We all know about goal setting – actively sitting down to establish what you want. But what about the things you don’t want? Tim Ferriss reveals the other half of the goal-setting exercise that many people unknowingly skip: fear setting. If you’re stressed or fearful about a decision, and it’s preventing you from what could be a good opportunity or venture, nothing works better than nailing down what the worst-case scenario outcome would be, and working out honestly whether you could bounce back from it. If that fear is financial, you could do what Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of WIRED does: sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag for a couple of days and eat only basic bland foods like oatmeal or beans. This reminds him that if everything he built was suddenly swept away, he could survive it. We're more resilient than we think. Stoic philosophers like Seneca, Cato and Marcus Aurelius did this a millennium ago, they rehearsed their fears. In acting them out, worst-case scenarios lose their power over you. “You're effectively inoculating yourself against fear later, which will cause you to make bad decisions,” says Ferriss. Tim Ferriss is the author of Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.
Tim Ferriss' most recent book is Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.