Letters to Mentors/Guides

The purpose of this page is to provide a repository for semi-hidden letters to people who have had a major influence on my life.


These are not “open” letters, but neither are they completely private/secure. I ask that after you (the celebrity, I imagine) has read the letter, kindly /contact me and I will remove the letter, because eventually, someone will guess the url of this page, and I’d rather they not be “public” if you don’t want that.

Table of Contents


Dave Chappelle

Dear Mr. Chappelle,

First, please forgive me: I downloaded all of the episodes of Chappelle’s Show illegally and watched the episodes without providing due financial gain for your legal work. I was a foolish teenager or young twentysomething, and if we could ever meet in person, I would gladly pay you for your past net earnings’ plus interest. I highly doubt this will matter to you, but I must at least be honest about it. I do not support the illegal theft of intellectual property, and as such, I would at least like to pay you twenty dollars or some amount of the sort, if nothing more than to ease my conscience.

As a white boy growing up in Hawaii, I was part of a large ethnic minority (a third or so), but a minority the same.

Hawaii is the most racist place I have ever visited on this planet, racist because of the diverse blend of races, but also racist because of racist jokes and because we all prejudge each other instantly based on race. But there are very few Africans in Hawaii, whether African Americans or other Africans immigrants, and I knew little of the country’s history as it pertained to African Americans. Like most children, slavery, the civil war, and related topics were simply ignored words spoken by adults in elementary classes: far from relevant to my life.

Your comedy not only introduced me to these issues, it showed me that they were important, current topics for my generation, and thus myself.

Thank you for that.

In the future, I may be in need of a comedian: a comedian with a purpose, a comedian I respect, and a comedian who is effective.

The next time you are in NYC area, it would be an honor to meet you.

Sincerely,

/John Fial


Robb Wolf

Dear Mr. Wolf,

 

I have since stopped listening to your podcast, in order to focus on my goals for 2017, but I felt, if you ever stumble across my website, through this page or otherwise, I should thank you.

I tried vegetarianism for six months before I stumbled across your book in 2010. I did supplement with a little whey protein, and may have even eaten eggs, but overall, vegetarianism wasn’t bad. I tried it because, considering myself “open minded,” I had to know what all these vegetarian nutjobs were talking about being happier and healthier and all this. I felt no major differences as a vegetarian.

With paleo, I’m one of the rare ones who has no major “success story” or illness which a diet fixed.

I simply knew I was healthier. The evolutionary logic, too, instantly “clicked” with me.

Well done.

It is a funny story how I stumbled across your book: indirectly through Born to Run (unless it was referenced directly in that book; I can’t remember). I was deployed with the Air Force in the middle east, hanging out with a few other airmen and a female army officer. I’d seen her running and knew she was a long distance runner (in the heat, no less!), and vomited, through my words, the old ignorant argument: “Long distance running is a joke. You know that, right? When would we ever have run for more than 10 or 15 minutes at once, sprinting towards or away from other animals?” I felt a sense of glee.

In an instant she retorted the basic thesis of Born to Run: “Actually, John, an author recently published a book showing how not only would we have run short distances like that, but we evolved *torun long distances, often as a form of endurance hunting, dissipating heat with our thin hairless bodies, overheating our prey to exhaustion before moving in for the final kill.”

Burned.

And so, shut down, I read the book and came across this whole “paleo” idea. And that was my 2010: being reminded that we don’t know a damn thing, and I’m never as smart as I might like to fool myself into believing! My 2017, of course, is focused partially on /lithium, among other minerals.

As you’ve grown over the years, many of us, too, have grown through your blog and podcast and more. You’ve seen all the spinoffs. I have no interest in that with my own website or name, but hope that all of us can help our nation lead the world again. (Because it seems like that goal is the exact opposite of what’s happening.) Like many others and probably yourself, I prefer to use the word “ancestral,” and explain to newcomers that this approach to eating like our ancient ancestors is the best introductory way to begin a long-term personal diet. From there, they might figure out which grains/legumes/dairy, if any, are perfectly fine with them.

Little by little, I hope.

Anyway, the next time you are in the NYC area, it would be an honor to meet you. A meal or a romantic walk through the park would be the least I could offer.

Thanks for everything,

Sincerely,

/John Fial

 


Tim Ferriss

Dear Mr. Ferriss,

Four impactful books, numerous blog posts, and hundreds of hours of amazing interviews with the leaders of our century. Yet I have spent less than $100 on your “content.” What a testament to the printing press, smartphone, and modern technology! How could I ever thank you? I suppose I could never thank you with words alone. If this website were dedicated to one single leader today, of course, it would be you.

Some of the philosophy in your first book helped me stay true to my passion for more knowledge about myself — through biology — and leave the $22K+/month I was paid as a defense contractor. Managing/stressing over gross sums of money was surely a better problem than managing/stressing over small sums of money (and a problem I hope to have again soon!), but “saving” that kind of pay for another six or twelve months wasn’t worth it: when would I stop? It would be too easy to sell 2 or 4 or 10 years of my youth to have a few million growing dollars in the bank. It was the same as the author of The Millionaire Fastlane describes as “the deferred life plan” which our baby-boomer parent’s seek by working decades until retirement, only slightly more accelerated for me. Money can indeed make life more convenient, but I sought knowledge and challenges. Your book reminded me of that.

I continued to read your other books and certain blog posts. (Incidentally, I ordered your Chef tome to an overseas Thailand location to read it, then lugged the damn brick of a book on foot and buses and planes, past Hawaii over to school in Arizona. Ha! The packrat in me…)

And then, the gold nugget in your Tools of Titans: /lithium.

It clicked instantly.

You see, in 2013 for a number of months, I was “crazy.” I’ve yet to write the correct blog post or essay explaining what I felt in public, and I did not take any particularly crazy actions, per se, but my thoughts were an unorganized (and hyper-creative) mess. Here’s an example: the https://tesssla.wordpress.com/ website I made at the time. I’d still argue there is some good writing there, but take a close look at the menus: an unorganized clusterfuck. Such was the state of my mind at the time. I finished my semester, had an interesting summer obsessing with rocks and crystals and what not, and slowly returned to normal.

But I always wanted to know why I felt like that for a few months. I had to know. I tried more fish oil. Less fish oil. More sunlight and vitamin D? (Whoops, vitamin D levels at 99 in South America, critically high!) Selenium? What was it? For years I always thought about what could possible have made me “go crazy,” living in Arizona: buying discounted grass-fed beef the University’s experimented-on animals, eating largely from a local CSA, drinking the local SW water, breathing the crazy-person Tucson air? I was almost certain it was something related to the region, but I could never figure it out.

Of all places, thanks to your book, I found the answer: a nutrient involved in neuronal development, grey matter, anger, depression, suicide, and more. Sure enough, the southwestern united states (like parts of Texas) has higher levels of lithium in certain water supplies. I’ll probably never know the direct cause for my mental state those few months in Arizona, but at least I knew it was due to this nutrient. (See the /headaches page for the rest.)

And it’s perhaps the single most important micro nutrient if all nutrients were compared on a level playing field. But with the current prejudice of the nutrient in 2017, an uneducated population, a scientific community scrounging for grants which don’t exist, and a medical community decades behind? This is unquestionably the most important micro-nutrient of the decade. Population level deficiencies may even be leading us to WW3… but I digress.

The next time you are in NYC area, it would be an honor to meet you. Hell, I would be thrilled to simply have a conversation. Or a romantic bro-walk in the park. Thank you, good sir.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sincerely,

/John Fial

 


Update Log

[5 June: Finished Ferriss’/Wolf’s letters.]
[Mar 2017: Created with random thoughts.]
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