Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneurial success story, he went from childhood trauma in his early years to a well-known millionaire.
Ferriss has been listed as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People,” and one of Fortune’s “40 under 40.” His books have also made him a New York Times Bestseller, #1 Wall Street Journal seller, and “Best in the World” Award at the 18th Annual Paris Cookbook Awards.
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
Growing up in Long Island, Ferriss was considered small for his age, kids at school often picked on him because of his size. At the age of 8, Ferriss’ mother signed him up for wrestling classes, which helped lay the foundation for his love of experimenting with workouts and diets, as well as giving him the confidence to stick up for himself. His parents didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but with the money they did have, they always made sure to buy Ferriss a few new books a year so he could continue his passion for learning.
As a high school sophomore, Ferriss got the opportunity to transfer to an elite boarding school in New Hampshire where he was able to spend a year as an exchange student in Japan. This year abroad changed his whole perception of life. He had awakened to realize that there was a huge world beyond where he grew up, this fuelled his passion for exploring and learning about different cultures.
After graduating from his boarding school, Ferriss’s path lead him to Princeton, where he majored in East Asian studies. During his time at University, he experimented with psychedelics and attended a silent retreat, where trauma that had been buried from his childhood arose. This caused Ferriss to head into a deep depression where he contemplated committing suicide. The only reason Ferriss didn’t act on this idea was that he went to the library to seek out help on the “act of suicide,” and the book was unavailable. The library sent a note to his house, confirming the book was unavailable and his mother opened that letter. She called him to discuss the subject of the book, and within this conversation, Ferriss understood the love his family had for him and the pain it would cause life-ending actions. And that was the end of that thought. He then graduated from Princeton University in 2000 after completing an A.B. in East Asian studies.
Tim Ferriss's first big adventure was a book he wrote called “The 4-Hour Workweek,” which brought him his first found fame in 2007.
Something Ferriss understands far better than most is how little the real usefulness of advice someone gives corresponds with how well the person giving the advice is received. Over the years, Ferriss has observed that the millions of white-collar employees working in cubicles were deeply unfilled with their daily lives. Every action you take in this world has a ripple effect. Take actions that can cause positive ripple effects that help people. Be the example.“
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. "Someday" is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it's important to you and you want to do it "eventually," just do it and correct the course along the way."
So what does Tim Ferriss’ morning routine look like, what practices does he do every day to maximize his productivity?
Ferriss believes, “morning routines should be strictly followed, to avoid wasting time thinking.” He told us that, “In the morning and elsewhere, the more constraints I can create where I fly on autopilot and get a result I need or enjoy, the more horsepower, the more calories I have to allocate to being creative and to do things where thinking should be applied.”
The first thing he does when he gets up in the morning is he makes his bed. Ferriss met a Hindu priest named, Danadapani in 2011 who told him, “the way to help bring grounding into his life was to start off his day by making his bed.” By making his bed every morning, one task had already been checked off in his day, giving him a small sense of pride and motivation to continue to check things off.
After waking, Ferriss heads to his calm spot to meditate for 20 minutes every morning. “Meditation, or mindfulness practice, it’s really about, to me, decreasing emotional reactivity so you can proactively create your day and create your life; versus, just being a walking reflex that someone screws up.”
Once in a peaceful state, Ferriss enjoys his morning glass of “Titanium Tea,” his tea combo he’s developed to help wake him up, and get his metabolism fired up. This tea combo blends 2 teas with turmeric and ginger shavings as well as MCT oil which helps promote fat burning.
Spending the last half hour meditating and drinking his “Titanium Tea,” Ferriss grabs his notebook and begins journaling his daily 5-minute journal or his morning pages exercises. Ferriss said in a podcast episode. "The five-minute journal is a therapeutic intervention, for me at least, because I am that person. That allows me to not only get more done during the day but to also feel better throughout the entire day, to be a happier person, to be a more content person — which is not something that comes naturally to me."
With Tim Ferriss and his morning routine, he practices the same things every morning but also tends to eat the same breakfast every day. He likes his breakfast small and high in fiber and protein, which means a can of black bean chili is usually on his breakfast menu.
3 days a month, Ferriss does spend fasting. People have fasted consciously for thousands of years for spiritual discipline and over the most recent years, research has been coming out saying intermittent fasting actually has some health benefits.
With a full stomach, Ferriss heads to the gym where he spends 20-90 minutes every morning exercising. "That exercise could be riding on a Peloton bike and doing a 20-minute HIIT workout [high-intensity interval training], or it could be acro yoga, or it could be weight training or working on a Concept 2 rower," Ferriss has stated in his podcasts.
Ferriss has spent much of his career watching other’s habits and learning why they do or practice the things that they do. He calls himself “the human guinea pig,” as he takes what he has learned from others and experiments with himself on whether or not those practices can help better one’s life. His book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” was written with his own personal knowledge of experimenting with different workout regimens and diets based on research, then he spoke about his own conclusions and results.
Tim Ferriss has stuck to his morning routine for the last 10 years, but with that being said, as he evolves, so does his routine. His exercising workout may change, his breakfast meal may be switched up, but the pattern of a morning routine always stays the same. After years of research and experiments, Ferriss has learned and explored why humans do the things they do and how he can improve his own life to set himself up for success. If you want to learn more about Tim Ferriss, his hardships, or the success story behind the man, check out his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast.