The Human Guinea Pig: The Best of Tim Ferriss

The Best is our daily compilation of cool stuff we’ve found IRL and around the web. Every day we will share what we are reading, watching, listening to, doing, or pondering. If you have suggestions for what we should include in future segments, let us know in the comments below!

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The 4-Hour Work Week

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” ― 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

If you’ve already read this and enjoyed it, then perhaps check out his other ‘The 4-Hour…’ books.

Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors

“The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles.” -Tim Ferriss

“Often, all that stands between you and what you want is a better set of questions.” ―Tim Ferriss

“Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. After all, conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head. If you want confusion and heartache, ask vague questions. If you want uncommon clarity and results, ask uncommonly clear questions.” ―Tim Ferriss

Each book is 600+ pages longs and provides a wealth of advice from the world’s most advanced minds.

(Try it before you buy it: You can read the first chapter of Tribe of Mentors here.)

These are massive books, so if you are looking for some shorter reads, then check out Tim’s blog. I also recommend this article from Entrepreneur: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win


His podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show

This is one of the best business podcasts available anywhere on the interwebs. Through captivating storytelling, Tim shares his and others mind-boggling experiences in life, work, business, creation, and innovation. With nearly 300 episodes available, Tim has created a massive amount of valuable content just waiting to satisfy your ‘earballs’. Go listen to it.

Start here: Lessons from Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, and Ben Franklin -

The main takeaway from the episode: Don’t limit yourself through specialization. Embrace curiosity, seek the answers to many questions, and learn from everything that the world has to offer. Creativity happens at the intersection between different disciplines.

We also enjoyed this podcast episode from Freakonomics: How to Be Tim Ferriss

This is a good listen for those of you are still skeptical of Tim’s abilities.


TED Talk: Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

“…I was sitting in the back of my used minivan in a campus parking lot, when I decided I was going to commit suicide. I went from deciding to full-blown planning very quickly. And I came this close to the edge of the precipice. It’s the closest I’ve ever come. And the only reason I took my finger off the trigger was thanks to a few lucky coincidences. And after the fact, that’s what scared me the most: the element of chance. So I became very methodical about testing different ways that I could manage my ups and downs…”

Talk at Google: “How to Cage the Monkey Mind”

TED-Ed: The Philosophy of Stoicism

This isn’t a talk by Tim, but it does give a quick overview of what Stoicism (a mentality that Tim discusses a lot) is.


“People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.” ―Tim Ferriss

Take a page out of Tim’s book and push yourself out of your comfort zone with daily, weekly, or monthly challenges.

Tim Denning has put together a list of 36 ‘comfort zone challenges’. The first:

“Lie down on the ground for 30 seconds in a busy place…then get up with a smile and pretend nothing’s happened. This is the one I recommend the most and it was made famous by Tim Ferriss.”

Go do it.

Another, interesting — but far more intense — challenge that Tim Ferriss has completed is a 10-day silent retreat. During this retreat, he talked to no one, read nothing, watched nothing, and listened to nothing. He completely cut himself off from all consumption and interaction to focus his energy on his own mind.

Interested in trying a silent retreat? You can learn more about meditation and how to do one in his podcast episode with Sharon Salzberg.

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