Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 hour work week and the 4 hour body has written his latest book “Tribe of Mentors” in which he asks just 11 questions to the world’s best in different facets of life to look at commonalities and what makes them successful.
I’ve been listening to Tim’s podcast, so I thought I’d give it a shot at answering his questions.
So as Tim would say… Without any further adieu, I give you Josh’s Tribe of Mentors Questions and Answers:
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?
“The Game” by Neil Strauss. Reading this book about pick-up artists ultimately made me click on a link in a fitness blog (calling himself a pick up artist) that led me to the idea of starting up an “indoor bootcamp” and ultimately provided me with the indefiniteness of purpose to change my life.
I recently finished the audio version of “Outwitting the Devil” by Napoleon Hill and this is (as I speak), having a great impact on my life as it is reinforcing always to have faith and think on the positive side of things as that is the only way to be truly to be successful in this life and beyond.
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.
I bought multiple Hilroy notebooks from Walmart for a dollar each. They are extremely impactful for recording workout data (if you’ve worked out with me at BEFIT), you’ll notice most times I am recording my workout reps, weight, and even time under tension. I learned this from Charles Poliquin, if you’re not tracking your workout progress, your guessing, and how do you really know you are progressing unless you track it!?
3 – How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
I failed a lot after university and got in a pretty bad rut. Unfortunately, having a Biology degree isn’t that marketable unless you’re looking to go to med school. So I would say, all the job interviews (which probably weren’t a good fit for me anyways) I went to where I didn’t get the job set me up for later success, as this made me reassess what I was doing in my life, led me to get my personal training certification (because I wanted to get a job in the short term where I wasn’t paid minimum wage), while I completed post graduate studies at UBC… Fast forward a few years later, and I was working at a local gym in Langley and decided to abandon real estate for fitness because that was my passion. My degree has even come in handy, as it helps me understand the processes in the human body better and I was even permitted to take the CSCS certification, which you can only take if you have a degree in kinesiology or exercise science.
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?)
Failure ONLY happens when you quit. So don’t quit.
5 – What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)
Learning from Charles Poliquin at the Idea fitness convention last summer in Las Vegas. We just sat there and listened to him for a day. It was amazing and it just opened the looking glass for me and renewed my passion for relentless studying and getting better at my craft. I wish I could go this year!
6 – What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
Protein and nuts for breakfast. Optimal for fat loss, focus, and workout readiness. People always make a face at me when I suggest it. I just wait till I can get them to buy into it, get some results, and see their mindset shift.
7 – In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
Mobility is the fountain of youth. I had a lot of pain in my joints from being a meathead with bad habits in my early 20’s. If you can’t touch your toes, you have a SERIOUS mobility deficiency!!!! I put in 15 minutes a day for mobility (most of the time before and after workouts). It’s always a work in progress, but I’ve been able to remove chronic back pain and greatly improved a shoulder issue that plagued me for years. If you want to feel like a 20 year old when your 40 (without the bad habits of course), work on your mobility daily.
8 – What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?
Don’t believe in a work life balance. I believe if you view your work as a calling, it is a labor of love rather than laborious. When your work is a calling, you are not approaching the amount of hours you are working with a sense of dread. Your calling can become a life affirming engagement and can provide it’s own balance and spiritual nourishment and ironically… it takes a lot of hard work to achieve this! So when you’re in your 20’s YOU MUST WORK HARD! If you don’t work harder than everyone else, you will not get ahead. Also if you are looking for work life balance in your 20’s or 30’s you are most likely in the wrong career. If you’re doing something you love, you don’t want a work life balance, you want to do this thing that you love as often as possible.
9 – What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Unfortunately so many personal trainers are unqualified to train people and I see and hear of trainers giving their clients inappropriate exercises and nutrition protocols. I view everyone as being on a continuum, and if you are just starting out on your journey why would you bombard or stress someone out with something that are not mentally or physically ready for? I also think coaches need to get better at analyzing and assessing clients. You should be able to look at someone move and be able to generalize all the areas of mobility and stability that they need to work on.
The Health and Fitness Continuum.
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?
I’ve gotten better at saying no to food that is not conducive to my health and fitness goals. I always view unhealthy food as a short term gratification. And if tempted by it, I ask myself if this instant gratification is worth it? I’ll also factor in the rest of my weekly diet, and activity before making this choice. This process sounds painful, but if you do it enough, like anything, it becomes an automatic habit. To this, I’ve learned that the only way to be super successful is to make your habits work for you, not against you. We are the sum of our habits and what we repeatedly do.
11 – When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)
I workout. It releases endorphins, reduces stress, builds a positive habit, and clears my mind.
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS