Tim Ferris has long been one of my favorite authors and writers. I have used the productivity tips in his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek” for years. It seems like this guy can create a system for anything and make just about anything happen for himself, but I never knew about his dark times. In this Ted Talk, Tim shares one of his favorite tools that he uses to give himself courage and get into action when he finds himself paralyzed, overwhelmed and facing scary decisions:
Here are my Top Five Take Aways from Watching this:
- If you aren’t happy now, you probably won’t become happy when you have more money or more fame. Often success simply brings higher stakes challenges. One of my friends who owns a business once told me, “the stress about money doesn’t go away – there are just more zeros at the end of the numbers”. Everyone needs tools to manage their emotional ups and downs, and this emotional work is distinctly separate from your life situation.
- One of the tools we have at Aspyrre is called the “Overwhelm Tool“. It helps you get really clear on what you can and cannot control and then think of a plan to handle the former. This is similar to Tim’s tool. What I’ve noticed is that when people are experiencing stress they are often in situations where they are feeling the need to control something they know they can’t control. If you can get clear on what you can and can’t control and come to terms with it – you will notice an immediate sense of calm and relief.
- Once you get clear on what you can and cannot control, you tend to experience a sense of emotional detachment that changes your energy and gives you a lot of internal power, not only in terms of getting into action in the way Tim presents it, but also in all of the difficult conversations you may be feeling apprehensive about – like breaking up with someone, going to a job interview, asking for a raise, re-negotiating a contract, etc.
- I love the way Tim asks “what if I attempted something?” or “what if I just made a slight improvement”? Here he hones in on the value of “just 10% better” which can be really empowering when you are feeling overwhelmed and your chances of getting on top of things right away are slim. Instead of throwing up your hands because the little bit you have the energy to do doesn’t seem worth it, you can detach, and make a few inches of progress.
- Getting clear on the consequences of not doing anything is powerful when it comes to feeling paralyzed. It makes procrastination far less comfortable and can provide the little nudge you need to do a little something, increase your confidence, and gain momentum.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and take aways as well!