Blog 21.8


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 seventh question Ferriss asked everyone was: 

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

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt credits his wife for teaching him about Google Scholar.  He states that “rather than reading some sensationalistic clickbait, I can find what the actual evidence says.”  He points out that scientific studies are more difficult to comprehend and the process takes longer, but you can better trust the information.  As a college student, please remember the importance of using credible resources!

Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir is an Icelandic Crossfit athlete who has been named the “Fittest Woman on Earth” when she won back to back CrossFit championships.  Given her accomplishments, is even more striking that her most impactful belief is that her best is enough and she has to remind herself not to get caught up in “winning.”  She states that doing her absolute best is the best possible outcome, and ultimately a “win” even if she “lost” the competition.  Doing your best is always under your control, while the outcome of a competition has many variables and is out of your control.

Performance psychologist Jim Loehr credits the practice of daily journaling as a tool to help manage his stress and be his best.  Loehr reports the practice has led to increased insight and awareness.  He suggests the journal entries can be short or long, and that it often takes two to four weeks to see positive results.  He also emphasizes that the journaling should be done by hand rather than computer or phone.  Loehr often has athletes complete a daily training journal because he believes that anything that can be quantified and tracked will inevitably show improvement as “habit acquisition times are typically accelerated.”  For example, his athlete clients might track frequency of negative vs positive thinking, giving 100 percent in practice, engagement levels, tone and content of interactions, anger management, and other skills that are related to peak performance.  Our online module on Goal-Setting and Performance Tracking provides more detail on how you can incorporate this into your own routine!

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