Life’s A Renaissance Man’s Game

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker, financial journalist, and money manager.

Greetings from The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, where I’m about to begin the best week of the year, i.e., the week of FreedomFest!


Right about now, I’m preparing to saturate my mind with all-things liberty, because one of the most important elements of being a good human is to think clearly and know a lot about the world. That’s what FreedomFest helps me do.

If you can’t make it to The Mirage, be sure to watch us on Fox Nation, which has over one million subscribers. Fox Nation will live stream our main stage events beginning today, Wednesday, July 13 (starting at 4:00 p.m. PST) until Saturday’s closing panel at 12:00 noon PST. Use the code FREEDOM30 for a 30-day free subscription. Veterans get an entire year for free (and you know I love that!). Go to to register.

For the full FreedomFest agenda, go here.


Now, one of the panels I will be speaking on is titled, “Beyond Wealth: How to Think, Act and Live Like a Renaissance Man.”

So, in the spirit of this panel, I thought I would give The Deep Woods readers their own dose of what I think it means to think, act and live like a Renaissance Man. So, here you go…

Life’s a Renaissance Man’s game.

Now by “man,” or “Renaissance Man,” I don’t mean to exclude females. In fact, I know plenty of females who are “manlier” and more Renaissance Man than their male counterparts. When I refer to a Renaissance Man, I am referring to a way in which to approach and interact with the world. Think of it as short hand for a mindset, a way of life, a way of engaging with reality and a way of setting your own mark in the world… and enforcing that mark.


You see, life is tough.

Life will kick you in the butt and smack you down if you let it.

There’s a great lyric from the very-manly punk rocker Henry Rollins in his song “Blues Jam,” that I found very compelling when I heard it some 25 years ago. It goes like this…

Believe me when I tell you
Life will not break your heart
It’ll crush it…

As dark a sentiment as that is, the reality is that part of being a Renaissance Man is facing that heartbreak dead on, absorbing the blow… and then soldiering on in pursuit of your goals.


Indeed, it’s the cultivation of resilience, focus in the face of adversity, and laughing in the face of your enemies that makes a man a true Renaissance Man. And in doing so, a man is able to embrace his struggle, enjoy his wins, and most importantly, enjoy the one and only life he has to live.

So, I say… take on that life as a Renaissance Man!

But what does this mean in practice? The way I see it, there are eight basic keys to cultivating a Renaissance Man mindset.

1) Let reason be your guiding light. Use your emotions as a tool to help you decide your course, but make sure emotions are always placed in the service of your rational faculty.

2) Work hard and make smart decisions. There’s no substitute for effort, and there’s no replacing intelligent, reasoned exertion. A Renaissance Man always works hard to determine the smartest course of action.

3) Be the kind of person you’d want to be around. That means be a good friend, a good spouse, a good father, a good boss, a good teacher and a good student — and especially be an aggressive participant in life.


4) Lead a moral existence. Be honest, and act in such a way that helps yourself, your loved ones, your community, and the world become a better place.

5) Make a commitment to learning. Read books, read articles, and study subjects you’re interested in. Go to lectures, listen to podcasts, and surround yourself with interesting people. Make learning a life-long commitment. Learning is one of the most-rewarding things a Renaissance Man can do.

6) Do things you aren’t good at. Struggle is often the key to growth. Don’t be afraid to learn new skills, or a new language, or a new sport, etc., even if those activities don’t come to you easily. Working through self-imposed struggle is good for a Renaissance Man. If you only do things you’re already good at, you’ll never grow.

7) Enjoy the doing. In Ayn Rand’s novel (the writer is definitely a “Renaissance Man”) The Fountainhead, protagonist Howard Roark says the following: “Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing…”. Be a man who loves the doing, and you’ll be a Renaissance Man who achieves.

8) Make smart money decisions. Don’t take on too much debt. Don’t buy more than you can afford. Don’t waste your money on get-rich quick schemes or shaky partnerships. Here, especially, it’s important to fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of B.S. Finally, invest smart, and with patience and discipline.

It’s this final principle that gets the most attention in my investment newsletter advisory services, and if you check those services out you’ll learn all the specific ways in which I recommend investing to achieve your financial goals.

By applying these eight keys to cultivating a Renaissance Man mindset, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the kind of man you should aspire to be.


Will AI Destroy Humankind?

Will artificial intelligence, or AI, destroy humankind?

That’s the very serious and eminently fascinating discussion I had with my friend, computer scientist, investor and fellow Renaissance Man, Robert Deadman (and yes, that is his real last name).

Robert is one of those rare individuals who possesses a breadth of knowledge that he can eloquently translate into casual conversation, even about such advanced and interesting topics as the rise of AI, and the potential benefits and dangers of this technology.

In the new episode of the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast, Robert and I discuss the current state of AI, and what the future holds for what is increasingly becoming a ubiquitous technology that most of us don’t even know is operating on us at all times.

Topics included in this conversation include such questions as…

At what point will AI begin making its own decisions?

How far away is this circumstance?

What is the role of quantum computing in this question?

Will AI actually have “free will”?

When will the move from “artificial intelligence” become “artificial sentience”?

Can we solve the so-called “alignment” problem of AI, and how can we really understand this concept?

If you are familiar with the subject of AI, then you will undoubtedly find this conversation interesting, as I think Robert approaches the subject in a unique way. And if you aren’t familiar with the issues surrounding AI, including the benefits and dangers of this technology, then you really must acquaint yourself with the topic — and this podcast is a great way to do just that.

I absolutely loved this conversation with the fascinating Robert Deadman, and at the risk of alienating my other guests, I must say that this was my favorite podcast yet—and I hope you think so as well.


On Bravery and Freedom

“He who is brave is free.”


One of my favorites “life hacks” is to approach all things with a sense of bravery. You see, the world is a fire-breathing dragon, but it’s one that can be tamed with a combination of courage, reason, compassion, empathy and love. So, be brave, and be free.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.

P.S. I will be holding a teleconference on July 20 at 2 p.m. EST on “How to Run With the Second Half Bulls.” The teleconference is free for all my subscribers, but you have to register here to be able to attend. Don’t miss out!

In the name of the best within us,

Jim Woods

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