I am not a self-made man.
These are the first words from Tim Ferriss in his new book Tools of Titans. Tim Ferriss is a very successful author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. Despite his incredible success, Tim will often credit his abilities to succeed to the individuals who he has had the opportunity to learn from over the course of his lifetime.
Tim has a very successful podcast The Time Ferriss Show, which consists of him conducting interviews with some of the most inspiration individuals in many different areas of interest. Tools of Titans is essentially the notes and main takeaways that Tim has acquired from all of the podcasts he has completed over the years. This is an extremely useful tool because it allows the reader to delve into the practices of some of the most successful icons in many different fields.
The book is huge with 704 pages, but it’s very easy to read and learn from. The book is structured into three sections: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. Each of these sections encompasses the interviews of guests that have offered insights into one of these three sections.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is how Tim describes to the readers how to read this book. Tim makes it a point that it is not completely necessary to read every section. If you become bored at any point, simply move on but mark sections you didn’t read so you have an opportunity to return to these sections in the future. Pages are structured in an easy to read format with clear tips and actions. These are the best part as you will see some of the pages below. I found this extremely useful because it made the book even harder to put down. I will admit, though, I had a hard time finding the need to skip any sections of this book!
Tim also makes it a point to discuss some of the practices that consistently come up amongst the different individuals being interviewed. They are as follows:
- More than 80% have some sort of daily meditation or mindful practice
- A lot of the males in this book over 45 do not eat breakfast
- Many use the Chilipad device before bedtime
- Common positive reviews are spoken of the books Sapiens, Poor Charlies Almanack, Influence, and Man’s Search for Meaning.
- Many have the habit of listening to songs on repeat for focus
- Many of the interviewees have completed projects on their own “time and dime” before submitting to prospective buyers.
- There is a common belief that “failure is not durable”.
- Many of the guests have adapted to take advantage of their weaknesses.
While I must admit, I found nearly all of the guests to have useful tips on how to be successful, increase efficiency, or improve health; there were some that stood out to me more than others.
Here are three guests from each category that I believe are must reads.
1. Dominic D’Agostino
Dr. A’Agostino is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Southern Florida. Dr. Dom is one of the scientists leading the charge on the use of the ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones for improving general health, physical performance, and pathological conditions.
2. Peter Attia
Dr. Attia is an MD whose area of expertise lies within physical performance and human longevity. Dr. Attia is a brilliant scientist who has conducted cancer research on immunotherapies for the treatment of the disease.
3. Charles Poliquin
Charles Poliquin is known as one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the world. He has worked with professional and Olympic athletes and has published over 600 articles on strength training.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is known as the greatest bodybuilder of all time. Following his bodybuilding career, Arnold has become a successful actor, governor, and businessman. His story is one of the most influential I have ever heard!
Tony Robbins is the most famous performance coach in the world. Not only does Tony Robbins conduct seminars to help teach various life lessons to the general population, but he has also consulted for some of the most powerful national leaders today.
Peter Thiel is a very successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, was a co-founder of PayPal and one of the first individuals to invest in Facebook. He is also a best-selling author.
Sam Harris is philosopher and neuroscientist who has authored many books with the most popular ones being those centered around religious controversies
Seth Rogan is an actor, writer, producer, and director. To me, Seth Rogen is a lot like Tim Ferriss in that he is educated in many different areas and has a similar style of learning and teaching as Tim.
Jamie Foxx is an Academy Award-winning actor, musician, and very funny comedian. Jamie is extremely hard working and the embodies the true meaning of hustle. According to Tim, he is one of the best performers he has ever met and you must listen to the podcast interview which is amazing.
In my opinion, these are nine of the best guests that I came across while reading this book. Despite these being the best, there were many other amazing takeaways that I got from reading this book.
5 Success Tips to Try
1. The Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic diet is used by many of the guests in this book but was introduced by Dr. Dominic D’Agostino. Not only is it great for general health, physical performance, and the treatment of various diseases, but is also a great way to boost overall mood and cognitive performance.
One key concept that I particularly enjoyed was actually presented by Tim himself. Tim discusses how when life gets busy and causes anxiety, he practices prioritizing by deciding which three things are giving him the most anxiety and he focuses solely on completing those tasks. He also asks himself the question, “What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?” I have started using this to help prioritize my time and have found it to be exceptionally beneficial.
3. Morning Journaling
This was also introduced by Tim but used by many of the guests in the book. Tim uses morning journaling to clear his thoughts and prime his day. Tim also endorses a product, The 5-minute Journal, which is a great way to establish this practice as a habit.
4. Overnight Tasks
Reid Hoffman is an entrepreneur and cofounder of LinkedIn as well as executive vice president for PayPal. Reid practices writing down a problem that he is facing before going to bed so his mind can work on it overnight. He then wakes up in the morning and begins working on the problem when he is freshest. I have adopted this practice and found it to be very beneficial!
This tip is used by many of the guests in this book. Meditation can be rather difficult to master, however once you have perfected this craft you may find it to be one of the most useful tips for reducing anxiety, increasing productivity and focus, and even addressing chronic pain.
Since reading this book, these are the main 5 practices that I have adopted into my own daily routine and I have found them to be as good as recommended. One of the additional great aspects of this book is the way of thinking that Tim has instilled. Tim and his guests do this by proposing questions or relaying quotes that really make them think and eventually come up with an answer that can really sling shot an individual forward.
Here are three of my favorite questions and quotes from the book.
What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?
This quote was mentioned earlier but I have still found it to be one of the most useful practices to use when your to-do list starts to pile up.
What might you do to accomplish your 10-year goals in the next 6 months, if you had a gun against your head?
I love this question because of the intensity that accompanies it. Tim believes that often times we have the capability to do much more than we thing and sometimes it takes radical thinking like this to understand that.
When it comes to the future, it is far more important to be imaginative than right.
This quote stood out to me because it teaches a practice of always shooting for the stars and never accepting where you are in life. We are all capable of great things and we should plan for these great things.
At the end of the book, there is a list of amazing books that are recommended. I have read a few but these will be on my wishlist to buy in the near future.
Tools of Titans is clearly a must have for anyone that has goals or wants to jumpstart a successful life. It is extremely hard to summarize how great this book is in a short article and for that reason you must go out and get your own copy today!