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“The nature of our minds is to always be working, always be thinking. And the trick to life is to not let that mind be your master but to let it be your servant. Then it’s an incredible thing. Once it’s running the show, it’s very easy to get off track”Hugh Jackman (Tim Ferriss Show #577)
Hugh Jackman is an Australian-born actor best known for his roles as Wolverine in X-Men (2000-2017), Jean Valjean in Les Miserables (2012) and P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman (2017). He acts, sings and produces for film, television and Broadway musicals. In addition, Jackman regularly works out and is a father of two, so how does he maintain the level of performance he does on and off the screen?
On episode #577 of the Tim Ferriss Show (a repost of episode #444), the Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning performer joined Tim Ferriss to discuss best decisions, daily routines, mind training, and more. Below are three key takeaways.
Maintaining a strict routine and practicing meditation
“When you first pour a glass of water, it’s cloudy, and then in a period of time that’ll settle, and you see crystal clear through the glass, through the water. That’s what meditation does for me.”Hugh Jackman (Tim Ferriss Show #577)
No matter how early he has to be somewhere, Jackman will get up even earlier to do his morning routine: a cold shower, reading and meditating. He also sticks to a strict regimen for his performances that involves omitting alcohol and limiting caffeine. Before each live theatre show, Jackman will take a minute to pause and remind himself that his work is in service of something more significant than the show itself. He goes straight home once the show is over – Jackman never goes out on a show night.
A crucial part of Jackman’s routine involves meditation, manifestation, and reflection. Meditation allows him to be his true self, set clear intentions and have more energy. He does a “daily design” of what the day should look like and later reflects on what has transpired throughout the day, then sets his intentions for the next day. Daily, Jackman manifests that he will hear the universe’s messages for what ought to be done so he can prioritize and understand what he’s here to do.
Being respectful and empathetic
“A pattern that I’ve observed is that you are polite to everyone. You shake hands with everyone you meet. Whether it’s the janitor up to the Prime Minister, you extend the same courtesy to everyone, and I think that’s a rarity.”Tim Ferris on Hugh Jackman (Tim Ferriss Show #577)
Even if someone is the most talented, wealthy, intelligent, or famous person in the room, none of it matters if they also lack character, respect, and values. Jackman credits his parents, wife, and kids for always showing him what it means to be thoughtful, empathetic, and understanding that people need to be seen and appreciated. He understands the different qualities of life people lead and does his best to put himself in their shoes. His father, in particular, was a stickler on ethics, and those values have been ingrained in him since childhood.
Working hard and trying new things
“You have to drive. You have to work. You cannot be a victim. You cannot wait for the phone to ring. You have to go out and generate and get your brand out there and get going.”Hugh Jackman (Tim Ferriss Show #577)
As optimistic as Hugh Jackman is, he’s also a realist. His advice for anyone looking to start a business or launch a brand is to put in the work and never wait for the phone to ring. Nothing can replace hard work and preparation. Jackman has the perspective that when you’re building something from the ground up, there is no waiting involved; you need to work at it seven days a week.
But hard work and dedication shouldn’t lead to having tunnel vision. Even when focused on a goal, it’s essential to take time daily to explore and expand knowledge outside of a given field. Jackman emphasizes the importance of reading, learning, trying new things, and staying curious. The actor himself initially went to school for investigative journalism and took a drama class as an elective in his final semester. Three weeks before graduating with his journalism degree, he landed a lead role in a play, and that’s when he found his love for acting. Before that experience, he had never even thought about being an actor. Yet by trying something new, Hugh Jackman discovered his true calling.