The Best Tim Ferriss Quotes
I’ve had a life full of doubts… mostly for no good reason.
You can fail at plenty as long as you get a few important things right.
I want to measure twice, and cut once; therefore, the vast majority of my important work is deciding what to work on.
Life would be boring if we all followed exactly the same rules.
If you want to have more, do more, and be more, it all begins with the voice that no one else hears.
Just because they say it can’t be done doesn’t make it so. Click to tweet
I’m building a snowball the size of continents. The catch: it sometimes moves at a glacial pace. Big things take time, but that’s OK – almost nothing can stop a glacier from moving once it reaches critical mass.
My definition of luxury has changed over time. Now, it’s not about owning a lot of stuff. Luxury, to me, is feeling unrushed.
Most information is time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals, and outside of your influence.
There is just less competition for bigger goals. Click to tweet
If you let pride stop you, you will hate life. Click to tweet
Too much, too many, and too often of what you want becomes what you don’t want.
If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers.
The objective is to control your time – a non-renewable resource – and apply it where you have the highest leverage or enjoyment.
The best results I have had in my life; the most enjoyable times, have all come from asking the simple question: What is the worst that could happen?
If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
Success can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations we are willing to have, and by the number of uncomfortable actions we are willing to take.
The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”
It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time and energy-consuming.
The 80-hour-per-week, 500 000$-per-year investment banker is less “powerful” than the employed New Rich who works 1/4 the hours for 40 000$, but has complete freedom of when, where, and how to live.
Give vulnerability a shot. Give discomfort its due. Because I think he or she who is willing to be the most uncomfortable is not only the bravest, but rises the fastest.
Different is better when it is more effective or more fun.
The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion. (This is one of my favorite Tim Ferriss quote. Leave a reply here and let me know what’s yours!)
Top 3 Tim Ferriss Quotes With Images
Lack of time is lack of priorities. Tim Ferriss Click to tweet
Don’t dismiss people, don’t be a dick, and don’t rush. Play the long game. Tim Ferriss Click to tweet
Focus on impact, not approval. Tim Ferriss Click to tweet
Part 2. Tim Ferriss Quotes That Are…
The Most Famous Tim Ferriss Quotes
What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.
Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask.
You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.
Focus on being productive instead of busy. Click to tweet
What are the worst things that could happen?
There has never been a better time for testing the uncommon.
The bottom line is that you only have the rights you fight for.
Stop wishing and start doing.
Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
More famous quotes
Short Tim Ferriss Quotes
One liners for your bio, social status, self-talk, motto, mantra, signs, posters, wallpapers, backgrounds, tattoos, SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Don’t suffer fools or you’ll become one. Click to tweet
The most important actions are never comfortable.
No hurry, no pause.
Keep it simple. Complicated answers are rarely the right answers.
10x results don’t always require 10x effort.
Remember, boredom is the enemy, not some abstract “failure”.
Competition makes you better.
I’m in it for the long haul; the adventure continues.
Never, ever give up.
Age doesn’t matter: an open mind does.
Emergencies are seldom that.
Everyone struggles. Take solace in that.
If you don’t have time, you don’t have priorities.
Focus, get the critical few done, and get out. Click to tweet
Big things are coming.
Take it easy, ya azizi.
Simple works, complex fails.
To have more quality and less clutter. (The goal of wise people or, “New Rich” as Tim Ferris puts it).
Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses.
The gems I’ve found were forged in the struggle.
More short quotes
Inspirational Tim Ferriss Quotes
Just because it’s labeled “impossible” doesn’t make it even remotely impossible.
I’ve seen the promised land, and there is good news. You can have it all.
Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!
The worst that could happen wasn’t crashing and burning, it was accepting terminal boredom as a tolerable status quo.
You are the author of your own life, and it’s never too late to replace the stories you tell yourself and the world.
Instead of thinking of the repercussions of an action, you should also be asking yourself, ‘what are the costs of inaction?’
Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.
Even a small amount of non-reactive planning and reflection will completely separate you from everyone else, because you are avoiding the impulse and social pressure to multitask.
See also: positive quotes
It is possible to become world-class, enter the top 5% of performers in the world, in almost any subject within 6-12 months, or even 6-12 weeks.
Tomorrow becomes never, no matter how small the task, take the first step now.
If I want a better-than-average career, I can’t simply ‘go with the flow’ and get it. Most people do just that: they wish for an outcome but make no intention-driven actions toward that outcome. If they would just do something most people would find that they get some version of the outcome they’re looking for. That’s been my secret. Stop wishing and start doing.
Realistic goals, goals restricted to the average ambition level, are uninspiring and will only fuel you through the first or second problem, at which point you throw in the towel. If the potential payoff is mediocre or average, so is your effort.
What are you good at? What could you be the best at? What makes you happy? What excites you? What makes you feel accomplished and good about yourself? What are you most proud of having accomplished in your life? Can you repeat this or further develop it? What do you enjoy sharing or experiencing with other people?
It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter—nothing can justify that sacrifice.
Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things despite lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.
The most fulfilled and effective people I know – world-famous creatives, billionaires, thought leaders, and more – look at their life’s journey as perhaps 25 percent finding themselves and 75 percent creating themselves.
When you try to something big it’s hard to fail completely. Click to tweet
To become “successful,” you have to say “yes” to a lot of experiments. To learn what you’re best at, or what you’re most passionate about, you have to throw a lot against the wall.
I encourage you to make huge, ambitious plans. Just remember that the big-beyond-belief things are accomplished when you deconstruct them into the smallest possible pieces and focus on each “moment of impact”, one step at the time.
We end up spending (as Thoreau put it) “the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it.” We’d love to drop all and explore the world outside, we tell ourselves, but the time never seems right. Thus, given an unlimited amount of choices, we make none. Settling into our lives, we get so obsessed with holding on to our domestic certainties that we forget why we desired them in the first place.”
There is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and getting what you want.
You develop confidence through action, and you have to have courage first.
In a world where nobody really knows anything, you have the incredible freedom to continually reinvest yourself and forge new paths, no matter how strange. Embrace your weird self.
For a long time, I’ve known that the key to getting started down the path of being remarkable in anything is to simply act with the intention of being remarkable.
Focus on what’s in front of you, design great days to create a great life, and try not to make the same mistake twice.
Three to five billion new consumers are coming online in the next 6 years. Holy cow, that’s extraordinary. What do they need?
Don’t use skepticism as a thinly veiled excuse for inaction or remaining in your comfort zone.
Find the cause or vehicle that interests you most and make no apologies.
Funny And Surprising Tim Ferriss Quotes
Just because you exercise doesn’t mean you deserve sugar water.
If you hate shrimp, don’t eat the goddamn shrimp.
I’m eight days into fasting so if I sound like an idiot I’m gonna blame it on that. (Conversation with Derek Sivers)
Audio engineers will never be fully satisfied with your audio, but 99.9% of listeners will be happy if you’re intelligible and loud enough.
Look for the optimal dose of any activity. Too little sun, you don’t get a tan. Just enough, you get a tan. Too much, you get burned.
If you have a strong informed opinion, don’t keep it to yourself. Try to help people and make the world a better place. If you strive to do anything remotely interesting, just expect a small percentage of the population to always find a way to take it personally. F*ck ’em. There are no statues erected to critics.
If someone ends up better than me (or ranking better than me), they deserve to beat me. I’ll be the first person to buy them a beer.
If you’re half-assing it and coasting, find something else you can whole-ass.
I mean, like, rice cakes? Might as well just inject yourself with insulin.
Thoughts Provoking Questions By Tim Ferriss
“What do you want?” is too imprecise to produce a meaningful and actionable answer.
While the world is a gold mine, you need to go digging in other people’s heads to unearth riches. Questions are your pickaxes and competitive advantage.
How can you use different belief systems, different frameworks, different principles, different tech tools to optimize your productivity and your effectiveness?
It all starts with the right questions. If you get the answers right to the wrong questions, you won’t get very far, whereas if you get even mediocre answers to the right questions, then those are the force multipliers.
How do you generate the most profit with the least effort? How do you maximize margins without sacrificing quality?
The way that you become world-class is by asking good questions.
The questions below are from an article from Tim Ferriss’ blog, 17 Questions That Changed My Life
What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million?
What’s the least crowded channel?
If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?
What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
Could I create a product that would scratch my own itch?
What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?
Which one of these, if done, would render all the rest either easier or completely irrelevant?
What if I let them make decisions up to $100? $500? $1,000?
What if I couldn’t pitch my product directly?
What are the worst things that could happen? Click to tweet
What if I created my own real-world MBA?
Do I need to make it back the way I lost it?
Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
If not now, when? If left at the status quo, what will your life and stress look like in six months? In one year? In three years? Who around you will also suffer?
In the midst of overwhelm, is life not showing me exactly what I should subtract?
How can I throw money at this problem? How can I “waste” money to improve the quality of my life?
What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
Am I having a breakdown or a breakthrough?
What would this look like if it were easy?
Deep Tim Ferriss Quotes
There is no one right answer. Only better questions.
If the answer isn’t simple, it’s probably not the right answer.
The most common approach is very seldom the most effective and most efficient.
The options are limitless, but each path must begin with the same first step: replacing assumptions.
When you put on really effective armor, you do keep things out but you also keep a lot in.
Outside of the law and science and even within science and within law, reality is kinda negotiable. So I mean, a good example of that is the high jump, the fosbury flop. Dick Fosbury was really the first guy to go backward over the high jump and up to that point, there’s been the straddle kick, and all sorts of different approaches. He was ridiculed at first and then he was called a cheat because he won the gold medal and now everybody uses that approach. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
Very often, “our” beliefs are not our own. Click to tweet
Achievement without appreciation makes you ambitious but miserable. Appreciation without achievement makes you unambitious but happy.
Improving the quality of life in the world is in no fashion inferior to adding more lives.
Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe.
Many of our strengths in excess become or create glaring weaknesses.
The best results in life are often held back by false constructs and untested assumptions.
The commonsense rules of the ‘real world’ are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions.
Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
See also: The Best Deep Quotes
Wise Tim Ferriss Quotes (Words Of Wisdom)
Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.
If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how good a cook you are.
You’re never as bad as they say you are, but you’re never as good as they say you are either.
Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitant to get in the way if you’re moving.
The goal is to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and to find your strengths so you can multiply them.
Babe Ruth struck out all the time, but he’s not remembered for that. He’s remembered for what worked.
Time is wasted because there is so much time available. Click to tweet
Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash.
Don’t confuse the complex with the difficult. Most situations are simple—many are just emotionally difficult to act upon.
It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.
The fishing is best where the fewest go and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone is aiming for base hits.
Look for flexible principles so that you can then have a toolkit that’s adaptable.
“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.
Part 3. Tim Ferriss Quotes About…
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Life
Most of the time, “What should I do with my life?” is a terrible question.
I believe that life exists to be enjoyed, and that the most important thing is to feel good about yourself.
To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.
To feel more at peace and more successful, you don’t need genius-level brain power, access to some secret society, or to his a moving target of “just” and additional X dollars. Those are all distractions.
If you make yourself laugh every once in a while, at least you will have fun. And that is perhaps the best strategy of all.
If you want confusion and heartache, ask vague questions. If you want uncommon clarity and results, ask uncommonly clear questions.
Service isn’t limited to saving lives or the environment. It can also improve life. If you are a musician and put a smile on the faces of thousands or millions, I view that as service. If you are a mentor and change the life of one child for the better, the world has been improved.
To dramitically change your life, you don’t need to run a 100-mile race, get a PhD, or completely reinvest yourself. It’s the small things, done consistently, that are the big things.
Does your life have a purpose? Are you contributing anything useful to this world, or just shuffling papers, banging on a keyboard, and coming home to a drunken existence on the weekends?
If we’re serious all the time, we’ll wear out before we get the truly serious stuff done. Click to tweet
This is something that is – being true to oneself – I think that most people struggle with. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
To have an uncommon lifestyle you need to develop the uncommon habit of making decisions, both for yourself and for others.
The tricky thing about life is, on the one hand having the courage to enter into things that are unfamiliar, but also having the wisdom to stop exploring when you’ve found something worth sticking around for. That is true of a place, of a person, of a vocation. Balancing those two things—the courage of exploring and the commitment to staying – and getting the ratio right is very hard. I think my 70-year-old self would say: ‘Be careful that you don’t err on one side or the other, because you have an ill-conceived idea of who you are.
For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect.
If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.
Learn to be difficult when it counts. In school as in life, having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time.
It’s far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor.
To the pregnant void of infinite possibilities, only possible with a lack of obligation, or at least, no compulsive reactivity. Perhaps this is only possible with the negative space to – as Kurt Vonnegut put it – “fart around”? To do things for the hell of it? For no damn good reason at all?
You don’t need to go through life huffing and puffing, straining and red-faced. You can get 95% of the results you want by calmly putting one foot in front of the other.
For all their bitching about what’s holding them back, most people have a lot of trouble coming up with the defined dreams they’re being held from.
Often, all that stands between you and what you want is a better set of questions.
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Happiness, Gratitude, Love
The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is – here’s the clincher – boredom.
Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.
I’m often asked how I define “success.” It’s an overused term, but I fundamentally view this elusive beast as a combination of two things – achievement and appreciation.
On the Jar Of Awesome: There is a mason jar on my kitchen counter with JAR OF AWESOME in glitter letters on the side. Anything something really cool happens in a day, something that made me excited or joyful, doctor’s orders are to write it down on a slip of paper and put it in this mason jar.
On the Jar Of Awesome: When something great happens, you think you’ll remember it 3 months later, but you won’t.
On the Jar Of Awesome: Cultivate the habtis of putting something in every day. Can’t think of anything? “I didn’t die today!” is a reliable winner.
The key to not feeling rushed is remembering that lack of time is actually lack of priorities. Click to tweet
I leaned against the wall and slid down until I was sitting on the floor. I closed my eyes, smiled, and took a deep breath. Things were about to change. Everything was about to change.
If you don’t regularly appreciate the small wins, you will never appreciate the big wins. They’ll all fall through your fingers like sand as you obsess on the next week, the next to-do, the next thing to fix.
Friction points and single points of failure happen in any given day potentially, so think in a concise, intelligent way. Out of five items to do, which one would make you satisfied with your entire day?
The question no one really seemed to be answering was: ‘Why do it all in the first place? What’s the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of you life hoping for happiness in the last?’.
Look for the good, practice finding the good, and you’ll see it more often.
For anything approaching happiness, you have to want what you already have.
See also: gratitude quotes
Tim Ferriss About The 3 Rules Of Branding
Rule 1. Instead of fixating on the often nebulous “brand,” think of how you can “own a category” in the minds of 1000 die-hard fans who can then act as your strongest marketing force.
If you can’t be No. 1 or No. 2 in a category (“Uber for X,” imported light beer, low-cost airline, whatever), find or create another category.
Rule 2. Don’t make a product for “everyone”.
If everyone is your market, no one is your market. Particularly with the first versions of your product or service, it’s better to have 1,000 people who love you (and many who hate you) than 100,000 who think you’re kinda, sorta cool. “Great” to 1,000 edge-case nerds beats “good” to 100,000 of anything else, every time. In a social-sharing-driven world, cultivate the intense few instead of the lukewarm many.
Rule 3. Forget branding. Think about consistently over-delivering one or two benefits to your customers/users/fans.
Branding is a side effect of consistent association. Don’t put the cart before the horse. Put good business first, and good “brand” will follow.
See also: How to Develop Your Brand Strategy
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing
The secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard.
Marketing can grab customers, but product multiplies them.
Marketing to me means to identify exactly who your ideal customer is: knowing their behavior, knowing their age, knowing their gender, knowing their location. And 9 times out of 10, in my opinion, the easiest way to do that is to just sell to people who are as similar to you as possible.
Clever marketing and PR stunts can get customers… but only for so long. It’s the product that will create long-term word-of-mouth and the groundswell needed for a global phenomenon.
The easiest way to distinguish yourself is to ask yourself how you can be different, and not just better.
Step 1 on the best 3-5 ways to secure first clients: The best way to quickly build a services business, or any business – especially since you have income from your full-time job – is to “buy” your first clients. This means that you offer your services for free, or at a massively discounted rate (or for a temporary free “trial/test” period), to clients who would make excellent and impressive testimonials. The key here is that your cost-to-value-delivered ratio must be clearly better than anything else they use.
Step 2: Once you have testimonials or referrals from 3-5 marquee clients, you’ll be in great shape to charge others full retail. I’ve done this in multiple fields, whether teaching accelerated learning, selling massive data storage systems, angel investing in tech (i.e. investing a tiny amount, so I own a tiny piece of equity, but putting in a lot of sweat and labor), or podcast advertising.
The best entrepreneurs I’ve ever met are all good communicators. It’s perhaps one of the very few unifying factors.
Learn the art of the pitch and of messaging.
I think there’s always a market for quality.
I’m really excited about the future of content marketing. But in the same fashion that you have Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon – who all used to be very cleanly separate – on this collision course where they are competing on the same verticals, I think you’re going to end up having television producers, movie producers, writers, song writers, all competing for the same mental bandwidth.
That 1000 true fans will lead to a cascading effect. The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.
If you only have time to read one article on marketing, make it 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired Magazine.
The customer is not always right. “Fire” high-maintenance customers.
Deadlines over details. […] Perfect products delivered past deadline kill companies. Better to have a good-enough product delivered on-time.
I want to convert casual listeners into die-hard, fervent listeners, and I want to convert casual sponsors into die-hard, fervent sponsors. This requires two things: 1) Playing the long game, and 2) Strategically leaving some chips on the table. As a mentor once told me, “You can shear a sheep many times, but you can skin him only once”.
An entrepreneur isn’t someone who owns a business, it’s someone who makes things happen. Click to tweet
All of my biggest wins have come from leveraging strengths instead of fixing weaknesses.
Niche is the new big.
It’s much more interesting to me to sell something like a small-scale, $10,000-per-seat seminar every 2-3 years, instead of obsessing over monthly, weekly, or even daily Amazon commissions, for instance.
Who you portray in your marketing isn’t necessarily the only demographic who buys your product — it’s often the demographic that most people aspire to. The target isn’t the market.
See also: The Best Leadership Quotes
“General fame is overrated. You want to be famous to 2,000 to 3,000 people you handpick.” I’m paraphrasing, but the gist is that you don’t need or want mainstream fame. It brings more liabilities than benefits. However, if you’re known and respected by 2–3K high-caliber people (e.g., the live TED audience), you can do anything and everything you want in life. It provides maximal upside and minimal downside. (Tools Of Titans, Eric Weinstein)
Broadly speaking, as good as it feels to have a plan, it’s even more freeing to realize that nearly no misstep can destroy you. This gives you the courage to improvise and experiment.
Good stories always beat good spreadsheets. Whether you are raising money, pitching your product to customers, selling the company, or recruiting employees, never forget that underneath all the math and the MBA bullshit talk, we are all still emotionally driven human beings. We want to attach ourselves to narratives.
We don’t act because of equations. We follow our beliefs. We get behind leaders who stir our feelings. In the early days of your venture, if you find someone diving too deep into the numbers, that means they are struggling to find a reason to deeply care about you.
First get the crowd, then sell the product.
There are people I have outsourced to in India who now outsource portions of their work to the Philippines. It’s the efficient use of capital, and if you want the rewards of a free market, if you want to enjoy the rewards of the capitalist system, these are the rules by which you play.
Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner.
If you take a strong stance and have a clear opinion or statement on any subject online, you’re going to polarize people. And without that polarity, there’s no discussion. Discussion is what I want, which means that I’m fine with the consequences.
What we really need to do, to design, is look at the extremes. The weakest, or the person with arthritis, or the athlete, or the strongest, the fastest person, because if we understand what the extremes are, the middle will take care of itself.” In other words, the extremes inform the mean, but not vice versa.
I think the ‘soft sell’ is very undervalued.
I still feel there are much smarter self-promoters out there than me. I am very methodical about my messaging, and I know how to gain attention very quickly.
Everything that works in sales has been done already. Just keep track of the crap that you buy, or the awesome stuff that you buy, and decide what was the trigger, and then just sell to people like you. It’s really that easy – and that’s what I do.
Famous tech blogger Robert Scoble later described my intricate marketing plan as “get drunk with bloggers.” It worked surprisingly well.
People don’t like being sold products, but we all like being told stories.
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Money, Investing, Startups
Enough is enough. Lemmings no more. The blind quest for cash is a fool’s errand.
True freedom is much more than having enough income and time to do what you want.
If you can free your time and location, your money is automatically worth 3-10 times as much.
The majority of my finances come from early-stage startup investing.
For me, money is not a prime motivator. It’s one criterion that I can use to filter out opportunities. My high is the eureka moment when I find, or I am taught, a non-obvious way of solving a problem.
Where can you trade money for time? Where can you spend money that creates more time tomorrow or next week? That is almost always a good investment.
1 000 000$ in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows.
Being financially rich and having the ability to live like a millionaire are fundamentally two very different things.
Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what do you, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it. I call this the “freedom multiplier”.
I’m not averse to making a lot of money. But where does that end? I hang out with people with hundreds of millions of dollars. Is that the standard by which I should measure myself? Where does that take you if you’re in my business? I think it takes you to pretty dark, corrupt places.
I have plenty of money to do what I want to do, and I have the relationships.
Your network is your net worth.
In the beginning of your career, you spend time to earn money. Once you hit your stride in any capacity, you should spend money to earn time, as the latter is nonrenewable.
If you find yourself saying, “But I’m making so much money” about a job or project, pay attention. “But I’m making so much money,” or “But I’m making good money” is a warning sign that you’re probably not on the right track or, at least, that you shouldn’t stay there for long. Money can always be regenerated. Time and reputation cannot.
“If only I had more money” is the easiest way to postpone the intense self-examination and decision-making necessary to create a life of enjoyment- now and not later. By using money as the scapegoat and work as our all-consuming routine, we are able to conveniently disallow ourselves the time to do otherwise.”
Money doesn’t change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice.
The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we’re too poor to buy our freedom.
The goal of “investing” has always been simple: to allocate resources (e.g. money, time, energy) to improve quality of life.
I am willing to accept a mild and temporary 10% decrease in current quality of life (based on morale in journaling) for a high-probability 10x return, whether the ROI comes in the form of cash, time, energy, or otherwise.
People don’t want to be millionaires — they want to experience what they believe only millions can buy. Click to tweet
An investment that produces a massive financial ROI but makes me a complete nervous mess, or causes insomnia and temper tantrums for a long period of time, is NOT a good investment.
I don’t typically invest in public stocks for this reason, even when I know I’m leaving cash on the table. My stomach can’t take the ups and downs, but—like drivers rubbernecking to look at a wreck—I seem incapable of not looking. I will compulsively check Google News and Google Finance, despite knowing it’s self-sabotage.
A large guaranteed decrease in present quality of life doesn’t justify a large speculative return.
One could argue that I should work on my reactivity instead of avoiding stocks. I’d agree on tempering reactivity, but I’d disagree on fixing weaknesses as a primary investment (or life) strategy.
I get 50-100 pitches per week. This creates an inbox problem. […] I’ve had to declare email bankruptcy twice in the last six months. It’s totally untenable.
From 2008 to 2009, I began to ask myself, “What if I could only subtract to solve problems?” when advising startups. Instead of answering, “What should we do?” I tried first to hone in on answering, “What should we simplify?”
I don’t want to hire staff for vetting, so I’ve concluded I must ignore all new startup pitches and intros.
I’m tired of unwarranted last-minute “hurry up and sign” emergencies and related fire drills. It’s a culture of cortisol.
I’m in startups for the long game. In some capacity, I plan to be doing this 20+ years from now.
Most of my best investments were made during the “Dot-com Depression” of 2008-2009 (e.g. Uber, Shopify, Twitter, etc.), when only the hardcore remained standing on a battlefield littered with startup bodies.
To get rich beyond your wildest dreams in startup investing, it isn’t remotely necessary to bet on a Facebook or Airbnb every year.
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Productivity, Efficiency
People are least productive in reactive mode.
If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?
Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?
It’s often what you do, not how you do it, that is the determining factor. This is the difference from being effective; doing the right things, and being efficient; doing things well whether they are important.
“Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance.
Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on one of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow. (For more detail, check out this article by Tim Ferriss)
If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
If I have 10 important things to do in a day, it’s 100% certain nothing important will get done that day.
It doesn’t take much to seem superhuman and appear “successful” to nearly everyone around you. In fact, you just need one rule: What you do is more important than how you do everything else, and doing something well does not make it important.
Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive.
In the last 12 months, I’ve used deloading outside of sports to decrease my anxiety at least 50% while simultaneously doubling my income.
I alternate intense periods of batching similar tasks (recording podcasts, clearing the inbox, writing blog posts, handling accounting, etc.) with extended periods of – for lack of poetic description – unplugging and fucking around.
Great creative work isn’t possible if you’re trying to piece together 30 minutes here and 45 minutes there.
The idea is not to be idle. That’s not something that I advocate. It is to maximize your per hour output.
People are poor judges of importance and inflate minutiae to fill time and feel important. Click to tweet
If you spend your time, worth $20-25 per hour, doing something that someone else will do for $10 per hour, it’s simply a poor use of resources.
By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable. It’s the perfect example of having your cake and eating it, too.
Large, uninterrupted block of time — 3-5 hours minimum — create the space needed to find and connect the dots. And one block per week isn’t enough.
There has to be enough slack in the system for multi-day CPU-intensive synthesis. For me, this means at least 3-4 mornings per week where I am in “maker” mode until at least 1pm.
If I’m in reactive mode, maker mode is all but impossible. Email and texts of “We’re overcommitted but might be able to squeeze you in for $25K. Closing tomorrow. Interested?” are creative kryptonite.
I miss writing, creating, and working on bigger projects. YES to that means NO to any games of whack-a-mole.
The great “deloading” phase. This is what I’m experiencing this afternoon, and it makes a Tuesday feel like a lazy Sunday morning. This is when the muse is most likely to visit. I need to get back to the slack.
If you want to create or be anything lateral, bigger, better, or truly different, you need room to ask “what if?” without a conference call in 15 minutes. The aha moments rarely come from the incremental inbox-clearing mentality of, “Oh, fuck… I forgot to… Please remind me to… Shouldn’t I?… I must remember to…”
There are certain things I will automate, but when it comes to quality control, I want to keep a very close eye.
What might you do to accomplish your 10-year goals in the next 6 months, if you had a gun against your head? (Inspired by Peter Thiel)
Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is not laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.”
In my mind, when I’m trying to deconstruct, let’s say a sport, all i’ll ask is to start with: “what rules are people following that are not required? (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
People, even good people, will unknowingly abuse your time to the extent that you let them. Set good rules for all involved to minimize back-and-forth and meaningless communication.
I think time management as a label encourages people to view each 24-hour period as a slot in which they should pack as much as possible.
Believe it or not, it is not only possible to accomplish more by doing less, it is mandatory. Enter the world of elimination.
“What if I did the opposite?”: What if I only asked questions instead of pitching? What if I studied technical material, so I sounded like an engineer instead of a sales guy? What if I ended my emails with “I totally understand if you’re too busy to reply, and thank you for reading this far,” instead of the usual “I look forward to your reply and speaking soon” presumptive BS? The experiments paid off. My last quarter in that job, I outsold the entire L.A. office of our biggest competitor, EMC.
What you do is infinitely more important that how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but is useless unless applied to the right things.
Poisonous people do not deserve your time. To think otherwise is masochistic.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About 80/20, Pareto’s Law, Parkinson’s Law
Pareto’s Law can be summarized as follows: 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs.
What 20% of customers/products/regions are producing 80% of the profit? What factors or shared characteristics might account for this?” Many such questions later, I began making changes: “firing” my highest-maintenance customers.
What is the 20% of my belongings that I use 80% of the time? Eliminate the other 80% in clothing, magazines, books, and all else. Be ruthless – you can always repurchase things you can’t live without.
On finding and working on the essentials: The 80/20 principle, also known as Pareto’s law, is the primary tool in this case. It dictates that 80% (or more) of your desired outcomes are the result of 20% (or less) of your activities and inputs.
After reading The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch, I decided that extreme questions were the forcing function I needed. The question I found most helpful was, “If I could only work 2 hours per week on my business, what would I do?”
If you had a gun to your head or contracted some horrible disease, and you had to limit work to 2 hours per week, what would you do to keep things afloat?
When prioritizing his todo list: Which one of these, if done, would render all the rest either easier or completely irrelevant?
1. Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20). 2. Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important (Parkinson’s Law).
Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.
I tend to focus on the 80-20 analysis as it applies to people getting on and off the ground as quickly as possible to say be on top 5 to 10% of the general population. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
Invest in duplicating your few strong areas instead of fixing all of your weaknesses.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Discipline, Distractions, Focus, Laziness
The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit. Click to tweet
I value self-discipline, but creating systems that make it next to impossible to misbehave is more reliable than self-control.
If we’re talking about just distractions, we’re talking about prioritization. If you feel like you don’t have time, you don’t have priorities. Everyone has the same amount of time.
It is imperative that you learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant, unimportant, or unactionable. Most are all three.
In a world of distraction and multitasking, the ability to single task — to genuinely do one thing without getting distracted by push notifications, alerts, email, text messages, social media, whatever it might be — is a super power.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions – and resolutions to ‘get in better shape’ in general, which are very amorphous – is that people try to adopt too many behavioral changes at once. It doesn’t work. I don’t care if you’re a world-class CEO – you’ll quit.
The end product of the shorter deadline is almost inevitably of equal or higher quality due to greater focus.
Indiscriminate action is a form of laziness.
Schedule things in advance, or you might be inclined to quit. A lot of standup comedians do this, because they may have six or 12 gigs before they do their first set well. Commit beforehand; prepay if you can.
It’s hip to focus on getting things done, but it’s only possible once we remove the constant static and distraction.
I value self-discipline, but creating systems that make it next to impossible to misbehave is more reliable than self-control.
Blaming idiots for interruptions is like blaming clowns for scaring children – they can’t help it. It’s their nature. Then again, I had, on occasion, been known to create interruptions out of thin air. If you’re anything like me, that makes us both occasional idiots. Learn to recognize and fight the interruption impulse. This is infinitely easier when you have a set of rules, responses, and routines to follow.
What bullshit excuses do you have for not going after whatever it is that you want? (Conversation with BJ Miller)
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Simplifying, Resting, Being Busy
My agenda became a list of everyone else’s agendas.
What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?
No newspapers, magazines, audiobooks, or nonmusic radio. Music is permitted at all times. No news websites whatsoever (cnn.com, drudgereport.com, msn.com,10 etc.). No television at all, except for one hour of pleasure viewing each evening. No reading books, except for this book and one hour of fiction11 pleasure reading prior to bed. No web surfing at the desk unless it is necessary to complete a work task for that day. Necessary means necessary, not nice to have. (Four Hour Work Week Low Information Diet)
The world doesn’t even hiccup, much less end, when you cut the information umbilical cord. (About the low information diet)
I feel that the big ideas come from these periods [deloading phases]. It’s the silence between the notes that makes the music.
Create slack, as no one will give it to you. This is the only way to swim forward instead of treading water.
Once your life shifts from pitching outbound to defending against inbound, however, you have to ruthlessly say “no” as your default. Instead of throwing spears, you’re holding the shield.
People don’t lose in various aspects of their lives because they pursue a lot of bad ideas. They lose because they say yes to too many ‘kinda cool’ things/ideas.
Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
Doing less is not being lazy. Don’t give in to a culture that values personal sacrifice over personal productivity. Click to tweet
Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.
If I’m “busy,” it is because I’ve made choices that put me in that position, so I’ve forbidden myself to reply to “How are you?” with “Busy.” I have no right to complain. Instead, if I’m too busy, it’s a cue to reexamine my systems and rules.
I was once refused for a lunch date with a very famous tech investor and he said, ‘Sorry, I’m on a no-meeting diet for the next month and I have a policy of saying no to all meetings’. So I started using a ‘no conference call diet’ and people just rolled with it. It was incredible. There was no feedback, no push-back.
Saying yes to too much “cool” will bury you alive and render you a B-player, even if you have A-player skills.
To develop your edge initially, you learn to set priorities; to maintain your edge, you need to defend against the priorities of others.
Once you reach a decent level of professional success, lack of opportunity won’t kill you. It’s drowning in 7-out-of-10 “cool” commitments that will sink the ship.
I hope you find the strength to say no when it matters most. I’m striving for the same, and only time will tell if I pull it off.
Alternating periods of activity and rest is necessary to survive, let alone thrive. Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane. Plan accordingly.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Not-to-do list
Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers. […] It just results in unwanted interruption and poor negotiating position. Let it go to voicemail and relax.
Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night. The former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day, and the latter just gives you insomnia. E-mail can wait until 10am, after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do items.
Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time.
Do not let people ramble. Forget “how’s it going?” when someone calls you. Stick with “what’s up?” or “I’m in the middle of getting something out, but what’s going on?” A big part of GTD is GTP — Getting To the Point.
Do not check e-mail constantly — “batch” and check at set times only. I belabor this point enough. Get off the cocaine pellet dispenser and focus on execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies.
Do not over-communicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers. There is no sure path to success, but the surest path to failure is trying to please everyone. Do an 80/20 analysis of your customer base in two ways–which 20% are producing 80%+ of my profit, and which 20% are consuming 80%+ of my time? Then put the loudest and least productive on autopilot by citing a change in company policies.
Do not work more to fix overwhelm — prioritize. If you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most important task for each day, almost nothing seems urgent or important.
Do not carry a cellphone. Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner.
Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should. Work is not all of life. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting.
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Meditation, Mindfulness Practice
I meditate almost every morning for 20 minutes.
More than 80% of the interviewees have some form of daily mindfulness or meditation practice. (Tools Of Titans)
Q: What concept or method that you’ve learned from the experts on your show took the longest for you to implement into your life, or felt the most forced,that ended up having the biggest effect? Definitely meditation upon waking. I was very resistant to this, viewed it as “not for me,” and misunderstood the techniques and results that could be achieved in even 1-2 weeks. Taking a Transcendental Meditation class and using Headspace for their “10 in 10” (10 min per day for 10 days) helped to solidify the habit and showed me that meditation can really just = emotional non-reactivity training. This translates to every interaction you have and can dramatically impact almost every area of life.
So I received an email with a link to an article and the title is “Bridgewater founder, Ray Dalio credits transcendental meditation for his success”. For those of you who don’t know, he’s the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, they have a hundred billion plus under management I think. His quote is “Meditation, more than any other factors have been the secrets to whatever success i’ve had”. And that is a hell of an endorsement. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
For me, it’s been getting over that resistance to what I perceived as sort of a “woo-woo new agey” type of thing and the ability to sort of view it as sort of a warm bath for the mind where I’m taking a mini vacation from my own brain in a way. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
I started meditating and gave up meditating many many times because I had the response that you mentioned about type A personalities. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
Learn to slow down. Get lost intentionally. Observe how you judge both yourself and those around you. Click to tweet
I’d be sitting there and I thought that the objective was to quiet my mind. And so when I failed at quieting my mind because I’d be ticking off the todo list or be like “ah that f*cker who said A, B and C to me the other day” and I would just like harp on these ridiculous things and then I’d get pissed and then I’d get pissed that I was pissed… and I would get up and have a cup of coffee and then storm out of the house which didn’t seem like a productive meditative sessions. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
I actually started doing it consistently when I kept it really short and a friend of mine recommended this where I would #1 be comfortable so I would sit down but to avoid back pain, I would lean against the wall, which is very commonly thought of as a big no no. So I was leaning against the wall to keep my back straight and I would listen to one music track, one song every morning, the same song as a cue and I would just pay attention to my breath. I would focus on being an observer of my thoughts but not trying to control them at all. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
All I did was think about my todo list the entire time, that’s fine, as long as I’m paying attention to my breath. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
That non-attachment to an outcome, i.e. controlling my thoughts, was very helpful. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
What I found was that by allowing the thoughts to occur and not judging myself because let’s say I’m thinking about email, or the grocery shopping and the todo or whatever, just letting that happen but getting good at observing it, I was able to then have more emotional awareness which would prevent cognitive biases and bad judgments. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
After meditating consistently for even a week or so, when that anger would start I was better at observing “Tim” as a 3rd person “Oh look at that, Tim is getting angry at something really small and stupid” as opposed to simply becoming angry and then causing problems for myself whether it was just internal or interacting with people. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
I’ve had this aversion to meditation. But when it’s very non-dogmatic, when you’re not trying to control anything, just think of a candle flame, just observe your thoughts and be okay with them. Sit with good posture for this period of time, that’s it. (Conversation with Chase Jarvis)
The physiological or psychological effects are so fascinating, like you said, because you’ll do it for a couple of days and you’re like, whatever. Then you hit this sort of inflection point where you just drop from 200 RPMs to 150. You’re like, “Whoa. Okay. This is different”. The whole week, you’re kind of zenned out. (Conversation with Chase Jarvis)
It’s like this extended period of calm and ease in decision-making. Uncluttered, like you closed every browser on your computer and shut off the anti-virus, and rebooted the whole thing. (Conversation with Chase Jarvis)
Even if it’s for ten minutes a day so that your not in a reactive mode. It’s really a game changer. Physiologically, it had a lot of effects for me as well. When my cortisol level dropped, I was able to lose body fat more easily in my abdomen, for instance. (Conversation with Chase Jarvis)
Observe your thoughts, instead of being constantly the victim of your thoughts.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Health, Running, Yoga
The first thing I would do for anyone who’s trying to lose body fat, for instance, would be to remove foods from the house that he or she would consume during lapses of self-control.
Now, it’s literally #1 (health). What does this mean? If I sleep poorly and have an early morning meeting, I’ll cancel the meeting last-minute if needed and catch up on sleep. If I’ve missed a workout and have a con-call coming up in 30 minutes? Same. Late-night birthday party with a close friend? Not unless I can sleep in the next morning.
Ours is a culture where we wear our ability to get by on very little sleep as a kind of badge of honor that symbolizes work ethic, or toughness, or some other virtue—but really, it’s a total profound failure of priorities and of self-respect.
In practice, strictly making health #1 has real social and business ramifications. That’s a price I’ve realized I must be fine paying, or I could lose weeks or months to sickness or fatigue.
I would emphasize that by improving your physical machine, which includes the brain, you improve all of your performance, and the transfer is incredible to business.
Even if you are predisposed to being overweight, you’re not predestined to be fat. Click to tweet
As long as you are keeping your blood-sugars in check, and your insulin levels in check, I think that the demonization of fat – including saturated fat – is completely unwarranted.
Nothing breaks my heart more than seeing that person who’s struggling to lose weight who thinks that they need to run 20 miles a week. They have no desire to do it, their knees hurt, they hate it, and they’re not losing weight. And I’d like to say, ‘Well, I’ve got great news for you. You don’t ever need to run another step a day in your life, because there’s no value in that.’ “There is value in exercise, though, and I think that the most important type of exercise, especially in terms of bang for your buck, is going to be really high-intensity, heavy strength training. Strength training aids everything from glucose disposal and metabolic health to mitochondrial density and orthopedic stability. That last one might not mean much when you’re a 30-something young buck, but when you’re in your 70s, that’s the difference between a broken hip and a walk in the park.
Hot baths can also significantly increase GH (growth hormones) over baseline, and both sauna and hot baths have been shown to cause a massive release in prolactin, which plays a role in wound healing.
I now take ~20-minute saune sessions post-workout or post-stretching at least four times per week, typically at roughly 160 to 170F. If nothing else, it seems to dramatically decrease DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness).
Making health #1 50% of the time doesn’t work. It’s absolute — all or nothing. If it’s #1 50% of the time, you’ll compromise precisely when it’s most important.
AcroYoga is something that I’m currently really delving into. It’s a combination of, in effect, yoga, acrobatics, and Cirque Du Soleil-type performances.
On seeking ways to sleep better: That’s how I started reading fiction again. It really was to consume something that would actually push me away from problem solving and more into kind of fantasy dream mode. I was like alright, I’m not really a fiction reader but to fix my insomnia I’ll do it.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Diet, Slow Carb Diet, Fasting
The advice I give for sustainable behavioral change, including diet, is that you make one change at a time.
Everyone is going to binge on a diet, for instance, so plan for it, schedule it, and contain the damage.
The Slow-Carb Diet succeeds where other diets fail for many reasons, but the biggest is this: It accepts default human behaviors versus trying to fix them. Rather than say “don’t cheat” or “you can no longer eat X,” we plan weekly “cheat days” (usually Saturdays) in advance.
People on diets will cheat regardless, so we mitigate the damage by pre-scheduling it and limiting it to 24 hours.
Outside of cheat days, slow carbers keep “domino foods” out of their homes. What are domino foods? Foods that could be acceptable if humans had strict portion control, but that are disallowed because practically none of us do. Common domino foods include: Chickpeas, Peanut butter, Salted cashews, Alcohol
For me, startups are a domino food. In theory, “I’ll only do one deal a month” or “I’ll only do two deals a quarter” sound great, but I’ve literally NEVER seen it work for myself or any of my VC or angel friends.
I believed for a very long time as an athlete that low-fat, high-carbohydrate was an optimal diet. And I think there’s a decent amount of evidence, circumstantial or direct, to suggest that low-fat diets create a host of issues ranging from joint problems to amenorrhea, like the cessation of menstruation. I mean, I think entirely unnatural for sedentary people or for athletes.
Optimal meal, I would say, would be grass-fed steak with vegetables, maybe some lentils for fiber.
On fasting: There is also evidence to suggest – skipping the scientific detail – that fasting of 3 days or longer can effectively ‘reboot’ your immune system via stem cell-based regeneration.
On fasting: Fasting doesn’t need to make you miserable and weak. In fact, it can have quite the opposive effect.
On fasting: I will regularly, three continuous days per month minimum, practice fasting. I will do that from early Thursday dinner to an early Sunday dinner to simply expose myself to the rather, often unfamiliar, sensation of real hunger.
I travel with boxes of sardines, oysters, and bulk macadamia nuts.
On fasting: I now aim for a 3-day fast once per month and a 5 to 7-day fast once per quarter.
On fasting: I allowed trace amounts of BCAAs and 300 to 500 calories of pure fat per day on my “fast”.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Stoicism
The more you schedule and practice discomfort deliberately, the less unplanned discomfort will throw off your life and control your life.
Stoicism can help you to become a better, kinder person. In helping you to become less emotionally reactive (e.g., reflexively angry or annoyed), it helps you to better resolve conflict, and teach others to do the same.
Most losses or mistakes are really survivable.
The best way to counter-attack a hater is to make it blatantly obvious that their attack has had no impact on you. Click to tweet
Don’t get angry, don’t get even – focus on living well and that will eat at them more than anything you can do.
I’ve heard it said before, I certainly didn’t come up with the expression, “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” Why don’t you proactively develop an ability to widen that comfort zone?
To do anything remotely interesting you need to train yourself to be effective at dealing with, responding to, even enjoying criticism.
Both Stoicism and Buddhism focus quite extensively on awareness of impermanence, so the practices are often complementary.
I view Stoicism not only as a means for greater effectiveness—which it certainly is — but also as a tool for creating a better, less divisive world. To quote Sam Harris, PhD, “No society in human history ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.”
It’s possible to immediately “be tougher,” starting with your next decision. Have trouble saying “no” to dessert? Be tougher. Make that your starting decision. Feeling winded? Take the stairs anyway. Ditto. It doesn’t matter how small or big you start. If you want to be tougher, be tougher. (Check out How to Develop Mental Toughness: Lessons From 8 Titans)
Even if you only care about service to others, altruism, or being an instrument for good, to have the desired impact, you cannot be ruled by knee-jerk emotions, crying over spilt milk, and so on.
Practicing poverty or practicing rehearsing your worst case scenario in real life, not just journaling, not just in your head, I find very, very important.
I expose myself to a lot of duress and pain in say, the form of ice baths and cold exposure simply to develop my tolerance for the then unavoidable pain and disruption that comes to all of us.
Simply reading Stoic passages in preparation for the day helps me to ideally, ignore, and when I cannot ignore, not respond to, certainly not engage with critics who have unfounded attacks.
Getting a dog has made me a better person and a better Stoic. My pup Molly has no bad intentions when she does most “bad” things, for instance. As a puppy, she did what puppies do, of course: peed in the wrong places, chewed things up, disobeyed or ignored commands (mostly because I was unclear), etc.. She trained me to not overreact and get mad, which was pointless and actually made things worse for both of us. (Question asked was “How has getting a dog changed your life?”)
On practising Stoicism: You can go into various places like a Starbucks, and practice doing the lay down challenge. This is laying down on the floor without saying anything to anyone, not telling them you’re doing an exercise, lay down on the floor for 10 seconds. If they ask if you’re all right, you say “yes I’m totally fine.” And then you get back up like nothing happened and continue on with waiting in line or whatever you were doing.
On practising Stoicism: Another option would be doing what my friend Noah Kagan calls the coffee challenge. Going into any type of coffee shop, if you don’t like coffee it could be tea, it could be water, it doesn’t matter. When you get to the end of the line and you’re placing your order, you ask for 10 percent off.
Studying dog training, and really dedicating myself to good books and teachers (like “Don’t Shoot The Dog!” and “Command Performance” (Whole Dog Journal), or Susan Garrett) taught me a ton about training any mammal, including humans and myself. It’s been a great way to learn more about how we all respond to rewards, punishment, and feedback. This awareness has helped me to become a less stressed and more effective person.
In my experience, particularly when combined with Buddhist “metta” or loving-kindness meditation, Stoicism can foster greater compassion and empathy.
I’ve found that while Stoicism helps me to be very non-reactive, and to accomplish and achieve more with less wasted energy.
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Growth mindset, Failures, Criticism
I’ve certainly stumbled a lot, but that’s how you figure things out.
The first book (4 Hour Work Week) was turned down by 26 publishers.
Get good at being a troublemaker and saying sorry when you really screw up.
When everything and everyone is failing, what is the cost of a little experiment outside of the norm? Most often, nothing.
Greatness is setting ambitious goals that your former self would have thought impossible, and trying to get a little better every day.
I absolutely think podcasts are a great way to “surround” yourself with people who can help you average up. I use podcasts this way, and I listen to Dan Carlin (Hardcore History), Jocko, Sam, and Tony regularly myself.
Regarding getting out of funks and dips in your life, you might find this article of mine helpful, titled “Productivity Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me)“.
When — despite your best efforts — you feel like you’re losing at the game of life, remember: Even the best of the best feel this way sometimes.
Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization. Click to tweet
Learn from your mistakes until you succeed. It’s that simple.
When I’m in the pit of despair, I recall what iconic writer Kurt Vonnegut said about his process: “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”
Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires, and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress—stress that is healthful and the stimulus for growth.
With routines, you don’t want your threshold for “success” to be checking 100% of the boxes. Look for 3/5 wins or 2/5 wins. Otherwise, the human inclination is self-sabotage with “Well, I miss A or B, so I failed today,” or “Now today is going to be harder” and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On how to get over analysis paralysis: set deadlines for decisions (put them in your calendar or they aren’t real) and break large intimidating actions/projects into tiny mini-experiments that allow you to overcome fear of failure.
Sometimes it pays to model the outliers, not flatten them into averages. This isn’t limited to business.
Every time I find myself stressed out, it’s because I do things primarily driven by growth.
I encourage active skepticism – when people are being skeptical because they’re trying to identify the best course of action. They’re trying to identify the next step for themselves or other people.
I discourage passive skepticism, which is the armchair variety where people sit back and criticize without ever subjecting their theories or themselves to real field testing.
My perfect storm was nothing permanent. But of course it’s far from the last storm I’ll face. There will be many more. The key is building fires where you can. Warm yourself up as you wait for the tempest to pass. These fires, the routines, habits, relationships, and coping mechanisms you built, help you to look at the rain and see fertilizer instead of a flood. If you want the lushest green of life and you do, the grey is part of the natural cycle. You are not flawed. You’re a human. You have gifts to share with the world and when the darkness comes, when you’re fighting the demons, just remember. I’m right there fighting with you. You’re not alone. The gems I found were forged in the struggle.
Rehearsing the worst case scenarios or negative visualization is a very powerful tool, which paradoxically allows you to become more relaxed and therefore, more response-able, i.e., able to chose your response if you get thrown a curveball question or if you flub and make a mistake in the middle of a live broadcast.
Anyone you have in your mind as an icon is an imperfect, flawed creature, just like all humans on the planet.
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Learning, Thinking, Education
My goal is to learn things once and use them forever.
Information without emotion isn’t retained.
Much like you would train your body, you can train your mind.
To learn is to live. I see no other option. Once the learning curve flattens out, I get bored.
Though you can upgrade your brain domestically, traveling and relocating provides unique conditions that make progress much faster.
Learning is such an addiction and compulsion of mine that I rarely travel somewhere without deciding first how I’ll obsess on a specific skill.
It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.
Thinking is mostly just asking yourself questions and answering them.
I know nothing. I am a beginner. But I ask a lot of questions. Click to tweet
BrainQuicken was a real learning on the job MBA.
Language learning deserves special mention. It is, bar none, the best thing you can do to hone clear thinking.
Quite aside from the fact that it is impossible to understand a foreign culture without understanding its language, acquiring a new language transforms the human experience and makes you aware your own language: your own thoughts.
Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.
Here are a few books that have affected me or made me think differently in the last few years. None of them are directly related to business: Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach — this is an important book, originally recommended to me by a neuroscience PhD who benefited from it. The Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda. The Body Keeps The Score by Van Der Kolk.
The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths.
Top academic institutions are wonderful, but there are unrecognized benefits to not coming out of one. Grads from top schools are funneled into high-income 80-hour-per-week jobs, and 15–30 years of soul-crushing work has been accepted as the default path. How do I know? I’ve been there.
If you want great mentors, you have to become a great mentee. If you want to lead, you have to first learn to follow.
More education quotes
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Fear, Pain
If the challenge we face doesn’t scare us, then it’s probably not that important.
For overcoming fear, I think that an exercise called “fear-setting” is extremely helpful.
Fear-setting has produced my biggest business and personal successes, as well as repeatedly helped me to avoid catastrophic mistakes.
Overanalysis has been my life story. It can be far worse than laziness, as overanalysis leads to the same lack of action but also self-loathing.
For years, I set goals, made resolutions to change direction, and nothing came of either. I was just as insecure and scared as the rest of the world.
Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do. That phone call, that conversation, whatever the action might be – it is fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do.
What are you waiting for? If you cannot answer this without resorting to the previously rejected concept of good timing, the answer is simple: You’re afraid, just like the rest of the world.
Measure the cost of inaction, realize the unlikelihood and repairability of most missteps, and develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action.
Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear. I got into this habit by attempting to contact celebrities and famous businesspeople for advice.
I don’t think people are fearless. If you’re fearless, you’re nuts. But you can learn to fear less. Click to tweet
To do or not to do? To try or not to try? Most people will vote no, whether they consider themselves brave or not.
Fear is your friend. Fear is an indicator. Sometimes is shows you what you shouldn’t do, but more often than not it shows you exactly what you should do.
Uncertainty and the prospect of failure can be very scary noises in the shadows.
The best people in almost any field are almost always the people who get the most criticism.
Fear itself is quite fear-inducing. Most intelligent people in the world dress it up as something else: optimistic denial.
What are you putting off out of fear?
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Suicide, Depression, Death
There are some secrets we don’t share because they’re embarrassing.
In hindsight, it’s incredible how trivial some of it seems. At the time, though, it was the perfect storm. I include wording like “impossible situation,” which was reflective of my thinking at the time, not objective reality.
I saw my classmates competing, because that’s what they were good at! I mean, you take kids who go to a school like Princeton, they’re used to competing, and they are used to being number one, so if something seems coveted, they will compete for it, whether or not they really want that thing.
One afternoon, as I’m wandering through a Barnes and Noble with no goal in particular, I chance upon a book about suicide.
The decision was obvious to me. I’d somehow failed, painted myself into this ridiculous corner, wasted a fortune on a school that didn’t care about me, and what would be the point of doing otherwise? To repeat these types of mistakes forever? To be a hopeless burden to myself and my family and friends?
It’s important to mention that, by this point, I was past deciding. The decision was obvious to me. I’d somehow failed, painted myself into this ridiculous corner, wasted a fortune on a school that didn’t care about me, so what would be the point of doing otherwise? To repeat these types of mistakes forever? To be a hopeless burden to myself and my family and friends? The world was better off… What would I ever contribute? Nothing. So the decision was made, and I was in full-on planning mode.
It was only then that I realized something: my death wasn’t just about me. It would completely destroy the lives of those I cared most about. I imagined my mom, who had no part in creating my thesis mess, suffering until her dying day, blaming herself.
The very next week, I decided to take the rest of my “year off” truly off (to hell with the thesis) and focus on physical and mental health. That’s how the entire “sumo” story of the 1999 Chinese Kickboxing (Sanshou) Championships came to be, if you’ve read The 4-Hour Workweek.
Months later, after focusing on my body instead of being trapped in my head, things were much clearer. Everything seemed more manageable. The “hopeless” situation seemed like shitty luck but nothing permanent.
Given the purported jump in “suicidal gestures” at Princeton and its close cousins (Harvard appears to have 2x the national average for undergrad suicides), I hope the administration is taking things seriously.
Perhaps regularly reach out to the entire student body to catch people before they fall? It could be as simple as email.If you’re in a dangerous place, call this number : 1 (800) 273-8255. I didn’t have it, and I wish I had. It’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (website and live chat here). It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in both English and Spanish.
Sometimes, it just takes one conversation with one rational person to stop a horrible irrational decision.
If you’re too embarrassed to admit that, as I was, then you can ping them “just to chat for a few minutes.” Pretend you’re killing time or testing different suicide hotlines for a directory you’re compiling. Whatever works.
Speaking from personal experience, believe me: this too shall pass, whatever it is. Click to tweet
I realized it would destroy other people’s lives. Killing yourself can spiritually kill other people.
Your death is not perfectly isolated. It can destroy a lot, whether your family (who will blame themselves), other loved ones, or simply the law enforcement officers or coroners who have to haul your death mask-wearing carcass out of an apartment or the woods.
A friend once told me that killing yourself is like taking your pain, multiplying it 10x, and giving it to the ones who love you.
If think about killing yourself, imagine yourself wearing a suicide bomber’s vest of explosives and walking into a crowd of innocents. That’s effectively what it is.
Even if you “feel” like no one loves you or cares about you, you are most likely loved – and most definitely lovable and worthy of love.
There’s no guarantee that killing yourself improves things! […] The “afterlife” could be 1,000x worse than life, even at its worst.
I personally believe that consciousness persists after physical death, and it dawned on me that I literally had zero evidence that my death would improve things.
It’s easy to blow things out of proportion, to get lost in the story you tell yourself, and to think that your entire life hinges on one thing you’ll barely remember 5 or 10 years later. That seemingly all-important thing could be a bad grade, getting into college, a relationship, a divorce, getting fired, or a bunch of hecklers on the Internet.
Go to the gym and move for at least 30 minutes. For me, this is 80% of the battle.
If you can’t seem to make yourself happy, do little things to make other people happy. This is a very effective magic trick. Focus on others instead of yourself. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line (I do this a lot), compliment a stranger, volunteer at a soup kitchen, help a classroom on DonorsChoose.org, buy a round of drinks for the line cooks and servers at your favorite restaurant, etc.
The little things have a big emotional payback, and guess what? Chances are, at least one person you make smile is on the front lines with you, quietly battling something nearly identical.
If you don’t care about yourself, make it about other people.
If we let the storms pass and choose to reflect, we come out better than ever.
You have gifts to share with the world. You are not alone. You are not flawed. You are human.
Tim Ferriss Quotes About Podcasting
There is no long-term revenue strategy. I focus solely on making it as fun as possible for me to do.
Even in a golden age, podcasting is a squirrely opportunity and not a panacea on a silver platter. Even if you work smart, you still have to do the work and take your lumps.
Like everyone else, at one point, I had zero readers and zero listeners. We all start out naked and afraid. Then your mom starts checking out your stuff, or perhaps a few friends give a mercy-listen, and the fragile snowball grows from there.
Everyone should try podcasting for at least 3-6 episodes, even if just to get better at asking questions and eliminating verbal tics. Those gains transfer everywhere.
Revenue opportunities often present themselves if you focus on creating something you’d pay for yourself. If you can easily sell it to 10 friends and do some basic market research on top of that, the odds improve.
The recipe is straightforward – study the craft like it’s your job (e.g. Find people like master interviewer Cal Fussman), make yourself smile, don’t rush, don’t whore yourself, test a lot of wacky ideas, and think laterally.
Keep the format simple. Most would-be blockbuster podcasters quit because they get overwhelmed with gear and editing.
Much like Joe Rogan, I decided to record and publish entire conversations (minimizing post-production), not solely highlights.
I also use a tremendously simple gear setup and favored Skype interviews for the first 20 or so interviews, as the process is easier to handle when you can look at questions and prep notes in Evernote or a notebook.
As Tony Robbins would say: complexity is the enemy of execution. You do NOT need concert hall-quality audio; most people will be listening in the subway or car anyway, and they’ll forgive you if recordings are rough around the edges.
Don’t pursue or even think about sponsors until you have a critical mass. I discussed this earlier. It’s a distraction. Play the long game.
Borrow, be ridiculous on occasion, and be yourself. This is one medium where it can pay 100-fold to simply be you: warts, weirdness, and all.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Journaling, Writing, Blogging
Focus on an obsession that makes you a bit weird.
Make it fun for you and you will find an audience.
It’s never too late to begin a new chapter, add a surprise twist, or change genres entirely.
Listen to other experiences, and start forming questions that you can journal.
If you sit down in a negative state, you will be thinking first and foremost of problems, and not solutions.
The question, ‘what is the worst thing that can happen?’ is a very powerful question.
If someone’s criticism is completely unfounded on data, then I don’t want to hear it. It doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
Bloggers are uniquely positioned to create bestsellers.
The paper is like a photography darkroom for my mind.
It has never been easier to create content self-published, but it has never been harder to get the attention you want, or need, to really put something into orbit.
The quality of my writing dropped miserably if I tried to do more than four hours per day. It’s not necessary to put in 9-5 hours.
I have built my blog traffic and book buzz using mostly offline activities, and I recommend others do the same.
Rather than fight for attention with everyone online, I’ve focused on attending and speaking at events where bloggers are the attendees.
Help them somehow, whether commenting well on their blog, offering advice, or introducing them to other cool folk. (About other bloggers).
I’m also beginning to realize that you can monetize a blog without bastardizing your vision, sacrificing editorial purity, or otherwise “selling out.” There’s no need to sacrifice on either end.
On how to monetize a blog: Step one is understanding your readers. By this, I mean defining them psychographically and demographically. What would they buy? Then, it’s a simple matter of finding advertisers who would pay for “sponsor”-level access to this market.
On how to monetize a blog: There are certainly other avenues — affiliate programs, Amazon Associates, etc. — that add additional revenue with marginal additional effort. Last, and few bloggers consider this, is launching and offering your own products to your audience.
Don’t save your best for volume two. Click to tweet
The top stories all polarize people. Do not try to appeal to everyone. Instead, take a strong stance and polarize people: make some love you and some hate you.
If you make it threaten people’s 3 Bs — behavior, belief, or belongings — you get a huge virus-like dispersion.
There are more than 200,000 books published each year in the US, and less than 5% ever sell more than 5,000 copies. On a given bestseller list, more than 5 spots could be occupied by unbeatable bestsellers like Good to Great or The Tipping Point, which have been on the lists for years.
When you’re writing and you start to feel really uncomfortable, that’s when you know you’re starting to get it right. I’d imagine that applies to photography. It applies to everything.
You can’t out Fox News Fox News. Timely news-based content turns life (or business) into a keeping up with the Joneses nightmare. I focus on evergreen/useful content that is as valuable 6 months from now as it is the day it’s published. It might mean less immediate traffic, but it means sticky traffic and also Google traffic that will add up to monstrous traffic later.
For reaching influential people, I think that in-person is the least crowded and most effective way, because they have to trust the messenger before they will endorse the message.
People prefer to trust other people, not brands (e.g. Steve Jobs versus Apple), so I have the advantage of being a single-person-based media provider. Brands can do this by singling out killer personalities to drive their brands (e.g. Bobby Flay for Food Network in the early days). People want to follow humans, not trademarks. Plan accordingly.
I write about what most excites me and assume that will hold true for 10,000+ people… if I write about it well. If I get 100 die-hard fans per post like that, I can build an army that will not only consider buying anything I sell later (assuming high quality — most critical!), but they’ll also promote my work as trustworthy to other people. This compounds quickly.
My daily journaling isn’t limited to mornings. I use it as a tool to clarify my thinking and goals.
There are two different journals that I’m currently using: the five-minute journal, which was created by a reader of mine, in fact. Really, really helpful for setting the tone and focus for the day. And then morning pages, which is really just a free-association exercise — good way to trap your monkey-mind on paper so it doesn’t distract you and sabotage you for the rest of the day.
I’m just caging my monkey mind on paper so I can get on with my fucking day.
Tim Ferriss Quotations About Habits, Morning routines
I try to do 5 things each morning. Realistically, if I hit three out of five, I consider myself having won the morning. And if you win the morning, you win the day. (See following quotes)
Step 1. Make Bed (< 3 minutes). This might seem ridiculous, but bear with me. To quote Naval Admiral William McRaven, head of JSOC (think Special Ops) during the Osama bin Laden raid: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
Step 2. Meditate (10 to 20 minutes). At least 80% of all guests profiled in Tools of Titans have a daily mindfulness practice of some type. Sometimes I will do “Happy Body” mobility exercises from Olympic weightlifter Jerzy Gregorek in place of meditation. Pattern: Males seem to gravitate to TM (tm.org) and women to vipassana, but it’s not 100% correlation, of course. The Headspace app also pops up a lot in my interviews.
Step 3. Do 5 to 10 Reps of Something (<1 minute). The 5 to 10 reps here are not a workout. They are intended to “state prime” and wake me up. Getting into my body, even for 30 seconds, has a dramatic effect on my mood and quiets mental chatter. I like pushups and planche leans with mini-parallettes or, ideally, pushups on rings (with turn out at the top), which light you up like a X-mas tree.
Step 4. Prepare “Titanium Tea” (this name was a joke, but it stuck) (2 to 3 minutes). I prepare loose-leaf tea in a Rishi glass teapot but you could use a French press. The below combo is excellent for cognition and fat loss, and I use about 1 flat teaspoon of each: Pu-erh aged black tea Dragon well green tea (or other green tea) Turmeric and ginger shavings (often also Rishi brand). Add the hot water to your mixture and let it steep for 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 5. Morning Pages or 5-Minute Journal (5 to 10 minutes). I use two types of journaling and alternate between them: Morning Pages and The 5-Minute Journal (5MJ). The former I use primarily for getting unstuck or problem solving (what should I do?); the latter I use for prioritizing and gratitude (how should I focus and execute?).
With routines, you don’t want your threshold for “success” to be checking 100% of the boxes. Look for 3/5 wins or 2/5 wins. Otherwise, the human inclination is self-sabotage with “Well, I miss A or B, so I failed today,” or “Now today is going to be harder” and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On a routine he could not do: Ahhh… waking up at 4:45am consistently like former Navy SEAL Commander Jocko Willink or super athlete Amelia Boone! I’m a night owl, plain and simple. Fortunately, not all the world-class performers out there rise with the Amish. There are plenty of folks, like me, who are barely alive until 11am or later.
Success, however you define it, is achievable if you collect the right field-tested beliefs and habits.
You don’t “succeed” because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.
I wake up probably somewhere between 8:30 and 10 AM; I tend to stay up late. Then I brew tea, which is typically Pu-erh tea with turmeric and ginger added to it, to which I add coconut oil, which is high in medium chain triglycerides, which the brain likes very much. I consume that as I sit down and journal.
I, every night, have a very hot soaking bath. No bubbles, no jets. That’s sacrilegious.
Sometimes, peculiar routines are the key to sanity and productivity.
Tim Ferriss Words About Himself, His Family
One of my greatest joys in life is trying things that haven’t been done before.
I specialize in pattern recognition and accelerated learning. So taking a subject that seems very complex or that can be presented in a very complex way, and distilling it down into the fewest number of moving pieces that really matter.
I was an All-American in wrestling in high school, was National Champion in Chinese kickboxing in 1999 and have spent a lot of time around professional athletes, which includes my eight-plus years as CEO of a sports nutrition company.
My art, if I have an art, is deconstructing things that really scare the living hell out of me.
I have scary eyes. I look like the guy in ‘American History X,’ yes. I remember coming home from school and asking my mum if I could get an eye transplant, and of course she declined.
Being called a huckster and a charlatan started several years ago, so that’s something I’m accustomed to. In most cases, it doesn’t bother me.
I was making $70K or so per month – and I was completely miserable, worse than ever. I had no time and was working myself to death.
There is a place, at least in my life, for a decent amount of hedonism.
I did not grow up playing tennis with Steven Spielberg and drinking wine with Jerry Seinfeld – I grew up serving coffee to those people.
I suppose my professional life can be split into writing books that all sound like infomercial products, most notably The 4-Hour Workweek, and then tech investing.
I always thought I was going to end up teaching ninth grade.
My mom always encouraged me to march to my own drummer.
My mom would take us to experience things firsthand, like go to the beach and take leftover chicken bones and tie them to strings and fish for crabs, which we threw back, but the list just went on and on. And if we grasped onto anything and became really passionate, then she would — and my father as well — put all their support behind that.
I was hyperactive, so my mom was looking for a solution to this and threw me into kid wrestling. So kid wrestling is weight-class based. And I ended up embracing that as my primary sport and got to a national level towards the end of high school.
My parents didn’t have much money growing up, but they always had a budget for books.
My dad was a real-estate broker, a local real estate broker. My mom was, and still is, a physical therapist.
I was a townie. I was the kid with the rat tail dreaming of tearing the hood ornaments off fancy cars.
I’m an impatient guy. I always have been, ever since I was literately a little kind of 12-13 years old. If I was at the restaurant with my mom and dad, and the server didn’t come over and pour water after we’ve been gone dry for 5 minutes i’d just get up and walk into the kitchen and grab a pitcher and walk out. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
I’m really impatient and I get angry about things that I view as deliberately slow and sloppy. And that anger can be harnessed sometimes in a really productive aggression but it also wears you down at both ends. (Conversation with Josh Waitzkin)
We all get frustrated. I am particularly prone to frustration when I see little or no progress after several weeks of practicing something new.
I remember when I had my first real business anything in college, teaching this accelerated learning seminar. I felt richer than I’d ever felt in my life because I was making $8.00 an hour in the college library.
I view my job as testing many, many different things, performing experiments and then providing the Cliff Notes to people as a teacher.
Did you know that Tim Ferriss holds a Guinness World Record in Argentine tango? See his Wikipedia page for more
Part 4. Tim Ferriss Quotes From…
Tim Ferriss Lines From Tribe Of Mentors
I came to France to take a break from everything. No social media, no email, no social commitments, no set plans… except one project.
What if I assembled a tribe of mentors to help me?
What if I asked 100+ brilliant people the very questions I want to answer for myself? Or somehow got them to guide me in the right direction?
The month had been set aside to review all of the lessons I’d learned from nearly 200 world-class performers I’d interviewed on The Tim Ferriss Show, which recently passed 100 000 000 downloads.
There are a lot of powerful quotes, but this book is much more than a compilation of quotes. It is a toolkit for chaning your life.
Everything in these pages has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I’ve used dozens of these tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings.
The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration.
Many students come to me full of wonderful intentions hoping to change the world; they plan to spend their time helping the poor and disadvantaged. I tell them to first graduate and make a lot of money, and only then figure out how best to help those in need. Too often students can’t meaningfully help the disadvantaged now, even if it makes them feel good for trying to. I have seen so many former students in their late 30s and 40s struggling to make ends meet. They spent their time in college doing good rather than building their careers and futures. I warn students today to be careful how they use their precious time and to think carefully about when is the right time to help. It’s a well-worn cliché, but you have to help yourself before you help others. This is too often lost on idealistic students. I am often asked whether one should.
These days, more than any other question, I’m asking “What would this look like if it were easy?” If I feel stressed, stretched thin, or overwhelmed, it’s usually because I’m overcomplicating something or failing to take the simple/easy path because I feel I should be trying “harder” (old habits die hard).
To keep marching forward in the meanwhile, humans (yours truly included) need short-term rewards. In this book, I accomplish that with questions that provide tangible, easy, and often fun answers – Scooby snacks for your hard-working soul. To get the heavier lifting done, these breathers are important.
Truth be told, I never thought I’d make it to 40. My first book was rejected 27 times by publishers. The things that worked out weren’t supposed to work, so I realized on my birthday: I had no plan for after 40.
As often happens at forks in the path — college graduation, quarter-life crisis, midlife crisis, kids leaving home, retirement — questions started to bubble to the surface. Were my goals my own, or simply what I thought I should want? How much of life had I missed from underplanning or overplanning? How could I be kinder to myself ? How could I better say no to the noise to better say yes to the adventures I craved? How could I best reassess my life, my priorities, my view of the world, my place in the world, and my trajectory through the world?
The 11 Questions Tim Ferriss Asked to 130 of the most successful people in the world (In Tribe Of Mentors)
Question 1. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
Question 2. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.
Question 3. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
Question 4. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
Question 5. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
Question 6. What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
Question 7. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Question 8. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
Question 9. What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Question 10. In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
Question 11. When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)
Tim Ferriss Lines From Tools Of Titans
I created Tools Of Titans because it’s the book that I’ve wanted my entire life.
I actually wrote this book for myself. I never intended on publishing it.
After I had interviewed almost 200 guests on my podcast, I took a break from everything and set aside a month in France to review all of the lessons I’d learned, to distill everything into the ultimate CliffNotes quick reference for myself. I have dozens of notebooks everywhere, and I wanted this to be my one go-to cheat sheet.
I took the time to analyze thousands of pages of transcripts (around 10,000) and hand-scribbled notes I had. The goal, among others, was to see if there were common habits or recommendations. What were the low-hanging fruit with immediate returns?
I wanted the “notebook” (which became Tools of Titans) to be something that could help me in minutes but be read for a lifetime. I’ve used and vetted all of the lessons in some way and found it’s already changed my life. My hope is that is does that for readers, too.
Tim Ferriss Lines From The Four Hour Work Week
Reality is negotiable.
For most people, somewhere between six and seven billion of them, the perfect job is the one that takes the least time.
The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility.
Options – the ability to choose – is real power. This book is all about how to see and create those options with the least effort and cost. It just so happens, paradoxically, that you can make more money – a lot more money – by doing half of what you are doing now.
The concept of lifestyle design as a replacement for multi-staged career planning is sound.
If this book were all stern looks and no winks, all productivity and no grab-assing, you’d remember very little.
Deferrers: To work when you want to. New Rich: To prevent work for work’s sake, and to do the minimum necessary for maximum effect (“minimum effective load”).
Deferrers: To retire early and young. New Rich: To distribute recovery periods and adventures (mini-retirements) throughout life on a regular basis and recognize that inactivity is not the goal. Doing that which excites you it.
Deferrers: To buy all the things you want to have. New Rich: To do all the things you want to do, and be all the things you want to be. If this includes some tools and gadgets, so be it, but they are either means to and end or bonuses, not the focus.
Deferrers: To make a ton of money. New Rich: To make a ton of money with specific reasons and defined dreams to chase, timelines and steps included. What are you working for?
Deferrers: To reach the big pay-off, whether IPO, acquisition, retirement, or other pot of gold. New Rich: To think big but ensure payday comes every day: cash flow first, big payday second.
Deferrers: To have freedom from doing that which you dislike. New Rich: To have freedom from doing that which you dislike, but also the freedom and resolve to pursue your dreams without reverting to work for work’s sake.
The goal is not only the eliminate the bad, which does nothing more than leave you with a vacuum, but to pursue and experience the best in the world.
Tim Ferriss Lines About The Four Hour Work Week
The 4-Hour Workweek is, first and foremost, about 10x’ing your per-hour output. I have no problem with hard work, as long as it’s applied to the right things, and I never have.
The 4-Hour Workweek and the podcast have attracted some of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers and start-up founders. They might work 80+ hours per week, but they value efficient and elegant solutions.
Mini-retirements are wonderful, but I’m not going to spend my entire life on the sidelines.
Ah, the 4-Hour blessing and curse! That title and accidental brand has been great to me (and caused a lot of headache), but I think it’s time to retire that jersey.
Before I began writing 4HWW, I cold-contacted and interviewed close to a dozen best-writing authors about their writing processes, followed by close to a dozen best-selling authors about their marketing and PR campaigns.
I instead focused on the most efficient word-of-mouth networks in the world at the time – blogs. The path to seeding the ideas of 4HWW was then straight-forward: Go where bloggers go. Be there with a message and a story that will appeal to their interests, not yours. Build and maintain those relationships through your own blog too
It all came down to learning how to spread a “meme“, an idea virus that captures imaginations and takes on a life of its own. (More on this here How Does a Bestseller Happen? A Case Study in Hitting #1 on the New York Times)
Tim Ferriss Lines From On Marketing Rules For The Four Hour Work Week
Rule 1. Phenomenize: Identify and name a legitimate societal shift or new phenomenon. To best spread a message or product, sell around it by discussing larger issues surrounding its creation: the person (me in this case), the changing social landscape, and emerging trends.
Rule 2. Polarize: Good stories and trend-spotting, told unapologetically, will create both supporters (“That’s the solution!”) and attackers (“It’s a fraud!”). The battle and ongoing debate this generates is the fuel needed for word-of-mouth wildfire.
Don’t piss people off for the sake of offending, but don’t sacrifice the edge of your message to avoid offending.
Rule 3. Communitize: Help create base camps for believers. Organic communities grow fastest when natural leaders are identified and encouraged to become leaders.
This is how more than 22 demographic tribes (I call them “demotribes”) came to be, including “4HWW for Programmers,” “4HWW for Families,” and “4HWW for Students.”
Tim Ferriss Lines From The Four Hour Body
The major fears of modern man could be boiled down to two things: too much e-mail and getting fat.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.
Magnesium and calcium are easiest to consume in pill form, and 500 milligrams of magnesium taken prior to bed will also improve sleep.
You don’t need more recipes. You need to learn to cook without them.
Flavor is, counterintuitively, less than 10% taste and more than 90% smell.
When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is.
Did you eat half an Oreo cookie? No problem. If you’re a 220-pound male, you just need to climb 27 flights of stairs to burn it off.
Part 5. Tim Ferriss Favorite Quotes (From Other Authors)
The quotes you’ll find here are pull quotes or bolded quotes in Tim Ferriss’ books and articles.
Also, the following one is probably the one he refers to the most:
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Jim Rohn
Tim Ferriss Favorite Quotes From Tribe Of Mentors
Macro patience, micro speed. Gary Vaynerchuk
Courage over comfort. Brene Brown
No one owes you anything. Amelia Boone
“Ego is about who’s right. Truth is about what’s right. Mike Maples Jr.
Think for yourself. Everyone has a unique picture of how things work and function, and yours is as valuable as anyone’s. Kelly Slater
We need a new diversity – not one based on biological characteristics and identity politics but a diversity of opinion and worldviews. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles.
I try to be a realistic optimist: I’m very clinical about where we are today, but extremely optimistic about what we’re going to get done in the future. Ben Silbermann
We spend far too much time complaining about the way things are, and forget that we have the power to change anything and everything. Bozoma Saint John
Originality only happens on the edges of reality. Darren Aronofsky Click to tweet
Busy is a decision. Debbie Millman
You can be a juicy ripe peach and there’ll still be someone who doesn’t like peaches. Dita Von Teese
We can’t control the fact that bad things are going to happen, but it’s how we react to them that really matter. Dustin Muskovitz
Your dreams are the blueprint to reality. Greg Norman
The single most important distinction in life… is to distinguish between an opportunity to be seized and a temptation to be resisted. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Have the moral courage to live in the gray…live the questions so that, one day, you will live yourself into the answers. Jacqueline Novogratz
The fairest rules are those to which everyone would agree if they did not know how much power they would have. John Rawls
I used to resent obstacles along the path, thinking ‘if only that hadn’t happened life would be so good.’ then I suddenly realized, life is the obstacles. There is no underlying path. Janna Levin
And if you say you’re not creative, look at how much you’re missing out on just because you’ve told yourself that. I think creativity is one of the greatest gifts that we’re born with that some people don’t cultivate, that they don’t realize it could be applied to literally everything in their lives. Robert Rodriguez
Endings don’t have to be failures, especially when you choose to end a project or shut down a business. Even the best gigs don’t last forever. Nor should they. Samin Nosrat
The disease of our times is that we live on the surface. We’re like the Platte River, a mile wide and an inch deep. Steven Pressfield
It all happened so suddenly and cinematically that it might defy belief – I remembered that actually I had always wanted to be a writer. So I started writing that every evening. Susan Cain
Thinking of what makes me happy doesn’t give me the same clarity as thinking about what gives me bliss. Kyle Maynard
Self-esteem is just the reputation you have with yourself. You’ll always know. Naval Ravikant
Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued… Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you ahve to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run – in the long-run, I say! – success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it. Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s search for meaning
Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life. Jerzy Gregorek
In a real sense, to grow in life, I must be a seeker of stress. Jim Loehr
Discipline equals freedom. Jocko Willink
Tim Ferriss Favorite Quotes From Tools Of Titans
I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering. Amelia Boone
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’ Hunter S. Thompson
Make your peace with the fact that saying ‘no’ often requires trading popularity for respect. Greg McKeown
If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. Epictetus
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing. Benjamin Franklin
In the end, winning is sleeping better. Jodie Foster
I wasn’t there to compete. I was there to win. Arnold Schwarzenegger
My confidence came from my vision. I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier. Arnold Schwarzenegger
You realize that you will never be the best-looking person in the room. You’ll never be the smartest person in the room. You’ll never be the most educated, the most well-versed. You can never compete on those levels. But what you can always compete on, the true egalitarian aspect to success, is hard work. You can always work harder than the next guy. Casey Neistat
If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs. Derek Sivers
When you can write well, you can think well. Matt Mullenweg
Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. Pierre-Marc Gaston Click to tweet
Slow down. I think a lot of the mistakes of my youth were mistakes of ambition, not mistakes of sloth. So just slowing down, whether that’s meditating, whether that’s taking time for yourself away from screens, whether that’s really focusing in on who you’re talking to or who you’re with. Matt Mullenweg
Everyone is interesting. If you’re ever bored in a conversation, the problem’s with you, not the other person. Matt Mullenweg
The quality of your life is the quality of your questions. Tony Robbins
Life is always happening for us, not to us. It’s our job to find out where the benefit is. If we do, life is magnificent. Tony Robbins
Suffering comes from three thought patters: loss, less, never. Tony Robbins
Mastery doesn’t come from an infographic. What you know doesn’t mean shit. What do you do consistently? Tony Robbins
The reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself. Tony Robbins
If it’s not a ‘HELL, YES!’ it’s a ‘NO’. Derek Sivers Click to tweet
Be your unapologetically weird self. Chris Sacca
Your inbox is a to-do list to which anyone in the world can add an action item. Chris Sacca
Don’t overestimate the people on pedestals. Marc Andreessen
Productivity is for robots. What humans are going to be really good at is asking questions, being creative, and experiences. Kevin Kelly
If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success. James Cameron
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. J. Krishnamurti
Tim Ferriss Favorite Quotes From The Four Hour Work Week
Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition. W.H. Auden
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw
Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid. Heirich Heine
Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. Albert Einstein
People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. Calvin
Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?”. Seneca
I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time. Herbert Bayard Swope
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. Pablo Picasso
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett Click to tweet
What gets measured gets managed. Peter Drucker
One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. Bruce Lee
Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it. Malcolm X
Adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they are looking for ideas. Paula Poundstone
If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time. Chinese Proverb
Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer. Niccolo Michiavelli
By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day. Robert Frost
Part 6. Conclusion
Do your homework, micro-test like a mother, and trust your conclusions. You could be wrong, and you often will be, but… what if you’re right? Click to tweet
Table Of Contents
Tim Ferriss Quotes ABOUT
3 Rules Of Branding
Tim Ferriss Favorite Quotes