Tools of the Titans Is The Latest Book By Tim Ferriss, author of three prior bestsellers (Four Hour Workweek, Four Hour Body, Four Hour Chef). It summarizes the key lessons from the world class performers he has interviewed on his podcast. His podcast has been downloaded over 100m times and Tim has been described as the ‘Oprah of Pod-casting.’
The book itself is a treasure trove of lessons. It’s loosely categorized into three sections: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. However, there are a plethora of sub-topics spanning investing, performance, success, decision-making, problem-solving and much, much more.
If you take the time to distill and categorise the notes, Tools of Titans can be a gem of a book. Within the 650+ pages are incredible lessons from world class performers. People like Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Jamie Foxx and many more.
Here are the top 5 bits of Advice I got from the book
1.State, Story, Strategy (Tony Robbins)
‘If you start in a negative or low state, you only see problems, you start telling yourself self-defeating stories.
So prime your state first - a better emotional state helps you tell an enabling story - then think strategy.
Examples: Do push-ups, get in the sun, eat, watch comedy.
Ask: Is there really a problem here or do I need to fix my biochemistry? ‘
What a wonderful bit of advice. Ryan Holiday says in his book ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’, to make the obstacle become the way; using persistence, action, and will. So make overcoming your problems the way forward. Tony Robbins is saying that in order to face and overcome your problems, you better put yourself in the right emotional state first. A pissed off you only sees dead-ends. An elated or positive you searches for solutions. So: State, Story, Strategy.
Another great piece of advice from Tony Robbins. We often get stuck inside our own heads, focusing on our problems. Our world becomes small with us at the centre of it. It can be lonely, and depressing, and anxiety-causing. In a world where we are losing physical connection, this can be amplified.
So get out of your own head. Help other people, be kind. All of a sudden, your suffering will go away. Alan Watts would say we are all interconnected, that the concept of self is a convention only. Reduce your suffering, get out of your head.
3. When The Going Gets Tough - “Tonight, I Will Be In My Bed” (Chris Sacca)
‘When the going gets tough - remind yourself that the pain you’re going through is temporary, and, no matter what at the end of the day, you will be in your bed that night - “Tonight, I will be in my bed.”'
I love this. I find it so useful when faced with tough situations and use it regularly. For example, I often do interval cardio sessions in the gym - 10 sets of 400m reps. By the 7th or 8th rep, the lactic acid is kicking in, my heart is pounding, desperate to get blood around the body. And that’s when it pops up in my head, ‘Keep going Joe, tonight I will be in my bed.’. As in, just get through it, and soon you will be in the comfort of your bed, recovering to go again.
4. Don’t Be A Donkey (Derek Sivers)
‘We end up saying I don’t want to just do X, why does the world want me to do 1 thing? But that is short-term thinking. Think long-term - do X for a few years, then move onto Y for a few years.’
This is something I’ve been totally guilty of in years past. I have such an array of interests that I want to do everything! What happens it that I end up doing none of them, which is stupid. When people look back on their lives, their biggest regrets are those things they didn’t do.
So don’t be the donkey caught between the water and the hay, dying of thirst and hunger. Instead, pick one of the things you are interested in and do it. Do it for a year or two. If you don’t like it after a while, do the next thing. Keep going. Better than doing none of it. And infinitely more interesting.
5. First, Ten People (Seth Godin)
‘First, Ten People: “The blog post I point people to most is called, ‘First, Ten,’ and it is a simple theory of marketing that says: tell ten people, show ten people, share it with ten people; ten people who already trust you and already like you. If they don’t tell anybody else, it’s not that good and you should start over. If they do tell other people, you’re on your way.”’
What a great way to test an idea. We all get married to our ideas, they’re our ideas! Before investing a tonne of time and resources into developing them, get it into a minimum form (‘minimum viable product’), and show it to people you know. If they love it and tell others about it, you have something. If they don’t, save your time, go back to the drawing board.
Tools of Titans contains a lot of sage advice, spanning topics including success, investing, performance, decision-making and more. There are even bits of advice about cooking and parenting!
If you take the time to really delve into the book, there are some life-changing bits of wisdom. Whether it’s a more effective way to workout, how to improve your entrepreneurial mindset, or tools to develop your creativity, this Swiss-army-knife-book has something in it for you.
I created a basic system to help navigate the book based on keywords. With this, you can find related topics that span the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise categories. For example, if I want to learn about success, all I do is type in the keyword and up pops all my notes from the book on success. You can get a copy here.