Tribe of Mentors – Career Lions edition
Liona and I just got our copies of Tribe of Mentors by our favorite writer, blogger, podcaster etc. Tim Ferriss. Let’s face it we both love whatever he is doing. After this last book, Tools of Titans, we became even more of a fan. Yes, apparently this was still possible. Tribe of Mentors strives to give short life advice from the best in the world. He has gathered from the world’s greatest using a set of eleven powerful and insightful questions. This book has captured their advice to help us #careerlions navigate through life. Less than a year ago, yes this guy writes great quality and quantity fast, we did a post giving our own answers to his rapid-fire questions. Another, slightly bigger, set of questions he frequently uses in his podcasts interviewing world-class performers. Inspired as we are to one day become eclectic experts, today we are practicing on the blog by answering three of the question at the base of Tribe of Mentors.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
I think I’ve established my love for anything Harry Potter by now, I even convinced the boyfriend to go to Orlando’s Universal Studio to admire the Harry Potter themed area. Something else unusual I am obsessed with is loungewear. I adore comfy outfits to wear around the house and even to the office. I have made it a sport to wear only comfortable, formal looking office wear. Thank the fashion gods that fitted jogging trousers are trendy. It’s that bad that whenever I pack for a trip or holiday it’s a 50/50 ratio of regular clothing and outfits to lounge in.
Irish dancing! I regularly have to explain what it even is and how I even got to become an Irish dancer in the first place. I suppose that qualifies as unusual, right? I have danced since I was six, before then I was into ballet. Dancing brings me so much joy. A completely different world that will definitely seem strange from an outsider’s perspective. Yes, we wear handmade costumes that are ridiculously expensive and go out of fashion in no time. We travel all over the world for competitions. We also wear dancing shoes that are too small to make your feet look more pretty. Another yes on fake tan, trust me your legs cannot be too dark for Irish dancing. Wigs and fake lashes? Oh yes, fake it till you make it. Smile like your life depends on it. All this while you are trying to do a mix of tap dancing, gymnastics, and ballet. Dancing on stage to live music of which you don’t know the melody, only the rhythm. Competing with multiple competitors on a stage on which you have not practiced with fellow dancers that have different routines. A guarantee for crashes on stage and a lot of drama. Intrigued? Watch this documentary. You are welcome to join a class if all this got you excited!
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
I regularly feel overwhelmed or unfocused. Most of the time, it’s when I have been taking less care of myself. That means less sleep, less exercise and eating less healthy (or even forgetting it from time to time). So in most cases, I feel either a good healthy meal, workout or good night’s sleep does the trick. In addition, it helps to structure all the thoughts in my head that are causing the overwhelmed feeling in the first place. I usually do this by making lists or talk about it with a loved one! If I don’t really have the time for the options above, I just close my eyes and take three big deep breaths and face whatever it is I got to deal with.
My rule is not to "pretend” working when I am not efficient. So, if I am not focused or overwhelmed I try to snap out of it and take a break if really needed. What works very well for me is to put on one of my favorite songs with my noise canceling headphones on. It helps me to get in my work zone and shut off all of the clutter in the back of the brain. It is like the music is overpowering the chatter in my brain and the noises physically around me. I love to listen to some house or techno music. However, if I need to get the real guns out I have a Spotify playlist called focus with piano music. This includes songs from the movie La La Land for instance. When all this fails it is time to schedule in some rest; Netflix, a good night sleep, board games or Mario Kart.
In the last few years, what have you become better at saying no to? What realizations and/or approached helped?
That must be birthday parties. I skip most of them and only go to the very few of my loved ones. I don’t seem to always enjoy the festivities and to be quite frank, I don’t feel surviving yet another year is something that is always worth celebrating. That might just sound depressing, but what I am trying to say is that I’d rather celebrate accomplishments (like when launching CAREERLIONS.COM a year and a half ago). It’s been a personal policy of mine not to attend all the birthday parties, making it easier to turn them down. Saying no is actually something I still find hard to do. Therefore, I’ve summed up the most effective ways to say no in next Tuesday’s blog post!
Everything! I used to say yes to nearly everything. I would get into a situation where I would have to drive somebody around or help them, even when it was highly unpractical for me. Going to parties feeling sick to my stomach. Not taking sufficient rest in order to do everything that I promised on top of my planning that was challenging to begin with. I am not sure that it was a fear of not being liked or having to let someone down. I think it was more a feeling of guilt when I did not do something where actually it didn’t seem like the biggest effort in the world. Honestly, I can tell you that all small efforts make a big effort. Especially when you don’t feel like something, those moments count even more. Working full time and having only so much spare time, I choose much more wisely how to spend. Do I feel like sitting at home with tea and book? I am sorry, but I need some time for myself and will therefore not be attending. Really, it is a lot simpler than it seemed. Also, people totally get used to it. Just like they knew I would always say yes, now they assume that I might just say no.
Tim, as you can read we have been practicing. We can’t wait for the day that we finally get to meet you. We are working on it!
What would you answer to these questions? Are you ready for a call from the one and only Tim Ferriss? Let us know in the comment section.