Book Review – Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris

Tribe of mentorsI bought the Tribe of Mentors for myself as a gift, just to read something totally different from what I was currently reading and I didn’t regret it. I had never actually read any of Tim’s books before and I really enjoyed this one. The book is a chronicle of responses from a couple of questions Tim had asked a number of people successful in diverse fields ranging from business, entertainment, mysic and sport such as Craig Newmark of Craig’s List,  Steven Pinker, a psychology professor at Harvard, Whitney Cummings Co-Creator of CBS comedy, Two Broke Girls, Rick Rubin, a producer who’s worked with the likes of  Johnny Cash, Jay-z, Sheryl Crow and Shakira, and Ryan Shea, Co-Creator of BlockShack, a new decentralized internet where users control their data. While the response for each person is brief, they are really insightful. To say I have learnt a lot from this book is an understatement. 

Here are some of the questions Tim asked:

  • If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere, what would it say and why?
  • What is an unusual habit or absurd thing that you love?
  • What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
  • When you feel unfocused or overwhelmed, what do you do?
  • What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve made?
  • What advice would you give a smart driven college student about to enter the world? What advice should they ignore?
  • In the last five years what new belief, behaviour or habit has changed your life?
  • In the last five years what have you become better at saying no to? What new realizations and/or approaches helped?
  • How has failure or apparent failure set you up for later success? Do you have a favourite failure of yours?

Here are some of the statements from the book that left an impression on me. There are many more that I couldn’t write here:

Great opportunities never have great opportunity in the subject line.

Join a team not for what it is, but for what you can help it become.

Life’s greatest opportunities run on their own schedule, not yours.

Deep work for me means no interruptions or jumping around casually between tasks.

For me the realization was that I can add more value by going deep on a few things rather than engaging with a broad range of activities.

Most likely the problem won’t be around in a year, but my reputation of how I dealt with it will.

There’s something very liberating about being dirty, because then you don’t have to worry about getting dirty.

Only focus on things within your control. And if you don’t know what those things are, find someone who can tell you. 

Don’t network, just work.

Free yourself to try anything. The best ideas are revolutionary.

Be present…..The act of being present versus being preoccupied with the past or future can have a massive impact on our happiness.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

If you set a goal, it should meet these two conditions, 1) it matters, 2) you can influence the outcome.

When you stop caring about being right in the eyes of everyone – versus being right in your own eyes and the eyes of those who matter to you-it’s amazing how little you care to waste energy trying to convince people of your view.

I’ve realized that instead of following the trends, you want to identify the trends, but not follow them. It’s good to recognize the trends, but if you follow them, you get sucked into them, and then you also fall with the trend.

The lifetime cost of emotional isolation far exceeds the cost of occasional betrayal.

Failure will happen, and failure is an opportunity to build resilience, and to practice forgiveness of self and of others and to gain wisdom.

Discipline equals freedom.

Personal lessons from the book

  1. Write a gratitude list each day to focus on what you should be thankful for and not what did not go your way.
  2. Minimise or get out of social media. You won’t miss anything if you’re not there. Also focus on relationships where you can either benefit from someone or be a benefit to them.
  3. Create and share your ideas, don’t bother about people’s feedback, otherwise you will do nothing.
  4. When opportunities come your way, always ask yourself, is it a ‘need to have’ or ‘want to have’? Needs are what you pursue. But think about ‘wants’ before going for them.
  5. Be yourself and not a fake to please people.
  6. Do daily journalling. When you track your daily behaviour, it creates a sense of sense awareness that can help you to improve in certain areas.








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