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Ep. 523: Tom Asacker Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

Tom Asacker
Tom Asacker

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This is Tom Asacker’s second appearance on the show. His newest work is “I Am Keats: Escape Your Mind and Free Your Self.” The title of his book spawned from a conversation he had with a friend whose 20-something year old son was still living at home. Tom told his friend “Too bad we can’t wipe his memory clean and start over.” All actions come from your memory so Tom figured if he could wipe the 20 something’s memory clean, he could rewrite his life. After that conversation Tom had a sequence of serendipitous moments that lead to the writing of “I Am Keats.” Tom gives a unique perspective on the human condition that will no doubt give all listening something to think about.

Tom’s work allows people to think of themselves as being in a “mental cell,” to think clearly outside that, and learn how to make better decisions. There is a powerful misconception among people that they have a predisposed identity. Asacker says, “Who you are is what you create.” Just because you choose to go one direction, doesn’t mean that you won’t have some serendipitous event that changes your course of life. Just enjoy your journey, whether it is a journey full of struggle or journey full of success. The process is the goal, not where you think you are going to get to in the future.

There is no linear path to success and happiness. This illusion of stability causes people to wake up when they are 40 or 50 and think to themselves, “What happened with my life?” Life is not predetermined. It unfolds as you live it. What you do in the past sets you up for the future. How do you compete with the Steve Jobs of the world by staying in your office cube? Stop hedging your bets, and jump off the ledge.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Taking a leap of faith
  • Traveling for the sake of traveling
  • Serendipity
  • Hypocrisy on the Internet
  • What are your “beliefs”
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Being driven by inspiration vs. data
  • Bring the engineers in after you have the design

“People in general already believe that they are better and smarter than average. It is a cognitive bias called illusionary superiority and the internet is making this bias even more extreme. It is supercharging peoples pre-conceptions and solidifying their false assumptions.” – Tom Asacker

“I want life to be like an Easter egg hunt.” – Michael Covel

“You can’t create from data, you create from the soul.” – Tom Asacker

Mentions & Resources:

Listen to this episode:

Get Adventurous and Just Go!

Feedback in:

Hi Michael,

I found your tremendous podcast after someone in my [name] network ([Name]) recommended it – I listened to one of your recent podcasts with Parag Khanna and was super impressed. I’m not sure if you have a chance to read the mail in the box, but I have got got back from an exploratory trip to Prague see about running my business from there, but have also been wanting to check out Vietnam as an alternative. Do you have any recommendations for resources to review prior to making a similar trip to there?

Best Regards and thanks for the work you create and share!


No, just go and be surprised!

Michael Covel in Asia
Michael Covel in Asia

Jim Rogers: Make Life an Adventure

Feedback in:


Would very much appreciate if you could forward this email on to Jim [Rogers].

We have some great friends that have been living in Singapore for some time now. A few years back they persuaded my wife and I and our 2 young kids to jump on a plane and travel half way round the world to see them. We now obviously have the Asia bug and go over every year to get our fix–traveling around whilst we are there. It’s amazing how opinionated people are on Singapore–mostly the ones that have never been. We just love it. Anyway whilst at the airport waiting for our flight back to the UK, I was constantly being pestered by my 7-year old boy for a toy plane–specifically the one we would be traveling back on–the A380. I headed for the nearest gift shop and spent the next half an hour aimlessly browsing whilst the mini ‘pilot’ tried to make up his mind which color to have. Searching through the book section I stumbled across a copy of Jim’s ‘Street Smarts’. Perfect I thought, this will cheer up the 12-hour flight home.

As ‘both’ A380’s taxied down the runway. I opened Jim’s book to discover someone had scribbled on the front title page! On closer inspection I realized [he had signed it].

“Make life an adventure–Jim Rogers”

Having listened to your podcast interview 301 with him in Singapore, reading the signed copy made the whole book even more enjoyable.

Thank you to you both for your great books and inspiration/direction…just need to get a Covel book signed now.

Kind regards
Investment Manager/Trend Follower

Nice thoughts! I am sure Jim will like.

Nomadic Podcast, Heavy Metal and Yoga Feedback

From Oct 25, 2012:

On a similar note, I’ve basically spent the past 3 years of my life wandering the globe as a vagabond, with a major emphasis on southeast Asia. So I have a lot of knowledge and recommendations for your upcoming trip (which I look forward to following on the blog/podcast). I am also very likely to be in SE Asia starting fairly soon, so it’s possible that our paths will cross. I’m in LA now, for about 2 more weeks. Anyway, I’ve long wanted to reach out and tell you this stuff, though I have no idea why. I hope you didn’t read this and think “this guy’s some kind of crazy stalker,” because I’m not. But the commonalities have definitely contributed to your podcast resonating so strongly with me.


Thanks for the note Paul. Definitely working toward the SE Asia venture and will definitely want your insight soon! Thanks for reaching out.

From Dec 5, 2012:

I’m in Ubud now, for about 10 days. I imagine that when you talk of coming to Bali, you’re probably talking about Ubud. You must know that the Kuta area, where the bombs have gone off, is pretty much 20 year old drunken Aussie tourist hell. Ubud is a great spiritual place, just lacking a beach (which kind of sucks, but it has lots of other attributes that make up for it in the short term.) I’m basically doing 4-6 hours of yoga a day at an awesome studio called Radiantly Alive, which I highly recommend. No need to go to an expensive yoga retreat here. You can create your own for about 1/4 the price and have more flexibility. Given your path in yoga, you’ll love it here. And the food is great too.

PS: I’m reading Tony Iommi’s autobiography right now. It’s pretty boring, as is Tony himself. Ozzy’s was much better. I hope a Dio biography comes out at some point.

Thanks Paul, perhaps once I get to new year and clear through holidays I circle back for some more great insights!

From May 6, 2013:

Michael, I just wanted to follow up with you on a couple of notes I made listening to your podcasts. First, I love how you used the old school version of NIB, with the long slow bass intro, in the podcast with the John Wooden recording. Nothing like drawing it out at the beginning, before it would really be identifiable as Sabbath style music (unless you know the song, of course.) What could go better together than Wooden and Sabbath?

Second, you talked about Lemmy in another podcast. It reminded me of how I saw Motorhead open for Sabbath twice, including once in 1995 in a small club in West Hartford, CT. I was front row center for Sabbath, though with Tony Martin singing, it was only moderately good. But the club itself had two sides. The other side was a really low grade strip club. My buddies and I wandered over there after the show, and it was mostly deserted. The Sabbath guys were sitting up in a balcony area, and Lemmy was down admiring and interacting with the heinous strippers. He was in all his glory. If it wasn’t so funny, I’d have to say it was sad. But Lemmy isn’t picky.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your Asian trip as much as it sounds on the podcasts. I’m at the beach in Thailand now after a month long tantric yoga course in Rishikesh, India (the “Yoga capital of the world”) and then a few weeks in Nepal, trekking in the Himalayas.

I still recommend Ubud, Bali highly for a place to go nuts with yoga, great food, and good looking western yoga chicks from all over the world.


Thanks Paul! Sounds like I will definitely have to be checking out Ubud!

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