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Q & A

Lesson 7 from: How Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Master Productivity

Tim Ferriss

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Lesson Info

7. Q & A

Lesson Info

Q & A

One of the questions that I started peeking at the question before I walked on stage, and it came from the internet audience. It's from a lad named Casey. I believe it's a lad, actually I made an assumption there. But, Tim, what is your, you've heard this question before, but what's your advice to your younger self, but not just your younger self, to your 14-year-old self? My advice to my 14-year-old self, it's funny that he or she should ask that age, because it was almost exactly at that age that I got a voicemail message from a mentor of mine, and the advice he left on the answering machine back in the day, was "You're the average "of the five people you associate with most." That is actually borrowed from Jim Rohn, who was Tony Robbins' mentor. I found out just a few years ago. And I would've beaten that into my head a second time. I think it's that important, and when people ask me what would you put on a billboard, because I ask that question all the time, that's it, that's the...

answer. You're the average of the five people you associate with most. Physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially. You are the average. And it doesn't have to be the same five people all the time, and you don't have to only have five friends. But, it's a question of who you are subconsciously being, and consciously being influenced by most consistently. Great, man, great question. We're gonna go to this in-studio audience right here. You were fast, on the money. (audience laughing) Cool, my name's Richard, I just recently moved to The Bay not too long ago. Traditionally, I came from a fairly conservative background and actually picked up Tim's first book and it really moved me to change my behaviors, change my life. And so, a lot of the reasons why I'm here today are actually thanks to Tim, so I really want to thank you for being here, I'm so glad I get to meet you in person for the first time. And thank you for writing this book. I read with a highlighter, and if you open this up, it looks like a two year old went crazy, (laughs) went crazy with a yellow paintbrush. Cool. But anyway, my question is in two parts. The first one is, are there any experiments that, I know you're always experimenting, are there any experiments that you're currently trying out or planning to try out that you haven't released to the public yet? (audience laughing) I really want to be on the bleeding edge. And the second thing is, would you be willing to take on willing participants as guinea pigs, like me? (audience laughing) Okay, great, thank you, go ahead, have a seat. Go ahead Tim, so take it away. So first, thanks for the kind words and welcome to The Bay. It's a good spot, there's a lot to do here. Lot's of mischief to get into and plenty of people who will want to subject you to experiments, so you're in luck. (audience laughing) I'll leave that alone. Alright, so, in terms of experiments that I haven't released yet, many of them are repetitions of past experiments. So the four to eight weeks off the grid that I was talking about, I'm going to do that again, once is not enough. That's something that I want to revisit. I'm just looking at my list, it's right here. Living on next to nothing, so I've been considering going without money for a period of time. And another, which relates to my obsession with Seneca and stoicism, I've been considering, this is something that I've had requested a lot. It is an experiment, but it's not an experiment on me. I've had a lot, my audience is about 84% male, I've had a lot of requests for a man camp. (audience laughing) And I wouldn't call it that. He might, he might. I might and it would be mostly suffering so I don't know how enjoyable it would be but I've been considering that. So you can keep an eye out for suffer camp. (audience laughing) And also been considering, I don't have a high cost lifestyle, but I've been considering maybe creating something similar to Newman's Own. Where I can direct the proceeds of that to causes that I care about. In terms of whether you can volunteer for any experiments, I will be doing more mass experiments vis-a-vis the blog, like the NOBNOM, no booze, no masturbation month that ten thousand plus people actively participated in, like signing up in accounts on Two hundred thousand people failed but ten thousand ... (audience laughing) A lot of people pointed out, if I have the booze then yeah I'm like, you have to do both. Can you say hand in hand? They go hand in hand? (audience laughing) What? I knew it was coming. I knew it was just a matter of time with this ice tea slash bourbon. Yeah. You could say that. So keep an eye out on the blog. I'll be doing more experiments. I've been thinking about doing no caffeine, no complaining for a month, but if people don't have caffeine, I think all they'll want to do is bitch and moan, so I have to figure out what I'm doing. But yes, more experiments coming. Awesome. I'm curious, and Chase maybe you can speak about this too, how do you balance self-promotion and selling yourself with keeping your stoic ego in check? Yeah, stoic ego in check is pretty easy if I hang out with friends like him because he's just busting my balls nonstop. But that's actually not entirely, it's actually very little said in jest. I hang out with people who won't tolerate me if my ego gets out of check. But that's part of the five friends thing right? It is, it is, it is. And also hang out with friends who don't give a rat's ass about whatever your admirers care about. There are many different forms that can take but I try to constantly be the weakest person in the room in something at least once a week. Whether physically, emotionally in some cases, some capacities, the weakest in the room. By doing that you can't help but be, you're either humble or you get humbled. Athletics is also a good way to do that. I should say also, I don't think consciously about self-promotion, I really don't. I think about how best to sell around whatever I want to convey to people and impart to them. Maybe it comes in the form of a book and by necessity people are interested in the messenger so I play that part, but I think there are people who take self-promotion first and foremost as their sport of choice and that's not, it's a means to an end for me. But definitely the five friends or five people you associate with most plays the biggest part in keeping your ego and id under control from my experience. My side of that answer would be, I consider myself a lifelong student. That's the premise on which CreativeLive was founded. If you're always learning and there's always someone to learn from, even if the person across the table from you or next to you is not your superior on any number of attributes, there's something to learn in every situation if you consistently remind yourself of that, and again that is the basis for this entire platform. There's a community of ten million strong who I learn from every day. One of the reasons that we brought CreativeLive in part, it was founded in Seattle, here in Silicon Valley because I knew that if I brought a piece of the company here that we would be pressured to learn and always be in a proactive mode. I think what Tim said about the people that you hang out with is absolutely true and I think regarding promotion, I just tend to try and be enthusiastic. I have a friend named Tina Roth-Eisenberg. You know Tina, Swiss Miss. I think she said, "Confidence is about you. "Enthusiasm is about other things and other people." If you carry yourself with enthusiasm towards these other things, I'm excited about tonight's event. It was very easy for me to promote it because I'm pumped. I'm super excited to be here. I'm super excited to meet people who've come in from all over world, and share Tim's knowledge with people who care. Those are some ways on which I think about it. Let me just add one more thing. So, the five people you associate with most. I want to get super specific. It's not just hanging out with people who will keep you in check, and it doesn't mean that they know you down, but who are just going to be unimpressed if you are an egomaniac. It also means not hanging out with egomaniacs. If you are surrounding yourself with blowhards, you are going to become at least 10-20% more blowhard. You think you're immune, you're not. That's another element to keep in mind there and there is no shortage of egomaniacs in this neck of the woods so be careful. Great, we're going to go to the internet. Meg Black says, "You've touched on risk a lot, Tim." "Tonight, what was the riskiest decision, "professional or personal, that delivered "the biggest payoff you've ever made?" Riskiest decision that actually was not sort of the failure, but where there was huge upside. It would be taking the, what I expected to be a four-week, trip that turned into eighteen months in 2004. Stepping out with no particular back-up career, but again doing the fear-setting exercise put a lot of this in perspective. At the time, though, it seemed like the riskiest thing I could possibly do because I had no backup job. I'd only had one real post outside of college, started my own company which had nothing to do with that job, and I felt trapped. So, I had committed to either extricating myself or shutting it down. I did not know what the next step would be if I shut it down, and that would also be, after shutting it down, the end of income period. That felt like a very risky decision at the time and certainly I wouldn't be sitting here today had I not taken that trip. Going through the fear-setting, like I mentioned, and working on 80/20 intensively, repeatedly, as an outgrowth of that, has helped me ever since. I would say, absolutely that, almost all the other stuff pales in comparison. Over time, it's worth pulling this out, if you do this fear-setting exercise regularly, your assessment of risk as the likelihood of irreversible negative outcome, becomes more honed. It becomes more accurate. Then, five years later you're doing things and people are like, Oh my God, you're a crazy risk-taker and you're like, what? No, I'm not a risk-taker at all. People think I'm this crazy guy that invests in start-ups. Yeah, like this percent of what I do is investing in start-ups, the rest is cash. I'm like a prepper. I've got water and oats at home. (audience laughing) Being myself is very conservative. I'm a real risk mitigator, so that trip would be it. Great, along the lines of risk, I think it's worth, I'm going to throw this out there. You guys can respond or react internally. Now more than ever before might be the first time in history where doing the "safe" thing might actually be the riskier thing. (audience) Yeah. The era of working for the same company for 40 years, retirement, the gold watch and the pension. Those days are largely over and so as you do your risk mitigation and your analysis, think about the cost or the potential cost of not following your dreams, of not doing the thing that you feel like you were put on this world to do, of not taking the first step toward this 18-month vacation that basically created the reason that you're on this stage today and so much of your success. Yeah, absolutely, and I would also add I've been asked before, what do you think of power or being powerful, and to me power is options. That's it, power is having options. Dirk Simmers also mentioned earlier he has these directives. He's reviewed two hundred plus books and put them on his site, I think it's just He's a madman, I love that guy. Yeah, he's amazing. He's created these one-line directives from these books that he's found very valuable. One of them is, I might be paraphrasing this, "The best option is the option that creates more options." That also helps you to assess risk and scenarios, and selection in a very interesting and helpful way. Great, we're going to go back to the in-studio audience. Let's see, ah yes, you mam standing there in the back by the crane. Tell us who you are and fire your question off to Tim. Hi Tim, I'm Andrea, I'm here from Vancouver. One of the Canadians in the crowd. My question is, you have a lot of smart people in the audience and I found a lot in common with them just from talking already. Your five-year plan for your community building group. I think we could do that in six months. What would your ideal of that look like? (audience laughing) I like it, I like this. I'm still ruminating on how I want to start experimenting with it. What I'm doing right now, I did an event in New York City and I have a group of roughly a hundred of those attendees and just created a private Facebook group, and I want to do some prototyping and testing to see what they enjoy and what gets them really fired up and also what I enjoy. But ultimately, for let's say a five-year plan to be done in six months, the groups have to be self-organizing so what I'm trying to figure out is how I can put together a play book or suggested best practices that would help people build these groups quickly. Once I have figured that out, or just have a rough draft that people can play with, then I will definitely be sharing it. I appreciate you asking. I would love to visit Vancouver again so if a group gets built up, I'd be more than happy to visit Vancouver. I will say, even more so than anywhere in California, everywhere smells like weed. (audience laughing) It's amazing, I was like, I feel like I'm high just walking outside and it's windy out. Great city though, big fan. Rob from the peninsula down the road. I guess my age will reflect this question but it's about longevity. How do I reconcile the plant-based vegan lifestyle with your minimum effective dose ketosis high protein ... (audience laughing) if I want to live a happy, long life feeling good? Okay, so keep standing, what's going to follow is important. The assumption is that for longevity, the plant-based higher carbohydrate would be a better route, correct? (Rob) If it's good carbohydrates, plant-based, yes. Okay, is there anything that I could say that would lead you to change your mind about that? At this point, I experiment both sides. Okay, alright, so I would say that focusing on the ketosis side of the equation. It is very difficult to sustain ketosis, dietary ketosis, with a plant-based diet. This literally happened to us last night, right? Yeah, we were talking about it. We went to a vegan ... (Rob) I want to hear you and Rich Roll for two hours go at it. I don't want to go at it with vegans or vegetarians for the same reason I'm not going to go over the topic of religion with someone who is 100% convinced that they are correct. I'm not saying Rich is that way. He's actually a very smart guy, but if someone is heavily vested in any position. I'm not heavily vested in ketosis. I'm not heavily vested in animal protein. I'm not heavily vested in any of it. But if someone has defined their identity around being a Christian, being a vegan, being paleo, being a cross-fitter, whatever it is, it's generally a waste of my time to debate with them. What I would say is that from what I've read, you could achieve ketosis through fasting. I would recommend doing it in a supervised fashion. You could do purge fast with medical supervision, say two, three, four times a year. I do think you would derive benefits from that that would not be dietary-dependent because you're not eating any food during those periods. There are other things that you could look at. I don't necessarily advocate extremely high protein. On a ketogenic diet, you're actually going to be eating very moderate protein, high fat, which poses it's own challenges, right? If you're following a plant-based diet. There are, I should say, there are very apparent conflicts between performance and longevity. So, if you want to perform well, a lot of what you will do, let's say you're consuming branch chain amino acids after a workout and activating what's called mTor. Well, if you want to extend lifespan ... (Rob) I'm 45 so I want a lifespan. Yeah, very much, what you might want to do is minimize activation of mTor and avoid things like leucine and so on. Suffice to say, I do have a very high vegetable content diet. I think it's important to ingest vegetables. I do not do it to the exclusion of animal-based proteins or fats because based on the research I've done for the blend that I'm currently seeking of performance and longevity, I haven't found it to be a good fit. I have actually been vegan and vegetarian for periods of time to test it and my body has not responded well to it. I do think that to do it well, like anything, to do paleo well, to do vegetarianism or to do veganism well, you have to be meticulously organized. There are two chapters in The Four-Hour Body on the meatless machine and Scott Jurek is profiled. Scott Jurek is a super athlete, a seven or eight time western states 100 winner. I mean, the guy is a complete machine. But I lay out his diet and his grocery list to make clear if you're going to do this, you live in the peninsula, it's like you can't just go to one of a thousand Indian restaurants down there and eat fried dough balls. That's not going to improve your longevity. To do it right, much like anything, is more difficult than people might expect. Anyway, long answer to a short question. I would say maybe, if you're trying to get some of the benefits of ketosis or fasting, you could consider A. Exogenous ketones and identify what they're derived from if you're trying to avoid animal products, and you could look at fasting, but not trying to sustain dietary ketosis. Thank you, we're going to the internet. Theresa asks, "Wow, mind blown, thanks so much Tim. "Regarding productivity and your not-to-do list, "Do you find value in the Pomodoro approach?" Which is believe is ... Ooh I like that accent flipped on that, that was good, very exotic. So, that's breaking things up into small pieces. Sure, I'm a big fan, a very big fan. Pomodoro technique, I've never read much on it. I remember someone said, oh it's just 20-minute sprints and five-Minute breaks. I was like, okay, so I do use that quite a lot. And it's really just a form of productive self-deception. Because if I'm sitting down and I'm like, oh my God. You can imagine this book, the Tools of Titans was supposed to be ... (groans) Yeah it was supposed to be like 200 pages. I was sending these updates to my agent and he's like, "What's your word count now?" I kept on sending it and he's just like, "Oh my God." I'd sit down to write and I realized at some point, let me stop kidding myself. The book I want to write is the book you guys are holding. This is after a lot of editing. This is the book, it's as long as it needs to be and it's a reference book. But sitting down to write this bastard, oh my God, so I'd sit down, I can't be like okay just another 600 pages to go. I can't do that, so I'd sit down and be like look, two crappy pages per day. Number one, this is another trick. Rather than saying I need to crank out 2,000 awesome words. No, you're never going to get started. You're going to be like brushing your teeth 20 times, cleaning your sneakers, my dog really needs to get brushed right now, I can't move ahead until I brush my dog, you will look for every reason to procrastinate. But if it's like two crappy pages, even if I don't use them, that's all I need to have a win for today, 20 minutes and then I can go surf the internet naked, as I want, or whatever. (audience laughing) Twenty minutes, that's it. I use it all the time as a short answer. I do that type of sprint very often just to get started. I do it too also, for what it's worth. I try and break like items into 45-minute windows or 90-minute windows. If I have a bunch of phone calls, I stack phone calls because they're like items. I can sit there, focus on those things, and then take a 15-minute break. Walk, get some bourbon or whatever. (audience laughing) I would also say, just for you guys here. I know we have a lot of questions. I'm happy to stick around, I want to be respectful of the logistics here but I'm happy to stay as long as allowed. We've got another 25 minutes here but we're going to provide you guys a little room to hang out and whatnot. Cool, yeah. We'll clear out of here. I'll answer your questions for as long as I can. We're going to go, the highest hand in the back of the room, maybe it's because you're really tall, but go ahead. Stand up, tell us who you are and fire your question to Timbo. My name's Nate, I'm from South Florida. My question has two parts. First I wanted to ask you Tim, you mentioned you wanted to write screenplays. You wanted to experiment with something short-form first so I wanted to ask an update on that. The second part is, have you ever put thought into dissecting humor because I know that Whitney Cummings gave you a good tip to become funnier, to do open mics, multiple open mics every night, so I was wondering if you had any other thoughts or tips to become funnier. (audience laughing) Okay, so screenplays short-form screenplay or something in short-form and deconstructing humor. Alright, so on humor yes. I've been paying a lot of attention to B. J. Novak and a lot of what he outlined. I think a good deal of it is in Tools of Titans. Related to humor, Scott Adams I think had some good observations on humor. Whitney as well, quite a few people. Almost all the comedians, Bryan Kellen. That does not necessarily mean I'm going to do standup, which is utterly the most terrifying thing I can imagine doing. I just imagine doing standup and I would have to do it with a toupee and some fake name because I just have these nightmares of like all of my haters just showing up and reeking havoc, "You're not funny." It would be like a room full of the two old Muppets. (audience laughing) That I may not take a bite on anytime soon but humor is important to me because a lot of what I might do in the screenwriting world or elsewhere would contain an element of humor hopefully. I have done a fair amount of behind the scenes drafting on screenplay stuff. The form that I've been considering that taking and this is also on my list of things. Literally, a six-page screenplay as a competition. So, tell me what you think of this. It might be on Youtube. I would write a six-page screenplay, so a scene or two let's just say. I'd cap the budget for filmmakers and then they're allowed to change up to 10% of the script, and they can redline it, and then they create their best version. It's just a way to showcase the most talented people who throw their hat in ring and give it a shot. Then I could have, potentially, a panel of judges who are involved in film. You know, maybe I could give someone like Robert Rodriguez enough pizza and booze to get him involved. But he's a busy dude, that would be a big ask. Use it as a way to dip my toe in the water and then to also get people in my audience involved so that they can showcase what they're able to do. And have some type of cash prize or incentive to make it really exciting for people. I think that would be, once I had the social accountability when I said I'm going to deliver this six-page thing by "x" point in time and all these people are getting ready for it, then I can't back out. I just need that type of social accountability to do it. That's one thing I've been considering doing. Great question, thanks a lot. Going back online here to Lou. These are some great questions coming online. Thank you guys so much out in he community for participating here. Lou asks, "Was being an outsider integral "to who you have become?" I think it is. I think being an outsider on multiple levels. The question goes on, "Do you think going "to an elite prep boarding school "and then to Princeton made you who you are?" Because that's not really an outsider. So, I think there's a little bit of juxtaposition there. Well, everyone's an outsider in some group. Right. So, it's like if you go to St. Paul's, which I didn't go to first. I went to public school on Long Island and grew up as a townie where I got treated really badly as a busboy. I worked in tons of restaurants. If you guys have ever seen The Affair, The Lobster Roll, I was a busboy there and got yelled at on a daily basis by rich people from the city. So, I hated "city people," which is what we called them. I grew up as a townie. Then I did, I did well in school and I had teachers recommend that I get the hell out of Long Island and go to a better school, which I did. But, let's just say, I think that we live in a very divisive time right now. So, if one goes to say Princeton, great. And then they volunteer for Teach for America and they go up to the Bronx. Are they an insider? No, they're a complete outsider. It's worth, I think, just pausing to point that out because there's a very dangerous volatile sentiment in the U.S. right now, which is like everybody wants to go for everyone else's throat immediately. It's very destructive. But being an outsider has helped me. First, on Long Island, because I was able to observe multiple worlds and I think on some level that chip on the shoulder, honestly, helped me. I spent my whole like childhood and adolescence using it to drive and drive, and get a lot done. And then my whole adulthood trying to get rid of it. (laughs) So I'm not super aggravated all the time. I would say that, and also I was a runt growing up. I got my ass kicked until 6th grade or so, when I gained like 50 pounds and then killed every bully. I didn't literally kill them, but it was glorious. Sixth grade was a good year. (audience laughing) The playground was a dangerous place for me. I would get beat up so I would always sit on the step right by the classroom and read books about marine biology, about sharks and played D&D with my other nerd friends. I very much was not part of the school scene. I just observed. I observed, I observed, I observed. I think that has helped me now to be able to kind of detach and stand on the sidelines and watch what's going on in a gym or with scientists, or with learning to swim. Whatever it might be, and just notice the details. I think it is interesting in your answer, the position that you take in any relationship is sort of self-imposed like for every, describing your self as an outsider. You're clearly an insider on so many things in your life, like what are you identifying with so that might be something that you would consider. We're going to go back to the in-studio audience. You mam right there, yep. So, I have a few questions, I hope you don't mind. (audience laughing) (Tim) Fire away. (Trace) Just out of respect for the whole crew. Yeah, I'll be quick. First, you need to have more women on your podcast. You know that, right? (audience laughing) Oh man, we got the vegetarian diet ... I will say I invite a lot of women onto the podcast. It's harder to get women that I want on the podcast to commit because everyone's going after say Tina Faye or these people, and they also tend to, if they're high profile women, and this actually happened recently with a male friend of mine whose been on the podcast. He's very good friends with a female I would like to have on the podcast, similar levels of success, and he said I can introduce you but she has 17 layers of protection because she's a high-level female who gets rape threats and all sorts of other craziness, and it's going to take you six months to get her. So, I can get male guest A in one day or I can fight for six months to get a female guest. Now, my last two podcasts have been women and as a percentage of my audience, just in my defense, my listenership is 85% male. You don't have, say, Cosmo doing 60% profiles on men. They don't do it because their audience. I ask my audience for recommendations. I've had many females on who have been recommended by my audience. If I feel overly pressured to comply to every, and believe me I've had a lot of requests for more of X, more of Y, whether it's subjects, people, or otherwise, and it stops being fun for me, the podcast is dead on arrival. I am trying very hard but there are factors that are beneath the surface that a lot of folks aren't aware of that make it surprisingly challenging to get the types of high profile women that I would like on the podcast, on the podcast. I've been chasing some for a year, two years. What I will say is, I'm trying. And also there are good humans and giving good humans the benefit of the doubt. There's a lot of effort that goes into that stuff. Last, I would just say that the, two things. I appreciate you bringing it up because it's an important subject. Number one is that men need to be able to learn from women and women need to be able to learn from men. Most of what I talk about on my podcast is universal. If you listen to the episodes I've had with women, so Tara Black's episode for instance, it affected a lot of men. I had probably more feedback from men than I did from women on her episode. The topic of being a woman and female-specific issues doesn't come up very much. The things that the female guests talk about are very frequently gender non-specific. So, I feel like people should look at the advice first and the genitalia second. (audience laughing) Great, we'll give you one more. Go ahead, yeah, fire quick. For both of you, if you didn't know how old you were, how old do you think you'd be and why? Wow, potentially dangerous question. I don't know if Tim, you feel like this, but I'm consistently shocked when I look in the mirror, at how old I look relative to the brain that I feel like I have, the spirit that I have. Like with CreativeLive, I feel like we're just getting started but ten million students in the community is a pretty big thing. I feel like a child and yet, it's not that I don't want to grow up, but I feel like the childlike wonder that we can hang onto, the creativity that we let children have in our culture is something that I deeply cherish. So, I try to hold onto that. I think of myself as dangerously young. I won't give an age because I need it to high enough to drink but low enough to have fun. Dangerously young, a memoir by Chase Jarvis. (audience laughing) I would say I have the sense of humor of a 9-year-old boy, I have the joints of an 87-year-old, the haircut of Jason Statham. (audience laughing) I take myself too seriously in a lot of respects so I'm trying to, childlike may not be the right adjective, but get more playful because as Novelle Robinaut would put it, we're a bunch of monkeys on a spinning rock. In the grand scheme of things, it's just a firefly blinking and we're all gone. It's a nice reminder to not take so much so seriously and that has been hard for me. I'm probably aiming for like 12-year-old enthusiasm, and then I'm 39 so 39-year-old wisdom or beyond hopefully. That's what I'm aiming for. Right on, I'm going to go to the internet. Jonathan writes, "Advice on preparing to start "something new versus actually starting." Preparing versus starting, how do you know when to make the jump? You know when to make the jump when you have something clear to test, you know how to measure it, and it's not going to create any fatal outcome. That's it, and I find that if you, for instance, talk to Reed Hoffman of LinkedIn. This applies more to software than a lot of other things. With a book, not true. Like a traditionally published book, different slightly. If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, then you shipped too late, sort of his mantra, and I do find that with a lot of forms of entrepreneurship now, in particular, it's ready, fire, aim not ready, aim, fire and you need feedback as quickly as possible if you're going to have customers in some fashion. You need to get in front of people who are representative of those customers and expose them to what you are trying to do as quickly as possible and ask them for money. Them saying they will buy it does not equal they will buy it. That would be my response. (Chase) Fair enough. Speed round from the internet. Let's do it. Jordy Long, "When did you feel like "you were first a professional?" Was there a moment, a decision, or did it take time? Remember this is called speed round. I understand. (audience laughing) I still don't believe I'm, I don't feel professional. I believe in the power of the amateur and the ability to dabble and tinker. Beautiful. Cheryl writes, "Workout of choice question to spur creativity in your thinking and your writing." A workout to spur creativity. For me personally, short and intense. I'll say kettlebell swings. Kettlebell swings or swimming for different reasons, but they're both highly repetitive. I'm kettlebell swings. Lug something heavy around for a long time and you can get all the work done in like five minutes. Five to ten minutes. Yeah, it's great. The last hardcore one in the short time period here, "How do you measure success?" How do I measure success? I don't. If you have words or concepts that are very nebulous in your mind, that are maybe so over-used around you that they have ceased to have a clear meaning, just don't use them. Choose different words. That word's very dangerous for me. I think it's particularly dangerous for me. It's like a drug I used to be addicted to. I don't like to step into the neighborhood where that word's used a lot. How I measure myself, how I am doing? It would be how I feel when I first wake up and how I feel right before I go to bed. Is it excited, is it anxious, is it exhausted, is it invigorated? It is a really simple way that I am able to determine for myself if I'm on the right path or not. Awesome, okay. We could do a speed round. Let's do one-part questions. Yeah, no three-part questions. Only one-part questions and I would like them to be tight. And Tim's going to try and make a tight answer. We are going to go, you good sir, Andrew. I can repeat the questions if they're short. And we need a mic for Andrew. I just met Andrew right before the show here. Hi, my name is Andrew. I'm the crazy guy from Poland here. (Chase) Welcome. My question is, I know that a lot of amateurs do wait for some kind of confirmation, external validation that they can do something. Does it still happen for you from time to time and how do you deal with it? It happens to me all the time. I think that we all look for external validation. Even if we say we don't care what other people think, very few people can actually walk that talk. When I find myself succumbing to that, I do the fear-setting exercise. I still do the fear-setting, what's the worst that can happen if I do X, even if I don't have that confirmation. Great, next question. All the way in the very back, right next to Kate Giller. There you go, lucky you. My name's Gene. I'm from Pleasanton. Where is Tools of Titans headed? (Tim) Where's Tools of Titans Headed? The future, yeah. I could see two things. Pleasanton, I believe there's some great gyms over there. You guys should check out Jesse Burdick if you're looking for a good power lifting trainer. But aside from that, sorry I just remember getting my ass ripped apart by Jesse, it's traumatic. Where's Tools of Titans heading? I could see doing a volume every two years. I really enjoyed it. It's a wonderful exercise for me to further absorb and I just had such a blast doing it, and building communities like we were talking about earlier where people can actually test these things, interact and develop their own tools and tactics. Would you guys buy it if he did it every two years? (audience) Yes. Great, you sir in the goatee beard-ish. There you go, sorry, bright lights up here. Hey Kate, am I okay if we just continue just a little bit? Okay, thank you. I'm Stewart from down the street. I just wanted to ask you what your advice for somebody who picks up your book, comes across Wim Hof, sauna, morning journal, and all that and just wants to tackle it all right away. How do you find the time in the morning when you wake up to get all that stuff done? Do you have any strategies for tackling that? Yeah, I do. I would say that the biggest mistake that anyone can make and I've made this mistake with behavioral change, is trying to do 20 things at once. It's kind of like if everyone is your customer, no one is your customer, if everything's a priority, nothing's a priority, very similar idea. I would say try a bunch, wake up earlier if need be. Then as Cal Fussman would say, the good shit sticks. The stuff that you really resonate with, that has a chance of sticking to you, that you will follow, will stay. I would also say that if you have, say, five things in the morning you really want to do every morning, for me if I hit two or three it still increases the likelihood of my day feeling like a well-lived day by 30-40%. You don't have to hit all of them. Because if you were to take every morning routine of a hundred people and put it back to back, it's like you'd need 48 hours just to get through your morning routine. With Wim Hoff I'd be very careful. Never do that breathing in or before getting in water, very dangerous. Only do it dry ground. You sir. My name's Dan from Canada. What turns a good question into a great question? That's a great question. (audience laughing) What turns a good question into a great question is asking it in response to what you've heard, not because it's the next number on your list. So, really listening carefully. Yeah. And if there's a thread that's more interesting, than your next five questions, pull in the thread. Great, now we're going to go to the corner here. The woman in the hat, microphone's coming your way. Speed round. I'm Jane, one of the 1% of your fans for ten years. (Tim) Thank you for being one. Sure, question about a fear that you brought up. I think it was the 2016 review about the fear of speaking what you really think and the thought police, whatever's going on in this country. I share that fear, so if you could say something more here. Yeah, I'll try to keep it short but this is a really important one, so the thought police and so on. I've thought a lot about just packing it in. Like not doing anything public for 2017. It's really demoralizing to be someone who's trying to be a force for good in the world. Like I really do try, and yet I cannot go on the internet without being called a white devil, privileged male, on and on, and on. And it's fucking demoralizing. I'm not going to lie to you, it's really exhausting. It's just like, dude you got six bullets to shoot this year at causes you care about. I'm not the right target, like save your ammo. It's really tiring so I think that with the thought police stuff, "A" I try not to care about the opinions of people I don't respect, easier said than done, especially when you have a mob. Ultimately, I hate to sound like a broken record, but hopefully this just goes to show you that I actually do practice what I preach, this fear-setting stuff and deliberately doing little things that are embarrassing or that get me criticized so that I develop more tolerance for it, like the coffee challenge that Noah Kagan talks about where you walk into a coffee shop, Starbucks or otherwise, and ask for 10% off just so you might get shut down so that you develop an immunity or at least a tolerance for the rejection, for the criticism. Rather than looking for a safe space where no one's going to hurt your delicate feelings, no deliberately go out and find people who will make you uncomfortable and criticize you in small doses like a flu shot so then when it really counts, you can come out and you can say what you need to say or do what you need to do. Great, we're going to go for one more question and you came all the way from England. We'd like to hear from you sir. Make it snappy, I'm getting this from back there. We're going to make it tight. Hi I'm Paul from England. My question is, have you seen any commonalities between how people approach goals and achieve them? Commonalities in how people approach goals and whether or not they achieve them? (Paul) Yeah. I think I'll come back to one thing I mentioned earlier, which is systems thinking rather than goals thinking. When you approach a goal, but only select that goal when there are ways that you can succeed over time, even if that project fails, and you're accumulating relationships and skills that will persist, ultimately you win big. You may not win the scratch off $50 lottery ticket, but eventually you'll probably be able to win the Powerball, and that matters a whole hell of a lot more. Fantastic. Alright so, before we adjourn. No, no, hold tight, hold tight. Before we adjourn, we in this room are going to adjourn into the next room or I think we've got some, do we have some snacky things and whatnot? Yes, I got a yes. We've got some snacky things, yes we've got some snacky choices for you. You should never be the maitre d at a restaurant. (audience laughing) Yeah, just like do this and they're like what do you got small bugs in them, yeah. So, we got some snacks and whatnot. You all will be able to converse with Tim. Again, encourage sharing and moving through, get your question answered. I know it's fun to stand next to Tim but... It's less fun than you think. It's also, there are a lot of people in this community that you can learn from so introduce yourself to some other folks and if you're tuning in from somewhere in the world, you can purchase this, you can be a part of this on, and on, and on, and watch it as many times as you feel like. You all will get a digital copy of this. I would like to take a second and thank Tim, celebrate all the good that this man has done for the world, the ideas and more than just ideas, helping all of us live and reach those things that we strive to do so. Thank you so much Tim. Round of applause. (Applause) I think we're out.

Ratings and Reviews


Awesome content. Great job Tom, N creative


Spot on, if you need good examples and brilliant questions that change your way of thinking.

cynthia roderick

He's quite impressive.... wish there was a download of these questions...instead I have to watch again and take indication of where I could find the questions otherwise...of course, these videos drive you to check out his books and website... I bought a synopsis of the latest and either the synopsis was VERY POOR or the book doesn't say much... in any case, don't waste your money on the synopsis... I will buy an earlier book... as I said, he's an impressive guy who does his homework....

Student Work