Hit Filmmaker Jon Favreau’s Techniques and Routines

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“The laughter doesn’t last if there is no story. Story is king. You think it’s about the laughs, but, really, it’s about investing in the story and being drawn in.”
– Jon Favreau [58:55]

Jon Favreau is a man of many talents. He burst onto the acting scene with his role in Rudy.

He established himself as a writer with the iconic cult hit Swingers, in which he starred.

Then, Favreau made his feature film directorial debut with Made, which he also wrote and produced. Other directing credits include Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Cowboys & Aliens, Elf, Zathura, and Chef, which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in.

Lots of commas! This man does everything.

Most recently, he appeared in The Wolf of Wall Street as an actor, and he’s currently directing a live-action film with groundbreaking technology that will blow your mind — an adaptation of Disney’s Jungle Book, set to be released on April 15, 2016.

This episode goes deep into everything —
– How did he get started?
– What role did Dungeons and Dragons play?
– What made Swingers unique, and how was Elf an inflection point?
– What are the creative (and control) choices he made Chef and why?
– What are his writing techniques, routines, and tools?
– And much, much more.

If you create anything, Jon is a prime example of reinvention, doing it all, and doing it well.  Enjoy the lessons!

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Want to hear another podcast with a world-class comedian and actor? — Listen to my conversations with Bryan Callen. In his episode, we discuss improving creativity, optimal performance, eating Corgis, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):


This episode is sponsored by OnnitI have used Onnit products for years. If you look in my kitchen or in my garage you will find Alpha BRAIN, chewable melatonin (for resetting my clock while traveling), kettlebells, maces, battle ropes, and steel clubs. It sounds like a torture chamber, and it basically is. A torture chamber for self-improvement! To see a list of my favorite pills, potions, and heavy tools, click here.

This podcast is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.  Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run..

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is the best advice on creativity you’ve ever received or read? Please share in the comments and check out other responses.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Enjoy!

Selected Links from the Episode

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Show Notes

  • Jon’s go to albums and bands while growing up [4:30]
  • On growing up in the Bronx [6:40]
  • Deciding to dedicate himself to entertainment [10:40]
  • On dropping out of college [13:30]
  • The spark that led Jon to cross the country on a motorcycle and lessons learned [17:50]
  • Deconstructing Dungeons and Dragons shame and how the game inspires filmmaking [22:50]
  • Jon’s process for learning to sculpt quickly and efficiently [28:30]
  • Important themes and lessons from the creation of Chef [31:50]
  • The ingredients Jon Favreau is focused on, plus the value of family/friend cooking experiences [35:25]
  • About George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch [38:45]
  • The process Jon used to write Swingers and Chef [45:20]
  • On being a writer for hire [51:50]
  • Jon’s meditation practice and how the practice inspired Chef [1:04:15]
  • Making, selling and distributing movies [1:10:55]
  • Rapid fire questions:
  1. Who is the first person and director who comes to mind when you think of the word, “successful”? [1:23:20]
  2. Most gifted book? [1:27:30]
  3. Advice to your 30-year old self? [1:28:20]

People and Places Mentioned

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How to Earn Your Freedom…And A Motorcycle Ride Across China?

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This post shares two short essays that have had a profound impact on my life.

They explore “lifestyle,” world travel, practical philosophies, and much more.

Disclaimer: These might make you quit your job… even if you’re the boss. I’m not kidding, as I’ve seen it happen. If it comes to pass, you’ll thank me later.

To see the movies I rave about in this episode, click here.

For the two free protein bars I mention, click here.

Here’s the audio. I hope you enjoy it. Stream below, or you can right-click here to save as an MP3.

For more from the amazing Rolf Potts, don’t miss our two-hour conversation about everything imaginable. It’s easily one of my favorite podcasts I’ve done. Click here to listen.

Enjoy!

Tim

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Inside the Mind of Glenn Beck, You Find…Walt Disney and Orson Welles?

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“When I turned 30, I knew my life was at a crossroads. It was either over, or I was going to restart.”
– Glenn Beck [9:10]

The goal of my blog and podcast is to push you outside of your comfort zone and force you to question assumptions.

This is why I invite divergent thinkers and world-class performers who often disagree. I might interview Tony Robbins and then Matt Mullenweg. Or I might have a long chat with Sam Harris, PhD, and later invite a seemingly opposite guest like…

Glenn Beck.

This interview is a wild ride, and it happened — oddly enough — thanks to a late-night sauna session. I was catching up with an old friend, who is mixed-race, a Brown University grad, and liberal in almost every sense of the word. I casually asked him, “If you could pick one person to be on the podcast, who would it be?”

“Glenn Beck,” he answered without a moment’s hesitation. “His story is FASCINATING.”

He described how Glenn hit rock bottom and restarted his life in his 30’s, well past the point most people think it possible. Fast forward to 2014, Forbes named him to their annual Celebrity 100 Power List and pegged his earnings at $90 million for that year. This placed him ahead of people like Mark Burnett, Jimmy Fallon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Will Smith. Glenn’s platforms — including radio, tv, digital (TheBlaze.com), publishing, etc. — get somewhere between 30 and 50 million unique visitors per month.

This interview is neither a “gotcha” interview nor a softball interview. I ask some tough questions (e.g. “If you were reborn as a disabled gay woman in a poor family, what political system would you want in place?”), but my primary goal is to pull out routines, habits, books, etc. that you can use. This show is about actionable insight, not argument for argument’s sake.

First and foremost, this is a story of entrepreneurship, and whether you love Glenn, hate Glenn, or have never heard his name, there is a lot to learn from him.

After listening to this (no tirades before, please), I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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At one point in this episode, we discuss billionaire Peter Thiel, who was previously on the podcast. Here is Peter and my experimental “conversation.” We delve into his principles of entrepreneurship, building massive companies, value creation, and competition, among other things (stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.  Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run..

This episode is also sponsored by The Tim Ferriss Book Club. In my book club, I highlight amazing books that I love. The most recent addition is We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider. You can find all of the books at audible.com/timsbooks or here.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: For you, what were the most valuable takeaways from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Enjoy!

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • The story of Glenn Beck’s sole class at Yale [8:15]
  • Facing the dark periods, and how bedtime stories helped him identify his alcoholism [17:10]
  • How to avoid the temptations of the past [20:22]
  • On common misconceptions [32:15]
  • Suggestions for finding common ground during debates [37:45]
  • Glenn Beck’s most often gifted book [41:30]
  • Why Glenn has made the decision to be less divisive [45:30]
  • Advice for becoming great on radio (or in audio) [49:00]
  • “What controversial thing do you believe that few people agree with you on?” [53:30]
  • What to focus on when building a fast-growing company [1:03:00]
  • Why he sometimes asks people “How is your soul?” [1:15:05]
  • Morning routines and habits [1:17:50]
  • What makes Glenn Beck effective as the center of a $90-million+ organization [1:22:45]
  • “Who’s the first person to come to mind when you think ‘successful?'” [1:26:50]
  • Glenn Beck’s fascination with Orson Welles and the story of Citizen Kane [1:28:05]
  • On Walt Disney [1:34:25]
  • Glenn Beck’s advice to his 30-year old self [1:38:25]

Podcast Listener Questions (Submitted via My Facebook Page)

Matt Brand – “If you were to be theoretically reborn as a disabled gay woman in a poor family, what political system would you want in place?” [1:43:05]

Alex Kirby – “What are some of the things we can do to ‘rebrand’ capitalism and encourage entrepreneurship here (in the US) and abroad?” [1:39:35]

[Name sadly inaudible] – “If you were to leave people with one piece of advice, or a question they could ask themselves, what would that be?” [1:44:35]

People Mentioned

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Amanda Palmer on How to Fight, Meditate, and Make Good Art

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The Tim Ferriss Show with Amanda Palmer

“Work with the man when the man can help you make your art…”
– Amanda Palmer

“When in doubt, remember: At the end of the day, you get to do whatever the fuck you want.”
– Amanda Palmer

My guest this episode is Amanda Palmer, who first came to prominence as one half of the internationally acclaimed punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls.

Many of you have no doubt seen her surprise hit TED presentation, “The Art of Asking,” which has been viewed more than 6 million times. But her story goes much deeper, and, in this conversation, we delve into her routines, habits, creative process, relationships, business models, and more.

Her new book is aptly titled The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help.  I finished 50% and fundamentally upgraded my life in an afternoon of asking for help.  It’s one hell of a read.

Amanda is also widely known as “The Social Media Queen of Rock-N-Roll” for her intimate engagement with fans via her blog, Tumblr, and Twitter (1,000,000+ followers), and has been at the vanguard of using both “direct-to-fan” and “pay what you want” (patronage) business models to build and run her business. In May of 2012, she made international news when she raised nearly $1.2 million pre-selling her new album, Theatre is Evil, which went on to debut in the Billboard Top 10 when it was released in late 2012.

We get into it all, including war stories, cursing, and meditation techniques. It’s a fun ride. Enjoy!

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Want to hear another podcast with a world-class musician? — Listen to my conversations with Justin Boreta of the Glitch Mob or Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. In the fomer, 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 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.  Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.  Give it a test run…

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Have you ever overcome the fear of asking for help? Please share stories or examples in the comments!

Scroll below for links and show notes… Read More

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The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide – Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More

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smiley 16652277268_381ca34ec5_zI’m not high in this picture, despite my appearance.

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT USE ANY DRUGS OR SUBSTANCES WITHOUT CONSULTING A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. THIS IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.

JAMES FADIMAN, Ph.D., did his undergraduate work at Harvard and his graduate work at Stanford, doing research with the Harvard Group, the West Coast Research Group in Menlo Park, and Ken Kesey. He is the author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide.

Called “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use,” Jim Fadiman has been involved with psychedelic research since the 1960s. In this episode, we discuss the immediate and long-term effects of psychedelics when used for spiritual purposes (high dose), therapeutic purposes (moderate dose), and problem-solving purposes (low dose). Fadiman outlines best practices for safe “entheogenic” voyages learned through his more than 40 years of experience–from the benefits of having a sensitive guide during a session (and how to be one) to the importance of the setting and pre-session intention.

We also discuss potential “training” using lucid dreaming techniques, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Cautioning that psychedelics are not for everyone, Jim dispels the myths and misperceptions. He explains how — in his opinion — psychedelics, used properly, can lead not only to healing but also to scientific breakthroughs and spiritual epiphanies.

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Plus, a bonus you might have missed — Sam Harris, PhD, on meditation, neuroscience, and psychedelics (stream below or right-click here to download):


This episode is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: If you couldn’t use drugs and wanted to experience some of the benefits discussed in this episode, what tools might you use? Please share and explore answers in the comments here.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, could you please leave a short review here? I read them, and they keep me going. Thanks for listening!

SHOW NOTES

These show notes were kindly provided by readers Spencer and Greg. Thanks, guys! There are two different versions, both pasted below. Be sure to also see the comments, which have great additional resources and links… Read More

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Optimizing Investing, Blood, Hormones, and Life (Podcast Double-Header: #63 and #65)

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Raoul_-_MPEG_Streamclip_1_9_2_©_2004-2008_Squared_5Discussing life and investing with Mark Hart and Raoul Pal.

[DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on the Internet. Speak with a medical professional before doing anything medical-related, m’kay?]

There is something here for everyone.

This post details two jam-packed discussions  — one with world-renowned macro investors and investment strategists (Mark Hart and Raoul Pal), and another with a top performance doc you’ve referenced hundreds of times (Peter Attia, MD).

In both, we address dozens of topics, including:

– How do you choose an optimal investment style?
– What’s the most useful definition of “ROI” for lifestyle purposes?
– What are the 5 lesser-known physical tests you should consider?
– How does hormone therapy fit into the bigger performance and longevity picture (or not)?
– Productivity and exercise/diet tips from all participants.

Below, you’ll also find the most comprehensive show notes and links I’ve done to date. They’re DEEP.  If you like them, please let me know in the comments, as these take a TON of time to transcribe and summarize.

EPISODE 63 — I am interviewed by Mark Hart and Raoul Pal for Real Vision Television, which was created to combat the dumbed-down approach to finance in traditional media. Mark predicted and bet on the subprime mortgage crisis, the European sovereign default crisis, and more. As Forbes put it, related to Mark, “Sometimes, combing through a mountain of manager letters felt like reading the newspaper years in advance.” We talk about nearly everything in this roundtable.

EPISODE 65 — Peter Attia, MD, answers your most popular 10-15 questions (e.g. top blood tests, hormone therapy, increasing VO2 max, long-term ketosis, etc.), as voted on by thousands of you. Peter is President of NuSI and a tremendous endurance athlete in his own right.

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This podcast is brought to you by Mizzen + Main. Mizzen + Main makes 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. Order one of their dress shirts this week and get a Henley shirt (around $60 retail) for free.  Just add the two you like here to the cart, then use code “TIM” at checkout.

This episode is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is the best investment advice you’ve ever read or heard? Please share and explore answers in the comments here.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, could you please leave a short review here? I read them, and they keep me going. Thanks!

And here are the copious show notes and links for both episodes… Read More

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of CrossFit

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kelly couch stretch - spartan pose

This post delves into the good, the bad, and the ugly of all things CrossFit.  It answers many important questions, including:

– What are the 3 most dangerous exercises in CrossFit gyms?
– What are the most common nutritional mistakes of CrossFit athletes?
– What do elite CrossFit athletes do differently than the rest? Example: How do Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa warm up?
– Is the CrossFit Games really CrossFit?
– Is CrossFit a fad?
– What is the future of CrossFit?

The man to answer all this (and much more) is Kelly Starrett.  He’s trained CrossFit athletes for more than 130,000 hours (!) and 10 years at San Francisco CrossFit, which opened in 2005 as one of the first 50 CrossFit Affiliates in the world. There are now more than 10,000 Affiliates worldwide.

Kelly’s clients include Olympic gold medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world record holders in Olympic lifting and powerlifting, Crossfit Games medalists, professional ballet dancers, and elite military personnel.

Even if you have zero interest in CrossFit, this conversation invites you inside the mind of one of the world’s top coaches.  Kelly discusses habits, strategies, and thinking that can be applied to nearly everything.

As a bonus, I’ve also included our first conversation below, which includes disgusting amounts of alcohol, my personal doctor, and our tactics for becoming the guy from Limitless.

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Plus, the booze-enhanced episode on all things performance enhancement (stream below or right-click here to download):

This podcast is brought to you by Mizzen + Main. Mizzen + Main makes 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. Order one of their dress shirts this week and get a Henley shirt (around $60 retail) for free.  Just add the two you like here to the cart, then use code “TIM” at checkout.

This episode is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: If you had to pick one sport or weightlifting movement for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Please share and explore answers in the comments here.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, could you please leave a short review here? I read them, and they keep me going. Thanks!

170 Comments / Leave a comment or question