One of my favourite podcasts is the Tim Ferriss Show. Among the many things Tim is successful at in addition to a podcast host, is being an author. Of his books, there is one called Tribe of Mentors: Short life advice from the best in the world, presumably about life advice that is short rather than advice about living a short life. It is based on answers to 11 really good questions that Tim needed to answer for himself at one point in his life, and of which he asked some people who he most admired to see what they would say so he could learn from the best. A sample can be heard in this podcast episode link, along with more about the questions and their sequence.
Personally, I love good, thoughtful and/or philosophical questions that are useful and not just theoretical. So in addition to reading and listening to answers from the book to learn, I thought I’d give them a try first. From answers I will give, I will analyze to see what I didn’t like, or which I thought I could improve on, to see if I can obtain a better answer some time over the next few years, decade, or even some point in the rest of my life. That’s because these questions aren’t just useless and/or silly thought experiments. No. A good answer for any one of these questions can really make a difference in one’s life, even if it wouldn’t always be some grand, life altering kind, though a few might be. At the least, I will end up with a great story for each answer. So with the fourth post in this series, I take on Tim’s Question #4.
4. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?
Last summer, I wrote and self-published a book called Stars I Put in the Sky to Live By, of 100 quotes which I had written for myself to live by because I couldn’t find one I liked. You can find the text in posts on this blog. I also have some quotes and life philosophies I have found by others that I also live by, so I have no shortage of choices!
Among the many quotes I live by, there are no doubt some resonate more than others. However, just to pick one, is tough! That said, I will pick the one that’s been with me the longest, and is used as often as any other.
The best thing you can give someone,
including yourself, is a chance
In this time and age of the divided world in which we live, with all the systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, and all kinds of biases towards others, the one thing we all need to give others, is a chance. This is on top of more direct and unique situations in our lives where we just need to give others a chance where we have doubts, bias based or not. Also, for all the insecurities and doubts we have about ourselves, sometimes created by others’ doubts in us, we also need to step up and believe in ourselves more than ever, to give ourselves the chance to do or be what we want when nobody else will, or seemingly will. That’s why I think it’s the most pertinent life philosophy and quote I have, not just for me but also for the world.
Among others I would say I think of often or live my life by are:
- Life isn’t fair, live to make it fairer. My “north star” in terms of life purpose.
- Treat everyone fairly, not equally. To help myself combat my own biases towards people, as well as apply special treatment to some I deem deserving of it.
- Conventional wisdom is more convention than wisdom. A mantra for change many times I face things done in some way because it’s always been done that way, or
I will stop at three to keep this answer a manageable length, but really, I do go through all of the 100 life quotes and philosophies (and now more with more quotes I’ve written since) at various points in my life!
Please click here to read posts with other questions from Tim Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors.
Please click here to read posts with other podcasts’ signature questions.
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