One of my favorite books is Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris. In this book, he shares the answers to eleven powerful questions from artists, athletes, top business people, and politicians (aka the movers and the makers of our world). I thoroughly enjoyed reading their answers and imagined what my responses would be. So in this post, I will share my answers to the 11 questions for you all.
ONE: “What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?”
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach: This book is about challenging the status quo and going beyond what one believes they are capable of achieving. It takes practice and persistence. Furthermore, it’s crucial to surround yourself with the right group of people who have a similar mindset.
Awareness by Anthony De Mello: This book helps me gain a bigger perspective on life. De Mello brings a unique perspective from his background as a Jesuit priest intertwined with wisdom from Eastern religions. He also has a lot of insightful stories in it. Here’s one example:
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz: This book has four simple agreements which have profoundly changed my life as I integrate the practice of them daily:
Be impeccable with your word.
Don't take anything personally.
Don't make assumptions.
Always do your best.
TWO: “What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.”
The Bella Steamer. I love this food steamer because it helps me cook healthier and is very easy to use. I’ve steamed potatoes, corn, broccoli, dumplings, eggs, and salmon with this simple device. Also, it’s incredibly easy to clean afterward.
THREE: “How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?”
When I was in high school, I applied to the Air Force ROTC program because I wanted to be a fighter pilot. During the interview, I learned that I wouldn’t be able to fly because I didn’t have 20/20 vision, but I still might be able to be a navigator. A week after the interview, I learned that I didn’t get into the program and was very disappointed. Today, I am incredibly grateful for not getting into the program and rather living the life that I’ve created now.
FOUR: “If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)”
Here & Now. Breathe & Relax.
I learned this from Dan Millman during his Peaceful Warrior Retreat in Costa Rica a few years ago. I believe it is a pure distillation of wisdom.
FIVE: “What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)”
Getting a medical (MD) and a business degree (MBA) from the University of Rochester in New York. It took 5 years to complete but I learned so much about life, medicine, business, and myself. This experience helped me gain the unique skillset needed to open up Reset Ketamine in Palm Springs, California.
SIX: “What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?”
Journaling. I have a dream journal, 5-minute journal, nightly journal reviewing the day, and a Brazillian jujitsu journal. I document a lot about my life but ironically rarely read what has been written. However, just the act of writing it down is incredibly useful to my psyche and is incredibly cathartic.
SEVEN: “In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?”
Yoga has been a game-changer for me. Previously, I would work out (weights/cardio) and end up with injuries. Yoga allows me to get a good workout yet doesn’t cause any injuries because I am mindful of being in my body. Also, I used to get a lot of muscular back pain and it’s resolved since practicing yoga.
EIGHT: “What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?”
Never stop learning even once you are done in “school.” Life is a school for continued learning and it will present opportunities for you until you get the lesson.
Ignore the advice that you are too young to make something awesome. The best time to take a risk is when you are young.
NINE: “What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
As a ketamine physician, I believe it’s better to take at least a day off between ketamine infusions, even for pain syndromes, like CRPS/RSD, fibromyalgia, and other neuropathic pain syndromes.
TEN: “In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to ( distractions, invitations, etc. )? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?”
Working more shifts in the emergency department. Our time on Earth is limited. At my time of death, I won’t think, “Man, I wish I would have worked more.” Also, saying NO to meetings for the hospital. It’s quite challenging and slow to make changes in a large system. I can definitely make a bigger impact in a smaller clinic, especially one that I own.
ELEVEN: “When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)”
Write everything down that is on my mind on paper as a complete brain dump. Count the number of total tasks, then pick the 20% that will get me 80% of the results. Or select the 20% that are the MOST important tasks to accomplish. I realize that I won’t be able to achieve to do everything and must prioritize my time and energy.
I hope in sharing my answers, you will be inspired to reflect on what your own answers would be to these questions! Have you read this book? Are you a Tim Ferriss fan?