This week, I’m revisiting one of my favorite conversations with my good friend Tim Ferriss. For those of you who don’t already know, Tim is an entrepreneur, angel investor, author of 3 New York Times Best Sellers, and host of “The Tim Ferriss Show,” a podcast that receives millions of downloads each week.
Tim is widely considered a human guinea pig and has self-experimented his way through unfamiliar territory time and time again. He has a keen ability to simplify complicated systems into tangible, actionable steps showing us we truly can learn and do anything.
In this week’s episode, Tim and I discuss the importance of rigging the game of life in your favor. The feeling of winning is a precursor to winning on a large scale. So how can we give ourselves more of that feeling? A big part of it is simply setting smaller goals, and celebrating the small wins along the way. The blank page, or the starting point of any venture is an intimidating place. If your only goal is to finish, you will likely experience burnout or feel overwhelmed before any progress is made. But if you set small goals you can actually achieve, you give yourself the opportunity to not only meet them, but overshoot them. This will create the feeling of winning, which increases the likelihood of you sticking with it.
The compound effect of positive actions adds up, but it can be difficult to recognize in the moment. You’ll do yourself a huge favor and make it easier to stay on track by setting realistic goals. Tim’s rule for writing is 2 crappy pages a day. Sometimes he’ll go over- that’s a bonus, but if the only thing he does all day is type two crappy pages, then that’s a victory. If you’re getting back into exercising, commit to five minutes a day. On the days you feel good, you’ll go longer, and when you feel terrible and want to stop at 5 minutes, great, that’s still a win. The negative, nagging, voice inside your head should not be taken seriously. Tim recommends viewing that voice as an annoying roommate, one that you definitely do not have to listen to.
We also discuss transcendental meditation, and how that practice has allowed both of us to quiet that negative internal dialogue that plagues so many of us. If we let that negative dialogue take over, we remain in the small boxes we’ve created for ourselves. We talk about the importance of recognizing when you are falling back into the repetitive stories you tell about yourself – what are the consistent “I am” statements you say about yourself that are no longer serving you?
We also get into:
- The compound effect of positive actions
- Setting realistic goals. Tim’s rule for writing is 2 crappy pages a day.
- Viewing that negative, nagging voice as an annoying roommate, one that you definitely do not have to listen to.
- Positive constraints; learning to do more with less, so you’ll know how to do more with more.
And much more.
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Listen to the Podcast
- Re-visiting the 4 Hour Workweek: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/office-space/revisiting-the-4-hour-workweek
- Tim’s blog posts -Productivity tricks for the neurotic, manic-depressive, and crazy: https://tim.blog/2013/11/03/productivity-hacks/
- Some practical thoughts on suicide: https://tim.blog/2015/05/06/how-to-commit-suicide/
- Radical acceptance by Tara Brach: https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Acceptance-Embracing-Heart-Buddha/dp/0553380990
- Chimpanzee politics by Frans de Waal: https://www.amazon.com/Chimpanzee-Politics-Power-among-Apes/dp/0801886562
- Waking up by Sam Harris https://www.amazon.com/Waking-Up-Spirituality-Without-Religion/dp/1451636024
- The paradox of choice by Barry Schwartz https://www.amazon.com/Paradox-Choice-Why-More-Less/dp/149151423X
- Letters from a Stoic by Seneca https://www.amazon.com/Letters-Penguin-Classics-Lucius-Annaeus/dp/0140442103
- Sure you’re joking by Richard Feynman https://www.amazon.com/Surely-Youre-Joking-Feynman-Adventures-ebook/dp/B00MPMWQ8U
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