#153: The Man Who Studied 1,000 Deaths to Learn How to Live

The Tim Ferriss Show

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#153: The Man Who Studied 1,000 Deaths to Learn How to Live

The Tim Ferriss Show

At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? And how can knowing this help you live better lives now? BJ Miller, MD (@zenhospice) knows. BJ is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, where he thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. He is an expert in death, but he’s also learned how we can dramatically improve our own lives, often with very small changes. When you consider that he has guided or been involved with ~1,000 deaths, it’s not surprising that he’s spotted patterns we can all learn from. BJ is also a triple amputee, and his 2015 TED Talk, "Not Whether But How," is a moving reflection on his vision to make empathic end-of-life care available to all, ranked among the top-15 most viewed TED talks of the year. If you want to know what being around death can teach you about living, you'll want to listen to this. I LOVED this conversation, and I hope you do as well. Enjoy. Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast. This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams. Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Well worth a few minutes to explore: wealthfront.com/tim. This podcast is also brought to you by Boll & Branch. There is a lot of nonsense in the bedding business. For instance, did you know thread-count is not a good measurement of quality? It’s a total myth. The “Made in Italy” label? It isn’t something you should necessarily pay extra for because it generally means it’s just finished in Italy and woven in places like China. The general industry mark-up for bedding is 700 to 800 percent at most retailers. Boll & Branch creates incredibly high-quality bedding. They are the same sheets you’ll find at my home in San Francisco. The best part? You can try anything you order at home for 30 days. If you don’t love it, send it back and get a full refund. Go to Boll & Branch and use promo code “TIM” for 20% off your entire order. Whether sheets, towels, blankets, duvet covers, or anything else. Shipping is always free.

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests. I also love reading the reviews!

For show notes and past guests, please visit tim.blog/podcast.

Sign up for Tim’s email newsletter (“5-Bullet Friday”) at tim.blog/friday.

For transcripts of episodes, go to tim.blog/transcripts.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit tim.blog/sponsor and fill out the form.

Discover Tim’s books: tim.blog/books.

Follow Tim:

Twitter: twitter.com/tferriss 

Instagram: instagram.com/timferriss

Facebook: facebook.com/timferriss 

YouTube: youtube.com/timferriss

Past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show include Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Jane Goodall, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Esther Perel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Crews, Sia, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Strayed, Jim Collins, Mary Karr, Maria Popova, Sam Harris, Michael Phelps, Bob Iger, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Ken Burns, Maria Sharapova, Marc Andreessen, Neil Gaiman, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jocko Willink, Daniel Ek, Kelly Slater, Dr. Peter Attia, Seth Godin, Howard Marks, Dr. Brené Brown, Eric Schmidt, Michael Lewis, Joe Gebbia, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Vince Vaughn, Brian Koppelman, Ramit Sethi, Dax Shepard, Tony Robbins, Jim Dethmer, Dan Harris, Ray Dalio, Naval Ravikant, Vitalik Buterin, Elizabeth Lesser, Amanda Palmer, Katie Haun, Sir Richard Branson, Chuck Palahniuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Rick Rubin, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Darren Aronofsky, and many more.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? And how can knowing this help you live better lives now? BJ Miller, MD (@zenhospice) knows. BJ is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, where he thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. He is an expert in death, but he’s also learned how we can dramatically improve our own lives, often with very small changes. When you consider that he has guided or been involved with ~1,000 deaths, it’s not surprising that he’s spotted patterns we can all learn from. BJ is also a triple amputee, and his 2015 TED Talk, "Not Whether But How," is a moving reflection on his vision to make empathic end-of-life care available to all, ranked among the top-15 most viewed TED talks of the year. If you want to know what being around death can teach you about living, you'll want to listen to this. I LOVED this conversation, and I hope you do as well. Enjoy. Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast. This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $2.5B under management. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams. Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you—for free–exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Well worth a few minutes to explore: wealthfront.com/tim. This podcast is also brought to you by Boll & Branch. There is a lot of nonsense in the bedding business. For instance, did you know thread-count is not a good measurement of quality? It’s a total myth. The “Made in Italy” label? It isn’t something you should necessarily pay extra for because it generally means it’s just finished in Italy and woven in places like China. The general industry mark-up for bedding is 700 to 800 percent at most retailers. Boll & Branch creates incredibly high-quality bedding. They are the same sheets you’ll find at my home in San Francisco. The best part? You can try anything you order at home for 30 days. If you don’t love it, send it back and get a full refund. Go to Boll & Branch and use promo code “TIM” for 20% off your entire order. Whether sheets, towels, blankets, duvet covers, or anything else. Shipping is always free.

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds, and it really makes a difference in helping to convince hard-to-get guests. I also love reading the reviews!

For show notes and past guests, please visit tim.blog/podcast.

Sign up for Tim’s email newsletter (“5-Bullet Friday”) at tim.blog/friday.

For transcripts of episodes, go to tim.blog/transcripts.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit tim.blog/sponsor and fill out the form.

Discover Tim’s books: tim.blog/books.

Follow Tim:

Twitter: twitter.com/tferriss 

Instagram: instagram.com/timferriss

Facebook: facebook.com/timferriss 

YouTube: youtube.com/timferriss

Past guests on The Tim Ferriss Show include Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman, Dr. Jane Goodall, LeBron James, Kevin Hart, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Esther Perel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Terry Crews, Sia, Yuval Noah Harari, Malcolm Gladwell, Madeleine Albright, Cheryl Strayed, Jim Collins, Mary Karr, Maria Popova, Sam Harris, Michael Phelps, Bob Iger, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Ken Burns, Maria Sharapova, Marc Andreessen, Neil Gaiman, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jocko Willink, Daniel Ek, Kelly Slater, Dr. Peter Attia, Seth Godin, Howard Marks, Dr. Brené Brown, Eric Schmidt, Michael Lewis, Joe Gebbia, Michael Pollan, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Vince Vaughn, Brian Koppelman, Ramit Sethi, Dax Shepard, Tony Robbins, Jim Dethmer, Dan Harris, Ray Dalio, Naval Ravikant, Vitalik Buterin, Elizabeth Lesser, Amanda Palmer, Katie Haun, Sir Richard Branson, Chuck Palahniuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Rick Rubin, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Darren Aronofsky, and many more.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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