I read Tribe of Mentors over year ago when it came out. The chapters offer so many unique gems about how to live your life that I decided to go through it once again this past week.
If you haven’t heard of it, it’s written by Tim Ferriss of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast and Four Hour Workweek fame. The book is comprised of distilled Q&A format interviews with some of the most successful people in business, sports, medicine, entertainment, and more. He asks each of them the same 11 peculiar questions and fills each section with the best answers and life advice from people like Ray Dalio, Maria Sharpova, Jimmy Fallon, Steve Aoki, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brene Brown, Bear Grylls, Larry King and hundreds more.
I love the Tim Ferriss podcast not just for the people he has on, but moreso for the quality of the questions he asks. They’re they’re not your typical “What was your childhood like?” or “What project are you working on?”, but rather specific, peculiar questions that get right to the point and end up getting way more out of the interview than you’d expect.
After reading so many great answers to the questions, I wondered if I could come up with some good responses on my own. So, here’s my attempt at answering Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors questions. I took out some of the ones that I’m not yet old or experienced enough to answer.
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?
The Power of Your Subconcious Mind by Joseph Murphy is the book I’ve given to or recommended the most by far. I always keep a copy on my nightstand and open up to a random page whenever I’m in a rut. The content keeps me motivated whenever I’m lost or lose sight of my goals. It was written so long ago, yet it always remains relevant. This book was also a favorite of my father and grandfather, so it’s become a generational influence. I still own the original copy my dad bought in the 80’s with all of his underlines and earmarks, as well as my own.
Open by Andre Agassi is flat out one of the best books I’ve ever read. Even if you’re not a fan of tennis, or aren’t even sure who Andre Agassi is, this book is so well-written a tremendous documentation of the emotional toll tennis had on one of the greatest to ever play the game. The stories have you rooting for Andre, crying with him, laughing at the absurdity, and raving about the detail.
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or recent memory)?
Books, honestly. I will spend any amount of money on books because they’re so valuable to me as both a hobby and a knowledge source. I’m constantly hungry for more books and I typically buy 4-5 books a month. I’m always adding more books to my Amazon Cart throughout the week and then at the end of the month I’ll buy them all in bulk. I also belong to the Book of the Month club which gives you one book out of five choices every month. I got that as a birthday gift from my sister -in-law. I’m usually reading 2 or 3 books at a time so I’d say they’re the purchase that impacts me the most day to day. For cheaper options, Audible and Kindle books are a life saver as well.
But in terms of an actual product, a Trigger Point foam roller (13-inches for my small apartment) was one of the best investments ever. Between my 6-month Crossfit experiment and now training for a marathon I’m pretty much sore 24/7. But as long as I’m consistent with rolling out my hips, thighs, calves, and psoas muscles, I can knead into all the aches and pains before and after every workout.
Oh, one more. Lululemon shorts. Expensive as hell for a pair of shorts, but well worth the investment. Pay the $60 or whatever they cost now.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
My dad used to say this to me all the time. Sometimes you get so annoyed with people who suck and then it starts ruining your day. Why should someone being shitty make you feel shitty? Don’t let them win. They’re not gonna stop being shitty tomorrow. So just change the way you look at them. Flip the script. Start laughing at the shit they complain about. Start feeling sorry for them for always being so negative and awful. Be happy that you’re not that way.
“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare
So many people get caught up in worry, and anger, and their problems that they forget how good they have it. Nothing you’re worrying about now is going to help your problem. And chances are, the thing you’re worried about won’t matter in a year, or five years. Take a step back every now and then, relax, chill out, and just be happy about life. Don’t be mean to people for no reason, don’t tell other people to live their lives, and don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about you. Do your own thing, be nice to everyone you encounter, do good in the world, and have a good time.
What is an unusual habit or and absurd thing that you love?
I’m absolutely obsessed with peanut butter. I don’t go a day without it, literally. I keep a jar at work, at my apartment, and there’s always one waiting for me at my parent’s house.
The weirdest habit I have though is noticing every little thing people do, wear or say. It’s kind of annoying since I don’t actively try to break people down like that, but within maybe a week or two of meeting someone I can tell you all of their ticks – what they wear every day, what weird phrases they use all the time, they way they talk or the way they walk. I can probably do a mildly decent impression of anyone within a few days of knowing them.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your lift?
One is definitely meditation. I don’t like pushing it on people but at the same time I can’t recommend it enough.
Another is just the power of visualizing. If you’re familiar with The Secret and The Law of Attraction then you’ve heard the whole schtick about attracting what you want with your thoughts. While I don’t think you can just achieve your goals by visualizing every day (insert Dave Chappelle bit about The Secret here), I do find great power in putting yourself in the moments that you want to achieve.
Most of the accomplishments in my life came after hours and hours of visualizing the exact moment in my head for months prior. Similar to how athletes envision themselves hitting the game winning shot or sinking the final putt, you should imagine yourself getting that promotion, or asking that girl out, and really feeling that emotion constantly. I’m always envisioning the people closest to me just patting me on the back, smiling, and saying “Congratulations.” Not for anything specific, but it gets me in the mindset to achieve something that my family and friends will be proud of. If you dream yourself in the situation enough, and you feel the feelings of it, the real thing will seem ordinary and comfortable to you.
Here’s a cool clip of young Jim Carrey talking about it
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
I’ll either go a long walk (without my phone) or just put my headphones on and blast some good music. If I’m still in a funk, a hard workout usually gets the job done. I’ve never, ever, in my life felt worse after a hard workout.