, including notables like Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Secretary of State Colin Powell, actor Brad Pitt, sports legend Muhammad Ali, and many more.

Richard has received many accolades, including the 2015 Close-up Magician of the Year Award, the magic industry’s equivalent of the Oscar.

His skill with a deck of cards has been featured on television shows around the world, including a performance on Penn & Teller: Fool Us, in which Penn Jillette admitted, “Richard Turner is one of the finest sleight-of-hand artists who has ever lived. He fooled us with every single move he did!”

Richard is also a sixth-degree karate black belt, and we get into all that on the podcast.

Note: Toward the end of the interview, you will hear Richard performing card tricks. He did them in front of me, and he absolutely blew my mind. I highly recommend checking out the interview on YouTube, as I made sure to have video from multiple angles for this episode. Just go to youtube.com/timferriss. Not to sound like a mullet-wearing Long Island boy (which I’ve been), but this footage is simply fucking amazing.

Oh, and did I mention that Richard is completely blind? That’s right. You’re in for a ride, my friends.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the conversation on YouTube

#411: Richard Turner — The Magical Phenom Who Will Blow Your Mind
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This episode is brought to you by Nulo. Our pets bring out the best in us and are you doing your part to bring out the best in them? Nulo is an independently owned pet food company based in Austin that delivers the very best pet nutrition with high-meat, low-carb recipes for dogs and cats. In fact, it’s what I feed Molly, my own best friend. When I switched Molly over to Nulo a couple of years ago, it not only made an immediate difference in the way she looks — her coat is softer and shinier than ever before — but in how she behaves.

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This episode is also brought to you by InktelEver since I wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, I’ve been frequently asked about how I choose to delegate tasks. At the root of many of my decisions is a simple question: “How can I invest money to improve my quality of life?” Or “how can I spend moderate money to save significant time?” Inktel is one of those investments. They are a turnkey solution for all of your customer care needs. Their team answers more than 1 million customer service requests each year. They can also interact with your customers across all platforms, including email, phone, social media, text, and chat.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Some Thoughts on Coronaviruses and Seatbelts

Hope is not a strategy.

— James Cameron

A prescient article titled “Body Count” by Epsilon Theory/Ben Hunt (@epsilontheory) was recently sent to me by one of my smartest and most connected friends. 

It paints a spooky picture of the Chinese reports of what has been informally referred to as “Wuhan coronavirus.” Per the WHO this week, the official virus name is SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes is COVID-19, much like HIV causes AIDS. Here is one portion from this essay (edited for length), and I suggest reading the entire piece:

From a narrative perspective, China is fighting this war against nCov2019 exactly like the US fought its war against North Vietnam. … They convince themselves that the people can’t handle the truth, particularly if the truth ain’t such good news. They convince themselves that they can buy enough time to win the real-world war by designing and employing a carefully constructed “communication strategy” to win the narrative-world war. That strategy proved to be a social and political disaster for the United States, as the cartoon tail (gotta get more NV casualties for Cronkite to report) ended up wagging the policy dog (send out more counterproductive search-and-destroy missions). I think exactly the same thing is happening in China. And I think the social and political repercussions will be exactly as disastrous.

Read the whole article here.

Next, here’s some personal background that might be relevant: during previous international scares involving avian flu, Ebola, SARS, etc., I did not panic nor move into a bunker. Once I felt I understood the data related to each, I more or less went about my life as usual.

I am not panicking this time, either. That said, I am curtailing unnecessary travel and group interactions for the next 2–3 weeks to see how things shake out, particularly given the asymptomatic “incubation period” of up to 14 days. 

Might that be an overreaction? Might I be misinformed? Totally. But then again, how many head-on car accidents have I had? Zero. I nonetheless put on my seatbelt every time that I drive, and we have great data on traffic fatalities. Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen? Would you accept $100 to get rid of it? $1,000? I wouldn’t. As unlikely as a kitchen fire may be, the extreme known consequences of an out-of-control fire easily justify a fire extinguisher, even if it gathers dust forever. It’s cheap disaster insurance, just like having emergency stores of water in the garage.

Even though some folks think of me as a “risk-taker,” I self-identify much more as a “risk-mitigator.” Whether in the context of my 100+ startup investments, scientific research I support, or otherwise, I think about risk a whole lot. This includes misperception of risk, cognitive biases, and so on. I also have excellent access to reputable experts.

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Ryan Holiday — Turning the Tables (#410)

Welcome to The Tim Ferriss Show! It is — usually — my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types to tease out the habits, routines, favorite books, and so on that you can apply and test in your own life. This time we have a “turning the tables” episode. What does that mean? Well, I will not be the one doing the interviewing. Instead, I will be the one being interviewed by my friend, Ryan Holiday.

So who is this Ryan fella?

Ryan Holiday (TW/IG: @RyanHoliday) is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in modern life. He is a sought-after speaker and strategist and the author of many bestselling books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, and The Daily Stoic. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold more than two million copies worldwide. He lives with his family outside of Austin, Texas. You can subscribe to receive his writing at RyanHoliday.net and DailyStoic.com. Ryan was also the fourth-ever guest on the podcast in the very beginning, and he has written multiple popular guest posts for my blog, which you can find at tim.blog.

His latest book is Stillness Is the Key, which was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

I also recommend checking out the interview on YouTube, if you like, as I made sure to have video from multiple angles for this episode. Just go to youtube.com/timferriss.

Please enjoy! 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the conversation on YouTube

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs. Hiring can be hard, and it and be super expensive and painful if you get it wrong. Today, with more qualified candidates than ever — but also more noise than ever — employers need a hiring solution that helps them find the right people for their businesses. LinkedIn Jobs provides just that by screening candidates with the hard and soft skills you’re looking for so you can quickly find and hire the right person.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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Brené Brown — Striving versus Self-Acceptance, Saving Marriages, and More (#409)

“We chase extraordinary moments instead of being grateful for ordinary moments until hard shit happens. And then in the face of really hard stuff — illness, death, loss — the only thing we’re begging for is a normal moment.”
—Brené Brown

Dr. Brené Brown (@BreneBrown) is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brené is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership. Brené hosts the Unlocking Us podcast, and her TED talk — The Power of Vulnerability — is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 45 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service on April 19, 2019.

Please enjoy Brené’s return to the show!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the conversation on YouTube

#409: Brené Brown — Striving versus Self-Acceptance, Saving Marriages, and More
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This episode of The Tim Ferriss Show is brought to you by Brave, the next-generation Web browser. Brave was built by a team of privacy-focused, performance-oriented pioneers of the Web at the direction of Brendan Eich (co-founder of Mozilla Firefox and creator of JavaScript) and Brian Bondy. Brave now has more than 10 million monthly active users—including me.

Why Brave? Because Brave gives you unmatched speed, security, and privacy. Whereas other browsers suck up your data—profiling and tracking you across the Web and using that information to manipulate your decisions—Brave operates up to six times faster by blocking ads and website trackers, preserving your anonymity and protecting you from this surveillance economy. Brave also includes options such as Private Window with Tor for those seeking advanced privacy and safety. Intuitive and easy to use, Brave allows you to import bookmarks from other browsers with one click, and all your favorite Chrome extensions are available with Brave. Listeners of The Tim Ferriss Show can easily upgrade their browser for free right now by going to Brave.com/Tim.


This episode is also brought to you by Helix Sleep. I recently moved into a new home and needed new beds, and I purchased mattresses from Helix Sleep. It offers mattresses personalized to your preferences and sleeping style without costing thousands of dollars. Visit HelixSleep.com/TIM and take the simple 2-3 minute sleep quiz to get started, and the team there will build a mattress you’ll love.

Their customer service makes all the difference. The mattress arrives within a week, and the shipping is completely free. You can try the mattress for 100 nights, and if you’re not happy, it’ll pick it up and offer a full refund. To personalize your sleep experience, visit HelixSleep.com/TIM and you’ll receive up to $125 off your custom mattress.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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11 Reasons Not to Become Famous (or “A Few Lessons Learned Since 2007”)

November of 2008. I had more hair, a flip phone, and absolutely no idea what was coming.

Let the cymbals of popularity tinkle still. Let the butterflies of fame glitter with their wings. I shall envy neither their music nor their colors.

— John Adams
Letters of John Adams Addressed to His Wife

“If I’m not famous by 30, I might as well put a bullet in my head.”

That’s an actual sentence I spoke to one of my closest friends. At the time, I was 28.

Fortunately, unlike during my darkest period in college, I wasn’t serious about suicide. Nonetheless, the sentiment was real. I felt like I somehow needed fame. In retrospect, there was a lot of self-loathing from tough childhood experiences, and I desperately hoped that love from without (i.e., from masses of other people) would somehow make up for hate from within.

As luck would have it, I got to test this hypothesis.

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The Random Show — New Year’s Resolutions, 2010-2019 Lessons Learned, Finding Joy, Energy Management, and Much More (#408)

Technologist, serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, self-experimenter, and all-around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose),  rejoins me for another episode of “The Random Show.” In this one we explore the language of relationships, polarity, energy management, difficult conversations, finding peace and patience, the importance of self-compassion, the search for palatable decaf coffee, panic-selling, serving the moment, and much more!

Please enjoy! 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch the conversation on YouTube

#408: The Random Show — New Year's Resolutions, 2010-2019 Lessons Learned, Finding Joy, Energy Management, and Much More
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This episode of The Tim Ferriss Show is brought to you by Calm. What did LeBron James tell me was the single most important element of his training regimen? Sleep. Whether you’re an athlete, programmer, or student, healthy sleep is essential to peak performance. It strengthens your immune system. It improves cognitive functions like problem-solving and decision-making. It gives you creativity and energy.

Here’s the problem: sound sleep is a rare thing in this caffeinated, hyperconnected, overstimulated world of ours. But there’s a place to get rest, and that is Calm. Just download Calm, and you’ll find a whole library of programs designed for healthy sleep: soundscapes, guided meditations, and over a hundred sleep stories narrated by the world’s most soothing voices like LeVar Burton and Nick Offerman. Right now, listeners of The Tim Ferriss Show get 40% off a Calm premium subscription at Calm.com/tim!


This episode is also brought to you by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, the go-to tool for B2B marketers and advertisers who want to drive brand awareness, generate leads, or build long-term relationships that result in real business impact.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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The Story of a Curious Phone Call

The below is a true story from Auburn Sandstrom that blew my mind and opened my heart. It is excerpted with permission from All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown.

Read the whole thing. Trust me. Take the five minutes and be rewarded.

Enter Auburn…

The year is 1992, Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’m curled up in a fetal position on a filthy carpet in a very cluttered apartment. I’m in horrible withdrawal from a drug that I’ve been addicted to for several years now. 

In my hand I have a little piece of paper. It’s dilapidated because I’ve been folding it and unfolding it, to the point that it’s almost falling apart. But you can still make out the phone number on it. 

I am in a state of bald terror. If you’ve ever had an anxiety attack, that’s what this felt like. 

I’d been having a nonstop anxiety attack for the last five years. And I’d never been in a darker or more desperate place than I was that night. My husband was out running the streets, trying to get ahold of some of the stuff that we needed, but I knew if he succeeded, he was not going to share. 

And if I could, I would jump out of my own skin and run screaming into the streets to get what I need. But right behind me, sleeping in the bedroom, is my baby boy. 

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Sam Zell — Strategies for High-Stakes Investing, Dealmaking, and Grave Dancing (#407)

“If I can’t run it, then I don’t want to own it.” — Sam Zell

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types to tease out the habits, routines, favorite books, and so on that you can apply and test in your own life. This time, we have a slightly different episode. I will not be the one doing the deconstructing. Instead, we have a takeover by my very good friend, Peter Attia.

As longtime listeners of the podcast know, Dr. Peter Attia (@PeterAttiaMD) is a former ultra-endurance athlete, a compulsive self-experimenter, and one of the most fascinating human beings I know. He is also one of my go-to doctors for anything related to performance or longevity.  Peter also hosts The Drive, a weekly, ultra-deep-dive podcast focusing on maximizing health, longevity, critical thinking, and a few other things. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

In this episode, we have Peter interviewing Sam Zell, a legendary dealmaker and investor.  Sam is the Chairman of Equity Group Investments, and he was recognized by Forbes as one of the “100 Greatest Living Business Minds” in 2017. He holds a place on New York Stock Exchange’s “Wall of Innovators” for his role in building the $1 trillion REIT industry. Sam is also the author of Am I Being Too Subtle?: Straight Talk From a Business Rebel

This is one not to miss. Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

#407: Sam Zell — Strategies for High-Stakes Investing, Dealmaking, and Grave Dancing
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This episode is also brought to you by FreshBooks. I’ve been talking about FreshBooks — an all-in-one invoicing+payments+accounting solution — for years now. Many entrepreneurs, as well as the contractors and freelancers that I work with, use it all the time.

FreshBooks makes it super easy to track things like expenses, project time, and client info, and then merge it all into great-looking invoices. FreshBooks can save users up to 200 hours a year on accounting and bookkeeping tasks. Right now FreshBooks is offering my listeners a free 30-day trial, and no credit card is required. Go to FreshBooks.com/tim and enter “Tim Ferriss” in the “How did you hear about us?” section!


This episode of The Tim Ferriss Show is brought to you by Brave, the next-generation Web browser. Brave was built by a team of privacy-focused, performance-oriented pioneers of the Web at the direction of Brendan Eich (co-founder of Mozilla Firefox and creator of JavaScript) and Brian Bondy. Brave now has more than 10 million monthly active users — including me.

Brave gives you unmatched speed, security, and privacy. Whereas other browsers suck up your data — profiling and tracking you across the Web and using that information to manipulate your decisions — Brave operates up to six times faster by blocking ads and website trackers, preserving your anonymity and protecting you from this surveillance economy. Brave also includes options such as Private Window with Tor for those seeking advanced privacy and safety. Intuitive and easy to use, Brave allows you to import bookmarks from other browsers with one click, and all your favorite Chrome extensions are available with Brave. Listeners of The Tim Ferriss Show can easily upgrade their browser for free right now by going to Brave.com/Tim.


What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

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