Tim Ferriss’s Recent Change of Heart Shows How Self-Improvement Can Fail You

Without self-acceptance, self-improvement is only noise.

Michael Touchton
Mind Cafe

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Photo by Andrew (Drew) Kelly

Tim Ferriss has made a wildly successful career out of improving himself, quantifying his progress, and pushing the boundaries of human productivity.

But in a recent interview with Clay Skipper from GQ, Ferriss acknowledges that he’s been responsible for much of what he calls “the noise in the self-improvement or self-optimization space.”

The “noise” of self-improvement are the aspects that are a distraction from what truly matters. And, for Ferriss, that has meant a shift from searching for “answers to questions about how to do more (and do it more efficiently)” to focusing on what’s happening “inside and helping you get comfortable being with yourself.”

“Not everything that is meaningful can be measured easily.” -Tim Ferriss

For many of us, discovering what matters most happens as we go through difficult times and realize what’s working for us and what’s not. For example, while having successfully “improved himself” to the nth degree, and having experienced incredible success, Ferriss found that he still struggled with his mental health: “Certainly I found myself, after…

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