Finally, Tim Ferriss has a book with a great title. I’ve been following Tim for years now, first with his blog, then the books and then the podcast. I’ve learned lots along the way. I changed my diet, started reading stoicism, and picked up heavy weights. But the 4-Hour thing felt like a gimmick and was a little embarrassing to read on the tram. Now at last, he’s broken the 4-Hour shackles with Tools of Titans.
It’s the best book he’s written and one of the best of it’s kind. Is it a ‘business’ book? Self-help? Who knows. It’s good.
What’s it about?
It’s tips and tricks from Tim’s guests on his podcast. Like his podcast, if there is a topic or an interview that doesn’t interest you, then you can skip over it.
The book splits into three sections: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. So the people interviewed in Healthy will be from sports, fitness or medical backgrounds. But there is so much crossover that the sections almost feel irrelevant.
One of the big themes is how so many of these people do the same things. They all read and exercise and eat well, most meditate. After that things get interesting. You’ll want to take a few notes.
Tools of Titans was the best note taking experience of my reading life. The book design makes note taking simple. I underlined, wrote key points on post-its and scribbled in the margins. Then I went back through and wrote better explanations from the notes. I expand upon the points I selected, why I chose them and how I think I can use them. Coming at the material from many angles like this, lets me learn far more than just reading.
I’m glad I got the paperback, it felt cheap enough for me to be scribbling all over. Some books are too damn pretty and I cannot write on them. The Last Lion Box Set by William Manchester is so sweet I worry about turning the pages.
I enjoyed his previous books but the name was always a problem. It gained attention but began to hold him back. I will always a remember a discussion around a lunch table about the Four-Hour Work Week. One of the participants was my girlfriend, (hi babe) and the other a random guy we had met that afternoon. It got heated, both sides arguing that it was or wasn’t possible. Neither had read the book.
Tools is different. Without the 4-Hour moniker it feels freer and there is less about Tim. While I find his experiments interesting, they do get self-involved. Going direct to the experts is more honest and more interesting.
Should I Read Tools of Titans?
The best part about Tools of Titans is that it leads you to so much more. It is the rabbit hole. From my notes I have over ten new books to investigate. There’s websites, documentaries and new podcasts to check out. Then I’ve got stretches and exercises to add to my routine. Most books might lead to one or two next actions. Tools has given me dozens.
There are many little things that you can try, many of them right away and at little cost. There’s workout tips from everyone from Jamie Foxx to Charles Poliquin. Mobility and stretching from Pavel and Coach Sommer. Nutrition and cooking stuff. Lots on meditation and how and why you need to get into that.
Tools of Titans was everything I hoped and more. There are plenty of actionable tips that I could start work on right away. But it also lead me towards more great information. Part of the reason that I found it so satisfying was through my enjoyment of the note-taking process. If you aren’t in the habit of marking up your books this is a great place to start.
Have you read Tools of Titans? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.