Tools of Titans

Tools of Titans
“This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.

Tools of Titans By. Tim Ferriss

Key Insights

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could talk one-on-one to the world’s most influential people in order to discover their keys to success?

On Tim Ferriss’s podcast, “The Tim Ferriss Show,” he did just that! He had a range of successful people on his show and asked them the questions he wanted answered to gain insight on their journeys.

“Investing in yourself is the most important investment you’ll ever make in your life. . . . There’s no financial investment that’ll ever match it because if you develop more skill, more ability, more insight, more capacity, that’s what’s going to really provide economic freedom. . . . It’s those skill sets that really make that happen.- Timothy Ferriss

In, “Tool of Titans,” Ferriss shares the tidbits of knowledge he received from his podcast show from famous athletes, wealthy billionaires, and successful entrepreneurs.

Key Points

  • Health Tips From Extreme Athletes

Obstacle course racing is a huge trend at the moment. It includes climbing walls, swimming through different bodies of water, jumping through hoops, and running on different terrains.

Though this sport is new, there are some notable people taking the lead in this extreme activity. One of these people is Amelia Boone.

Boone has placed first in 30 obstacle courses. And, she competed in the World’s Toughest Mudder competition, which is an intense 24-hour long race with absolutely no breaks!

Because of this crazy sport, Boone has the insight to share on how to recover from intense physical activity.

Before every race and training session, Boone ingests beetroot powder with hydrolyzed gelatin. This two-ingredient mixture works as a protein drink that actually regenerates her connective tissues.

Another simple task she performs is the rolling of her foot over a golfball at different times of the day. This action stimulates different parts of her foot and leg and increases her strength and posture.

Staying on the subject of extreme sports athletes, Wim Hof, or “Ice Man,” has broken over 20 world records in icy snowy and downright cold climates.

To train, Hof sits in a chilly ice bath. Though this sounds terribly unpleasant, ice baths have been used for health reasons since ancient times. It increases immune function, helps to fight depression, and it also helps you to lose weight!

Hof is an extremist even in his training. Once he swam through a frozen lake and had his retinas literally freeze! Luckily, there wasn’t any permanent damage.

Of course, unless you’re a pro, you shouldn’t swim across an ice lake or throw yourself into an ice bath once a week. Start with 30-60 seconds of cold water during your shower.

  • No Right Formula For Health

Health is not a black and white science. Even the top athletes and fitness instructors work to fight against this one-street way of thinking.

Kelly Starrett, the founder of the Crossfit Center in San Francisco, CA, has found that, contrary to popular belief, high-cholesterol can actually be a good thing. He found that it can help people build lean body mass and gain muscle in short periods of time.

So, with health, what’s good for one person, may not be good for another. You should find out what makes you feel good from experimentation, not by following strict diet and exercise rules.

James Fadiman, Ferriss’s friend, experiments with psychedelics. His experiments with drugs led him to the conclusion that they heighten his empathy and expand his consciousness.

Fadiman now takes weekly doses of ibogaine hydrochloride, which is found in flowering plants, as well as takes a two-day retreat twice a year to use ayahuasca.

  • Perspective and Drive

A lot of people believe in the value of hard work. But, it’s not the hard job that will bring you success, it is the motivation you get from that hard job that will push you to be successful in your future endeavors.

An investor in San Francisco named Chris Sacca got his start when he was very young. His summer was always split into two halves. The first was interning in Washington DC, sitting in on meetings, bill hearings, etc. Sacca learned a lot about convincing Congress.

The second half of the summer was spent working at a terrible laborious job. For example, one year Sacca spent his summer servicing septic tanks.

The take-away of this Sacca family experiment was to guide Chris and his siblings in the right direction. By trying out two different sides of the spectrum, he could start making the steps in the right direction of his future.

A successful publisher, Seth Godin, argues that keeping track of every positive thing that happens is vital to your success. That’s because people spend way too much time thinking about the negatives when they should be focusing on the positives.

Being positive will encourage you to keep moving forward, rather than wallowing in your mistakes and stalling your progression.

  • Working With Long-Term Systems

Success is not about reaching certain goals. Rather, it’s about forming long-term systems. Things that just ‘work’!

So, what does creating a long-term system mean?

One example of this is focusing on a particular project that doesn’t have a popularity following, however, you see the bigger picture in it. Let’s say you started an art project that incorporated chewed gum wads, some people might not like the idea, but maybe you see something genius in it. And though, your idea may be unpopular, you are still working toward learning a new skill while experimenting with art.


A lot of people tend to focus on the short-term goal, not the long-term. But, this is problematic because people put too much emphasis on whether something succeeded or failed. If their goal does not get hit within a certain time-frame, they are apt to give up and move on.

The creator of the comic “Dilbert”, decided to blog when he had downtime. And though, it was a lot of extra work with no income, he was investing in himself and learning a new skill. He worked at his writing and made his presence online known, and many years later became a published author.

  • Ignore Peer Pressure

One of the greatest things entrepreneurs need to learn is to say ‘no’ to peer pressure. Following the crowd, will not make you stand out.

When Shaun White was 15, his parents paid for his travel to Japan to compete in an international snowboarding competition. A lot of the other competitors were older than him and had sponsors backing them. The night before, they all went out to party and club. But, Shaun stayed in. On the day of the competition, the other competitors could not take it seriously because they were so sick suffering from whiskey hangovers.

Shaun White went on to win the prize is now one of the most marketable athletes today!

Saying ‘no’ to peer pressure also ties into risk-taking, or going against the crowd.

  • Creativity

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are two great examples of creative geniuses. And, they are also extremely wise and gain their wisdom through humor and comedy.

“Creativity is an infinite resource. The more you spend, the more you have.”- Timothy Ferriss

Rogen and Goldberg create films that talk about sexuality in a funny way. Two films to note are “Superbad” and “Sausage Party.”

Based on these two film experiences Rogen and Goldberg developed three golden rules for life and creating:


  •  Work with what you know. For them, as young artists, of course, this was sexual desire.
  • Work against male-stereotype. This means, don’t make the man “manly” just because he is a man. Allow him to have emotions. In life, using your emotions allows for better communication between people. It also makes for some great film!
  • Smoke weed. Both Rogen and Goldberg believe that the herbal drug helps to get their creative juices bubbling. And, they even have different strains for different forms of creativity!


  • Embrace Fear

It’s important to take time to rest in order to be refreshed and reinspired by the world around you.

Basically, in order to get the magic on the page, or film, or any art form, you need to allow yourself to have a life too. You can’t work all the time.

Whitney Cummings, the creator of “2 Broke Girls,” was always a workaholic. She would get down and depressed and that led to procrastination getting in the way of her success.

When she realized she was actually overworking herself, she began giving herself time and her life became enriched with new comedic material to put into her scripts. She needed to experience in order to create.

“Productivity is for robots. What humans are going to be really good at is asking questions, being creative, and experiences.” - Timothy Ferriss

It’s important that people embrace fear and things that maybe feel uncomfortable for them. Engaging with people of different background, exploring new cities, trying new things, are all ways to expand your mindset.

The Main Take-Away

Everyone has a different journey to success. However, you can still take advice from people who have “made it” in the world. By learning other people’s stories, you will gain more perspective and be inspired to progress in your own life.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *