Personal development

What to do when you feel stuck – the Tim Ferriss Way

You don’t like what you are feeling right now because you don’t like what you are doing. But you have no idea how to change it. You feel STUCK and it is horrible.

Would you like to get UN-stuck?  If so it involves doing something, changing something. No, really, if you are not tired enough of being stuck to want to do something about it, please do not read on.


OK, well done on reading on. *applause* I congratulate you on deciding to make a change. Here’s what you can do to start moving in the direction you so desire.

Tim Ferriss, an amazing author (the 4- hour book series), entrepreneur, public speaker and angel investor gave a brilliant interview to Behind the Brand (click here for link) about his new book and how he got started as an author but most importantly, close to the end, about his method of fixing what he feels is not right in his life. To me, this. is. gold dust.

Timothy Ferriss.jpg

Tim Ferriss, image from Wikipedia

*warning! leave your fears and egos at the door and hear him out. if not, read the last paragraph of this post, see how you feel, then come back here to carry on this crucial lesson by Tim*

There are 2 things you ought to do. They are :

1) 80-20 analysis

2) Fear settings

80-20 analysis

Most of us have heard of the Pareto Principle where 80% of the effects arise from 20% of the causes.  Based on that, Tim makes a list of :

i) the 20% of activities and people that are producing 80% of the results and positive emotional states he desires.

ii) the 20% of activities and people that are producing 80% of the negative results and emotional states of his life.

iii) the 20% of activities that are using up 80% of his time.

Then based on the results of those lists, he puts together a to do list and a not to do list . From those lists, identify the one or 2 game changers – the things that if done or undone could send a big wave of change for the better in your current situation.


Fear settings

This is where you clearly identify , based on the 80/20 analysis, the reasons why you have

1) not done the important things to do,  or

2) not stopped doing the most NON important things to do

It is about defining your fear clearly. Tim likens fears to goals. If you do not know your fear, you do not know what to aim for to beat that fear. Here how to do it :

Template for facing your fears

Template for facing your fears

On the tittle of this template, write down the one action that you are afraid to do because you think the pain of doing it exceeds the pain of not doing it. Then start listing the answers to the headings of each of the columns.

Now you will have a clear map of the facts surrounding your feared action and you will find it is not as bad as you think it is. Why? because two thirds or 66.67% of the lists are actions that you can take to reduce that fear. That is why this template is a keeper.


So that is the end of what Tim touched on in his interview. What I would like to add on this analysis plan is by far the most important aspect of anything- the execution plan. The analysis is important to get your purpose and your strategy right. It is a big part in your psychology around the problem, but results don’t appear from thin air, they appear from action.

Just like me, many of you dear readers are perfectionist. We don’t have time to afford mistakes or money to loose on the wrong decisions, but guess what, being stagnant and frustrated is worst than any risk of a mistake. Being stagnant eats away at your precious life. We take the first step despite the fear, then make small adjustments to fine tune our journey against the target as we go along.

 To be honest I started becoming a little defensive when Tim made it sound so easy to approach big problems. He dissected the issues so clinically. ” But you don’t know my problems” ” I can’t fix them just like that” I hear my little voice saying. Then I realised, IT IS that SIMPLE.  Remove the emotions chained to your issues and look at it for what it is. Be grateful for what you have no matter how small, then accept what you need to change, and I stress again, JUST MAKE A MOVE.

Thank you for reading this far. I hope this post has given you some tools to work with.

Good luck my friends, may you have an amazing journey of better things to come. Much love.


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