Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, And Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss is a great book. In Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss interviews 107 people from a wide variety of backgrounds. They have many different skillsets and talents. But, they all have one thing in common, they are very successful in their selected discipline.
Tim wrote Tools of Titans with the purpose of it being a resource for people. It is a large book so he doesn’t expect that everyone will read it cover to cover. Instead, people should skim through all of it and read the parts most important and relevant to them. The parts that aren’t as applicable can be saved for another time.
There are three main sections or areas of focus. The purpose of this post is to give you a sample and flavor of what you will find in Tools of Titans. I will give you an overview of Tim’s main areas of focus.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu
Do you want to be healthy? If so, this is a great section for you! Tim interviews people at the top of their game in health. They include a marathon runner, olympic gymnast, iron man winner, world-class weight lifter, renowned doctors, WWE champion, and many other great people in the health arena.
What’s amazing is that about most of the interviewees focus intensely on their health in their “free-time”, BUT they still have demanding and highly successful careers. They take their health seriously and do their best to stay healthy even while they have tough careers.
Some of the great topics discussed are:
- Healthy eating habits
- Ketosis and the ketogenic diet
- Benefits of a monthly fast
- Exercise routines
- Flexibility vs. Mobility
- Routines to get enough sleep and make the most of your day
- Effective use of cold baths and saunas
- Finding the proper strength coach for you
- Exercise equipment for the road warriors
- Strength training exercises and equipment for your at-home gym
- Endurance training vs. strength training
There are many other great topics worth your read in the “Healthy” section. After reading this section, you will have a greater desire to be healthy, active, and take care of your body.
“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” ~ James Cameron
Do you want to be wealthy? If so, what better way to start that journey than by learning habits and skills from wealthy people! Tim interviews wealthy people from a variety of backgrounds including an angel/startup investor, Silicon Valley tech icon, competitive bodybuilder, movie star, music distribution entrepreneur, software developer, concert pianist, performance coach, filmmaker/YouTube star, best-selling author, hedge fund manager, and many other very wealthy people.
Many of the interviewees were not focused on earning wealth; instead, they focused on being successful at making the world better and the wealth came as a result. They developed strong work ethics, thought outside the box and did things that others didn’t have the courage to do. Many of the techniques followed are techniques the average person can do but chooses not to do since they are too comfortable in the normal life.
Some of the great skills/topics covered are:
- Invest in relationships
- Play offense
- Provide value to people with higher titles than your own
- Empathy in business
- Embrace your uniqueness
- Effectively using good stories
- Raise prices
- Having a winning attitude
- Create a unique niche
- Saying “yes”
- Morning routines
- Productivity tips
- How to say “no”
- Having a positive attitude
- Finding your driving purpose or mission
- How failure sets you up for success
My biggest take-aways from this section were that you need to work smart AND hard, think outside the box, emphasize your strengths, and do “you” to succeed. Although doing exactly what others did to become successful can start you down the path of success, the ultra successful find their success doing what others have not done. They leverage their own unique skills and abilities.
“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
It is important to be smart, but it is far more important to be wise. When you are wise, you know how to use information and knowledge to your benefit and the benefit of others.
This section focuses on life lessons/skills you can use to be a better person, get more out of life, avoid pitfalls and challenges others have experienced, and many other topics. All the topics are centered on helping you make your life the best it can be.
Some of the great topics covered are:
- Questioning your “I can’ts”
- The power of listening
- Taking ownership
- Mental toughness
- Having courage
- Personal security
- Creating a purpose driven life
- Hard work
- Morning Routine
- Benefits of saying “I love you”
There are many pearls of wisdom in this section. One of my favorite aspects of the “Wise” section is that it focuses on the intangibles of life.
What You’ll Really Get From Tools of Titans
Successful people regularly rub shoulders with other highly successful people. As you read through Tools of Titans you will learn and rub shoulders with a variety of Titans. So what will you learn about the Titans?
Fitness of Titans
Tim shares workouts from many of his guests. The workouts are spread throughout all the sections because many successful people have a regular workout routine. The fitness routines involve strength training and flexibility. And, they include routines you can do if you are a gym regular, a road warrior, don’t have an available gym, or fall somewhere in between.
Some of the specific forms of exercise are “gymnastic strength training (GST)” and AcroYoga. Tim also explains how he masters many sports or other skills by asking the correct questions to deconstruct them.
Morning Routines of Titans
Many of the Titans have morning routines. Their morning routines help them stay focused throughout the day. For most of them, their routine involves some or all of the following: meditation, journaling, prayer, reading, or some other small activity to start their day with a success.
Diet of Titans
Since many of the guests interviewed are health enthusiasts and/or MDs, Tim included a variety of diets. His main focus was on creating a diet that is best for you. Some of the specific diets explained are the Slow-Carb Diet and ketogenic diet. He also explains some of the benefits of a monthly fast and/or more lengthy fasts.
Creativity of Titans
Many of the Titans have tapped into their creative mind to make something great. They used a variety of methods to tap that creativity including journaling, freeing yourself from perfectionism, allowing yourself to write up to two pages of non-sense, and producing 20 ideas every morning.
Transformation of Titans
Every person has weaknesses. Throughout Tools of Titans, the guests explained how they transformed their weaknesses into strengths and/or how they leveraged their strengths. They did that by maintaining a focus on productivity, growth, and other exercises to overcome their weaknesses.
Investments of Titans
To gain longterm financial freedom, you must invest in your future. There are a variety of investment strategies you can employ to do that. Tim details many of the investment strategies the Titans follow and/or use to gain their long-term financial freedom.
Patterns of Titans
There are certain life patterns that have a tendency to lead to success. And, many of interviewees in Tools of Titans share common patterns. As you read, identify the patterns amongst the top performers and begin implementing them in your life.
The most common pattern was the practice of meditation. Whether an athlete, CEO, entrepreneur, actor, or lawyer, almost all practiced meditation. Actually, 80% meditate in the morning and the other 20% participate in meditation-like activities.
Favorites of Titans
Tim has asks his guests about their favorites. He’ll ask about movies, TV shows, and books.
My favorite resource in Tools of Titans is the list of great books recommended by the interviewees. He first identifies the 17 most common favorite books and then lists the favorite book of each interviewee. The list is a great resource when selecting your next book to read.
Wisdom of Titans
Many people seek success no matter the cost. Although success can be good, it is important to keep things in perspective. Tim and his guests share the wisdom they follow to keep their lives and activities in perspective. They focus only on doing what really matters.
What You Should Know Before You Buy Tools of Titans
Tools of Titans was well written with a lot of great content, stories, and other information. A word of caution, Tim Ferriss uses profanity (especially the f-word) to make his points.
This is not a short book for light reading. Tools of Titans is 645 pages and has another 20 pages of resources. Although it is long, it is an extremely valuable resource. Tim shares great knowledge and the book is well worth the read.
Tools of Titans will help you become a better person and leader. It will also help you get the most out of life. Since reading it, I am a better leader and person. I encourage you to get Tools of Titans so you can experience the same benefits as you read it.
Learn About Tim Ferriss – Author of Tools of Titans
Tim Ferriss is not only a #1 New York Times bestselling author, but also a very accomplished person. Here is a small sample of his diverse list of experiences/accomplishments:
- Speaker of 5 languages
- National Chinese kickboxing champion
- Horseback archer (yabusame) in Nikko, Japan
- 2009 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute
- Political asylum researcher
- Wired Magazine’s “Greatest Self-Promoter of 2008”
- BA in the Neuroscience and East Asian Studies from Princeton University in 2000
- Princeton University guest lecturer in High-Tech Entrepreneurship and Electrical Engineering
- Finance and Entrepreneurship advisor at Singularity University at NASA Ames, co-founded by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil
- First American in history to hold a Guinness World Record in tango
My other favorite book by Tim Ferriss is The 4-Hour Workweek.
Please Share Your Thoughts
Have you read Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, And Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss? What did you think of Tools of Titans? What impact did it have on you? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!