Tim Ferriss’ view on Meditation: If done daily, it can have the greatest impact on your lives

Recently, Tim Ferriss the author, blogger and motivational speaker known for his books The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body did a live Q&A session on Quora. One of the questions that was asked from Tim was this:-

What program, habit or change do you think most people don’t do, (but can) that would have the greatest impact on their lives?

I was pleasantly surprised by reading the answer given by him. Tim, the blue eyed boy of today’s aspiring startups entrepreneurs, told the audience that a regular practice of Short but regular Morning Meditation is the habit that can have the greatest impact on lives of people. The reinforcement of doing meditation on daily basis from Tim Ferriss- who is known for recommending path breaking techniques of improving productivity and living a life away from the rat race – will go a long way in awakening interest in meditation in many target groups which are yet to be reached.

Tim Ferriss Photo

Tim Ferriss

Here is the answer given by Tim Ferriss when asked about a program, habit or change that most people don’t do (but can) and which would have the greatest impact on their lives

What program, habit or change do you think most people don’t do, (but can) that would have the greatest impact on their lives?

Short but regular morning meditation. I found that more than 80% of the world-class performers I interviewed for Tools of Titans have some form of daily meditation or mindfulness practice. Both can be thought of as “cultivating a present-state awareness that helps you to be nonreactive.”

This applies to everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Justin Boreta of The Glitch Mob, and from elite athletes like Amelia Boone to writers like Maria Popova. It’s the most consistent pattern of them all.

It is a “meta-skill” that improves everything else. You’re starting your day by practicing focus when it doesn’t matter (sitting on a couch for 10 minutes) so that you can focus better later when it does matter (negotiation, conversation with a loved one, max deadlift, mind-melding with a Vulcan, etc.).

If you want better results with less stress, fewer “I should have said X” mental loops, etc., meditation acts as a warm bath for the mind. Perhaps you’re a world-conquering machine with elite focus, but you might need to CTFO (chill the fuck out) a few minutes a day before you BTFO (burn the fuck out).

Meditation allows me to step back and gain a “witness perspective” (as with psychedelics), so that I’m observing my thoughts instead of being tumbled by them. I can step out of the washing machine and calmly look inside it.

Most of our waking hours, we feel as though we’re in a trench on the front lines with bullets whizzing past our heads. Through 20 minutes of consistent meditation, I can become the commander, looking out at the battlefield from a hilltop. I’m able to look at a map of the territory and make high-level decisions. “These guys shouldn’t even be fighting over here. What the hell is Regiment B doing over there? Call them out. We need more troops around the ridge. For objectives, we should be going after A, B, and C in that order. Ignore all the other so-called emergencies until those are handled. Great. Now, deep breath, and . . . execute.”

Make Meditation a daily habit

Make Meditation a daily habit

A few options to get you started:

1. Use an app like Headspace or Calm. Headspace’s free “Take10” will guide you for 10 minutes a day for 10 days. A number of my guests also use Headspace to help them get to sleep.

2.Listen to a guided meditation from Sam Harris or Tara Brach. Maria Popova of Brain Pickings listens to the same recording every morning — Tara Brach’s Smile Guided Meditation recording from the summer of 2010.

3. Take a TM course (Learn about the Transcendental Meditation technique.). It will probably cost $1,000 or more, but this option offers a coach and accountability. For me, this is what kicked off more than 2 years of consistent meditation.

4. If you want to try mantra-based meditation without a course, you can sit and silently repeat one two-syllable word (I’ve used “na-ture” before) for 10 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning. TM purists would call this heresy, but you can still see results. Aim for physical comfort. No crossed legs or yoga-like contortion required. The default is sitting reasonably straight on a chair with your feet on the floor, hands on your thighs or in your lap, and back supported.

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3 Responses to Tim Ferriss’ view on Meditation: If done daily, it can have the greatest impact on your lives

  1. Matt Young December 13, 2016 at 6:04 am #

    I like Tim. His podcasts are interesting and entertaining. I know he doesn’t claim to be a meditation expert, but I’m afraid his analogies and recommendations will be taken more seriously than is perhaps wise, on account of his relative fame.

    The analogies he uses above are creative and true to some degree, but the picture painted is both hyperbolic and a bit simplistic, in my view.

    Headspace, TM and Tara Brach provide some of the most popular and well known meditations around; however, that doesn’t mean they’ll be the best suited to an individual reading this article. There are thousdans of other techniques, teachers and apps out there; and one of those not mentioned is likely to be a better fit for any given person.

    Taking up one of these practices on the basis of Tim’s recommendation would be like buying a pair of shoes because they were a good fit for someone else!

    Why not support a local teacher, and do a real class? In almost all cases, you’d probably be doing yourself a much better service by doing that.
    Matt Young recently posted…3 ways to achieve a calm and focused mind in one minute flat.My Profile

  2. Eklavya December 17, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. This article does not intend to endorse Tim Ferriss’ view in a literal sense. The main idea is the habit of meditation which, if done consistently, can do wonders for ones life. Tim’s mention of TM, Headspace or Tara Brach are just pointers. They, in no way, are the best or the only way to learn meditation. While I also feel that learning meditation locally is the best way, still I feel that anybody who is just starting out, must be able to find effective and useful techniques on internet.


  3. Lola Jones May 23, 2017 at 2:43 am #

    Do you know if Tim talks about meditation in his book “Tools of the Titans”?

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Meditate Daily. Be Calm