The Tim Ferriss 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

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Getting festive with Chris Sacca, who suggests mullet wigs for every occasion.

Getting festive with Chris Sacca, who suggests mullet wigs (long story) for every occasion.

I dislike shopping, but I love finding the perfect gift.

Finding that gift, though, gets harder with time. People seem to have everything they need.

Alternate versions of the shirts I got last year? No, thank you. More ring pops? I’ll pass. In the eternal quest to eliminate clutter, I now give Santa a not-to-buy list instead of a wish list.

After testing and vetting hundreds of products and gadgets this year, here are 17 that make the cut.  I own all of these and have gifted them to friends.

Gifts Under $25

Butternut 2013 Chardonnay — $16 

I’m a red wine guy. There are very few white wines that make me defect. The first I met was a 2004 Rombauer Chardonnay. The most recent is this delicious Butternut 2013. Every person at the table — all self-described red-wine people — loved it and remarked upon it. If those both sell out, try my current favorite sake, Hitori Musume.

RAD Roller — $25

I travel with one of these at all times. Many folks use the RAD for thoracic mobility work, but I prefer to focus on the feet and forearms (pressing down into a table and rolling). Tip… Think your hamstrings are tight? Try rolling out your feet, doing 30 calf raises, stretching your Achilles, then testing your hammies again. Both Amelia Boone and Coach Sommer would agree—a lot of “hamstring” inflexibility is related to lower-leg mobility.

Metal “Tap” Knife — $6 

I don’t know how I lived without these until now. I order almost everything I need on Amazon Prime, so I’m constantly opening and breaking down boxes. These puppies are so much better than knives or standard box cutters that there is no comparison. Perhaps I’m a weirdo (of course, I am), but these were a game changer. NOTE: These are ONLY for opening boxes. I stupidly used one to open a plastic package and almost cut my damn hand in half. Be careful!

Sleep Master Sleep Mask — $24

This was given to me by Jeffrey Zurofsky (remember “JZ” from The 4-Hour Chef?) as a birthday present. It’s been a godsend. After testing every sleep mask imaginable, and tested black-out blinds, etc. over the years, this is—bar none—my favorite to sleep and travel with. It uses thin velcro instead of elastic, and satin wraps around your ears instead of over them. Remember the first time you saw luggage with wheels and thought, “Why didn’t someone come up with this earlier?” I felt the same when using the Sleep Master Mask for the first time. Simple, great design. One caveat: If you sleep in a very warm room, this mask may be too hot.

Jackery Mini Portable Charger — $13

This thing is a lifesaver when my phone is running low on battery. It was recommended to me by my friend Matt Mullenweg (CEO of Automattic), who I interviewed in this episode of my podcast.

Tools of Titans — $17

OK, I’m clearly biased on this one, but I (and dozens of proofreaders) think it makes the perfect holiday gift. The book is split into three sections–Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise–and there is something for everyone.

Over the past 2 years, I’ve interviewed 200+ of the world’s best performers – everyone from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) to athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.), Special Ops commanders, and black-market biochemists. In this brand-new book, I painstakingly distilled the best tools and tactics you won’t find anywhere else, including at least 40% brand-new content and tips from experts. Even if you’ve heard every podcast episode, you’ll have 250-300 pages of new goodies.

Everything in this book has been applied to my own life. I’ve used many of the recommendations in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars, remade my body, and saved me years of wasted effort. I wrote Tools of Titans, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.

Gifts Under $50

Soma Glass Water Bottle —$30

The Soma Bottle is the healthy way to stay hydrated everywhere. Made from high quality, shatter-resistant glass, with an easy grip protective sleeve, it’s perfectly designed to fit into your bag, your cup holder, and your life.

MobilityWOD Gemini — $35

OK, this isn’t a sex toy, but it sure as hell looks like one. Kudos to Kelly Starrett, the supple (sexy?) leopard and PT to the stars, for thinking multi-purpose. I travel with the Gemini and use it often for my chest and paraspinals (muscles along the spine). To dumb, reckless people reading this: please do NOT stick this tool inside yourself.

Original Buddha Board — $33

A Zen-like Etch-a-Sketch. Use the included brush to paint designs onto the board with water. As the water evaporates, your image will fade within 30-60 seconds.. This is a great tool for learning to let go… or rekindling your artistic side. If you have 60 seconds a day, you have time for the Buddha Board.

Adidas slip-ons — $40 

I’ve needed Adidas slip-ons for years. No idea why it took me so long to get them. They’re perfect as indoor Japanese-style slippers, or for wearing outside when you don’t want flip-flops killing your toe webbing. I’m typing this, I’m wearing them with socks. #GermanStyle

Chemex — $34

The all-American Chemex is unique because of its thicker coffee filters, which are 20-35% thicker than the usual paper filters. This means they hold back more of the lipids and sediment that can result in bitter flavors, delivering an incredibly clean, sweet cup.

Nayoya Needle Pad — $45

This was recommended to me by a Cirque du Soleil performer (Andrii Bondarenko) after I pulled my shoulder and lat. In the Ukraine, he used this type of mat daily after strenuous practice, particularly for back pain. I’ve found 6-10 minutes per session, 1-2 times per day, to have a near-miraculous effect on mid-back issues (and thoracic mobility, oddly). Could be placebo, of course. Start slow, my eager little friends. The “thorns” are sharp.

Gifts Under $100

Epsoak Epsom Salt — $58 (39.5 lbs.)

I take hot baths every night when at home in SF. Nearly always, I add epsom salt (typically 4-8 cups), which facilitates muscular relaxation and recovery. Rather than buy small boxes at CVS or Safeway, I buy in bulk and store it in rolling dog-food containers.

Casa Dragones — $75

This was introduced to me by a Navy SEAL who enjoys sipping this nectar while disassembling and cleaning firearms (unloaded, obviously). It is VERY expensive, but I have no hangover or cognitive slowness the day after a big night, which makes it worth it. If looking for something less expensive but also easy on the brain, try “Hitori Musume” sake mentioned up above.

Hario Skerton Hand Mill — $50 

Use this manual hand grinder alongside the AeroPress and you can make an incredible cup of coffee on the go. I’ve used this grinder and the Porlex hand grinder. I like both but favor the Hario as A) it’s half the cost and B) it has a single-dose measurement on the plastic for eyeballing when you can stop grinding.

Myles Everyday Shorts — $58 

I originally got these as a gift from Huckberry, and they are now my go-to shorts for nearly everything. I swim in them (quick drying), I wear them while working at coffee shops, and you can even wear them to a nice dinner if you have decent shoes. Multi-purpose rocks.

Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser — $60

I’ll keep this one short. I have hated flossing my entire life. Each year, I got a lecture from the dentist, and each year, I’d attempt flossing for 2-3 days and throw in the towel. No longer. Using the WaterPik in combination with the free Coach.me app got me to floss consistently for the first time. Now, I look forward to it. Weird.

Happy holidays, all!

Much love to you and yours…

Tim

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Tools of Titans: Josh Waitzkin Distilled

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josh-waitzkin-distilled

“I cultivate empty space as a way of life for the creative process.”
– Josh Waitzkin

Josh Waitzkin is an endlessly fascinating person who gets mentioned a lot on this show for good reason (and he’s been a guest not just once, but twice).

He was the basis for the book and movie Searching for Bobby Fischer. Considered a chess prodigy, Josh has perfected learning strategies that can be applied to anything, including his other loves of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (he’s a black belt under phenom Marcelo Garcia) and Tai Chi push hands (he’s a world champion). These days, he spends his time coaching the world’s top athletes and investors, working to revolutionize education, and tackling his new passion for paddle surfing (and nearly killing me in the process).

I initially met Josh through his incredible book, The Art of Learning, which I loved so much that I helped produce the audiobook (download here on Audible).

This episode is a highlight reel of sorts — lessons I’ve learned from Josh and shared in my new book Tools of Titans. Please enjoy!

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Want to hear another Tools of Titans preview? — Listen to this podcast with Derek Sivers. In this episode, I share my thoughts on Derek’s life philosophy, his marketing strategy, decision-making, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now, this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

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. 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 the exact 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.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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David Heinemeier Hansson on Digital Security, Company Culture, and the Value of Schooling

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DHH

David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson (@dhh) is the creator of Ruby on Rails, founder and CTO at Basecamp (formerly 37Signals), and the best-selling co-author of Rework and Remote: Office Not Required. Oh, and he went from not having a driver’s license at 25 to winning, at 34, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. It is often called the “Grand Prix of endurance and efficiency.”

Listeners had a million questions we didn’t get to last time, so he’s back for round two because his episode is about to cross a million downloads — and that’s in barely two weeks!

In this episode, DHH discusses:

  • Digital security
  • The value of schooling
  • Three questions you should be able to answer
  • Company culture
  • How bladder relief happens in a 24-hour race
  • And much, much more!

Please enjoy my round 2 conversation with DHH!

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Want to hear my first episode with David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson? — Listen to this interview, which has already been downloaded almost a million times. In this episode, DHH shares his thoughts on the power of being outspoken, running a profitable business without venture capital, Stoic philosophy, and much more (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 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. 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 the exact 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.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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Tools of Titans: Derek Sivers Distilled

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derek-sivers
“If [more] information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”
– Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers(@sivers) is one of my favorite humans, and I call him often for advice. Think of him as a philosopher-king programmer, master teacher, and merry prankster. Originally a professional musician and circus clown (he did the latter to counterbalance being introverted), Derek created CD Baby in 1998. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22 million, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education. He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with more than five million views of his talks. In addition to publishing 33 books via his company Wood Egg, he is the author of Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur, a collection of short life lessons that I’ve read at least a dozen times. I still have an early draft with highlights and notes.

I posted the following on Facebook while writing this chapter: “I might need to do a second volume of my next book [Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers] 100% dedicated to the knowledge bombs of Derek Sivers. So much good stuff. Hard to cut.”

Here’s a bit of what made it into the first edition — cherry-picked from the nuggets I’ve applied to my own life. Enjoy!

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Want to hear an entire conversation with Derek Sivers? — Listen to this podcast, which was Derek’s first appearance on the show, and also a favorite of Seth Godin. In this episode, Derek discusses developing confidence, finding happiness, and saying “no” to millions (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 audiobooks. 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 any of the endless options they offer. 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 FreshBooks. FreshBooks is the #1 cloud 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 and see how the brand new Freshbooks can change your business, go to FreshBooks.com/Tim and enter “Tim” in the “how did you hear about us” section.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: Meditation, Mindset, and Mastery

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Tim Ferriss Radio Hour

I’m excited to bring you a little taste test of a new show format that I’ve been working on — The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour.

After 200 conversations with a variety of fascinating people, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Tony Robbins, Maria Popova, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Amanda Palmer, Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Rubin, Reid Hoffman, Chase Jarvis, Sam HarrisRainn Wilson, and so many others, I started to spot patterns. This is the premise of my new book Tools of Titans, which is a compilation of all of my favorite habits, philosophies, and tools of world-class performers.

This is where Tim Ferriss Radio Hour comes in. In each episode, we’ll take a deep dive into one specific topic or tactic, bringing together the collective genius of past guests — with some new insights from yours truly — to help you become world class in your own right (if you aren’t already).

In this episode, we’ll be exploring meditation and mindfulness. You’ll hear from Chase Jarvis as he explains his top priorities for feeling fulfilled. I talk transcendental meditation with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I cover a wide spectrum with Sam Harris, and ask him about everything from hallucinogens to meditation techniques. And then I wrap up with Rainn Wilson, discussing how to handle life when you feel overwhelmed.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the first episode of The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour!

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In this podcast, we talk with Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his first episode on the podcast, we discussed psychological warfare, never-told-before stories, how he became a millionaire outside of Hollywood, and much more (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 podcast is also brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now, this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

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Susan Garrett — Master Dog (and Human) Trainer

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Susan Garrett

“Dogs are here to teach us. And if you don’t open your eyes to that, you’re going to miss life lessons.”
– Susan Garrett

Susan Garrett (@susangarrett) is an incredible dog trainer. She has a B.Sc. in animal science, and for more than two decades has been one of the most consistently successful competitors in the sport of dog agility.

Susan has been on the podium of the world and national championship events more than 50 times, winning those events a total of 38 times. She was of great help to me when I first adopted Molly, my own pup, and her book Shaping Success (The Education of an Unlikely Champion) was selected as the 2005 dog training and behavior book of the year.

Susan is a champ not only for her competitive track record, but for her ability to convey concrete tips and recommendations for:

  • The most critical exercises for your dog
  • The three types of reinforcement
  • How to use crates properly
  • What you should do in the first 24 hours of adopting a puppy
  • How training a dog is like training an Olympic athlete
  • And much, much more!

We discuss every facet of behavioral modification and conditioning, which applies to much more than dog training. These are techniques that work on everyone from chickens to cats to irritating in-laws.

If you only have 5 minutes, you’ll want to learn why negative reinforcement isn’t as effective as positive reinforcement — even for people.

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!

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Want to hear another podcast about powerful communication? — Listen to my interview with Malcolm Gladwell. In this episode, we discuss routines, habits, and tools, how to make your stories relatable, and why he eats as little as possible in the morning (stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. I reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now, this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

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. 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 the exact 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.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Read More

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The Tim Ferriss Show Crosses 100 Million Downloads

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tfchase

I’m still having a total blast. (Photo: Chase Jarvis, also pictured)

Holy schnikes!

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At the end of October, The Tim Ferriss Show shot past 100,000,000 downloads.  What does that mean? Here’s an official quote from Libsyn:

“Congratulations to Tim for crossing the 100-million download mark. At Libsyn, we have been hosting podcasts for more than 12 years, and we currently host well over 28,000 podcasts, including a high percentage of the blockbuster hits on iTunes,” said Rob Walch, Vice President of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn. “Tim’s podcast is the first business-interview format podcast in our history to cross the 100,000,000 download mark.”

This is wild.

As some of you know, my podcast–The Tim Ferriss Show–was started on a whim. It was intended as a break between big book projects. “I’ll do six episodes to get better at interviewing” was the grand goal.

In the first episode and after two bottles of wine, Kevin Rose nicknamed the show TimTimTalkTalk (damn you, KevKev). And the next morning, after reviewing my ridiculously slurred and iffy questions (e.g. “If you were a breakfast cereal, which would you be?”), I let out a long sigh. I’d always hated the sound of my own voice, but this was worse than expected. TERRIBLE. The podcast experiment wouldn’t last a month.

Or so I thought.

Now, here we are, 100M downloads later, on the cusp of 200 episodes, and growing faster every month. 100M excludes YouTube and other substantial ancillary views/listens.  As of this writing, The Tim Ferriss Show has been in the iTunes top-100 list for 934 consecutive days.

I can say one thing for certain — I’ve only made it this far because of YOU.

Your amazing feedback, support, questions, and comments are what kept this podcast alive. Amidst self-doubt (similar to this) and many mistakes, I’ve wanted to throw in the towel more than once. But, through thick and thin, you’ve been there, telling my monkey mind to chill the fuck out, to take a deep breath, to go to sleep and fight another day.

Many, many thanks.  To celebrate, I’m gathering the top-100 most prolific commenters from this blog’s comments, and you guys will be getting some thank-you goodies🙂

Once again, thank you all so much for listening to this podcast. It means the world to me and keeps me going.

You guys rock.

Here’s to many more adventures ahead!

66 Comments / Leave a comment or question