How To Change Your Life In 30 Days With Reverse Goal Setting - Try This Before 2024 | Cal Newport

Transcription for the video titled "How To Change Your Life In 30 Days With Reverse Goal Setting - Try This Before 2024 | Cal Newport".

1970-01-01T10:15:04.000Z

Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Introduction

Intro (00:00)

So the question I want to dive into today is, how do you follow through on transformative goals? Now, I mean something very specific by transformative goals. These aren't small goals, things you want to be better about. They're goals that, if accomplished, will have a remarkable change on your life. And I mean remarkable literally in the sense that people will remark on the accomplishment of this goal. Oh, wow, isn't that interesting? Isn't that exciting? Isn't that impressive? So if you followed along our recent discussions on the deep life stack, this is what you do at that very top layer of the stack, where you finally, after setting down the basics and your values and your discipline, it's where you finally make those big radical changes that are so impressive. So I thought we'd talk about that today. How do you succeed with your transformative goals?


Strategies For Non-Fictional Bookwriting And Small-Time Goal Setting

Why Most People Dont Succeed with Big Goals (00:48)

I'm going to take a two-part approach to this discussion. First, I want to focus on why most people don't succeed with these type of big goals. There are some common mistakes people make. We'll name them. Then I want to talk about a particular methodology for having a much higher hit rate with hard goals. I'm going to take the notion of reverse goal setting, and I'm going to complicate it with my own secret sauce with a couple of examples along the way. After that, we got some questions from listeners on these type of topics, so stick around for that. So let's get started. People like the idea of having these transformative goals. Most people don't succeed with them. What's going on? There's three common mistakes that I want to point out to get started. The first common mistake is underestimating effort. So you underestimate how much effort is actually required to accomplish the goal that you're setting out the tackle. There's a couple of forms of this that's pretty popular. One is what I like to call checklist productivity. This was this concept that sort of emerged in the early 2000s in productivity circles and online productivity circles. And it was this idea that the main thing that differentiates people who accomplish hard, interesting things and those who don't is information. So this checklist productivity idea leads people to believe if I just get the right system, that's a little more complicated, maybe uses technology in ways that other people don't know how to do. And I execute this system step-by-step, I will get the really cool, impressive thing. So this is checklist productivity. We see a lot of this even today. If you spend any time on Twitter, you've probably seen more and more people have these Twitter threads where they say, okay, I'm going to break down the key ideas from X. And it's like 15 tweets in a row. And at the bottom of it says, if you like what you saw here, please subscribe because I do lots of threads like this or something like that. Why is everyone suddenly doing these same threads? There's some checklist productivity idea out there that, look, if you just do these things, do these Twitter threads, breaking down popular books, ask for subscriptions, your user base is going to grow and grow and you're going to be influential, right?


Checklist Productivity (02:52)

So we see that checklist productivity idea a lot. It leads us to believe it's not that hard to accomplish hard goals. You just have to have the right system. The other thing that drives us to underestimate effort is the algorithmic lottery effect. So this is where we have goals that have a perceived low barrier of entry and a hard to predict outcome. So I call this the algorithmic lottery effect because we see this a lot with YouTube. We see this a lot with TikTok. It's why not me? You never know. I could be doing some videos on TikTok and it could just take off and I could be famous. And you would never have this sort of delusion around being a star basketball player because you're like, okay, I know what it means to be really good at basketball. I know how good I am. Oh my God, I'm never going to get that good or I'm not practicing nearly enough. There's a very high perceived barrier to entry. But with the algorithmic lottery, especially with this online type activity, it often seems like, wow, this seems so plausible. It's why if you talk to a middle schooler or a high schooler today, I hear this from teachers all the time, so many of them now have career aspirations built around being an online influencer influencer because why it seems so accessible. You never know. Start doing videos and something clicks. So because of checklist productivity, because of algorithmic lottery, it's easy to underestimate the effort required to accomplish the hard goal. So then you go and follow your checklist or put out your TikTok videos and wait to become famous. It doesn't work. And then you give up. The reality, of course, is that cool things are desirable.


Algorithmic Lottery (04:24)

If there's a straightforward way to get there, everyone would do it. It's like having a mythical traffic shortcut in a congested city like Washington, D.C. It doesn't exist. If there is a way to get around the backup that happens when you're heading eastbound from 66 on 495 in the afternoon where you lose that lane on the bridge. If there was a way around that, people would find it and it would be just as congested. No, you can't go on River Road and expect to get around that 30 minute backup. There is no magical shortcut that you are going to find because you have the right information. The same comes for almost any actual hard accomplishment. So you have to get used to the time or to the idea that your transformative goal is going to be hard and it's going to take a lot of time.


The Mistake I Was Glad I Knew (05:10)

And there's not an internet-based shortcut that's going to get you around. All right, the second common mistake people make with transformative goals is writing a story. You write a story about what is required to succeed with the goal that speaks to what you want to be true. And it could be completely divorced from the reality of how people succeed with this goal, but you like the story. You like what it asks you to do. It's hard, but not too hard. It's flexible, but not too scary. It avoids the things that you don't really want to deal with. You write yourself a story about what is required to accomplish your goal. You fall in love with this story. You really want that story to be true. And so you follow that story. But it's not a true story and it doesn't get you to the goal and it fizzles out. I had a long back and forth with someone last year that reminded me of exactly this fallacy of someone who really wanted to write a successful nonfiction book. And he had a particular topic he wanted to write about. And he was like, oh, can I ask for your advice? Like, yeah, I can tell you how the nonfiction book world works. I've sold 10 books at this point, published seven with my eighth about to come out. And so we talked to him and he's like, no, no, no, no, no. That's not what I'm going to do. Here's how I'm going to be successful as a nonfiction book writer. I'm going to write the book myself. I'm going to self-publish it. And then there's this firm I found that I can hire that's going to do all this publicity around my self-published book. And it's going to get a lot of people to buy the self-published book.


Being Successful as a Non Fiction Book Writer (06:35)

And then we're going to come to the publishing houses and say, look at all these sales we have and they're going to give us this great deal and push the book wide. And I said, well, that's just not going to work. People just don't buy self-published. They're not going to buy your self-published book, and it doesn't matter what this firm does. But also, why do that? All of these big publishing houses are desperate for books they can publish. Pipeline is everything in the world of consolidated publishing. You need a big pipeline of feasible books. If your book had any chance of being a big book, people would be happy to publish it. They need books. So why would you not just of being a big book, people would be happy to publish it. They need books. So why would you not just go straight to the publisher with it? But he liked this story and he wouldn't give up this story. And if you really pushed on it, I think he liked the story because going to the publisher would have this moment of clarity and rejection early on. You might get the feedback of, you're not ready with this book yet. This idea is not here. Why are you writing about this? This is not a book that's at the level it needs to be to be a successful book. And I think he liked the story where, no, what's really happening is the gatekeepers just don't understand me. And if I deploy systems and resources in clever ways, I can get around that. Then they'll have to see that the book is successful. You write the story, you want to be true. The reality, of course, is that paths to hard thing are often very, very specific. You need to know exactly what matters, and that's where you need to put your energy. Otherwise, you are going to dissipate energy out into the atmosphere, and most of it won't actually lead towards forward progress. The third issue people have when trying to go after transformative goals is wandering randomly forward.


BAOyllie Hump. (08:01)

So by this, I mean, you choose a next thing to do that seems like it's vaguely relevant to your goal. Like, let me just do this. This feels like it'll, something will come out of this. This will move me sort of closer to my goal. I just want to focus on what I can do next. The classic example of this that I'm always harping about on this show is, well, let me just go get a master's degree. It's like vaguely in a field I'm interested in, and maybe that's going to like open up opportunities. I don't really want to tell you exactly what those opportunities are. Let me just go get the master's degree.


The Half- Night Side Hustles (08:36)

Or half-hearted side hustles. You know, I'm going to kind of do this thing in a field I'm interested in, kind of half-heartedly, but you know, that might open something up. Maybe it'll hit a little nerve. You-heartedly, but that might open something up. Maybe it'll hit a nerve. You never know. This could lead to something big. So you're sort of just taking a random step forward that's not part of a specific path. Just random step forward. The problem with random steps forward is that your route becomes random itself and you wander all over this landscape and you're very unlikely to actually wander through the right twists and turns necessary to get to your destination of accomplishing the transformative goal. So you do these random things. They do not aggregate cleanly. The energy is dissipated. You never actually make it to the goal. So if we think about this like orienteering, it's like up on this mountaintop is where you're trying to get. If you just randomly take turns in various trails, you'll walk a lot, but you're unlikely to stumble up the exact path needed to get to the peak. true and wandering randomly forward. None of these are very successful when it comes to accomplishing transformative goals. So what does work? Well, I want to make a pitch for reverse goal setting. Hey, quick interruption. If you want my free guide with my seven best ideas on how to cultivate the deep life, go to calnewport.com slash ideas, or click the link right below in the description.


Ridersayer (10:07)

This is a great way to take action on the type of things we talk about here on this show. All right, let's get back to it. It's an idea that's been bouncing around the internet. I have my own flavor of it, and that's the flavor that I want to present to you today. So what is reverse goal setting? You start with a transformative goal and you work backwards step by step until you get to your current situation. So you're not trying to go forward like, well, what could I do next? And then after I did this, what else could I do? And then after that, what else can I do? It's actually very difficult if you're just trying to take forward steps to end up where you want to go. But when you work backwards, you can very directed get a relatively or the shortest possible path, at least to where you are today. Now, this is a tricky process because what does it mean to work backwards? And we'll do an example here in a second, but let me explain this to you in words first. What it means to work backwards is, okay, I'm starting, let's say with the goal. Now I want to move backwards to the step right before the goal. So a state I could get to where I'm now one step away from accomplishing my goal. And I want to actually specify this step and specify that link. When I'm right here, what is the concrete activity that gets me over this link to the goal? And then you go one step back from that. All right, so what's the step before the goal? What's the one step before that? And what's the clear concrete way to get from that two steps back to the one step back? All right. Well, if I'm there, what's like one step back from this? So you're sort of peeling back progress and then very carefully saying, how would I actually add that back in? And when you create these links from step to step, you use evidence. What is true? How would I actually get from this specific state to that specific state, this type of effort? How do I know it's that type of effort? Because I looked into it. So you work backwards. Now, it's a little bit confusing, so let's get concrete. I'm going to actually bring up, I'll bring up my tablet here. I'm going to write out a reverse goal, a reverse goal setting path for a sort of common type of goal someone could have. All right. So for those of you who are just listening, I can tell you what I'm actually doing here. I'm going to write, I never can figure this out. In theory, I'm going to write, how do I actually get to, In theory, I'm going to write, how do I actually get to, there we go. All right. So I'm going to just draw that reverse goal path. I'm going to start at the top of the screen with where we want to end up, right? Because we're working backwards. So at the top of the screen, we're going to start with, how about notably in shape? All right. Transformative goal. So what do I mean by notably in shape? All right. Transformative goal. So what do I mean by notably in shape? Well, for this example, imagine what we mean by that is it's something people think about when they think about you. You're like in really good shape. Like when you're on the, at the beach, like people notice, like when people talk, your friends, like, oh, one of the things we know about, uh, you know, one of the things we know about this guy is that like, he's, yeah, he's, he's like really in good shape. Right. It's like a notable thing, like a one of the things we know about this guy is that he's really in good shape. It's a notable thing, a part of your identity. That's a transformative goal to be someone who's really in shape, could really change a lot about your life. All right, let's do reverse goal setting now.


Write goals (13:15)

So we're going to work backwards step by step. So as you see, again, if you're watching on the screen, you'll see that I'm putting an arrow up towards this goal. So now we're gonna write right under it, the step that comes right before ending up at this place of being notably in shape. And let's say here, I was thinking about this earlier, lean and strong. All right, so we can imagine this is the final place before you make that push to be in really notable shape is like, I'm, you know, I'm pretty lean, you know, my weight is where I want it to be. And I'm strong. Like I lift stuff. I, I have a base on which I can do, um, a pretty intense weightlifting routine. And so how would you get from I'm lean and strong to notably in shape? That is one reasonable link. And the way you would probably do that is, you know, you would hire a trainer at this point and the trainer would do the standard stuff you would see like a movie star do to prepare for a role. If you're already generally lean and strong, so you're comfortable with weights, the trainer is going to come in and say, great, here's what we're going to do. We're going to do this intense weightlifting routine. There's going to be bulking followed by cutting. There's like specific things you can do starting from that point. It would take about six months. Okay. So if you got to, I'm lean and strong, you could get to the, like, I'm notably in shape in four to six months. And there's a, there's a specific way to do that. All right, let's go down to the layer below now. So then how do you, what comes before getting in this particular example here? So what would come before lean and strong? Say a reasonable... Man, my handwriting, Jesse, is fantastic.


Capitals Precised (14:52)

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, what professional font are you typing with, Cal? I'm actually handwriting this. You're saying, what master calligrapher is hiding in the studio, writing your text? That's me guys. That beautiful handwriting is me. All right. So the step before lean and strong is maybe a reasonable weight and active. So you're like, I'm at a reasonable weight. Maybe if I was overweight before now, I'm at a reasonable weight and I'm active. I'm not just completely sed sedentary because if you were there, how would you get from there to the step above being lean and strong? Um, well, you could get there probably by starting to be careful about your diet and, uh, exercising every day. So from a foundation of like, yeah, I'm like in a reasonable place, weight rise, I'm sort of moving. I'm, I'm active. I'm, I'm walking. I do a little bit of exercising, uh, there, you could get to lean and strong by now saying, let me be specific about my diet and I'm going to exercise every day. So we're moving down. We're moving backwards. Let's go one more layer down. All right. So then this layer will say consistent health disciplines. I'm going to draw an arrow pointing into that because this is where the first thing we're going to start. So let's say now you're in a place where, well, I have some daily discipline I do related to health. You know, like I walk every morning or I, you know, whatever. I don't drink on a weekday, like just some sort of consistent thing you're doing related to health, even if small, some sort of daily habit. So we're going to we've moved down the stack. So let's say this is the first place you start. If you're doing that now, you've added a little bit of discipline around health and fitness in your life. From there, it isn't too hard to get to reasonable weight and active, right? Because from, okay, I have some consistent health disciplines. Now you can get to a, let me just upcharge those. Let me just upgrade those to be a little bit more consistent about how I eat. Let me update the like daily thing. If I do a hundred pushups to like, a little bit more consistent about how I eat. Let me update the daily thing. If I do 100 pushups to like I walk or do something, that's an easy step for my... I've added some discipline related to health in my life to I have a reasonable set of disciplines. And so you could get from this layer to the next. And we'll say this bottom layer is then the first thing you would do. So you start this whole process and I'm out of shape. I'm out of shape. I don't think much about it. Somehow I want in the future to be notably in shape and be known for it. By doing reverse goal setting, we have now given ourselves a very believable concrete path forward where each linkage is evidence-based. So now we're going to read this whole thing forward. So you start from, I'm just out of shape. I'm overweight. I'm not at all active. We go to number one, some sort of consistent health discipline, something you do every day.


Get A Massive Funding Round (17:49)

This is all just about changing your mindset. I am willing to do hard things in the moment for the future goals related to my health. Once you're doing that, you upgrade to, okay, I have some actual substantial disciplines surrounding. I'm going to clean up my diet. I'm going to have a much more notable daily activity. Once you're good with that, you move up to like, I'm actually exercising and have a specific diet that gets you lean and strong. Then you hire the trainer and it's a him's worth time. And that is a very reasonable path forward because we work backwards to get there. We have much more chance of succeeding actually moving forward. Now, compare this to the fallacies that most people would typically apply, right? So if you applied with the same goal, the underestimating effort fallacy, you would be like, oh, there's just something I need to do. I'm going to download some app on my phone and I'll just do that thing. And then I'll look like Thor, right? So you underestimate the effort and that's not going to fail. Think about writing the story. Okay. What really matters is some complicated, you know, bro-y diet-y thing where if I take this supplement or do this, you think there's some shortcut to it. That's not going to work. Right. Same thing with our final one, which was wandering randomly, which is like, I don't know. I'm going to buy a Peloton. All right. I don't know. Still don't look like Thor. All right. Maybe I'm going to get kettlebells. Still don't look like Thor, right? So all of those common fallacies would not lead you to be notably in shape. Reverse goal setting, however, gave us a very specific path that because we work backwards, it's realistic. We don't get stuck. We don't wander off. So we have a reasonable evidence-based plan. There's another thing about reverse goal setting that I think is often not discussed, but is important, which is not only does it help you create better paths to your goals when done in the way I'm talking about here. It can also help you improve your goals themselves. It's actually sometimes non-trivial to come up with the appropriate transformative goals. Not every transformative goal is possible, and some are possible, but maybe you don't actually want to do it. Reverse goal setting makes it easier to figure out when there are flaws in your goals. There are two particular things to look for when creating a reverse goal setting path that should give you some pause and make you rethink how you think about your goal. So to highlight these two things, I want to do another example, reverse goal setting exercise here.


Make Churchills (20:22)

And what I want to do now is start with something, a goal that we just sort of intuitively think this probably isn't going to work out. And so let's take an unreasonable, probably unreasonable goal. Let's reverse goal set and then point out, okay, where are the red flags in this path that would tell us we got to change what we're trying. All right. So here's my sort of unreasonable goal that I'm going to tackle with goal setting. 100 million YouTube subscribers, right? So maybe you listen to some Mr. Beast interviews or you watch Mr. Beast videos. Like, look at this guy, 100 million subscribers. It's just fantastic. He owns like a movie studio in North Carolina. They have these warehouses full of things. This seems like the life. You're a 24-year-old. I want 100 million YouTube subscribers. And I've listened to Cal. I'm not going to just write a story about this or wander randomly forward. Let's do some reverse goal setting. So let's apply the whole discipline to this goal, which is probably unreasonable. And then we'll see where we get in trouble. All right. So I worked this through the other day. I was thinking through how would I actually reverse goal set this? I would say the step before the a hundred million YouTube subs that's relevant is going to be a million subs.


Methods Of Professionalization And Goal-Setting

Professionalization (21:36)

Because think about this. If you have a channel of that size, a million subscriber YouTube channel, which are rare, but not super rare. What you could do at that point to get to a hundred million is what Mr. Beast talks about. If you ever heard him interviewed, which is okay, now you have to invest a huge amount of money into doing what you're doing right, even better. So like, this is what Mr. Beast did. He's like, okay, I have this formula for a video that's working. I upgrade it. If I, before I was giving people a thousand dollars, now I'll give them a hundred thousand dollars. If it was, you know, here's an iPad. Now it's going to be a Lamborghini and a Tesla. So he has this whole philosophy of take what's working and put all of the money you're making in your videos into making the new videos and push what's working to an extreme that almost no one else is doing. That is how you get this extreme growth, right? So if you're already at a million subscribers, you're making money, you have the time at this point for this to be a full-time job or a part-time job, you have the time and the money to go all in and push what's working to try to have that final bit of explosive growth. So we'll make that the step before. All right, well, what comes before that? Well, just sort of based off our experience with YouTube, probably the next relevant goal below that would be a 50,000 sub channel. All right. So if you have 50,000 subs, that means something's working, right? Your voice, your content is working. You have a non-trivial audience. And it's not hard to imagine, how do I get from 50,000 subscribers to a million subscriber channel? A lot of this, if you talk to YouTube people, is professionalization. Okay, what you're doing is working. Now you have to do this on a regular basis. It has to be at a consistent high level of quality. You probably need to hire an editor. You need to be careful about the details. You need to be careful about the details. You need to be careful about the thumbnails. You need to be careful about the timing. You need to be careful about the subtle things inside the video that makes a big difference to the YouTube algorithm that you might not think about, such as retention early on, how you recommend the next video. So you professionalize. If you have 50,000 subs, you start saying, look, I'm going to spend one day a week.


Audit Post on Your Channel (23:40)

This is what I'm doing on Sundays. And we're going to professionalize this operation. And that's how you grow from the 50,000 to the 1 million sub. We'll put one more level below that. I would say the level below that, which is going to be our starting place. The first thing you want to get to would be regularly regularly publish. Because you talk to people, you say, okay, the first place you need to get, and I've seen this advice, I've seen Mr. Beast give this advice, the first place you need to get is just regularly publishing videos on your YouTube channel. Because this means you have all the mechanics, it's a very accomplished goal from starting from I don't do anything with YouTube on your path to 100 million subscribers. Because this means you have all the mechanics. It's a very accomplished goal from starting from, I don't do anything with YouTube on your path to 100 million subscribers. It's a very reasonable first goal is I regularly post stuff on my channel. That means you've just figured out the mechanics of how YouTube works, the logistics of cameras and files and posting and descriptions. And so you could imagine, how do I get from regularly posting to 50,000 subs? It's like, well, I'm regularly posting stuff. I figured out YouTube. I'm figuring out my voice. I'm figuring out my topic. I see what works. And I kind of turn towards what works. And, uh, and, and over time, that's good. That's how I'm going to build up this initial audience to 50,000. All right. So we did reverse goal setting on what is probably an unreasonable goal. And we got what at first looks like a reasonable step-by-step path, regularly published that gets you to 50,000. From there, you get professional, you get to a million. From a million, you give it, it becomes like a full-time job. You go all in, push everything into what's working the videos, and you make your jump towards 100 million. All right. Well, clearly it can't be that easy, so consistent to get to 100 million because lots of people are trying. So what's wrong with this plan? So looking at this plan, where are the mistakes that we can find that we can look for in other plans that we might make? Well, there's two things, two common problems with reverse goal setting plans that are both highlighted in this example. The first is what I call choke points. So that's a step that if you really look at the evidence and are realistic about it, your chances of I am actually going to succeed getting from this step to the next, it's a particular link, are actually pretty low. And that you're hiding that difficulty. It's a choke point where most people aren't going to make it through. And you're hiding that in your plan. Just like, I'll be the one who makes it through. So on this particular reverse plan, can anyone see where that choke point is going to be? So on this particular reverse plan, can anyone see where that choke point is going to be? It's actually this link right here. From regularly publishing videos to getting the 50,000 YouTube subscribers. That's actually a choke point. Learning the mechanics of YouTube, publishing things regularly, experimenting with voices, experimenting with topics, for the vast majority of people, that will never lead to a sizable audience. It's actually very difficult to get the right combination of things that gets to a sizable audience. Often what's required is some other type of thing that's going on. And I'm on TV, I'm a writer like I am. There's something else that's going on. I'm an athlete. It's very difficult if you don't already have that. If you don't get lucky with, I'm a first mover on a particular type of content, or there's something really special about the way you talk about things. Actually, most people will never make it over there. So the problem with this plan is we have a link early on that almost certainly you're not going to make it through. All right, there's another flaw in this plan as well. And it's what I call a stochastic bridge link. And that's what we have up here at the top. From 1 million YouTube subscribers to 100 million YouTube subscribers. The plan that we talked about here, okay, go all in, put all the money you're making the videos into the new videos, make this like your full-time job, ramp everything else up to the extreme. That is the proper thing you would need to do to have a chance of getting to 100 million YouTube subscribers. This is what Mr. Beast did. This is what Mark Rober did. All in, push the videos past what anyone else is doing. But here's the thing. The results of this particular link are random.


Stochastic Bridges (27:45)

So I'm using a more technical mathematic term, stochastic. It's a stochastic model. What this means is there's a range of different outcomes, each with different likelihoods. So yes, if we think of this as a distribution, at the very far end tail, there's a really rare chance that you might be the next Mr. Beast. And this blows up and you get 100 million. But it's also probably right in the big fat part of this distribution. The most likely outcome is you do that and you go from a million to a million seven, and then you kind of find your equilibrium around there. And there's opportunities in between as well, maybe like unlikely, but not as unlikely as a hundred million as you're like a Mark Rober situation. And you hit tens of millions, which is pretty rare. There's also outcomes where this is kind of the extent of your audience and putting more into these videos doesn't change it much at all. And there's no growth at all. So the problem about stochastic bridges is you're hiding the fact that the outcomes of this effort are going to be hard to predict in random.


Choke points and stochastic bridges (28:35)

They're coming from distribution. You're just picking what you want to happen from that distribution. But really you have to acknowledge, I don't really know what's going to come out of this. It could be anywhere on this range. In fact, it's very unlikely to be at either extreme. It's very unlikely that putting all this effort will lead to no growth, but it's more unlikely that all this effort is going to lead you to be the one or two biggest subscribed YouTubers on the channel. So we have these two flaws in this plan, choke points and stochastic bridges. So how do we respond to these flaws in a plan? Well, if you find choke points in your plan, you either need to change your goal so that you can find a reverse path that avoids choke points. Or if the choke point is early on, like it is for us here, it's really right here on the second link as we go from regularly publishing to 50,000 YouTube subs, then you can just acknowledge that this is a milestone checkpoint. I'm going to go from this step to that step six months. If it doesn't work, then I'm saying I didn't make it to the choke point new goal. So you can either try to eliminate the choke points by a better plan or better goal, or clearly identify them as a checkpoint that when you get there, you're going to see how it goes. And if it's not going well, have clear evidence to pull the ripcord on it. What about stochastic bridges? These links that are stochastic bridges, you need to integrate that reality into your goal. So you need to come back and say, okay, let's say if I get past this choke point and I get to a million subs, I am going to do this final link, but I shouldn't say a million YouTube subs is my final goal I'm heading towards because I don't know that's where I'm going to end up, but I can't guarantee that's where I'm going to end up. So I need to change this to something that better matches the expected value of my stochastic bridge, like a range of outcomes that's likely from that stochastic bridge. like a range of outcomes that's likely from that stochastic bridge. So here that might be a multi-million subscriber YouTube channel. Like probably I could get there if I did this. So you want to revise your goal for the expected value of that stochastic bridge link, not the maximum value. And so there's, yeah, actually, if I have a multi-million subscriber YouTube, this could be my full-time job. And if I'm careful about my money, this could be like a really interesting way to live. And I could use this. You can have a really cool plan built around it, but it's much more realistic because you realize, okay, the maximum possible thing that could come out of this random step, planning for that is not smart planning. Let's go with the expected value. All right. So this will show up in many different types of plans. Oh, there's choke points. Oh, there's stochastic bridges. You recognize that it improves your plans. It improves your goals. And so then we get this recursive process with reverse goal setting. You choose a goal, you build a plan, you see some flaws, you revise the plan. There's another flaw. You revise your goal. And all of this works symbiotically to make it much more likely for you to make transformative change in your life. It just makes us much smarter at pursuing goals. And we end up certainly much better than if you're instead just randomly wandering forward, writing stories, or just assuming there's some secret checklist productivity you found in an online course that's going to turn this all around for you in the next six months. So we can call this advanced reverse goal setting. I think it's the right way to think about the final layer of the deep life stack. That's the right way to think about making radically cool things happen in your life. What would be a choke point in the first example? Well, this was a pretty good plan. All right, so let me load this up. So this first plan was supposed to be an example that didn't have those flaws to a big degree. So it's better. I would say there's a little bit of a stochastic bridge in lean and strong to notably in shape. Like here you have to acknowledge notably in shape. It's probably not going to be because it depends on genes and other things, Thor, but it is good. It could be almost certainly could be if you work with a trainer and bulk and cut and do that type of stuff, people will say, oh, you're in good shape. We know that about you. So like this is a place where stochastic bridges where you'd want to be reasonable. Like I'm not going to look like the rock, but I could look like it's something that people notice about me. If we're going to look for a potential choke point in this plan, it might be for a lot of people, honestly, this first link to reasonable weight and active is hard, but I'm not going to say that might be the hardest step for a lot of people, especially if you're really out of shape. It's really hard to get to like, oh, now I'm in like a reasonable weight and active. And like, I have a foundation from which I can start real training that could take a lot of time, but it's not really a choke point because it's, it's a hundred percent possible, right? Like there is, you can sit down like with our sponsor, MyBodyTutor, who's a sponsor of today's episode. You can get a MyBodyTutor trainer. And if you follow what they're saying and you give it enough time, you will get the result. Whereas 50,000 YouTube subs, I mean, there, there, there might be no way that you can force that to happen no matter what you do. So instead of a choke point, maybe we could call this like a long bridge. So you can have some of these links are long bridges and it's going to take like a lot. It might take a long March and we can't break it up into sub steps because it's, you're just doing the same thing. It's, you know, uh, I'm changing how I eat and I'm, you I'm doing pushups every day, no matter what, just to get in that mindset. It might take eight months of doing that, you know, so maybe we'll call that a long bridge. So we have a long bridge there. We have a mile, you know, we had a stochastic bridge, but I, but I feel like the stochastic bridge I took into account here. So instead of saying, look like Thor, I said, okay, be notably in shape, like whatever that means for you. And a lot of that's going to be genetics. So like, this is why this was a pretty good reverse plan where this one had some real flaws and like, okay, we have to put in a checkpoint and really rewrite it. Yep. It's interesting. We don't think enough about the mechanics of goal setting is something maybe we don't talk enough about in general general in the pragmatic nonfiction space.


The Trouble with Setting Goals (34:21)

There's a lot of like mindset, have the courage to follow goals, get out of your own way, get rid of the stuff. A lot of books with curse words in the title, get away from the stuff that's keeping you back from your goals. And all that is fine. But the actual mechanics of doing goals can be complicated. I mean, there's like SWOT. There's particular acronyms for, you know, break things into achievable steps. That stuff is good, but it's something we should keep talking about more because there really is an art to the cool stuff. The boring stuff. Yeah. I need to reorganize my closet. Like we can break that down into steps and execute it. But the big stuff, like I'm a notably in shape, I've completely transformed my work situation. I want to live in the woods somewhere and have a garden greenhouse in a field.


Honey (Get rich slow with no risk, no scams, no MLMs) (35:05)

How do I make that happen? These sort of transformative goals, there's a real art to how you make that happen. There's courage and effort, but also the sidestepping of traps and the avoiding of unreasonableness. And it's not as easy as people make it out to be. So I'm glad we have a chance to talk about it. All right. So we have some questions coming up from you that are generally relevant to this and in general, the idea of improving your life and making it deeper. First, however, I want to mention one of the sponsors that makes this show possible. That is our friends at Shopify. Whether you're selling a little or a lot, Shopify helps you do your thing. Shopify is the global commerce platform that helps you sell at every stage of your business from just launching your online shop to the first real life store stage, all the way to the, we just hit a million dollars worth of order stage. Shopify is there to help you at every step of your way in growing. If you sell things online, Shopify is what you should use. It makes it so easy to do this, to sell, to get money from people, to keep track of people's information. It makes the e-commerce experience for your customers simple. And for you as the seller, it makes your life simple as well. Certainly when Jesse and I open our long awaited deep questions, online shop Shopify is what we would use. Jesse, every week I have a new idea about what should be in our store right now. What I'm thinking about is Jesse skeleton t-shirts that have, I'm really interested in this idea. Catchphrases that seems like it's really meaningful. You're like're like yeah but don't actually make any sense because i love that idea that someone is just thinking like yeah yeah right right but never actually put the pieces together so like it'd be like a jesse skeleton made up of bones and you're like yeah like skeletons are made up of bones and there's it's uh because he's like there's some stoicism in there there's some snow like so it makes like a stoic thing and you never really you never really figure it out jesse skeleton well we'd use the shopify store to sell that we would use the shopify store jesse skeleton the wind is only what you believe it to be. And like a picture of Brandon Sanderson. Like, it seems like it should make sense. You're like, yeah, yeah. Anyways, that's my dream. Shopify is how I would make that dream a reality. So sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com slash deep and make sure that is all lowercase. Go to shopify.com slash deep lowercase. Now to grow your business, no matter what stage you're in shopify.com slash deep. I also want to talk about our good friends at Henson shaving. Henson sells the razor that I use to keep my baby smooth shave on my face. I like Henson because they know how to build a beautiful, precisely milled tool. This is what they do. Henson manufactures parts for the aerospace industry. They have the tools to do this, and they have turned all this expertise to make these beautiful razors which are milled to this exact precision so that you can take a 10 cent safety razor blade put it in a beautiful hinson razor and just the barest edge of that 10 cent blade goes beyond the body of the razor getting rid of the up and down diving board effect and allowing you to get a really nice close shave without having to go to the drugstore and buy those 70 blade vibrating monstrosities or to spend countless dollars on the subscription services. Ten cent blades in this beautifully milled razor, you get a really good shave. Every time I use my Henson shaver, I always feel like I'm in a Wendell Berry essay. You know, like I just came in from using my horses to plow the field and I get my hints in shape. They should use Wendell Berry as their sponsor. I don't think Wendell Berry does a lot of podcasting. No. I think he's in his nineties. Yeah. And he is a farms, his Kentucky farm with horses. Yeah. When you read his book last year about him, that introduced me to him. I just read another essay collection. I finished it this morning. So that's why I was thinking about it. Oh, really? Yeah. Um, Wendell Berry probably does not podcast, but if he, if he did, I'm sure he would tell you about his love of Henson razor. It just seems like something he would use. Anyways, I love my Henson razor. It's what I use. They actually sent me this beautiful stand for it too. So it's almost like a piece of art, uh, in my bathroom. So it's time to say no to subscriptions and yes to a razor that will last you a lifetime. Visit HensonShaving.com slash Cal to pick the razor for you and use that code Cal and you'll get two and a half years worth of blades for, or two years worth of blades for free with the razor. Just add the two year supply of blades to your cart. And then when you use that promo code Cal at checkout, the price of the blades goes down to zero. That's 100 free blades when you head to H-E-N-S-O-N-S-H-A-V-I-N-G.com slash CAL and use the code CAL. All right, Jesse, I think it's time for us to do some questions.


Income Stream Management And Saving Tips

Work hard, cut costs and save (40:19)

Who do we got first? Sounds good. First question's from Pedro. I work in a small fun tech company as a backend software engineer. I'm the main contributor in the flagship project of the company. We're going through job cuts and it's likely that more tasks will spill over to me. This means more shall work. My longtime goal is to become an independent developer and escape wage-based labor. To this end, I recently started working on a side project and the first prototype is ready. I'm still far away from making any income with it though. It could take anywhere from one to four years before this happens. So the question is, how should I handle this imminent change to my professional life?


How to shift your income streams (40:59)

Well, Pedro, it's a good question. A couple of things I want to mention. All right. So first, good question. A couple of things I want to mention. All right. So first, just some advice about building a side hustle that you eventually want to perhaps take over your main source of income. Follow the advice I quote in my book, So Good They Can't Ignore You, which is to use money as a neutral indicator of value. So number one piece of accurate feedback you can get on the promise of this product you're working on is people paying for it. People are happy to tell you they love your idea. They're happy to tell your idea is great. They're happy to tell you that, yeah, you should just quit your job and go for it. They're not happy to give you money. They will only do that if what you're working on actually works for them. So really use, sell this thing. Got the prototype? Get to something you can sell. This is the feedback that matters when trying to make a decision about changing your financial situation. Will people pay for it? The second thing I want to suggest here is probably work harder on it. So if you have a side hustle you want to build to a particular place, do a reverse goal setting path towards that ambitious place you want to build to a particular place, do a reverse goal setting path towards that ambitious place you want to get to. Follow the advice that I went over in the deep dive in today's episode. Here is the clear step-by-step path, each link evidence-based to get from where I am to where I want to go. Check that path for choke points. Check that path for stochastic bridges. Adjust as needed. Then once you have a path like that, most of those links are going to focus your energy and get you to work harder on making progress towards where you want to be.


Reverse goal set (42:31)

If you do not reverse goal set, if you do not have a verified evidence-based path, you're probably going to fall trap to a lot of the common goal setting mistakes we talked about earlier. You're going to do random wandering. Well, I built a prototype and then I tried this and then I tried that. You might underestimate effort, like, hey, I took this online course about how to sell software. And if I just do these 10 steps and set up these websites and it's going to be successful, or you're going to write yourself a story about like, you're just kind of working on this thing on the side when you have time. And then one day, you know, there's a knock on your door and it's Bill Gates and he just hands you like a bag with a dollar sign on it., there's a knock on your door and it's Bill Gates. And he just hands you like a bag with a dollar sign on it. Like there's all of these flaws are waiting there. That's not the worst thing. If you're just like, this is fun. I like the daydream and I'm just doing this hobby, but it sounds like you want to get out of your job. You want this to succeed. So don't dissipate effort. So setting a good reverse goal setting based verified path is going to allow you to focus the energy you do expend in the most productive possible way forward. The final thing I'll say though, is in the meantime, don't just say my current job is bad and there's nothing I can do about that. Work on making your current job better. Even if you do succeed with your plan, even if you do leave your current job in the future, why suffer unnecessarily between now and then? Also you want to be building up as much career capital as possible because that capital might be a big part of how you make a change in the future. Being better and more valuable in your job might give you more options about how you transition away from purely wage-based labor. So if you're talking about your concern, I'm looking at your question here, your concern about getting swamped with more and more shallow work, fight the hyperactive hive mind. All right, so you start saying like, I do not want unscheduled messages to be central to how things get done. I'm going to start creating processes for the things I do regularly and just follow those processes and other people will have to come along because otherwise they're just not going to be able to talk to me. Do multi-scale planning so you're not just jumping from thing to thing and putting out fires. Use the meeting buffer methodology we talked about. Every meeting that goes on your calendar is followed by 15 to 20 minutes of a buffer that's also scheduled on your calendar.


Make a good house now (44:36)

So after every meeting, you can process everything, send out the follow-up messages, update your list, and take a breather before moving on to the next things. Schedule your deep work time on your calendar like any other meeting and appointments. Use clear shutdown methodology so you close the open loops at the end of the day and allow your mind some psychological relief. Do the stuff that matters. Don't give up on that stuff because you're trying to just stay warm by the flames of your distant future daydream. Build a good house now. You can always move to a better one if and when the daydream comes true. So this is a rear guard, front guard action. If you're going to try to go for something new, go for that well. Use a good plan. But at the same time, your rear guard action is keep improving the thing you're in right now. At the very least, it's just a discipline in life construction and discipline. So I see that a lot, Jesse, is people have an idea of where they want to go. And because of that, they just let everything else be bad. Well, why even bother trying to fix my situation? In fact, there's a pathological behavior that's common where people actually want their current situation to stay as bad as possible to maintain their motivation to go after the goal, which I think is a big unforced error, right? It means that you're putting up with months, if not years of unnecessary discomfort as a motivational trick. If that's what you need to motivate yourself to go for the goal, that goal is not well set. You don't need to emotionally blackmail yourself into making progress. If you have a clear goal and a good path, you've done, like we talked about in episode 274, proper episodic future thinking about this. So you're projected into the future, what it would be like to accomplish this goal and aligns with your values. Your motivational system will be there for you. You shouldn't have to emotionally blackmail yourself into pursuing a long-term goal, much in the same way that for short-term goals, like students, for example, will often say, well, I need the stress of this is due in three hours to get started. Any place I see examples of this type of chemical or emotional motivation to force yourself to work tells me your system's for work, for setting goals, for pursuing things, for planning are broken. So don't make your current situation bad so that you'll put an effort towards something you think in the future that will be good his situation is unique too in the fact that his company is making a lot of cuts yeah yeah so he's going to get a lot more of that work thrown on him yeah so he's got to be using his game face on yeah like okay we gotta we gotta and he elaborated a little bit more He needs his game face on. Yeah. Like, okay, we got to, we got to. And he elaborated a little bit more that this has happened, you know, recently. It sounds like the company might be struggling, but. But if he woes me this change. Yeah. Like, oh my God, I have so much junk and I'm just going to complain about it. It's a lot of unnecessary negativity. Yeah. He should be like, okay, the flood is coming. So what we're going to do is put the sandbags around our house while we're still building a new house up on the hill. But in the meantime, we don't want to have water, you know, coming in the door. So we got to do what we can with what's in front of us while also thinking towards the future.


What to do with a sabbatical (47:32)

Yep. All right. What do we got next? Hi, next question's from Evan. I'm an eighth year faculty member at a large state university. I've just been approved for a semester long sabbatical. What is your recommendation for balancing my main goal of writing with my duties as a graduate student advisor? I've allocated 75% of my sabbatical to my backlog of papers, including 13 manuscripts for publication, some of which I just have to revise and resubmit. However, I have a PhD student in their final year, which I'll be required to be present. Okay. All right. Evan, I know this issue because I'm a professor too. It's not just sabbatical. So for me, for example, summers are like this. It's like, oh, I got a lot less responsibilities in the summer. I don't even take a paycheck from Georgetown in the summer. I don't take summer salary, but there are things I still need to do. This is a really good question because scheduling time off can actually be difficult. It's very difficult where you're like, I have abundant free time in a period. I'm taking a month off. I'm in between jobs. I'm a summer's professor. It's very easy to have that all dissipate in the thing, meetings and email. Why am I not getting anything done? It's a really common thing. People come out of these periods like, I didn't really get anything done. So what you actually have to do is build a good system, a good scheduling system for periods of abundant free time.


Productivity + Freedom Question. (48:54)

So let me tell you what I do during my summer. I call this my summer scheduling system. No meetings, Mondays, no appointments, no professional meetings, Fridays. So that means Friday through Monday, professional calendar blank, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, any sort of meetings or appointments or calls, because it turns out these still happen, happen in the afternoon, literally afternoon. So between noon and four, and I'm, I'm willing to fill that time. Some days that time might be full completely with meetings. So I just know if like, well, I got to talk to my student. I have a committee thing I have to check in on with Georgetown. I got to talk to my publishing team. Yeah, great. Tuesday, Thursday afternoon, anytime you want to do it. I used to think this is the summer. What I want is nothing to do. And then I get really frustrated because there is stuff to do. And it'd be just enough stuff that days weren't clear. So I realized there is stuff to do. So let's control where we put it. All right. What do I do in the other time? Every morning's deep work. On Monday and Friday, that deep work session can go longer because I don't have appointments. And I'll typically throw in some sort of brainstorming. Let me walk outside or in the woods, like really get into it. And I'll end my day earlier, maybe in my day by two or three, because I can do that in the summer on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, uh, it's deep work till like 11 to, you know, 1130. And that's like emails and appointments. And I end the day, you know, by five, that scheduling system, I call it my summer hours works really well. I mean, it means I have these four days a week where I'm completely free from being on Zoom or calls. I'm getting deep work done five days a week, including a couple of days of really long sessions with being outside. But I'm also on top of the stuff that has to happen, the phone calls that have to happen, the meetings that have to happen, the emails have to happen. That still gets done. But instead of that just being spread all throughout my calendar and annoying me that I can't get it the free time I imagine, I'm corralling it. So abundant free time requires careful scheduling philosophies for you to feel like you're actually taking advantage of that abundant free time. So come up with your own system. You can use my Tuesday, Thursday meeting rule or whatever else you want to do. Lean into your flexibility, Thursday meeting rule or whatever else you want to do, lean into your flexibility. But you have to somewhat paradoxically have a lot of structure to get the most out of the flexibility. Through structure, you get relief. Through structure, you get free time. Through structure, you get this flexibility to spend full days walking and thinking and not worrying about it. So you have to sometimes structure things to get the most out of unstructured time. All right, let's see here. Ooh, we've got some long questions. If we forgot to summarize a little bit, a little behind the scenes. People tend to send those very long versions of questions with Jesse and I edit down, but there's a couple here we did edit. So we're going to do some on the fly editing.


Productivity Discussion Team

Cal takes a stance. (51:40)

Yeah, I got it. Next question is from Christy. Cal mentioned the book Company of One, and that allowed me to reframe my business goals. Along with Cal's techniques, I'm able to work part-time four to six hours a day, Monday through Friday, and bring home an excellent salary with my own law practice. And the extra hours, I homeschool, garden, trail run, stuff like that. An unexpected side effect is this sense of guilt I feel and that I really don't have to only have to work a few hours a day. Growing up, my parents worked very long hours. So I feel bad when I talk to my dad who still works 60 to 70 hours a week. What are your thoughts on this aspect of success with deep work and productivity? Well, I mean, part of this should be a reminder for all of us who are in knowledge work. So generally, you know, we work at a computer screen, some mixture of at an office and at home remotely. For all the complaining we do, you should remember, relative to all of human history, it's a pretty sweet gig. it's a pretty sweet gig and throughout all of human history if someone said okay here's what's going to happen like you're going to go to like an air conditioned building and sit around in a comfortable chair like a Herman Miller chair that costs $600 and you're going to be like a computer screen and like send messages to people and like make PowerPoint make slides and stuff like that and you know you can eat there's coffee and like oh so like but it's like it's kind of up, you know, you can eat, there's coffee and, um, and like, oh, so like, but it's like, it's like, it's kind of up to you what you do.


The straight stuff: coding as company of ones and nobility oblige (53:08)

And there's a lot of flexibility. Oh, and by the way, we're going to pay you really well. You could get paid a lot of money for this actually. Uh, even if you can't even exactly specify specifically what it is you do. Right. You, you, you tell this to a surf in, you know, 14th century, uh, England, like sign me up. You tell this to a factory labor in early 20th century Detroit, like what you just sit in the air conditioned box and kind of like figure out what you want to do. And there's like a drink coffee all day. And how much you're going to pay me six figures. What? You know, they're like, sign me You know, they'll sign me up. You know, sign me up. So we should remember, knowledge work in some sense could be, it's a fantastic gig if you can control it. And that's what the CP here has done. He's an aficionado of what I talk about of company of one, that fantastic book, Paul Jarvis' book, I talk about a lot in the show about instead of growing your business when you get better at it, just ask for more money and work less. So he's put these philosophies to work to fully take advantage of knowledge work. I have a good salary. I don't have to work that much. I have a lot of autonomy and the work is creatively demanding. So partially, I just want to say, look, when done right, knowledge work is a great gig. So this is why it's worth doing it right. It's really wasting the opportunity. Just imagine that 14th century medieval serf, how frustrated they would be to say, you have this opportunity to be like CP's life. And instead you're just on Slack all day and tired and complaining about it. Like you're really not that, it's pretty easy to get from there to an awesome life in a way that I'm never going to be able to, you know, pulling potatoes out of the ground and cornwall or whatever. So knowledge work can be a great gig if you take full advantage of what it can offer using the type of things we talk about here. Now, what about the guilt aspect of it? I would say don't feel guilty as long as you are living up to the gift you're given. don't feel guilty as long as you are living up to the gift you're given. So you're in a situation to not only have a knowledge work job, but to be able to transform it into this four hours a day, I'm making good money, I have full autonomy. You should see that as a gift in some sense you were given that you need to live up to by living the deepest possible life all around. So I got good money. I have good time. Great. Um, my community, you know, my, my kids, my, uh, things I'm involved in honing my mind, honing my body. Do not let that gift go to waste. If it's like, this is great. Now I can, you know, um, drink more and send more angry tweets. And you should feel guilty because you were given a gift. You could almost think about this. It's not obviously not an exact analogy, but you could almost think about this if we look at, you know, monarchical Europe as being a landed gentry. And they had this whole philosophy, noblesse oblige. I've seen that backwards, Jesse. Blessé oblige is the French term. This whole notion of, hey, look, you inherited this land. This is just the way we run our society. You need to do stuff with the free time this frees up. You need to get out there and try to give back and be useful. And you know how it was. We all saw Downton Abbey. You owned a town. You're supposed to be involved in the town. There's almost an echo of that with modern knowledge work. I came up in a family that was upper middle class. I got a good education. And then I stumbled across Cal Newport stuff. And I don't know, I'm getting $175,000 a year and I'm really only working like four hours a day, live up to that gift and do cool stuff with the time that remains. And you hone your mind and you become a leader in your community. You serve other people. You have real gratitude and appreciation for craftsmanship in the world. You hone your soul through philosophy and theology. I think that's the right way to think about it. Part of it's a gift, part of it you did it. However you got there, let's run with that opportunity to live an even more enlightened, even more useful human life. So that's the way I would think about that. And also, I'm sure your dad is happy that you don't have to do the 70 hours in the factory. Just live up to that gift that you were given. And also I'm sure your dad is happy that you don't have to do the 70 hours in the factory. Just live up to that gift that you were given. Do you look up the phrase? Now, please bless a, now please bless a, I think I can only think of you saying it in like your accent. Well, am I saying, I'll say, I'll say my accent. If I have the right phrase, is that the right phrase? I'm not even sure how to spell it. O B L I G E. It's French. Yeah. Try B L E S S-S-S-E. Noblesse. Noblesse. I think it's, did you mean oblige noblesse? Yes, oblige noblesse. That's what I was forgetting. It's French. Oblige de noblesse. The sense of I have to give back because I was born land of gentry. Oh, well. All right, let's do another one. What do we got? I because I was born land of gentry. Oh, well. All right, let's do another one. What do we got? I thought I was in Spanish class there for a second. I didn't understand what you were saying. I think that's French. First of all, I have an expert pronunciation. I don't appreciate it. I have an expert pronunciation of all foreign words. All right, next question is actually a follow-up from Christy, and she's talking about how her three kids are back in school and she has a lot more time each day, but she's nervous about putting too much on her plate. She explained her other interests that she likes to pursue, but oftentimes she has a tendency to overdo things. Having her kids at home, especially with work, allowed her a convenient excuse to say no.


This week in slow productivity: theoverworking tendency (58:42)

So she wonders, how can I say no to working more than four hours a day when I no longer can say, well, I have my kids at home? How would you advise someone who doesn't want to be more productive in the sense of producing and providing more services? Well, I like this question. It's clearly an older, you know, we have questions from a long array of time. Clearly this is an older question because Christy's talking about, oh, the pandemic's over and my kids are going back to school and how I can transition to that. But we brought in this older question because it actually gets to a topic I've been thinking a lot about more recently, and that is slow productivity. Jesse, I think we need a sound effect for slow productivity because I like this idea as we get closer to my slow productivity book coming out in March that we have. That's, that's, we do need one. We do need one. Yeah. Yeah. And it needs some sort of musical cue. Actually, we have some, uh, solid fans who sent in some stuff, so they should send. We need a slow. Okay. So we need a slow productivity theme song because what I want to try to do from now until when my book comes out is have at least one slow productivity question each episode. You can call this slow productivity corner with slow Cal Newport. Yeah, slow Cal Newport's probably not great, but it's slow productivity corners where we can do a little bit of slow productivity thinking every episode. So my answer to Christy here is going to be to pull some ideas from slow productivity, two points in particular, particular.


Building Your Productive Workload (01:00:02)

So remember, here's her problem. During the pandemic, there's a lot less stuff going on. Her kids were at home. She could say no to most things because people weren't doing things. And she was worrying, I'm going to become overloaded again, but I can't just keep saying no to everything because I don't have the excuse anymore of things are shut down. So slow productivity is going to help us here. Point one, in both your work and non-work schedule, what you need to do is build what you believe, identify what you believe to be the reasonable workload in both. And then just don't exceed that workload. So it's not so much as saying yes or no to each thing in individual, it's keeping your workload and then after outside of work would be your activity load, your obligation load, keeping that at your predetermined limit. This is where I'm best. At this point, I don't want to go beyond it. So now when you're saying no, it's not random. It's because you already hit your load for the moment. Now you can break this down to be a little bit more specific. For example, using things like activity-specific quotas. So instead of just saying, I do five projects, but no more at work, you might be like, this type of work, I only do one at a time. These type of events, okay, once a quarter, I'll say yes to doing these networking events I'm always asked to do. In terms of, I don't know, there's like white papers that your company produces. I can only work on two at a time. So you can have specific activity, specific quotas that add up to specifying what your desired workload is. And then the no's are informed by the quotas. Yes, I'm happy to do these. I do do these, but I typically do once a month. I've already have one on the books for this month, so I can't do this one. So you're not saying no because of in general, I'm busy. I don't want to do things, but because I have a very specific load and quota and I've hit that same thing with life outside of work. You can do something similar like, oh, yeah, this sounds like a great group. You want me to join? But really, my quota is like I don't like to be involved in more than like three book club, uh, parents, sports, whatever it is, like no more than two at a time. And I already have two going on this season. So, you know, great idea, but I've already kind of loaded my activity quota. Um, so I can't do that. I'm not gonna be able to do that. Or I go to this many events at my kids' schools. I'll do one a week, but not more than one. So you have clarity. Because what you don't want to do is tackle the yes or no emotionally in the moment. That doesn't work out well. A, it's hard because again, an emotional no is not very acceptable from other people. Like we're all busy. Come to the stupid activity. That doesn't work. Specificity is much better. And two, if you depend on emotions, I wrote a big article about this in the New Yorker a couple years ago that was called, it's time to embrace slow productivity. Or maybe it was an article I wrote called why we work so much. I wrote a couple of things about this, but the basic thesis of this article, I get into this in my book coming out in March as well, is that when you use the emotional no, when do you actually feel that strong emotion of, oh, I need to say no? It's when you already have too much to do. So if you're just depending on like, I feel psychologically like I can't take on anymore, you've already taken on too much. So the emotional no leads you to always be about 20% too overloaded. So that's not good either. So figure out in advance your workloads for work and non-work. You can subdivide those workloads by activity-specific quotas and just stick to those and use them as your explanation.


Seasonality (01:03:28)

Point number two, it's another huge point for my upcoming book, seasonality. So what you might also do is say the fall is unusually busy because the kids go back to school and there's all these things that happen. is unusually busy because the kids go back to school and there's all these things that happen. I'm actually willing to be busier in the fall and I go particularly unbusy in the summer. I have certain times of the year where I do more and other times where I do less and they help kind of balance out and help me get a breather. And so there can be periods where I'm really involved in things and there can be other periods where I'm kind of scarce and I'm not around as much. Seasonality is something we're wired for as humans and is often more effective than trying to just have a steady limit that's pretty low that you follow all the time. Seasonality is what we experience as hunter-gatherers. The winter we're doing a lot less than other types of seasons. It's certainly what we experienced acutely once the Neolithic era began. The harvest time is incredibly busy. We have almost nothing to do in January. So they're like really busy times and times where we're sitting around inventing art because we had nothing else to do while we're waiting for the next crops to come in. So also you see as anality and offset unusually busy with less busy. Sometimes this also better satisfies people's demands for you because you're available when the times where people really need you, but you get that breather in times where people are scarce. All right. So that is slow productivity corner for this week.


Have your own Predictions (01:04:55)

We should just have sound effect to come in 276. Sound effect coming. I think it should be off putting in random, like circus music. It's calliope music or something that just but never explained it was like slow productivity corner it's like or we can make it the shopify sale sound just again and again your books yeah we're gonna do 45 seconds of shopify sale sound effects because we are awesome in audio engineering all right let All right, let's do one more question. All right, next question is from Can't Start, Won't Stop. I really want to try time block planning. I have a typical hive mind slack fueled tech job. I think I could tame that pretty well. The part I frankly dread about time block planning is switching to the next task while in progress on the first. How do you do it? I'm a pretty pessimistic person. And if I'm in the middle of a problem or a piece of writing, for example, I don't see how I'm going to get it done. Stopping in the middle because the timer went off is a worse kind of mental focus. Interrupts me because I fear I may not get to the end. How do you do it? Well, there's two different cases here to cover. There's two different cases when it cover. So there's two different cases when it comes to I'm working on something and the time I put aside for it is up and I'm not done. Two cases to consider. Case one is I have to finish this. I mean, it's unfortunate that I did not accurately estimate how long this is going to take, but this is due at the end of the day. Like this is the report my boss needs and I'm not done yet. The second case is just, this is a big thing I'm working on. It's a computer program that's going to take me a month. It's a book manuscript. And it's just like, look, I'm in it. And the block ended and I'm just in the middle of it. I really don't want to stop. We need different responses to both of these different cases.


Effective Schedule Management Techniques And Tools

How to schedule URGENT projects (01:06:39)

So for the case of this has to finish, I just thought it was going to take less time than it did, but I do have to get this done. Don't sweat it. Remember, with time blocking, the goal is not perfectly predicting how long everything is going to take, and if you do, you win, and if you don't, you lose. The goal with time blocking is intention. At any one point, you want to have some intention behind what you're doing next. So if there's something that's urgent and it's taking you longer, you can keep going until you're done.


CAPTURING AUDIENCE IN THE CLOSED LOOP MENTAL MODEL (01:07:11)

And then what do you do when you're done? You adjust your plan for the time that remains in the day. That's time blocking 101. Next time you get a chance, you move over to that next column in your time block planner and you build a new plan for the time that remains. The key is you're never without intention. So when you're done finishing this thing, you say, what's the best I can do with my time left? You're avoiding random wandering. That's fine.


Time Blocking As Your Buddy, Not Adversary (01:07:31)

That's time blocking 101. Intention is winning, not accuracy and prediction. But what about the second issue? You work on these big projects and you never want to stop. It's always like, I'm in the flow. I don't want to stop now. This is psychologically very different, difficult, but you're finding this as a problem because you're constantly blowing over other things you need to get done. Other things that are important here. I want to push back on this idea and you use a term here that this is the worst kind of a focus interruption. It's not, it's not. I want to give a name to something I talked about in a recent episode. I didn't give it that name then. I'm going to invent the name right now. The Hemingway Principle. The Hemingway Principle says it is not a bad thing to stop working on something deep in the middle of you being in the flow of working on something deep. And I call this the Hemingway principle because when I brought this up in a recent episode, I talked about Hemingway's specific practice of always stopping writing in the middle of something that he was on the flow about so that the next day he was picking up from something that was really working and you could get right into it and get moving again, as opposed to writing until you're completely done and having to start fresh the next day. It actually can be better to return to something that you were in the flow of. First of all, you get a faster start. Second of all, you give your mind a chance to do some unconscious processing about what you're working on. And when you come back to it, it might be a lot better than if you had kept going. There is some mental discomfort in these pauses, but the right way to deal with that mental discomfort is, okay, my block is about to end, five minutes till it ends, stop what I'm working on, and let's give ourselves a fully encapsulated checkpoint here. All right, here's where I am. Let me take a quick note to myself. Here's what to work on tomorrow. I stopped right here. Here's what I was thinking about. Go back and check that algorithm. Make sure you do the smoke testing over on that module. I was about to look up this technique I heard about, see if that applies here. Save that, check in my code. Okay, good. This is fully encapsulated. There's nothing I'm just keeping in my head. I have a good snapshot of where I was and what I was about to do. Move on to the next block. Give it 10 minutes, your mind will move on. So the Hemingway principle says it's not a problem to stop in the middle of something deep, so long as you capture well exactly where you were, so you can close open loops and pick up from where you started the next day. Over time, this is probably actually more efficient. There was a chapter, not a chapter, but a section of a chapter that was originally in my slow productivity book that's coming out that got cut just because you cut a lot of stuff when you're working on the book. But I like this idea. It was this idea about cold starts, that actually taking something hard and working on it for a long period of time versus breaking it up into a couple independent sessions. The couple independent sessions might in the end take less total hours because every time you come back to it fresh, you have new energy. You can leverage unconscious processing that's happened since the last time you stopped it. And so you come at it with more ammunition. And so the overall quality of your work per minute is much higher if you break it up into a few big sessions as opposed to trying to drag it out on one large section. You get better, more creative work. So in this chapter I cut from slow productivity, I gave this detailed account of how this math proof that won the Fields Medal was proven because there's a book about this. The mathematicians wrote a whole book about how they solved this math theorem. And they had their emails and their back and forth correspondence. It's a great book. I think I talked about it on the show a couple of years ago. Anyways, I went beat by beat and it was like all of the big insights came from cold starts. Their mind was working on it. Then they came back to it the next day. Like, oh wait, this is even better. That's the Hemingway principle.


How to Keep Your Schedule From Getting Totally F & Ked (feat Claro) (01:11:22)

Don't fear stopping even when things are going well. It's not necessarily a problem. All right. So I think we have a call, right? Yep. All right. Let's do a call. Remember, if you want to leave a call for us, you just go to the deep life.com slash listen. There's a link at the top there. You can record the call straight from your browser. All right. Let's see who we have here, Jesse. Okay. straight from your browser. All right, let's see who we have here, Jesse. Okay. Hi, Cal. My name is Rachel, and I work in a role where I have two different parts of my job. One is clinical, and one is research. And what I've realized as I'm looking at my career is that my two halves of my job are in two different market types. The clinical work is very much an auction market, whereas the research is very much a winner-take-all market and yet oftentimes like my hiring, my firing, my job security is gonna depend a little bit on both and I'm reaching out because I'm wondering if you have any advice for how to approach this kind of split market career. Does one take precedence over the other? How do you figure out where to put priorities and how to negotiate that? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Thank you. Well, I'm familiar with this issue because, I mean, essentially you have multiple jobs. Not on paper.


How to handle multiple vectors for mostly Multi- horseholder (01:12:40)

This is all the same academic position. I'm assuming you're probably an academic medical school position. But you have these different jobs with different objectives and different paths towards success. I mean, this is my life, right? I mean, I have, I used to joke, 17 jobs. But if we're going to be really clear about it, I have a research job, a teaching job, a writing job, and a media company job. Some of these are winner-take-all, like the research position. Some of these are more auction market, like the media company. I think it's helpful to have mental separation. You treat it like I have two jobs, and I deal with these jobs separately. Now, there's the complexity about how you schedule both, but fine. That's just a challenge. I do that all the time. I have these two jobs. You should have a separate strategic planning document for both of these roles. Your weekly plan should be bifurcated. Like this is what I'm doing for this job. This is what I'm doing for that job. And you should keep that in mind when you build your daily time block plans. You have to be to succeed with two jobs. You of course have to be organized and efficient. This has always been my secret. I, if you let any one job, sort of like most people do, if they have one job, just kind of take over all your time, you can't fit two. So you got to be very organized, very efficient. Here's what I'm doing with this job. Here's what I'm making progress. Here's what I'm doing in that job. Here's make progress. And when you do your daily time block plans, you're also going to want some bifurcation. Let's not mix these things together. Now it could be this day is mainly clinical. This day is mainly research or the mornings is research, the afternoons is clinical, but keep some separation there as well. So again, to have this sort of logical separation between these two roles, you're going to have separate strategic plans, separate parts of your weekly plan. You're going to try to divide your week when you're doing your actual planning day to day to try to get some separation there as well. Do something similar with whatever task organizational system you are using. These are two different roles, have two different collections. If you're using Trello, have a separate Trello board for the one role and the other. You really want to keep these in a logical sense very separate.


My Body Tutor Sponsor Announcement (01:14:36)

And then it's okay that they operate in different markets because you're tackling them each differently. Different goals, different strategies, different mental context, and you're not mixing the two things together. So you can be very, by research, I'm just working on progress, good papers, and in clinical work, I'm exploring and trying to find whatever my niche is going to be there and putting together some unique skills. They're completely separated logically and mentally. You're going to be able to have divergent approaches and goals and strategies for different parts of your life. I've been doing this for a few years now. It works fine. I mean, it gets complicated. You got to be on the ball and it does slow down. If you have two roles, it's hard to fully excel in one versus the other, but it's completely possible. Completely possible to have two roles. Just keep them separate and your approach to each can be distinct. All right, so we're going to move here in a second to our final segment where I react to something that I've seen in the news. But first, we want to hear from another sponsor. In particular, I want to talk about our friends at My Body Tutor. I've known Adam Gilbert, My Body Tutor's founder, for many years. He used to be the fitness advice guy on my study hack blogs. His company, My Body Tutor, is a 100% online coaching program that solves the biggest problem in health and fitness, which is the lack of consistency. They do this by giving you an online coach, So a coach you interact with online that you check in with every day. The coach helps you figure out what are we going to do with food? What are we going to do with fitness? Let's give you a plan that fits your particular needs and the particular constraints of you and your lifestyle. And then you check in every day with this coach. You have accountability from someone who knows you, knows what you're trying to do, and knows your plan. It sounds simple, but knowing there's someone that is going to knows what you're trying to do, and knows your plan. It sounds simple, but knowing there's someone that is going to hear what you did today gives you motivation that you otherwise would not have.


Passion And Interest Discussion Sponsored By Famous Guests

You're much more likely to take consistent progress. Also, the coach is there to help you adapt. It's winter vacation. We're going to my parents' house for Christmas. I'm really worried. There's no exercise equipment. I eat too much. This is what we're going to do. Let's make a special plan just for this week coming up. It makes a really big difference to have someone there. But because this is online, it can be affordable in a way that having a trainer in your home or a personal chef in your home would be out of reach for most people. So that's a MyBodyTutor is a great idea, leveraging the internet and human psychology to be incredibly successful in helping you get in better shape. So if you're serious about getting fit, Adam is giving deep question listeners $50 off their first month. All you have to do is mention this podcast when you join. This is interesting. If you have questions, Adam wants you to call him or text him. You can find his personal cell phone number at the top of every page of mybodytutor.com. This is personal service that gets you results. Also want to talk about our longtime sponsor at Blinkist. When you use the Blinkist app, you can get short summaries, either written or you can listen to them, of over 5,500 nonfiction books and also a huge number of podcasts. These short summaries, which are called Blinks, gives you the main ideas of these books and podcasts in just 15 minutes. The way Jesse and I use Blinkist is as a triage service for the books in our lives. If there's a book we hear about that we think we might want to read, we will first listen to or read the Blink summary of the book. They tell you, you just know, oh, I don't need to buy this. Or, oh yes, I'm fascinated. I want to know more about this. Definitely I want to buy this. There's other ways to use Blinkist as well. I know people, for example, that use it to quickly get the lay of the land of a particular topic. They'll take five books on the topic, read the Blinks, gives them the main terminology, gives them the main ideas, keeps them up to date without having to read hundreds and hundreds of pages. There's a lot of ways to use Blinkist. But if you are serious about having the reading being a portion of your life, and you really should if you embrace the deep life, Blinkist is a great partner to have in that commitment to depth. Now, right now, Blinkist has a special offer just for our audience. Go to Blinkist.com slash deep to start your seven-day free trial, and you'll get 25% off a Blinkist premium membership. That's Blinkist spelled B-L-I-N-K-I-S-T. Blinkist.com slash deep. To get 25% off and a seven-day free trial. Blinkist.com slash deep.


Episode Sponsor (01:19:11)

And now for a limited time, you can use their Blinkist Connect promotion to share your premium account with a friend. So you will get two premium subscriptions for the price of one if you sign up for Blinkist today at Blinkist.com slash deep. All right, Jesse, let's move on to our final segment where I react to the news. So in particular, what I want to react to is a interview I was listening to recently. I'll even load this up on the screen for those who are watching. Interview between Joe Rogan and The Rock, Dwayne The Rock Johnson. The Rock is an interesting character. So this interview caught my attention. One of the reasons why I'm interested in The Rock, and Jesse, this probably won't surprise you, is that I'm often confused for the rock, right? Like this happens a lot. Like people will be like, oh yeah. Um, I saw you interviewed on the rocks podcast. They're like, no, no, no, no, no. I was on a Cal Newport show. Yeah. And it's just, you know, it's a physical stature thing. Yeah. Yeah. You know, he's probably been your, uh, garage gym. Yeah. You know, like people will come by and be like, oh, cool, man. Like the Newports have the rock working out in the garage gym like no no it's me it's cal like oh we were thrown because of the similarities in your physical it's your hemsworth workout my hemsworth also is i'm interested in chris hemsworth because all this happens a lot like i'll be picking my kids up from school and people be like thor like no no no that like, no, no, no, that's Chris Hemsworth.


Clarifying the concept of Passion with The Rock (01:20:39)

Anyways, so I was listening to this interview with Joe Rogan and The Rock, and they had a discussion early on that I wanted to bring up. So early on, they were talking about the importance of having some sort of passion that you pursue. And this was in the context of a discussion of, you know, some people have it hard and you're kind of grinding day to day. And they're saying like in this situation, you need something you're going after, something you're getting after, that you have this passion that you're pursuing, that you can focus your energy on. Otherwise you just get stuck with, you're on social media all day, you're eating crap, you're drinking all the time. It's having some sort of passion to pursue. They were presenting this in the context of life, not just in the context of work, as a necessary component to sort of avoiding all the traps that can really trap a lot of people these days into a life of resentment or disappointment. So I wanted to tackle this a little bit, right? Because you could see this idea as maybe contradicting my book, So Good They Can't Ignore You, which was arguing against the common maxim, follow your passion. So let's put these two next to each other. So Good They Can't Ignore You, and the idea as spoken by my doppeldinger Dwayne The Rock Johnson, that passion is the key to actually escaping a shallow life. Well, here's the thing. I believe after listening to this interview, and I want to clarify this, we're highly aligned on this. Because what The Rock and Joe Rogan were talking about, what they did not say, if you listen were talking about, what they did not say, if you listen to this interview, what they did not say was, right now, I want you to think really hard today and figure out your one true passion and then go after it. That's not what they said. What The Rock was saying instead is you need to have the pursuit of something you're passionate about is going to free you. But he did not say where that pursuit actually came from. He did not say that you identify that passion easily and from the very beginning. And we know that in part because we can look at the life of Dwayne Johnson himself. And he gets into this in this interview, the haphazardness, or should we say the randomness with which the early stages of his path to where he is today actually unfolded. I mean, he talked about, you know, football. That was going to be his thing. Not everyone knows this about Dwayne Johnson, but he was a relatively successful college football player. You know, he's a big guy. But he knew at some point he realized that wasn't going to be his ticket. He wasn't quite good enough. And when you play at the high level, you get that sense. Like he didn't have what it would take to succeed at the NFL level so that he gets into wrestling. But this for a while is really, you know, not a great situation. He talked about wrestling at bars and selling his headshot for $5 a piece just to sort of make enough money that he could buy a sandwich. Right. selling his headshot for $5 a piece, just to sort of make enough money that he could buy a sandwich. I mean, it was a random unfolding of things that got him to eventually a point where he pursues his life with a lot of passion. So he didn't identify a passion in advance, but lives his life with a lot of passion. So what lesson do we extrapolate that from for the rest of us? Well, the idea that I uncover in my book, So Good They Can't Ignore You, is that passion is something that you cultivate, not something that you discover. Passion is not, I do some reflection and I figure out this is what I'm passionate about. It's something you cultivate. And how do you cultivate it? Well, you cultivate it with discipline. You cultivate it with curiosity. It's a combination of those two things. You're curious, you're engaged in the world and options and what's possible. Through this curiosity, you find something like this could be interesting. Let me pursue it with discipline. And through the discipline pursuit is where you learn, is this thing building momentum or is it a dead end? Curiosity plus discipline. And when something starts to click, you up the discipline, you up the intensity. And over time, that blossoms into passion. And so we see this in The Rock's path, right? I mean, he goes from football into wrestling. The wrestling is not going well. He makes some changes, gets involved with WWE, and suddenly things are really starting to click. And he gives that full intense discipline, really develops his body, develops himself as someone able to play characters. And he begins to pursue his life with this particular goal with a real passion. That passion then is what carried him from that and the movies and all the other things he's involved with today. That was a passion that was cultivated from discipline and curiosity. That I think is the lesson probably if we sat them down here, if we got Joe and The Rock, I don't know if they'd accept that invitation, but we should send it out. Hey, Joe and The Rock, come on by the Deep Work HQ. Come on into the studio. We'll talk to you. I think they would agree with this. And certainly I think Dwayne Johnson would probably agree with this. Yeah, it's not about I know in advance what I'm supposed to do. It's about approaching the things that you think might be worth doing with enough discipline that you have the opportunity for that to cultivate and blossom into passion, if that's a possibility.


Finding Passion (01:25:57)

We discover and develop passion over time. We don't find it through a short moment of self-reflection. So I really like this idea that this disciplined, passionate pursuit of things is critical for the deep life, but nuancing that with, you don't get there by starting with the passion. You actually start with the discipline and the curiosity. And if you're doing that right, the passion, the passion will come later. So I'm not done with that interview yet, but. Yeah, I'm going to check it out. I started listening to it yesterday while I was exercising and that caught my attention. Yeah. I don't know what happens later in the interview. When he talked about Rogan and The Rock coming to the HQ for guests, it reminded me of how Mad Dog always talks about, I mean, he gets a lot of guests, but he puts in calls like kyle shan and dave campbell like some big time nfl coaches to see well i mean he has his like yeah his guys do it but a lot of them just say no i mean he's got a lot of good guests on but yeah it's he always makes jokes about how yeah yeah we're got the call into kyle got the call i bet we would get a 10 of the big time if we regularly invited big time guests, I think we'd be surprised. I think like 10% of the people we invited might come, but we just don't ask because we don't do a lot of interviews. I don't think the rock would come, but you never know. There's like the weird thing about, you never know like, oh, this particular celebrity turns out to like secretly be a fan. Like, like I forgot about this, my agent, because we were doing publicity stuff for the new book. I forgot about this, but it turns out like, uh, Michelle Pfeiffer is a fan of deep work. Oh, really? There's like a random thing. I, she posted a photo of it years ago or something. I had forgotten about it. So you never know. Right. So like Michelle Pfeiffer likes deep work. We know Rory McIlroy, McIlroy, whatever his name is. He's a big McIlroy, whatever his name is. He's a big digital minimalism guy, right? The golfer. Yeah. Right. He plays the golfs. Yeah. So you never know. So we could have Michelle and Rory. Yep. Yep. They can both come on the show. I was thinking we should invite Schwarzenegger because he has the book out. Yeah. I bet we have like a 20% chance he would come. Plus I think he's kind of bored. Yeah. That's what I'm thinking. Yeah. I mean, he did Ryan's show. He's doing a lot. He's doing a lot of shows. He's on Ferris again. I bet we have like a 20% chance he would come. Plus I think he's kind of bored. Yeah. That's what I'm thinking. Yeah. I mean, he did Ryan show. He's doing a lot. He's doing a lot of shoes on Ferris again. I read his book the other day. Yeah. Um, how was it? I mean, just fine. I would recommend his autobiography. Yeah. I've read that. Yeah. His autobiography, you're going to get the same.


Arnold Schwarzenegger Smoking Stogies in Our Studio (01:28:17)

I mean, it's longer, but it's way more. I think you're going to get the same lessons and, and it's, it's like a better book. Uh, but wait, if we're going to invite him, I shouldn't say that. I loved his new book. Let's get him on. Let's get him on the show. Oh, well, in the meantime. He smokes stogies. He smokes stogies. Yeah, exactly. That'd be fun. Yeah. What's Zoe going to think? And we have Arnold in here smoking stogies. So he'd probably have to go outside. But you know what? The Chinese healer across the hall does those weird oils that they have a pretty distinct smell that the whole floor sounds like. So why can't we have Arnold Schwarzenegger smoking stogies in our HQ? Zoe's are the super if people are wondering. Alright, that's going to be our thing. Nonsense. Alright, well anyways, thank you everyone for listening to this nonsense. Thank you everyone for listening. We'll be back next week as always with another episode and until then stay deep. which gives a step-by-step system for overhauling your life.


Conclusion

Outro (01:29:24)

Check it out. So today's deep question, how can I reinvent my life in four months?


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Wisdom In a Nutshell.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.