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Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss

Written by: Stefan Klingenberg

03 March 2020

Book Review

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Tools of Titans, by Tim Ferriss

In an age of people wanting more and more but wanting to do less and less, Tim Ferris strikes the exact right chord with his new 600+ page offering comprised of life-hacks and self-improvement techniques from some of the world’s most affluent businessmen/businesswomen, successful athletes and bankable entertainers.

 

What attracted you to this book?

With its striking bright red cover and the assertive statement that is its title, Tools of Titans  - The tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world class performers, it is quite difficult to miss between the slightly less ostentatious, more “humble” books in our office library.

 

In addition to the intriguing title, I had heard of Tim Ferris before then - mostly from his uber successful podcast “The Tim Ferris Show”.

The combination of these two factors enthralled me enough to pick it up and give it a try.

 

What is the basic storyline?

From an outside perspective, “Tools of Titans” seems like a direct byproduct of the aforementioned “ The Tim Ferris Show” podcast.

The book itself is an amalgamation of 1-2 hour interviews held with some of the world’s most foremost investors, entrepreneurs, athletes and celebrities which is then condensed into humorous but enlightening key-insights and lessons with each included interviewee acting as a chapter in the book.

 

Furthermore, the book is divided into three main parts: “Healthy”, “Wealthy” and “Wise” with a few original chapters not derived from interviews sprinkled in between - with these touching on some key themes within the book.

 

What were some highlights?

Unsurprisingly, this book is filled to the brim with insightful trinkets of wisdom - so much so, that it is difficult to choose which ones to share.

As a result, I’ve decided to share some knowledge from the more widely known interviewees - which struck a chord with me.

 

~ From Jamie Foxx(Academy Award winner): BEFORE YOU SEARCH FAR AND WIDE . . .

Whilst doing research (In this case playing piano with the great Ray Charles) for his academy winning performance in the film ‘Ray’ he learnt this from the musician. 

 ‘Let me tell you something, brother. The notes are right underneath your fingers, baby. You just gotta take the time out to play the right notes. That’s life.

 

~ From Rick Rubin(Record Producer): “THE BEST ART DIVIDES THE AUDIENCE..”

Instead of trying to please your audience by changing your intentions, believe in your product and be willing to push the boundaries.

“If you put out a record, and half the people who hear it absolutely love it, and half the people who hear it absolutely hate it, you’ve done well, because it’s pushing that boundary”

 

~ From Jocko Willink(Navy SEAL Commander): “DISCIPLINE EQUALS FREEDOM..”

Having a clear-cut plan for your day and keeping to that plan will allow you to prevent “efficiency-killers” such as decision fatigue and paradox of choice.

 

What insights have you gained?

I think the most important insight I’ve gained would have to be that every person has their own  habits and routines to achieve what they want to achieve.

This book offers a sprawling buffet of tips - but it’s up to you to pick the ones that would actually benefit you in the long run.

 

Who do you think should read this book? 

I think anyone wanting to improve their daily habits and their efficiency in general could benefit from reading this book. It may be rather intimidating and overwhelming in terms of the pure volume of varying and sometimes contrasting information. However, that is also the great thing about this book - you do not have to read it from cover-to-cover but can pick and choose to read the chapters you think will aggrandize you.