Tim Ferriss in Seattle - January 27, 2017
Tim Ferriss taught a packed house how to overcome the paralysis of perfectionism, how successful people act, and the most absurd thing he loves to do.
Ferriss' visit to Seattle coincides with the release of his new book, "Tools of Titans." It was peppered with humor and advice.
At the conclusion of the interview portion of the evening Ferriss participated in a Q&A in front of an audience of 850 in Seattle's Great Hall.
One audience member asked, "What is one piece of advice you wish people would ask you for?" After a lengthy pause, Ferris said:
"When should I stop taking advice?"
Ferris explained that his goal is to make himself obsolete as quickly as possible. He suggested that people ask themselves: "When should I stop ingesting, and start practicing and creating?"
What is the worst advice Ferriss has ever been given?
Ferris says there are two pieces of advice he disagrees with. First, he doesn't like the line "Fail fast, fail forward" that we get a lot.
"I don't disagree with it in principle if you replace 'fail' with 'iterate.' People have turned somehow failing into this awesome thing. They're like, 'We've pivoted 17 times.'"
"Marc Andreessen said, 'Every time I meet with them It's like watching a rabbit trying to get through a maze - they can't figure out what they're doing. When I was starting out we didn't have a fancy word for it...we called it fuck-up.'"
The second piece of advice Ferriss dislikes is whenever someone tells him to "Lower your standards."
"There are different ways to convey that," Ferris said. "In almost every case that has been terrible advice. Whenever I have taken that advice, disaster ensues. The only place where that doesn't apply (for me personally) is when I'm trying to write. If I'm finding it torturous, two pages a day is my quota, which is definitely lowering my standards...psychologically this helps me to work."
Ferriss said that when he gives himself a serious goal that requires hard work to accomplish, he also schedules an outrageous, fun goal on his calendar so that he has something to look forward to achieving.
The two best books Ferriss has read this year?
(Links to books below)
"Rebirth" by Kamal Ravikant
"How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" by Mohsin Hamid.
Favorite place he'd like to live outside of San Francisco: Austin, Texas.
Ferriss highly recommends Neil Gaiman's "Make Good Art" speech.
Who was his most memorable podcast guest?
Shaun White, who was on the podcast titled "Magic of Who Cares" (Podcast episode link below)
What would he consider as an alternative profession? Marine Biology. "I wanted to be a marine biologist for about 15 years."
Ferriss' best advice he can give to people who want to lose weight: "Eat slow carb and swing Kettlebells twice a week."
When asked the most absurd thing that he loves doing, Ferriss said, "I love, when I'm feeling stressed -- it's kind of a very canine thing to do, and it freaks people out (which is understandable). I like stretching my jaw when I'm feeling stressed. I'm like walking through the airport, I'm kind of wound up so I stretch my jaw like this...and I'll look and there's a woman with her kid and this really horrified look on her face."
Tim Ferriss recommends consistently doing things you're unqualified to do, but attempting to do them very well. These people that I've observed take really good notes and they just try to improve a few percent with each at-bat. He says successful people spend more time trying to build themselves up rather than tearing other people down. They take the a position of what Jocko Willink would call "extreme ownership," and they spend very little time pointing fingers or blaming...they really take it on themselves, which is very difficult, and in some sense is very unfair. We do not live in a fair world: You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate."
Tim Ferriss' current favorite books:
Ferriss recommends this Neil Gaiman speech:
Ferriss' favorite Podcast: Shaun White and the "Magic of Who Cares?"
Photos and text by Jeffrey Luke. While I've quoted as accurately as possible, I apologize in advance for any errors or omissions for which I accept complete responsibility.