I started using a diffuser for the first time after I had Nicholas McCarthy on the podcast, who is a one-handed concert pianist.
So I use geranium oil for a lot of my editing and writing sessions when I did Tools of Titans. Do you use the diffuser for anything other than lavender oil? Soman Chainani: I do. Welcome to my life. Soman Chainani: The steam thing before I leave helps a lot because it really does clear your sinuses. Which is he drinks tea incessantly, and herbal tea to stay warm.
Every time I get to a school, I drink a hot tea. Soman Chainani: No. Soman Chainani: It might be on things that make people laugh. And a lot of it is trying to find to what makes kids laugh. So I would do a TED Talk, I would hope; I read this study about these people who spent ten years trying to figure out what makes people of all cultures laugh no matter what. Even if you go to the recesses of the Amazon, it will make people laugh.
They came up with four things.
- Search Jen_Fox-Williams's books;
- Unshrinking Psychosis.
- Flush: Forgive As You Go.
- Suddenly They Heard Footsteps: Storytelling for the Twenty-First Century;
- Jen_Fox-Williams | LibraryThing.
- La Cenerentola (Cinderella), An Opera in Two Acts: For Solo, Chorus and Orchestra with Italian and English Text (Vocal Score): 0 (Kalmus Edition)?
Tim Ferriss: I was going to say fart has to be in there somewhere. I like how specific; a swift fart delivered in silence. Soman Chainani: I use that. Is adults dressed as twins. Soman Chainani: Adults dressed as twins. If you parade two adults dressed in the same clothes in front of a weird tribe in the Amazon, everyone will laugh. Soman Chainani: So things like that; like what connects everybody. What are the common denominators; I just think those are important. Tim Ferriss: Definitely. What is the bad advice that you hear given out often in your world?
What would you put yourself against anyone else in the whole world? Because what, everybody wants to be a professional athlete or movie star at some level. Then, starting with an undirected passion and then trying to become good at wherever that leads you. Tim Ferriss: If you could have one gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, a short message, no advertising; what would you put on it, a message to get out to the world? Soman Chainani: I think one of two things. Oh, besides looking for the me, some days I just try to imagine what it would feel like for everything to just disappear; for the something of consciousness to become nothing.
So actually trying to experience death. I think that has led me more towards happiness than anything else in my life. Really try to make of your life everything you can. And there is no meaning to life, necessarily, in the larger, cosmic scheme of things. So enjoy it because the fact that you got to have a life in the first place, compared to the infinity of the universe is pretty remarkable.
Tim Ferriss: I like that. And Ed Cook, who is a memory champion and entrepreneur from the UK.
MBMBaM Face 2 Face 5 My Brother, My Brother And Me| Bullhorn
Both talk about the stars in a similar way. I think that is a profound place to start to wrap up. But do you have any ask or request or suggestion for the audience? Any parting words, recommendations, suggestions, please? Because it forces them to question all their assumptions about what good and evil are, about what they usually see in the world, and about what their life is going to look like. So it lets them reinterpret what heroes really are.
So I would just say give it to a kid and see what their reaction is. Tim Ferriss: Soman, thank you so much for the time. This has been a blast. Where should they find you? Soman Chainani: Chainani, yes. Somanchainani on Twitter, and then Instagram is somanc. And to everybody listening, you can find links to everything; the School for Good and Evil of course, everything else, all the books we mentioned, all the docs we mentioned, in the show notes which can be found with the show notes for every other episode at fourhourworkweek.
As always, and until next time, thank you for listening. Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode and the host of the Recode Decode podcast.
Tim Ferriss: Hello, boys and girls. This is Tim Ferriss, and welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to deconstruct world class performers of all types to tease out the habits, routines, beliefs — sometimes very strong beliefs — that they have, or philosophies that you can apply in your everyday life and take for a test drive.
This episode is a treat; it was a lot of fun to do. She forged her reputation at the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal , and now she spends the majority of her time as Executive Editor of Recode, and the host of the Recode Decode podcast.
And in this podcast episode, she and I cover a lot of subjects, enjoy quite a few laughs, and dig into details you can readily apply and test yourself. Topics include the art and craft of good questions, lessons learned and favorite moments from interviewing Steve Jobs, some great war stories; what separates good from great journalists. Then we have more war stories, missed opportunities, and optimistic pessimism. Without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Kara Swisher.
Tim Ferriss: Alright. So moving on, what separates in your mind a good journalist from a great journalist? People ask me this all the time because I do tend to beat people a lot. And I think about it a lot.
I think there are skills that you can develop but I actually do think I just work harder than people. I just work harder and I try harder, and I am more persistent; I guess that would be it.
Tim Ferriss: What do you do more of or less of, if you were to, say, compare your focus and the way you work to people who are unable to do what you do? Two things. The skills that reporters should have are persistence, ability to ask questions, and just an ability to analyze. You know what I mean? It could be any errant thing.
I go: what would I do? What are those fuckers up to? What could they be up to? And there are ten things. Then I find the right one. I think reporters are so reactive.
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