Blog 21.6

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Our next blog, A Tribe of Mentors, by Timothy Ferriss, details a period in Ferriss’s life when he was questioning himself and the direction he was headed. He discusses how a “fork in the path” led him to ask himself the most important question of “What would this look like if it were easy?”  This one question sparked the idea of creating a group of mentors to guide him.  He sent 11 duplicate questions to a wide variety of successful people with different backgrounds.  Many people didn’t respond to his request, but many did, and Ferriss compiled the answers into a 569 page book!

The fifth question Ferriss asked everyone was: 

“What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

Designer Debbie Millman says the best investment she ever made was attending counseling.  Although the monthly bills initially strained her budget, Millman believes the investment helped her better understand herself and triggers, break bad habits, and live a happier life.  She emphasizes that change in therapy takes time and “if you edit who you are or pretend to be something you are not, or project who or how you want to be seen, it will take that much longer.”  We at UpsideDown Performance wholeheartedly agree that this is a worthwhile investment, which led to us building our own careers providing this service!  As college student-athletes you have access to psychological services either through your athletics department or on campus, and quite possibly have both.  Please consider taking advantage of this service – the cost is either free or very affordable because universities want to invest in their students. 

CEO and author Jason Fried states his best investment is “every time I’ve given without any expectation of return.  Money, time, energy, whatever.”  Fried emphasizes that when he gives gratuitously simply for the sake of helping a person or cause, he has been fulfilled.  This investment might seem hard to accept because our society often leads us to think - what’s in it for me?  However, that type of thinking generally leaves us unfulfilled because we get caught in a comparison trap and rarely feel the payback was “enough.”  When we invest in others or causes simply because it speaks to our heart, we typically feel good. 

Pulitzer Prize winner, Arianna Huffington, has been named to the Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people and Forbes’ “Most Powerful Women” list.  She believes her best investment has been to take care of herself through sleeping, meditating, exercise, etc.  In 2007, she collapsed from exhaustion and realized “burnout is not the price you have to pay for success.”  In the last two examples, we emphasized the importance of giving without expectation as well as taking care of yourself.  While these examples might seem like they contradict themselves, we fully believe you can find a balance and do both.  Note that none of the examples we used were material things, they were simply actions to improve the quality of your life.


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