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 on with the sixth post in this series, and Tim’s Question #6.
6. What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
At the first surface I see facing me after I enter my door, which is a side of a post to my left, I have one of those Staples “Easy” button hanging on a nail at the height of my hand when I give someone a “high five”. Any time I get something done that was a bit challenging, or that was challenging for me to get myself to do because procrastination is sometimes an issue for me, I go there and high five it vigorously, then repeat the phrase it utters when I press it in the high five, which is “That was easy!”
I love that affirmation in both phrase and action because not only is it self-affirming, since I don’t live with anyone, but it lets me celebrate on my own with a little trash-talking. Usually, these tasks require me to be elsewhere, like a tough run or workout outside, so I come in the door and do the high five and joint statement with the button. Often, I just high five it and go on to whatever, like getting out of workout clothes, unpacking heavy groceries I hauled home under my own power, or otherwise. I don’t look up at it or anything, any more than I’d be looking at the hand I’d be high fiving when I do that in life in the moment of the high five. It’s the exact same motion, hand, eye, and all. Occasionally, some task done in the home will also warrant such a high five and so I will go to the Easy button when done and high five it, too.
When I’m not high fiving the button, which I do keep a slight limit on so it doesn’t become trivial to high five it to rob it of its impact and meaning, the button is just a nice visual reminder to look up and see the word “easy” clearly stated in a decent sized red button. Everything about it is right for me, but I don’t think I’d be the only one this would work well for. A great $6 Cdn investment with rechargeable battery change once every couple of years or even longer because it’s not like I high five it often to keep the act meaningful.
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.
380 words unique to this post