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    If you can extricate yourself from yourself, which is the goal in all sports and performance arts, if you get out of your mind and are able to just function, you know your sense technique that you have, there is no greater reward. But, you know, if you wanna have ice cream sundae, go ahead.”

    Jerry Seinfeld

    – Quote taken from Episode 485 on the Tim Ferriss podcast with Jerry Seinfeld.

    A few tips from Seinfeld on finding your game:

    Find a game that you have a deep thirst for
    In Seinfeld’s case, it seems to be all about the thrill of the stage and freedom. The ability to keep going, at his age, to last, to sustain, to be able to get on stage at 69 years old and keep being able to do it is what keeps him going. Back when he was younger, he didn’t want to have to rely on anyone, so he made sure he was in the driver’s seat. Which even meant a hostile encounter with a comedy studio owner in LA that he knew would want him to be beholden to her.

    It’s going to be painful, hence #1 being critical

    If you want to do stand up comedy, the #1 high leverage activity is writing. And writing is painful. In fact, writing everyday is the ultimate pain. But it has to be done if you want to be funny. So what did he do, he wrote. Three days a week he said before he moved it to seven after his hostile encounter fuelled him to be better. Which brings the next point:

    Know when to treat yourself like a fluffy dog, or a drill sergeant

    Seinfeld mentions that when you are creating, and doing something so hard like writing, you have to treat yourself like a dog. Give it a treat, pet it, and be super nice to it because creating is hard, and if you want to create, you need to be easy on yourself…..then the next day, the drill Sergeant may have to make an appearance and see if what you wrote is any good. But don’t let Mr Drill Sergeant mess with getting words on the page.

    The mind is infinite in wisdom. The brain is a stupid little dog that is easily trained. Uh huh. Do not confuse the mind with the brain. The brain is so easy to master, you just have to confine it. You confine it. Yeah, and it’s done through repetition and systemization.

    Jerry Seinfeld

    Confine and Systemize:


    Seinfeld mentions to not write on an open ended timeframe, that is too painful. You don’t workout for an open ended amount of time. You have to constrain.


    What Seinfeld calls “tonnage”. High leverage activities in both work and to keep your body and mind strong. Weight training, writing daily, transcendental meditation are a few of his.


    Measure and try to beat your last score. In fact, Seinfeld seems to treat comedy like a game. He is 69, and it’s a game to him to see how long he can stay relevant.

    Feedback loop:

    This may be the most critical. In stand up comedy, the feedback loop is both incredible and horrifying to so many. You literally stand, by yourself, in front of a crowd and the only feedback you need is whether you make them laugh.

    Quick note on depressive episodes:

    Seinfeld mentioned the best way he heard it described is that it is “part of the kit”. It’s part of being creative. After hearing that, it helped because it shines a positive light on it helping him to be more creative.