The quote is from Hermann Hesse’s book Siddhartha:
Ravikant was the person to highlight for Ferriss the passage in which the protagonist is asked by a merchant how he can offer anything to the world if he has discarded all of his possessions. Siddhartha tells the merchant that, “Everyone gives what he has,” and the merchant replies, “Very well, and what can you give? What have you learned that you can give?”
“I can think, I can wait, I can fast,” Siddhartha says.
Ferriss said that this deceptively simple response is the foundation for all high performers. He explains in “Tools of Titans”:
“I can think: Having good rules for decision-making, and having good questions you can ask yourself and others.
“I can wait: Being able to plan long-term, play the long game, and not mis-allocate your resources.
“I can fast: Being able to withstand difficulties and disaster. Training yourself to be uncommonly resilient and have a high pain tolerance.”
“Those are three very, very powerful tools and they’re very flexible,” Ferriss told us.