If you are looking for inspiration about daily rituals and self-improvement this is a “must read.” Tim Ferriss’ new book is a timely encyclopedia of life advice curated from a variety of successful individuals starting from famous entrepreneurs, athletes, actors, writers and others who have made it big in their respective careers. The author asks a set of common questions to the guests, and tries to deduce factors critical to their success. It is packed with ready to implement tactics for self-improvement and finding self-purpose by adding value to the world.  This is a companion resource that can be read cover to cover, or pick and choose the chapters and stories that resonate with your own well-being.


Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

“Tribe of Mentors” is the most recent book by Tim Ferriss.  You may know Tim from his original book, “The Four Hour Work Week.”  His new book is a timely encyclopedia of life advice curated from a variety of successful individuals from different walks of life.

“Often, all that stands between you and what you want is a better set of questions.” Tim Ferris.

This is the entire premise behind the book.  The author developed 11 very carefully crafted questions over several months.

  1. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
  2. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.
  3. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
  4. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it-metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions-what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (if helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
  5. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (This could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
  6. What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
  7. In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
  8. What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
  9. What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
  10. In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
  11. When you feel over whelmed or unfocused or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

The author then sent out these questions to people he knew, respected, wanted to know, or just had amazing reputations. Not everyone on the list responded but most did and they were incorporated in to this book.

The reason I enjoyed this book was the variety of people that answered and the variety of answers.  You can read this book straight through or by sampling people that you know or want to know better. A quick tip is, if you want to try the book out, go to your kindle and download the sample to try it out.

I will leave you with one of the many quotes from the book. “Busy is a decision” by Debbie Millman.  In our busy lives, this quote resonated with me.

Marc Klau, MD, MBA

Vice Dean of Education and Clinical Integration, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
Assistant Regional Medical Director of Learning, Education and Leadership
Director of Kaiser Permanente Residencies, Southern California Continuing Medical Education
Clinical Professor of Surgery, University of California at Irvine, School of Medicine