The “What I’ve Learned” Podcast: Tim Ferriss On Why He’s Working on His Inner Game

“I don't think that that's something you have to wait to do after you've achieved some modicum of success.”

In the “What I’ve Learned” podcast, Arianna sits down with people she loves and admires, in fields from music and technology to sports and business, to explore the lessons they’ve learned over the extraordinary past year about themselves, their lives, and what they truly value.

This week, best-selling author and podcast host Tim Ferriss on being easier on himself, accepting what he can’t control, and why he deleted social media apps from his phone.  

On why he’s given up pretending he’s in control:

“I’ve become very good at trying to exert control on my circumstances. And this year was also a reminder for how unhelpful it can be to strive for complete control, since it’s an illusion. It’s not possible. So trying to cultivate some type of psychological and emotional safety net for when things outside of your control don’t go the way you would like — or perhaps they go precisely the way you would not want them to go — has been very, very important.”

On why he removed social media apps from his phone: 

“About four or five months ago, I deleted all social media apps from my phone. I think social media is incredibly dangerous. It’s sort of a tool that has become a master in a way. Just as you are training the algorithm for each of these platforms, that algorithm is then training you. And that type of feedback loop can be very corrosive in narrowing in your worldview and perspectives. And it ends up by virtue of these feedback loops also tending to push you where you will get most upset.”

On the benefits of self-compassion:

“I’ve tried to be very easy and gentle on myself. And at least with meditation, I find that actually to be incredibly beneficial. It’s not hard for me to be hard on myself. I’m very good at that. The real challenge is for me to be gentler with myself, which doesn’t mean having low standards. It just means look, you don’t need to kick the dog if it’s asleep — relax, there are other ways of approaching it.”

To hear more from Tim, listen to this full episode of “What I’ve Learned,” available wherever you get your podcasts.  

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