Tim Ferriss and the “Tools of Titans”


Tim Ferriss and the “Tools of Titans”

The phrase “self-help” gives you the impression of something that is a bit wimpy. I am a self-help junkie and proud to say that aloud. Some of those books are truly wonderful and are an important part of my morning routine. Day 26 of “One Day, One Blog” — a challenge I set for myself for the month of January 2019.

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I cannot remember now what made me notice Tools of Titans(ToT) by Tim Ferriss. I do not even remember when I came across Tim Ferriss for the first time — though it must have happened sometime in early 2018.

I hate to categorize this particular book as a “self-help” one as it covers a wide variety of topics ranging from health, fitness, investment and some mind-blowing productivity hacks.

This is a compendium of profiles Ferris had interviewed for his podcast. For people like me who do not have the patients for hour long podcasts ( or videos, for that matter) this presentation is perfect. Each chapter is a profile of a personality presented in a concise format. Some are awesome reads and some are very Mehhhh.

One of the ways I have enjoyed using this book ( yes, I said using and not reading) is as a reference guide. In some cases, it has led me to discover some excellent books ( “Extreme Leadership” By Jocko Willink and “Bird-by-Bird” by Anne Lamott) and in some cases I discovered some of the tools used by experts to recover from small injuries and so on,

I am giving below my top 5 favourite profiles and the lessons learned form this book. It has over 100 such profiles and you may find some which resonate more with you than these. I would definitely suggest that you pick it up.

Amelia Boone

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I did not even know something called a “Mudder” Race existed till Boone’s profile caught my attention. And why did her profile intrigue me? Not because of the crazy ass stuff she does in terms of physically challenging herself ( which is awesome, BTW). She is also a corporate lawyer with… wait for it… Apple Inc!

Two things I learned from her:

  • When you get injured ( yes, it happens but it is not a reason to stop your physical activity), you get the right treatment and get back in the game.
  • She loves training runs in the rain and cold, as she knows her competition is probably opting out — What a killer attitude, right!

Dominic D’Agostino

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I was already doing Ketogenic Diet when I started reading ToT. If you are not doing just a low carb diet but full-on keto, the information out there can be a tad misleading. I have shared some of the findings here.

The profile of D’Agostino is extremely useful for anyone who wants to know more about Ketogenic diet. After reading his profile, I went online to understand more about the diet from his blog.

Two things I learned from Dom:

  • Importance of therapeutic fasting
  • Some really easy to do Keto recipes 🙂

Coach Sommer

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While his profile itself is pretty cool, what I love about Coach Sommer is the letter he wrote to Tim Ferriss.

Two awesome advice he gives about fitness:

  • “Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence,… If pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it”
  • “A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will” — It is literally that simple to achieve extraordinary success.

Scott Adams

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The creator of Dilbert is familiar to us all. But I have never bothered to read about how he came about this life and what affected him in this journey.

Two awesome advice from Scott:

  • Focus on building systems instead of goals. Here he is referring to long term “skill building”- assets that you build which you can carry forward to other projects. Writing his blog, for example, helped him build that skill which later allowed him to become a best selling author.
  • He gives this wonderful career advice to youngsters. To become VERY GOOD master two skills — for example, become very good at public speaking and pick another talent ,say, engineering. This will automatically put you at the top 25% of our peers.

Paulo Coelho

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Did you know that the super successful book of Paulo Coelho “The Alchemist” which has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide was originally published to the tune of 900 copies and the publisher refused to reprint it?

Two awesome advice from Paulo Coelho:

  • To first time authors —” keep it simple. Do not describe everything to the reader. He or she has ample imagination. So just hint at stuff and let them use their own imagination”.
  • “I do not have researchers. Books are not here to show how intelligent you are. Books are out there to show your heart, your soul and to tell you readers :You are not alone” — Is there any wonder why we love Coelho!

Fair Warning:

There are people who hate Tim Ferriss and have hated this book too. You will find them on Good reads. But most of them seem to be bitter about the fact that he uses this very cleverly to do some level of cross promotion. Hey, you shouldn’t have a problem with him being clever ( if he doesn’t bore you) but may be you should try and learn how he is doing this so well?

You are not going to be RICH or Successful or Slim by reading this book. But if you need a pick me up or something to inspire you then definitely go for it.

I had a lot of fun with this book. I hope you do too.

About the author

Ruby Peethambaran

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Ruby Peethambaran


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I have enjoyed reading and writing ever since I could read and write. I have been told that my words inspire and help people. That gives me the courage to write more.
If my words help you in any way to better your life, I will consider that a blessing.