Jerry Seinfeld Chats With Tim Ferris

This Seinfeld/Ferris interview is great:

Jerry Seinfeld — A Comedy Legend’s Systems, Routines, and Methods for Success (#485)

There are good notes here and I’ll list my favorite lessons despite the feeling that you should really take the whole thing in bc the delivery is as good as the lessons.

  1. He writes every day like a job. Jack White (another artist I’m a big fan of has a similar view). Inspiration comes from perspiration kinda thing. It’s not “eureka” moments. Writing sessions should not be open-ended, that’s torture. You should have an end time to reward yourself.

  2. The key to writing is learning to switch between these two states: When you are writing, treat yourself as a baby in need of care and love. Acknowledge that creating/writing is the most difficult thing in the world. The day after, you become a ruthless critic It’s 95% re-write.
  3. Writing sessions feel very hard, but he knew he had to do it anyway (and realized this at a young age). Jerry attributes his success to his ability to stick with it. Today he’s so used to the frustration he doesn’t even notice it.
  4. For Jerry, there can be no failure in going up on stage. Even if for him it’s a 4 out of 10 show, he still counts it as a win. This is part of nurturing and rewarding yourself as a creative.
  5. “Never talk to anyone about what you wrote that day. You have to wait 24 hours to ever say anything, because you never want to take away that wonderful, happy feeling that you did that very difficult thing that you tried to do, that you sat down and wrote…Have you ever heard you never tell people the name that you’re going to give the baby — until it’s born? Bc they’re going to react, and the reaction is going to have a color. And if you’ve decided that’s going to be the baby’s name, you don’t want to know what they think”
  6. Mind and body are intertwined deeply. Exercise is the closest thing we have to a panacea. The stress from weight training makes your nervous system more resilient. We need to be properly exerted. “a tired dog is a happy dog”
  7. Weight-training builds your constitution. “You’re deteriorating. You’re just trying to bend that curve a little bit. I’m 66. I shouldn’t be performing at this level at 66. I should be over. So you have to cheat the biology.”
  8. Repetition & systems “It’s like you’ve got to treat your brain like a dog you just got. The mind is infinite in wisdom. The brain is a stupid, little dog that is easily trained. Do not confuse the mind with the brain. The brain is easy to master. You just have to confine it.” Systemization is needed to harness talent:Image
  9. He measures and gamifies to direct his progress. But not on the creation process:Image
  10. Jerry is confrontational so he doesn’t let things fester. “I feel like if you break the human struggle down to one word, it’s confront. And so, I kind of approach everything that way.”

  11. Survival is success. And if he could have a billboard it was say: Just Work


  12. If Jerry could pass along something to his kids it would be ethics and boldness

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