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Tim Ferriss’ New Book Lets Brené Brown, Marie Forleo, Gretchen Rubin, and More Be Your Mentor - Verily
Tim Ferriss’ new book, ‘Tribe of Mentors,’ is a gold mine for practical advice.

Life, career, even relationships—ask someone who has succeeded in any of these pursuits how they did it, and they’re likely to say they didn’t do it alone. Most will, in fact, praise a mentor, someone whose advice and positive example helped them along the way. 

Such is the basis of Tim Ferriss’ new book, Tribe of Mentors, out now. An author, leading podcast host, and investor/adviser to some of our generation’s most notable business minds, Ferriss began working on this book by wondering: “. . . What if I asked 100+ brilliant people the very questions I want to answer for myself? Or somehow got them to guide me in the right direction?”

Ferriss sent a mass of today’s most creative, daring, innovative, and, yes, successful people some of his tried-and-tested trademark questions. (These are questions you’ll be familiar with if you listen to his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show.) The collection of responses serves as a sort of meta-mentor for anyone who buys the book. No, this book isn’t the same as a living, breathing person whom you can turn to in your life. But the nuanced advice it holds will offer you the mentorship of more than 100 brilliant minds.

Read on for excerpts from some of our favorites, covering time management, work-life balance, self-love and more:

Arianna Huffington //

Founder of The Huffington Post, author of fifteen books, and more recently a foremost advocate for the importance of sleep to our overall wellness, Arianna Huffington is a prolific speaker and business mind.

Tim Ferriss: What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”?

Arianna Huffington: I would advise them to be much more mindful and deliberate about their relationship with technology. Technology allows us to do amazing things, but we have become addicted to it. And that’s by design—product designers know how to addict us in the race to dominate the attention economy. But there are ways to—as Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, puts it—“unhijack your mind.”

[For example] one tip is to scramble apps regularly, which interrupts the conditioning we all have to the pattern of apps on our phones. Creating this pattern interrupt will make it easier to be more mindful about phone use, creating just a little bit of space and time in which people can decide for themselves whether they really need to use their phone or whether they’re grabbing it out of boredom or habit.

TF: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?

AH: I’d have it say, “Burnout is not the price you have to pay for success.” And I hope billions truly would see it, since so much of the world is still living under the collective delusion that they have to choose between their own well-being and success. Science tells us the complete opposite—when we prioritize our well-being, our performance goes up across the board. Three-quarters of all startups fail, and entrepreneurship is about making decisions. Nothing impairs the quality of your decisions faster than running on empty.

Marie Forleo //

Marie Forleo founded B-School and MarieTV, but you might know her most from her extremely popular book, Make Every Man Want You: How to Be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself!

Tim Ferriss: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?

Marie Forleo: My billboard would say, “Everything is figure-out-able.” I learned this as a kid from my mom, and it’s fueled every aspect of my career and life. It still does to this day.

The meaning is simple: No matter what challenge or obstacle you face, whether it’s personal, professional, or global, there’s a path ahead. It’s all figure-out-able. You’ll find a way or make a way, if you’re willing to be relentless, stay nimble, and keep taking action. It’s especially useful to remember when things go wrong because rather than wasting time or energy on the problem, you shift immediately to brainstorming solutions. I honestly believe it’s one of the most practical and powerful beliefs you can adopt.

Brené Brown //

If you’ve watched only one TEDTalk in your life, chances are high it was Brené Brown’s. Respected author and researcher of matters pertaining to vulnerability, Brown has helped countless people tap into their courageous sides in order to be more authentic.

Tim Ferriss: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Brené Brown: Sleep. Diet, exercise, and work ethic don’t hold a candle to how sleep can revolutionize the way you live, love, parent, and lead.

TF: When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do? What questions do you ask yourself?

BB: Always these questions:

1. Sleep?

2. Exercise?

3. Healthy food?

4. Am I resentful because I’m not setting or holding a boundary?

Gretchen Rubin //

The woman who got famous for being happy, Gretchen Rubin, has taken our generation by storm with her books (including The Happiness Project) and her podcast. She’s a master of simplifying life without losing its precious meaning.

Tim Ferriss: What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

Gretchen Rubin: I’m a giant raving fan of children’s literature and young-adult literature. I’m in three book groups where we discuss children’s literature (no actual children attend), and I have a room in my apartment where I showcase my collection of beloved books.

I made a list of my eighty-one favorite works of children’s literature—what a joy it was to make that list! If I had to list just three books, I would cheat and list the names of three authors who’ve each written many books that I love: the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder; the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis; and the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman.

Sharon Salzberg //

Sharon Salzberg is credited with helping to bring meditation to our modern society. A teacher, practitioner, and author, Salzberg is a testament to mindfulness and balance.

Tim Ferriss: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?

Sharon Salzberg: “You are a person worthy of love. You don’t have to do anything to prove that. You do not have to earn love. You simply have to exist.” It’s easy for us to confuse real love for ourselves with narcissism or conceit, but I think they are very different. Instead of the inner bleakness or hollowness narcissism is designed to conceal, I’ve seen that real love for myself comes from a sense of inner abundance or inner sufficiency. It comes from feeling whole, which is innate to us, hidden underneath our fears and cultural conditioning and self-judgments. So it’s not going to take learning tennis or creating a video that goes viral or becoming a world-class chef to be worthy of love. Those are all great things, but we are worthy whether or not we accomplish them.

TF: When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

SS: I stop and ask myself, “What do you need right now in order to be happy? Do you need anything other than what is happening right now in order to be happy?” That orients me right away toward what I care about. I also try to remember to breathe. I’ve seen that if I feel overwhelmed, I freeze, and my breath gets quite shallow. “Just breathe” is also something I say to myself if I feel chaotic. Or I shift my attention to feel my feet against the ground. Mostly we tend to think of our consciousness residing up in our heads, behind our eyes. What I’ve learned I have to do is start by gently bringing my energy down, so I’m feeling my feet from my feet. Try it! It’s a little weird at first, but consciousness doesn’t have to be seen as limited to our heads, peering out at the world, disconnected. The more my awareness can pervade my body, the more I remember to breathe, the more focused I naturally become.

book jacket

Excerpted from Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss. Copyright © 2017 by Timothy Ferriss. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.