Questions from Tim, Part II

Fall break was yesterday and today, giving my wife and me a 4 day weekend in which to celebrate our 8th anniversary (which was on 10/16).  Since we are traveling, I prepared some answers to Tim Ferriss’s questions he poses to many world class performers, millionaires and billionaires in his book, Tribe of Mentors.

In Questions from Tim, Part 1, I answered

  • 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?
  • In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

For Part 2, I will tackle the following.

  • What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
  • How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
  • What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? 

Purchases to commit to something or try something out for a while have been very rewarding!  I started jiu jitsu in late December of 2017, and was fortunately given the rest of December to see how it went before my coach began collecting monthly dues. Those monthly dues (under $100) have positively impacted my life for all of 2018.

Along those same lines, I have been using an app called Justin Guitar to learn guitar.  Once I got past Stage 2, there was an $8.99/month charge to continue through the stages of learning.  I did not balk at that and paid it immediately.  The value that this monthly fee will provide is far more than that price tag.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours? 

I can’t think of a favorite failure of mine, but the collection of all the failures I’ve made since I have identified the growth mindset (vs. the fixed mindset) described in detail in Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, and since I’ve identified the idea of investment in loss described in Josh Waitzkin’s book, The Art of Learning. I’ve written about this in my previous blog post Seeking Failure.

Now, my failures are all very good learning tools, each failure presenting new techniques to learn and bad habits to avoid.  So, it is the collection of failures that all lead to further and further improvement, and therefore, success.

Failing Exam MLC through the Society of Actuaries the first time was a hard but important hit.  It really sucked to find out that I had not attained a level of mastery with the material in order to pass it.  Learning from this failure, and using the strong foundation I had already laid out for myself, I rebounded and passed on the next time around.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

Investing my time in the constant pursuit of personal improvement and growth is definitely up there. We all know what it takes to be successful professionally and personally. However, we are not all good at actually doing those things we know to do. Recognizing this, admitting it to myself, and then investing my time and energy into finding out ways I can motivate myself to get things done has been extremely worthwhile.

I now invest my time into very selective reading. I invest time into scheduling my time, which at first glance may seem like a waste, but will in fact produce more time, amazingly.  This investment was slow at first, and, like a freight train, gained momentum and is speeding along nicely.

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