Book:  Tribe of Mentors

Author:  Tim Ferriss

Purchase:  PrinteBook

Citation:  Ferriss, T. (2017). Tribe of mentors : short life advice from the best in the world. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Three Big Takeaways:

  • Meditation is one of the most practical, powerful, productivity-enhancing tools ever created, and learning to meditate is one of the best investments I ever made. (pg. 189)

  • Discipline equals freedom. You want more free time? Follow a more disciplined time-management system. You want financial freedom? Implement long-term financial discipline in your life. We all want freedom. Discipline is the only way to get it. (pg. 538)

  • To learn from the best, you don't need to meet them, you just need to absorb them. Feeding your mind is how you become your own best coach. The power broker in your life is the voice that no one ever hears. How well you revisit your private voice is what determines the quality of your life. It is the master storyteller, and the stories we tell ourselves are our reality. (pg. 567)

Other Key Ideas:

  • The genuine love for reading, when cultivated, is a superpower. We are living in the age where every book and every knowledge ever written down is a fingertip away. The means of learning are abundant - it's the desire to learn that's scarce. (pg. 33)

  • When overwhelmed consider napping. There's no conundrum that a 20-minute nap can't help me unpack. It's like a refresh button for my mind. I wake up clearer and more able to focus. (pg. 38)

  • When you are writing, stop trying to win readers over. There are a lot of people on the Internet, and they can all access your work with one tap on the phone in their pocket. So even if only one in every thousand people like you work, that still amounts to over a million people who will love what you are doing. (pg. 47)

  • When you are the direct supervisor and working with a direct report don't say "I have been successful, so do it my way." Instead, say "I can't answer your question, but this might be a good way for you to think about it." (pg. 66)

  • Make sure you have something every day you're looking forward to. Maybe it's your job, maybe it's a basketball game after work, maybe it's a date. But have something every day that lights you up. (pg. 73)

  • While consuming fats and proteins evokes a feeling of satiety, consuming sugars induces a desire for more sugar within an hour or so. (pg. 111)

  • When you feel stressed, just try to breathe and concentrate on your breath. Furthermore, stop worrying too much about the future. Focus on making the most out of every single day with the belief that it will bring you to where you want to be. (pg. 138)

  • Moving away from your hometown can be one of the most fruitful things you ever do. You can't help but define yourself in terms of how other people see you. Being around nothing but new people allows you to redefine yourself.  You can certainly move back, but the growth out of living away can be huge. (pg. 149)

  • Always take the time to acknowledge people - and not just when you have something to gain. If you show interest in them, they will show interest in you. Relationships - even brief ones - are doorways to opportunity. (pg. 180)

  • When dealing with a rejection: "That rejection filled me with so much fire. Not anger. Not resentment. Not disappointment. But fire. Fire to kick ass and prove his impression wrong. I loved the rejection - it made me." (pg. 204)

  • The Hewlett-Packard mantra was "MBWA" - manage by wandering around. It stands for being in touch, being human - and learning from everyone. I once worked with a wildly successful Nordstrom store manager. She said "When I'm stuck or down, I stand up from my desk and take a 30-minute walk on the floor. Just talking with our gang for a few minutes clears my head and inspires me." (pg. 228)

  • To become the best you can be: First, become a superstar, all-pro listener. How? Work on it - it does not come naturally. Read up on it. Practice it. Second, read, read, read, read, read. In short, the best student wins - whether at 21 or 51 or 101. (pg. 228)

  • Avoid working on things that someone else could do, even if you enjoy doing it. Try to give your best ideas away in hopes that others will do them, because if they do them, you were not the only one who could have. In the end, you should be left with projects only you can do, which makes them distinctive and valuable. (pg. 249)

  • Instead of considering every text, every email as the most important thing in my life, I started looking at things as energy. Is this email empowering or is this email taking up my energy? I realized that most of the time it was taking up my energy. (pg. 264)

  • I brush my teeth standing on one leg, alternating each time. It's great for your legs, core, and stabilization. (pg. 285)

  • I have a terrible habit of forgetting smaller things during the day, so I like to put them on paper before the day gets started and I become distracted. Having the list helps me keep calm and productive during the day. (pg. 427)

  • Consider buying a rowing machine. You can row at home any time, day or night. It's low-impact, total-body, and the results are insane. Please, you can binge-watch shows when you row. (pg. 433)

  • When I am in a tough situation and feel stressed, I try to remind myself that stress can make me stronger - if I believe it can. I breathe deeply and visualize, focusing that feeling of stress and being overwhelmed into positive. (pg. 439)

  • If I'm upset about something, I should spend time asking myself, "What could I learn?" Because another opportunity is probably going to come in the future, and I will be better able to re-execute it. (pg. 448)

  • You're the average of your five closest friends. Make sure to put yourself in an environment that pulls the best out of you. (pg. 457)

  • Think of your time like a jar, your priorities as "rocks", and everything else as pebbles. What's the best way to fill your jar? Start with the rocks, and then fill in the pebbles. You may be convinced that your time is spent on the rocks. However, once you create an hour-by-hour of where your time is spent, you will be shocked how much of your jar is filled with sand. Schedule specific blocks of time in advance for your "rocks" so you don't have to think about them. If you can't see your rocks on your calendar, they might as well not exist. (pg. 458)

  • I prefer to work out first thing in the morning because it just starts my day off better. It gives me more energy, and I don't dread it for the rest of the day. (pg. 465)

  • When I get overwhelmed I go for a walk. I think the most important thing for me to remember when I get overwhelmed is to not feel the need to continue on and push through. It doesn't necessarily benefit whatever it is I'm working on. It's almost always better to take a break. (pg. 491)

  • If regular exercise could be bottled, it would be a miracle drug. Everything in your life gets better if you find time to exercise regularly. (pg. 497)

  • When I am overwhelmed I go for a walk, and I try to write everything down that's going on, so I can get it out of my head and look at it. (pg. 499)

  • The first several days of a low-carb diet you will go through "carb withdrawal" which can be brutal, but eventually you will have a sensation of complete freedom from cravings. (pg. 508)

  • I believe in the ability to find flow, and when you are in that state of flow, you care capable of finishing projects really fast. When I'm in that state of flow, I stay there as long as I possibly can, because once you're out, it's hard to get back in. (pg. 524)

  • Anything that is quantified and tracked on a regular basis will invariably show improvement. Quantifying behavior raises awareness and, as a consequence, habit acquisition times are typically accelerated. (pg. 529)

  • When I am overwhelmed I immediately begin by recalling all the things I am grateful for in my life. I start with my family and then allow my thoughts of gratitude to go wherever they go, from the smallest things to the largest. (pg. 531)

  • It's often daunting trying to tackle an undesirable major task. To approach this work, I'll attack an undesirable major task for a full 20 minutes. No straying from that. During that time, like clockwork, I'll always have several distractions: tasks and ideas that inevitably pop up in my head. These thoughts would normally send me off and running to accomplish whatever they were while they were still in my head. Because when you're engaged mentally on a task, creativity fires off more ideas. To make sure you stay on task but don't forget these new, creative ideas, simply make sure you are writing them down. Make sure you are writing it down because this way you can come back to it after you are done with your main task. (pg. 542)

  • Meditation basics: Sit with crossed legs and closed eyes, and focus all your attention on the breath coming in and out of your nostrils. "Don't do anything," he kept saying. "Don't try to control the breath or to breathe in any particular way. Just observe the reality of the present moment, whatever it may be. When the breath comes in, you just know: Now the breath is coming in. When the breath goes out, you just know: Now the breath is going out. And when you lose your focus and your mind starts wandering in memories and fantasies, you just know: Now my mind has wondered away from the breath." It was the most important thing anyone has told me. (pg. 559)

Copyright © 2019 by Dr. Jared Smith LLC.  Specializing in Leadership, Education, and Personal Growth.