The Answers to My Favorite Questions (#284)

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

– Jim Rohn

This is an unusual episode. Instead of the typical interview format where I ask other people questions, I did what thousands of you have requested; I answered the 11 questions that are the foundation of Tribe of Mentors (and added in a few bonus answers). From beliefs that have changed my life to how I cope with feeling overwhelmed, I go into depth on all of my answers. I also recorded some of the answers on video, which you can watch on my YouTube channel.

I hope you enjoy this solo episode, and find something helpful that you can apply to your life. As always, thanks for listening!

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

The Answers to My Favorite Questions

Want to hear a conversation with a mentor from Tribe of Mentors? Listen to this episode with Tim Urban, in which we discuss the future, how to deal with procrastination, AI, and much much more. Listen to it here (stream below or right-click to download):

Managing Procrastination, Predicting the Future, and Finding Happiness - Tim Urban

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • A belief or behavior that changed my life. (5:07)
  • My best purchases of $100 or less. (10:28)
  • What would I put on a billboard? (15:20)
  • My favorite failure that led to success. (20:20)
  • The four books I have gifted the most. (23:59)
  • How to ask better questions. (26:29)
  • Techniques and strategies to start your day. (30:55)
  • Learning to say no and approaches that I have found effective. (33:47)
  • My most worthwhile investment of time or money. (39:50)
  • Should you write a book? (43:13)
  • The unusual habits that I love. (50:10)

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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35 Replies to “The Answers to My Favorite Questions (#284)”

  1. Hi Tim. You cite serveral factors that brought you to write Tribe of Mentors. Mostly boiled down to “what next?”. Apart from writing Tribe of Mentors, what was your conclusion / answer? Bruce.

  2. Hello Tim,

    I am a fan out yours, but I have to admit I don’t listen much to your podcast and I really do want to. Here’s the thing, there are so many interesting things you have provided for us that I am literally overwhelmed as to where to start…paralysis by analysis has set in – big time.

    Any suggestions to where a beginner listener would start?

    Thanks for all you do!

    T. Holton

    1. Hi T. Holton,

      If you really think that what Tim does is interesting then listen from the 1st podcast to the last one in order. The skills have definitely been sharpened with each episode, as he mentioned many times, but when starting the podcast, the previous life experiences were rich enough to warrant the quality from the first episodes.

      Hope it helps.


    2. I used Tools of Titans as an entry point or a taster to follow up on earlier podcast episodes. Now, I focus on one episode and let it percolate. Another episode comes into the queue, but I don’t FOMO into it unless it genuinely strikes me. Also, it’s okay for some episodes to be just for enjoyment purposes. Maybe even just ask yourself this question after listening to an episode, “What one baby step of action will I take from this episode?”

  3. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for all the great content.

    I just wanted to say that your recent link to the Death Clock has made a massive impact on my thinking. It is a wonderful reminder and a great motivator.

    Keep up the great work. You are massively inspiring.

    Kind regards,


  4. Hie Tim

    I Love Your Book From So Many years I Wanted To Read Your Book But Now I Done It And I LOVE YOU MAN NEED YOUR HELP LITTLE HELP

    Please Tell Me How Can I Hire Some One For PPC RUN ONLINE

  5. Kon’nichiwa,

    Were you inspired by Richard St. John to write T.O.M? Did you interview him for your book?

    Thank you for all that you are doing, and for not bombarding my email inbox with multiple letters 😉

  6. I enjoyed this episode very much. Your comments about a mediocre book being more a liability than a help will stick with me.

  7. Hola Tim,

    I’ve probably found this podcast a little less interesting just because I’ve already listened to so many that had more practical lessons, maybe just from my perspective.

    I find these type of podcasts interesting when they actually stack up, when you would make a part 2 or 3 over the next couple of years. That’s when seeing the change makes each one even more solid, depending on where each of us are in life.

    It would be interesting to have a different podcast for each of these questions and actually take more time to answer them for them. I guess most of us got used to your long-form.


  8. The difference between who you are today and who you will be 3 years from now will be mostly determined by the books you read and the people you meet over that time period. Read that in a book.

  9. How do you become an experimenter? Instead of blindly following a recipe, praying for a good result, what does it take to “test it”, rigorously controlling all the variables, be able to tell that it’s not working not to early and not too late, and reject it or modify it?

  10. How long did the “Mentors” usually take to respond to your questions? Was there much back and forth, or did you pretty much just make use of what they initially sent you?

  11. Hi Tim, just heard your podcast episode 284. I was so excited when you spoke about using a folded t-shirt as your sleeping eye mask. I have always been using one in quite a similar fashion that you described (except I may not fold it perfectly due to laziness). I do that because I haven’t been able to find a mask that fit nicely and not too tightly. Thanks for sharing that weird bit about you. I feel a little more positive about my sleeping quirks now.

  12. Hi Tim, I would love to hear a conversation between you and Adriene Mishler. I really enjoy the content both of you put out there and I think it would be worthwhile and interesting.

  13. This podcast had an “Amazon Effect”

    I went to buy one of those Rubz massage balls. The two things that came up under “Customers also bought” were the Silicone Earplugs and the Zinc Spray. I can only think of one reason people would be logging in and buying those 3 specific items.

  14. Hey Tim, I listened to your podcast on Monday and the 5:55 bit had my three kiddos excited! We all play this game where we try to be the first person to say the time out loud when it’s exactly 00 o’clock or a group of consecutive numbers. If you’re the first one, you get a point. So, “Three o’clock on the dot.” or “Three thirty-three on the dot.” would earn you a point. If someone says it AFTER it’s been said, they lose a point. At the end of the day, the person with most points gets bragging rights. It’s strangely addictive. We’ve been playing for 2+ years now. 🙂

  15. Hi Tim,

    Absolutely loved the insight you gave, answering the questions you have asked so many others!

    I have been listening in for two years, and the ideas you’d your guests provide have had a massive influence on my life and mindset.

    I’ve finally gained the courage to leave a post to say thank you!

    In this episode I especially loved your advice to type A personalities of focusing on making it easier (I’m always stuck in the mindset of if its not hard/ difficult I’m not working hard enough), and the ideology behind if I had 2 weeks rather than 2 months how would I go about it!

    Also love the airplane mode hack, (I turn my phone off when I sleep but on turning it on for guided chi gong in the morning I find myself getting distracted) will defiantly be switching it to airplane mode for the first hour!!!

    Once again thank you so much for the great content you provide! I truly appreciate you and the work you do!

    Have an amazing Friday and weekend 🙂

  16. One of my favorite episodes in recent memory. This podcast episode really crafted your story in a way that made it engaging. Asking interesting questions really does draw us in and engage ourselves into the narrative being shared with us, and you did a terrific job this episode. I also learned a few tricks, such as “saying no”— as it is important for us type As to protect our time in order to recharge and generate new ideas.

  17. Tim,

    I have been a long term fan of your books and podcast. I just have to say that your podcasts and your books are getting better and better. In the last few months you have introduced me to a number of people that I hadn’t even heard of here in Australia. Many thanks for your great work.

    PS I love Tribe of Mentors. Would you consider writing a similar book just on the fitness routines of world class performers?

  18. Tim – thank you so much for your noodling on how to ask questions in this episode (26:00). I’ll be returning to this segment again and again…!

  19. I’d love to see Cindy Mi from VIPKID (online English lessons for Chinese students). Keep it up Tim 🙂

  20. Hey Tim and co, love you and all that you do. Your work

    inspires the hell out of me. It gives me such a good feeling

    listening to your podcast and knowing that there’s people

    out there on similar journeys, striving with enthusiasm towards

    the “esoteric”. Erudite without being a pretentious sob.

    Hey so anyway, I was wondering if you had any interest in

    interviewing James Corbett of the Corbett Report. I think

    it would be fascinating to hear you two chatting it up. He event

    lives in Japan;) Just a thought.

    Thanks Tim!


  21. Hi Tim,Thanks for all you give. I have been following you off and on for a while but have recently started listening to your podcasts. This is the first time I’ve gone to the show notes – what a treasure trove of information. After listening to this Podcast, I immediately bought the Logitech keys-to go keyboard and I love it. I am using it right now to type this. I also just ordered the Rubz ball so thank you! I’m going to continue to explore and listen.

    I enjoyed hearing about your morning rituals. I would love to hear about your evening rituals and how you set yourself up for successful sleep. I see you have a podcast about sleep so maybe that will give me the answers.

    Thanks again,


  22. I had a book immediately come to mind when you ask about favorite books. “The three musketeers” is still my favorite hands down.

  23. I trace my vast collection of Sitka hunting clothing to this post where you mentioned the Sitka Dakota beanie. A fantastic brand, high quality and innovative designs. Thank you!