Jerry Colonna — The Coach With The Spider Tattoo

Notes on The Tim Ferris Show episode “Jerry Colonna — The Coach with the Spider Tattoo (#373)”.
2019-06-20 – ⁠2022-08-24 finished

(Full interview & transcript)

On feeling shitty & busy:

Questions to ask yourself to figure out why bad things happen to you:

  • What am I not saying that needs to be said?
  • What am I saying that’s not being heard?
  • What’s being said that I’m not hearing?

If you’re busy at 30 to 50 it means that something isn’t working because you shouldn’t need to be so busy. What internal need are you trying to met by all that busyness?

Tim: I have layers of filters but I still accumulate 600k+ emails. I have been focusing over the last year on saying no to almost everything. Jerry: rules are only a paliative. Tim: I don’t say “no" more often because of fear.


  • Equanimity (Warren Buffett, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius), deeply don’t give a fuck, have clear goals and have enough wisdom to say “no” and to being right in that saying “no” to that is the best way to reach your goals.

Another way to say “no”: I wish I could but I can’t.

What makes it hard to say “no”: you’re feeling like you’re not good enough and that saying “no” will somehow surface that. How to counter that belief: “Am I doing the best I can?” If yes, then there is no reason you should feel guilty.

You are already good enough. You don’t need to maintain connections to be better.

The people that mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind.

Guilt is self centered, remorse is others centered.

On journaling:

  • Super important.
  • Journals for 1h a day, then meditates (quiet morning).
  • Topic is the 24h.
  • Powerful way to start an entry: “Right now I’m feeling…”. Jerry started journaling at 13, he’s 55 now. He doesn’t re-read, he doesn’t over-explain things (it’s not written for others, nor for himself in 1 year, it’s just a tool to explore & debug his brain now).

Journaling & voices:

  • Let the Crow speak. Write in a different color.
  • The Crow mentions all the ways in which you’re not good enough. His mission is to preserve your ability to feel loved and that you belong. He makes you feel like shit, yes, but with for a good reason: so that you don’t feel remorse (conn: Wait but why’s The Mamooth).
  • Use different pens to let the different voices in your head talk (conn: Wait but why’s octopus).
  • You need to give air time to the other different voices in you (Buddhism: 7 layers of consciousness).
  • Journaling lets you have a dialog, conflict, argument. I contain multitudes. I am large. I hold contradictory views. Cool!
  • Look for patterns, it’s important because patterns are the things that point to where we have struggles.


  • Radical acceptance book. Super good.
  • Tim: default mode was anger, he first tried to deal with angry voice with anger (really stupid).
  • Hulk and Thor figures on Jerry’s desk.
  • At first Jerry was the Hulk (rage, anger, punching kid in the face) but he didn’t accept that part of him, Jerry tried to hide the Hulk. Then he transformed himself into Thor by understanding why he had this Hulk (to protect those he loved), and accepting the need to serve that voice.