How To Think Like Tim Ferriss To Live A Good Life

Who doesn’t know Tim Ferriss?

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.

You may be a true fan of him. Maybe you’ve just heard of him. Or maybe you’ve never heard this name before.

In any case, here’s a quick introduction to get started.

Tim Ferriss is the host of his famous podcast — The Tim Ferriss Show where he interviews success people from different fields. He asks them great questions and breaks down their success into bite size chunks which we can take away into our lives.

He is also the author of the books — 4-hour Workweek, 4-hour Chef, 4-hour Body, Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors.

4-hour Workweek is about lifestyle design and location independence. 4-hour Chef is about learning smarter, and 4-hour Body is about hacking the body.

Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors have a different theme. They are about getting advice, tips, tools, tactics, routine or inspiration from successful people in different fields.

Tim Ferriss is a self-proclaimed “human guinea pig” which means he believes in self-experimentation to test out assumptions and find out what most people could never imagine.

He has inspired millions of people to pursue their dreams and become lifelong learners. He continues to grow as he teaches us to be healthy, wealthy and wise.

His mission is to create an army of thinkers who can become better than him. If the student becomes better than the master, the master becomes successful.

Two of his major guiding principles are:

  1. “Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” — Jerzy Gregorek.
  2. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask.

Therefore,

Hard Choices + Good Questions = Good Life

Making Hard Choices

What if making hard choices were easy? That’s a type of question he would ask himself.

So, let’s consider it.

Hard choices are not hard by nature. They look hard to us because of fear, uncertainty, doubt or lack of clarity.

The antidote is a simple exercise which he refers to as “Fear-setting”.

In the exercise, he asks us to take a sheet of paper and make three columns titled “Define”, “Prevent” and “Repair”.

In the first column, you list out every fear you have that stops you from living the life you want. In the next column, write everything you can do to prevent the situation from happening. In the last column, write everything you can do to mitigate the damage if the worst-case scenario came true.

On the next page, switch sides and write everything good that can come out from taking the risk.

The last step is the most important step of the exercise. On the third page, determine the cost of inaction. How would your life look like in the next months or years if you didn’t take the action?

Consider every aspect such as emotional, physical and financial when you think about the cost of inaction.

The purpose of the exercise is to take a microscopic view of the situation. Most people don’t make the hard choices because they are paralyzed by fear.

When we define fear and capture it on a piece of paper, it doesn’t look that intimidating anymore. Many times, the positives outweigh the negatives.

Courage comes from clarity. The exercise helps us to switch from the fear mindset to the possibility mindset.

Most of our thoughts are fear based:

What if I go broke?

What if I’m not good enough?

What if I miss the opportunity?

What if I lose my girlfriend or boyfriend?

What if I get rejected?

When you define your fears on a paper, you don’t dwell on them any longer. Now, your mind is free to think about your untapped capabilities and the new possibilities. You ask bigger questions:

What if I change the rules?

What if I develop a new skill?

What if there’s a better opportunity coming my way?

What if I’m meant to do something greater?

What if I just start?

Asking Good Questions

You are only limited by the questions you ask yourself. Poor quality questions give poor results. Good questions can change your life.

The purpose of asking good questions is not to get an answer every time. But, it’s to explore the possibilities and expand your imagination.

By asking good questions, you train your mind to think in the ways that others might not have considered before.

So how do you ask good questions, you may ask?

The answer — question assumptions and be specific if you can.

Tim questions the status quo and the norms that society assumes as rules to live by.

Most people work 9–5 jobs, hate their lives and wait for the retirement to enjoy their lives. But he read Vagabonding, questioned assumptions and created a guide for a regular person who is stuck in a traditional lifestyle. That book became The New York Times Bestseller — The 4-Hour Workweek.

Look everything with skepticism and be open-minded. As a bonus, you can add specificity to your questions. Being specific gives you the context and constraints which sparks creativity and helps you form a plan of action. It also helps to deconstruct the answer which may lead you to find alternative solutions.

Here are some questions he asked himself that changed Tim’s life with my remarks in the brackets:

  • What if I did the opposite (questioning assumption) for 48 hours? (being specific)
  • What would I do/have/be if I had $10 million (being specific)? What’s my real Target Monthly Income? (questioning assumption)
  • If I could only work 2 hours per week (being specific) on my business, what would I do?
  • What if I couldn’t pitch my product directly? (questioning assumption)
  • Do I need to make it back the way I lost it? (questioning assumption)
  • What if I could only subtract to solve problems? (questioning assumption)

Asking good questions is not an easy task. It comes with practice. To get better, increase the number of questions you ask yourself and identify how much you’re questioning assumptions or being specific.

Quantity brings quality. And to further improve the quality of your questions, reflect to make constant improvement.


Asking good questions is about thinking and making hard choices is about doing. Both are essential ingredients to live the life you want.

If you keep thinking, there will be no progress. And if you keep taking action without thinking, you’ll end up in the middle of nowhere.

Keep the cycle of ‘making hard choices’ and ‘asking good questions’ running.

Now, It’s your turn.

What hard choices will you make? It could be a big life decision or small daily actions.

What questions can you ask yourself that will make the biggest impact on your life?

Always be questioning.

Always be experimenting.

Always be learning.

Always be evolving.

Success is a result of daily actions…

Design your daily checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

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Why Learning More About Self Improvement May Not Change Your Life

Ever since I was out of school, I fell in love with learning.

At school, they forced me to study what I had zero interest in but when I was out of school, I could finally learn and study what I wanted to.

One of the subjects I started learning was self improvement (self help, personal growth, personal development, or whatever you want to call it).

Soon enough, I knew I could never leave the pursuit of growth and peace. Now, it’s part of who I am.

I wasn’t an avid reader or a fan of writing since childhood. Self improvement is how I got into both — reading and writing.

Learning is fun. It can even be addictive. There was a time when I spent my entire day learning about self improvement.

But then, I realized…

Self improvement doesn’t happen in front of a device or a book.

You can spend your entire life learning, forming principles, and adopting mindsets but it’s of no use if you don’t use the knowledge to improve yourself, your life or others.

I have hundreds of articles, books, podcasts, courses, and videos to consume in my ‘saved for later’ list.

I will not consume all the items on the list. Who am I kidding? I can use any learning hack or principle to learn faster and better but I will never check off every item on the ever-expanding list.

So, I am letting it go knowing that many of the saved material will die with me. But it doesn’t mean I will ever stop learning. I love to learn.

Learning is part of living a good life but so is actually living it. You must give equal importance to practicing and training if you want to change your life.

If you keep learning more without training, it can hurt your progress because when you learn too much in a day, your brain can’t process the information. It loses focus, and it tricks you into thinking that you’re improving your life.

Turning Knowledge Into Wisdom

When it comes to self improvement, I see so many overlaps. A few key principles are repeated over and over again. It’s not actually bad to remind yourself of the principles from different perspectives but you must also spend time training yourself if you really want to improve.

You don’t always need big life experiences to train yourself. Every day is an opportunity for you to train. The daily small actions and choices you make define how well you’re implementing your learnings.

This is how you learn concepts of self improvement by heart:

  1. Learn
  2. Practice (intentional)
  3. Test (unexpected)

We are good at saving articles and taking notes. But we need to spend equal (if not more) time practicing and training.

Learning is easy. It’s comfortable. You get the instant gratification of thinking about improving your life. But in reality, your life doesn’t improve unless you do something about it.

To practice, you need focus. You can’t practice anything without concentrated effort. And to get focused, you need intention and tracking in place.

For instance, if you want to improve your mental stability, you must track your emotions, mood, thoughts and your reactions at least for a few days or weeks.

At the time of tracking, don’t judge yourself. You are human and you will make mistakes even after studying those huge books about the same topic.

Training Is Where The Magic Happens

Once you’re more aware of your results through tracking them, take out time to reflect on it. List all the reasons why you fail, why you succeed, what you could do better next time, and what new obstacles can come your way.

After you’ve practiced enough times, you will notice a difference in you. But then, the real training happens in the discomfort zone when life throws unexpected and more difficult tests at you.

When you’re not tracking your behavior and you didn’t plan for a conscious effort, you know if you’ve learned a key principle or not.

The cycle never ends. You can always improve and there always be more things to learn. So you decide what you want to focus on now and what you can schedule for later. 

Here’s what to do next.

  1. Take a concept you’ve already learned but you still struggle with. (You can pick one from my mental training post)
  2. Keep practicing and tracking it until you see a difference.
  3. Life will do the rest by training you when you least expect it. Reflect on it and you will see a tremendous change in you.

Success is a result of daily actions…

Design your daily checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

Life Design for Introverts

I don’t know about you but I love being an introvert.

If you’re an introvert and you’re interested in making the best out of your life then read on. This post is for you.

Before diving in, let’s make it clear who an introvert is. Introversion is a personality trait in which a person recharges by spending time alone. The level of introversion various among different people. It can also change as we age or change.

Being an introvert is not easy. It is especially hard around many extroverts who don’t understand your nature. They might feel uncomfortable if they think that you’re rejecting them. But in reality, introverts need their alone time to recharge. Introverts can’t stay social for a long time.

Being an introvert myself, here are my top tips on how you can design your life:

1. Schedule ‘me’ time

It is necessary that you schedule alone time with yourself. This is the time when you’ll be able to recharge your batteries and go through the day full of energy.

While extroverts spend their leisure time by socializing, you prefer alone time for leisure. So, don’t feel obliged to do what others are doing. Spend your leisure time your own way.

Alone time can come in different forms such as:

  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to music/podcast/audiobook
  • Working out
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Learning skills
  • Doing a hobby
  • Taking a shower
  • Cleaning / Organizing / Planning
  • Browsing internet / Watching TV
  • Traveling

You can do many of these activities with other people as well like walking, cooking, eating, watching TV, traveling, etc. But according to your energy levels, you can choose to do the activities alone for recharging.

2. Socialize on purpose

As introverts crave out alone time, it can be easy for them to skip the social part altogether. It’s a good idea to take out some time to socialize so that you form relationships and develop your social skills.

Don’t be afraid to make small talks. Even though you don’t like small talks, you can use it to practice your emotional intelligence and people skills. Just smile, say hello, ask about the other person, be interested, listen and open up.

Social connection is necessary for improved quality of life. Good relationships and being part of a community are an important part of life design. Don’t skip it.

3. Know your energy

If you don’t want to burn yourself out, then you need to know your energy limits. Avoid committing to events that you don’t want to go to. Limit your time at social gatherings.

If you’re out of your energy reserves in a social setting, then it’s best to take a break by going to the washroom or any other quiet place to recharge for a few minutes. If you don’t do it, you will feel drained and people will feel the low energy around you.

4. Have friends who understand you

Let your friends know your nature. They will understand and respect your privacy without hard feelings. If you don’t communicate this, they might think that you’re being a jerk by ignoring them.

If you can, make friends with some introverted people so that you can understand each other. But it is also good to have friends who are extroverted. It will add variety to your social circle and add contrast to your personality.

5. Choose a career that suits you

You like to work in a distraction free, isolated environment. You don’t like to communicate too often while working. So, instead of choosing jobs that require constant interaction with a lot of people, choose jobs that charge you up.

If you let your coworkers know about your preferences, they will understand your style of working and they won’t make assumptions. Misunderstandings between coworkers can lead to bad results so make sure to be open about your personality and respect each other’s preference.

6. Escape the personality trap

Being an introvert is a personality trait. While it is true that the personality trait is part of who we are, it does not mean that we can’t take characteristics from other personality traits.

You can anytime choose to improve your social skills and be a selective introvert. Yes, it will take some time and practice but if you want, you can learn the skills that extroverts can easily do.

So stop labeling yourself and become a slave to your personality. Choose what you want to work on and start working on it. Your personality will adapt.

7. Embrace your nature

Congratulations! You’re an introvert. You can enjoy being alone, you can reflect on your thoughts well, you don’t need too much dopamine to feel good.

Be thankful for your personality and embrace who you are. Enjoy what you truly like doing without the fear of missing out.

Be awesome. Be you.

My number one priority in life as a 22-year-old.

On 23rd of June 2017, I turned 22 years old.

In the past 4 years, I’ve learned more things about life than rest of the 18 years of my life.

About 4 years ago, I stepped outside my house and started living in a hostel after enrolling in a college. I was away from my parents for the first time in my life.

I was free. I had full control of how I wanted to spend my time and who I wanted to surround myself with.

At first, I wanted to be cool college kid because I was shy at school. I had only a few close friends. I wanted to change my identity and become a famous guy whom everyone loved. Now that I look back, I was insecure. I wanted to be accepted by as many people as possible.

After 1 year of a hardcore trail and error, I was back to myself.

I eventually ended up with few close friends again. But I was happy. I formed great friendships with few people who inspired me in one way or another. For example, I learned to be carefree, have self-discipline, find humor and many other traits that I learned from different friends.

Most of all, I became friends with myself. I gave myself permission to be me. I started my journey to follow the path of personal growth and become a better version of myself.

I started following people on the internet who played the role of virtual mentors for me. I started reading self-help books, I started training my body. I learned the principles of living a life of purpose, growth, and fulfillment.

Soon enough, I was a different person. In essence, I was the same person but I was becoming a better version of myself every day.

As I got closer to my graduation, I started to think about career and wealth. By the end of 2016, I took a pledge to consume less and create more. I started learning about online business and bringing value to other people’s life.

Out of all the things that I learned in the past 4 years about health, wealth, business, relationships, and life; there is one thing that stood out the most. I’ve set my number priority in life based on that.

The number one priority of my life is not my goals. It’s not my career, not my business, it’s not even my freedom.

The number one priority of my life is the person who I am becoming.

At any given moment, I could lose anything. I could fail at reaching my goals, I could lose my arm, I could be robbed, I could go broke, I could be locked up in a prison, I could become sick, I could lose my strength and muscles that I’ve trained hard for.

One thing that no one can take away from me is the person that I have become. My values and my character traits will stay with me.

In the end, my values will determine my story and the quality of my life regardless of the life circumstances. I trust my ability to figure things out and make the best out of any situation.

8 things you need to know if you’re a college student

If you’re in college or if you’re soon going to enroll in a college, you’re at the right place at the right time. I’m soon going to graduate and I wish someone had told me the things that I’m going to tell you.

1. Detach yourself from your grades

At first, my level of happiness was directly proportional to my grades. From A+ to C, I’ve received all kinds of grades.

I’ve understood that 10, 5 or even 1 year from now, I will never care about any of my grades. They don’t mean anything in the realm of real life.

In fact, the time, effort and energy you will spend in trying to get an A from B can be used for more important things in life.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about your career. But bare in mind that grades are not your career. The only things that you want to attach yourself are the skills and knowledge you gain. Follow your curiosity. Do what excites you and keep learning.

2. Focus on personal growth

You’ve been gifted with a mind and a body. It’s your responsibility to take care of it. No one else will do it for you.

College is the ultimate opportunity to develop life skills. For example, emotional intelligence, living a healthy lifestyle, clear thinking, stress management, time management, personal finance, leadership,  friendship and relationship skills are the skills that are far more important than your grades.

Personal growth is the path that will help you live a fulfilled life.

3. Dare to be different

For your own sake, stop looking for approval. College life is the stage when so many people fall into the trap of looking ‘cool’ and being accepted by others. They lose themselves and they have no idea who they want to be.

Once I took the 16 personality type quiz. The results said that my personality type was INFJ-A which is less than 1% of the population. I’m so glad to know that I’m unique.

Don’t be afraid of not doing something that majority of the people are doing.

Don’t be afraid of doing something that majority of the people are not doing.

We are social creatures and we all are looking to be part of a tribe. So, we look for people’s approval. While it’s normal to be part of a community, it doesn’t mean that you need everyone’s acceptance. You only need a few like minded people to be your friends.

Instead of making 1000 friends, make 2-5 close friends who have similar values or character traits as you. You could also have friends from different backgrounds. It will keep your mind open and you’ll be able to see things from different perspectives.

4. Know/find/create yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-awareness is a topic that deserves a separate post. So I’ll keep it short here.

It’s easy to get lost in the world that is filled with people who are already lost. Don’t exist and wait for death. Live until you have the opportunity to create yourself.

Define who you want to be and what you want in life. Your values and desires may change over time so keep moving towards them and change when you need to.

Embrace the change and the everlasting journey of self-awareness.

5. Plant seeds for future

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

95% of the college students don’t realize the value of their time. If you have a clear vision of what you want or who you want to be, then don’t waste a second. Work towards your future desires. You will thank yourself later in life.

The seeds can be in the form of learning, creating, practicing, etc. Develop 2 or 3 skills or knowledge about a topic. Then combine them and you will be better than 99% of the population on Earth.

6. Know the difference between job, career, and vocation

Jobs are roles that you take and you get paid to do that. Career is a series of jobs that lead to growth in your field.

Vocation, on the other hand, is a passion or a calling. But sadly due to stereotypes, society’s expectations, or our own excuses, most of us don’t pursue them.

It’s possible to have all three in one situation but for most of us, it takes some time and effort to reach there. If jobs can help you to eventually pursue your vocation then have patience and a clear vision of your vocation.

7. Fail, make mistakes and get rejected

Life is not always rainbows and sunshine. We all face adversity and there will be times when you’ll feel down. Practice the art of managing your emotions when you feel that way.

Failures and mistakes are not the opposite of success. They are part of success. As long as you keep learning and reflecting, you’re on the right track.

Rejection is also a phase that we need to practice. We need to realize that rejection is okay. It’s normal to feel bad after getting rejected, but don’t let it break your confidence.

Keep getting up and keep moving forward.

8. Stay present and enjoy

College is once in a lifetime experience. You don’t have as many responsibilities compared to an adult. Don’t stress out too much about your future. Stay in the present as you enjoy planting seeds for future and your personal growth journey.

Be grateful. Live fully. Laugh freely.