My notes on Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss – Part I
If you have never listened to Tim Ferriss, you are missing out!
He hosts a great podcast “The Tim Ferriss Show” where he interviews the world-class performers around the world. He is also a best-seller author and many other things.
But for me, the most fascinated thing about Tim, is the smart way he deconstructs what the most successful people are doing, and then he applies those methods in his own life.
Tools of Titans, is his most recent publication. And let me tell you, what a great book!
This book has the routines and tools of the most successful people Tim interviewed. It’s basically a HUGE “notebook of tips and tricks that helped him double his income, flexibility, happiness and more…” And yes, this book will probably change your life.
I was reading this book and my brother (with 9 years old) asked me:
“What is that book about?”.
I translated him the sub-title of the book:
“The tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers”.
His answer was:
“Wow, I want to read that book too”.
I feel like every page has a valuable insight that I want to apply in my life. That is probably why I underlined pretty much every thing I read!
This book is divided in three parts: “Healthy”, “Wealthy” and “Wise”. So you can start by the ones that you are more interested in.
I haven’t finished this book, because I only read a few pages per day. There are so many valuable lessons that I feel the need to make a pause to breathe and stop reading.
In fact, I only read 100 pages from the “Wealthy” section. But as told you before, the insights till now are so many, that I wanted to share them soon as possible!
You can probably guess that I plan to write a lot of new posts about this book. But I wanted to make it digestible so you can apply some of this principles right away.
You can listen to most of these interviews on “The Tim Ferriss Show” Podcast
So here are my thought on the first 100 pages of the Wealthy section on “Tools of Titans”!
“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success” - James Cameron
“Everyone is interesting. If you’re ever bored in a conversation, the problem’s with you, not the other person”.
“If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy.”
Favourite insights from Chris Sacca:
As he wanted to focus in what really mattered to him, he stoped doing what didn’t interested him. Instead, he wanted to focus on “the things he wanted to learn, to build what he wanted to build, and to really invest in relationships he wanted to grow”.
He basically stoped doing the things that he didn’t want to do. Focusing only in what made him happy, with the people that he liked.
This a great lesson, because sometimes we say “yes” to a lot of things we don’t want to do. And that results in less time to do what we really enjoy.
In the beginning, Chris went to all the meetings that he possibly can (even though he wasn’t invited). He would just sit there and figure out how he could be helpful.
If someone asked him what was he doing there, he would start taking notes for them.
This was one of my favourite ideas from Chris. In my opinion, it is really genius. He would listen to what the most successful people in his job were talking about, learning a lot of knowledge and insights. Even though he wasn’t a part of that meeting, he would provide those people some value, in order to stay there listening.
I love the fact that Chris loves weirdness. He says that is “what sets us apart, gets us hired.” Basically, “being weird may even find you the ultimate happiness”.
And I couldn’t agree more. Being weird differentiate us from everyone! Be weird!
Favourite Quotes from Chris Sacca:
“Your inbox is a to-do list to which anyone in the world can add an action item”
“Be your unapologetically weird self”
Favourite Insights from Marc Andreessen:
Do you want to know how Marc looks for new opportunities?
He asks “what nerds do on nights and weekends?”
Their day job is one thing, but what he wants to know is what they do as a hobby. Basically, what they do when they aren’t working on their jobs. “Then things get really interesting”.
Marc doesn’t focus on the past, he always looks forward: “We don’t revisit past decisions”.
Marc lives accordingly with two rules that guide him. For him, the principles to success are: “Be so good they can’t ignore you” and also “Smart people should make things.” So get up, and do something!
He also said something that is really important, and that changed my mindset: “[the people who made things in the past] are not that different from you. As the time they got started, they were just like you… so there’s nothing stoping any of the rest of us from doing the same things”.
Basically, all of the successful people you admire and follow, started low, just like you. They built their path and journey, and that is something we all can do too! So yes, you have the same capacity as any of those people you praise.
Favourite Quotes from Marc Andreessen:
“Don’t overestimate the people on pedestals”
“Smart people should make things”
Favourite Insights from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Arnold with 19 years old, won the competition Junior Mr. Europe. He felt that he could win, and that was exactly what he was doing there for.
I highly recommend you to listen to the first podcast Tim Ferriss recorded with Arnold. And please, listen carefully to the “European Brick Laying” story. It’s genius and hilarious!
Arnold knows how to make his competitors vulnerable, by only asking things like: “Do you have any knee injuries or something like that?”
Even though they didn’t have any injury at all, this would make them uncomfortable and insecure (he would watch them looking themselves in the mirror and checking out their knees and tights).
I’m not recommending you to do this, although it’s funny.
Favourite Quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
“I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.”
“I wasn’t there to complete. I was there to win”
Favourite Insights from Derek Sivers:
Since I started reading this book, Derek Sivers was the one that fascinated me the most! Tim describes him as “one of my favourite humans”. If I could, I would quote everything this man said.
If you are still uncertain about buying “Tools of Titans”, Derek Sivers interview covers the price of this book, believe me.
“When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say ‘yes’ to everything. Ever little gig. You just never know what are the lottery tickets.”
Even if the gig doesn’t pay much or even nothing, it can bring you a lot of new opportunities in the future. Almost all of us start from the ground, so to get your work out there you need to start from somewhere. Derek Sivers started with a “piddly little pig show”.
When asked “what would you put on a billboard”, Derek answered: “It won’t make you happy”, and he would “place it outside any big shopping mall or a car dealer.”
Search on google for this: “private CD Baby jet”. This was the automated email that costumers received when the CD they bough was shipped. Please, read it.
Those small and tiny actions, can make a huge difference in your business. So no, you don’t always need to think about “massive-action plans”.
Favourite Quotes from Derek Sivers:
“If [More] information was the answer, when we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs”. My thoughts about this quote? If you want something, work for it. Knowledge isn’t enough!
“When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say ‘yes’ to everything. Every little gig. You just never know what are the lottery tickets.”
Favourite Insights from Tony Robbins:
“Tony Robbins is the world’s most famous performance coach”, and I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Just take some time to watch one single video of him (there are plenty on youtube), and I promise you will feel great and excited to take action!
Tony Robbins values a lot the quality of the questions you ask yourself. Because those have the power to change you and your life!
He starts his day with a different type of meditation. It is something that is “intended to produce a rapid change in his physiology.” Read here Tony Robbins morning ritual!
He takes a cold short shower (30-60 seconds) and then he does some breathing exercises.
He follows this “morning prime”, by a more proper type of meditation. By feeling grateful for everything in his life (“let gratitude fill my soul”), then he “focus on feeling the presence of God” and he dedicates his last 3 minutes to focus on the things he’s going to make happen.
Favourite Quotes from Tony Robbins:
“Mastery doesn’t come from an infographic. What you know doesn't mean shit. What do you do consistently?
“The quality of your life is the quality of your questions.”
“The reasons you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself.”
Favourite Insights from Tim Ferriss himself:
Tim Ferriss on his first interview with Arnold, used a Zoom H6 recorder for primary audio, but he also had a backup recorder for their first interview.
When Arnold asked him why he had two audio recorders, Tim answered: “Backup, in case of the primary fails”. It will cause a good impression, with no doubts!
You should ask yourself this: “Can I trade a short-term, incremental gain for a potential longer-term, game-changing upside?” If there’s something that could be more valuable in the next years, save it! Remember, “you only need one winning lottery ticket”.