Like a lot of people, I was a big fan of the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss but wasn’t sure what to expect when I first came across Tools of Titans. Given how much I enjoyed his first book, his podcasts and 5-Bullet Friday emails, I put in my pre-order for Tools of Titans and waited eagerly.
I must say I have not been disappointed! Boasting over 700 pages, Tools of Titans is jam-packed with tools, tips and advice from nearly 200 world-class performers including Robert Rodriguez, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Robbins, Malcolm Gladwell, Kevin Kelley, Peter Thiel, Chris Sacca, Jocko Willink and Tara Brach.
Tools of Titans grew out of the meticulous notes Tim Ferriss had compiled while interviewing various guests for his podcast. The book is divided into 3 parts focusing on being Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. Ferriss cautions against reading from cover to cover but instead to visit and revisit key passages as you require. I initially did make the mistake of trying to read the whole work from the start but got bogged down in the health section. I’m not averse to a spot of exercise, but just wasn’t at a suitable level to comprehend ketogenic diets, beetroot powders, Ag walks etc.. (Edit: As part of this review, I did revisit this section and plan to put some of the more elementary concepts and exercises into practice in the coming weeks).
Incidentally, the lack of a flowing narrative has been cited by other reviewers as a negative but I found it to be a beneficial break from the norm. Each story with a “Titan” is only a few pages in length, so you can revisit quickly to refresh particular teachings, as required, then set aside.
In terms of personal highlights from Tools of Titans, if I had to select a few examples out of the many, I would have to make special mention of the following:
- Peter Diamandis’ Laws as handpicked by Tim Ferriss (P375),
- Andrew Zimmern’s reflections on becoming a 40-year-old intern (P542)
- Naval Ravikant’s favourite maxims (P551) including, “Be present above all else.”
- Jocko Willink’s “Good” approach to dealing with setbacks (P640).
In between interview summaries, Ferriss shares some of his own learnings across various areas including life, business and entrepreneurship. I found “The Law of the Category” (P276); 1,000 True Fans – Revisited (P292); Testing the Impossible (P594); and Most Gifted and Recommended Books of all Time (P650) to be particular highlights. I could go on but I think you get the idea… 🙂
A Deeper Dive
Lastly, I really enjoyed finding out about heavy-hitters that I had not been familiar with like Bryan Johnson (not to be confused with Brian Johnson from AC/DC), Chris Sacca, Rolf Potts and Wim Hoff and a new side to those I had come across before including the author himself. Ferriss’ candid reflection on his personal battles with depression and suicide (P616) is enlightening and welcomed for shedding light on an issue which affects so many people.
The one negative about this edition of the book is that there is no index. I understand that this was a function of the book being rushed to meet its publication deadline. Tim Ferriss has subsequently made the index available on his website. Hopefully, subsequent editions will be expanded to include the index.
For those of you sitting on the fence about checking Tools of Titans, think of it as a perfect compendium for life and achievement rather than a conventional self-help book. It’s a work that will reward you the more you revisit. This is something I have realized in preparing this review and it makes me keen to check out Tim Ferriss’ new book, Tribe of Mentors. I hope to have a review of this for you in the next little.
- Those seeking hacks for peak performance
- Those seeking a troubleshooting compendium for life
- Discovering the habits of world-class performers
- Developing solid daily routines
- Staying motivated.
Tools of Titans is available from various retailers including:
Thank you for taking the time to read this review. I would love to hear what you thought of Tools of Titans and this review also. Please feel free to leave me a comment below.
Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars.