Lessons from War, Tribal Societies, and a Non-Fiction Life (Sebastian Junger)

60 Comments

Sebastian Junger

“The point of journalism is to tell the truth. It is not to improve society. There are facts and truths that feel regressive, but that doesn’t matter. The point of journalism isn’t to make everything better; it’s to give people accurate information about how things are.” – Sebastian Junger

“Who would you die for? What ideas would you die for?” – Sebastian Junger

If you want a better understanding of warriors, tribal societies, human nature, and what we can learn from it all, this is for you.

My podcast guest is Sebastian Junger (@sebastianjunger), the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Perfect Storm, Fire, A Death in Belmont, War, and Tribe.  As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film “Restrepo,” a feature-length documentary (co-directed with Tim Hetherington), was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

“Restrepo,” which chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, is widely considered to have broken new ground in war reporting.  Junger has since produced and directed three additional documentaries about war and its aftermath.

In this episode, we cover rites of passage (and their importance), warfare, the art of great non-fiction writing, PTSD, evolutionary biology, and much more.

Some of the topics will no doubt offend many of you, and this is a good thing. I urge you to bite your lip, if need be, and listen to the entire episode. There are gems within, including hilarious stories, surprising statistics, and tear-jerking epiphanies.

If you only have 5 minutes and are rushed for time, check out this short segment about the surprising psychological effects of war.

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast providing insights from lessons learned at war? — Listen to my conversation with Jocko Willink. He might be the scariest Navy SEAL alive. Learn what he taught me (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by FreshBooks. FreshBooks is a bookkeeping software, which is used by a ton of the start-ups I advise and many of the contractors I work with. It is the easiest way to send invoices, get paid, track your time, and track your clients.

FreshBooks tells you when your clients have viewed your invoices, helps you customize your invoices, track your hours, automatically organize your receipts, have late payment reminders sent automatically and much more.

Right now you can get a free month of complete and unrestricted use. You do not need a credit card for the trial. To claim your free month, go to FreshBooks.com/Tim and enter “Tim” in the “how did you hear about us section.”

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. 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.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What documentaries have you enjoyed the most? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

60 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Assessing Risk and Living Without a Rope – Lessons from Alex Honnold

51 Comments
The Tim Ferriss Show with Alex Hannold

Photo by Jimmy Chin

“You take a dump into free space, and it just completely disappears.” – Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold (@alexhonnold, Facebook: /alexhonnold) is a professional adventure rock climber whose audacious free-solo (no ropes, no partner) ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognized and followed climbers in the world. Honnold is distinguished for his uncanny ability to control his fear while scaling cliffs of dizzying heights without a rope to protect him if he falls.

His most celebrated achievements include the first and only free-solo of the Moonlight Buttress (5.12d, 1,200 feet) in Zion National Park, Utah, and the Northwest Face (5.12a) of Half Dome (2,200 feet), in Yosemite, California.

In 2012, he achieved Yosemite’s first “Triple Solo”: climbing, in succession, the National Park’s three largest faces—Mt. Watkins, Half Dome and El Capitan—alone, and in under 24 hours.

He is also the founder of the Honnold Foundation, an environmental non-profit, and to this day, he maintains his simple “dirtbag-climber” existence, living out of his van and traveling the world in search of the next great vertical adventure.

If you want to laugh your ass off, listen to this hilarious 2-minute story from Alex.

Enjoy!

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Interested in another conversation discussing death-defying climbing accomplishments? — Listen to my conversation with Jimmy Chin. In this episode, we learn from the athlete (and artist) who cheats death (stream below or right-click here to download):


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. 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 episode is also brought to you by Headspace, the world’s most popular meditation app (more than 4,000,000 users).  It’s used in more than 150 countries, and many of my closest friends swear by it.  Try Headspace’s free Take10 program —  10 minutes of guided meditation a day for 10 days. It’s like a warm bath for your mind. Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, and it’s had a huge impact on my life. Try Headspace for free for a few days and see what I mean.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: How do you assess risk? Does your process differ in business, athletics and other areas of life? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

51 Comments / Leave a comment or question

How to Optimize Creative Output — Jarvis versus Ferriss

45 Comments

The Tim Ferriss Show with Chase Jarvis

“Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” – W. H. Auden

This episode is a conversation/debate/trading of ideas between Chase Jarvis (@ChaseJarvis) and yours truly. We discuss a little bit of everything, including:

  • Optimizing creative output
  • Systems thinking
  • Quota setting
  • Celebrating the small wins
  • Success for type-A personalities
  • Meditation techniques
  • Absurdity
  • The details of the struggles of creating a high level
  • And much, much more…

If you enjoy this conversation, then I recommend you check out creativelive.com/30daysofgenuis. Here you can find incredible videos from people like Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Brené Brown, and many more. It’s free. Sign up now.

If you sign up by Friday, May 13th at 11:59 p.m. PT, you are entered to win a mentorship from me, Chase, and 3 other high-level performers for a year.  We will pick 1 winner on May 15, and I hope it’s you.

If you want a quick taste of what’s in this episode, here’s a story (I’ve never shared before) about the closest I’ve come to drop-kicking someone.

Enjoy!

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast delving into tactics for enhancing creativity? — Listen to my conversation with Whitney Cummings. In this episode, we discuss how she uses pain as fuel for her creativity (stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by FreshBooks. FreshBooks is a bookkeeping software, which is used by a ton of the start-ups I advise and many of the contractors I work with. It is the easiest way to send invoices, get paid, track your time, and track your clients.

FreshBooks tells you when your clients have viewed your invoices, helps you customize your invoices, track your hours, automatically organize your receipts, have late payment reminders sent automatically and much more.

Right now you can get a free month of complete and unrestricted use. You do not need a credit card for the trial. To claim your free month, go to FreshBooks.com/Tim and enter “Tim” in the “how did you hear about us section.”

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. 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.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is your biggest frustration with the creative process? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

45 Comments / Leave a comment or question

The Secrets of Gymnastic Strength Training

267 Comments
This is what a GST athlete looks like.

This is what a GST athlete looks like.

“If the best in the world are stretching their ass off in order to get strong, why aren’t you?” – Christopher Sommer

If you loved the Pavel, Poliquin, or Dom D’Agostino episodes, you’ll love this one.

My guest this episode is Christopher Sommer (GymnasticBodies on Instagram/Facebook), former US national team gymnastics coach. He is also the founder of GymnasticBodies, a training system that I’m currently testing (and have no affiliation with). As a world-renowned Olympic coach, Sommer is known for building his students into some of the strongest, most powerful athletes in the world.

During his extensive 40-year coaching career, Coach Sommer took meticulous notes on his training techniques—his wins and failures—so that he could translate the best elements into a superior exercise system for both high-level and beginner athletes. His four decades of careful observation led to the birth of Gymnastics Strength Training™ (or GST).

In this episode, we cover A TON, including:

  • The 3-5 exercises everyone should be doing (you’ve never heard of some of them)
  • His opinions of kipping exercises, such as the kipping pull-ups common in CrossFit
  • What bodyweight goals non-gymnasts should target
  • Which exercises to remove from the gym entirely, at least in the first 6-12 months of training
  • How to optimize biceps strength and mass with straight-arm work
  • And much, much more…

I also asked Coach Sommer to gather some interesting stuff (samples, videos, etc.) at gymnasticbodies.com/tim, so take a gander. I don’t get any compensation for any of it; I just want people to consider more bodyweight training. I’ve found it revelatory and mind-expanding.

If you want some quick training tips, here are Coach Sommer’s mobility movements that will increase strength.

Enjoy!

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast on fitness and training from a world-class coach? — Listen to my conversation with Pavel Tsatsouline. In this episode, we discuss the science of strength and the art of physical performance (stream below or right-click here to download):


This episode is brought to you by Headspace, the world’s most popular meditation app (more than 4,000,000 users).  It’s used in more than 150 countries, and many of my closest friends swear by it.  Try Headspace’s free Take10 program —  10 minutes of guided meditation a day for 10 days. It’s like a warm bath for your mind. Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, and it’s had a huge impact on my life. Try Headspace for free for a few days and see what I mean.

This episode is also brought to you by Exo Protein. These guys are making protein bars using cricket protein powder. Before you look disgusted, I bet they taste better than any protein bar you’ve ever had before! With recipes that were developed by a three-Michelin-star chef, the bars are paleo-friendly, with no gluten, no grains, no soy, no dairy, and they won’t spike your glycemic response. In fact, they’re less processed than any other protein bars you’ll be able to find.

Exo Protein is offering a deep discount to Tim Ferriss Show listeners — if you go to ExoProtein.com/Tim, you can try a sampler pack with all of the most popular flavors for less than $10. This is a startup with limited inventory that sells out all the time, so act fast!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Which of Coach Sommer’s tips or exercises would you like to learn more about? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

267 Comments / Leave a comment or question

The Importance of Being Dirty: Lessons from Mike Rowe

65 Comments
Photo credit: Michael Segal

Photo credit: Michael Segal

“Just because you love something doesn’t mean you can’t suck at it.” – Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe (@mikeroweworks) is perhaps the best storyteller and pitchman I’ve ever had on the show.

You might know Mike from his eight seasons of Dirty Jobs, but that’s just a tiny piece of the story.

His performing career began in 1984 when he faked his way into the Baltimore Opera to get his union card and meet girls, both of which he accomplished during a performance of Rigoletto. His transition to television occurred in 1990 when — to settle a bet — he auditioned for the QVC Shopping Channel and was promptly hired after talking about a pencil for nearly eight minutes. There, he worked the graveyard shift for three years, until he was ultimately fired for making fun of products and belittling viewers.  Now, he is a massively successful TV host, writer, narrator, producer, actor, and spokesman.

Why listen to this episode? You will learn:

  • Secrets of the perfect pitch
  • How Mike flew around the world for free (until he got caught)
  • Why to pursue opportunity instead of passion
  • How being different can help you win in business and life
  • The business of Mike Rowe
  • Favorite books, voice-over artists, and much, much more…

If you’re in a rush and just want a fantastic 5-minute story about his selling pencils for the QVC audition, click here.

Enjoy!

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast from someone transforming the way we enjoy modern storytelling? — Listen to my conversation with Dan Carlin of Hardcore History. In this episode, we discuss his meditation practice, morning routines, and creative process (stream below or right-click here to download):


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

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

All you need to do to get your free 30-day Audible 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 MeUndiesHave you ever wanted to be as powerful as a mullet-wearing ninja from the 1980’s, or as sleek as a black panther in the Amazon? Of course you have, and that’s where MeUndies comes in. I’ve spent the last six months wearing underwear from these guys 24/7, and they are the most comfortable and colorful underwear I’ve ever owned. Their materials are 2x softer than cotton, as evaluated using the Kawabata method. Check out MeUndies.com/Tim to see my current faves (some are awesomely ridiculous, like the camo).

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What did you do after high school? How do you feel that decision impacted your life? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

65 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Joshua Skenes — Playing with Fire

41 Comments
Photo: The Chronicle

Photo: The Chronicle

“The answer is either yes or no. If it’s ‘no,’ then I have to start over.” Joshua Skenes

Joshua Skenes (IG: @jskenes) has become famous for his use of fire.

As chef-owner of Saison in San Francisco (three Michelin stars), he has classical training and loves his high-end Japanese Nenohi knives, but nothing captures his imagination quite like the open flame. The back of his business card sports three words, stark on ivory stock:

Play with fire.

In this episode, we explore his obsessions: simplicity, food, and martial arts.

We became friends during the collaboration of The 4-Hour Chef, and this was a long overdue catch-up.  Enjoy!

If you only have five minutes, listen to how he dealt with a last-minute catastrophe involving a sewage water flood.

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast where I discuss food with a world-class chef? — Listen to my conversation with Andrew Zimmern. In this episode, we discuss his meditation practice, morning routines, and creative process (stream below or right-click here to download):


This episode is brought to you by Headspace, the world’s most popular meditation app (more than 4,000,000 users).  It’s used in more than 150 countries, and many of my closest friends swear by it.  Try Headspace’s free Take10 program —  10 minutes of guided meditation a day for 10 days. It’s like a warm bath for your mind. Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, and it’s had a huge impact on my life. Try Headspace for free for a few days and see what I mean.

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. 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.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What questions about food or nutrition would you like me to cover in future podcast episodes or blog posts? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

41 Comments / Leave a comment or question

On Zero-to-Hero Transformations

99 Comments

 

Dan Gable and Tim Ferriss

Photo: The Legendary Dan Gable, from my Instagram page

In this episode, we don’t have any special guests, unless you count the multiple personalities in my own head.

We are not talking to Arnold Schwarzenegger, black-market chemists, Josh Waitzkin, Jamie Foxx or anyone else per our regular interviews. Today, I’ll be responding to questions you upvoted on Reddit.

This episode includes gems like:

  • My favorite books
  • Learning to take better notes
  • How I develop skills
  • Things that I’m excited about in the next 3-5 years
  • Plus much more…

Only have a few minutes? Listen to my latest thoughts on cheat days and how to manage sugar cravings.

Enjoy!

TF-ItunesButtonTF-StitcherButton

Want to hear another podcast where I answer your questions? — Listen to 5 things I did to become a better investor. In this episode, I discuss making hundreds of survivable mistakes, the strategy behind my startup bets, and why I’m more successful (on paper) with my investments than my publishing career (stream below or right-click here to download):


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. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. 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. Well worth a few minutes to explore: wealthfront.com/tim.

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

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

All you need to do to get your free 30-day Audible 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!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Do you enjoy this format or would you rather hear nothing but interviews? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

99 Comments / Leave a comment or question