Tim Ferriss is a prolific podcaster, writer and ‘life-hacker’. Shooting to fame with his first book “The 4 Hour Workweek”, Tim has written several books since, all focusing on extracting maximum results out of minimum amounts of time.
Tools of Titans is a book that summarises discussions that Tim has had with various people of influence on his podcast and is broken into three sections; Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. At the beginning he recommends “How to read the book”, basically take in what interests and engages you, and feel free to “skip liberally” over the bits that don’t grab your attention. I read the book cover to cover, although it’s a good style of book to just pick up and thumb through when you’re just killing some time, or want to look up something in particular. It would be simple enough to skip large chunks of it and still get a lot of enjoyment out of the whole thing.
There are some really great guests on Tim’s podcast, so there is a high calibre of people in this book. Its also much longer than I thought it would be, at nearly 700 pages it’s a big beast but the text is large and in Tim’s notetaking style, so there are a lot of dot points and question/answer style paragraphs which make it read like you are looking in on a bunch of conversations.
Tim is generous with his information, and his guests are as well. It is a hallmark of successful people that they often have very little problem with sharing their stories, mostly because
1. They’ve already done it and
2. You probably wont.
I have to go out on a limb here and say that Tim is a self confessed flakey dude. He cannot remain focused on any one thing for too long, so he flits from project to project and life-hack to life-hack. I have seen lots and lots of people try to ‘hack’ their way to success, using shortcuts and hot tips and tricks to try and skip out on the reality that pretty much every successful person that Tim has interviewed has been through decades of hard work and dedication to get where they are. There are plenty of copycat Tim’s around, trading off interviewing successful people as some kind of way to become successful themselves, but I am personally more interested in the promotion of long periods of time, dedication and development to become a leader in your field.
Having said that, Tim’s guests are great, some of his health tips are interesting and there is a lot of good wisdom inside the pages of the book. The tips I find the most helpful from people like Tim and the experts are around the software they use, the breakdown of their days, and hearing again and again that 99% of the time it takes a long f*#king time and heaps of hard work to achieve anything worth mentioning.
If you get a chance to check it out, it’s a good flick through, I’m sure anyone interested in what the leaders in various fields do would get a lot out of it, and if you are looking to take a handful of good tips to improve your own productivity, output and enjoyment of life, then it certainly has plenty of those…. Alongside a lot of discussion of psychedelics and the positive effects of their regular use!
Maybe grab a friends copy and have a thumb through and see if you’d like it permanently on your bookshelf, you can listen to the podcasts free if you are super interested in any of his guests too!
Keep learning, keep hacking and as always, Just Be Nice.
- Josh Reid Jones
Josh Reid Jones - Founder of The Just Be Nice Project and Odin Sports