How Tim Ferriss improves his effectiveness

Tim Ferriss, the new-age renowned guru of efficiency, reflects on his behaviors each day with a simple tool – journaling. Every morning, after an hour of meditation, he begins to write out his feelings as well as aspirations.

Quoting Julia Cameron, who called journals the “spiritual windshield wipers”, he is clear that he does not journal in order to be “productive”, but only as a “cost-effective therapy”.

Continuously jotting down whatever he feels and thinks is a great way of understanding one’s own mind through self-reflection.

Ferriss also points out that self-understanding automatically leads to growth or self-development. It can help everyone to reach out to others, he says. It is all about working smarter, not harder.

Summary of Ferriss’ success

An author, blogger, entrepreneur, podcaster and early-stage tech start-up investor, Tim Ferriss is only 42 years old but has an estimated net worth of $100 million.

Some of his acclaimed books include ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ and ‘The 4-Hour Body’. He hosts a podcast called The Tim Ferriss Show, which has exceeded 300 million downloads.

He is also an angel investor and advisor to Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Evernote, and Uber, among other companies.

How Tim Ferriss keeps his journals

Self-reflection for Tim Ferriss begins in the mornings.

After an hour of meditation, he throws himself into two kinds of journals – “one that vomits everything and the other that sets up his goal posts for the day”.

So, he first writes out whatever is inhabiting his mind and ricocheting like a bullet. Once it’s written down, the urge to self-reflect ceases to bother him.

His second kind of journaling includes writing out his plans, setting up goals and expanding his schedules, which automatically maps out his day as well as his future towards self-development.

Tim Ferriss is clear that journaling doesn’t call for great writing skills. It would help in self-reflection even if one were a “terrible writer”, he says. In other words, the process matters more than the product.

Ferriss is also clear that “the balance between acceptance of the past and planning for the future creates a happy medium that allows him to focus on the present”. That is the way to great self-development.

How long has Ferriss been doing it?

Tim Ferriss seems to have been hooked on self-reflection through journaling since he was in his 20s.

This is an insight provided by his confession that he was a good reader but was not interested in “more book consumption” that seemed to make him “procrastinate”. So, he took Julia Cameron’s journaling advice and since then, seems to have adopted this therapeutic tool to move towards practical self-development.

How self-reflection helped Ferriss achieve his success?

Tim Ferriss looks to self-reflection as instant journaling, or what he dubs ‘The Five Minute Journal’ to improve his well-being and happiness, as well as to attain real and tangible results.

By asking himself some precise questions he gets some answers. By jotting down some replies, good ideas and different perspectives, he has started his journey of success towards self-development.

Once he understood that people didn’t need to put in long hours but smart work, he realised the secret to success was asking specific questions. He sought to find out what he could do, creating a core group of mentors, learning from them and applying their learning to emerge with self-development.

What challenges has Ferriss faced?

Tim Ferriss has had a fairly privileged life and education at Princeton College.

But he faced the usual challenges after college – doing some jobs that didn’t excite him much. He began by driving his mother’s second-hand minivan and selling data storage to CEOs.

He was cold-calling and mailing, actions that did not greatly motivate him. But after a few months, he decided to try his hand at something different. By self-reflecting, he soon moved into self-development and his public, open life as an author, speaker, and motivator.

Today, he is a multi-millionaire, but he faces another challenge. Many accuse him of being a “fraud”. A number of critics charge him with only churning out advice that has already been given many times, emphasising that he does not have anything to say that has not been said already. They claim that he seems to work on the packaging and material of content that has been resold.

Yet, unmindful of charges, Tim Ferriss focuses on his audience and continues to move forward.

What does the future hold for Ferriss?

Tim Ferriss is already a multi-millionaire and best-selling author of self-reflection books, but he is expecting to grow his business and writing even further.

He has also been building up his online business, BrainQUICKEN. Nothing seems to be stopping Tim Ferriss, the self-development pundit.

How can you get started with Self Reflection?

Looking for an easy way to get started with your self-development practice? Daylitude can help shift your mindset, increase positivity, and discover a greater connection with yourself.


Interested in other self reflection and gratitude practices?