How Tim Ferriss Sets Goals To Build Confidence & Win Big

Lower The Bar, Rig The Game

Try best-selling author & master podcaster Tim Ferriss’ counterintuitive system to set goals that build confidence and produce big results.

Ready To Win? 
Use Tim Ferriss’ Two Simple Questions To Re-Set Your Goals  

“Am I making this harder than it needs to be?”

Ferriss uses the example that like many authors every writing session feels like the goal is to “write the book”, making the blank page intimidating and the goal feel unattainable.

He was given the advice to instead set his goal to write just “two crappy pages” a day. Just getting two pages written, no matter how bad, no matter if they were never used, was a win.

With performance anxiety relieved, with failure taken out of the picture, Ferriss would meet (and usually beat) the goal every time. When setting a goal, ask yourself if you are sabotaging your progress by making it too hard, too complicated, too much. Then move on to question two…

“How can I make this easier?”

How can I set my goal lower? My objective smaller? How can I take my objective from the overwhelming “write the book” to the attainable “two crappy pages”?

It may seem counter intuitive to lower the bar, but it allows you to overshoot your goal, and build confidence and momentum. And the more you continually succeed, the more you will feel you are winning and the more you will achieve.

Sound crazy? Here’s another real life example that inspired Ferriss: IBM in its early days was known for its incredibly successful sales force. How did they become so effective? At the start, IBM set quotas INCREDIBLY LOW to encourage the sales staff not to be intimidated to pick up the phone. Beating their quotas every day gave them confidence and they began hitting sales goals far beyond the expected. They rigged the game and won big-and you can do the same.


The feeling you are winning is a precursor to winning on a very large scale.   – Tim Ferriss

A final tip from Tim Ferriss for staying on track

Be sure to celebrate the small wins. Ferriss’ method? Write down when something really cool happens, and tuck it away in a jar of “self-made fortune cookies”. When you get off track, pull a few out and read them. Remembering your wins can get you back on track for current goals! For even more inspiration from Tim Ferriss, watch the rest of his interview with Chase Jarvis’ at 30 Days of Genius.

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