Remarkable Advice from Tim Ferriss’ Best Friend, Kevin Kelly

Tim Denning

No cliches, cheese, or Einstein quotes to be found here.

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Many people know Tim Ferriss for his podcast. Many people do not know his best friend Kevin Kelly who wrote “1000 True Fans.”

Both Kevin and Tim do regular holidays together and travel to bizarre places where they can be alone, away from the problems of fame.

Kevin’s genius is the quirky advice he gives. He takes common cliches and flips them on their head. His remarkable advice will change how you think about various situations and decisions in your life.

Friends are better than money.

Almost anything money can do, friends can do better. In so many ways a friend with a boat is better than owning a boat.

When you buy a flashy boat, what’s the first thing you do? You ring your friends. Why? Because your friends are better than the boat.

Having a reason to hang out with your friends or start a conversation is magic. What if you could do all of that without the boat anchor that rips through your back pocket?

You will remember the friends you got to do life with on your dying days, not the material junk you collected.

Art is in what you leave out.

Learn how to learn from those you disagree with, or even offend you. See if you can find the truth in what they believe.

I find religion fascinating. While I have no clue about any god, I like the values of kindness and generosity as subtle ways to improve one’s life.

The euphoria you feel in a church service is strangely addictive too. Maybe it’s manufactured — who knows. Still, learn about stuff you disagree with or haven’t made up your mind on.

Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.

People who show enthusiasm tend to have a level of energy that gets them somewhere special, eventually. Look for enthusiasm, because anybody can be smart thanks to google’s search engine product.

Never use a credit card for credit. Don’t be in debt to losers.

Kevin hates most forms of debt just like me. Debt makes you a slave to money. Your options are extremely limited when debt runs your life and you need a safe salary to feed it.

Get the banker off your back. Most debt is terrible for your level of joy.

It’s amazing how often a second try works.

— “Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. Assume they are like you: busy, occupied, distracted. Try again later.” — Uncle Kevin

I have worked in sales for a long time. You know the stupidest sales technique I ever learned? Try again later. If you ask someone to buy or take a specific action and they don’t, come back later.

I recently left a prospect for six months who politely told me to piss off. Six months later he was a new man. He liked my underdog status and gave me a go. That led to a multi-million dollar deal.

To get what you want in life, ask a few times.

Pros are just amateurs who know how to gracefully recover from their mistakes.

Half the life of a creative person is spent recovering.

Find the tools you need to recover from all the rejection and mistakes you’ll make at trying to reach mastery in something. My tools are reading, warm showers, and vegan cake. Learn to recover and you’ll have more fuel in the tank to go back out into the arena and fight for what you want.

Habits are human automation.

The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation.

You create a habit to automate the process. If you perform a habit enough times then you don’t have to decide. Deciding causes decision fatigue which sucks away your precious daily energy.

Eat beans and rice for a year.

Kevin suggests trying to live for at least 6 months as poor as you can. Poor means eating simple, cheap meals like beans and rice, owning very little, living in a tiny room, or choosing a lifestyle you deem to be difficult.

The point of living poor: “any time you have to risk something in the future you won’t be afraid of the worst-case scenario.”

Living poor is preparing for failure in the future.

If you are not falling down occasionally, you are just coasting.

How do you know how well you’re doing in life? Look at how many times you’ve fallen down lately. If you’re bored, how many risks are you taking?

Cruising is okay for a while but eventually you will want to race again and feel the adrenaline of almost driving off the cliff, and not.

There are several speeds in life. Turn off cruise control more often.

Understanding this is the beginning of wisdom.

— “Perhaps the most counter-intuitive truth of the universe is that the more you give to others, the more you’ll get.”

It’s so cliche I know. You don’t have to sing kumbaya to understand it. If your life sucks or you feel down, you’re not giving enough. You’re too focused on taking and that is blinding you from all the beauty.

How do you start giving today? Simple. Go to your local homeless shelter and volunteer for 2 hours. Life changed.

***Walks away from a cloud of smoke and puts magician stick away, safely***

Hatred is a curse that does not affect the hated.

It only poisons the hater. Release a grudge as if it was a poison.

The internet brought hate to our front door.

Dealing with hate is a skill we all need.

A grudge is stored hate. If you store that hate in your mind then it will poison and alter your thoughts. So don’t let alchemy screw up your life. One drop of strong poison in your cafe latte will still kill you. It doesn’t take much to let hate poison and destroy your life.

When you die you take absolutely nothing with you except your reputation.

How do you cultivate a reputation?

  • Spread love not hate.
  • Lower your ego. Be humble = happiness.
  • Make others feel special or important.
  • Aim to inspire people with your work.

Anything real begins with the fiction of what could be.

— “Imagination is therefore the most potent force in the universe, and a skill you can get better at. It’s the one skill in life that benefits from ignoring what everyone else knows.”

You unlock more of your potential when you flex your creativity muscle.

Imagination is the gateway. Dream about what is possible. Craft it in your mind so only you can see it. It’s okay if others can’t see your vision. They’re not supposed to.

No problems, no progress.

— “When crisis and disaster strike, don’t waste them.”

I want lots of problems. Problems are how I get paid. Without problems there would be nothing to do or to create.

If your life is so boring that you numb it with Netflix and chill every night, see if you can find more problems.

Find the problems of others without being asked to. Solve them free of charge at first. Get good. Reach subtle mastery. Then charge money to solve problems and be proud of it.

You’re not “selling out” by charging money.

You’re solving problems, creating value, and capturing that value in your bank account. (Don’t hoard the value. Give some of it away to the underdogs.)

Go seven layers deep to get the answer to a hard question.

Rule of 7 in research.
You can find out anything if you are willing to go seven levels.
If the first source you ask doesn’t know, ask them who you should ask next, and so on down the line. If you are willing to go to the 7th source, you’ll almost always get your answer.

This tactic works for many things in life. When you get told no, ask the person who said it if they can lead you to someone who might be able to help. It’s a stupidly simple tool that allows you to make a lot of progress and meet many people who can drastically improve your life.

You really don’t want to be famous.

Fame makes me want to vomit.

The phrase “personal brand” causes people to lead a life of selfishness.

Kevin Kelly suggests reading the biography of any famous person. You can’t hit the reset button on fame once you have it. The attention you want is from the people you love, not strangers in the car park eating a Big Mac while taking pictures of you with their camera phone.

Great things are done by people doing them for the first time.

Resumes are for factory workers of the industrial age. Name, age, experience, education and serial number is no longer required in the modern world.

Kevin thinks about hiring people in this way: hire a person for their natural ability and train them for the skills they need. I personally hire people for how they think. If your mindset is right, the rest is teachable.

Most really amazing or great things are done by people doing them for the first time — Uncle Kevin

That’s why the experience section of a resume is pointless.

Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists.

Choose optimism.

Those who find optimism in tough times tend to go on and do something incredible, that positively affects us all. Don’t let this negative world beat the life out of you. Optimism is a differentiator.

That’s What You Can Learn from Tim Ferriss’ Best Friend, Kevin Kelly.

Use Kevin’s wisdom to help people during these uncertain coronius times.

The world needs people like you to rebuild from the devastation and remind us all of the simple beauty that lies within.

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