Easy Viva Prep?

I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss: he’s written interesting, thought-provoking books and interviewed hundreds of people at the top of their fields in his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. My wife got me his latest book, Tribe Of Mentors, for a present. It’s a collection of over a hundred short Q&As with people who are the best of the best; a means to find out what inspires them, how they do their best work and so on.

The genesis of the book was Tim feeling stuck, not sure what direction to take his life in. He has a list of questions that he’s found useful to get himself unstuck including “what would this look like if it were easy?” After a little free writing from this provocation his brain latched on to the idea of a “tribe of mentors” to help guide him, and thus the idea for Tribe Of Mentors was born.

The book is great, but the question is greater. I’m using it now to help me unpick future projects – some of which are related to this site and resources – but I think it could also be useful more generally when helping people get ready for the viva.

What would it look like if viva prep were easy? I don’t have firm answers yet, but I do have some ideas that are leading to useful questions for me:

  • Maybe it would be organised. What might that look like?
  • Maybe it would be structured. What form would it take?
  • Maybe it would be principled, based on key ideas. (I have some thoughts on this already!)
  • Maybe it would involve other people. Who, and how?

These are just ideas. I’m looking at it from a big, utilitarian view, trying to think how I can help as many people as possible. You can think much more focussed. Think: “What would it look like if viva prep were easy for me?”

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