11 reasons Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss will change your life

 

Front and back cover of Tools of Titans

 

How many times have you read that this or that “book” will change your life?

You think…mmm…maybe it will change my life for the better..

Could it do that for me?

You get a buzz of excitement thinking about THE “book” that will help you become, calmer, fitter or wealthier.

So with a buzz of excitement you buy the book!

You make a cup of coffee and get stuck in!

You steam through it, just waiting for that spark of inspiration that secret trick that will change everything.

You like it, but you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Was it the wrong time to read it?

Oh well you think , at least I learned something, at least I gave it a try.

But…

Don’t be disheartened as Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss is a game changer.

You will absolutely love this book.

Read on to find out why I believe this book has all the tools you will need to kick start your life and take you to the next level.

Tools of Titans the MMA of self improvement books

If you’re like me you want to learn from the very best, to be the best.

However, think how long this would take…days, weeks, years.

If your serious it will take years, and if you’re like me then it will never end.

But that’s part of the fun… well sometimes. Realising this can be off putting, and can stop us trying.

Could this book change your life?

Yes, I believe it is one of the most helpful and practical books ever written. It will help you improve all aspects of your life. It has great advice for men and women, young and old. It will help you in health, business and spiritual areas of your life.

Luckily for you Tim Ferris has put together a great resource in Tools of Titans. Tim readily admits he is no expert, he’s being modest. He describes himself as the experimenter who stands on the shoulders of giants.

The book was inspired by the Tim Ferriss podcast guests. Tim tells us how making the book helped him realise and appreciate the value from all the podcast guests and the wisdom that he absorbed. He hopes it will help you now. Remember this is a guide, a helpful resource, with great advice, but the advice should lead to action.

The book has been written in a way that you can just go to the sections you like, like a buffet.

The sections that will be most helpful to you.

One of the great things about the book and the Tim Ferriss podcast is the value you get from the unexpected. People you may think you won’t get value from will surprise you. You will be inspired by the unexpected.

Who is Tim Ferris?

Tim Ferriss is a prolific writer, podcaster and investor. He has had five books on the New York Times Best List.  He is the host and brains behind the Tim Ferriss show, a podcast with 300 million downloads, and the number one business podcast on Itunes.

For me he is someone who introduces new personalities that I didn’t know before, that add value and make you think outside the box.

He deconstructs world class performers from many varied areas, such as – Neil Gaiman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, Ray Dalio, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Edward Norton, Tony Robbins, Maria Sharapova, Jamie Foxx, Maria Popova, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Amanda Palmer, Malcolm Gladwell, Vince Vaughn, Rick Rubin, Reid Hoffman, Jon Favreau, Whitney Cummings, Mike Shinoda and many, many more. He is also an investor and got in early on companies such as StumbleUpon, Posterous, Evernote, and DailyBurn. He also speaks 5 languages.

Tim Is highly successful but not without flaws, and readily admits this.

This contrast makes Tim an interesting person and is part of the reason I’m reviewing his book Tools of Titans.

The book is not all about making money. If you’re looking for a great practical and helpful resource to improve your life, this book is the one.

Tools of Titans is split into helpful sections 

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.

What more do you want?

The sections include valuable advice from the world’s top performers in various areas. For example advice on mediation, supplements, diet, exercise, how to focus  how to sleep better, even cancer prevention.

Read on for my 11 reasons why this book will change your life.

Tim starts Tools of Titans with 2 principles – Success is achievable and everyone has flaws 

1. Success is achievable –

Why?

Because it’s been done before.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

For example Beats by Doctor Dre come to mind after watching The Defiant Ones on Netflix.

I mean making money from headphones, who would have thought, they’ve been around for years….

2. The people who we view as heroes are just people with flaws like everyone else.

As I write this Tiger Woods springs to mind as he’s just won the US Open. One of the greatest comebacks in sport. 

These 2 points sum up Tim Ferris for me.

I believe the value to be found in this book is too good to miss.

 

Some of my other favourite sections of the book

3. Mental health

One thing I like about Tim Ferris is that he doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff. He has been very honest with issues around mental health and I’m grateful for that.

In Tools of Titans he tells us about his encounter with the brother of a fan who had killed himself, and how this prompted him to write about Tim’s own mental health issues. Some of Tim’s friends had committed suicide and Tim had also be close to killing himself as well. Now that may be a shock as Tim Ferriss is viewed as a highly successful entrepreneur.

So why would he have these issues?

Without going into details (it’s worth the read) it’s linked to failure and blowing things out of proportion. In my experience it is easy to see problems as massive when you’re in the middle of it. But, how often have we looked back and thought, wow, that doesn’t seem so bad now.

This can be linked to his second principle in the book – everyone has flaws.

This part of the book could really positively affect your life.

It’s written from the heart and not only that, it gives practical advice if you’re in a dark place.

This is what I love about this book. A subject like suicide is tackled in a practical way , with even a joke or two thrown in (chatting up Naval’s girlfriend and a porn embarrassment!).

4. Productivity

This is one of Tim’s strong points, he does deliver the goods. He points out that he’s no superhero. Just someone who has had to work out the best way, to get the best out of himself.

Productivity does not come naturally for Tim and I’d say most of us. Again all people have flaws. Productive people have the ability to work around these flaws and still get the job done.

Tim gives sound practical advice here and what’s great is it’s simple advice.

It is a skill we all can learn.

One of the simple ideas is just getting your priorities right.

Regarding focus – a big one for me, actually trying a tip now for writing – using 1 song on a loop to focus and write – Despacito , Luis Fonsi if you must know, very helpful so far!

5. 1000 True fans

This isn’t Tim’s essay it’s Kevin Kelley’s . The idea is to focus on 1000 true fans and by doing so you can earn a living. The idea is simple and a short read so I won’t try to summarise here. If you haven’t read it check it out on Kevin Kelley’s site, or google 1000 true fans.

6. A reminder to be lazy

One of the points made by Tim Kreider is that people state that they are busy as a badge of honour, something to be proud of. 

But is this a way of masking emptiness?

This definitely made me think as nobody seems to have any time these days.

I love the attitude that Tim Kreider has in that he wants to get the work done in 4-5 hours then enjoy himself for the rest of the day. He admittedly feels guilty if he doesn’t get the writing done. Which ironically shows he’s a grafter. 

On a deeper level Tim Kreider chooses time over money, as you can’t get time back. Another theme from the book.

Wise words and a counter balance to the attitude that says if you’re not busy you’re not doing it right. This provides counter balance to the productivity tips given in the book. 

7. Tools for sleep

Tim gives some great advice on getting a good night’s sleep. Which can  involve hanging upside down like a bat! Now I do do this with gravity boots but not before bed. Something I will have to try tonight. I’d never noticed this on first reading, which proves the point about hidden gems and reading the book in a way that suits you.

Or another tip is playing tetris before bed, again something well worth trying to clear the mind before bed.

Another one is a white noise machine or ChiliPad  to lower the temperature of your bed while you sleep. 

At this moment in time I’ve been listening to rain videos on Youtube, Tim Ferris inspired!

8 .Morning rituals 

Again these are simple ideas that will help you put you on a path to having a good day. Tim states that setting the bar low is key to having a good day. This is correct, as trying to have the perfect morning or perfect anything never ends well.

Ideas such as meditation, morning journaling and some sort of reps (not a full workout) just enough to get your mood elevated and kick start the day.  

It may appear simple but routine is the key. I’ve even noticed a better day by doing 5 minutes of meditation each morning before work.

9. My favourite people

Some outstanding people in the book are – Naval Ravikant, Adam Robinson, Josh Waitkin ( I was inspired to meet Adam and Josh in London because of Tim Ferris), Derek Sivers, Rhonda Patrick, Seth Godin, Ryan Holiday, Arnold Schwarzenegger, BJ Miller, Edward Norton, Kevin Kelly, Tara Brach, Jamie Foxx, and Jocko Willink.

Now out of that list I only knew of Edward Norton , Jamie Foxx and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The beauty of the book is the discovery of new people and ideas.

My favourite is Naval as he wise and intelligent, yet doesn’t speak like he thinks he’s better than you. In a similar way to Tim Ferriss he’s not someone who makes out that they are perfect. Another favourite is Adam Robinson who drops wisdom in a measured and subtle way.

10. My favourite quotes

The book is stacked full of quotes here’s a couple of my favourites –

“Good” by Jocko Willink.

This means when something goes wrong try and find the good in it.

Funnily enough I read this and a few days later I was in a car crash. Lucky to be alive I told my other half about the quote and she said where can we find the good in this?

I could see the point as we were injured, in shock and had a wrote off car.

I thought for a minute and said –

“Where alive!”

“I mean we went through it, we’re in shock, injured but it makes you feel the appreciation for life.”

“That’s the good.”

I was actually proud of myself as this was only an hour after the crash. I even feel saying it that day and seeing the good in a bad situation proved to me that, there’s truth in the quote.

Maybe not every time, but in most situations we can find the good in the bad.

Just trying to find the good, is a good habit to develop.

What’s the alternative?

Seeing the bad and focusing on the negative. I know what is more healthy.

Thanks Jocko.

 

Naval's acceptance quote picture of page in tools of Titans

A great one from Naval Ravikant –

It’s about accepting what life throws at you.

Not a new theory but explained in a very simple way.

Oh and the five chimps theory.

11. My favourite recommended books from Tools of Titans

Sapiens by Yuval Harari is an unbelievable book. It tells us about myths and human beliefs, such as the belief in companies and money. The way we trust and agree what the value of money is. Even though a note has no really value, it’s value is that we all agree it has value.

It made me question my beliefs about world history . This was very powerful as history is told by the winners and will also be told from the perspective of the part of the world that you are from and the stories we are told.

Although a highly successful book it has had academic criticism For me the  reason the book is great is that it makes you view the world in a new way. Not many books can do this and for this reason it should be rightly praised. This book will make you stop and think many times during reading.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a book that will help you accept life as it is. The book will help you realise the shortness of life, and to make the most of life. We also have free will and power, over how we view life.

This is very similar to mindfulness and how we can learn to control our actions, rather than being caught up in emotion either good or bad.

Another powerful point in Meditations is accepting that we will meet negative and foolish people almost everyday. This is not to be viewed as waiting for bad things to happen but accepting that life is unfair. If we can take things in our stride, and not be thrown off balance when problems arise, we will be all the better for it.

A great book choice.

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen is another old book that stands the test of time. This book is a reminder that the thoughts we hold with have the desired affect either good or bad. If we can develop the habit of positive thought, similar to Jocko’s “Good” quote then we are at least on the right track.

It is very short and I highly recommend it.

Tools of Titans will improve your life

As you can tell I love this book, it’s full of great advice that can easily be put into practice within 10 minutes of reading. The book is one that never ends, as you can delve deeper into each subject through listening to the podcast and researching the stars of the book.

The ideas and people in this book will help you improve yourself without a doubt. You will find hidden gems that can help you mentally, physically and spiritually.

The book is well balanced and may not be what you expect if you’ve read any not so complimentary views on Tim Ferris. There’s a few, but I disagree, this is not a get rich quick book about how to crush your rivals and leave them in the dirt.

I highly recommend this book and hope that you find value in it.

The guests on the Tim Ferriss podcast which helped form this book are the real stars. The power is in the people as they give valuable advice from a variety of disciplines. That is why there’s not really a single type of person that would get value from this book, it will benefit many different personalities.

People are not defined by one thing.

We’re not just someone who works out, someone who meditates, someone who eats healthily, someone who writes, someone who loves their children.

We are made up of different characteristics, with various wants and desires, flaws and skills.

This book has something for everyone.

It is the most helpful and practical book I have ever read.

It will improve your life.

 

* This article contains Amazon affiliate links

15 Surprising hidden benefits of audiobooks

As a book lover since learning to read I was reluctant to start with audiobooks and was surprised at the many hidden benefits of audiobooks. That’s how it worked for me and hopefully this list of positive benefits of audiobooks will inspire you to give them a try and you’ll see the benefits. To do this you can get a free book with Audible with a 30 day trial

Is it cheating?

Not a chance, you still need concentration, commitment and willingness to focus and learn.

This post will cover road rage, running, language learning, and much more…

Do you struggle to find the time to read your favourite books?

Are you too tired to read after the gym or a hard day at work?

Read on for some valuable tips to optimise your time while enjoying your favourite past time.

 

1. They eliminate ROAD RAGE!

This was a welcome and hidden benefit of audiobooks.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m a mad man at the wheel because I’m not.

Audiobooks are a game changer on the commute to work.

If you’re like me getting up and out to work is not your favourite thing. Knowing I’ve got a great audiobook on the go helps make a boring journey into a pleasurable experience.

I’ve wished my commute was longer many of times. As strange as that may seem. The time on the way to work is a great time to catch up on a good book, sometimes it’s the only time you have in a the day to really enjoy your audiobook.

Don’t’ worry about losing concentration on the road as I always naturally focus on the road and not the book when I need to.

It’s actually good to have a short burst of a book , say 25 minutes and go to work then look forward to another 25 minutes on the way home.

On the drive to work I’ve felt inspired by a great audiobook and starts the day off in a positive way. It certainly beats the news.

2. Can help with injuries

This may seem a strange one but bare with me.

Yes, audiobooks are great with injuries. Having suffered with a neck injury, reading a physical book was painful. Especially after a day at work on a computer. Reading can sometimes hurt your neck when in bed or sitting down. Audiobooks don’t put any strain on your neck or back at all (obviously).

You listen in a way that suits you.

This is a really great benefit for someone who loves reading.

Most book lovers don’t want to not read and can make neck injuries worse by reading when in pain.

Also the weight of books can be a really pain if you carrying an injury, or even without an injury.

Audiobooks are as light as the phone in your pocket.

Audiobooks are vitally important for people with eye injuries or blindness. This goes without saying but it is vital for people who can’t read a book in the normal way. The variety of books available as audiobooks is great and means we can all enjoy and learn from the great selection.

Audiobooks help us in ways that are not so obvious, and once you start to see and hear the benefits you’ll wonder why you never started earlier.

3. Learning a language is a 1000 x better with an audiobook

You may think this is an exaggeration but the beauty of the audiobook is really apparent when learning a language. If you’ve ever tried to learn a language from a “normal” book you’ll understand.

What’s missing from a normal book?

The sound!

How can you learn a language when you can’t pronounce the words?

Books like * Paul Noble’s Learn Spanish with Paul Noble Complete Course  solve this problem by having you speak the language as you get through the book. He has both a Spanish native and a South American Spanish speaker to help you on the journey to learn Spanish.

This is great for getting the true pronunciation and gives you real confidence for when you actually try the language for real. Or for watching Narcos on Netflix!

Again this is a real benefit of audiobooks that can help improve you language learning.

4. Audiobooks are great for people with dyslexia

Audiobooks are great for people with dyslexia. They can help people by reading with their ears, and reading books that are a level above what they would normally read. Audiobooks can build vocabulary by becoming accustomed to new words which gives confidence to people with dyslexia.

It takes away the need to decode the page and can give the reader the chance to focus on the great stories in audiobooks.

Audiobooks are a great leveller and I think this is a really important hidden benefit to audiobooks.

5. Never be bored again

With audiobooks being on your phone is perfect for those unexpected times when we have spare time on our hands. Waiting for an appointment is no problem when you got the book downloaded on your phone.

Just don’t forget the headphones.

6. Audiobooks are relaxing and help you sleep

I admit that this benefit is not exclusive to audiobooks.

However and great audiobook with a great narrator really sets you up for a great night’s sleep.

Just set your timer so you don’t miss too much when you nod off!

In my experience you will find that depending on how tired you are , you will have to rewind the book the next day. But the beauty of audiobooks is that you can easily find you place and continue with the book.

7. A good audiobook can be like a play

The first audiobook I likened to a play was Zorba the Greek, one of my favourite books , and that’s coming from a person who doesn’t really like fiction. The book was narrated by George Guidall and adds so much to the book , giving you a really feel for the characters in a way that you just don’t get with a normal book. Check out * Zorba the Greek on Amazon.

Give it a try , a truly inspirational book, that if I’m honest I wish I come across earlier. A great suggestion from another favourite of mine Tim Ferriss.

8. We get a real sense of meaning from the authors point of view

This point is linked to number 7 as a great narrator can really put onto another level.

Examples include George Guidall for Zorba the Greek, * Derek Perkins for Sapiens, Stephen Fry for Mythos and Dylan Baker for Steve Jobs.

There’s many more but I believe you’ll be impressed with these examples.

A great narrator can take your audiobook to another level.

9. Paper books get wet in the bath!

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Another great hidden benefit of audiobooks is we can enjoy them in places we wouldn’t normally read a book.

Modern life can be ,rush , rush, rush, with little time to enjoy a good book. This is when audiobooks come into their own.

Your 30 – 40 minute bath can now be the ideal time to catch up on a great book.

You can just set it up on your phone and relax.

Or if you love a long shower you can set pair your phone to a bluetooth speaker and listen while you shower. The speaker I use is amazing check it out here the * Anker Soundcore 2

10. Read on the run

Another great way to make the most of your time out on a run either on the road or in the gym is listening to an audiobook. Again time is precious and being able to take in a good book while your getting the miles in can be really useful.

I have found that it can make you run that extra mile while listening to an exciting book as you want to get to the juicy part.

The same applies to weight training in the gym.

Admittedly it all depends on your mood as I’m happy to train with listening to music or a book. It’s something you can experiment with and is another great hidden benefit of audiobooks.

11. You can press rewind on an audiobook

One of the things you notice when you get into audiobooks is the tech is your friend.

You can forward and rewind. This is ideal if you lose track of the book , you can skip back 10 seconds or 20 , or whatever you want to set it to.

If your like me you’ll use this a lot!

You can also make notes if that’s your thing , great for languages and educational type books.

I find it good for learning meditation and entrepreneur  audiobooks.

12. They’re great for people who don’t listen to the radio

Some people just don’t like to listen to the radio and audiobooks are a great alternative.

So next time you’re in the kitchen instead of listening to the radio you can be inspired by a great audiobook. There’s a lot of negativity in the news these days and audiobooks can give you creativity, inspiration and knowledge. You can control what you hear and influences you in a positive way. This is another chance to catch up on reading when there’s little time.

13. Some people don’t like reading in the traditional way

Another great hidden benefit of audiobooks is the simple fact that some people just don’t like reading. That’s reading in the traditional way.

For some people reading has got a negative connotations and reminds them of school days and the strict lessons involving reading.  

Even years at university can put people off reading, especially law!

Although university opens your mind to learning, the idea of heavy reading can be off putting and audiobooks really help in this regard.

Not only that but sometimes we can have tired eyes, but still want to take in a great book.

14. Audiobooks can help manage tinnitus

For some audiobooks can be a great help to try and manage tinnitus. They can be used as a form of therapy which is helpful and can distract on different levels. –

  1. The simple fact that audio is being played.
  2. The engagement in the story can act as a distraction, rather than just a simple noise distraction.
  3. The relaxation benefits of audiobooks helps lower stress which can help to manage tinnitus.

This is not medical advice but something that may help tinnitus. Please speak to your doctor and see if it may help you. Also bluetooth speakers may be better than headphones in regard to tinnitus.

For more information –

http://www.ata.org/sites/default/files/glossary.pdf

15. Audiobooks help you get through more books

This is true for me and I’m sure that it will be true for many others. Some of the above points do have a similar theme and it’s the convenience of audiobooks that really give great value.

These days we can be rushed and hardly find the time to do something selfish, something that makes us feel better after a hard days work. Audiobooks help here because they are so practical and can fit around our busy lives.

Because of this practicality you can get through books at a quicker rate without feeling like you’re not taking it in.

You can say to yourself, I’ve got 30 minutes travel there and back going to work , so that’s 5 hours reading in the car. Some people would struggle to get through 5 hours of reading a traditional book, Obviously some people can read much more depending on circumstances.

In summary

Audiobooks have many hidden great benefits. Hopefully you will soon discover these great benefits.

This is not to criticise paper books. I have a great love of them, but at this time I’m really enjoying listening to audiobooks. There is a cross over in benefit with paper books and audio but there is unique benefits to audio versions.

Do you agree?

Have I missed any benefits out?

Please feel free to tell me your favourite benefits of audiobooks.

Thank you.

 

* This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Meditation is selfish

Meditation has been criticised for being a solitary selfish discipline

I agree it is selfish.

Sometimes being selfish is a good thing. Think about it. Who else keeps you fit? Helps you eat the right food? Helps you make decisions (good or bad)?

Only one person – you.

The choices we make shape our lives and our future. We need to remind ourselves that we have the power to change for good or bad. We often beat ourselves up for the bad choices we make in regarding our career, relationships and health. We need to focus more on the positive choices we make, and learn from mistakes without dwelling on the past.

Back to meditation

By meditating we learn to calm the mind and not react. This is one skill I’ve yet to master! However the learning process is part of the challenge, the fun and the reward. This work is selfish yet good for you and others. Why? Well they don’t tell you to look after yourself first when taking off on a plane for nothing. You’d be useless to your family and friends if you couldn’t breathe on a plane in an emergency. By looking after ourselves first we can then pass on the goodness to others. Remember Jocko’s quote calm is contagious in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.

Do you ever want to help someone when you’re stressed, angry or worried? Not normally, and I’m guilty of snarling at times – sorry.

So don’t feel guilty about being selfish.

Take the time to meditate and chill for the greater good.