A.J. Jacobs — 10 Strategies to Be Happier Through Gratitude (

Photo by Lem Lattimer

“Paradoxically but wonderfully, focusing on someone else’s happiness will actually make you happier.” — A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs ( @ajjacobs ) takes over the show for a special episode. A.J. is a kindred guinea pig of self-experimentation who chronicles his shenanigans in books that seem to keep winding up as New York Times best sellers. The Know-It-All was about his quest to learn everything in the world. In The Year of Living Biblically , he tried to follow all the rules of the Bible as literally as possible. Drop Dead Healthy followed his well- (and ill-) advised experiments to become the healthiest person alive. My Life as an Experiment is about exactly what it sounds like, and It’s All Relative aimed to connect all of humanity in one family tree.

His latest book, Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey , chronicles his journey around the world to personally thank everyone along the supply chain who makes his morning cup of coffee a possibility: the farmer of the coffee beans, the barista, the designer of the logo for the coffee, the truck driver who transported the coffee beans, the guy who painted the yellow lines on the road so the truck wouldn’t veer into traffic, the inventor of the cardboard sleeve that goes around the coffee cup (aka the paper zarf) so you don’t burn your fingers, and on and on.

In this episode, A.J. will be taking us through 10 strategies for being happier through gratitude in these stressful times and his agreement to do so just builds upon the gratitude I already have for this man. I hope you enjoy, and if you benefit in some way from these strategies, please feel free to reach out and thank him.

Bonus: if you pre-order his latest book or let him know how much you’ve appreciated his earlier work, he may even personally thank you back with a handwritten card ( details found here )!



Want to learn more about A.J.’s creative process? — Listen to my interview with him in which we explore his experiments, tipping points in his life, how he learned to love marketing and much more! (Stream below or right-click here to download):

#211: A.J. Jacobs: Self-Experimenter Extraordinaire Download

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

Scroll below for links and show notes…


  • Connect with A.J. Jacobs :


  • A.J. Jacobs explains the premise of his new book, Thanks a Thousand , details a few of his previous adventures for the uninitiated, and shares his 10 strategies for being happier in these super stressful times. [06:02]
  • “So it is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.” -David Steindl-Rast [Ed. Note: A.J. admits after recording the episode that he confused David Rendall with David Steindl-Rast while recording this episode, and adds: “Thanks to David Rendell and David Steindl-Rast for their (hopeful) forgiveness.”] [08:58]
  • Strategy #1: Declare War on the Negative Bias. [14:19]
  • Strategy #2: The Art of Savoring. [19:34]
  • Strategy #3: Practice Six Degrees of Thankfulness. [23:23]
  • Strategy #4: Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die. [28:40]
  • Strategy #5: Using Gratitude to Fall Asleep. [31:20]
  • Strategy #6: Thou Shalt Not Have Nostalgia. [32:20]
  • Strategy #7: Try to Discover the Hidden Masterpieces All Around You. [35:42]
  • Strategy #8: Go Analog. [37:32]
  • Strategy #9: Fake It until You Feel It. [41:05]
  • Strategy #10: Use Gratitude as a Spark to Action. [42:20]



“Paradoxically but wonderfully, focusing on someone else’s happiness will actually make you happier.” — A.J. Jacobs A.J. Jacobs (@ajjacobs) takes over the show for a special episo…

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Balaji Srinivasan - Bitcoin and Ethereum, Crypto Oracles, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show


Coach George Raveling — A Legend on Sports, Business, and The Great Game of Life (#332)

by Tim Ferriss

“I’ve always had this theory that, if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll always get what you want.” — George Raveling

Coach George Raveling ( @GeorgeRaveling ) is an 80-year-old living legend and Nike’s former Director of International Basketball. Coach Raveling was the first African American head basketball coach in the PAC-8 (now PAC-12), and he is often referred to as the “Human Google.”

Coach Raveling has held head coaching jobs at Washington State, The University of Iowa, and USC. Following a prolific basketball coaching career, he joined Nike at the request of Phil Knight, where he played an integral role in signing a reluctant Michael Jordan. He’s also been inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as well as the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame .

In this episode we cover a lot of things including how he came to possess the original copy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “ I Have a Dream ” speech, how his practice team ended up beating the 1984 US Olympic Dream Team in basketball, and much, much more!

I hope you’ll emerge from this conversation walking on air as I did!



  • .
  • .

this episode

Audible . Audible

  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

All you need to do to get your free 30-day Audible trial is visit . Choose one of the above books, or choose any of the endless options they offer. That could be a book, a newspaper, a magazine, or even a class. It’s that easy. Go to or text TIM to 500500 to get started today.

This podcast is also brought to you by FreshBooks . FreshBooks is the #1 cloud bookkeeping software, which is used by a ton of the start-ups I advise and many of the contractors I work with. It is the easiest way to send invoices, get paid, track your time, and track your clients.

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

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

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

Scroll below for links and show notes…


  • Connect with George Raveling :


  • It’s hard to know where to begin interviewing someone who’s lived as many lifetimes in one as Coach Raveling, so let’s find out how he came to possess Martin Luther King Jr.’s original “I Have a Dream” speech. [06:57]
  • Three men George considers his indirect mentors. [23:33]
  • A surprising fact about MLK that George didn’t discover until just recently. [25:13]
  • How has Dr. King inspired George and helped him make tough decisions and sacrifices throughout his life? [26:21]
  • To young George, his grandmother was as infallible as the Pope. How did he come to be in her care at age 12 and wind up going to Catholic school in Pennsylvania? [30:36]
  • What Grandma taught George and his brother about social graces — particularly how to treat women. [35:00]
  • How a remarkable nun encouraged George to be special and face life with a positive attitude. [37:48]
  • Why did George participate in every sport available in high school, and what made him gravitate toward basketball? [39:38]
  • An approach by a Hall of Fame coach and learning the meaning of the word “scholarship.” [42:24]
  • How did Grandma take the news about George’s scholarship offer? [44:56]
  • George talks about his rare collection of racist books, figurines, and postcards from the 19th and 20th centuries and why he keeps them on display in his home. [47:15]
  • What else does George collect? [51:12]
  • George looks upon relationships as a privilege and he always tries to be of service to his friends. [52:17]
  • Most of George’s best friendships started by mistake. Here’s an example that led him to seek out more associations with young people — and an examination of what this teaches George. [54:15]
  • Relationships as a “we” mentality, not a “me” mentality. [56:28]
  • George talks about the sometimes quirky scope of his voracious reading habit and its origins. [57:07]
  • What’s George’s search and discovery routine for deciding whether or not to buy a book when he’s at the store? [1:01:13]
  • Learning new lessons and discovering favorite authors at age 80. [1:03:37]
  • George proves you’re never too old to become a mastermind (even if it sends you to bed with headaches). [1:06:10]
  • What are the books George rereads and gives most often as gifts (and why does he call Tools of Titans his “China” book? [1:07:55]
  • We go over the books George brought as gifts for me and why he chose them. [1:11:11]
  • As note-taking fanatics, George and I compare notes about…notes. [1:18:35]
  • How George segments the information he takes in to avoid being overwhelmed and ensuring it sticks. [1:20:50]
  • What George does when he gets bored with reading on a long trip. [1:22:16]
  • No blank page ever goes to waste. Here are a few more secrets future archaeologists might use to decode our notes. [1:23:25]
  • What gets discovered on the second read of a favorite book. [1:26:07]
  • George’s notes get transferred to journals — which he has dating back to 1972. [1:27:01]
  • What George likes to ask himself at the end of every day. [1:28:35]
  • Why George feels it’s important to practice random acts of kindness. [1:30:15]
  • A motivational Bob Knight quote and winning gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. [1:32:19]
  • On leading the college practice team that beat the Dream Team during a scrimmage before the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. [1:35:23]
  • Three coaches that have had the most impact on George. [1:39:30]
  • How Bob Knight pushed George to write the first book on rebounds. [1:42:20]
  • George owes everyone who saw something in him along the way that he didn’t see in himself a debt of gratitude. [1:44:18]
  • While most people look forward to retiring by age 60, George’s most productive years so far didn’t begin until then. [1:45:25]
  • George talks us through his history with Nike and the job offer that seemed like a prank phone call. [1:46:52]
  • A story about visiting China in the late ’70s — when Beijing was still called Peking and westerners might as well have been from the moon. [1:50:05]
  • How much influence did George have on initially reluctant and self-professed “adidas guy” Michael Jordan signing to Nike? [1:52:59]
  • What does George mean when he says the most important conversation is the one you have with yourself? [1:57:55]
  • The only two choices George has when he gets out of bed in the morning, the number of things he limits himself to accomplishing in a day, and how he keeps office teamwork tight. [2:00:54]
  • A personal audit once per week. [2:03:18]
  • What George believes to be the biggest farce that’s ever been predicated on us. [2:03:55]
  • What is George most excited about working on these days? [2:04:31]
  • What would George’s billboard say? [2:05:32]
  • George’s challenge to the audience. [2:07:05]
  • Parting thoughts. [2:08:06]

"I've always had this theory that, if you help enough people get what they want, you'll always get what you want." — George Raveling Coach George Raveling (@GeorgeRaveling) is an 80-year-old living legend and Nike's former Director of International Basketball.

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about 1 year ago

Tim Ferriss on Ketosis, Microbiome, Lyme Disease, and Biomarkers


Sam Harris, Ph.D. — How to Master Your Mind (

Salmon — I appreciated your sentiment. And, as a Sam Harris fan……….I would like to simply engage with you in a dialogue, with hope you might see this – and Sam — a little differently. If you really dig into Sam and his philosophy, he is not a person of hate. And, he would agree himself, that spreading hatred is not a good way to lessen suffering in the world — which is one of his missions. His points — often not made well, as per his own admission — can often be taken as “hatred” sounding. When, in fact, his whole point is that people, of all walks of life, religions, creeds, etc, need to have rationale and truthful conversations, without obfuscating reality. Sam has been targeted, unfairly, as an Islamophobe. And, if you look at his life, he clearly is not one. His work with Majid Nawaz is a good starting example. And, there are many others. His biggest problem is often how he expresses what he is trying to say. It comes off hostile (i.e with hatred). Sam’s main point about Islam is simple: There are millions of peaceful, loving, assimilating, and kind Muslims. He has nothing against Muslim people — per se. He has a problem with not only Muslim violent extremists (as most loving, peaceful people do)…………..but with the “moderates” such as you, and even me (formerly), for NOT calling a spade a shovel; in an honest way. And, his point is that this lack of an honest calling out of what is “real”, is what is still enabling the radial fundamentalist to thrive. It does seem counterintuitive, right? Did not a lot of us grow up thinking: ‘if you cannot say something nice — don’t say it at all”…………Well. That does not help. And, unfortunately, some people happen to say things that are real and true — yet, say it with such mean-ness and vitriol, that it is impossible for the message to stick. Sam has admitted guilt to this in the past, albeit he is not nearly as bad as others. But. Sam’s message about Islam is simple and not hate filled. Not all religions have the same message. And, like Christianity has done over the course of time in order to make the more violent and hateful Bible passages less dominant in society, Islam also needs more reformers — like Majid Nawaz, Ayaan Ali, and others. And, these reformers need to likely work harder than their Christian counterparts did in the past………………..Why? And, this often where great offense is taken by Muslims. And, I even hesitate to write it here, out of fear of offending you and your religion. In fact, what I am about to write is the fuel that caused the explosion between Ben Afflect and Sam Harris on the Bill Maher show. Sam expressed this in a manner that I presume he may wish he said differently. Yet his point was one of a seemingly clear fact: that the Koran (which is the bottom line basis of ideas for Islam) and the Bible (which is the bottom line basis of ideas for Christianity) make the process of reforming DIFFERENT from one another. Both books have “bad ideas” in them, which need reforming. But, taken on its face alone, and via simple and reasonable reading of both books, any rational person should walk away with a simple understanding: the work needed to reform the more “bad” passages in the Koran is more than in the Bible. There are just more of them to deal with. That fact does NOT make Islam a “worse” religion than Christianity. It just makes it harder to reform………………Hence Sam’s ill conceived statement on the Bill Maher show: “That Islam is the motherlode of bad ideas”…………..that does not sound nice. I agree. But. His point was simply that that Koran has more difficult parts to reconcile than other religions. Would you agree with that point – on its face?

From your writing, you sound very much like a moderate Muslim practitioner; taking the loving parts of the Koran to heart; dismissing the violent parts. (Just as many Christians do with their religion). I simply ask you consider that fostering the tolerance for Islam around the world may work BETTER if people like you and other reformers would recognize the “negative” parts of your religion thereby enabling more a celebration of the positive parts. That is really all Sam Harris trying to do as well. Versus the “non-recognition” — or even worse, the tacit “approval” by moderates of the negative theology practiced by more conservative sects. Staying quiet and/or not recognizing the negative from within the religion itself can be (and Sam’s point that it WILL be) a death knell to the religion as a whole — moderates, unfortunately, included.

I hope you see my above point in the spirit of loving people — all people.; all faiths; all religions; Like Sam………..I believe an honest discourse about all things is how we make all things better.

  • Gonzalo Perilhou says:

    Tim great episode with Sam Harriss. The son of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (Sam mentions him in the podcast) is teaching in Nepal within a week. You can find more info here [Moderator: link to website removed.]

    Hope to see you around!

  • says:
  • I think that Vipassana meditators are especially suitable for testing anesthetics and dissociatives which interfere with the respiratory system in order to get more real-time consciousness onto the dynamics of ATP production and usage by oxygen consumption. There have been some studies recently regarding that “Math with good posture can mean better scores” and there should be more non-brain localized variables affecting its typical output. There also are a few dusty russian dissertations regarding the usage of psychotropic drugs for somatic disorders and an article in Pubmed (in German) regarding regulation of kidney function by hypnosis. This is what I would like to ask this type of neuroscientist questions about.

  • “The goal of meditation is to uncover a form of wellbeing that is inherent to the nature of our minds.” — Sam Harris Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg) received a degree in philosophy from Stan…

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    Seth Godin on How to Say “No,” Market Like a Professional, and Win at Life (

    Photo by Brian Bloom

    “Price is a story.” — Seth Godin

    Seth Godin ( @thisissethsblog , ) is the author of 18 bestselling books that have been translated into more than 35 languages. He was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013 and has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing “Seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world.

    Seth writes about marketing, strategic quitting, leadership, the way ideas spread, and challenging the status quo in all areas.

    His books include Linchpin , Tribes , The Dip , and Purple Cow , among others, and Seth’s newest book is This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See . You can find out more at (tim = This Is Marketing , not my name), where you will also find a free PDF excerpt from the book and related videos.

    Last but not least, Seth is the founder of the altMBA, an intense four-week online leadership and management workshop. Find out more at .

    In this episode, we explore many topics, including:

    • How Seth deals with overwhelm
    • How Seth chooses projects
    • How to say “no” to the unimportant and set boundaries
    • Long work vs. hard work
    • The world’s worst boss
    • How to find your “smallest viable audience”
    • Non-marketing books that are master classes in great marketing
    • Crafting April Fool’s jokes
    • And much, much more…


    • .

    Want to hear another amazing conversation with someone who leads from a place of service? Listen to my interview with Catherine Hoke , a friend Seth and I share who is helping the incarcerated turn their lives around through entrepreneurship. (Stream below or right-click here to download ):

    #293: Catherine Hoke — The Master of Second Chances Download

    This episode is brought to you exclusively by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions , the go-to tool for B2B marketers and advertisers who want to drive brand awareness, generate leads, or build long-term relationships that result in real business impact.

    With a community of more than 575 million professionals, LinkedIn is gigantic, but it can be hyper-specific. You have access to a diverse group of people all searching for things they need to grow professionally, and four out of five users are decision-makers at their companies — so you can build relationships that really matter and drive your business objectives forward. LinkedIn has the marketing tools to help you target your customers with precision, right down to job title, company name, industry, and more. Why spray and pray with your marketing dollars when you can be surgical? To redeem your free $100 LinkedIn ad credit and launch your first campaign, go to !

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

    Scroll below for links and show notes…


    • Connect with Seth Godin :



    • How does Seth deal with the sense of being overwhelmed? [05:35]
    • Get rid of these four things in your life and see how many hours per day you free up. [09:02]
    • What usually triggers Seth’s overwhelm and how he combats it. [10:18]
    • The almost mic-drop blog post Seth wrote about the world’s worst boss that led to his altMBA. [11:22]
    • As “the CEO of you,” does the way Seth accepts or declines his own involvement in projects apply to your own situation? [14:18]
    • How Seth sometimes still falls prey to making bad decisions about his time — and why he doesn’t stress too much about it. [15:27]
    • What’s the difference between long work and hard work? [17:59]
    • Examples of times Seth has chosen what seems like risky hard work over long work. [19:48]
    • What gave Seth the conviction to build the altMBA way back in the beginning? [21:34]
    • What did Seth take away from a three-day sabbatical in the desert? [26:22]
    • How does Seth train himself to take self-imposed deadlines and other feats of immense willpower seriously? [27:13]
    • Why does Seth believe that authenticity is overrated — and what’s better? [29:28]
    • On the lizard brain and overcoming the fear of saying “no.” [30:54]
    • A hack for quickly and politely explaining why you’re saying “no” to someone without wasting time and effort in each instance. [34:50]
    • Some of Seth’s (and Josh Waitzkin’s) consistent rules regarding what others can expect from him and how much they should pay — or not pay — for his services. [36:29]
    • Price is a story: Seth’s suggestion for any freelancer who wants to avoid frustration over long (not hard) work. [42:32]
    • What’s Seth’s policy for writing book blurbs? [45:40]
    • Seth explains why he wrote his latest book, what he hopes it will accomplish, and why you’re never really selling a quarter-inch drill bit. [49:24]
    • What does Seth mean when he mentions “the smallest viable audience,” and why is it important? [53:57]
    • How do you resist the temptation to make everyone your customer and focus on defining who your smallest viable audience might be? [55:38]
    • Highly niche businesses of which Seth is particularly fond, and how they set themselves apart. [58:52]
    • The importance of smallest viable audience as it relates to charging appropriately. [1:02:42]
    • What is the three-sentence marketing promise template, and why is it important in better securing the smallest viable audience? [1:08:08]
    • How Apple, Uber, Amazon, Airbnb, and other companies hook people into using their products and services in spite of not being completely unique in what they’re actually offering. [1:10:10]
    • The yo-yo union: how Supreme can make people line up to buy $3 shirts for $45, and why people stand outside Franklin Barbeque for hours before opening time every day. [1:12:45]
    • Two things to understand about ethically giving people what they want — even if it feels like you’re cheating. [1:17:48]
    • Why the world remembers Jackson Pollock more than his brother Charles. [1:19:10]
    • What does it mean to market to the most important person? [1:24:01]
    • How does one develop self-compassion and a feeling of sufficiency that allows them to empathize with — and market to — that “most important” person? [1:25:42]
    • According to Seth, I was responsible for the single best-written April Fool’s joke on the Internet. Here it is. [1:28:08]
    • We reflect on one of Seth’s April Fool’s jokes and the notion that someone can ever run out of ideas. [1:31:16]
    • The “but” versus “and.” [1:35:34]
    • Current events, book recommendations, and parting thoughts. [1:36:57]


    is one .

    “Price is a story.” — Seth Godin Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog, is the author of 18 bestselling books that have been translated into more than 35 languages. He was inducted i…

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    Tribe of Mentors – Matt Mullenweg

    Just what the world needs, another Success Mentor pilfering Tony Robins principles when the general success of Humanity can be quantifiably measured by degradation of the environment. At this point in history when it comes to Success, less is more. Go for it! Fall through the cracks and disappear, society may thumb its nose at you, but Mother Earth will appreciate your lack of effort.


    ‘We have unleashed a mass extinction event’: World scientists issue disturbing warning to humanity

    By Benjamin Pineros

    More than 1500 scientists from 184 countries have issued a desperate call for immediate action as they warn the planet is on the verge of an impending environmental collapse… _______________________

    Tim Ferriss, instead of telling people what they want to hear in return for their chicken scratch and possibly inspiring the acceleration of our demise, maybe you should interview these 1500 scientists to find out what lifestyle changes they have made or would make, given the chance, to stave off their impending extinction?

    Must be getting close to the holidays, I’m feeling pretty Grinchtuitous.

    Tim Ferriss’s new book Tribe of Mentors is out. I have finished it already, and can say it’s really excellent and I even liked it more than Tools of Titans even though I’m not in …

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    about 1 year ago

    #420: Books I've Loved — Matt Mullenweg - The Tim Ferriss Show

    Disclaimer : The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Tim Ferriss: Bestselling Author, Human Guinea Pig, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

    00:25:16 - #420: Books I've Loved — Matt Mullenweg | Brought to you by Audible. Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to …

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    #420: Books I've Loved — Matt Mullenweg - The Tim Ferriss Show

    Disclaimer : The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Tim Ferriss: Bestselling Author, Human Guinea Pig, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

    00:25:16 - #420: Books I've Loved — Matt Mullenweg | Brought to you by Audible. Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to …

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    Back on Tim’s Podcast – Matt Mullenweg


    YES! Cannot wait to ingest this via my tympanic membranes!

    I checked out the Calm and Coach apps that you mentioned. Thanks, hadn’t heard of them before. I kind of prefer the back and forth from you and Tim like the last podcast, though. Nonetheless, it was a great listen! ☺

    I’ve really enjoyed both podcasts. I’ve gained many useful insights, thanks again Matt!

    As someone starting a career in remote work, I’d love to hear your suggestions as to how to find that community you spoke of. It’s a problem I’ve been struggling to find a solution to.

    A recommendation for books on vulnerability: Mark Manson’s “Models” (really just the first 4 chapters). It’s transformed how I think about myself and how I interact with the world. I think his new book may be even better, I just haven’t read it yet.

    A high-fidelity, motivational shot in the arm! Listened on a Verizon Android tablet in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep. Every business student or anyone simply looking to cultivate a more more efficient and fulfilling life should listen and take notes.

    I like how you go until you “run out of gas.” It’s also cool to see the flexibility of the Pomodoro Technique relative to time intervals. For me, in the practice room, it’s three 15-minute intervals (long tones, scales, transcribing on the fly) with a five-minute break. Then, a final 10-minute free play session. If I only have 15-minutes to practice, I allot 5-minutes to each of the above areas. Beating the “beep” is my motivator.

    I went back for a Round 2 answering follow-up questions from Tim’s readers on the Tim Ferriss podcast. About an hour long and covered a wide range of topics. One of these days I need to start…

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    about 1 year ago

    Matt Mullenweg on Polyphasic Sleep, Tequila, and Building Billion-Dollar Companies (

    about 1 year ago

    On the Tim Ferriss Podcast – Matt Mullenweg

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    I had the great fun the other week of hanging with Tim Ferriss on his podcast, an episode he titled Matt Mullenweg on Polyphasic Sleep, Tequila, and Building Billion-Dollar Companies. His previous …

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    about 1 year ago

    Doug McMillon — CEO of Walmart

    “One of the things that can keep you from going away is an openness to change. — Doug McMillon

    Doug McMillon (IG: @dougmcmillon ) is president and chief executive officer of Walmart, a company that, if it were a country, would be the 25th largest economy in the world. Walmart serves 265 million customers weekly in 27 countries across more than 11,000 stores and online, and the company employs roughly 2.2 million associates worldwide, which would equate to the second largest army in the world (behind China) if it were tasked with defending that 25th largest economy.

    75 percent of Walmart’s store management team began as hourly associates, and Doug is no exception. He started out in 1984 as a summer associate in the Walmart distribution center, and in 1990 while pursuing his MBA, he rejoined the company as an assistant manager in Tulsa before moving to merchandising as a buyer trainee. He worked his way up, and from 2005 to 2009 he served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club (owned and operated by Walmart) with sales of more than $46 billion annually during his tenure.

    From February of 2009 to 2014, Doug served as president and CEO of Walmart International, a fast-growing segment of Walmart’s overall operations. He has served on the board of directors for Walmart since 2013 and is currently the chair of the executive and global compensation committees. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the Consumer Goods Forum, the US-China Business Council and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. He also serves on the executive committee of the Business Roundtable and the advisory board of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China.

    This episode was recorded live at the Heartland Summit in Bentonville, AR, surrounded by the jaw-droppingly mind-blowing Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art . Please enjoy!


    Want to hear another episode with a fascinating leader ? — Listen to my conversation with former Home Depot CEO and current Crazy Good Turns producer Frank Blake. (Stream below or right-click here to download ):

    #303: How to Do Crazy Good Turns — Frank Blake

    This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn and its job recruitment platform, which offers a smarter system for the hiring process. If you’ve ever hired anyone (or attempted to), you know finding the right people can be difficult. If you don’t have a direct referral from someone you trust, you’re left to use job boards that don’t offer any real-world networking approach.

    LinkedIn , as the world’s largest professional network — used by more than 70 percent of the US workforce — has a built-in ecosystem that allows you to not only search for employees, but also interact with them, their connections, and their former employers and colleagues in a way that closely mimics real-life communication. Visit and get $50 off toward your first job post!

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

    Scroll below for links and show notes…


    • Connect with Doug McMillon :



    • Doug shares his Baitmate story. [08:26]
    • Doug trained as a buyer in an era when his word and a handshake was as good as a contract. [11:36]
    • Influential books Doug recommends. [13:22]
    • As a voracious reader, how does Doug discover and decide what books are added to his knee-high “to read” stack? [16:08]
    • How is virtual reality employed in the training of associates? [18:31]
    • Does Doug have any quotes or reminders built into his daily life that help keep him on track? [20:57]
    • Why does Doug keep a list of the top 10 retailers of the last five decades on his phone? [23:27]
    • Knowing that openness to change is a prerequisite to initiating change doesn’t always make the decision to lean into such a change easy. What have been some of Doug’s most difficult decisions? [26:33]
    • What helps Doug find the clarity to make such difficult decisions when anxiety might otherwise bring them to an impasse? [29:17]
    • While the acquisition of Flipkart may seem like a decision that doesn’t make much short-term sense, why does Doug believe in it for the long haul? [30:16]
    • What are “treasure hunt items” at Sam’s Club? [33:13]
    • Where did Doug’s competetive streak originate, and is his reputation for being “poised and calm” from nature or nurture? [36:05]
    • Just how competetive is Doug? [37:40]
    • Doug’s morning routines and rituals — with a Tim Ferriss Show exclusive: breakfast! [38:40]
    • What does the structure of Doug’s typical week look like? Does he have typical weeks? Years? [40:04]
    • With such a busy schedule, how does Doug take care of himself and manage his time in a way that keeps him from burning out? [43:15]
    • What usually takes the place of a scheduled day when Doug has to call a fire break ? [44:22]
    • What does it look like for Doug to sit down and think during one of these fire breaks? And does he take these breaks alone or with others? [45:33]
    • What new belief or habit has most improved Doug’s life? [47:45]
    • What led to this capacity for change? [49:19]
    • Aside from fire breaks, is there anything else that helps Doug cope with the feeling of being overwhelmed? [51:02]
    • 100 million favorite failures and one pep talk. [52:57]
    • What would Doug’s billboard say? [56:46]



    “One of the things that can keep you from going away is an openness to change.” — Doug McMillon Doug McMillon (IG: @dougmcmillon) is president and chief executive officer of Walmart, a …

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