“I always thought the future would be intense, but now I think the future is going fully fucking crazy!”
– Tim Urban
Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy) is the author of the blog Wait But Why and has become one of the Internet’s most popular writers. According to Fast Company, Tim has “captured a level of reader engagement that even the new-media giants would be envious of.” Wait But Why receives more than 1.5 million unique visitors per month and has over 550,000 email subscribers.
Tim’s series of posts after interviewing Elon Musk has been called by Vox‘s David Roberts “the meatiest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I’ve read in ages.” You can start with the first one, Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man. Tim’s TED Talk, Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator, has received more than 21 million views.
This episode is a live talk that was recorded on the launch day of Tribe of Mentors. Enjoy!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Debbie Millman, in which we discuss how favorite failures and why busy is a decision. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):
This podcast is brought to you by Peloton, which has become a staple of my daily routine. I picked up this bike after seeing the success of my friend Kevin Rose, and I’ve been enjoying it more than I ever imagined. Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right to your home. No worrying about fitting classes into your busy schedule or making it to a studio with a crazy commute.
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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…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Tim Urban:
- Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man by Tim Urban, Wait But Why
- Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator (Tim’s TED Talk)
- Underneath the Turban
- ArborBridge Test Prep
- 7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook by Tim Urban, Wait But Why
- My Life Extension Pilgrimage to Easter Island, The Tim Ferriss Show
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
- Finding Nemo
- The Tail End by Tim Urban, Wait But Why
- Dear Hank & John
- CGP Grey
- Minute Physics
- Instant Gratification Monkey Plush Toy
- How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars by Tim Urban, Wait But Why
- The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence
- What’s a hedonic treadmill?
- These Are the World’s Happiest Places by Dan Buettner, National Geographic
- Stoicism Resources and Recommendations
- What is Epicureanism?
- Are Psychedelic Drugs the Next Medical Breakthrough?, The Tim Ferriss Show
- Why Cryonics Makes Sense by Tim Urban, Wait But Why
- Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
- Dr. Peter Attia on Life-Extension, Drinking Jet Fuel, Ultra-Endurance, Human Foie Gras, and More, The Tim Ferriss Show
- Go Tokyo Official Tokyo Travel Guide
- 36 Hours in Hanoi by Robyn Eckhardt, The New York Times
- Tim Ferriss: On The Creative Process And Getting Your Work Noticed by Ariston Anderson, 99u
- Guided Meditation — “Loving Kindness” by Tara Brach
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
- Introduction. [06:54]
- Tim talks about what led to the creation of Wait But Why. [10:17]
- Is test prep the ideal starter business? [15:24]
- What is the origin of the name Wait But Why? [17:29]
- Embarrassing alternative names that thankfully didn’t make the cut. [18:37]
- Early blog topics. [21:15]
- Going viral by posting or launching in the right place at the right time — but understanding that it’s always the right time for something. [23:51]
- Who is Winston? [26:18]
- What is Tim’s method to making heavy topics approachable to the layman? [27:36]
- How might Tim research and write about — for example — cryptocurrency? [31:56]
- How does Tim perform a search that gets him the results he needs? What are his most trusted sources? [35:55]
- The approach Tim finds most effective for being informative as well as entertaining. [37:41]
- To find out what Tim sees for our future as a species, he tells us how an alien might view our history thus far. [41:22]
- The future of human space exploration and colonization of Earth. [48:26]
- Is artificial intelligence (AI) an existential threat to humanity? [51:32]
- How does Tim define happiness? [55:55]
- Does reality minus expectations equal happiness? How we get stuck on the hedonic treadmill. [58:22]
- What do Denmark, Costa Rica, and Singapore have in common? [1:00:25]
- Our advice to recent college graduates (or, as it turns out, anyone) seeking to maximize well-being and perspective before entering a career. [1:03:33]
- What trends, industries, and topics are we most excited about now? [1:07:44]
- Why we should learn from rather than mock the pursuits and investments of “rich, white people.” [1:10:41]
- What cities should everyone visit before they die? [1:13:59]
- What does Tim’s writing process look like? [1:24:52]
- Tim talks about his struggles with procrastination. [1:28:08]
- I talk about coping with depression and practicing self-kindness. [1:31:11]
- Sam Harris
- Susan Cain
- Evan Williams
- Chris Anderson
- Maria Popova
- David Roberts
- Elon Musk
- Soman Chainani
- Adam Robinson
- Andrew Finn
- George Clooney
- Winston the Tortoise
- Winston the Churchill
- Hank Green
- John Green
- CGP Grey
- Jeff Bezos
- Nick Bostrom
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Priscilla Chan
- Peter Attia
- Steve Carell
- Arianna Huffington
- Sharon Salzberg
- Tara Brach
Posted on: November 30, 2017.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.