The Tim Ferriss Show
#123: Rainn Wilson on Meditation, The Sexy Nostril Exercise, and Acting as Therapy

Rainn Wilson (@rainnwilson) is best known for playing "Dwight" on NBC's Emmy-Winning, "The Office”. He has also acted in "Super", "Cooties", "Juno", "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "The Rocker" among other movies. He co-founded SoulPancake, a media company that seeks to tackle "Life's Big Questions." He's a board member of Mona Foundation and co-founded Lidè, an educational initiative in rural Haiti that empowers young, at-risk women through the arts. He is the author of the brand-new book, The Bassoon King, which is his laugh-out- loud memoir.

We cover a lot in this episode, including:

- The value of “as if” exercises from drama school
- Meditation practices, and what constitutes a "win" in a session
- The origins of SoulPancake and the Kid President video mega-hit
- Favorite books, documentaries, and movies
- Acting as therapy (even for non-actors)
- The basics of Baha'i and what Rainn would put on a billboard
- The Sexy Nostril exercise

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by MeUndiesIf I’m not going commando, then I’m wearing MeUndies. I’ve been testing out pairs for about 3 or 4 months now, and, as a result, I've thrown out my other underwear. They look good, feel good, have options for men and women, and their materials are 2x softer than cotton, as evaluated using the Kawabata method. Not only does MeUndies offer underwear, but they also have incredible lounge pants. I wear them when I record the podcast, and when I’m out and about grabbing coffee.

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This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

Mandatory disclaimer: Wealthfront Inc. is an SEC registered Investment Advisor.

Investing in securities involves risks, and there is the possibility of losing money. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please visit Wealthfront dot com to read their full disclosure.

Direct download: Tim_Ferriss_Show_-_Rainn_Wilson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm EST

#122: The Magic of Mindfulness: Complain Less, Appreciate More, and Live a Better Life

This is another special episode of The Tim Ferriss Show. Usually, when I talk about strategies for living a better life, I focus on strategies for effectiveness and efficiency. That is, finding ways for you to be better without wasting time. Both of these are important, but fine-tuning those traits come naturally for me. Mindfulness is something that is difficult and usually overlooked by most people.

So why is mindfulness essential? When it comes to achievement, most people just work harder. In reality, you want to first achieve more focus and clarity, which can help guide your effort. This is the real benefit of mindfulness. Once you incorporate it into your life, you complain less, appreciate more, react less, and fill your life with what's most important to you. More than anything, you'll learn how to be present and live in the moment.

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service, which is non-spec. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run…

This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams. Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

Mandatory disclaimer: Wealthfront Inc. is an SEC registered Investment Advisor.

Investing in securities involves risks, and there is the possibility of losing money. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please visit Wealthfront dot com to read their full disclosure.

 

Direct download: Tim_Ferriss_Show_-_Mindfulness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07am EST

#121: BJ Novak of The Office on Creative Process, Handling Rejection, and Good Comedy

This tactical episode covers principles and tactics for creating amazing careers, comedy, writing, and much more. Hilarious stories weave it all together.

My guest is B.J. Novak (@bjnovak), best known for his work on NBC's Emmy Award-winning comedy series "The Office" as an actor, writer, director, and executive producer. He has appeared in films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and Disney's Saving Mr. Banks. He is also the author of the acclaimed short story collection "One More Thing" and the #1 New York Times Best Seller "The Book With No Pictures" (great Christmas gift), which has more than one million copies in print. Last but not least, he is co-founder of The List App.

In other words, he does a lot and does it well. What are the habits, tools, and routines that help him to do this? That's what we explore in this conversation.

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by Vimeo Pro, which is ideal for entrepreneurs. In fact, a bunch of my start-ups are already using Vimeo Pro. WealthFront uses it to explain how it develops personalized investment portfolios. TaskRabbit uses it to tell the company’s story. Twitter uses it to showcase Periscope. Why are they using it instead of other options out there? Vimeo Pro provides enterprise level video hosting that typically costs thousands of dollars for a tiny fraction of the cost. Features include:

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  • Up to 20 GB of video storage every week
  • Unlimited plays and views
  • A fully customizable video player, which can include your company logo, custom outro, and more

You get all this for just $199 per year (that’s only $17 per/mo.) There are no complicated bandwidth calculations or hidden fees. Just go to Vimeo.com/business to check it out. If you like it, you can use the promo code “Tim” to get 25% off. This is the deepest discount you will find anywhere for Vimeo Pro.

This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.

Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

Mandatory disclaimer: Wealthfront Inc. is an SEC registered Investment Advisor.

Investing in securities involves risks, and there is the possibility of losing money. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please visit Wealthfront dot com to read their full disclosure.

Direct download: Tim_Ferriss_Show_-_BJ_Novak.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14pm EST

#120: Will MacAskill on Effective Altruism, Y Combinator, and Artificial Intelligence

Will MacAskill (@willmacaskill) is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford. Just 28 years old, he is likely the youngest associate (i.e. tenured) professor of philosophy in the world.

Will is the author of Doing Good Better and a co-founder of the "effective altruism" movement. He has pledged to donate everything he earns over ~$36,000 per year to whatever charities he believes will be most effective.

He has also cofounded two well-known non-profits: 80,000 Hours, which provides research and advice on how you can best make a difference through your career, and Giving What We Can, which encourages people to commit to give at least 10% of their income to the most effective charities. Between them, they have raised more than $450 million in lifetime pledged donations, and are in the top 1% of non-profits in terms of growth.

He is one of the few non-profit founders who have gone through Y Combinator; for-profit companies get $120,000 for 7% of equity; as a non-profit, 80,000 Hours got $100,000 for 0% of equity.

In this episode, we discuss his story and a ton of actionable tips, including:

  • Why "following your passion" in a career is often a mistake.
  • Thought experiments: Pascal's Wager versus Pascal's Mugging
  • Why working for a non-profit straight out of college is also a mistake.
  • How it's possible to "hack" doing good in the same way you would a business.
  • Implications of artificial intelligence.
  • The best ways to really evaluate if you (or charities) are going good in the world.
  • The reasons donating to disaster relief typically isn't the best use of your money.
  • Why ethical consumerism typically isn't a great way to do good.
  • Running a non-profit in the Harvard/Navy SEALs of startup incubators: Y Combinator

This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 years and now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams. Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it.  Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.

Mandatory disclaimer: Wealthfront Inc. is an SEC registered Investment Advisor.

Investing in securities involves risks, and there is the possibility of losing money. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please visit Wealthfront dot com to read their full disclosure.

This podcast is also brought to you by Mizzen + Main. These are the only "dress" shirts I now travel with -- fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. No more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often. Don't forget to use the code "TIM" at checkout.

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

Direct download: Tim_Ferriss_Show_-_William_MacAskill.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34pm EST

#119: Kevin Costner on Building His Career, Positive Self-Talk, and Making Dances with Wolves Happen

Kevin Costner (@modernwest) is an internationally renowned filmmaker. He is considered one of the most critically acclaimed and visionary storytellers of his generation. Costner has produced, directed, and/or starred in such memorable films such as Dances with Wolves, JFK, The Bodyguard, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup, Bull Durham, Open Range, Hatfields & McCoys, and Black or White, among many others. He has been honored with two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and an Emmy Award.

This episode also features Jon Baird, the author and illustrator of the novels Day Job and Songs from Nowhere Near the Heart. He is the co-developer, along with Costner, of the Horizon miniseries.

Their first book collaboration is a beautiful tome -- The Explorers Guild: A Passage to Shambhala. Kirkus described it: "With its colorful cast, exotic locales, and intertwined fates, the book slowly addicts. A rousing throwback whose spinning plates never stop, even at the end."

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by TrunkClub. I hate shopping with a passion. And honestly I’m not good at it, which means I end up looking like I’m colorblind or homeless. Enter TrunkClub, which provides you with your own personal stylist and makes it easier than ever to shop for clothes that look great on your body.

Just go to trunkclub.com/tim and answer a few questions, and then you’ll be sent a trunk full of awesome clothes. They base this on your sizes, preferences, etc. The trunk is then delivered free of charge both ways, so you only pay for clothes that you keep. If you keep none, it costs you nothing. To get started, check it out at trunkclub.com/tim.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service, which is non-spec. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run…

 
Direct download: Tim_Ferriss_Show_-_Kevin_Costner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:32pm EST

#118: How Philosophy Can Change Your Life, Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton (@alaindebotton) is many things, but I think of him as a rare breed of practical philosopher.

In 1997, he turned away from writing novels and instead wrote an extended essay titled How Proust Can Change Your Life, which became an unlikely blockbuster.

His subsequent books have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life’ and subjects include love, travel, architecture, religion and work. His other bestsellers include Essays In Love, Status Anxiety, and The Architecture Of Happiness. More recent works include The News: A User’s Manual, which looks at the impact our obsession with checking news has on our minds, and Art as Therapy, co-written with the art historian John Armstrong.

In 2008, de Botton helped start The School of Life in London, a social enterprise determined to make learning and therapy relevant in today's uptight culture. His goal is (through any of his mediums) to help clients learn "how to live wisely and well."

In our wide-ranging conversation, we cover many things, including:

  • Real-world versus academic philosophy
  • The value of rituals and tribes
  • Practical pessimism
  • "Ordinary genius"
  • The magic of pomegranates
  • Lesser-known modern thinkers
  • Why "mean" is often simply "anxious"
  • His favorite Japanese pens
  • And much more!

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I've also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service, which is non-spec. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you're happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run…

This podcast is also brought to you by Vimeo Pro, which is the ideal video hosting platform for entrepreneurs. In fact, a bunch of my start-ups are already using Vimeo Pro. WealthFront uses it to explain how WealthFront works. TaskRabbit uses it to tell the company’s story. There are many other names who you would recognize among their customers (AirBnB, Etsy, etc.) Why do they use it? Vimeo Pro provides enterprise level video hosting for a fraction of the usual cost. Features include:

  • Gorgeous high-quality playback with no ads
  • Up to 20 GB of video storage every week
  • Unlimited plays and views
  • A fully customizable video player, which can include your company logo, custom outro, and more

You get all this for just $199 per year (that’s only $17 per/mo.). There are no complicated bandwidth calculations or hidden fees. Try it risk-free for 30 days. Just go to Vimeo.com/business to check it out. If you like it, you can use the promo code “Tim” to get 25% off. This is a special discount just for you guys.

Direct download: Tim_Ferriss_Show_-_Alain_de_Botton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am EST

#117: Dom D'Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and The End of Cancer

Dr. Dominic “Dom" D’Agostino (@DominicDAgosti2) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC).

He has also deadlifted 500 pounds for 10 reps after a seven-day fast.

He’s a beast and — no big surprise — he’s a good buddy of Dr. Peter Attia, my MD friend who drinks "jet fuel" in search of optimal athletic performance.

The primary focus of Dom's laboratory is developing and testing metabolic therapies, including ketogenic diets, ketone esters and ketone supplements to induce nutritional/therapeutic ketosis. D’Agostino’s laboratory uses in vivo and in vitro techniques to understand the physiological, cellular and molecular mechanism of metabolic therapies and nutritional strategies for peak performance and resilience. His research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD), private organizations and foundations.

Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

This podcast is brought to you by Audible. I have used Audible for years and I love audio books. I have 2 to recommend:

  1. The Graveyard Book by Niel Gaiman
  2. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

All you need to do to get your free audiobook and a free 30-day trial is go to Audible.com/tim. Choose one of the above books, or choose between more than 180,000 audio programs. That could be a book, a newspaper, a magazine or even a class. It's that easy. Go to Audible.com/Tim and get started today. Enjoy!

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.

I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I've also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service, which is non-spec. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you're happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run…

Enjoy!

Direct download: Tim_Ferriss_Show_-_Dominic_DAgostino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59am EST

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