Adam Grant — How to Remember Anything (#471)

A scattered pile of playing cards.
Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash.

“Those who can’t remember the past are doomed to miss opportunity.” 

—Adam Grant

Please enjoy this special episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, featuring the superhuman Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant) and his podcast with TED, WorkLife.

Many of you have heard my interview with Adam, which was one of the most popular interviews of 2019. I titled that podcast “The Man Who Does Everything” because Adam seems to accomplish more than the next 10 people combined, and he has built systems and habits that allow him to do this. 

Adam is an expert in how we can find motivation and meaning, and lead more generous and creative lives. He is an organizational psychologist at Wharton, where he has been the top-rated professor for seven straight years. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of four books that have been translated into 35 languages: Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves. His TED talks have been viewed more than 20 million times. His speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NBA, and the Gates Foundation. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers, is one of Fortune’s 40 under 40, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He’s received distinguished scientific achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and the National Science Foundation. It goes on and on. The good news is that this isn’t all freakish genes and good luck; Adam uses uncommon tools and strategies for getting all of this done. You can find our previous episode about this at

In Adam’s WorkLife podcast, he takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to explore the science of making work not suck; put another way, how do you make work actually work for you? 

Adam and I share an intense interest in just how far—and easily—you can train your memory to do things that seem impossible, and I wanted to share with you an episode from Adam’s podcast titled “How to remember anything.” It is highly tactical.

One last thing—for legal reasons, we didn’t have the flexibility to remove any mid-roll ads, so… Accenture, this one’s on me.

Please enjoy the episode! You can subscribe to WorkLife with Adam Grant wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, StitcherCastbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

This episode is brought to you by “5-Bullet Friday.”  

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

This episode is also brought to you by “5-Bullet Friday,” my very own email newsletter, which every Friday features five bullet points of cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, documentaries, gadgets, albums, articles, TV shows, new hacks or tricks, and—of course—all sorts of weird stuff I’ve dug up from around the world. 

It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can subscribe now at

Want to hear my interview with Adam Grant? Check out our conversation in which we explore the importance of feedback, how Adam gets so much done in a day, his measurements of success, and blind spots vs. bright spots.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


  • Connect with Adam Grant:

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