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  • Writer's pictureRyan Luby

Learn from yourself

I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss and I follow him because he puts a lot of time into coming up with great questions that make it very easy to extract amazingly valuable information from his guests on his podcast.

I have listened to and read enough from Tim to know that a common question he asks his guests is,

“What advice would you give to your younger self?”

Sometimes he changes it slightly but he is still getting the same point. And after following him enough I was able to determine the most common answers from everyone he interviews.

Here they are:

The most common advice Tim’s guests say they would give to their younger self is..

  • Everything will work out fine

  • Don’t wait to do (X)

  • Just relax

The coolest thing about following Tim is because he asks consistent questions you are able to spot trends in answers and I was amazed at how such an interesting question would almost always get the same answer…

The guests inevitably respond by explaining they would tell their younger self to basically just relax.

Just relax. If the answer is so common I’m sure it’s something that can help anyone no matter where they are currently in life.

And I know you can’t relax, and you’re busy, and you don’t have time, but if you could relax...

What would you do?

And if you were relaxed what would you be doing to stay relaxed?

Think of something that really relaxes you personally? What is it?

And how does that make you feel?

Just relax is an important answer for a few reasons.. Obviously for one, no matter where we are in life it is so easy to get caught up in our head and create stress and tension that really isn’t necessary.

It’s easier to realize the stress is unnecessary, and unproductive in hindsight because we can say, “I’m still here… whatever I was worried about didn’t kill me, it wasn’t that difficult, I not only didn’t die I learned a lot, and my life is still great.”

But you don’t have to wait until you're 70 years old to realize you can take it easy, and not stress so much.

Now you know that this is the most common advice people say they wish they could give to their younger self, so you can use it right now. Don’t wait to figure it out yourself, learn from everyone else who is already giving you the answer.

And finally, you don’t have to wait and think back about what you would tell your younger self.. Use this same question proactively.

Think, In 10-15-20 years, what advice would you give to yourself looking back on where you are now?

I wouldn’t be surprised if it is often still to relax, and take it easy.

But maybe it will be to quit your job sooner, or commit to your job more. Or to spend more time on the relationships in your life, or to stop hesitating with whatever you are putting off.

It’s important to learn from these questions that others have already answered for us, but it is equally important to be proactive and ask questions hypothetically in your own life.

There’s no need to wait until you’re 85 years old to have all the answers to your life, and how you should have lived better. You just have to take the time to ask the right questions now. Learn from them. And take action.

If you were 80 years old, what advice would you give to yourself right now?

And how will you use it?

Learn more on this:

Video - Tim asks Ryan Holiday this question

Tim Ferriss blog- with some podcast links

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