Hugh Jackman on Best Decisions, Daily Routines, The 85% Rule, Favorite Exercises, Mind Training, and Much More (#444)

Photo by Ben Watts

“Everyone takes a shower every day, and we don’t complain about it. We do it out of discipline. There will always be an excuse not to meditate.”  — Hugh Jackman 

Hugh Jackman
(@TheHughJackman) is an Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe- and Tony Award-winning performer, who has made an impression on audiences of all ages with his multi-hyphenate career persona, as successful onstage in front of live crowds as he is on film.

I’ve wanted to have Hugh on the show for nearly a decade, and—even with my sky-high hopes—he absolutely over-delivered. In our conversation, we dig into lessons learned, routines, favorite books, exercises, intuition, meditation, and much, much more. Hugh was very gracious with his time, and this is one of the longest interviews he has ever done. 

Trust me—Hugh delivers the goods, and we had a blast. Enjoy!

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

Brought to you by ExpressVPN and Magic Spoon. More on both below. 

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

This episode is brought to you by ExpressVPN. I’ve been using ExpressVPN since last summer to make sure that my data is secure and encrypted, without slowing my Internet speed. If you ever use public Wi-Fi at, say, a hotel or a coffee shop, where I often work and as many of my listeners do, you’re often sending data over an open network, meaning no encryption at all.

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


Want to hear the podcast episode that turned Hugh on to a cornucopia of new books for his daily morning reading routine? Check out “Books I’ve Loved” with Seth Godin and Esther Perel


  • Connect with Hugh Jackman:

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  • Hugh and his wife have a tradition of reading books — sometimes to each other — every morning. From whom did this idea originate? [07:25]
  • What books has Hugh gifted most? [11:44]
  • What does Hugh’s regular meditation practice look like, and what benefits does he enjoy from it? [15:22]
  • How does Hugh summon and maintain the emotional and physical energy necessary for performing — particularly when he has to give his all multiple times per week on stage in front of a live audience? [19:42]
  • As someone who’s performed across countless stage and screen productions, why was Hugh nervous about coming on this podcast? [27:34]
  • What lessons did Hugh’s father teach him about being an example to others by way of action, making decisions, and always keeping his word? [29:41]
  • To what does Hugh owe his eloquent (or, as his wife might say, “too verbose”) communication skills? [39:16]
  • Hugh’s relationship with journalism, journalists, and a newfound love for the work of Ken Burns. [44:13]
  • Hugh talks about the contract he made with himself at the end of drama school about pursuing acting — and being wary of the word “career” in relation to that pursuit. [46:28]
  • Some of the best decisions Hugh made in the first years of being an aspiring/working actor. [51:26]
  • Why does Hugh think he was extended the kindness of auditioning for Sir Trevor Nunn — one of his idols — even though he had no intention of accepting a part in the musical he was directing? [57:02]
  • How has Hugh learned to trust his intuition — even when it leads him in unexpected directions? [58:52]
  • Can Hugh recall any times when the purpose of a nudge from intuition wasn’t easily fathomed — when the dots didn’t connect in an obvious way, but paid off in a big way when it was heeded? [1:06:29]
  • Am I talking to Hugh Jackman, or Perfect Tommy? [1:10:57]
  • Hugh elaborates on one of his daily morning practices — the design of the day — pondering the efficacy of manifestation and how it played into a major career decision. [1:12:16]
  • Hugh puts discipline in perspective, talks about the importance of incorporating relaxation into physical activity (or possibly any activity) for best results, the types of exercises he’s found to be most effective, and a Viktor Frankl quotation that he finds especially inspiring. [1:18:33]
  • Hugh is a connoisseur of puzzles and games. So what does he recommend for someone who needs to unwind from taking themselves and their work too seriously? Furthermore, what is it about puzzles that keeps him occupied all night if he doesn’t remember to set an alarm for himself? [1:27:46]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:33:51]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million 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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