Tim Ferriss: How to Learn Better & Create Your Best Future | Huberman Lab Podcast

Transcription for the video titled "Tim Ferriss: How to Learn Better & Create Your Best Future | Huberman Lab Podcast".


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Introduction: Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss (00:00)

Welcome to the Huberman Lab podcast where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life. I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine. Today my guest is Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferriss is an author, a podcaster, an investor, and is known for having a near supernatural ability to predict the future, which has allowed him to obtain success in a huge number of different endeavors. For instance, he is a five-time number one New York Times best-selling author, but perhaps equally or more important to that. He's also exceptionally good at teaching people how to write the entire process of writing and marketing a book. His books, The Four-Hour Chef, and The Four-Hour Body, and The Four-Hour Workweek, not only explain his own exploration of how to optimize and prioritize his time and learn particular skills, but he teaches you those skills as well. This is really what sets Tim apart. He is an exceptional learner and an exceptional teacher. And today you learn why that is, and in a characteristic Tim Ferriss way, he explains the process in a way that you can apply it. He lists out, for instance, the specific questions that you should ask when approaching any endeavor in order to get the information that you want and to make the process of learning and getting better at something and achieving great success in something that much more likely. That ability that Tim has to identify the specific questions that one needs to ask and answer, and the specific action steps to take in order to achieve success, is really what I believe sets Tim apart from everyone else on the internet or on the bookshelf that's giving advice as to how to become good at something. Tim Ferriss is also dedicated to various philanthropic efforts, the most recent of which is the donation of several millions of his own dollars to research on psychedelics for the treatment of otherwise intractable psychiatric challenges, such as major depression, suicidal depression, eating disorders, and addiction. And he's also brought together other philanthropists, which has really galvanized the whole field of psychedelic research for the treatment of mental health, transforming it from what was recently kind of a fringe area of science to a mainstay that's actually funded not only by philanthropy, but by the National Institutes of Health. So he's really transformed this entire scientific field into one that now is transforming the laws around psychedelics and is providing mental health treatment for people that would otherwise suffer. Today's discussion was a particularly meaningful one because not only is Tim a pioneer in the world of podcasting, but it also marked the nine-year anniversary of his podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show. Now, as I mentioned earlier, Tim is known for being able to see around corners or predict the future. He really does seem to be about five, if not 10 years ahead, of everybody else in thinking about tools for optimization in particular domains of life. And so we were very fortunate that during today's discussion, he shares with us his current creative endeavors and how he's thinking about and approaching those. And he also breaks down for us the process of how to think about and prioritize one scheduled, not just on the order of the day, not just on the order of the week, but really thinking about one's life as a journey and how to organize and go about that journey. So today's discussion will provide with you tremendous insight into who Tim Ferriss is and how that incredible mind of his works in order to do all the amazing things that he's done. And, of course, he teaches you how to do it. He will tell you the exact questions that you should ask and that you should answer and how to step back and think about those questions and then prioritize so that you can decide how to best invest your time. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Tim Ferriss show. However, if you're not already subscribing to the Tim Ferriss show, I highly recommend you do. I still go back and listen to early episodes of the Tim Ferriss show. And I'm a weekly listener to the new episode. We provide a link to the Tim Ferriss show in the show note captions. Also in the show note captions, you'll find links to Tim's many New York Times best-selling books and a link to his excellent weekly blog. Before we begin, I'd like to emphasize that this podcast is separate from my teaching and research roles at Stanford.

Sponsors And Discussions On Health And Diet

Sponsors: Maui Nui, LMNT, Levels (04:08)

It is, however, part of my desired effort to bring zero cost to consumer information about science and science related tools to the general public. In keeping with that theme, I'd like to thank the sponsors of today's podcast. Our first sponsor is Maui Nui venison. Maui Nui venison is the most nutrient-dense and delicious red meat available. I've talked before on this podcast about the key importance of striving to get one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Now, when one strives to do that, it's also important to maximize the quality protein to calorie ratio. In other words, you don't want to consume a lot of extra calories in order to get your quality protein. Maui Nui venison, in having an extremely high quality protein and nutrient to calorie ratio, allows you to do that very easily. And in addition to that, Maui Nui venison is delicious. I particularly like their bone broth, which has an unmatched 25 grams of protein per hundred calories. I also love their ground venison and their venison steaks. All of them are absolutely delicious. If you'd like to try Maui Nui venison, go to MauiNui venison.com/huberman and get 20% off your first order. Again, that's MauiNui venison.com/huberman to get 20% off. Today's episode is also brought to us by Element. Element is an electrolyte drink that has everything you need. That is the electrolytes, sodium, magnesium, and potassium, but nothing you don't, which means no sugar. It's critical that we get electrolytes, because every cell of our body, but in particular, our nerve cells, our neurons rely on electrolytes in order to function properly. With element, it's very easy to ingest the correct ratios of electrolytes. They come in these little packets. They're really delicious. You mix them up with anywhere from eight to 16 to 32 ounces of fluid. I like mine pretty concentrated, so I'll drink a 16 ounce glass of water with element in it when I first wake up. I'll also consume another one of those, maybe 32 ounces with one packet when I exercise and maybe another one, if I happen to sweat a lot during exercise, or if I was in the sauna and sweating a lot, if it's a very hot day, etc. If you'd like to try Element, go to drink element. That's LMT.com/huberman to claim a free element sample pack with your purchase. Again, that's drink element LMT.com/huberman. Today's episode is also brought to us by levels. Levels is a program that lets you see how different foods and activities impact your blood glucose levels or blood sugar levels, as they're sometimes referred to. With levels, you can see how the specific foods you eat, when you eat, and exercise, as well as any other activities impact your blood glucose and how those affect things like your energy level or your quality of sleep or your level of clarity and focus for mental work or your physical output for physical endeavors. I first started using levels about a year ago as a way to understand how different foods and activities impact my blood glucose levels. It's really impacted my entire schedule. In fact, I've shuffled a number of things around such that now I have more stable energy throughout the day. Yes, I eliminated one or two foods. Fortunately, they weren't my favorite foods. I've also added some new foods to my nutrition program that have allowed my blood sugar levels to remain much more steady throughout the day and to achieve better sleep at night. Levels even provides a simple score after any meal you eat. So you can see how different foods affect you and develop a personalized nutrition program that's exactly right for you. And that's really what levels is about. It's really about tailoring things to your specific needs. So if you're interested in learning more about levels and trying a CGM yourself, go to levels.link/huberman. Right now they're offering an additional two free months of membership. Again, that's levels.link/huberman. And now for my discussion with Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferriss.

Hour Body & Development Mindset (07:43)

I am nothing short of thrilled to have you here. I've been reading your books, reading your blogs, listening to your podcasts for a very long time. And in preparing for today, I was thinking, who does Tim remind me of? Because I knew you reminded me of somebody, but I didn't know who. And then I realized it. You remind me of the neurobiologist, Ramone Kahl. You don't look anything like him. He doesn't look anything like you. He was a brilliant scientist. He won the Nobel Prize in 1906 for essentially describing the structure of the nervous system. He was the first, along with another guy, to define synapses, like it's fundamental connection in the nervous system. But the reason that you remind me of Kahl is that it's a well-known or not-so-secret secret in neuroscience that if you want to pick a really excellent project to work on, you simply go and look at what Kahl talked about or hypothesized. And then you work on that. He had this almost supernatural ability to look at fixed, stained tissue of the nervous system, much of it is incredibly beautiful, by the way. And think about how it worked when it was alive. And he's considered the greatest neurobiologist of all time without question. And it's really this feature of being able to see around corners or into the future that establishes that link for me. It's absolute truth that if you look back to what you were doing 10 years ago, 15 years ago, the kinds of things you were doing, the kinds of questions you were asking, that translates to much of what people like myself and people in the fitness space, tech space, investor space, mindfulness space, psychedelic space, all these different arenas, what they're doing now. So it's not hyperbole to say that you are the Ramone Kahl of all those different spaces. And podcasting, of course, is one of those. So I owe you a great debt of gratitude and many others do as well. So my first question for you is, what was your mindset around the time that you wrote "Four Hour Body" for our work week, but in particular, four hour body, because the protocols in that book are so very useful. They were at the time it was published. They still are now. And so many of the things like ice baths, the discussion around brown fat thermogenesis, resistance training in its kind of basic form of just providing enough progressive overload to get an adaptation, not excessively long workouts, weight loss, slow carb diet, and on and on and on. What were you thinking at that time? Like if you can think back to then, like what were you foraging for? What were you thinking about when you woke up in the morning thinking, "Oh, I'm going to go find all this stuff that at the time was really esoteric," because it is all played out very well. What I'm basically saying is if you want to know what's going to be happening hot and useful in five years, 10 years, and onwards, just look at what Tim's doing at any moment. So there it is. Well, thank you for the very generous comparison and intro. I'm thrilled to be here. So thanks for having me. And the four body represented an opportunity for me to do a few things. The first was to diversify my identity from outside of the realm of the business category. So it was a deliberate move since the success of the first book bought me permission to do something else that publishers would still want to gamble on. I wanted to see if I could maybe like a Michael Lewis take my audience with me to other topics. So that was a lateral move that was very deliberate from a career optionality standpoint. And then I was doing, I think, what I've done for a very long time and what I enjoy doing, which is looking at the most prevalent beliefs and maybe dogmatic assumptions in a given field. It could be anything. If anyone says always, never should, I pay attention and take note of that. They may very well be right. But if anything is said in absolutes, I like to stress test. And in the case of, say, physical performance or physical manipulation, tracking, 2008, 2009, it was a very interesting time because the number of different technologies were coming online, meaning being adopted by small groups. You had very early stages of, say, accelerometers as wearables. You had a number of different innovations and means of tracking that had never been available before. You had, for instance, and this took a farroding on my side. It wasn't immediately on the roadmap for the forearm body, but continuous glucose monitors. At the time, that was, I want to say exclusively limited type one diabetics or maybe type two diabetics, but largely type one diabetics. And what captured my interest, and I can't recall how I came across it, but it was probably through the very earliest iterations of what later became the quantified self movement. And I remember attending the very first gathering at Kevin Kelly's house in Pacifica, California. This was around 2009, 12 people, 13 people to discuss quantifying health. But the example of a professional race car driver, I can't remember the form factor, whether it was F1 or NASCAR or other, who was using this continual glucose monitor for paying attention to glucose levels while driving. And I thought to myself, would that not be useful for healthy normals? Would that not have other applications? If this is being used by a high performer in this type of context, might it have other types of applications, which then led me to use the very early versions of Dexcom, which were really painful to implant, no longer the case. Of course, that's changed a lot. And I wanted to see how I might be able to find a handful of different categories of things. There's the new, like the genuinely new, like CGM at that point was genuinely new. The very old that might have some room for scientific investigation. And I would say when I say scientific, I don't necessarily mean randomized control trials at a university. I do think as an end of one, if you think about study design and you can even blind, you could even placebo control. And I knew people in the small subculture of quantified self who did this, you can, I think, approach things in a methodical way where you can make a lot of progress in trying to determine causality or lack thereof. Looking at very old things, looking at orphaned things. So for instance, there are many examples in the world of doping where you have, say, Balco back in the day, where famously Barry Bonds and others purportedly use things like the cream and the clear. And these were based on antibiotics that were sourced from Soviet literature or older literature from the 50s and 60s that might not be on the radar of saving anti-doping groups that would administer the testing. So all of these different buckets were of interest to me. And I begin where I usually do just interviewing folks.

Origins of Good Ideas (15:22)

So I would interview one or two people in a given field. And I might ask them any number of questions. So one is, what are the nerds doing on the weekends or at night? This is also really good for investing. It's like, all right, what are the really technical nerds doing at night or on the weekends after they've put in a really long work day or work week? Let's take a really close look at that. Another one is, and I'll create a flow for this, but what are rich people doing now that everyone or tens or hundreds of millions of people might be doing 10 years from now. And an example of that would be, let's just say, full-time assistant, virtual assistant, AI, right? So we've seen the needs and wants being addressed by different technology, but it's an iteration of the same thing on some level, in the case of, say, using chat GPT tied into Zapier for various functions. And then where are people cobbling together awkward solutions? So where are people piecing together awkward solutions? And is there room for some type of innovation there? These are a few of the questions that I would not only ask myself, but ask experts in different areas. So if I end up spending time, say this was a few years prior to writing the four-hour body, I spent time at NASA Ames and was interacting with a number of scientists, some people who were working on all sorts of biological tests and looking at genomics and had a very frank discussion about where they thought. If they had to push, right? So I'll ask questions like, push a little bit into the realm of science fiction and speculation, because I'm sure you can't support any type of projection like that with the literature, with scientific literature. But what do you think some of the risks are of, say, publishing your genome? Because at the time, a number of high-profile folks had just made their full genomes available. And they're like, well, I think in the near future it would be possible to reconstruct someone's face based on their genetic data. And they're like, high degree of confidence, like, zero to 100% how confident? Yeah, 80, 90%. I'm like, OK, I should pay attention to that. Because if you're making your data available, let's just say, and it's anonymized per se, you still might be identifiable. It's like, OK, that raises some interesting questions. Like, OK, well, then how might you get around that? How might you put in safeguards so that you are the one and only keeper of your data, so to speak? I brought up all sorts of targeted weaponry, sort of bio-weapons possibilities that I was interested in. And then I would ask that person who's clearly like willing to step outside of the box of whatever he's working on day to day, who are two of your close friends? Or two thinkers you really pay a lot of attention to are kind of at the bleeding edge of something and unorthodox. And then I would just continue to have these conversations over and over again. And the stream of development that I paid a lot of attention to is something along the lines of the following. So the very beginnings are usually in some type of extreme case. And I think the extremes in this goes for product design as well, but the extremes inform the mean but not vice versa. So you can actually learn a lot by studying the edge cases. So racehorses, for instance, you'll often see things start with, say, racehorses or people with wasting diseases, for instance, or any type of chronic or terminal illness who are willing to try some more experimental interventions. Then let's just take one step further bodybuilding. See a lot of interesting behavior in bodybuilding. And high level athletes, then billionaires, then rich people, then the rest of us. So my assumption is and was for the fore our body that along the lines of William Gibson's quote, you know, the future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed. So I'm never predicting the future. I'm just finding the seeds that are germinating that I think are going to bloom and end up spreading really, really widely. So that's generally where I start. And I assume the practitioners are going to be ahead of the papers. So studying, say, the coaches whose jobs are on the line who are getting paid based on athlete performance and assuming that a lot of that will eventually, if it holds up, make its way into, say, the peer reviewed exercise science papers, but it's going to have a lag time of three to five years, at least, at least, at least, takes a long time. Yeah, science is often very slow to catch up. You mentioned many things I have questions about. You mentioned paying attention to the new, the very old, or the orphaned.

Writing & Structured Thinking (20:06)

So interesting. And I just thought I'd tell you that when you sit down with a graduate student or a postdoc and they're trying to come up with a project, rarely do you say, you know, like, what do you want to work on? And they fire back, like, a really interesting question. Sometimes they do, but that's the rare person. More often than not, you'll send them to the literature. And they'll come back with like, okay, there's this new technique that we can use to answer a set of questions better than ever before, where there's a very old theory I want to revisit, or there's this theory that no one pays attention to. In fact, we had one guest on here, Odette Rachavi, who is studying essentially inheritance of traits, transgenerational inheritance of traits. It's a little bit, although different from Lamarckian evolution, but it's a lot like that in some ways. And you know, these orphaned theories that everyone assumed were wrong and that there is a basis for them. So I think there's real genius in that analysis. It also struck me as you were listing off some of your process, circa the writing of the four hour body, that I and many other people are probably curious about what the operations around all that looked like. So are you or were you at the time, like waking up in the morning and going, okay, I'm going to take a walk and think about the new, the old and the orphaned, or I'm going to take a walk or sit in and share and think about like, what are the nerds doing right now? What are rich people doing right now or cobbling together awkward solutions? Was that exploration a structured practice for you, or is this just something that was the consequence of being Tim Ferriss waking up in the morning and just like leaning into that? Yeah, because I've experienced both, right? You know, but I think a lot of us are curious. I mean, there's a lot of mystique around you. Whether you like us to dispel it, whether you like it or not, it's there and we're not trying to pry. But pry away is the establishment of structure for you, something that's the consequence of structure in the first place. It's like, okay, now it's time to think, or do you just allow things to geyser up to the surface? I do both. And I would say that in the case of the Four Hour Body, it's a bit of an anomaly compared to my later books because I had recorded effectively every work at I'd done since age 16 as a competitive athlete. I had a lot of records and I kept copious notes on supplement use and everything imaginable. So I have what you might call hypergraphia. I just capture it almost everything in writing. And that was very useful because at various points in time, let's just say I looked at a photograph of myself from making this up. But 2004, and I think I would like to look and feel like that again. Okay, let me revisit my workout logs. Let me just replicate the preceding three to six months of workouts and look at my intake and my diet at the time. In lo and behold, more or less, I could replicate the same type of look and feel and performance. So I had a lot already logged that I thought was worth examining and putting under scrutiny, trying to replicate with other people. I do think replication is really important. And then when it came time to commit to writing the book, I thought about what types of mini books would be of great interest to me personally. And that book, like many of my other books, was written in such a fashion that it could be a choose your own adventure book, did not need to be read. In fact, in many ways, it shouldn't be read linearly from page one to the end. You get to pick and choose which chapters are of interest based on breath hold, vertical jump, endurance, hypertrophy, cold exposure for fat loss, whatever it might be. And then I began talking to people. And at the very outer bounds of self experimentation, at least in the Bay Area, it's a pretty small community. So you're one or two lily pads from just about everyone. And it's not accidental that I put myself in that environment in San Francisco, specifically, and more generally in the Bay Area Silicon Valley, because there's just a high surface area for luck to stick to, because you have so many serendipitous encounters, you have so many people focusing on different disciplines. That, I think, was the fertilizer and the fertile ground for everything else was actually the choosing the wear of writing, physically being located in San Francisco. And then when I'm structuring things, maybe I'll get into some of the nitty gritty, but I was using at the time, and I still like to use a program called Scrivener, which is actually designed predominantly for screenwriting. It's used for many things now novels and so on. It's expanded its reach quite a bit, but it allows you to gather research and all of your documents and drafts so that you can move them around in very novel ways so that you can view, say, a split pane of your research and what you're working on simultaneously without having to toggle between a lot of different windows. And I was very promiscuous in my gathering of data, so I would gather from, say, the web using a web clipper from Evernote, which I was involved with as a company. And basically without bias capture as much as possible, three asterisks next to anything that I thought I really might want to revisit after I had read something a second time, which I would always do. Then I could control F to find just three asterisks because they don't occur much in normal writing, just like people, authors, writers will use TK, meaning find such and such a date. Data needs to be inserted later, but I don't want to interrupt the flow of writing, only put in TK because it doesn't really appear in natural English much. In terms of structured thinking, the way I approached it was during that period of time in my life, it was interviews, tracking people down, conversations, emails, reading. So ingestion, let's just say, for the workday, then a break for training and actually using myself as the human guinea pig for various things that had surfaced that might be on the docket. Where were you training at that time? I was just goes not famous for amazing gyms. It's not famous for amazing gyms. At the time, I was training mostly at a climbing gym called Mission Cliffs. They didn't have much, but they had barbells and they had kettlebells. I also had in the walkway leading from the front door of the apartment, I was renting as more of a house, the front door all the way to the first set of stairs. There were 30 kettlebells of various types. I was training for certification, so I wanted to put myself on some type of deadline with accountability for that type of training to get a better understanding of it. So I trained for a few hours. I also had developed a friendship with Kelly Starrett. So San Francisco CrossFit, who I have tremendous amount of respect for, likewise on multiple levels. He's terrific. And his new book, yeah, built to move his great book. He's so good. Yeah. He really not only talks to talk, but walks the walk and exemplifies many of the capabilities that he teaches, which I take seriously. I like practitioners, not just the people with pretty theories, although the theories are important. I prefer to see someone who can actually put them into practice. So Kelly served that function, certainly, and we're still very close friends. And then, after that, all right, shake off the cobwebs, get the body moving, get the brain moving, also eat.

Writing, Night Owls (27:58)

And then I would actually focus on synthesis. So I would write generally from, let's call it 9pm or 10pm through to 4 or 5am. And I would ride the wave if I happened to be in the zone. If I weren't in the zone, I wouldn't force it. And I would try to get more sleep. But I have always performed best with my writing in those witching hours of let's call it 10pm to 4am. And my experience is that the writers I've interviewed, the writer friends I've become close with, if you look at when they made themselves, not necessarily what they do now, right? But what they did that eventually got them to escape velocity, they're almost always doing most of their writing very late at night or very early in the morning when the rest of the world or their social group is inactive. Wow. And I say wow, because of course, all of this was prior to the publication of Matt Walker's seminal book, Right? Why We Sleep? Which I really see as the book that shifted a lot of people, fortunately, from the I'll sleep when I'm dead mindset, to really paying attention to it. And I don't think Matt gets enough credit. I mean, there's been a revision of a few points within that book, but the majority of it is just spot on and hyperleasing. So good. And and yet what you're describing is a schedule that you know, starting to write at 9pm and finishing up around 4am. But you talked about research earlier that day and training and eating. So where there are naps in there, I would sleep from say four to maybe 11 or 12. So I would be getting up later. And I've had conversations with Matt about this. And there are night owls and morning larks. And there are certainly differences in the code, meaning the genetics. But that worked very, very well for me for a very long time. It is however, a very challenging social schedule. So once you have a significant other and every girlfriend I've ever had is a morning person. If you want to spend time together, that schedule just does not work. So I made compromises later for the social side of things. But if you put a gun to my head and said you need to write the best book, humanly possible, that is your only priority outside of some exercise and fuel, I would follow the same schedule. I know several very successful podcasters, Lex Friedman in particular, who I think he's trying to follow a more normal schedule now, but he's pseudo nocturnal, at least by my read. And there are a couple other online content creators, Derek from MorePlates, More Dates, who's hyper productive in his domain and is mostly nocturnal. And then as you're describing your writing routine and your overall routine, I was thinking that the great skateboarder, everyone knows Tony Hawk, who is obviously a great skateboarder, no doubt about that. But Rodney Mullen, who invented the Ollion Street, the kickflip, Rodney's basically nocturnal and has been for a long time and would skateboard up and down the boardwalk in Santa Monica in the middle of the night because lack of distraction. Yes, it really was. And he's been doing that since his teens. I don't know what he's doing these days, but I think a lot of creators just need space. And I always wonder if that's because when they, at least the ones that are not socially dysfunctional, like yourself, who, when they are around people, there's this almost, hopefully a desire to interact. So you almost have to remove the stimulus completely. Yeah, it removes the plausible deniability, which might not be the perfect use of that phrase, but in the sense that you, it's harder to fool yourself into thinking you're doing something important when you're checking your messages or social media at two in the morning. Who are we kidding folks? You should be a writer in this case. Right? And writers will do anything to avoid writing. I remember Ayn Rand wrote a book about writing, which is actually fantastic. I can't remember the exact title. It might just be on nonfiction writing, something like that. And she talked about polishing the sneakers or the shoes before writing. Like, I really just need to do this one thing, which is to just clean up that shoe, because somebody should really clean it up. And at some point, I should clean it up. And therefore, why don't I just do there's no time like the president? I'll just do that. And it's all to avoid writing, which is the harder thing. And in my conversations with Matt also, I should say that as someone who has self described as a person who struggles with onset insomnia, Matt made the point and sometimes we need to relearn things. Maybe you should just go to bed later. And that might address some of this onset insomnia. And I don't know the causes for that, but I do get a second win very late. Could be related to some cortisol release, abnormality, or just different scripting in my system. Who knows?

I'd like to take a quick break and acknowledge one of our sponsors, Athletic Greens. Athletic Greens, now called AG1, is a vitamin mineral probiotic drink that covers all of your foundational nutritional needs. I've been taking Athletic Greens since 2012. So I'm delighted that they're sponsoring the podcast. The reason I started taking Athletic Greens and the reason I still take Athletic Greens once or usually twice a day is that it gets to be the probiotics that I need for gut health. Our gut is very important. It's populated by gut microbiota that communicate with the brain, the immune system, and basically all the biological systems of our body to strongly impact our immediate and long term health. And those probiotics in Athletic Greens are optimal and vital for Microbiotic health. In addition, Athletic Greens contains a number of adaptogens, vitamins and minerals that make sure that all of my foundational nutritional needs are met. And it tastes great. If you'd like to try Athletic Greens, you can go to athleticgreens.com/huberman and they'll give you five free travel packs that make it really easy to mix up Athletic Greens while you're on the road, in the car, on the plane, etc. And they'll give you a year supply of vitamin D3K2. Again, that's athleticgreens.com/huberman to get the five free travel packs and the year supply of vitamin D3K2. I'll mention one other, one other maybe sureistic that I use for trying to peek around corners, which is if I find an example of an outlier trying to find two or three, right?

Investigating Outliers; Social Media & Smartphones (34:21)

Because one is an exception, two is interesting, three is worth investigating. That's sort of how I think about it. And I recognize the thrill of anecdote does not equal data. However, a lot of interesting discoveries begin as case studies or case histories. And so there are some things we could talk about that I've paid attention to over the last few years that are not in the for our body that I think are quite interesting and raise very, very exciting questions. But I'd love to hear about those. Yeah. And in the long lines of what I call ANIC data, I mean, most of what we know about human memory stems from one patient, HM, who had his hippocampi removed for epilepsy. And of course, there have been millions probably close to millions of studies in animals and humans focusing on the hippocampi. But most of what we know about human memory is from one guy. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So there's a lot to be examined, not all of it will get funding for RCTs. Let's be realistic. This is especially true. If you're hoping for any type of directive data, notice I'm not saying conclusive. But if you are human, who's going to be making decisions about diet, health, exercise, if you want any consensus, you're doomed. You're not going to get any answers before you die. Can you say that twice so that the internet can hear it extra loud and clear? For those of you that are arguing about nutrition on Twitter, like it might actually be life wasted. Yeah. I mean, I'm not being judgmental. I mean, I think that there's validity in lots of those pockets. There's stuff that's wrong in lots of those pockets. There are diets that work extremely well, like, you know, four-hour diet, or slow carb. I always call it a four-hour diet, but the slow carb diet, it works extremely well. Anytime I followed it, I get much leaner and stronger and all that stuff that it's purported to do. It works. But yeah, maybe you could just explain what you mean by that, because I think there are some argument/friction spaces that are truly an energy sink. Yeah. I would just say, focus on what works for you and your family or your team. And if you're arguing on the internet, recognize that you're just doing it because you like arguing on the internet. You're not going to convince anyone of anything. And you're just going to make yourself more frustrated if you plan on changing any opinions. So for me, it's live and let live. And the more people who engage in that type of behavior, the more competitive advantage you have if you don't. So for me, I'm like, okay, if you want to spend this vital, non-renewable resource of yours called time on that, if I ever compete against you, I'm going to win. So great. I'll just, I'll also not even try to convince you to stop doing that unless you see the logic in it, which I have, which is why I also don't have, at least for two years, have mostly had no social apps installed on my phone. And we could talk about that because I think recognizing that these things have been engineered to overcome any type of self-discipline with billions of dollars at stake should lead you to believe that you're bringing a knife to a gunfight. So I just don't have the apps on my phone to begin with. And I find it much more gratifying to see disproportionate change from small inputs. So that's what I'm looking for. And I'm also looking for changes that are easy to make that can have high adherence that have very limited downside, which is very different from proving something. For instance, in the for our body, took a look at the potential effect of cell phones or the proximity of cell phones to say, gonadal function and reproductive health. And the literature that was available at the time was very limited, had some animal studies, mice, rats, etc. I recognize humans are not just large mice. So they don't always translate. But I looked at it, I said, okay, looking at this simplistically, is it plausible that there could be similar effects on humans seems to be the case also based on conversations with people who are specialists, but would never go on record. Therefore, if your phone is in your pocket, just have it on airplane mode. I mean, it does not have a high cost. And then pending any revision, we can see, but while the jury is still out, I'm going to risk mitigate by taking this step. Well, and I just want to say, thank you there too. I read that recommendation. I followed the recommendation of not keeping the phone on in my front pocket or back pocket. And that's anic data. My sperm analysis isn't relevant to this conversation, but worked out. But you could say, well, that's not necessarily because you had the phone off, but I did a very long detailed episode on male and female fertility. There is now a what I view as a really quality meta analysis. And it's pretty clear that there are effects of the smartphone on proximity of the smartphone when it's turned on, that are not good for sperm isn't necessarily going to render somebody sterile, but on sperm that can be separated out from the heat effects. And so, essentially, this is another instance in which you were right. And I think more data will come out. And am I a EMF conspiracy theorist? No. Do I wear tinfoil underwear? No. But I think it's interesting. I think it's important. And thanks to you, queued my attention to it. In fact, I teach about that in a course on neural circuits and biology and health and disease. Amazing. And I don't expect to get everything right at all.

Scientific Literacy, Randomized Clinical Trials (40:37)

That would be crazy. I'd like to think I'm not totally crazy. And it's very important if you are going to do self experimentation or experimentation in small groups, which the quantified self community did quite well. And I think still does quite well. You should really make every effort to not fool yourself, which is hard, it's challenging at times. But read books like bad science, read books like how to lie with statistics, ensure that you are able to read studies well. You don't have to be the best in the world, but that you can on some level, identify the strengths and weaknesses of studies. This doesn't take a long time. Certainly, our friend Peter Tia, Dr. Peter Tia has studying the studies, which is a multiple part blog series dedicated to this. There are other ways to approach it. I took one of his podcasts, republished it on the Tim Ferriss show because it talked about how to examine studies, what powering refers to things like this. In the span of one or two weeks, you could really become literate with the building blocks of scientific literacy with respect to reading studies. And that gives you such an enormous life advantage. It's hard to overstate. Yeah, I agree. And I also think that there are a lot of things that just simply will not ever be explored in a randomized control trial. One of the things that Peter and I have talked about before is he texts me, you know, what are your thoughts on BPC 157? This is a gastric peptide that's now been synthesized. So people will inject it into a tissue that they're trying to heal or improve lots and lots of aonic data on BPC 157, making injuries heal faster, etc. Again, anoch data. I've used it. I took an injection of it yesterday, in fact. Peter basically is not a believer because there is a lack of published data on this, which is perfectly fine. Or I should say he's skeptical. And so there's always that possibility of a placebo effect. But I don't think there will ever be a really nice controlled trial on BPC 157 because the financial incentives aren't there. And no smart graduate student is going to go do a thesis on this. So that's the reality. I mean, maybe one will do it now that we're having this conversation. But it just doesn't, that payout isn't there. And that last one you mentioned is one that people miss a lot. People doing these studies are people with careers who are planning their careers. And so they choose what they're going to invest time in very carefully. So that's another limiter on what will end up in our RCT or not. Right. So I think that's good for people to hear. And as you get more involved with science, and in my case, through a foundation, a Sci-Sci Foundation funding a lot of early stage science, you realize how expensive it is and how long it takes. It is a long term investment. And if you are looking to make behavioral changes or modify aspects of yourself, cognitive, physical, psycho emotional, or otherwise, identifying interventions or options that seem to have some plausible upside, like there is a mechanism that might make sense in humans. If you feel fairly certain, there's very limited downside, which should include talking to people who are presenting their results as an anecdote. Then maybe you consider using X if you can cap your downside. And I recall, for instance, looking at transreste-rutral, specifically not for longevity, but in potentially increasing endurance for our body. And I ended up testing it. And there's a funny story associated with that. Didn't quite work out as planned, and I don't use it any longer. But what I experienced prior to actually finding this on forums was joint pain, elbow pain. The one most consistent side effect was what felt like tendinosis in the elbows. And then I went online. And I'd already done this, but I hadn't come across. I think it was the 500 group of people who have been using 500 milligrams of transreste-rutral daily for long periods of time. And one of the most common reported side effects was joint pain. And I was like, "Okay, I'm not willing to make that trade off." And it makes sense to me. I think it would be fun if ever you were willing that we could do a hybrid podcast on supplement fails.

Supplement & Experiment Fails; Cold Exposure & Hyperthermia (45:09)

I have some spectacular failures. As do I. And I'm thinking about a few of them. Some that were really, like, took me off course. Like there's one supplement called Bulbine Natalensis. This is another one of these shrubs. Sounds like an infection. I mean, this thing will really spike your testosterone and free testosterone. I'm talking back acne, like huge strains, gains, aggression. It's really wild. And then after about seven to 10 days, it all crashes and you go below baseline. Even testicular pain. So it was unclear. So if you're a smart person, you halt use, right? So I can understand why people are skeptical of certain things. And then, of course, there are supplements that I'm a big fan of and that you're a big fan of. We talked about those things elsewhere. But it might be fun to do a supplement fails podcast. If ever you're willing, that would be. Oh, I could do just experimental fails. Oh, yeah. Yeah. End of one experimental fails, which include things that people might not think about. For instance, for our body had quite a bit of real estate dedicated to looking at things like PRP. So platelet rich plasma. I think there's a role for it. It's not useful for everything. But for certain types of injury or repair, I think it's very interesting. But every time you get injected, this is where you have to be careful because there are very few free lunches out there. There's usually some type of feedback loop. Your system is very smart at auto regulating things. This is outside of that, a consideration that I hadn't made, which is every time you have an injection, there's a chance of an infection. Particularly if the site, in my case, was the elbow and the injection was made for the PRP, not quite where it should have been slightly to the rear of the elbow where the skin is very thick. And so it pushed staff bacteria from a middle air of the skin into the joint capsule. Not good. And that really could have ended very poorly. I ended up having to go to the ER and get it all removed and so on. But that could have ended up in a much, much more severe situation. So you do have to be careful with this stuff. I've become a little more conservative with someone I do, including injections. I'm like, all right, let me think twice about the injections. If I'm going to swallow something, let me make sure I'm really looking at the implications for the liver. Yeah, smart, very smart. I'm curious about some of the things that you talked about in the four-hour body and that you've mentioned today, things like accelerometers, continuous glucose monitors, deliberate cold exposure. How many of those things are you still doing on a regular basis? And how many do you use a couple times a week or a couple times a month or go through phases of using and not using? Cold exposure I use as consistently as is practical. So if I'm traveling, it's a little harder. But we're in LA right now. One of the first things I did was find a few options for contrast therapy. One of the first things I did. And by contrast, I do not mean infrared sauna and cold plunge. I'd much rather have hot and cold water, just in terms of sort of speed of heating. The Japanese approach, right. For just speed of vasodilation, particularly for injury recovery, I think it's incredibly helpful. For mood regulation, certainly in that case, and cold water for mood regulation or the treatment of, say, depression or as a preemptive intervention to avoid or mitigate depression is old. It used to be prescribed for melancholy. And people like the vanguos of the world would be prescribed cold baths. So that was something I was like, well, let's take a look at some of the old history, read about that and then look into PubMed and so on to see what might be supported. So the cold, I'm still using. I become increasingly interested. This was not in the four-hour body, but whole body hyperthermia, often excluding the head for depression, which I know there's some research. UCSF right now. Really interesting studies too early to report. I'm not involved in these, but I think these are really important studies because for all the people saying, oh, well, you know, ice bath stuff, metabolism, this metabolism, that one thing that's very clear is long-lasting, very significant increase in the catacolomies, dopamine epinephrine, norepinephrine, not a replacement, perhaps for antidepressant medication, but as you said, to move the needle toward antidepressant states, that's the cocktail and heat as well. And the hyperthermia, especially the way it is formatted right now with some of the research is very early stages. There's going to be less adherence. It's not as readily available, say, cold shower or cold bath. So I do think about the practical implications that, but right now it's very interesting. Slow-carb diet, still use it all the time. It is not my default 24/7 as it used to be. So maybe I'm just getting older and more self-indulgent, but if I find myself going off the rails a bit and I'm like, okay, I'm getting closer to muffin top here, let's stage an intervention, then I will go immediately back to slow-carb diet. And within a matter of weeks, it's pretty easily corrected. And it's just a cue for people. I know it's slow-carb diet, achieved great prominence.

Slow Carb Diet & Adherence (50:46)

In fact, it wasn't featured on or mentioned in an episode of Orange Is The New Black. I think it might have been. It's made appearances on a handful of shows. Great. I realize that I've been referring to the slow-carb diet several times throughout this discussion. So for those that aren't familiar with the slow-carb diet, I know they can go look up what that is, but so that we can keep them here for the rest of this discussion and not have to send them out and back just yet. Could you give us just a brief top contour of what the slow-carb diet is? Sure. The slow-carb diet is intended to be a simple, easy-to-adhere-to diet for people who have perhaps failed other diets that allows you to recompose your body. So improve muscle mass, decrease body fat percentage, and the rules are really simple. And that's part of what makes it work. It's not ideal for every sport and every circumstance, but broadly speaking, it works for a lot of people who've had trouble with dieting in the past. Rule number one, don't drink calories. That's very simple. So black coffee, unsweetened tea, great. Juice out, anything with calories out. You could add a little bit of heavy cream to your coffee, let's say, but that's also bending the rules in a way that I don't like. So in the beginning, it's like follow the rules so you can break them later. So in the beginning, let's just say you can't drink calories. Number two, don't eat anything white. Sounds pretty basic. Just don't eat anything that is the color of white or that could be white. Basically, that means you're going to be avoiding starches and things that are similar to starches. That includes things like oatmeal. That includes things like oatmeal. So roughly speaking, just avoiding things that are white or that could be white will get you pretty far. And yes, there are exceptions. Like cauliflower, fine. You can have cauliflower. But again, don't get fancy. It's very easy to outsmart yourself when it comes to behavioral change. Keep it simple. So for at least two weeks, forget about the exceptions. Don't drink calories. Don't eat anything white. And then eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. Okay, we got that. And then there are few buckets you can choose from. So you have vegetables, beans and lentils, and then some type of protein. So you're going to come up with meals that you can follow without deviating for a period of one or two weeks. Just come up with the same meals. And that's going to sound boring. Yes. But guess what? You do it already. You just might not realize it. And the lentils and the beans specifically, as a prereq, we can get into some of the reasons, but add a lot of fiber and also inhibit appetite. So that's actually a very important component of these meals. And there may be a handful of other rules, but those are the basics. And then the redemption is take one day off per week and just go fucking crazy. That's cheat day. There are some epic cheat days out there. Some I've captured for myself. And anything goes. When I say anything, I do mean anything. So if you want to consume multiple pizzas, behind some ice cream, whatever, indulge, I left one out. No fruit during the week. So avoid fruit, avoid fructose. So agave nectar, anything that is sort of hidden sugar, avoid all that. It's a no added sweeteners, obviously, but avoid, avoid fruit and fructose. And again, it's not going to kill you. Guess what? If you're from European ancestry, your ancestry did not have blueberries in the middle of winter, generally speaking. You'll be fine for a few weeks. And then there's that cheat day. And cheat day, anything goes. The amount of damage you can do on cheat day is pretty limited. And there are ways you can mitigate that. There's a whole chapter called damage control in before our body. But focusing just on that diet and having one day off where you know you can do anything, means when you're controlling yourself for those six days of the week, you're not getting up your favorite foods forever. You can even keep a list of all things you want to eat on cheat day. And then you have free license to eat on cheat day. And that provides you with a release valve so that you can build in the cheating as opposed to having it occur as a failure point. And there are a handful of other things there. If you have dominoed foods in the house, for instance, if you eat a lot of almonds or mixed nuts and you're just going to sit there compulsively eating them while you're sitting at your laptop, don't have what I call dominoed foods in the house, which are going to really create some portion control issues. But broadly speaking, don't drink calories. Don't eat things that are white. Take from three categories and build your meals out. And those are the meals that you follow. Do not eat fruit or fructose. And then cheat one day a week. And Saturday is a nice day for cheat day for most folks. And just to answer some questions that people are going to have, no, that doesn't mean 24 hours that you can spread out over two days. That will actually set you back. But the amount of fat that you can store in a handful of sitings over 24 hours, which legitimately is more like 12 to 18 hours, pretty limited. So that's slow carb diet. Great. Thank you for that. I also want to ask, is it okay to take the day after cheat day and fast or do one meal that day? When I followed the slow carb diet, I benefited from it tremendously. Lost fat, gained muscle, tons of energy, sleeping great, required less caffeine, all sorts of wonderful things. Stable blood sugar, I felt so, so good. Really enjoyed the cheat days. I really, really enjoyed the cheat days. So much fun. At some point, there's some gastric distress that comes from not regulating intake, which led me to not want to eat the next day. So I tended to do the cheat days on Sunday, in my case. And then I would fast most of Monday, just water, black coffee, tea. And then I might have a small meal in the evening. And then by Tuesday, I was back on the slow carb diet. Does that seem like a, and sort of a detrimental deviation from the plan? I think that if that is what works for you, then that is what works for you. So this is the slow carb diet template for me as a starting point. And generally, I'll say, I think this is from Picasso, right? It's like, learn the rules as an amateur so you can break them as a professional. But it's like, I recommend most people kind of stick with the format for a handful of weeks and measure the results, right? There are guidelines for how to measure the scale is a bit of a blunt instrument. So there are other ways. But if you're extremely overweight, you can just use the scale. And fasting, I think is fine, or just ratcheting back your caloric consumption significantly. And what happens over time for most people also is for the first, say, four weeks on cheat day, you're going to go completely insane. And I remember I was doing something much stricter called the cyclical ketogenic diet, which is a whole separate thing. It's much more limiting in terms of what you can eat. But I was training for ultimately the nationals in Chinese kickboxing. This was happening in 99. So training super hard is following a cyclical ketogenic diet, which meant I could eat very few things. But I did have this one cheat day. And I would do a glycogen depletion workout beforehand, which is one of the things you can do to limit the damage on cheat day, do a glycogen depletion workout beforehand. And then I would just go crazy. I mean, I would drive to like Krispy Kreme by 12 donuts and they would be gone by the time I got home. And it wasn't an hour away. It was like a 10 minute drive. Donuts be gone, right? I would go to Safeway and I would buy a bag of those fun-sized snickers. And that would be just a tiny portion of my calorie stuff for you. A lot of sweet stuff. I also did the savory stuff. I mean, I had my favorites. Nothing was safe. Nothing was safe. Nothing was safe. My pause got into everything. And then over time, because the next day, you're going to feel like you got hit by a diabetic dump truck, you start ratcheting back and you're like, okay, maybe I don't need to do that. Maybe cheat day will just be two meals or maybe cheat day will just be like the pastries in the morning with the coffee. And you start to regulate a bit generally. You don't have to, but over time, you generally will. And I think after you've followed it to the tea, just follow the commandments for say, four to eight weeks, then you can certainly do it. And I'm not saying if you're not hungry, don't eat. However, in many cases, people have they have acclimated to not eating in the morning. And then they end up overeating later in the day. If you have that habit, right, if you're consuming 50% of your calories or more at dinner, and you want to lose body fat, I would say, get some cottage cheese or something that will give you 30 grams easily in the morning. Worst case scenario, use a protein of some time. Just don't make it hyperchloric. You mean powdered protein, like could be powdered powdered weight protein. Whole food is going to do a lot more. And no calorie counting, correct? No calorie. It tends to be self limiting. When you're eating this much fiber and this much protein, it tends to be very self limiting. What you'll want to consume and what you can consume. Once again, I had great experiences with slow carb diet. And I'm going to go back on. Yeah, nobody and nobody needs to buy anything to figure it out. If you just search on Tim.blog, slow carb diet, there you'll get everything that you need to get started. No purchase necessary. Well, it works very, very well. I'll say that. And it's very straightforward to follow. And it does include the notorious cheat day or infamous cheat day. And it can be done on a very reasonable budget. And so if people want to learn more about that, they should go to Tim's blog on For Our Body and Slow Carb Diet. We'll provide a link. But it's, you know, I think it's worth highlighting again just how effective that is. You know, as you pointed out, thousands and thousands of people using it to great success, some of whom were quite obese. And yeah, any updates on those folks? Are they still keeping the weight off? I would like to do a follow up. It's, I think with diets in general, there's a lot of aversion to the mean, you know, regression to the mean. So I would expect that that some have kept it off and some have not, that would be true of, I think, every possible diet, especially for people who are overcoming behavioral inertia of having gained hundreds of pounds. But I'd like to do some follow up. What was fun about the post I put together called How to Lose 100 Pounds on the Slow Carb Diet, we had, we profiled, say, four or five people, but there were dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens. And this was a very long time ago. So I would say that a long term follow up would be super interesting. And we did a one point track several thousand people through a platform at the time, I think it was coach.me as they follow the Slow Carb Diet for the first four to 12 weeks. And that was fascinating because I want the data. And I'm happy to be proven incorrect with any of my assumptions. I mean, I don't view that as a failure. I mean, I view that as a huge net gain. And it has a very high adherence rate. So I pay attention to, not just is something effective, does it get you the outcome you want? Not only is it efficient from a time and resource perspective, but how high is the adherence rate? If you take a random sampling of a thousand people from the US across Sosu, economic classes, etc., how many people, practically speaking, will be able to or willing to follow this for say, an eight week period of time or four week period of time. And I try to optimize for the widest adherence because I know the Slow Carb Diet people come on, they're like, "What about intermittent fasting? What about this? And what about endurance athletes?" I'm like, "This is not for everybody in all cases. It just happens to be a good default diet with a high adherence rate." And like you said, it's very inexpensive. It can be followed very, very inexpensively. Sorry to interrupt you. One thing that I really like about it is that many variants on caloric restriction, which is because laws of their own dynamics definitely apply.

Morning Protein Intake; Fasting (01:03:35)

We're not trying to say they don't. But one of the issues with a lot of things, including intermittent fasting, which I sort of do some variants of because I'm not really hungry to eat until about 11. I like to train in the morning if I can, etc., is that they can sometimes prevent best performance in terms of especially resistance training, high intensity resistance training. So very low carb diets. I've tried them. Even if you're paying attention to other ways to restock glycogen, performance drops off. Whereas with slow carb diet, I feel like I can think, I can work, I can exercise, I can sleep. Everything just works well. But there's one thing in it that I wanted to raise that when I heard this, I thought there's no way this is true, which was making sure that you get 30 or so grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking. And I thought, "How can that be? How can adding protein early in the day actually make a difference?" And it really did work. I still track my numbers. So in terms of dropping body fat percentage, increasing muscle, it really does work. Now whether or not that's simply because it's offsetting food intake that I would have taken in later in the day, I don't know. I'm not going to make myself my own control experiment to the point that I drive myself crazy. But it really does work quite well to get past sticking points to just get that 30 grams of protein early. So sort of violate the time-restricted feeding component deliberately with some protein in the morning, then still train and do all the other things and carry on as usual. And it just seems so peculiar, like eating more and losing body fat, but it works. Yeah, it's counterintuitive. And a lot of approaches can work for a lot of different people to state the obvious. But this particular aspect of the slow carb diet is helpful for, let's just say, the majority of the people in that thousand person sample, I was talking about the hypothetical poll from different parts of, say, the US or anywhere, because it seems to help with a few things. First, there's just the thermic effect of food. And for protein, there's a greater thermic effect. You also have, and I think there's decent at the time there was decent literature to support this. So I don't know if it's changed, that the protein intake along those lines has an appetite suppressing effect. So the net daily calories consumed tends to be less when someone has a higher protein meal earlier in the day. And last but not least, I will say one of the risks, and there are many people who execute well on this, but you have to be very meticulous, which is true of the ketogenic diet as well. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble if you do it 60% right or 70% right. You're really getting there. You can get yourself in there massive psoriasis. I mean, my scalp sloughing off. When I'm in ketosis, I'm like, what the hell is going on here? Going back on some complex carbohydrates and going away. I mean, I don't need to randomize control trials. I simply don't want to run that expert on the cancer scalp. So in the case of, say, time-restricted feeding, some people who do intermittent fasting lose a lot of muscle mass. And there are multiple reasons for this. I think people should make use of relatively widely available tools like DEXA and so on to ensure that your composition is actually moving the way you think it's moving. Make sure you standardize your hydration for that as well as time of day. Just pro tip. That's true for blood tests as well. But it seems to get net net better effects than trying to teach people how to fast effectively, which you can do. And we can talk about fasting. That's something that was not included in the for our body that were right to rewrite it today. I would include a section and there was a bit in tools of Titans to address that on more extended fasts. Let's just call it three to seven day fasts. So that's an area that's of great interest to me as is ketosis and metabolic psychiatry. I'll Chris Palmer, who we both know. Incredible. I mean, what he's, what the awakening that he's created through his book and going on your podcast, my podcast, and others and letting people be aware that changes in diet can impact mental health. So I think in two, three years, it's going to be a duh. And we're not just talking about the difference between slamming back horrible foods, horrible for us foods versus eating really clean. I mean, really specific diet protocols to treat mental health. Yeah, incredible. Yeah, super. So that's one of the things that I'm paying a lot of attention to right now. They're handful in that realm within just say the interplay of mind and body since the Cartesian duality and separation in this two makes no sense from a biological standpoint. So that's, that's something that certainly captured my attention. I paid a lot of attention to even as far back as early 2000s for mental health and just cognitive performance. I'd like to take a quick break and thank our sponsor Inside Tracker.

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Network Building, Skill Development And Psychedelic Research

Power of Place; Building Your Network & Volunteering (01:09:53)

And I think creators of all kinds, thinkers of all kinds, and people who are interested in the contents of the four-hour body are going to be very grateful for that information. I certainly am fascinated by your process. One of the things that you mentioned along lines of process was the power of places and where one happens to live. I think there's a essay by Paul Graham that talks about this. It's a little outdated, and it talks about the messages that you, the tacit messages of being in certain cities. I think it was like Boston, you're not smart enough. What I would say was New York, you're not powerful enough, and not you. I would say, or you should be more powerful as the message like the tacit message. Los Angeles, what you're doing, people aren't paying enough attention to it. Something like that. The tacit messages, these are stereotypes about cities. Certainly, cities change. The role of places is an interesting one. You mentioned a small gathering, Kevin Kelly's house, Quantified Self. I think for people who don't know people like that, maybe we could get your thoughts on how would one think about where to live and maybe even curating their own gatherings, useful gatherings. I have to imagine it's not that you guys sat back and you're like, "I'm Tim Ferris." He's like, "I'm Kevin Kelly. Let's have a gathering so we can talk about it in a few years on a podcast." This stuff happens. It's a dangerous sort of organically. When people who have common interests decide to get together and talk and listen and brainstorm, and I'm yet to do that with good people and not have something really incredible come out of it, not necessarily that day, but looking back five years later and just going, "God, that was really worthwhile." Totally. Few thoughts of no particular order. I would say the first is, my recommendations depend a lot on where you are in the arc of your career in life. If you are in full growth, hyperdrive mode, and you are trying to build both yourself and your capabilities in a very concentrated way, where you're not necessarily focused on family, you maybe have fewer obligations, then if you're serious, I think many people should consider moving to an area of high density for a period of time. It could be three months. It could be six months. It could be longer, but putting yourself in a New York or an LA or a San Francisco or Chicago or as new places develop, I'll give you one you might not expect, say in Ottawa, Canada, where Shopify is based, and the presence and growth of Shopify has spawned an entire ecosystem of startups. There may be options outside of the usual cast of characters, Pittsburgh and Duolingo, similar effect. There are more options that people might recognize, but taking a journey and placing yourself in a place where you can be in a very active pinball machine, where you may interact serendipitously with many different people from many different worlds, I think is hard to overstate the value of. My drive and my filtering function, let's just say, because when I first got to the Bay Area, nobody cared about me. I was nobody. I was driving my mom's mini van hand me down that had the seats stolen out of the back. Were you in the South Bay? I was working in San Jose. No disrespect to San Jose. I'm from the South Bay. But there's a bleakness to the South. There is a little bit of bleakness. Then I lived across the street in this tiny apartment, lived across the street from the Jack in the Box in Mountain View. It's not like I was strolling onto the big stage and just blowing people away. I grew up right near Mountain View. I'm very familiar. I probably skated the curves of that Jack in the Box. You trained at the Gold's Gym in Offering Store. It did actually. That was a great gym. That was a great gym. I don't think it's still there. They're super late before my writing sessions. It had the benefit of being open, really, really late. Wow, Ringstar haven't thought about that in a long time. The point is, I also started where a lot of people are starting. What did I do? I put myself in a high-density environment. Next, what did I do? Knowing no one. I started to volunteer at events where they had interesting speakers and interesting people coming to hear those speakers. I put myself in Silicon Valley. Then I began volunteering for groups like SVASE. I don't know if it exists anymore. The Silicon Valley Association of Startup entrepreneurs, I think it was, tie the Indus entrepreneur, which is a very sort of Indian or Indian American-focused organization that does a lot in the realm of startups. I would carry water. I would take out garbage. I would check name badges. I would check people in. Nothing was too low for me. I'll give you guys a tip that will be obvious to some, but non-obvious to many. When you are volunteering, a lot of folks who volunteer do the absolute bare minimum because they are not getting paid. This is not going to get you noticed. But it sets a very low bar so that if you volunteer at these events and someone's dropping the ball or there's something happening that needs fixing it and you just proactively do it, the producers of these events will notice you. This is what happened over time, over a few months. Then I got invited to join in on meetings that were planning future events. I eventually got to the point where I was recruiting speakers and able to set the agenda for an entire main event. That's how I got to know, say, Jack Canfield, who is the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the soul and many others who introduced me to my book agent many, many, many years later, Jack Canfield. But I was a nobody then. You have to play the long game, but you can be methodical on how you play that. That is one approach, just as an example for how to build your network, which Snowballs over time don't hump every VIPs leg within 10 minutes and meeting them. Play it cool. The gatherings where that person has a lot of demands on them last place you want to do that. The way you're going to make yourself memorable with people like that is to be very professional, always on time, predict what they're going to need or problems they'll run into beforehand and address them before they even think of them and be easy to deal with. People like that high performers notice these things. They will make note of it. The being easy to work with is something that I used to tell my graduate students postdocs. Because the opposite of that, nobody wants. Yeah. Right? Nobody wants that. Yeah, especially in the beginning. Like later, okay, great. You're Steve Jobs. You want to be difficult here and there or a lot? No problem. Right? But in the beginning, that can be a real liability. You can make up for that if you're the best in the world, but in the very beginning, you probably won't be. So try to stack the deck in your favor. Volunteering is a shortcut. That would be one way of doing it. Another now, especially given the virtual communities that exist. So you have subreddits, you have online communities, you have Twitter groups, you have Clubhouse, you've got a million different options, which can be overwhelming. Clubhouse still going? Maybe not. I have no idea. Oh, no, I don't know. I'm not saying it's gone. I just I remember during the pandemic, there were some clubhouse gatherings that hopped on there. But I've sort of forgotten to get on that. The platform affinity is really fickle, which is why I think to the extent possible, if you want to build a world-class, when I use that term very deliberately, network in record time, just to give you a nice headline, I would say focus on the uncrowded channel, which is in person. It's out of fashion. It's out of vogue. Going to a conference and actually interacting with humans in the hallway, approaching panelists. This is another thing that I did. I'll give it a give another tip. So very early on, I would go to conferences. Nobody cared who I was. Nobody knew who it was. Fine. And I would study the panels. Let's say I'm going to a big event like South by Southwest. And I would this is what I did in 2007, which was just prior to the first book coming out. And I would go to these various in-person events. I was focused mostly on events that had the thematic focus of blogs. We could come back to that. But blogs were what podcasts were a few years ago. They drove incredible traffic, but they were undervalued by mainstream media, undervalued by mainstream publishers, et cetera, which meant there was an arbitrage opportunity in a way. And I would pick, say, a handful of panels with topics I thought were super interesting. And then the panel would end. And what would happen? The panelists would get rushed by various folks, because many of them were well known. Who was not getting rushed? The moderator. I would go straight to the moderator. And I would talk to the moderator. I'd thank them for the panel. I'd be very genuine. None of it was made up. And talk them for a bit. They would generally ask why I was there. When I was interested in, I would mention whatever that happened to be. In this case, it was. I'm finishing my first book, or I had my first book coming out soon. I'm here to hopefully meet people who are involved with A, B, or C. And then if we hit it off, which was not true every time, but if it seemed to be going well, I would say, I don't know anyone here. I'm really sort of orphaned here, making my way through this entire event. Is there anyone else here you think I would get along with who maybe I could buy a drink or coffee? And the vast majority of the time, they'd be like, oh, yeah, you should be so and so. And then I get the introduction. And then I would meet that person. I would have a genuine interaction with that person. And if it made sense, if things were going well, I'd do the same thing. Is there anybody else here you think I should just say hi to and I get along with? Not who I can ask for something. And that wasn't deception. I was being honest. Like someone I could actually vibe with. And if so, would you mind making the intro? Yeah, sure, no problem. Many of those people are still my friends. And by being surgical in that way, not trying to gather business cards to use a really antiquated metaphor. People still hand them out. Yeah, people still hand them out. I guess depends on where you are, especially like Boston. But if rather than trying to collect people as Pokemon cards, developing say five, three to five, deeper relationships through longer conversations at an event, that is what directly led ultimately to the hockey stick for the four hour work week within tech, within specifically San Francisco. So there's be a few approaches for building your network when you don't have the ability to just walk up to say Kevin Kelly and have a conversation. That came over time. Whether or not it's health practices or nutritional practices or at meetings, it seems you're oriented toward the uncrowded but very interesting people in spaces.

Developing Skills; Examining Motivation & Good Questions; Simplicity (01:21:43)

But the key word there I think is uncrowded. And of course, the other key word is interesting. Right? I mean, it's not like you're standing in the parking lot talking to whoever happens to be there, although that can be interesting. There's a serendipity there and there's always things to learn from people. But in terms of career advancement and building new ideas and foraging for information, I'm just struck how you've done that over and over. And again, thank you for giving us some insight into the process. Please. Here's another one. So I think there's a tendency among people who want to develop their networks or their relationships to be starfuckers, not to get too technical, but not technical term. Yeah. Yeah. And they want to tell other people they are friends with someone more than they want to develop skills or learn from someone. This puts you in a very disadvantaged position. Because then that means, all right, you want to become friends with Elon Musk? Good luck. Or you want to become friends with this A-lister celebrity who everyone else wants to meet? Good luck. It's going to be a crowded, bloody path to get there. And by the way, they've also certainly developed really attuned defenses against people like you. So it's going to be hard on the other side of the team. They have staff to prevent. Oh, from having a phalanx of protectors to prevent you from ever getting to that person. On the other hand, if you're approaching it from the standpoint of developing skills, learning, and actually becoming potential friends with someone, give you an example, you could go after you want to become better at boxing. Let's just make that up. All right. Maybe not the greatest example. Skiing would be another one, but let's stick with boxing just because of the way I'll explain it. If you wanted to say, get personalized lessons from Floyd Mayweather, it can happen. Okay. Let's go then maybe a step down out of the pro ranks to gold medalist. Okay. If it's brand new gold medalist, let's just say like Oscar De La Jolla, when he was really the golden boy and it just thrashed everyone, still going to be hard. What about the silver medalist who just had a bad day when he had that last bout against Oscar De La Jolla? Potentially, right? From a technical perspective, from a personal connection perspective, you may have more in common with that person or bronze medalist and they can get you 70, 80, 90 percent of the way there. And by the way, you probably don't have the physical attributes to make it do 100 percent anyway, if you're coming to it this late. And you could get in many cases one-on-one lessons, whether in person or virtually with someone who is of that caliber. They're in the same front of the pack as the names I just mentioned, maybe not as famous. 100 bucks, 200 bucks per hour. For a lot of people, that is within reach. Yeah, I'm not sure what the value of saying one knows somebody very famous is. It's just never been something that I've oriented to. It's a common orientation though. And I think that's true for a lot of things. Many people use, say, psychedelics because they want to tell other people the story that they have of doing psychedelics. They're not doing it intrinsically for what they hope to get out of that experience. Maybe there's part of them, but it's more the social signaling and validation they get when they project that out at a group dinner into a story that they can tell. And that's true for many things. So one of the questions I ask myself with all sorts of things, if I could never talk about this, would I do it? What a great, great thing to think about. Right? Like if I could have, let's just say we didn't know each other and I was like, okay, I'm earlier in my career. Let's apply some constraints. So I'm not where I am. I still want to do A, B, and C in the public eye. Maybe I want to build a podcast, whoever. If I could meet with you, but I could never tell a soul, would I do it? I would do. I would. I would. I would. But I would too. But for a lot of folks, if they meaning I'd meet with you, I'm not saying I'd meet with me by the way. I'd be with me. Believe me, I meet with me all the time and sometimes it's pretty unpleasant. Yeah. And that can be applied to all sorts of things. And it's like, and it's a useful question, because I ask myself this, for examining your motivations. And I'm not saying one motivation is always better than another, but it's, it's, you should at least be aware of your driving motivations, because you can end up playing games. You're not even aware you're playing. And that's how you end up, I think, getting into a lot of trouble in life, one of the ways. So that would be a question I might apply. I apply other questions. Like there's a great question that Seth Godin applies who really I admire tremendously and has built an incredibly unorthodox, unique life for himself and his family. He's zigged when everyone would expect him to zag. And he always has a defensible logic behind it. And much like Derek Sivers, but most people have probably heard the hypothetical question, like, what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? What would you do if you couldn't fail? And Seth turns that around. I think that's a good question. But he turns around and he said, what would you do if you knew you were going to fail? In terms of identifying what you would do for the process. What would you do if you knew it was going to fail? Okay, you're considering these five different projects. Let's say they're all going to fail, but you still have to choose one of the five, which would you choose? Yeah, that's a great question. Much harder to answer. And at the same time, I'm called back to when I was a graduate student. And still now with the podcast, I have this litmus test, which is, you know, is the experiment that I'm working on, the one that I want to be working on most is the podcast that I'm working on, the one that I want to be working on most. I mean, there's truly no other podcast I'd rather be having today than this one, right? And the moment I'm starting to think, Oh, I wish I was doing that thing over there. I realize I'm off target. I'm off target. And I think that asking really good questions is something clearly that you're very good at. And I'm getting a little bit deeper into your process around that. Do you write those things down? But is there a notebook someplace in the kingdom of of Tim Ferriss in Austin or elsewhere that says, you know, those questions that essentially those questions are written? Are they yeah, I collect I literally have a document with questions that I've gathered from Seth printed out and at the Airbnb where I'm staying here. So I brought it with you. I printed it out here. And then I went through and I read it last night and I was highlighting questions from past interviews I've had with him on my podcast to revisit his questions. So I was literally doing that last night over dinner. And I collect questions. I collect questions. If I am reading a magazine and I come across a good question, I take a photo or I capture it somehow in notes or in Evernote, which I know is kind of old fashioned these days, but we used it for everything. So the critical masses are beyond enormous. And I do collect and revisit these things. I capture them in journals as well. But I absolutely capture good questions when I find them. Questions are so powerful for the brain. I want to go into this in too much detail because I have a lot more questions for you. But we just wrapped a series on mental health that will come out later this year with Paul Conti and he is brilliant as we both know and does truly important work. And he pointed to the value of asking really good questions about oneself. And because of the way that questions that are really directed at self-inquiry queue up the subconscious. So you ask the question and unlike a statement or a meme, the brain works with that in the days and hours after asking the question in ways that simple declarative statements probably don't pain the system the same way, which is probably why we can see so many points of wisdom and truth everywhere. And it doesn't necessarily transform us, but asking really good questions really does seem to transform us. Yeah, there's I think judging people by their questions is also a shortcut to assessing and learning a lot about how someone functions and what makes them tick. I think there's a whole terror who said, you know, judge a man buys questions, buys answers, something along those lines. But when in doubt, attributed to Voltaire, it sounds good. That's good. And I think about this a lot. I do think about the questions. And I refine the questions that I ask myself, especially while journaling, because it's easier to cross examine and stress test your own certainty and beliefs when they are captured on paper or digitally on a laptop, for instance. So I do routinely revisit certain questions that I've found helpful over time. I mean, one that people can play with is with whatever is really causing you consternation or stress at the moment, some kind of decision or relationship business could be anything. Just what might this look like if it were easy? What might this look like if it were easy if it had to be easy if that were possible? What might it look like? And that could apply to anything. Yeah, I could apply anything. You know, could apply to could apply fitness. It's like, like, if you do really intense kettlebell swings twice a week with proper weight and load and time under tension, and you do pushups a few times a week and handle a couple of other elements, you can get in pretty good shape. It's so simple. But it's a lot. I mean, it hits your entire posterior chain. Okay, fine. Do some pushups and some core work. But if you're not exercising at all, because you've made the assumption that it's four hours, five hours a week, rather than completely remove that objective and call it just impractical, can you ratchet down the scale? How far can you ratchet down the scale until you have no excuses? That would just be one one example. Language learning, tech investing, plus everything. Making life easier is something that definitely gets my vote. Yeah, making it easier and making it more elegant. The more pieces in your life you have floating around, the more context, the more extraneous loose connections, the harder your life is going to be. The cognitive overload, or overhead is really high. So I'm always looking for maybe like Japanese flower rangers. Like, okay, how many pieces can I remove while still maintaining the essence of what I'm trying to achieve? You and Rick Rubin, man, I'm telling you, two people, I am fortunate enough to know personally, and then I have tremendous respect for it. And the work is self-evident. It's really remarkable. Rewind that and listen to that segment right there, folks. I'm telling you, I've worked hard to apply it because it's not my default. And boy, does it make a significant improvement to simplify, simplify, simplify? Take some thought and question asking is like, you just can't delete things at random until you get down to some fixed number. But I'd like to ask you about another area where you really have seemed to see around corners.

Early Psychedelic Exploration, Depression (01:33:32)

And this is one that actually carried with it significant risk, not necessarily risk to health and to life, but risk in terms of outside perceptions. And that's psychedelics. As you know, I've substantially changed my view on this. We don't need to go into my former stance on it. I talked about that when you were gracious enough to host me on your podcast for a second time. I'd done some psychedelics recreationally as a kid. It was correlated with not so great times in my life, stayed away from them then eventually revisited MDMA in particular from a therapeutic standpoint, found tremendous benefit. Again, therapeutically with a medical doctor. Again, these drugs are illegal soon to change, perhaps, hopefully. And we'll talk about that. But it's becoming clear from the controlled studies by Robin Carter Harris. There are many others. No one Williams others that these drugs have enormous potential to help relieve depression, trauma, help people explore their psyche, their mind, for sake of feeling better, doing better in the world, for leaning into life, not to an in dropout, but to really lean into life with more purpose and more satisfaction. In some cases, they've really have saved lives, I think. What was your mindset around psychedelics when you first started exploring them? What led you to overcome the inevitable fear gap there? Because you do seem like somebody who takes value in your health, you're not reckless. You may have been more adventurous in the past with things like, I hate the word, but biohacking and self experimentation than you are now. But you obviously have some self-preservation mechanism intact. We learn. We learn. What was your mindset around it at the time? And then I want to get to what you've learned from it. And frankly, the tremendous efforts that you've put that are now translating to tremendous value for really millions of people. And ultimately, I think it's going to be billions of people by establishing funding for the pioneering research in this area, helping to promote the movement of these compounds from illegal to legal in the therapeutic setting, and so on. So take us back to your first thoughtful exploration of psychedelics. What did that look like? You're like, "Oh, mushrooms, all eat them. Was that it? Or was it a dedicated research process? And who did you talk to? What was it all about?" So let's go way back to my undergrad experience. And there are many reasons that I ended up going to Princeton. I think I was very lucky to get in. My SAT scores, because I could never finish the DAM test. I was so much a perfectionist. I'd get stuck and ended up not doing terribly well. But through essays and other things ultimately was able to go. Part of the draw... Well, let me interrupt you and just say, I think at this point, we can say they were lucky to have you. Well, thank you for saying that. Great institution. You've done great. And you're a great poster on the wall for them. I hope so. Really. I just want to say it, because you're not going to. I think it's important that these are great institutions. Great minds go through there. Einstein went through there. And their success rests not just on the Einstein's, but also on the student body and what they go out into the world and do. And not just in the realm of science. So really, they're lucky to have had you. Yeah, thank you. Andrew, I studied Chinese in a room where Einstein used to teach. It's pretty cool to set foot and spend time weekly in a space that was shared by some of these people. It really gets the imagination firing. If we go back to that chapter in my life, I was initially a psychology major with focus on neuroscience. So I want to be a neuroscientist. And there are many reasons for that. I have neurodegenerative disease on both sides of my family. So Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. So that was certainly a personal driving interest in terms of looking at mechanisms, understanding what therapeutics existed or did not exist, how things were developing in the research. And while I was there, which later I ended up switching gears and transferring to focus on language acquisition and East Asian studies. Hence the Chinese that I mentioned earlier in Japanese and Korean. But on the neuroscience side, there were a lot of cool breakthroughs also that came out of Princeton around that time, looking at the amazing discovery of say, I want to say, regenesis, but neurogenesis in the hippocampus. And those ghouls were exactly, exactly. So there was quite a bit happening at that time. I was a subject, I loved volunteering for studies just to try to get an inside look at how things were done in some of Daniel Kahneman's experiments. So it was a cool time to be there. And within the first two years, I want to say I had my first experience recreationally with mushrooms. And looking back now, I mean, I'm horrified by the lack of control and meaning not control, but lack of supervision. Right. I mean, the setting, the set and setting ended up being fine. Nothing terrible happened. But there are a lot of ways it could have gone sideways. But that first experience, and I must have consumed in retrospect, just a dizzying amount of mushrooms. I mean, I'm in excess of five grams. I would have been more. Yeah, just knowing what I know now, it would have been kids don't do this at all. Don't do that. I'm not going to say, don't do it at home. Don't do it at all. Yeah. Please, I actually don't think the young developing brain should be exposed to psychedelics. We could talk about that. Yeah, we can talk about it. I'm going to take my stance. I'm going to take this. I mean, now, I mean, in the world in which we live in the US, I would totally agree with you. There are some interesting cultural exceptions in other places where things are more set up to provide for that type of use. But I certainly would not recommend it. But coming back to my recreational experience, my subjective experience was so bizarre. And my experience of time, so nonlinear, my experience of self, so different from anything I had experienced up to that point. And therefore, my construction of reality being so completely unlike anything. I had experienced was enough to make me want to learn about these compounds. And very early on, I still have a scan of it somewhere. I think it was in 1998 or '99. I actually wrote a paper. One of my junior papers was focused on examining potential similarities between REM sleep and LSD, LSD 25. And looking at some of the patterns of neural activity, of course, we can do a lot more now with the tools that we have available. But from a scientific perspective, I was very curious about how much we knew and how much we didn't know. And I would say that ladder category gets me more excited in a way. And I'm like, okay, how much room is there for growth here? Because if we're just putting on the finishing touches with marginal incremental improvements on something that we feel like we've largely figured out, that's less interesting to me than something that baffles most people examining them on some level. And there was a professor named Barry Jacobs, who was doing some very interesting work. He did a lot of work looking at the serotonergic systems and did a lot of work with cats. Ultimately, I could not do personally the animal work required of the indentured servitude that I would take on. I think you wrote someplace once. You said, when confronted with the prospect of installing a computer printer into the head of a cat, on the back of a cat head, they really had those little VGA ports on the back of these cats' heads because cats sleep a lot. And so they're an interesting study. A lot of that with cats. Very few laboratories work on cats any longer. It's mostly a mouse, still some non-human primate work. My laboratory is essentially shut down or the process was shutting down. Even our mouse work, I much prefer to work on humans. They can give consent and they house themselves. And the animal research thing is tough for any sentient being. For what it's worth, the cats seemed pretty happy. They were just sleeping. I mean, the ports were for tracking. So the cats were pretty, I mean, they were just normal cats. The cats were fine, but we would have been injecting retroviruses into rats and then perfusing them, which means bleeding them to death, to avoid bruising of the tissue. Because then if you're going to take thin slices and scans, you didn't want to have bruising. And I just couldn't do it. I think it's important. I do think there's a place for it, but I couldn't do it. So that's why I transferred out. But the point I was trying to make is that I had the experience and then I had that drive the scientific interest. And then I had probably one experience per year for a few years after that. And what I noticed for myself personally, because I suffered from major depressive disorder, an extended depressive episode, let's just say on average three to four year. And by extended, even before you had started, even before, from a young age, from a young age. And I would say, so let's just call it three to four on average a year. Those could last each a few weeks or a few months. I mean, this is a very high percentage, my total year. And when I had these higher dose experiences with mushrooms, so we're talking about slosophy mushrooms. And then if we're looking at the molecule that's being examined scientifically, psilocybin, I noticed this afterglow effect that was really durable. And that that was an anti depressant effects or mood elevating effect that lasted far longer than the half life could explain, right? Because four to six hours, you're kind of on the other side. And I would experience this, this afterglow effect for three to six months. And that raised all sorts of interesting questions. What the hell is going on here? Is it the content? Is it some structural change? There were a lot of unanswered questions for me. And then I had a very, very scary experience that led me to completely stop use of psychedelics, where again, uncontrolled environment ended up in rural, in rural New York, coming out of my trip, standing in the middle of the road in the middle of the night with headlights coming at me. Goodness gracious. So you don't want to do that. And I was like, okay, too dangerous. Where do you take in them alone? Is that how that is? Taking them with two friends and my two friends without telling me just went for a walk, left me alone. So don't do that. Points to the, you know, I mean, these are powerful compounds. Yeah, you're playing with nuclear power. Like these, these are the, this is the nuclear power of psychological or psycho emotional surgery is the way I encourage people to think about them. And I stopped using any psychedelics completely. I was still very interested in them. And but I basically hit pause.

Psychedelic Research & Mental Health Funding (01:45:38)

And I didn't revisit that until let's call it 2012, 2013, where I was still struggling with major depressive disorder. And I saw my girlfriend at the time completely transformed by supervised, facilitated use of, in this case, ayahuasca, which was not quite as common as it is in conversation at the time. And she did that in South America. But she not only explained her experience, but I was able to see the transformation in her that seemed to have some durability over time. And that is when I started stepping back into researching psychedelics, looking at what had been published in the last, let's just call it 10 years, as of that point in time. And thinking about how I would approach it systematically with safeguards, with proper supervision, and basically approaching it the way I would have approached any of the topics in the for our body. And that is what led me back into along with a number of other interventions, I should say. So I wasn't betting the farm on psychedelics. I also started TM at that point. I was, I was huge yourself. Somebody on my Trent Trent's in that old meditation. These are like four to 10 day meditation retreats. This was actually much shorter. It was a two or three day training. And you're visiting the instructor. I want to say it's once or twice a day, probably once a day, and getting up to speed. And I did this because I was going through a period of acute stress. This was finishing the four hour chef. This is actually probably in the years preceding that. And I had one friend who I'd seen really change from let's just call hyperkinetic high anxiety to low anxiety. And he said, you have the time you have the money, pay for the course, just take it. Yes, there are all these criticisms of TM. Yes, there are all these weird historical anecdotes, people trying to levitate and all this weirdness. Just ignore that. Try and levitate. If you actually levitate, then we got to have a discussion. But try and levitate seems like it. Why not? Every kid tries all sorts of things. Give it again. He's like, just put that aside because I kept coming up with pushback. And he's like, look, all I'm saying is it's like a warm bath for your mind that you take twice a day and it'll chill you the fuck out. So try it. And I was like, okay, fine. It's a good endorsement. I was like, I was like, at this point, I was, I had been burning the candle at both ends, so intensely. It's like, okay. So there was TM and then I began examining how I might approach. Notice I didn't just jump into using them. I was like, how could I approach taking psychedelics in a sequence, in a logical sequence with proper protections, with safety assurances. And that took me probably a month or two. And I was right in the middle of things in Northern California, you have access to a lot. And only then did I start looking at having my own experiences. And lo and behold, I mean, I'll cut to the chase, but the personal outcome, and there are many different benefits and risks, I should make very clear these things can be extremely dangerous in certain ways. Generally not physiologically, but they can be dangerous. I would say instead of three to four times per year on average, I probably have one depressive episode every two years. It's a significant improvement. Right. I mean, from a quality of life perspective, those are two different people. And that then led me to, and as I did with all my workouts, right, I took copious notes over the span. I mean, now we're looking at 10 plus years. So if I were to ever write another book, it would probably be related to all of the really fine details of the experiments and my learnings, including some of the more bizarre things over the last 10 years, but it would be a, it would be just a beast to create. So with, with psychedelics, experiences with psychedelics, psychedelics and sort of psychedelic adjacent, non ordinary experiences of consciousness, which I think often are touching at edges of the same thing, which is going to be controversial for some folks. But to come back to the storyline, just to put a bow on that, when I saw the personal outcomes for me, the anoch data from friends who are facilitators who have worked with thousands of people, right, which is a pretty good sample size. Still anecdote, but these are people who are very smart who keep records. And I believe that these people have spotted patterns that are only going to be possible to test and verify over the next five to 10 years. So I, at least as a, as a means of generating hypotheses, I take these people very seriously. And then I started to connect with scientists whose work I had read, like Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins, began looking at the most compelling data related to say MDMA assisted psychotherapy and complex PTSD. I made the commitment to myself that as soon as I had enough money to move the dial, because I really felt like these tools were so outside of the normal paradigm of psychiatry and pharmacology. And that made me very excited because it was uncrowded. There's very little funding coming into the space. It was high leverage. And I looked at it just as I've looked at my many startup investments, limited downside risk, really high upside potential. And I should say before that, I'd already been funding in a very small way science. So the first check I ever wrote was personally to Adam Giz Ali's lab at UCSF, which at the time was looking at software he's not going to like this description, but I'm going to simplify it. Software that might attenuate reverse age related cognitive impairment, specifically related to various aspects of attention. And that was my first foray into funding early stage science, which was very analogous to me of, to funding early stage startups. And then later on to touch on the reputational thing, I know this is a TED talk. So thank you for listening. No, this is great. Please, please, you're always so gracious on your podcast that this is what people want. This is certainly what I want to hear. So so on the reputational side, you're right that at the time, especially, let's just call it 2013 to 2015, this was not a not a comfortable national conversation of any type. Yeah, I wouldn't have had this conversation back then. No way. I'd lose. I don't know that I would have lost my job. It just would have raised a lot of eyebrows. But now that such studies are happening at Stanford. Yeah, the perception, yeah, the perception was that these are a professional third rail, at the very least, right? Also illegal, therefore, if I talk about them, am I giving someone probable cause, am I going to get myself in some type of really tricky legal situation, etc. There are a lot of considerations. But I tested that, just like I was saying, I like to capture my assumptions on paper so I can stress this and I was like, okay, I think that might be true. Most people I know think that is true, but is it true? How could we test to see if that is true or not? And I decided to crowd fund for a Hopkins pilot study looking at psilocybin for treatment resistant depression. And I thought to myself, okay, we have we have a couple of couple of things falling in our favor here. Number one, depression does not discriminate. So across those two economic classes, across gender, across race, this is a problem. Almost everyone knows someone who takes antidepressants who is still depressed. Okay. Treatment resistant depression, therefore, is the indication psilocybin is the intervention. Let me crowd fund. And I did that throughout the time, crowd rise, which was co-founded by Edward Norton, who had become a friend and was the actor. The actor is very smart, very, very, very smart. Also one of the best investors I've ever met, which a lot of people don't know, very bright guy. And so crowd funded. And I also like to put my money where my mouth is. I said, okay, guys, I'm going to see this. I'm putting in X, the goal is to raise, I think it was 80,000, something like that for the following study. And then I was like, let's see, let's see what happens. And there was basically zero negative blowback. And not only was there no discernible negative blowback, a number of people, and this was deliberate, I wanted to see this, a number of people came out of the woodwork to support in a bigger way. And I was like, oh, okay, I see you. A handful of folks I knew. And I was like, oh, interesting. Okay, there are at least a half a dozen folks who are studying the same thing, or paying attention to the same thing. And then I just got bolder. I was like, okay, if I tested that, let me push. And then let's see what happens. And I'll wait. And lo and behold, I realized that the perception did not match the reality. The reality was if you're talking about indications that cause an incredible amount of suffering for a very large number of people, even those who are anti drug per se, just say no to drugs, want solutions. And the current treatments for many of these things do not work very well. And in the best of cases are often masking symptoms and not addressing root causes, I would say. So at that point, I just went whole hog and I said, okay, look, I like to think that I'm exactly what you see is what you get, right? The person you talk to off camera, the person you talk to on camera, same. And if I start feeling like I have too much to protect, I want to do something to counteract that. In other words, if if I feel like I need to censor my true feelings and beliefs, maybe not share my hardships, perhaps not promote certain things because I have a reputation to lose. That's a fragile position. I want to be as anti fragile as possible. And so by talking about this, I viewed it as a way of inoculating myself against fear of reputation loss. Okay, let me push this like I'll ride this horse. Other people might not, but I want to remove the stigma for funding purposes, hopefully open up federal funding. That's starting to happen now from different agencies. And then to focus on access and reduction of cost and insurance reimbursement and so on. So I set a game plan, let's call it maybe five years ago, and I've just been slowly methodically executing on that since. And the reason I chose this to focus on, and I've funded other things, but I've really focused on this mental health therapeutics, which is not limited to psychedelics. And we can talk about some other things that I find interesting, but psychedelics are, like I said, what makes it attractive, very uncrowded. You can do a lot with a small amount of money, unlike saying cancer research can be very hard, like, okay, you're deck a billionaire, great, maybe you can do something interesting. And I'm sure other people could, but if you have $20,000 and $50,000, it's going to be hard to make a dent there. And psychedelics, you can actually still make a difference. And very high leverage, in part, because these compounds seem to challenge much of what we assume to be true about treating mental health. And so that's, that makes for an attractive bet. So that's where I've been didn't go in. Yeah, I'm so glad you shared that with us and that you did that exploration, and that you've been spearheading the funding efforts. You know, this podcast has a premium channel that's for raising funds for scientific studies. We are in the process now making our first four contributions. One of those includes work in Nolan Williams Laboratory at Stanford, combining a transcranial magnetic stimulation with studies of Ibogaine and 5MEO, DMT, maybe a few other things, but basically that he's free to do what he wants with the funds. We trust him to do great work. But that again was inspired by you, right? Podcast with a scientific slant certainly. This podcast obviously has a scientific slant, but the idea of doing philanthropy for the sorts of work that really deserves funding and exploration. And by the way, I'm thinking about other hybrid things that would be fun to do. I mean, I would love to contribute and join those efforts, because the work to continue to raise funding for psychedelic studies and all these great laboratories continues, right? It continues. And you've rallied a collection of some pretty powerful people to contribute to this.

Saisei Foundation, Journalism Fellowship, Law & Education (01:59:00)

And I know you've joined arms with Michael Pollan, in many ways. Do you want to talk about the fellowships that you guys put together? I find that really cool. You've got fellowships in the works or maybe already happening at UC Berkeley. Is that right? UC Berkeley. Yeah, so what I try to do, and for people who want to check it out, it's the name of the foundation is SciSafe Foundation. And let me explain that for a second. So it's S-A-I-S-E-I. So SciSafeFoundation.org. I speak Japanese. I went there as an exchange student and speak read and write it still to this day pretty well. SciSafe can mean a lot of things. It means rebirth in Japanese. And I've seen what can only be described or can certainly be described as rebirth in so many clinical outcomes that I thought it was appropriate to use. And what I try to do with the foundation is I think do what I'm pretty good at, which is try to peek around corners and find something to prototype. Right. So just like the CGM and like, all right, how can I just getting a hold of a Dexcom back then when it was just for type 1 diabetics was hard. It was an odd thing that you have to actually go under the skin. So it's like taking a barbecue prong and putting it under your abdominal skin. It was not comfortable. Can you describe your cortisol level and subjective terms when you're at home, you got this thing and you're about to implant it. And you don't have any present. It's not like this is, you know, like levels or one of these other CGM's that are out there. You know, you stamp the thing in, you can look on Instagram and see someone else do it. There's nothing like that. So you're at home wondering if you're going to secure your liver. I'm at home doing myself and I'm sweating like a stuck, I'm sitting there, I'm like, God, I don't even know if I can hold my phone there, like to support you in case you see you die. I think at the time she wasn't because she was squeamish and didn't want to see it. And I'm so sitting there at my kitchen table. I remember this, God, I'm sweating just thinking about it. And no videos to watch. And it wasn't really supposed to have it in the first place. And the device for readout, by the way, no iPhone, right? So it was like this janky pager looking thing that had a readout that made you think you were playing pong or something. It was very green. The green tint. Yeah, green tint is great. It's so primitive. And put this thing under my skin would tape. I would cut a zip lock bag and put it on top and masking tape it to my skin to take showers because otherwise it wouldn't work. And it was it was great. And I'll just say that I don't use a seizure. You realize you said it was great. I did. I did say it was great because it was sweating. It was I was afraid. But it gave me a lot of insight. Okay. And then once I had the insight over a course of a handful of weeks, then I felt like I didn't really need it anymore. And that was also just a heavy tax to pay. You have to wear that thing around look like you have a cleaner. What does it call a cost me bag or something? It's just like it was big. It was bulky. So just like I did that, I wanted to do proof of concept, right? The goal was, can I use this for healthy normal applications? Will the insights be actionable? And they were low and behold, similarly with the foundation, since I'm dealing with smaller amounts of money, you know, I'm not in the billionaire club by any stretch of the imagination. And science can be expensive. I'm looking for small bets. Where can I pilot something that if successful will be emulated or can be scaled? And so in the crowd funding for the Hopkins treatment resistant depression pilot study, we ended up exceeding the goal they were able to recruit more subjects. In the case of UC Berkeley, Michael Pollan and I partnered on this and my foundation funded it, the Ferris UC Berkeley Journalism Fellowship, Psychedelic Journalism Fellowship, is providing funding to up-and-coming journalists who want to focus on psychedelics as their beat, which to this date has not been financially feasible. You just don't have the space to do really on-form investigative work. The hope being that these journalists can apply their skills and their dedication to examining different facets of the psychedelic ecosystem, therapeutic potential, regulatory issues, etc. in a way that can shape and inform national and international discourse in a very critical way. Because these things are not a panacea, there's a lot of claims that are made about these that are totally unbacked by any type of science and there are a lot of charlatans. And so I wanted to also invite really competent, really good journalists to the table who might want to watch for bad actors. I think that's really important. And so this fellowship has been been, has been awarding fellows with these grants. And I think it's a relatively small amount of money. It's like $10,000 per something like that. But the outcomes have been amazing. We had a huge, I want to say it was 7,000 word piece that was one of the main features in Rolling Stone magazine. Huge piece of National Geographic focused on I Boga and Fair Trade and some of the implications for local harvesting and/or over-harvesting, all the dynamics present in that, which I think has some incredible promise for particular forms of opioid use disorder in particular. But that has been a huge success. So the hope is that other journalism schools will say, that's a great idea. And I will have de-risked it for some other philanthropists or foundation or government, say, director at an agency to say, okay, well, green like that. Right. Because I've done it and it's been received very well and it's had a real impact on how things are moving along. Another one would be say at Harvard, Poplar, this is at Harvard Law School. So first is the first dedicated team focused on law policy and regulation related psychedelics from a legal perspective. Super important. Super, super important. Also another pilot, let's just call it proof of concept that SciSci Foundation funded was helping to develop curricula for, I think it was Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYU, effectively an accreditation or module that they could put into their existing psychiatry, MD programs such that people could develop the skills necessary and the understanding necessary to administer psychedelic assist therapies if and when they become legal, prescribable. Which if I understand correctly, it sounds like within the next 12 to 24 months, MDMA assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of trauma is likely to become legal in the hands of psychiatrists, at least it may be certain clinical psychologists as well in the US. Is that right? Through the efforts of the maps group. Yeah, through the efforts of maps.org and Rick Dobblin and many others, that is the tip of the spirit. So I think anyone who's interested in psychedelics should have a vested interest in supporting those efforts. Not because we know everything works. I want to be clear. Not because we know a priori that all of these things do all the things. No. But if MDMA fails, it's going to be very hard to draft. It'll be impossible to draft on that with commands that are more difficult to administer like psilocybin, which would be next in line for alcohol use disorder, also major depressive disorder. So I really feel that just like everything I've talked about, whether it's networking, putting together for our body or trying to change national policy and say reclassification of these compounds, getting them out of schedule one to some extent. You want to break it down into its constituent pieces. You want to do an 80/20 analysis, figure out what the critical few are and then put them in a logical sequence and execute to plan. One of the greatest weaknesses in the psychedelic ecosystem is there are a lot of people who just want to do all the things and save all the people and all the animals and all the places all at once. And that just doesn't work very well. There are also some really good people who are executing. And we could talk about the for-profit side and so on. But I've been very, very, very pleased with the outcomes that CyCAD Foundation has been able to achieve with very limited money. I'm prouder of those outcomes than I am of the startup record. And the startup record is pretty good. And it's the same lens. I'm using the same filters and the same approach, which is kind of what I'm always looking for. I'm looking for stuff that'll translate across fields, if possible.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Psychedelics (02:08:22)

And then you mentioned one like TMS. I think TMS, very interesting. Transcranial mindic stimulation. Yeah, which at one point was more commonly used to inhibit specific brain areas. This is a non-invasive technique. I've had it done, oriented over my motor cortex, and you're tapping your finger. And all of a sudden you can't tap your fingers. It's pretty eerie. But now it can be used to stimulate it, particular frequencies enhance neuroplasticity. And in combination with psychedelics is the, that's kind of a burning question now. Can you get a synergistic effect of TMS and psychedelics? Maybe not just during the psilocybin or Iboge journey, but in the days and weeks after, when we know for sure a lot of plasticity is still occurring. So keep the plasticity on board or accelerate it. So TMS also is a monotherapy, very interesting to me for depression, anxiety, even substance use disorders. Super interesting. And there are many different protocols, all sorts of different technology. I would say low intensity or low power ultrasound, also super interesting for various applications, potentially to addiction. So I'm not to be clear a card carrying evangelist for psychedelics. I am a proponent of looking for high leverage uncrowded bets with limited downside and testing them out. And very optimistic about psychedelics. If anyone listening has a family history of say schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, which we might, which this is being very simplistic, but categorize or describe as more chaotic conditions compared to hyper rigid conditions like an OCD or anorexia nervosa, chronic depression, etc. And then we can talk about why some of these psychedelics, at least some of the classical psychedelics seem to have cross efficacy with multiple conditions, but psychedelics seem very helpful for certain types of hyper rigidity. When you get into schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder, they can be really heavily contraindicated, not to say that they cause those conditions, but they can precipitate the onset of those symptoms. And for that reason, you can be very destabilizing and dangerous for certain people. However, that's where something like metabolic psychiatry comes in and the use of ketosis and the ketogenic diet, which appears to be very effective in some patients for that grouping of say more chaotic conditions, which is very exciting. So I'm interested in any tools that are off the beaten path that seem to raise interesting questions that have not been answered in a satisfying way yet in medicine. And I think we're still largely in the dark ages with respect to psychiatry. Oh, I think the best psychiatrist would agree with you. Yeah. And the best psychiatrists and the best scientists and the best film the blank are acutely aware of the limitations of our current methods and the limitations of our current knowledge. So I think the mark of a good thinker, the mark of a good scientist, the mark of a good film of blank, anything, is someone who says, I have no idea or we have no idea a lot. And hopefully they also say, let's go figure it out or try to try some things. And I really want to thank you for sharing that narrative, especially because it makes clear that you brought the same systematic process of using and asking excellent questions to arrive at solutions, to arrive at more questions, to fund areas of inquiry, and to do it all in this really structured way. As you said, from policy all the way down to like how many grams or, you know, X of some substance somebody might take. I mean, I think Matthew Johnson's laboratory at Hopkins, Roland Griffiths, a Robin Cardard Harris at UCSF, Nolan Williams, the maps group Rick Doblin, Peter Heericks, University of Alabama, looking at Andrew Kann, the addiction, yeah, other things. Yeah, you Michael Paulin, you know, I'm leaving some names out here and I don't want to take anything away from the classic, as they're called, explorers of psychedelics and writers about psychedelics. But we are in the moment of a renaissance now and it's important that this have a lot of fuel. So we'll put a link to your philanthropy efforts and the journalism fellowships as well, because I think there's going to be a lot of interest there. And I'm huge supporter of what you're doing is, as you know, and I just think it's the way great science and clinical progress is made. So yeah, thanks Andrew. Yeah, it's, which brings me to another parallel topic.

Mind Health, Social Media Impact, And Coping With Negative Experiences

Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, Nature (02:13:28)

You know, it used to be that meditation and psychedelics were, you know, nested in the same territory. This would be in the late 60s, early 70s, the birth of places like Esselin, etc. with the consequence of the dual exploration of those things. Meditation sort of escaped from the psychedelics umbrella and vice versa. Starting sometime in the mid 2000s, when neuroimaging became a little bit more accessible. And you know, I think nowadays, if you told anybody, okay, you know, meditation is good for you. It can help ratchet down your anxiety, give more self awareness, you know, improve sleep and on and on, maybe even give some insight into consciousness. No one's going to bulk. There's just a lot of studies, there's thousands of studies. My laboratories done a few of them. There are other laboratories who have done far more. The book Altered Traits is the one that comes to mind that group out of Wisconsin was early to early to the game on this. In any event, you talked about TM. I'm curious from a practical standpoint, do you still meditate daily? Do you do meditation retreats? What sorts of meditative practices do you have? Because I realized this can be done walking, writing is its own form of meditation. What sorts of formal practices do you still engage in now? Yeah, I do 10 to 20 minutes in the morning. So I am not currently doing the TM twice daily 20 minutes. I think that would be better for me, probably. Do you set a clock and you? Yeah, I'll set a clock, which would be more of the concentration practice of say a TM where you're repeating a mantra. Honestly, it could be any, in my opinion, some TM purists will bulk at this, but it could be really any nonsense. Syllable could be a word, although I think something without any attached meaning is probably more beneficial for a host of reasons. So it could be a concentration practice with 20 minutes of sitting. It might also be a guided meditation, and I have no vested interest in this app, but I think the waking up app by Sam Harris is fantastic. I have used the introductory course, which is Sam leading you through. My catnip, which is a logical progression of skill development from day one, two, three, and forward. I have gone through that course multiple times when I'm getting back on the horse for meditation as a bit of a reboot. Once you develop, I think, a certain degree of awareness and mindfulness, I do think there are other activities that probably allow you the parallel experience of doing one thing while experiencing some of the benefits of meditation. So for me, I wonder at times, are the benefits of meditation, the concentration practice itself? Is it just sitting still with my eyes closed, down regulating my system a little bit, activating my parasympathetic and not rushing or doing anything for 20 minutes? Is that it? Maybe. Is it simply correcting my posture for 20 minutes? How do I weight these different inputs? And the short answer is you probably don't need to know, but I have found that spending time in silence, in nature, without anything to do, disallowing myself from doing things, no note taking, no reading, et cetera. And spending, I have spent a number of extended fasts in nature, like water only by myself, no talking, no reading, no writing. What's extended? Seven days, generally. Wow. So you're camping in nature with just water. Yep, that's it by myself. And there are risks associated with that, right? You got to be careful, not stupid about it, but that does a lot for me with some persistent benefits. Are there some favorite places that you've gone into nature? It doesn't have to be too fast. Like, for instance, I'm a big fan of some of the national parks up in the Pacific Northwest because it's like being transported to a different planet. Yosemite is obviously amazing, but any favorite spots where we won't, people won't go looking for you there. Don't worry. Yeah, I would. You live in Austin all the time. So, that's right. Yeah. So I would say, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, spending time in mountains, around rivers, lakes, I find very therapeutic, just gorgeous. I do think we suffer from odd efficiency disorder, a bit of ADD when we're trapped in the Monday and for too long, with too much distraction, with too many to-dos, with too many relationships. And there's no space for other. There isn't the room necessary. All isn't, from my perspective, generally a quick hit that you get in the 30 seconds between using two apps. There's more breathing room required for a genuine, transcendent experience of all. So I try to, on a yearly basis, as one of my top priorities, block out these weeks of time in nature. Last year was the first year I did that. I went out to Colorado in August and just took daily hikes. I stayed in a hotel. I'm not as beastie as you're doing. Water fast. I was eating every day, but it was spectacular. One thing I noticed and I'd like to know your process on, how do you handle going back into life?

Extended Nature Retreats & Integration Period; “Generative Drive” (02:18:50)

Great question. Because those days were and are amazing. You've detached and maybe one text message here or there or in between hikes or something, and then you just really clued in. Even the process of watching a show at night, one felt so rich and enough. I wasn't as aesthetic as you were and I really cleaned all the clutter. But once you return to life, it's almost like being a wash in demands and I can see from a place of more equanimity how one could make better choices. But how do you handle those transition? The reentry. Yeah. So before getting to the reentry, I think it might make sense for me to talk about what comes before. So let's say it's like pre-during post. Part of the reason I do these one week or longer periods off the grid is because it forces me to put better systems in place. So there's the benefit that you derive from say that week and I have three weeks coming up right after this interview where I'm going to be off the grid. To set myself up for three weeks off the grid, I have a team, I have the podcast, I have a lot of things that are in motion at any given point in time. If you disappear for say a two to a four week period, generally you cannot let the whole house catch on fire, then come back and put it out effectively, which means you need to put some policies and rules and so on in place in advance. And there's a carryover effect that has a host of benefits and makes things smoother for the reentry. So they're related. Like the more you set up the pre, the easier the post is going to be. And then you have this beautiful, expansive experience in nature, whatever it might be, whether you're making it to suffer fast like I do or at a hotel at night, either way, these things can work. And nature in and of itself is super helpful. I do think that a lot of the time we like to imagine because we're driven, smart, accomplished people that our problems are very complex. And at the end of the day, it's like, you just need some time in nature and a cold shower and some fucking macadamia nuts. And you'll be fine. You don't need to solve like all the existential dilemmas of humankind, actually, or fancy pharmaceuticals. So you have this experience over this week. And what I will do then is set at least a, let's call integration period of two to three days where I will slowly edge back in to my previous routine. I will not within 12 hours of getting back to so-called civilization have a day full of calls or meetings. I will not do that. It's too much of a shock to the system. And I think it robs you of a tail end of benefits, which would also be the case with say, fast or ketogenic diet or any number of interventions, you can squeeze out a long tail of benefits if you make a handful of changes. For instance, after an extended fast, what if you started with a sub-caloric ketogenic diet for a few days, you get to extend some of the benefits as opposed to going straight back to say a diet that includes a lot of carbohydrates. Similarly, when you create more of a vacuum, more space for all insight, reflection, recovery, I think you're doing yourself a disservice if you jump from park into sixth gear. And so I plan for that. And it's a function of scheduling. I also have a predictable weekly schedule. So I tend to schedule podcast recordings on Mondays and Fridays. In preparation for an extended trip, I will batch a lot of similar activities that we have, say a bunch of episodes in the bank that are pre-scheduled. Everything is figured out in advance. And over time, the more you take these breaks, the better your systems become. And the more liberated you are from the day to day, which means when you get back, you also don't need to rush as much into hyperactivity. And if you do, you know that that is more from a compulsivity than from a necessity. While you're on these nature retreats, are you writing on a daily basis? Are you just thinking and allowing thoughts to enter and leave your system? Depends on the retreat. So sometimes I'm writing, but writing, I think, can underscore for me a desire to be compulsively productive. And I think that is inversely correlated to my happiness or sense of well-being a lot of the time. So there are many areas in my life now. So if you were to ask me, what has changed significantly since the time that you wrote the Four Hour Body, I would say that rather than looking for areas to optimize, I am looking where I can very deliberately de-optimize certain areas to increase sense of well-being. Where can I de-optimize? Where can I stop measuring? Where can I stop reading books? Which areas can I ignore completely? What types of information can I just excise from my life altogether for a period of time? Delete Twitter. Stop reading about books in X related to, say, AI. Or whatever it might be. Where can I de-optimize selectively to optimize the whole? Does that make sense? Makes a good sense. Before we started recording, I gave you a book, which is a short collection of poetry by Halaliza Geforri, which is called Gold, its collection of roomy poetry. Reading poetry is an activity almost by definition, which is the antithesis of optimization. So I've tried to also integrate more of those activities into my life, and this relates to your question, because there are times when I would force myself to sit on my goddamn hands and not write, not read. Just do the thing that is so uncomfortable sometimes, which is just sitting there with yourself. It can be incredibly uncomfortable, in part because of the fear that it could be comfortable, especially for proactive people with a strong, to use Paul Conte's words, "generative drive." You know, you're going to, which is a good thing, I believe. It's a good thing, and it can be a good thing. It can indicate really incredible adaptations. It can also sometimes, I think, indicate mal adaptations. And so I think it's helpful to take a break from that generative drive, or at least just put it in park position to see if that generative drive is perhaps indicative of you leaning towards something in a healthy, proactive way, versus running from something in a long-term, destructive way. Yeah. Well, and I think Paul would say that part of the generative drive process is peace, not necessarily even as a still state, but as a being able to experience peace even in the transitions. And there's a lot more to say about that, and he would say it far better than I ever would. So I'll leave it at that. I mean, for people who have the option, getting in nature, it doesn't have to be all day, every day, on a water fast. I just take certain things to an extreme because that's who I am. But sorry, when you say water fast, that means fasting with water. Right. It's just fasting, but yes, drinking water. It just means you're allowed to have water and nothing else. For a long time, I thought it meant that you're not drinking water. Oh, yeah, no, don't do that. Some people do that, right? They do these crazy food water fast as a way. I think they believe it clears senescent cells or something, but probably clears a lot more than just senescent cells. Yeah, I, there might be something to it. I mean, like there are people who recycle by drinking their own urine, not my jam, but I would say it's like three hours without shelter, three days without water, three weeks without food, general and rule of thumb. So be careful with dehydration. You can go a long time without food. If you have, I don't care how I ripped you, are you getting 8% body fat? You got plenty of time. You can go a couple of weeks. No problem. Yeah, you got calories, doctor, calories per pound, stir body fat. You got plenty. Don't worry. So for people who have the option to be in nature and just exercise several hours a day to exhaustion, see how many of your problems seem to just go away. Just try that. You know, my Sunday routine is to try and get outside and move as much as possible. Yeah. I don't always succeed, but I'm going to try a longer retreat into nature. I think Olympic National Forest is calling me again. It seems like once a year, I just want to get back up there. It's calling. You should get back out there. Spectacular. I have a question about mentors.

Mentors (02:28:05)

I'm a big believer in mentors, either mentors that know us and we know them or people that we assign as mentors without them realizing it, this sort of thing. Do you have mentors at this stage of life for particular areas of life? Are you mentoring yourself? Are you flying with a few voices in your head that serve you well? Who are your mentors? I definitely have people I consider mentors. It's, I think at this point, rarely one way in the sense that they tend to be friends. I spend time with, they get something from it. I get something from it. Not in a transactional way, but they find it fun or beneficial or amusing in some way of redeeming to spend time with me. That's the hope. But how is that different from like traditional friendship, you know, just sort of standard friendship? Are you spending time with some orientation toward like their embodying areas of life that you would like to emulate? Totally. I mean, I spend time around people I hope to be more like in some way. Because, guess what? You're going to average into say the some holistic whole of the five or six people you spend the most time with. So you should choose that very carefully. That includes virtual parasocial relationships. Okay, if you're listening to a film, The Blind Person for four hours a week, five hours a week, two hours a week, whoever that group is comprised of is going to influence who you become. And for me, then I think carefully about my friendships and they could be older like Kevin Kelly has become a good friend who has a wealth of life experience that I don't have. And so I might just call him and say Kevin, I have a question for you, but I do that with my younger friends too. And they could be younger than I am and I might still be them as a mentor in X, Y or Z. I think mentor has a heavy weight to it. It has a connotation of maybe never ending time consuming obligation. So I would never, for instance, I know a lot of people try this ask someone to be my mentor. It's like, would you like to be my free life coach forever? You know, it's like, that's kind of how it sounds to the recipient. It sounds very formal. Yeah, it sounds very formal. So for me, I would say there have certainly been mentors. I've had wrestling coaches, I've had teachers, I've had resident advisors who were reverence who had a huge impact on my life and followed up with me and paid attention to me and cared for me in more of a one directional sense. I view myself as the beneficiary. Of course, they hope they certainly got something out of it. If they had that job, they probably found it to be very gratifying in its own way. And teachers like Professor Ed Shau at Princeton, I feel incredibly indebted to these days. And for a long time, I've believed that you can learn something powerful from almost anyone, probably anyone you interact with. Could be an Uber driver, could be someone taking garbage out of a restaurant. If you really take the time to dig, you can find something. And before you can, I think as an adult, effectively think about who you would like to learn from, if I put it that way. It's helpful to have a baseline of self-awareness that you know what you might want to work on to either amplify strengths, develop skills, address weaknesses. And so for instance, one of my close friends, Matt Mullen-Wigg, he's younger than I am. He's the founder of automatic, which runs WordPress.com. He was the lead developer of WordPress. All it was an open source project, of course, with many, many contributors. He was one of the lead developers, now powers something like 32% of the internet. And he exemplifies a cool and calm temperament, even in the most chaotic periods imaginable, during the most chaotic events imaginable. And when I find myself getting dysregulated, he's a fancy term, losing my shit, or getting carried away by emotion, getting right just the angry, or whatever it might be. And I recognize at some point that it's really not serving me, that I am being owned by the emotion, right? Like, I'm the dog on the leash, not the other way around. Then I think about, I'm like, what would Matt do? What advice would Matt give me right now? How would Matt act in these circumstances? And I do that with many friends. I also think a lot about, and this is borrowing from someone named Kathy Sierra from a long time ago, focusing more on just-in-time information as opposed to just-in-case information. So just-in-case information is like, I'm going to read these 20 books because in two years, I might be interested in X, Y, and Z. That, I think, is often a waste of time, because if it ever becomes relevant, you're just going to have to reread those books. People do the same thing with humans. They're like, I want to meet so-and-so and have them as my mentor, because maybe five years from now, I'll do X, Y, and Z, and then they'll be useful for ABC. That's too speculative. And I think it ends up in a lot of wasted energy. So, the podcast for me writing the books and doing the interviews, even prior to the podcast, becoming involved with startups, delving into the world of science and scientists, all helps me to develop a confidence that almost any question I could ask. I can find some semblance of an answer for it by just reaching out to a few people and saying, who do you know who might be able to answer this? And that's very reassuring, and it relieves some of the anxiety or pressure that people might feel to assemble some personal board of directors of X-Men and women who can help them with everything. And then there are people I hire to be accountable to. So, I might work with coaches, therapists, and so on, who I would view as mentors. They just have me getting paid for it. Yeah, the reason I asked the question is because we were talking about the meditative process going into nature.

Mind & Attention Allocation, Social Media, Boredom (02:34:53)

And even when psychedelics, they can be viewed a lot of different ways. But I think of them largely as going inward to explore. I mean, you're out in nature and learning from nature. There's such a core truth to nature. I know that sounds a little bit, whooshy-washy. But it's true. Like, it's there. It's concrete. It's really something. It was there long before any of us. And it'll be there a lot longer than any of us will ever be. We hope. Certainly, if it goes, we go. But the process of learning from others and paying attention to others is really an outward-looking thing. I mean, we have to bring that in. But I was just curious how you balance those. And as a way to really understand not just your time allocation, I think we could talk about that, how's your morning structured, etc. Which I think there's great value in knowing. But more, what's your mind allocation? I think about this. Where's my brain? Is it in my focus on what's going on in here? Is there a need to excavate there? Sure. But how much time am I out of my head and bringing things in from the outside world and back and forth? So do you have some sense of across the year, across the day, how you mind allocate? I don't know. That's the best phrase, but I can't think of any better one. If you can think of a better one, please table it because I'm happy to use that. How do I think about mind allocation or attention allocation? I try to and most frequently think of my mind share across a year and across a weekly time frame. And I find that to be manageable in the sense that on a yearly basis, on New Year's Eve or roughly around New Year's, every year I'll do a past year review. P-Y-R, past year review, where I'll go back and I'll look at my entire last year. A piece of paper in front of me, lined down the center, plus negative. And I will go through every week in my calendar for the previous year. And I'll write down the people, places, activities, commitments, etc. that produced peak positive emotional experiences. So we're doing an 80/20 analysis here. What are the big rocks that really moved the needle in a meaningful way? And conversely, who are the people? What are the things? What are the places that just made me go, and we're draining produced peak negative experiences? Why the hell did I commit to this type experiences? And that presents me with a do more of, do less of list. Then I look forward to the next year, and I did this, I suppose just a handful of months ago, around New Year's, with the positive, I'm like, okay, here's my list of do more of, it's not real until it's in the calendar, let's get these things in the calendar. And then I will start talking to people, booking things, having people help with organizing, if that is required, and getting things blocked out. So I have already this year, and we're in the reasonable beginning stages of the year, I have things blocked out until November of this year. And those provide the breaks in the action, not just the breaks in the action, but the fun stuff. Because by the way, guys, I thought for a long time, like, yeah, take care of A, B and C, and the good stuff, just take care of itself. I do not any longer believe that to be true. Unless you schedule these things that you claim are important, they're gonna get crowded out by bullshit. And maybe not bullshit, but just less important things. The urgent will crush the important. So I get these things on the calendar, and then I back up, and I look at optimal weekly, mind allocation, or intentional allocation. And there's an incredible cost to cognitive switching, if you're just test switching all day. So I will try my best to format a weekly rhythm, a weekly sequence, that allows me to focus on certain types of tasks. So Monday is very frequently admin of some type, just bits and ends, flots and jetsome, all the miscellaneous pieces that are part of life, you got to deal with them. That tends to be Monday. Whenever possible, and especially if I'm focused on physical activity, let's just say I'm in a place like Colorado, I will try to schedule most of that for after lunch to ensure that I get in a lot of exercise and movement in the first portion of the day. Not everybody has that ability, but I will say more of you have that capacity than you might think, because most of what we all do is just not important. Time on social media first thing in the morning is probably the most poisonous activity that I could take part in. I don't want to point fingers at anyone else, but I think if people ask, you know, what is the amount of time it takes to get in a really good workout, it's going to be about an hour, you know, but a lot can be done in 45 for even 30 minutes. You think about how quickly that time goes by. Yeah, I'm sure I'm not the only one that this part of the reason I deleted a lot of these asks from my phone. It's like, I'd go into bathroom to take a quick bit of business, and then 45 minutes later, I'm like, how have I been looking at Instagram? 45 minutes. Yeah, lines and for restrooms have gotten very long in the last 10 years. Has anyone noticed that the wait for the restrooms has gotten very long? Yeah, so you have time for the important stuff. It's like, and just look at some of the extreme overrecheers out there. They have the same amount of time that you do. Have you, I was going to ask this later, I'll just will just quickly interject this now. I saw perhaps it was on Twitter, maybe I overheard this that you're back on Instagram. It's, I mean, you've always had an account that posts, but are you back in there? Are you out of there? I mean, look, the dirty little secret, I'm single again, and that's a great way to connect with eligible ladies who might be of interest. Got it. So you're on Instagram. So you're on Instagram. I'm willing to pay the tax of dealing with the brain damage of using Instagram as a result. And look, finding a great life partner is exactly. It's great. Exactly. So that's, that is the reason for that. But otherwise, it would not be on my phone. It's too long. It wouldn't even be on your phone. Absolutely not. It's too well designed. These companies are very smart. They have very good data scientists. They have very good UI specialists. If anyone out there thinks that they can, like, maybe, maybe Jocko can can discipline his way through it. I'm sure he can because he's, he is Jocko. But in my case, in the case of most people, like you're bringing a knife to a gunfight. If you think you can use your self control to keep your use of Instagram to say 10 minutes at a club, good luck. And even if you can, people say, ah, but I do that anyway. I'm like, all right, how much time do you spend sending memes and links from Instagram or film the blank platform to your friends and group chat? And how much time does that consume? I spend a fair amount of time on Instagram and Twitter posting things related to the podcast. But I don't have someone to do that for me. And I actually enjoy doing it and it challenges me in certain ways. But I completely agree with everything you're saying. I also want to note that you didn't say that you're on Twitter possibly to meet somebody, which is more a statement about Twitter. Yeah. Yeah, it's not that it's not the, not the friendliest neighborhood I've found. And I would say, Twitter has its use cases. I find it useful in some respects. It has become much less useful and much less practical in the last year with a lot of the product changes. But it has its place. It's not on my phone. It was on my phone for a very brief period of time. I do not want, I find that my ability to be still and calm is eroded if I am too easily able to escape boredom. If you cease to have the ability to be bored for five to 10 minutes, I think that makes you very fragile. It makes you very easy to manipulate also. And there are a lot of forces at play online that want to manipulate or shape your behavior in different ways. So I feel like it is imperative for me to cultivate the ability to just sit still and not consume the five minutes in line waiting to get into a restaurant by hopping on Twitter or Instagram. So that's part of the reason they're not on my phone. Could you tell us about cock punch?

Cockpunch (02:44:12)

Yeah, I can tell you about cock punch. So cock punch is a creative project intended once again to make me less precious about protecting whatever brand I think I might have. And this is an investment in my long-term mental health also. And I think in my career flexibility, my willingness to experiment, cock punch could be a long story. But the gist of it is I wanted to experiment with fiction writing. I've been saying this for years and I've never done it. That's the backdrop. On top of that, I have wanted to get back into illustration and work in the visual arts, which I did for a long time when I was younger. And I've not done that consistent. Why not? Because I haven't had accountability. I haven't had deadlines. It hasn't been in the calendar. This should sound somewhat familiar by now. And at the same time, I was becoming very interested in Web3 and what was happening in the world of NFTs. This is probably 2020. And I know they've developed a fairly negative connotation for a lot of good reasons. But I started to think about fundraising for early stage science. And if I could do, if I could conduct an experiment as a proof of concept with different novel approaches to fundraising. So rather than just calling the rich friends who might sort of bend to the pressure or be willing to fund, I wanted to look at, say, crowd funding back in the day. Then I wanted to look at different options for perhaps art auctions. And I was going to do this with contemporary art. This is many years ago. In the process of wanting to fund the Hopkins center focused on psychedelic and consciousness research, which was the first of its kind in the United States. And the technology gave me the opportunity to learn about a new, let's just call it, set of technologies, so to develop skills and knowledge. It would give me the opportunity to reconnect and deepen friendships with a number of my very, very smart friends who are playing in that area. Also test fundraising, also get back into fiction and art and all that combined into this thing that I end up calling cock punch because it made me laugh. And you know what? Man, if you take your work too seriously, you're going to burn out before you get the really serious work done. And I think it was Bertrand Russell has said it's a sure sign of an impending nervous breakdown. If you start taking your work too seriously, or believing your work to be very, very serious. And for that reason, I wanted to give it an absurd name that would also have some word of mouth benefit. And that to see what would happen. Honestly, just see what would happen. Because I was like, all right, look, what is honestly the worst thing that happens? Like people write a bunch of pieces where they're like shaking their fist at the sky. How dare Tim Ferriss cockroach create a car project. You can turn it around on them and just say that what they were doing is a cock punch. No, well, I'm attempting. Well, that was kind of the thing. That was kind of part of the thinking that it would just be entertaining to watch people seriously trying to critique something called cock punch. And the upshot of that is it raised almost $2 million sold out in something like 30 minutes or 40 minutes for the foundation, all that money went to Sysam Foundation. All that money has already been distributed in the form of grants. Wonderful. And along the way, I got to work with artists, with programmers, learn new technologies, reconnect with old friends, and now we're back in touch. And it's extremely fun to be back in touch with these folks. And I've written the equivalent of a short book in fiction in the form of short stories that are this fantasy world building exercise for me. And I'm having a blast. So I'm exercising new creative muscles that has led me back into the world of comic books, which I haven't created yet, led me back into the worlds of gaming, led me back into my fascination tabletop gaming, because I played D&D for everyone. I was a kid. That was my refuge as a runt who got the crap kicked out of them left and right. And I'm having just a blast. And the takeaway, I think, on some level is that you should do things, should as it is a loaded term. It's helpful for me to consider doing things that give me energy, right? Because if we say, all right, time management is fine. But time doesn't really have any practical value unless you have attention, right? So then there's attention management. But that attention is limited also physically and sort of metaphorically by energy, right? So you have like substrates, diets, neurotransmitters, and so on. If you do not have the basic batteries required, the rest of the things that are higher up on that pyramid can't really be executed properly. So for me, it's like, okay, let's say cockpunch doesn't do anything. It's total failure, right? Coming back to like, well, Ray raised $2 million for science. It did. And that science could be breakthrough science. So it could, though, but cockpunch. Sorry. Yeah, sorry. So cockpunch is at least thus far a success. It is. But coming back to Seth Godin's question, I asked myself, would I do this even if it turns out to be a complete failure financially? And I was like, yes, because I think the relationships and the skills, even if this quote unquote fails from the outside looking in, those will transcend this project and be life affirming and helpful and fun in other areas. And that's proven to be true, even though the project is ongoing. And I have more energy now because of this ridiculous project. I'm very proud of the fiction, actually. This ridiculous project called cockpunch, people can find the legend of cockpunch on any fine provider of podcasts and hired voice actors to the scripting, the production. I hit number one fiction worldwide on Apple podcast for a while. The whole thing is hilarious. And if you could, can you explain a little bit about the characters in cockpunch? Who's punching? Who's cock? Or which cocks are punching? Yeah, which cock are punching? Which, how does this work? So here we go. All right. So the legend of cockpunch takes place in this realm called Vrallata. And Vrallata is being described through the narrator who we know as the seventh scribe. We don't know much about the seventh scribe, but the seventh scribe makes an appearance in episode one as the reliable, but possibly sometimes unreliable, narrator of this space. And there's a there's a mind-bending time component where there's something called restarts, something like the edge of tomorrow. If people have ever seen this movie, where time restarts, maybe like groundhog day, time restarts and it's unclear as of yet in the story why that is the case. But people basically snap into being. They know who they are and what they do, but they have no real memories to speak of. So the world is constantly being reconstructed and pieced together by these scribes, the seventh of which is the narrator. So you can, you might read into this that I am a fan of fantasy, Tolkien, you name it, Ursula K. Le Guin, the Wizard of Earthsea, etc. Then there are eight primary houses. These are the greater houses, some might call them clans and they have different characteristics. Just prior to this seventh scribe beginning his piecing together, which turns into the story in the podcast, there was a warring states period. This much he's been able to establish. And the peacekeeping mechanism that was devised is something called the Great Games. And the Great Games is a combat competition. And the eight greater houses send their best fighters who have been vetted through preliminary competitions to the Great Games, which is in the free trade zone, which is this one place where all of the races mingle and trade and so on. And all these characters happen to be anthropomorphized roosters. So they have generally each one gauntlet of some type. And clearly they punch each other with this gauntlet and there are many other types of weapons. So the colloquial nickname for this Olympics of combat is cockpunch. And that is the, that is the etymology. So the scholars say of cockpunch, the legend of cockpunch. And there's a lot more to it. And there are many wrinkles, a lot of Easter eggs in this entire story. The idea came to me and it started off as a bit of a farce, right? It was just going to be something funny, see if it works. Maybe it raises some money, very light lift. But once I got into the fiction, I started digging it super seriously. So it's become very, very elaborate. It's become really, really elaborate. And I'm loving it. It's great. So who knows where it'll go. I have no idea. That's part of the reason why I called it an emergent long fiction project. I didn't call it an NFT project. I was like, this is an emergent long fiction project where I'm taking inputs from the audience. I'm watching very closely what people understand or don't understand or find interesting. I'm looking at, for instance, what is generated when I host an AI assisted art competition, which I did with the fans. And a lot of these bits and pieces get integrated in some fashion into this thing that chapter by chapter is coalescing. So that's cockpunch. Amazing. And I had to buy cockpunch.com and the ad cockpunch Twitter. You had to buy it from somebody. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. The whole process. I don't want to ask what it was being used for prior to your purchasing. It was not being used for fantasy world building. Hope it did that way. Got it. Amazing. And for so many reasons, I have so much to say, but first of all, your excitement about it is tangible. The energy you have around it is infectious. And well, I don't want to go into the total depth and contour of what Paul Conti has been telling me over the last week of preparing this mental health series about what's really great in life that we all should cultivate. It has a lot to do with this generative drive, which has a lot to do with positive energy, not just positive thinking, but positive energy. But this triad of peace contentment and delight. And as you were explaining it, it's clear that it brings you great peace, contentment and delight as action terms, not like sit there and just hover in the asking. And it's just so clear that this was a great idea. And I love that you started it as a way to kind of, I don't know, like knock the fear out of yourself a little bit by knocking a little fear into the whole thing. What would happen if you let your mind go and allowed yourself to explore this? And what permission would it buy you if it's not a total disaster? This is true for the four-hour body too. I'm like, if this partially works, it's not even a home run. But let's say I get on base. What permission does this then buy me? What other impossibles and quotation marks am I willing to challenge? And I was able to make the hop from one category in the bookstore to a completely different category. And then the sky is limit. I was like, I can do anything. I can do whatever I want. I've given myself permission and the market has given me permission. But the most important first step is you giving yourself permission and with, say, cockpunch as ludicrous as it is. Now that I've done that, my career hasn't ended, hasn't had any negative impact on my career whatsoever. I'm like, okay, that's actually kind of surprising. To the contrary, it seems like it gives you energy. It's raised money for science. Is it still raising money? There's still an opportunity for people to... No, it's contribute. It's sold out. If people want to contribute to, say, the early stage science and let's just say specifically psychedelics, I would say it's very, very hard to get a very solid understanding of the field and the shifting sands and the projects and so on. It's very rapidly changing. So I would say just provide money to a foundation that's already doing good work. It could be a Riverstix foundation. It could be Beckley foundation, my foundation, Sysay foundation, I think, does pretty good work. And Sysay is not just the journalism fellowships. They're also the... Oh, it's funding for psychedelics. Oh, yeah. There's tons of stuff. There's a project page on Sysayfoundation.org. You can see the projects. They're probably 15 to 20 of them and they can see the basic science all the way from really basic science looking at possible mechanisms of action for something like DIPT, which is a very strange compound that DIPT. Yeah, most people aren't going to know it, that produces profound auditory distortions and hallucinations in humans. Very hard to animal model. And from that all the way up to really sophisticated imaging studies, from that to, say, at least a year or two ago, supporting phase three trials for MDMA, psychotherapy, then the journalism, then the this, then the that, but a lot of different scientific studies that are being supported. So that's very exciting to me. But the cock punch side of things is all done. Money's been distributed. And maybe I'll do more of this kind of thing, but I might take a different approach. I feel like, okay, I learned what I feel I wanted to learn from that. And maybe I'll try something new next time. One thing's clear, nobody tells you what to do except you. And but that's vetted through many important filters like structured filters and very thoughtful filters are the words that come to mind when I think about your process as you're sharing it with us. One more thing which is one of the sources of joy of cock punch is that it is not over planned. I set some initial conditions. And now it's emerging. And as someone who has hyperanalyzed and meticulously planned most of my life for decades, I think it's helpful to have an improv component. So if you are a hyper planner, if you're a hypermeasurer, if you like that degree of control, maybe you should try something that's a little less controlled, take an improv class, try fiction writing, do something that isn't totally scripted where you don't know the outcome. I think it's really good medicine for people. Just like if you spend all your time in a yoga class, maybe you should spend one day a week lifting weights, see what that's like. And if you spend all your time in the gym and you can barely touch your toes, maybe you should do some more downward dog, try some yoga. Similar, I think the spectrum of hyper planned to completely free flowing and improv provides ample opportunity to enrich themselves and maybe address some weaknesses at the same time. So for me, cock punch has been incredibly therapeutic. Probably the first time that anyone's ever uttered that sentence. But yes, probably. But that's part of what makes it so cool. Yeah, totally. I love it. I'm wondering if you'd be willing to share with us a little bit about your mindset, maybe even your motivation, but certainly your mindset around sharing some of the hard personal tribulations that you shared.

Suicide & Depression, Sexual Abuse, Vulnerability (03:00:23)

In preparation for this discussion today, I went back to some of those posts that you did and the podcasts that you did around this. And I'd listened to them at the time and they deal with quite serious violations of childhood and of self and they're hard. I mean, they're hard to listen to and I can only imagine they must be even far, far harder to experience. And I was curious what led to your willingness to do that. And yeah, I mean, I have my own ideas about what might have motivated it, but I'd like to hear it from you. Sure. Happy to talk about it. And I think there are two particular examples that come to mind. So one is my near suicide in college. And if people search some practical thoughts on suicide and my name, it'll pop right up. I mean, if you just search my name and suicide, it'll probably pop right up pretty well indexed at this point, which is very deliberate. People can look at the URL structure for a little wink and hat tip. It'll tell you something about optimizing for Google. If you look at it, I'll just tell you the URL is spells out how to commit suicide. But clearly, I'm not teaching people how to commit suicide. But I wanted that to be a honeypot for some of that traffic, because it's a lot easier now to find that type of practical implementation advice. And it's a bit harder to find, I think, compelling intervention. So first of all, if you're feeling suicide, obviously call suicide hotline, please, right? That's sometimes the last thing that people want to hear when they are in a place of suicidal ideation. And the reason I ended up writing a long post about this, which was terrifying to write, because I had never told my parents, I had never told my closest friends, this was a secret. It was a dark, dark secret. And I wrote about it because I went to an event in San Francisco, I was interviewed on stage by Jason Calcanis, who's a friend and a very good interviewer, at an event. And after I got off stage, a bunch of people approached me saying hi and taking photos and signing things and so on. And there was one young man there, very well dressed, which isn't really relevant, it was striking, because in San Francisco, sometimes people are very underdressed. And he dressed up for it, like he'd taken it seriously and he was in a suit and tie. And he asked me if I could sign a book for his brother. And I said, sure, no problem. And I asked him, what would you like me to write to your brother? And he kind of blanked. He didn't kind of blank, he totally blanked. But the look behind his eyes was unusual. It wasn't just, I don't know what to say blank, there was something else behind it. And I could tell that he felt under pressure. And I said, no problem, take your time. I'll tell you what, I'll just chat with a couple of other people and I'll sign the book, no problem, I'm not going anywhere. And chat with the other folks. And then he asked if he could just walk me to the elevator, and then I could sign the book. I was like, sure. And he explained to me, as I walked to the elevator, how his brother had been a huge fan of mine. And that I'd really kept his brother afloat for a long time. And eventually his brother killed himself. And that they kept his room exactly how it was. And he wanted me to sign the book so that he could put the book in his brother's room. And he asked me if I'd ever considered talking about mental health and mental health challenges publicly, because he thought it would really help a lot of people. And that just, I mean, I'm like telling myself to hear up right now. I mean, it was so crushing to hear the story. And totally unbeknownst to him, I had a lot of history with depressive episodes. And when I say near suicide, I had it on the calendar. I had a plan. I was going to kill myself. I knew exactly how I was going to do it. I knew where I was going to do it. I knew all of the variables that I needed to account for to get it done. And the only reason that didn't happen for people that don't have the context, which most people want, is I had tried to reserve a book at Firestone Library. This is at Princeton, which had something to do with suicide. It was like assisted suicide, like the clinician's guide to euthanasia, something like that. And it wasn't in. And I had forgotten to change my address at the Registrar's Office. I was taking a year away from school. And that was to focus on finishing my thesis. It was to try a few jobs, but I ended up in a very bad place and was feeling very isolated. And my friends were graduating a year ahead of me. And I was stuck on this thesis. And there's a lot of backstory that I won't bore people with. But it got to the point where I decided not that objectively my life is bad. I think this is where people who have an experienced depression get a little confused, or it's hard for them to identify when they give advice to a depressed person. Because you might say to a depressed person, like, "But look, your life is so great." Like, "There's this. There's that. There's this." And for a lot of depressed people to say, "Yeah, I know. I look at that. And I can't fix my state because I am broken." And if this is how I'm going to have to live forever with being this broken and dysfunctional and to have this internal hell that I live day by day, I just want to escape. It's like someone jumping out of a burning building. It's like they don't want to kill themselves, but they're jumping out of a burning building. And so I had it on the calendar, and thank God this was back when they would still send you a physical reminder in the mail. A little postcard that says, "Your book is in." And that card went to my parents' house. And my mom saw it and panicked and called me. And I lied. I said it was for a friend who went to Rutgers who was doing a project on the A/B and C. But it was just enough to kind of snap me out of the trance and realize that killing yourself is like putting on a suicide vest with explosives and walking to a room of all the people you care the most about and blowing yourself up. So that snapped me out of it. But no one knew this. This guy certainly didn't know that. And that is when I went home and thought about it and just decided, "Okay, there's a chance if I write this, it's not certain, but there's a chance this might help someone. It might prevent someone from doing what I was almost about to do." And so I spent months getting this post written and put it out. And I know for a fact, it has saved minimum dozens of lives. And there are other things including a very extensive list of resources. And so that gave me, I suppose, not a tone in the water, but sort of jumping feet first into the deep end and experience of being that vulnerable. And this was a long time ago. I mean, this is, I want to say at least eight to ten years ago when I put that post out. And then I want to say it was just before COVID lockdown. I was in Costa Rica visiting a friend. I was with my girlfriend at the time. And she knew a secret of mine. And she was one of maybe two or three people who knew that I'd been sexually abused when I was a kid by babysitter's son from two to four, roughly. And routinely, all the time kind of thing. And what you're envisioning is what happened. So it was not good. And that had been compartmentalized and locked away from my whole life. It was like, that's in the past. We're focused on moving forward. And nothing to be fixed. Nothing to fix. And that was my perspective on things. It turned out wasn't quite that simple. And so I had done a lot of work, a lot of therapy, use psychedelic syst therapies as well. Which once again, are not all upside potential. There are some significant risks. But I had come a long way. And my plan had always been to wait until my parents passed, because I didn't want them to blame themselves for this. And then to write a book. And there was something though, at the time when I was having dinner with my girlfriend, there was dissatisfying about that plan. There's something about it that bothered me. And I couldn't quite put a finger on it. And I was talking to her about it. And she said, that's going to take a long time. She's like, have you ever thought about how many people are going to pass away or die or suffer between now and when you publish that book? And I thought about it. And it was at that dinner that I decided to at least record a podcast covering this terrain. I was not at all convinced that I wanted to publish it. I was terrified of publishing it. Also because it meant opening myself up to a lot of conversations. Or maybe just hurtful commentary online. Who knows? Like people are there a lot of idiots out there. And a lot of otherwise fine people who are idiots on the internet. So it's very hesitant. Ultimately decided I didn't want to do it as a one man show. I didn't want to make it a monologue. So I asked my friend Debbie Millman, who had been on my podcast. She's an amazing graphic designer and teacher. But she had unexpected me on my podcast based on some of my questions. For the first time publicly told her story about being sexually abused. And so I had leaned on her in years after that in private. And I asked her if she would be willing to have a conversation with me about our perspective journeys. And what it felt like, what it looked like, what helped, what didn't help, what worked, what didn't. To provide at the very least a glimmer of hope for people who were keeping some of these dark secrets or contending with them, not knowing what to do with them. And we had that conversation. And I sat on it, I sat on it, I sat on it, and then I put it out and decided in advance that I would not look at any social media for at least several weeks afterwards. If my team saw anything on social media or got emails, I didn't want to see anything other than positive feedback, which is not my de facto. I'm usually eager to solicit constructive feedback. But in this case, I knew that my own position was too vulnerable. I didn't want to open up the possibility of destabilizing myself. And I put it out. And I think it's the most important podcast I've ever put up. So I kind of felt like my job was done from a podcasting perspective after that. And it's been incredibly gratifying. I think it has certainly helped a fair number of people. And it was also really hard because what I didn't anticipate was I would say of my really super high performing close male friends, maybe half reached out to me to tell someone for the first time about their extremely awful, graphic firsthand experience of being sexually abused. The percentages were mind blowing, like the actual percentages were super, super, super high. Which is part of the reason I mentioned earlier, I think it's good to spend a little bit of time in those empty spaces to see, am I in a positive energetic sense pursuing something good, or am I running away from demons whipping my back? And for a lot of those guys, I'm sure it's true for a lot of women too. Like they find medication through intense focus and achievement, which is super adaptive in a lot of ways. But it doesn't always have lifetime reliability. And that's the story. It's impossible to hear those stories, your story without feeling some substantial emotion.

Perspective On Suffering, Future, Parenthood And Podcasting

Making Meaning from Suffering (03:14:22)

I'm not trying to intellectualize it's both of those aspects of your history that you shared are huge. They really are. They're obviously huge for you and they're huge in terms of the positive impact in the world. I know this because I have read the comments. And I've talked to people who have listened to those podcasts and read those blogs and have similar or maybe different stories of trauma. But I think as with your work in a psychedelic space, as with your work in the physical augmentation space, whatever you want to call it, it's apparent that you're willing to be first man in on a lot of things and really you're sitting alone there in those moments and these categories of revealing trauma in my mind anyway, so much more substantial in terms of their impact, positive impact and the other aspects for our body and psychedelic work, etc. It's also tremendously impactful. So that's saying a lot. So I want to say thank you for your bravery. And thanks Andrew. Yeah, it's it's crazy because I think that a lot of people can imagine telling a story or to a close friend or something, but you know, to put it out into the world. Yeah, it's like it's huge. Like you don't know how that's going to ripple. And you've been a real pioneer and example for for me for for lacks for other people and revealing things, not like that, but different. Peter T as recently been opening up about some serious challenges that he's had in his book. He does that on podcast. He's been doing it. So, you know, yet another category, arguably the most important category for exploration and sharing and, you know, thoughtful bravery, right? Because he didn't just put it out there in any form. So one thing I do know by experience is there's nothing weirder than being told, thank you for the painful thing that you did. So I don't want to push that too far, but I'd be remiss if I didn't because it really has its impact and for doing it again here today. Because so yeah, that huge thanks for doing that. Yeah, my my pleasure. And I'll also say, you know, I got advice from Barry, very experienced psychedelic facilitator at one point who said, take the pain and make it part of your medicine. And the way I think that applies here is we all experience pain. We all experience suffering. Many of us have experienced trauma of one type or another. And that can consume you. I mean, it can consume you, but it's like fire, right? It can consume you, but you can also harness it and use it for different things. And I know for, I think it's, I'm not going to hedge. I'll say, I know for a fact that there are people I've spoken to, who are suicidal. And by the way, I'm not inviting everyone who's listening, if you are suicidal to reach out to me, because it won't work. I've had to disengage from that because it gets too heavy, right? Just to engage one on one of the people who are suicidal. But there are resources in that post I mentioned, the practical thoughts on suicide. But let's just talk about closer friends, people you would never suspect in a million years, who are this close to blowing their brains out. People folks would recognize in some cases. The fact that I was also there once is why they listened to me. Because I have, unfortunately, I'm a subject matter expert, man, I have credibility. And that actually is very redeeming. It provides some meaning to the suffering that I experienced. It's like, okay, here I am, for whatever host of reasons I am putting this place in time with this person. And they don't trust the input of these other people they're talking to, because those people don't know what it's like. But I can look at this person in the eye. I'm like, oh, I know. And that's just a different thing. So you can find a way to transmute that pain into something meaningful, into a gift that hopefully you can share in some way. Not necessarily with the whole wide world, just one person. That's a big deal. One person's a big deal. There's a lot out there that is intended for mass consumption, that gets in front of millions of people. It doesn't really impact a single person very much. So even if you don't have podcasts, you don't have books, if you have the ability to sit down one person and really make an impact, that's actually more meaningful than most of the crap that gets put out there. So take heart. Amen to that. I'd like to spend a little bit of time talking about the roles you see yourself in.

Role Identity, Future (03:19:32)

I had this list coming in here of, okay, you've done the, exploration of the health sphere, you know, self experimentation, you've been an investor, you are an investor, you're a podcaster, you know, I think these are more than titles. I think titles are great, but titles are what we get from other people telling us what we do or deciding what we do. I'm more interested in how you think about yourself, like your own role identity. And I have to assume you've spent a little bit of time on this. Like if one were to go through the checklist of possible roles, I confess I do this. I think I think I check the box of animal because we're animals after all, or humans. You still hold answering? I think I use a cold answer. Absolutely not. Are you still tango dancing? I'm planning on getting back into it. Great. That does have some background. I have Argentine lineage and I'm embarrassed to say I don't tango, no tango. You got the matte in the green room. You're set. My grandparents tango into their 80s, I think. Good ladies. Yeah, yeah, eight steak and smoked cigarettes and lived until their 90s. I'm going to tie inside a champion. Exactly. But I'm curious about the roles that you see yourself in. Like, you know, role identity to me is so important in terms of where we see ourselves now and where we see ourselves going forward. And who knows? Maybe you don't have any role identity plan, but what are some boxes that you see yourself in now that you really strongly identify with? And then what are some boxes that you'd like to check off going forward? So current boxes, I would say the two that I probably identify with most, maybe three, but I'll focus on two, experimentalist, which can take a lot of forms that can apply to a whole lot of different spheres. So experimentalist and then teacher. And for the longest time, long, long time, I thought eventually I would go back and actually be a ninth grade teacher, because I feel like that is such a critical window for so many kids where they can either hit an inflection point and go in a really good direction or they can go in a really bad direction. And I certainly saw that online, Long Island with a lot of my friends, a lot of overdoses, a bunch of friends who have died of opiate addiction and various things. And I had some intervention with mentors early on that sort of flipped the switch on the railroad track and sent me in a different direction. So I thought for a long time, I would go back and be a ninth grade teacher. And my impulse to experiment leads to enthusiasm for teaching, if that makes any sense, because I feel like as good as I might be or decent at taking a complex subject, deconstructing it, applying 80/20, putting things in order, and learning things very quickly, which includes stress testing assumptions in that sort of assumed progression for skill, like language learning. There's so many myths in language learning as an example. If it takes me, say, six months to become reasonably competent in field X, I can usually get other people to that same point of competence in a third of that time. So for me, it's very gratifying to teach. And I view all the books as teaching tools. I'm no tool story. I recognize I'm not the world's greatest writer. I take the writing seriously. I don't have asset. I do many, many, many revisions, even for cockpunch. It's like 27 revisions for a short story called cockp. So I take it seriously, but I recognize that I'm not the world's greatest wordsmith. But I am looking for outcomes in readers or listeners. And I view my job as that of teacher. So I'd say experimentalist and teacher of the two. And those both go a long way and applies to, say, dog training, lots of, ran lots of experiments. And then for those listening to him just look under the table, one thing I should have said at the beginning, and I did not, is that this is the first humor in lab podcast to feature a guest who brought their dog. So we have Molly is here as well, and we're absolutely delighted. There has not been a dog at on the Huberman Lab podcast since Costello passed away. And I'm practically floating in delight that Molly is here today. Yeah. She's amazing. And you've done amazing job training her too. Thank you. Yeah. She's laying right next to my feet, licking my hand as I speak. So good. And I'd say if I were to expand that by one, I would probably say explore, but the exploring goes hand-in-hand with the experimentation. So that can be geographic exploration. It could be spending time with people who are excellent at anything in any field. And seeing where that gingerbread trail leads me. And I think the exploration and the experimentation are for me, bedfellows. They go together. What about roles that you would like to explore or potentially see yourself in? I mean, I don't have a magic wand, but if I did as a fellow podcaster and I consider you a friend, I would say, okay, like, if I could wand you to the success and give them role. And that wouldn't be the way it would work. And that wouldn't be as gratifying as having to figure it all out, because that's part of your machinery, as you just told us. So yeah, what are some life roles that you're interested in expanding or stepping into that you haven't explored? Yeah, I'd say more artists, more artistry, especially in the visual sense, because I wanted to be a comic book penciler for a really long time, got paid as an illustrator towards the end of high school and during college, so illustrated books and magazines and so on. Then I just dropped it. I dropped it when I graduated because I was kid stuff and it was time to get serious and be an adult. And I just cold-circuit to stop all of it. And so the skills of atrophy a lot, but there's still, there's still a bit in there. I've seen some posts on Instagram that were, yeah, quite good. So I'm still messing around. Yeah, I'm still messing around. And especially when I have some structure, I do well. So I'd like to pursue that. I would like to experiment with animation. So I don't know if animator would be the right label, because I most likely would not be doing the animation myself, but playing a role in visual art would be one. Father would be another one, eventually. And try not to be attached to it, but we all play games of various types. And if we get really good at certain games that are socially rewarded, then you make money doing a podcast or investing or whatever it might be. But when the ramp of my learning starts to flatten out a bit, I tend to get bored of those games. And I think that certainly one of the biggest adventures must be parenthood. So at some point, I think father would be on there. And I should say, this is very judgmental to me to say, but I think there's a big difference between wanting to wanting to be a parent and wanting to have kids.

Parenthood, Animals & Training (03:27:38)

I'm very cautious about saying I want to have kids, because it doesn't automatically imply you want to be a good parent, which is also why I thought it was very important for me to spend a lot of time training Molly. And a lot of learning there, right? Yeah, this seems like, am I going to do the heavy lifting and the hard work? Recognizing that kids are not deferred dogs. But I do think there are actually a lot of similarities in terms of just predictive ability. If you see someone who has dogs that are terribly trained, look at their kids. If I see some similarities. My good friend, my good friend, I'll out him here, who's a MD/PSC, is their chair of ophthalmology at Stanford, Jeff Goldberg. Once asked him if he has any pets, and he said that he and his wife had three children as preparation for having a dog. There's a quote also from a book called Don't Shoot the Dog, which is terrible title, but excellent book written by Karen Pryor, who was an aquatic mammal trainer. So she's training dolphins and whales and so on, which don't respond to negative reinforcement. You can't really hit them with a rolled up newspaper if they don't do what you want. And there's a quote in that book, which is something along the lines on a camera with the attributions, another trainer. And it was, people should not be allowed to have children until they've successfully trained chicken. Because also chickens, like, they just don't have the brain power to respond to much negative reinforcement. So you have to coax them to do what you want them to do with positive reinforcement. And I mean, operate in classical conditioning. It's kind of same same across the board, whether you're like, a CIA trying to train cockroaches to flip lights, which is not making that one up, by the way, or training whale or training a cat or training a human. Training sounds bad, cultivating a wonderful human. Then I think there's a lot to be learned across the board. So I've successfully proven to myself that I can keep a dog alive and happy. And train up another happy nervous system. Yeah. Curate another nervous system. And that's a big deal. Oh, yeah. Well, she's also like my external nervous system. So we sort of work in tandem. I pay a lot of attention to how she relates to different people. I saw earlier today, I mean, as someone who is the owner of a bulldog master who knew one command, which was weight, which is the, by default, the easiest thing to train a bulldog. Because it when you, by the way, folks, if you stop a bulldog on the street to scratch them and they look delighted, they might like you, but chances are they're just really relieved that they get to stop. And Costello, he had a forebrain and he was smart about what he needed to be smart about. But Molly is exceptional. Like she knows where she needs to be. And she's super connected to you. And she knows a ton of commands. It was ridiculous. Our staff was like, delighting in the number of things that Tim could get her to do just by looking at her. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. She's, she's also quite calm out of the box, which helps. Although it makes it harder in some respects to train because she doesn't have much food drive. If you like those Maui newies, we were talking about newies. Yeah, she loves the Maui newies, venison sticks, but she, well, okay, I'll give, I'll say two things. So first is if your dog is a spaz about food, that's actually great news. It will make your dog very easy to train in some respects. We don't shoot the dog. It's, it's excellent. And there are some others I could recommend. I had a woman named Susan Garrett on my podcast because I wanted an objective measure of successful dog training and competitors have objective measures. So she was a dog agility champion for many years, which has a lot of metrics. So anyway, I had her on for people who are interested, but the, the tip that I got from one dog trainer early on, because I was trying to train Molly and I was using just some of her kibble. I'd like, put some kibble in a bag and carried it around. And she was like, what are you doing? And I said, what do you mean? What am I doing? She's like, is that kibble? I'm like, yeah, it's a kibble. And she goes, she's like, Hey pal, she's like, you're at a crowded bar. You got a tip with 20s. To get your dogs attached. You dig your love into the dog bark. It's like squirrels, other dogs, grass, piss on the pavement, whatever it happens to be, you have to have good treats. So if your dog isn't responding, chances are maybe you're trying to tip with singles. I love it. I love it. Well, thank you for sharing the roles you see yourself in and the ones that you'd like to step into more.

Podcasting, Experimentation (03:32:21)

I certainly feel I have the jurisdiction to say that you are an exceptional experimentalist and a phenomenal teacher. We've seen this across so many, you're welcome. And I'm not just speaking for myself. I'm speaking for so many other people as well. We've seen this across so many domains. It's like blogging, podcasting, book writing, stage lecturing, being a guest on a podcast, you know, and on and on. And in terms of the roles that you want to expand into more, I can't wait to see the illustrations that emerge. Yeah, please do grow that flame because I'm excited for what comes out. Cockpunch being just the first of them, leading the charge. Yeah. And, you know, I can say because I know, because I have one and because I have observed many kids and friends who are fathers, you're going to be an exceptional father. Absolutely confident of that. I appreciate that. And I want to say thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. I've been looking forward to this so much. My team knows this. We were sort of buzzing like, you know, we've had some heavy hitters on this podcast, you know, we only look to the top 1% in field and they're, you know, incredibly credentialed by whatever standards we happen to be exploring and they have to be filled with people that I really want to talk to. So, I have so much respect for what you do and the way you do it, you've certainly inspired me. This podcast would not exist. I don't think the genre of podcasting would exist and look the way that it does. Had you not made the decision to start podcasting. And in anticipation of this episode, I did put out a ping on Twitter for questions and there were many, many of them that may be we'll do a Q&A sometime, maybe not. Who knows? But, you know, one of the questions that really stood out to me was, you know, how does Tim feel about all these other people coming into all the spaces that he's worked in doing successful work that builds off so much of what he's done. And I'll let you answer. But for me, I can say that I've been positively inspired and built so much of what we've been doing here and what I think about based on the ways that you've podcasted and communicated with the public to maintain your stance and integrity in the way that you interact with people. It's really inspiring and you've always been so gracious to me and so humble and so giving. And at the same time, I know there's a fierce guy in there who likes to get it done. So once again, thanks for being first man and thanks for taking on all the roles that you have and that you are and that you will. And thanks for being a giver. We all benefit. Thanks, Andrew. I really appreciate you saying all that. And I want people to just get after it, take things seriously, have fun and be really, really good. So watching, for instance, what you've done, which has been so spectacular, so well executed, makes me super happy. And I don't view anyone as competition in the podcasting world, for instance, in the book world. I don't view it that way either. And I just hope that people keep experimenting, pushing the envelope. And if people aren't, say, getting better over time, if people aren't following who are substantially better than me in all of these ways, then I would be super disappointed. So every time I see someone doing something really impressive or doing something I never would have thought of, I get so extremely excited. I find it really fun to watch. So appreciate you also getting out there and hard charging and taking your podcast as seriously as you do. I mean, I've seen the notes, I've seen the setup, I met the team. It's very inspiring for me also. It makes me want to dust off my cleats and get back on the field. So man, you've never left a field and you've had a hand in it all. So thank you so much. And hope you come back and visit us again here. Yeah, I hope so. It's been a real pleasure. I've been looking forward to this for a long time as well. And I appreciate you inviting me on till next time till next time. Thank you for joining me for today's discussion with Tim Farris.

Audience Engagement And Reviews

Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter (03:36:52)

I hope you found it to be as informative and as actionable as I did for links to Tim's books, as well as for a link to his weekly blog, please see the show note captions. You'll also find a link to Tim's podcast, the Tim Farris podcast. And I highly recommend that you subscribe and listen to the Tim Farris podcast. If you're learning from and or enjoying this podcast, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. That's a terrific zero cost way to support us. In addition, please subscribe to the podcast on both Spotify and Apple and on both Spotify and Apple, you can leave us up to a five star review. If you have questions for me or comments about the podcast or guests that you'd like me to include on the Huberman Lab podcast, please put those in the comment section on YouTube. I do read all the comments. Please also check out the sponsors mentioned at the beginning and throughout today's episode. That's the best way to support this podcast. Not on today's episode, but on many previous episodes of the Huberman Lab podcast, we discuss supplements. While supplements aren't necessary for everybody, many people derived tremendous benefit from them for things like enhancing sleep, for hormone support, and for focus. The Huberman Lab podcast is proud to have partnered with Momentus Supplements. To see the supplements discussed on the Huberman Lab podcast, go to livemomentus spelled O U S. So that's livemomentus.com/huberman. Again, that's livemomentus.com/huberman. If you're not already following us on social media, I am Huberman Lab on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And at all those places, I discuss science and science related tools, some of which overlaps with the content of the Huberman Lab podcast, but much of which often does not overlap with the content of the Huberman Lab podcast. So again, it's Huberman Lab on all social media platforms. In addition, if you haven't subscribed to our neural network newsletter, it's a zero-cost monthly newsletter that provides summaries of podcast episodes as well as toolkits. For instance, toolkits for optimizing sleep, or toolkits for learning and neural plasticity, or for deliberate cold exposure, or for dopamine, and on and on. To sign up for the neural network newsletter, simply go to Huberman Lab.com, go to the menu, scroll down to newsletter, and provide your email. We do not share your email with anybody. Thank you once again for joining me for today's discussion with Tim Ferriss. And last, but certainly not least, thank you for your interest in science.

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