As the times accelerate and we face ever more kaleidoscopic careers, a crucial meta-skill is the ability to learn new skills extremely rapidly, extremely well. That practice has no better exemplar and proponent than Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid-Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. Not surprisingly, he has made himself adept at compelling presentations, this one prepared especially for the Long Now audience.
A self-described human guinea pig, Tim Ferriss has parlayed his self-experimentation into a pair of blockbuster self-help books. His first, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, shares the secrets to his success in outsourcing most of the work for his online nutritional-supplements company, BrainQuicken. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, chronicles his efforts to maximize his physical potential. Ferriss holds the world record for executing the most tango spins in a minute, a feat he performed on the TV show Live with Regis and Kelly. He is a guest lecturer at Princeton University and a faculty member at Singularity University.
Bestselling author Tim Ferriss scoffs at Malcolm Gladwell's theory that most people can master a skill in 10,000 hours, quipping, "For most people, they do things the wrong way." However, argues Ferriss, given enough practice, most people have the capacity to excel at a variety of skills.