Tim Ferriss

Doing less meaningful work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance,
is NOT laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward
personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.
– Tim Ferriss

People are fond of using the “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” adage as an excuse
for inaction, as if all successful people are born with powerful friends. Nonsense.
– Tim Ferriss

Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of
laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
– Tim Ferriss

The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but
“What would excite me?”
– Tim Ferriss

It’s not how long you’ll live, it’s how well you live… It’s a combination of achievement and
appreciation. If you don’t appreciate what you have now, nothing you ever get will make you
satisfied or happy.
– Tim Ferriss

The key to having more time is doing less, and there are two paths to getting there, both of
which should be used together:
1. define a to-do list and
2. define a not-to-do list. In general terms, but there two questions:
What 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcome and happiness?
– Tim Ferriss

One new habit at a time! The best way to avoid abandoning new habits is to only adopt one
at a time.
– Tim Ferriss

For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit
your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the
same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line
up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your
dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and
you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.
– Tim Ferriss

It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and
indicate that you trust them.
– Tim Ferriss

Learn to ask, “If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?”
– Tim Ferriss

Lifestyle design is based on massive action – output. Increased output necessitates
decreased input. Most information is time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to your goals, and
outside of your influence. I challenge you to look at whatever you read or watched today and
tell me that it wasn’t at least two of the four.
– Tim Ferriss

Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses… the choice is between multiplication of results
using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become
mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair.
– Tim Ferriss

Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do.
– Tim Ferriss

Creating demand is hard. Filling demand is much easier. Don’t create a product, then seek
someone to sell it to. Find a market – define your customers – then find or develop a product
for them.
– Tim Ferriss

The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is – here’s the clincher –
– Tim Ferriss

It is often the case that you have to fire certain friends or retire from particular social circles
to have the life you want. This isn’t being mean; it is being practical. Poisonous people do not
deserve your time. To think otherwise is machochistic.
– Tim Ferriss

Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
– Tim Ferriss

Money doesn’t change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice.
– Tim Ferriss

Blaming idiots for interruptions is like blaming clowns for scaring children – they can’t help it.
It’s their nature.
– Tim Ferriss

Gain a language and you gain a second lens through which to question and understand the
world. Cursing at people when you go home is fun, too. Don’t miss the chance to double your
life experience.
– Tim Ferriss

I value self-discipline, but creating systems that make it next to impossible to misbehave is
more reliable than self-control.
– Tim Ferriss

It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are
incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is
thus fiercest for “realistic” goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and
energy-consuming. It is easier to raise $1,000,000 than it is $100,000. It is easier to pick up
the one perfect 10 in the bar than the five 8s.
– Tim Ferriss

You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to
repeatedly fail better.
– Tim Ferriss

What does an igloo-dwelling millionaire do that a cublicle-dweller doesn’t? Follow an
uncommon set of rules. How does a lifelong blue-chip employee escape to travel the world for
a month without his boss even noticing? He uses technology to hide the fact.
– Tim Ferriss

To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize
that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.
– Tim Ferriss

A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable
conversations he or she is willing to have.
– Tim Ferriss

Here are two truisms to keep in mind:
1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.
2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.
– Tim Ferriss

I can give you every popular diet in four lines. Ready?
– Eat more greens.
– Eat less saturated fat.
– Exercise more and burn more calories.
– Eat more omega-3 fatty acids.
– Tim Ferriss

Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitate to get in the way if
you’re moving.
– Tim Ferriss

I believe that life exists to be enjoyed and that the most important thing is to feel good
about yourself. Each person will have his or her own vehicles for both, and those vehicles will
change over time. For some, the answer will be working with orphans, and for others, it will
be composing music. I have a personal answer to both – to love, be loved, and never stop
learning – but I don’t expect that to be universal.
– Tim Ferriss

You don’t have to recoup losses the same way you lose them… If you lose $1,000 at the
blackjack table, should you try and recoup it there? Of course not.
– Tim Ferriss

Meetings should only be held to make decisions about a predefined situation, not to define
the problem.
– Tim Ferriss

You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the
effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you
stronger, they’re making you weaker.
– Tim Ferriss

One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion.
– Tim Ferriss

Many a false step was made by standing still.
– Tim Ferriss

If you don’t have specificity in your goal, you cannot, you will not achieve it because you
can’t aim properly at it.
– Tim Ferriss

Language learning deserves special mention. It is, bar none, the best thing you can do to
hone clear thinking.
– Tim Ferriss

Pacifists become militants.
Freedom fighters become tyrants.
Blessings become curses.
Help becomes hindrance.
More becomes less.
– Tim Ferriss

Compile your to-do list for tomorrow no later than this evening.
– Tim Ferriss

In all cases where doubt crops up, ask yourself, “If I had a gun to my head and had to do it,
how would I do it?” It’s not as hard as you think.
– Tim Ferriss

It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the
– Tim Ferriss

I usually check business e-mail for about an hour each Monday, and I never check voicemail
when abroad. Never ever… My contacts now know that I don’t respond to emergencies, so
the emergencies somehow don’t exist or don’t come to me. Problems, as a rule, solve
themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as an information bottleneck and empower
– Tim Ferriss

Time is wasted in proportion to the amount that is available.
– Tim Ferriss

There is no sure path to success, but the surest path to failure is trying to please everyone.
– Tim Ferriss

Changing the world doesn’t require much money. Again, think in terms of empowerment and
not charity. How much were Gandhi’s teachers paid? How much did it cost to give Dr. Martin
Luther King the books that catalyzed his mind and actions?
– Tim Ferriss

It’s always easier to tear people down than to build yourself up.
– Tim Ferriss

If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the
competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
– Tim Ferriss

Different is better when it is more effective or more fun. If everyone is defining a problem or
solving it one way and the results are subpar, this is the time to ask, What if I did the
opposite? Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work. If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how
good a cook you are.
– Tim Ferriss

Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should
strive to chase. It is the cure-all.
– Tim Ferriss

Becoming a member of the NR (New Rich) is not just about working smarter. It’s about
building a system to replace yourself.
– Tim Ferriss

People are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.
– Tim Ferriss

Most people are good at a handful of things and utterly miserable at most.
– Tim Ferriss

Happiness can be bought with a bottle of wine and has become ambiguous through overuse.
– Tim Ferriss

Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires,
and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress – stress
that is healthful and the stimulus for growth.
– Tim Ferriss

The customer is not always right – “fire” high-maintenance customers. Not all customers are
created equal. Apply the 80/20 principle to time consumption: What 20% of people are
consuming 80% of your time?
– Tim Ferriss

Don’t suffer fools or you’ll become one.
– Tim Ferriss

The most important actions are never comfortable. Fortunately, it is possible to condition
yourself to discomfort and overcome it.
– Tim Ferriss

People who avoid all criticism fail. It’s destructive criticism we need to avoid, not criticism in
all forms.
– Tim Ferriss

$1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it
supposedly allows.
– Tim Ferriss

Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.
– Tim Ferriss

I open each class with an explanation of the singular importance of being a “dealmaker.” The
manifesto of the dealmaker is simple: Reality is negotiable.
– Tim Ferriss

Learn to be difficult when it counts. In school as in life, having a reputation for being
assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it
every time.
– Tim Ferriss

Adversity doesn’t build character; it reveals it.
– Tim Ferriss

Having an unusually large goal is an adrenaline infusion that provides the endurance to
overcome the inevitable trials and tribulations that go along with any goal. Realistic goals,
goals restricted to the average ambition level, are uninspiring and will only fuel you through
the first or second problem, at which point you throw in the towel.
– Tim Ferriss

Is more distribution automatically better? No… From ipods to Rolex and Estee Lauder,
sustainable high-profit brands usually begin with controlled distribution. Remember, more
customers isn’t the goal; more profit is.
– Tim Ferriss

It is usually better to keep old resolutions than to make new ones.
– Tim Ferriss

If you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most
important task for each day, almost nothing seems urgent or important. Oftentimes, it’s just a
matter of letting little bad things happen (return a phone call late and apologize, pay a small
late fee, lose an unreasonable customer, etc.) to get the big important things done. The
answer to overwhelmingness is not spinning more plates – or doing more – it’s defining the
few things that can really fundamentally change your business and life.
– Tim Ferriss

Options – the ability to choose – is real power.
– Tim Ferriss

Risk, to me, is the potential for an irreversible, negative outcome.
– Tim Ferriss

Eliminate before you delegate. Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never
delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone
else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash.
– Tim Ferriss

Fun things happen when you earn dollars, live on pesos, and compensate in rupees.
– Tim Ferriss

Being financially rich and having the ability to live like a millionaire are fundamentally two very
different things. Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you
control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it. I
call this the “freedom multiplier.”
– Tim Ferriss

Lack of time is actually lack of priorities.
– Tim Ferriss

The beauty and the horror of the Internet is that it gives everyone a voice. That includes the
geniuses, it also includes all the idiots.
– Tim Ferriss

The best way to maintain a habit is not to expect yourself to follow it at all times.
– Tim Ferriss

I’ve seen the promised land, and there is good news. You can have it all.
– Tim Ferriss

Before we can escape the goblins of the mind, we need to face them. Principal among them is
speed addiction. It is hard to recalibrate your internal clock without taking a break from
constant overstimulation. Travel and the impulse to see a million things can exacerbate this.
Slowing down doesn’t mean accomplishing less; it means cutting out counterproductive
distractions and the perception of being rushed.
– Tim Ferriss

Regret is past-tense decision making. Eliminate complaining to minimize regret.
– Tim Ferriss

There are two synergistic approaches for increasing productivity that are inversions of each
1. Limit tasks to the important to shorten work time (80/20).
2. Shorten work time to limit tasks to the important (Parkinson’s Law).
The best solution is to use both together: Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most
to income and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.
– Tim Ferriss

The Internet is a full-contact sport… In the beginning it was very tough – I tried to treat the
Internet as if it were a conversation with a civil human being in a livingroom. And it’s not the
– Tim Ferriss

Sports evolve when sacred cows are killed, when basic assumptions are tested. The same is
true in life and in lifestyles.
– Tim Ferriss