Author | Freelance Writer | Entrepreneur | Speaker and Workshop Leader

Tim Ferriss: Stoicism as a Productivity System

“The best results in life are often held back by false constructs and untested assumptions.”

It’s true, just because one person finds a way to success doesn’t mean it applies to everyone, maybe anyone. It’s also true that we may all want to work smarter and strategically, but does it really mean we can achieve expert level competency at language, swimming, and tango dancing?

“My art, if I have an art, is deconstructing things that scare the living hell out of me.”

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares his ideas in the following three short videos on false constructs and unrealistic expectations. He suggests ambitious people looking to achieve remarkable results must first do something extremely comfortable: visualize what we fear most.

When ambitious people want to demonstrate the depth of their education and draw on ancient sources for strategic tips, the usual guys are Machiavelli and Sun Tzu, but Ferris suggests a less frequently discussed figure as a source: Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman and dramatist, Seneca. What does this toga-clad great of the ancient world have to teach the modern cubicle dweller? In short, that before you can dream big, you need to conquer your fears of ridicule and rejection (and relative poverty) by visualizing the worst case scenario and, through exposure, inoculating yourself against the negative emotions that will block your success.

“It’s what you do, not how you do it.”

Here’s a grounded, inspiring Ted Talk from 2008. I learned a better technique for swimming. I always sensed I wasn’t doing something right.

Here he is critiquing Malcolm Gladwell’s popularized “10,000 hour rule.

“The meta-skill is getting better at acquiring skills.”

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2 Responses to “Tim Ferriss: Stoicism as a Productivity System”

  1. Nicolas

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  2. Corrine

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