Half Year Reset

The tail end of 2020 brought quite a few changes to my life and I couldn’t imagine a better book to unknowingly help me through the chaos than “Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice form the Best in the World” from Tim Ferriss. I always gobble up Tim’s content with a fervor, but this book was exceptional. Easy to read as the chapters are 2-3 pages, each one a different contributor. I finished reading around the first of the year and now six months in as a half-birthday (today!) gift to myself, I decided to review the content that I highlighted in hopes it will continue to sink into my half-a-year older, wiser brain. I wanted to share a subset of some favorite quotes and excerpts here. The book is 627 pages, so there’s lots to consume across quite a range of topics. My selected nuggets are all over the place in this style as well. Hope that you will enjoy a half-year reset with me, so without further ado…

“Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. After all, conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head. If you want confusion and heartache, ask vague questions. If you want uncommon clarity and results, ask uncommonly.”-Tim Ferriss

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” –Anaïs Nin

“Get out into the real dirt world and start failing. Why do I say that? Because the goal is to connect with your own self, your own soul. Adversity.”- Steven Pressfield

“Expect it will take courage to follow your bliss, and expect it will suck at times.” -Kyle Maynard

“My biggest shift came after listening to a successful CEO talk about his philosophy for hiring people. When his company grew and he ran out of time to interview people himself, he had his employees rate new candidates on a 1–10 scale. The only stipulation was they couldn’t choose 7. It immediately dawned on me how many invitations I was receiving that I would rate as a 7—speeches, weddings, coffees, even dates. If I thought something was a 7, there was a good chance I felt obligated to do it. But if I have to decide between a 6 or an 8, it’s a lot easier to quickly determine whether or not I should even consider it.” -Kyle Maynard

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” -Steve Jobs

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” -Oscar Wilde

“Cultivate that desire by reading what you want, not what you’re “supposed to.” -Naval Ravikant

“Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know.” -Naval Ravikant

“There is no underlying path. Our role here is to get better at navigating those obstacles. I strive to find calm, measured responses and to see hindrances as a chance to problem-solve. Often I fall back into old frustrations, but if I remind myself, this is a chance to step up, I can reframe conflicts as a chance to experiment with solutions.” -Janna Levin

“Be kind to yourself in your own mind. Let your mind show you the same kindness that you aspire to show.” -Mike Maples, Jr.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise? “This worked for me in my career, so do it my way.” The best advice I have seen comes from people who don’t try to tell me the answer . . . instead they give me a new approach to thinking about the question so that I can solve it better on my own. Most “bad” recommendations I could reduce to “I have been successful, so do it my way.” The best advice is more like, “I can’t answer your question, but this might be a good way for you to think about.” -Mike Maples, Jr.

“Diversity in counsel, unity in command.” -Cyrus, the Great

“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.” -Robert J. Sawyer Hugo

“Note that criticism is not failure. If you’re not being criticized, you’re probably not doing anything exceptional.” -Neil Strauss

“Aren’t you worried?” His answer: “Would it help?” I always think, “Would it help?”- Andrew Ross Sorkin

“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.”—Betty Reese

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”—Peter Drucker

“Whenever there is a hard job to be done, I assign it to a lazy man; he is sure to find an easy way of doing it.”—Walter Chrysler

“The great majority of that which gives you angst never happens, so you must evict it.” Don’t let it live rent-free in your brain.” -Peter Gruber

“Validation. In a team environment, you will make a much better impression if it seems like you’re not at all worried about yourself. It’s okay to actually be worried about yourself—everyone is—just don’t seem like it. If you resist asking for too much, you will often get more.” -Evan Williams

“Show up in every moment like you’re meant to be there, because your energy precedes anything you could possibly say.” -Marie Forleo

“Ignore the advice to specialize in one thing, unless you’re certain that’s how you want to roll. Ignore giving a shit about what other people think about your career choices or what you do for a living—especially if what you do for a living funds your career choices. Ignore the impulse to dial down your enthusiasm for fear it’ll be perceived as unprofessional. And especially for women, ignore societal and familial pressures to get married and have kids.” -Marie Forleo

“OPP” to remind myself that those requests are “other people’s priorities” and to think carefully before putting unsolicited requests for favors ahead of all my teammates and customers, who are quietly counting on me to do my actual job. Note that this doesn’t mean “never help people.” Just be conscious of your choices.” -Drew Houston

“You must seize opportunities when they present themselves, not when they are convenient or obvious. The only way to cultivate your own luck is to be more flexible (you’ll need to give up something for the right opportunity), humble (timing is out of your control), and gracious (when you see it, seize it!). Life’s greatest opportunities run on their own schedule, not yours.” -Scott Belsky

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”—Elbert Hubbard

“The secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard. Feeling as though you are trying too hard indicates that your priorities, technique, focus, or mindfulness is off. Take it as a cue to reset, not to double down. And take comfort in the fact that, whenever in doubt, the answer is probably hidden in plain sight.” -Tim Ferris

“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 have 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


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