At just under 700 pages, Tim Ferriss's latest behemoth of a book, Tools of Titans, should have appropriately arrived at my door step in a wooden crate. This seems to be the book many health enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and those looking for unorthodox ways to improve their lives have been waiting for. Tim's previous books include the 4-Hour Work Week, the 4-Hour Chef and the 4-Hour Body. They all focus on learning how to learn as quickly and effectively as possible. If you're rolling your eyes thinking, "ugh... this sounds like another cheesy self-help book", you're mostly wrong. If you've never read one of Tim's books or even heard of Tim Ferriss, I'd love to know how you ended up on this blog and I highly recommend you give him a chance.
Regardless of it's size, Tools of Titans can be a quick read. I recommend a few stacks of post-it notes, and labeling your post-it notes try it, live by it and buy it. While live by it might sound a bit overkill, Tim brings out some wonderful quotes from iconic writers and thinkers alike such as Paulo Coelho, Tara Brach and Brene Brown. Tools of Titans is broken down into three sections of its own; Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. Think of it as a handy manual of the best life tips from a pool of well-known and successful (in their own way) people. Tim mentions in the beginning of the book that he hopes the reader likes 50%, loves 25% and never forgets 10%. My breakdown turned out to be a little different. About 20% of the book didn't necessarily appeal to me, about 40% made for entertaining reading in the moment but probably won't stay in my memory, and 40% of this book has the potential of changing my life in some way shape or form if I practice those tactics, routines and habits that most stood out to me. Here are a few highlights that stood out to me:
My Try It List:
- Ring Training for upper body strength.
- Ag walks with rear support, pike pulses and cast wall walks
- Maintain a slow-carb/ketogenic lifestyle for over six months. Primarily to burn energy via ketones for my endurance races. While I did this for a period of 4 months in the past, this time I plan to follow more guidance from Dr. Dominic D'Agostino's research and literature.
- 5-day fast 3 times a year (bone broth fasts)
- More acroyoga.
- Phosphatidylserine and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) - for cortisol reduction
- Honey + Apple Cider Vinegar and soothing tea
My Live By List:
- Dr. Sam Harris, Stanford University (philosophy and neuroscience). Regarding one's morning routine, Dr. Harris suggests picturing "controlled chaos". We're not well-oiled machines and it understandably ridiculous to expect our thoughts to function so smoothly.
- Will MacAskill, professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford sheds wonderful light on how terrible the advice of "follow your passion" is and how macro-optimization of life's goals allows for a clear picture how your career can make the world a better place, allow great variety and allow you to exercise autonomy.
- Amelia Boone, champion obstacle racer suggests training in the rain and in the cold since your competition is most likely opting out. I would personally add "as long as I'm well recovered".
- Caroline Paul, author, suggests that "secrets are a buffer to intimacy". What do those six words mean to you?
- Alain de Botton, philosopher. My favorite of his thoughts basically tells people "don't blame someone for not understanding you because you don't even understand yourself." Mic drop.
- Paulo Coelho, world renowned author, struggles to write on a daily basis. It's ok for me to struggle too.
- Brene Brown, social worker, simply says if you want to be trusted, be vulnerable.
My Buy It List:
- Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Gelatin for joint health and endurance
- Beet Elite beet root powder
- Ring Thing - Power Monkey Fitness
- Vita-Vibe MP12 Mini Parallettes
- Chili Pad
Things I'm already using/doing mentioned in this book:
There were certainly a handful of things mentioned in Tools of Titans that have been part of my routine for a few time now that were pleasant to across . A few of these include:
- Cranking shower to cold for last minute
- Rumble Roller
- Frequent Journaling
- Mindfulness practice
- Many of the sleep hacks (black out curtains, quality air purifiers, minimal blue-light before bed)
- Hacks on starving out negativity. I use the term "starving out projections" with clients and it seems to catch on well.
The people Tim selected for this book are a group of people that have truly explored their BluPrint and continually put themselves on the line to reach greater levels of self awareness. They cater to the athlete, the writer, the deep thinker and more. If there is one thing that Tim Ferriss is doing correct with his literature its being able to better explain how fulfilling and valuable it is to turn inward and explore life to the fullest. I'm not saying he figured out how to do it in a way that shatters the stereotype of self-help books, but his books are miles beyond what most self-help books provide their reader and I'm excited he continues to take that initiative.
Let us know what your personal highlights after giving it a read. Next read: Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.