Aman Mittal

👨‍💻Developer ❤️ Nodejs, ReactNative, Expo | 📖 Blogger & Author

Tribe of Mentors — Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

Pages: 624, Kindle Edition

Published: 21st November 2017, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Cover Rating: 5/5 (hint: something is in symmetry, see carefully)

I got excited when I heard Tim Ferriss is going to release a new book. The guy knows what to write, or at least how to present information in terms of mere words. Last year, I spent 18 days on his Tools of Titans which came out in the month of December. I haven’t spent more than 15 days on Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Tim’s books tend to cover a vast amount of information that is not easy for a human brain to process. After putting my nose in his other books such as The 4 Hour Work Week and The 4 Hour Body earlier this year, I had a plan.

Instead of spending a large amount of time and I spend only a significant amount of time to read his latest book which contains more than 100+ interviews of people around the world. I made my notes, did some highlights and will be referring back to it on need per basis. After all, I learnt this trick from Tim himself. In one of his many podcast episodes, The Tim Ferriss Show, he described, advice (or information/context) when comes to reading books will stick if it has to stick. In other words, when reading a book as heavy in material as Tim Ferriss’ last two (including the latest one), brain will be able to process most of the information but the only those thing will stay with you, or stick with your consciousness or occur at the moment when your subconscious is working for answers in an abstract moment. This is a great advice in the age of information overload.

All these mentors that Tim tracked down for this book were asked almost similar amount of questions with full willingness to answer or not to take in considertion the question they don’t want to answer. Some of these answers might help you in navigating your life further. Through short, action-packed profiles, Tim made these “mentors” share their secrets for success, happiness, meaning, and more. Book covers from questions across a variety of sectors, from tech entrepreneurs to actors, authors and sports stars. People like legendary investor Ray Dalio, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Jimmy Fallon, Debbie Millman, Ethereum’s founder, Steven Pressfield, Yuval Noah Harari, Drew Houston, Neil Gaiman, Ashton Kutcher, Dita Von Teese, Marc Benioff, Evan Williams, Brandon Stanton, Esther Perel, Darren Aronofsky, Steve Aoki, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Maria Sharapova and other elite athletes like Kelly Slater, Tony Hawk… this list is long. You can may similarities or differences by reading the answers to this amount of people gave to fairly similar or exact questions they were asked by the author of the book. I am going to summarize few questions that I think were excellent to ask and a reader will certainly gain:

  • Three or more Book recommendations
    • An item purchased for $100 or less that has an impact in your life
    • Favourite failure of yours or which failure had an impact for your later success
    • A message you want to spread out
    • Best or most worthwhile investment made in terms of money, time, energy etc.
    • An unusual habit
    • In last five years, a new belief, behaviour, or a habit developed or adapted

These are some of the questions that have a major impact on most interviews I found. Some of these answers will surprise you, as they did me. What more useful I find in this book is the art of questioning. In my recent years of working I have came to realise that only by asking better questions one will get better answers. Another one is that the most important thing is to ask. I do appreciate Tim’s effort on gathering and making contact with these individuals. (I know, some of them might be hard to contact. Not everyone knows Tim Ferriss, I think.)

This book contains a good amount of wisdom. What did not work for me is that a few interviewees weren’t necessary. I am not going to name them here. It is just a personal opinion, nothing to do with book and the effort made in making it. May be the pattern of Tools of Titans can be clearly seen here.

Nonetheless, I do recommend this book. It will be great addition for your winter reading list, also, holiday season is coming up. Lot’s of coffee (or tea, whatever hot beverage you prefer) and a copy of this book will make up for the season.

4 out of 5!

You can read my review of Tim’s last book Tools of Titans here. Do check out my book notes on Tools of Titans here.

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