The first time I heard of Tim Ferriss was around this time in 2020. I was listening to Brene Brown talk to both Tim and Dax Shepard on her podcast, Unlocking Us. The three of them had been ranked as top podcasts on Spotify. It was the first time I had heard of Dax’s show, Armchair Expert, as well. 

I started listening to Armchair Expert at that time in 2020, but only just listened to Tim’s show earlier this week for the first time. 

I did subscribe to Tim Ferriss’s newsletter at some point, as I am curious about different ideas and ways of thinking. Tim has what he calls 5-Bullet Friday, a newsletter/email that is brief and shares 5 bullets that he is ‘pondering and exploring’. Now and then I open and give it a quick scan.

I am one who did not have a horrible quarantine/post Covid experience. One thing I benefited from was narrowed down choice making. Since many things were closed, and options were minimized, it was easier to focus on new learning. I could listen to a podcast, and then follow up with the ‘nugget shares’ and learn new things in what seemed to be somewhat manageable. During the time when things were still closed, and my typical work experience was disrupted – ie commute time/remote options, there was time for new discovery that was easier to maintain – to follow the ‘crumbs’ from one interesting thing to the next. 

The word crumbs is a good visual for me at present – crumbs, not crumb. There are so many crumbs. There is so much to learn and experience. Sometimes it feels like a pile of crumbs, difficult to know which to choose as there are so many possibilities for new learning and things to experience. And. There are so many things to do and places to go on top of the possibility of new learning.

Tim’s newsletter that came out recently, the Friday before Thanksgiving Break, included a podcast interview with an Angel investor. I know it may seem an unlikely fit for a school social worker who blogs about selfcare and wellbeing to be interested in a podcast interviewing an angel investor. What captured my attention was the context, there was a story attached and a new book to be read/listened to: Angel by Jason Calacanis.

A little of my own backstory, when I first became interested in mindfulness I learned/read/watched it more than I practiced it. I would search online and it would often take me to Silicon Valley. The Tech Industry loved mindfulness, so it seemed. Google Search took me straight to Google’s Search Inside Yourself. SIY was a corporate mindfulness program designed by one of the original Search engineers, Chang-Meng Tan. Then came Wisdom 2.0 that attracted Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dan Siegel, Richard Davidson and others. There is money in Silicon Valley, talents are hyped and celebrated – branded, and I became a bit fascinated with the tech industry. It seemed exciting. 

I heard about Angel investing when I listened to the audiobook, How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars. A story about how Snapchat came to be. Great listen, btw. In the book, the author was a classmate of Evan Spiegel and wrote regularly for the Stanford tech ‘paper’. He had covered the origins of the app while it ‘came to be’ on the college campus. The angel investor part was that apparently there was a conflict of interest at the school, as professors and angel investors (the great majority lived on a well known street in Palo Alto) were walking a tight line of ethics balancing the roles of students and startups. *fact check needed – interpet at your own risk*

I love origin stories. I love putting the ‘nugget’ pieces together. In the Tim Ferriss interview with Jason, they talked about when they were first hustling and shared their experience of the origins of blog writing. I learned that blogs were originally named Web Logs and the ‘W-e’ was dropped. If I heard it correctly, Jason was writing about the internet and it was being swallowed whole in magazine form, so the web logs became a much faster way to share information.

There are a lot of ethics to consider as it relates to how information is shared, and dominated, on the internet. As well as the money and ethics associated with the boom. I’m not interested in taking a side and finding something to complain about and push against; rather, I’m fascinated by the origin stories. At my age, when I hear the origin stories of internet and transitioning into a Digital Age, it has all come to be in my lifetime. Since I have my own experience, I have my own context. Again, I find it all quite fascinating. As I ponder, I type a Google Doc on my MacBook, to upload to WordPress, perhaps adding a video or design created in Canva or another app – video courtesy of my phone. I will share the blog to Facebook and LinkedIn. I may later make a video to tie together big ideas, and upload to YouTube. Then I will edit the video to create short clips to put to music and post on Instagram Reels and TikTok. For now, I do all of this for fun. The option to monetize is always looming, but it splits my focus from what I find to have meaning: creating an authentic algorithm and finding enjoyment in day. I settled into the latter once I began practicing mindfulness, rather than just learning about it.

The digital age is here. The internet exists. We are living in this time. We can choose to push against all the change and confusion that new creates, or we can be curious. Can we use the technology to organize our lives in a way to create a different experience of how we experience our time? 

Tim Ferriss wrote a book that created a split in generational living. The 4-Hour Workweek illuminated some, and darkened others. There is context to his offering. His title sold copies, and the push against it probably sold even more. Engagement is engagement. Tim coined a term: ‘Lifestyle Design’. He called the ‘New Rich’ those who are rich in choice as to how they spend their time, now. Can we use technology to create more time to spend doing the things that create a sense of satisfaction and engaged presence in day, now.

In Tim’s newsletter just a few days ago, he shared this poem that I was familiar with from the early years of my time as a high school school social worker. I loved the poem at the time, but thought it only to be relevant to the kids I was working with, not relevant to me and my life experience.

My transformation of day happened in the same way this poem is laid out. It’s always about you.

Perhaps you find yourself pushing against change and falling into a familiar hole of despair, as if things are outside of your control and you can’t imagine it ever getting better.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in…It’s a habit…but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is 
my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

— Portia NelsonThere’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

The Romance of Self-Discovery.

Quiet Time.

PS. My origin story along with a few skills, tools, and strategies is now available in paperbook on Amazon.