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“It’s never true to hate yourself or to condemn yourself.” — Martha Beck

Dr. Martha Beck (@themarthabeck) has been called “the best-known life coach in America” by NPR and USA Today. She holds three Harvard degrees in social science and has published nine non-fiction books, one novel, and more than 200 magazine articles. The Guardian and other media have described her as “Oprah’s life coach.”

Her recent book, The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self, was an instant New York Times Best Seller and an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Her next book, Beyond Anxiety: Curiosity, Creativity, and Finding Your Life’s Purpose, is expected in early 2025.

Please enjoy!

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Brought to you by Momentous high-quality supplements; Eight Sleep’s Pod Cover sleeping solution for dynamic cooling and heating; and AG1 all-in-one nutritional supplement.

#732: Martha Beck — The Amazing and Brutal Results of Zero Lies for 365 Days, How to Do a Beginner “Integrity Cleanse,” Lessons from Lion Trackers, and Novel Tactics for Reducing Anxiety

This episode is brought to you by AG1! I get asked all the time, “If you could use only one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually AG1, my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body in 2010 and did not get paid to do so. I do my best with nutrient-dense meals, of course, but AG1 further covers my bases with vitamins, minerals, and whole-food-sourced micronutrients that support gut health and the immune system. 

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This episode is brought to you by Momentous high-quality supplements! Momentous offers high-quality supplements and products across a broad spectrum of categories, and I’ve been testing their products for months now. I’ve been using their magnesium threonateapigenin, and L-theanine daily, all of which have helped me improve the onset, quality, and duration of my sleep. I’ve also been using Momentous creatine, and while it certainly helps physical performance, including poundage or wattage in sports, I use it primarily for mental performance (short-term memory, etc.).

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Want to hear an episode with our cherished mutual friend Boyd Varty? Listen to our conversation here in which we discussed the origins of the Londolozi Game Reserve, the ancient lineage of the Shangaan trackers, the hardest animals to track, living 40 days and 40 nights in a tree, beehive algorithms, trauma recovery, ceremony work, the meaning of Ubuntu, and much more.

#571: Boyd Varty — The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life


  • Connect with Martha Beck:

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  • [06:06] My contribution to teen atrociousness.
  • [06:40] Connecting with Boyd Varty.
  • [12:27] The path of not here.
  • [16:38] Finding joy in the body can save your life.
  • [21:17] The pregnant pause that ended Martha’s obsession with intellect.
  • [26:51] Sensitivity and suffering.
  • [30:14] The year of living lie-lessly.
  • [35:36] An illuminating change of perspective.
  • [46:14] The path to taking a black belt integrity cleanse.
  • [49:42] Owning your right to say “No.”
  • [53:45] Alternatives to “No” that remain honest.
  • [57:11] The language of candor.
  • [59:30] Ending relationships that have run their course.
  • [01:00:37] The Asian influence.
  • [01:04:26] Sweet or savory?
  • [01:05:36] Are you comfortable?
  • [01:07:29] Want vs. yearning and jumping the track.
  • [01:20:36] Rhino ruminations.
  • [01:22:06] The Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell, and Byron Katie.
  • [01:33:19] America’s Goethe?
  • [01:36:20] Weighing kryptonite against superpowers.
  • [01:44:50] Exploring the opposite of anxiety.
  • [01:56:38] Dick Schwartz and Internal Family Systems.
  • [02:01:57] Compassion even for the self’s unwanted pieces.
  • [02:04:20] Favorite animal.
  • [02:08:58] Equine therapy.
  • [02:15:06] Selling the ranch.
  • [02:18:05] The monkey whisperer.
  • [02:20:05] Parting thoughts.


“It’s never true to hate yourself or to condemn yourself.”

— Martha Beck

“There’s a level beyond just telling the truth and it is called compassion — and it’s truer.”

— Martha Beck

“When you’re saying ‘Get away, I don’t want you,’ the part of you that does insomnia and depression goes into a panic because it’s now being told it can’t belong. You don’t want it, you’ve rejected it. It ups the ante and all it knows how to do is keep you awake and make you depressed.”

— Martha Beck

“I said being creative is the opposite of anxiety, but you can’t get to creativity if you don’t start with acceptance and compassion and simple kindness toward the self, toward the parts of the self that are doing the things you can’t stand.”

— Martha Beck

“When you realize that nature is available to you as a companion, if you just tell the truth, it really is worth giving everything else up.”

— Martha Beck

“I remembered Emerson’s statement that ‘beauty is its own excuse for being,’ and I thought joy is its own excuse for being — that is the one thing I can experience that makes it worth sticking around for the suffering this life entails. So I shifted my entire life toward a sort of very simple test. Does it bring me joy or does it not? And joy became the track I was following.”

— Martha Beck

“The essential self yearns. The social self wants.”

— Martha Beck


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than one billion downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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