Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

“The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.”


Timothy (Tim) Ferriss, known to readers for a number of books on personal effectiveness, is the author and host of the popular podcast The Tim Ferriss Show. He invites and interviews interesting famous people from various circles, professions, and social groups. There is only one thing that unites these people – success.

“Tools of Titans” is voluminous because Tim Ferriss combined excerpts from about 150 interviews, adding his comments and recommendations. According to the author, the book includes interviews with those whose acquaintance changed his life, so his goal is to share with readers what helped him become more successful, healthy, wealthy, and wise.

As an epigraph, Ferriss took the English proverb: “Whoever goes to bed early and rises early, health, wealth and mind will gain” (Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise). Therefore, the book is divided into three parts devoted to health, wealth, and wisdom.

Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote the foreword for the book. According to Mr. Schwarzenegger, he is often called “the man who made himself.” But that’s not really the case. He believes that acknowledging the truth of these words would devalue all those who have influenced his life. Life for him is a huge classroom, and the lesson never ends. Therefore, Arnold Schwarzenegger advises readers of the book to always continue improving and learning. Tim Ferriss’ book is an excellent textbook.

Tim and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tim and Arnold Schwarzenegger

The book is worth reading for anyone willing to follow the advice of successful people and learn from someone else’s experience. In the section on health, scientists, doctors, athletes, and coaches share their methods and stories.

The section on wealth contains recommendations from investors who have made huge fortunes. In addition, only some of the section is devoted to increasing monetary wealth – a lot is said about how, for example, to become a famous blogger, that is, to create capital measured not by money but by popularity and influence. The section on wisdom talks about self-development and finding your place in the profession and life.

It is especially worth emphasizing that the book has a lot of direct speech. Tim Ferriss does not retell the readers what he heard but gives the floor to the characters themselves as much as possible so that readers can get information from the primary source. In addition, this method allows the book not to go into didactics but to remain alive and easy to read.

Terms of Use

Tim Ferriss is not an expert. In this book, as in life, he acts as an experimenter and guide. During his podcast, he met and communicated with many people, each enriching him with something. The podcast’s popularity is explained by Ferriss conducting non-typical half-hour or even hour-long interviews with a standard list of questions.

Each issue for him is an immersion in the hero’s life, several hours, and sometimes days of communication, the main points he then posts on his resource. His interviews aren’t just studio recordings. Conversations with guests occur at their homes, offices, gyms, and swimming pools. One of the interviews, for example, was recorded in a sauna since Ferriss’s interlocutor intended to demonstrate to him its usefulness for health.

When Ferriss realized he had collected enough material for the book, he went to Paris for a month to avoid being distracted and limit communication with the outside world. When he finished the book, he realized that the material collected wholly changed his life – and he would like it to have the same effect on readers.

Tim Ferriss interviews Rami Sethi
Tim Ferriss interviews Rami Sethi

At the same time, the information in the book is so diverse that it cannot be equally attractive to every reader. Therefore, Ferriss advises you to skip what is not suitable for you personally. Ideally, the author would like each reader to enjoy about 50% of the book, 25% would delight him, and another 10% would always remember.

Writing the book allowed Ferriss to derive two fundamental principles of success. First, victory, however, you define it for yourself, is achieved by using a set of beliefs and habits. And many of them are collected in this book. Secondly, no matter how successful he may be, each of the characters in the book is still an ordinary person with many flaws who managed to develop one or two strengths of his personality. So do not think that only flawless superhumans achieve success.

There are three sections in the book: “Health,” “Wealth,” and “Wisdom,” because a truly successful person, according to Ferriss, must succeed to one degree or another in all three areas. But this division needs to be clarified. In many interviews, the topics intersect. In addition to interviews, each section has chapters written personally by Ferriss. He summarizes the experience of his interlocutors and shares his own.

At the end of the introductory section, Ferriss recalls Siddhartha, the hero of Hermann Hesse’s novel. When Siddhartha was asked what he possessed, he named three qualities: the ability to think, wait, and fast. And these are the skills that Ferriss says he would like to help his readers develop.

The ability to think is to ask yourself the right questions and discipline your mind to look for the right solutions. The ability to wait is planning, working for the Future, and distributing resources. The ability to fast is the ability to overcome difficulties, resist failures and overcome pain.


Amelia Boone is an amateur athlete who has overcome various obstacle courses and endurance competitions. Her method for relieving muscle spasms is “dry” acupuncture. She also recommends a sauna to increase stamina.

Rhonda Percivalle Patrick – MD, studies cancer, cellular metabolism, and apoptosis. She advises all patients to preserve milk teeth as a source for stem cell regeneration in case of health problems. She also believes heat (like a sauna) is a great way to relax muscles.

Christopher Sommer is a track and field coach who has developed workouts to increase flexibility. His advice is to pay the most attention to your weakest points when training. He also recommends choosing regular rather than intense workouts when playing sports.

Dominic D’Agostino – Doctor of Medicine, deals with molecular pharmacology and physiology. A follower of the ketone diet. He believes fasting and the ketone diet is the key to physical health. He also studied the usefulness of fasting and the ketone diet in treating cancer and is convinced that proper fasting in combination with the keto diet helps chemotherapeutic therapy because it slows down the growth of cancer cells.

The ketone diet is given a special place in the book since Tim Ferriss is its adherent. This diet is based on consuming large amounts of fats, both natural and dietary supplements. According to Ferriss and the experts with whom he discussed this topic, the ketone diet helps achieve better results during sports and contributes to better brain function. When it is observed, it is easier to concentrate, and productivity increases.

Patrick Arnold is an organic chemist known as the “father of prohormones.” He developed anabolic steroids when they were not yet banned. It recommends using ursolic acid to build muscle and fight obesity. He also advises taking exogenous ketones during sports if you are already on a ketone diet – this increases endurance. Arnold and his colleague D’Agostino believe in the Future of metformin as the most promising anti-aging drug.

Wim Hof, also known as “Iceman,” is an extreme athlete whose most notable achievements include climbing Mount Everest in shorts and running through the Namib Desert without water. To develop the skill of breathing underwater, he developed a set of exercises, the essence of which is as follows: training (for example, a series of push-ups) – breathing exercises – training – breath holding (in water).

At the same time, training and breathing exercises should be carried out strictly on land, away from moisture, since there is a danger of dizziness during breathing exercises. Tim Ferriss tested the method personally, and its result in holding your breath when using this method is 4 minutes. Wim Hof also recommends generous cold water pouring and contrast of the sauna and ice bath to improve physical fitness. He also practices alternating complete fasting and nutrition once a day.

Jason Nemer is the founder of the acro yoga method. This sport is perfect for those who, like Tim Ferriss, believe that classical yoga is too abstruse and looks more like a sect than a sport. In acro yoga, as Ferriss put it, there will be a small portion of Sanskrit – but it will be flavored with elements of strength training, dance, and “killer” exercises that will make even those who are in excellent shape sweat.

This method pays much attention to the lower body, the development of endurance, and the flexibility of the hip joints. Ferriss said acro-yoga classes made him feel his lower limbs were ten years younger. The name “acro-yoga” fully reveals the key features of this sport: a combination of acrobatics and yoga, which gives a therapeutic effect for the whole body.

Recommendation from Tim Ferriss:

Over the years of working on the podcast, Tim communicated with many professionals in entirely different sports. Of course, as a non-athlete, many of these sports were unfamiliar to him. To understand how a particular sport works, how to achieve heights in it, and who it is more suitable for, Ferriss developed a method of “decomposition” of marks using a set of questions. At the same time, the technique is universal and can be used to understand any activity unrelated to sports. It would be best if you asked the right questions. Here are the main ones:

  • Who excelled in [the sport] even though it shouldn’t have? Why?
  • Who are the best coaches in [sport], and why?
  • What is unique about your method personally? Why are you good at [the sport]?
  • What are the biggest misconceptions and myths associated with [the sport]?
  • What would you do if you had to prepare me for the Olympics in 12 weeks?
  • What are the most common mistakes in [sport]?
  • What do you see as the perfect workout?

Tim sent this list of questions to Rick Torbett, the founder of BetterBasketball, a basketball training platform, and two days after studying the answers, he got into the net 9 times out of 10 for the first time in his life.

Tim Ferris Healthy food and muscles

Peter Attia is a former athlete and a sports professional that requires super endurance (for example, 25-mile swims). His method of keeping fit also consists of following a keto diet and fasting. He also refused breakfast. According to Peter, 4 main dangers need to be avoided to prolong life: heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (what is called a “blow”), cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease).

At the same time, there are two methods: postpone death by delaying the onset of these dangers (the method of protection) and improve the quality of life (the method of attack). The first method involves rejecting harmful substances, such as fast carbohydrates and sugar, and the second is an active lifestyle. Peter advises choosing to favor strength training instead of running and also recommends that everyone take magnesium and lithium.

Charles Poliquin is a coach who works with athletes and strength training. In his opinion, carbohydrates are permissible for consumption only when a person experiences a weight deficit of 10% or more. According to him, he allows many athletes he trains only once a month to look at a picture with a drawn cake, nothing more.

It also recommends magnesium as the main anti-aging mineral. In addition, he will emphasize the importance of regular blood tests to monitor the state of the body and adjust the vitamins and minerals taken. Poliquin notes that cortisol — the stress hormone — has the exact origin of testosterone. Therefore, to increase testosterone levels, it is necessary to lower the cortisol level – for this, it is recommended to take phosphatidylserine in combination with N-Acetylsysteine.

Addendum from Tim Ferriss: Before the keto diet, he used the so-called slow-carb diet. Its basis is to abandon all carbohydrates: bread, pasta, cereals, sweets, and fruits. If you are still determining whether any food contains carbohydrates – it is better not to eat it. At the same time, once a week you must arrange a “day off” and eat everything you want.

Pavel Tsatsulin is the head of StrongFirst Inc., an international school of strength training. He recommends a whole range of exercises to develop strength and endurance. His methods are the breathing ladder (rest between sets should be a certain number of inhalations and exhalations – simultaneously, a person learns to regulate breathing and does not overload the nervous system) and a method of accumulating repetitions with a 15-minute interval.

This allows you to increase the number of repetitions while not feeling exhausted during training. As a result, you can build up both strength and endurance. Tsatsulin also successfully trains sprinters because he proved the effectiveness of strength training for this sport in practice.

James Fademan is an expert on psychedelic drugs. Studying ways to expand and change consciousness allowed him to develop a micro-dosing technique. According to its author, this technique allows it to achieve a state of clarity of consciousness, enabling you to take a fresh look at your own life and change it for the better. Microdosing of psychedelic substances allows, according to Fademan, to achieve several goals:

  • Get rid of anxiety;
  • Achieve greater focus;
  • To direct the brain to recognize better paradigms, which makes it easier to solve complex problems;
  • Get to know yourself better;
  • Get rid of depression.

The latter goal can be achieved due to the fact that psychedelic substances allow the consciousness to reach a transcendent state, to feel like an integral part of the universe, and thus get rid of the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

At the same time, Fademan emphasizes the most important, in his opinion, principle when using psychedelics. If you seek answers, you can seek them out by expanding your consciousness. But if you get the answer you want, it’s time to “hang up the phone.”

Tim Ferriss tells about his experience: he used psychedelic drugs in microdoses, increasing his productivity and relieving anxiety. He also used the flotation method and recognized its effectiveness in reducing stress. He also emphasizes that psychedelic drugs are banned in the United States, and ibogaine, along with the therapeutic effect, can be deadly.

Kelly Starrett is a coach who works with athletes involved in professional all-around. His advice is to maintain sleep hygiene. Contrary to popular theory, he advises sleep not on a hard but on a soft mattress – this helps to relax the muscles after training.

Paul Levesque is a 14-time world champion in wrestling. It provides practical advice for those who fly frequently and suffer from the jet lag syndrome. Immediately after the flight, you must conduct a short but intense workout – 15 minutes on an exercise bike will be enough. Tim Ferriss notes that he successfully used this method. Levesque also shares some of his life rules.

First, to achieve something, you need to consider it not a dream but a goal. Secondly, if you do something poorly, there are only two options: you should either not do it or set yourself a plan to improve. Tim also notes the usefulness of this principle. By looking at his routine from this angle, he could delegate tasks that someone else can better handle and take the time to develop his skills in what needs to be done himself.

Jane McGonigal – a researcher, works at the Institute for the Future. Jane discovered for Tim the benefits of a game like Tetris to combat overeating, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress.

Recommendation from Tim Ferriss – 5 methods for quick falling asleep and sound sleep:

  • Relaxation of the back (you can hang upside down).
  • ChiliPad is a thin sheet with sewn tubes of water. Such a sheet allows you to set the most comfortable temperature in bed for falling asleep and sleeping.
  • Drink with honey and apple cider vinegar – dissolve a teaspoon of both ingredients in warm water – or with maca extract.
  • Visual mashing – 10-15 minutes of playing Tetris.
  • Dense sleep mask (melatonin generation) and white noise generator.

Recommendation from Tim Ferriss – 5-morning rituals for a successful day:

  • Making a bed – creates a psychological feeling that at least one case has already been completed.
  • Meditation.
  • 3-5 repetitions of some exercise – push-ups, squats.
  • Making tea.
  • “Five-minute diary” – set aside five minutes to write what you expect from the coming day.
  • Training for mental acuity. Tim notes that at least 80% of the characters in this book use some meditation technique. They all say that meditation allows them to achieve better results, reduce stress levels, and look at difficult situations from the outside. To feel the result, Tim recommends trying to apply any of the methods you have chosen for at least 7 days in a row.

Chad-Meng Tan is one of the world’s first employees of Google, standing at the origins of its foundation. He developed his own method of meditation.

For effective reflection, he gives three tips:

A. Find a partner. The effect is the same as with joint training – if you work on meditation together, you will discipline each other.

B. Meditate less than you can. If you can meditate for 15 minutes, meditate for 10. This will help achieve maximum efficiency and will not distract you at the end of the session.

C. Start small. If you managed to achieve a state of meditation for at least one breath, the goal has already been completed. The key to success is not to demand the impossible from yourself. This will save you from disappointment.

The exercises that Tan suggests:

A. Focus on the departing. When you let go of every thought or think it through to the end, say to yourself, “It’s over.” This will be the beginning of awareness.

B. Feel the joy of love and kindness. Mentally wish someone well – for example, the first person you see on the street. A sense of goodness will help to find awareness.


Chris Sacca is a successful investor specializing in investing in startups. Participates in the show Shark Tank. His advice is to go to every meeting and take minutes. Be helpful – and soon, they cannot do without you. He also recommends developing your own style always to stand out.

Chris himself, for example, always wears cowboy shirts. It started with the fact that he bought such a shirt at a sale one day and accidentally got into it for some meeting. Subsequently, he decided to make it his “chip.” To develop and gain knowledge in business, you should never hesitate to ask stupid questions. Don’t be afraid to sound weird. Sincerity and empathy are just as important in business as in life.

Marc Andreessen is the creator of the Mosaic web browser and an Internet investor. He believes that novice businessmen must avoid a common mistake – setting a price for their goods too low. If you rate it so low, how do you convince others of its value? In his investment activities, he is guided by the motto, “Beliefs should be firm, but not eternal.”

In other words, if you are convinced of something, you must adhere to these views consistently but reasonably: if you see objective factors proving the opposite, do not be afraid to change your beliefs.

Arnold Schwarzenegger — actor, politician, and investor. In life, he was always guided by several principles: first, it is necessary to visualize the victory. The clearer your vision of triumph or success, the more accurately you will come to them. In competition, he advises confusing his opponent by making him feel insecure. All means are suitable. He, for example, did not neglect to use his external data in such cases.

Despite his success in the cinema, Schwarzenegger never invested in the film industry, considering it too susceptible to change. His advice is to invest in real estate. And finally: Schwarzenegger says that he never participated in auditions.

He understood that the competition was too great. For cinema and life, he was guided by the only method to avoid competition: find your niche where you will be alone, and then you will not have to go to auditions.

Derek Sivers — circus artist and musician. His credo is that you can and should try everything in life, but not simultaneously. Life presents us with many choices. The choice should not be between “yes” and “no” but between “still like yes!” and “no.”

Don’t settle for something that doesn’t inspire enthusiasm. Derek also urges him not to rush. If you set priorities correctly and act thoughtfully, such a concept as “busy” will disappear from your life. Busyness is an illusion of a lack of control over one’s life.

Recommendations from Tim Ferriss – how to increase your productivity:

  • Wake up an hour before you must sit at your computer.
  • Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write a list of 3-5 tasks that bother you because they’re the most urgent or important.
  • Select the most important things from this list and lock 2-3 hours in your calendar to complete these items.
  • If you are distracted by something else during their implementation, stall, or begin to procrastinate – do not fall into despair. Calmly return to the performance of the plan.

It is necessary to remember: if you distract yourself from what you consider important and begin, albeit faster and better, to do something less important, you will not move forward. Sometimes the appearance of busyness is nothing more than laziness or a way to avoid doing some important thing that requires extra effort from you.

Matt Mullenweg – WordPress developer – continues that failures should not knock you out of the saddle. Despair does not help to achieve the intended goal. As for business, Matt advises paying attention to the written text and how the material is presented. Clarity of presentation is evidence of clarity of thought. So the choice of words matters.

Tony Robbins is the world’s most famous efficiency coach. In his opinion, life happens to us, not to us. Therefore, you must take an active position, invest in yourself and act. In addition, in any difficult situation, you need to focus not on yourself and your experiences (“How could this happen to me?”), because this is the path to suffering and failure. Instead, you must look for positive moments or shift the focus to others.

Tim Ferriss notes that he was personally helped by the advice from the previous chapter, namely the meditative method of focusing on love and kindness. Another important lesson for Tony is the correct construction of the sequence “state – story – story -strategy.”

A person’s state, mood, and well-being often greatly impact his perception of the world. If you have a problem or task in front of you seen only in a negative light, think: perhaps you are hungry, have a headache, or are quarreling with someone close to you. In this case, it is with your condition that you should start.

By improving it, you may be able to take a different look at the problem (“tell a story in a new way”) and then develop a strategy to solve it. By the way, Tony offers to work on his condition right in the morning. His method is cold showers and breathing exercises.

Reid Hoffmann is one of the most successful investors in Silicon Valley. Its investment portfolio includes giants such as Facebook and Airbnb. One of his beliefs is consonant with what Matt Mullenweg says – language matters. A person’s limitations in his ability to express his thoughts are actually the limitations of his world, his outlook. Reed also believes that strategy doesn’t have to be complex.

Faced with many different tasks that need to be solved, you must first take on those with the greatest weight and the simplest solution. Reed also practices a method of solving problems in a dream. He never goes to bed without writing down a task before bed, without giving his brain a task for the night.

Waking up, he returns to the task set the day before and again tries to solve it. Often he can only write down the decision that the subconscious mind has already developed in a dream.

Peter Thiel is the founder of PayPal and an investor. His main advice is this: if you have developed a plan for ten years, ask yourself: what do I need to do to implement it in 6 months? At the same time, the point is to implement a plan in less than six months.

The essence is the approach that makes you look for the most effective and quick problem-solving methods. Peter believes the common misconception is that you can learn much from mistakes. On mistakes, in his opinion, you can know very little. Because the cause of failure in business is always a combination of factors, some of which may even be unknown to you.

Accordingly, you can never be sure that you will draw all the correct conclusions from failure and will be able to avoid repeating it in the Future. The same goes for success. When deciding to invest in a startup, Peter asks three questions:

• What is the market share of this company? Can it achieve a monopoly?

• Is this enterprise a unique opportunity or not?

• Does the company have distribution channels? Because no matter how good a product is, not being able to distribute it is the path to failure.

Recommendation from Tim Ferriss – how to create your own MBA program.

Some time ago, Tim seriously thought about getting an MBA degree. The goal he set for himself was to learn how to invest wisely. However, he made a different decision after studying the MBA programs at various educational institutions. He decided to invest not in training but in a real business, that is, to get an investor’s experience not in theory but in practice. For this purpose, he allocated 120 thousand dollars, which he was ready to lose to gain experience. Then he embarked on the path of the so-called angel investor; that is, he began to invest in startups.

Tim learned many lessons from this generally successful experiment (Tim still makes investments and has a reasonably solid portfolio). Here are his recommendations for potential investors:

• Pay attention to what the founder of the startup does. It’s good when he’s a techie himself.

• Invest money when you are ready to use this product.

• A startup must have at least 100,000 active users.

• A startup should grow by at least 10% per month.

• Choose startups with minimal investment.

• Choose startups whose founders worked at the very beginning positions and know life in reality.

Breaking these rules and investing in a startup because other big investors are investing in it is often a bad idea. But investing in what others refuse can sometimes be a great solution. Tim’s general conclusion: to get the knowledge the MBA gives, it is better to turn to practice, not theory.

Scott Adams – artist, author of comics about Dilbert. Scott believes in the power of affirmation: if you repeat something to yourself daily and write it down, it will come true. He uses this method to create a daily comic: he is immersed in the information flow (Internet, news) and waits for the body to react to some word or message. The response must come from the body, not the brain.

He also believes in diversification. For example, if you can only do one thing, then to succeed, you need to be the best at it. It is enough to be in the best 25% if you have two skills. Scott gives an example of himself – he draws well (but not the best of all) and can come up with funny text (even in this, he could be better). But combining these two skills — a drawn comic with a funny caption — allows him to be a successful author.

Sean White — snowboarder and skateboarder. He advises everyone to diversify their goals. In each season, he sets himself two purposes: one big (for example, to become the winner of the Olympics) and one small one (for example, to perform in the final of the Olympics in the pants of the colors of the American flag). A small goal shades the big one and does not allow him to get hung up.

Addendum from Tim Ferriss:

Regarding business success, it is worth mentioning the book “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Al Rees and Jack Trout. It has a chapter on the Law of Categories. Its essence boils down to the following: if you want to succeed in business, find a category in which you will be the first. If there isn’t one, create one.

Chase Jarvis is arguably the most famous photographer in the world. He is also the creator of creativeLive, a platform for teaching the art of photography. In his opinion, creativity is an inexhaustible resource. The more you use it, the more you create.

He advises that you charge a very high price if you want to monetize your skill. Tim entirely agrees with this advice and complements it: you can start a business by attracting investors, but then there will be fewer resources for creativity, leading to a decrease in popularity. Or you can, on the contrary, set the initial goal of increasing popularity. Then the money will be able to attract much more.

In addition, Chase recommends developing your strengths rather than trying to “cure” your weaknesses. He also advises expanding his skill set. Specialization is for insects, he is sure.

Dan Carlin, the podcast creator with a historical twist on HardcoreHistory, advises you to be bold and do something for which you need more qualifications. Dan himself is not a historian by training, but this did not prevent him from inviting historians and specialists to himself, to create a popular historical podcast.

Ramit Seti is the author of a financial blog. His advice and practice are to provide 98% of the blog content for free. The remaining 2% should be monetized at a very high price. Of course, this 2% should be of ultra-premium quality.

An add-on from Tim Ferriss based on Kevin Kelly’s article “1000 True Fans”. The article’s essence boils down to the fact that it is necessary to attract 1000 true fans to achieve financial success. True fans are people who will acquire absolutely everything you produce. With 1,000 such fans, you can grow further or occupy a specific niche – it’s a matter of choice and ability. But 1,000 fans is the minimum needed for economic success.

Ed Catmull is one of the founders of Pixar animation studio and president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. According to him, any creative process begins with a failed idea. The studio’s most successful animated films at the beginning of their creation had nothing to do with the final product. Therefore, being an artist means seeing the potential of an idea that others will find unsuccessful.

Phil Libin is one of the founders of Evernote. As a person who stands at the origins of a successful startup, Phil pays attention to the law of three and ten: absolutely everything in your company ceases to function every time the company grows three times. For example, if initially there are only three people in the company, then when there are 10 of them, all processes will need to be built anew. The same will happen when there are 30 employees, then when there are 100 of them, and so on.

Noah Kagan founded SumoMe, a free service to increase website traffic. His advice is to step out of your comfort zone more often. For example, how do you like this task: the next time you buy coffee, ask for a 10% discount. For those who complain that they can’t find time for something, Noah advises one thing: don’t look for time, plan time. And one more practical tip: if you decide to lose weight, go in for sports, or learn to do something but always find an excuse for yourself – subscribe on Instagram to those who can give you motivation and kill your reasons (for example, Paralympians or mothers with many children in excellent physical shape).

Tim Ferriss’ recommendation is the “canvas strategy.”

Tim believes that the best long-term strategy is modesty. You need to work hard and diligently and accumulate knowledge and skills without protruding yourself and not trying to stand out. Let your task be to clear the way for more experienced or senior people. Success has its origins in humble beginnings. And the one who clears the path is actually in control of the direction. The overall impression of the painting and its quality largely depends on which canvas it is painted on.

Neil Strauss is the author of 8 bestsellers from The New York Times. His advice to writers and bloggers: set yourself feasible, understated goals. For example: write two useless pages of text a day. Then you will, in any case, fulfill the plan and avoid stress.

Peter Diamandis founded the X PRIZE Foundation and The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI), formerly the Singularity Institute. Before bed, he advises finding three things you are good at today. For those who are looking for their place in life, Peter recommends finding answers to three questions:

a) Who did you dream of being as a child?

b) What are you willing to spend a billion dollars on?

c) What place or setting inspires you to new ideas?


B.J. Miller is a doctor specializing in palliative care. BJ is a man who, according to Tim, is more familiar with death than anyone and has seen it in person many times. And here’s the main lesson he learned from his experience: Sometimes, to help someone, you need to be there. No advice or action is needed. Just presence. And one more thing: sometimes you need the smell of homemade cookies. The therapeutic effect of homemade baking has been tested by BJ in practice many times.

Maria Popova is the author of the popular blog  The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings). Her advice for those who want to write is to write for yourself. That’s the only way to write well. If you write for your audience, you will never sound sincere, leading to a loss of popularity and dissatisfaction.

Joko Willinck – a former military man who owned a black belt in jiu-jitsu- served 20 years in the Marine Corps. Tim Ferriss says Joko is among the most intimidating people he knows. Here are the basic principles of Joko’s life that he shares:

  • Discipline is freedom. In other words, a person accustomed to regular work and knowing how to fill his time is much freer than someone who does not know what to do with himself and suffers from idleness.
  • Two is one, and one is zero. That is, always have a backup option.
  • If you want to be more challenging, be. Start now. For example, if you know you can not eat sweets but want to – do not eat them. say no to yourself. No excuses, no excuses, no self-deception. It’s just not.
  • Become the rightful owner of your life. To do this, remember – everything that happens is your responsibility.
  • A good leader is a humble leader.
  • Learning to step back and look at everything from the outside to see things clearly.

Samy Kamkar is a former hacker who discovered tracking mechanisms in mobile phones. The result of his finding was a senate hearing on mobile device security. Here are some tips he shares:

• Paper the camera on your laptop. Such a camera is straightforward to hack, so it can monitor your apartment and know if someone has a house or the apartment is empty.

• Use passwords, preferably different everywhere.

• Regularly scan your computers for viruses.

• Avoid using geolocation on mobile devices.

Will McAskill is a professor of philosophy. In his opinion, nothing is more stupid than the well-known maxim that you must follow your dream when choosing a profession. And what if your dream is something foolish and impossible? Work, Will believes, should be meaningful. Therefore, when choosing it, you should be guided not by feelings but by reason and carefully consider what it should consist of.

The recommendation from Tim Ferriss on the organization of the thought process is to use the so-called Dickenz method. To do this, you need to consider any of your beliefs and analyze their impact on your life in the past, how it affects you now, and how they may affect you in the future. You can replace your beliefs with better ones by subjecting them to such an analysis.

Carolyn Paul is a female firefighter. Carolyn chose this profession because, in her opinion, it is important to overcome her fear. Courage, she believes, can be trained. Modern methods of educating girls and boys often do not give girls such an opportunity because they instill the stereotype that fear for a woman is normal and even right. Carolyn disagrees. In her view, girls should be encouraged to fight fear in the same way as boys.

Recommendations from Tim Ferriss – how to overcome fear.

Tim is convinced that the risk is often not so great; it is only necessary to go for it. Therefore, to combat fear, he suggests the following mental exercise:

Imagine that the worst happened as a result of your actions. What is this? Is it forever?

• What could be done to rectify the situation?

• What other scenarios, besides the worst, are possible? What is their probability?

• Think about what exactly is the cause of your fear? After all, what we often fear is what we need most.

• What happens if you don’t take the risk? What will you think of this situation ten years from now?

Kevin Kelly is one of the founders of Wired magazine. Like many mindfulness advocates, he believes that multitasking is a myth. To cope with any task as quickly and efficiently as possible, you need not be distracted but focus only on this task. He also believes writing is a way to come up with something new, not express it. He advises against keeping your ideas secret. Share your ideas with others, give them – then you can generate new, even better than the old ones.

Tim Kreider — writer, animator. He expresses an idea close to Ferriss himself that people pay too much attention to their employment in the modern world. Even small children are constantly busy. At the same time, the state of permanent employment without any material result of activity Kreider considers meaningless. Tim Ferriss fully agrees. He prefers to stay idle: life is too short to be constantly busy. His advice to all readers is to free up the afternoon, cancel all appointments, and give yourself a day off.

Cal Fassman — writer, journalist. He advises everyone who interviews to “aim not at the head of the interviewee but at heart” and to ask not about facts but feelings. He also advises to pause and let people speak, giving them the feeling that they are being listened to carefully.

Paulo Coelho — writer. His worst enemy is procrastination. It’s hard for him to get himself to work, but when he finally makes an effort, he works for 10 hours straight. He always needs to make notes or notes for future books. For him, recordings are a way to get rid of unnecessary thoughts. What he writes down, he never uses. What’s important doesn’t need to be written down — it won’t be forgotten anyway. Coelho also shares advice on what he does when he feels stuck and can’t progress. “If you’re stuck, just go ahead,” he says.

Naval Ravikant is the CEO of AngelList, a crowd-investing platform. His recipe for happiness is work. Happiness does not come by itself; it must be earned. The best way to overcome conflict, he believes, is to avoid those who love conflict. He also strives for simplicity in everything. He is not interested in anything requiring much effort to function, including complex relationships. In any situation, Says Naval, there are always three options: you can change the situation, accept it or get out of it. The main value in a person, he considers honesty. Here is a set of rules he formulated for his life:

  • Always be in the moment, and don’t let consciousness wander.
  • Desire is the feeling of suffering until you get what you want. That is, desire is suffering. Accordingly, you must be careful and try to minimize your desires.

Anger is the burning coal you hold to throw at another.

  • If you think you can’t work with someone for the rest of your life, don’t work with them.
  • Learn to make money with your mind, not your time.
  • Complete honesty.
  • Praise for something specific and criticize in general.
  • Love is what you give, not what you receive.

Tara Brac is a doctor of clinical psychology. She shares an important psychological technique: acknowledging negative emotions rather than suppressing them. If you feel, for example, anger, then the best method of overcoming it may not be to fight but to acknowledge its presence calmly. By becoming aware of it, you will take a big step in overcoming it.

Tim Ferriss recommends learning how to find pleasure in small joys. Tim shares a trick he learned from a friend. He has a large jar in his kitchen that reads “Jar for Good.” Every night he writes down something good that happened to him during the day. Even if it’s a small thing: “Managed to do ten push-ups” or “Spent time with friends.”

Then, when it gets sad, you can put your hand in the jar and start re-reading the notes. Little things are erased from memory; if you write them down like this, they will stay with you for a long time. You can do this kind of preservation of good memories with your family, with your children – imagine how in a few years, it will be nice to re-read memories like “Said the first word” or “Got the first “five.”

Malcolm Gladwell is a writer. He shares that he never started writing a book from the beginning. He always starts in the middle, moves to the end, and finishes the beginning. This helps to overcome the familiar problem of many writers “How to start?”.

Jamie Foxx — actor. He also shares the fear-giving technique he teaches his children. He invites them to imagine what is on the other side of fear. The answer is nothing. Accordingly, having made one effort on yourself, you will find yourself on the other side of fear – and you will no longer experience it.

Robert Rodriguez— director. While working on the film “The Musician” (El Mariachi), he developed a technique that has since been used more than once by directors of low-budget films and was called the “Rodriguez list.” He compiled a list of resources that were available to him and worked only with them.

For example, one of his friends had a villa – part of the filming took place there. Someone drove a bus – in the film, there was a race on the bus, etc. According to the director, these limited resources have a lot of freedom because you know your limits in advance and do not think about what other resources you need. So, Rodriguez says, if you don’t know what to do, do it. When you start, ideas will emerge.


Tim Ferriss’ book is like a huge collection of useful tips. Despite the conditional division into “Health,” “Wealth,” and “Wisdom,” all the advice is intertwined with each other, forming a single whole in which everyone can find something useful for themselves, learn new things, or find confirmation of their own thoughts.

In part “Health,” there are absolutely practical tips – sets of exercises, descriptions of diet options, and recommendations for meditation and mindfulness. These tips are not an empty theory for the author since he gives the recommendations he tried himself.

In the “Wealth” part, large investors, financial specialists, billionaires, and financially successful people share their wisdom. There are no stories of people who have inherited fortunes and spend money on expensive things – the focus is on those who came out of the bottom and made their fortune themselves. Such people include the book’s author- a successful investor who shares his experience.

The part of “Wisdom” is the most heterogeneous because it contains excerpts from interviews with a very wide range of people: there are actors, directors, writers, military, and scientists. And the wisdom that they share is also completely diverse – from information security tips to combating fear and suicidal thoughts.

The book amazes me with its variegation and the fact that all these completely different people revealed their secrets and told about their lives to the same person. Tim Ferriss found an approach to each of them, to conduct a not formal.

Still, he had a personal, intimate conversation with each of them, and with the information received, he treated them so carefully that all these people (and there are more than 150 of them) agreed to become part of his book. They appear here as lively and engaging characters; you can find something interesting in each section of the book. As Tim intended – after reading the book, you will remember at least 10% of it.

F.A.Q. about “Tools of Titans” by Timothy Ferriss

What key health lessons can be learned from Tools of Titans?

Focusing on proper nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and sleep is crucial for overall health. Learn from experts like athletes, doctors, and coaches to develop personalized health routines.

How do Tools of Titans guide readers to financial success?

The book shares insights from successful investors, entrepreneurs, and influencers on wealth creation, smart investments, and building personal influence.

What personal development insights are in Tools of Titans?

A: The wisdom section covers topics like self-reflection, goal setting, time management, and resilience, helping readers grow personally and professionally.

How are Tools of Titans structured for easy reading?

The book is divided into three sections—health, wealth, and wisdom—and features direct quotes from interviews, making it engaging and easy to understand.

What is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role in Tools of Titans?

Schwarzenegger wrote the foreword, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and self-improvement.

Who are some influential guests in Tools of Titans?

The book features successful individuals from various fields, including entrepreneurs, athletes, scientists, and artists, offering diverse perspectives and experiences.

How can readers build non-monetary wealth with Tools of Titans?

The book offers advice on creating influence and popularity, such as becoming a successful blogger, building a personal brand, and networking effectively.

What are some actionable recommendations from Tools of Titans?

Examples include developing a morning routine, practicing gratitude, setting SMART goals, and embracing failure as a learning opportunity.

How does Ferriss’ interview style provide primary information in Tools of Titans?

Ferriss allows readers to learn from firsthand experiences and authentic insights by including direct quotes and giving the floor to interviewees.

What are the top tips from Tools of Titans for finding one’s purpose?

Embrace self-discovery, identify passions, set clear goals, and learn from successful people to find your place in your profession and life.

Quotes from “Tools of Titans”

“Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask.”

Tim Ferriss

“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

Derek Sivers (Entrepreneur, Programmer, Musician)

“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”

Naval Ravikant (Entrepreneur, Angel Investor)

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

Seth Godin (Author, Entrepreneur, Marketer)

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”

Brene Brown (Researcher, Author, Speaker)

“The quality of your life is the quality of where you live emotionally.”

Tony Robbins (Motivational Speaker, Author)

“Discipline equals freedom.”

Jocko Willink (Retired US Navy SEAL, Author)

“What’s on the other side of fear? Nothing.”

Jamie Foxx (Actor, Singer, Comedian)

“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

Susan Cain (Author, Speaker)

Disclaimer: This blog post is a summary or resume of the book and is not intended to dispense the reading of the original book. This post aims to provide a general overview of the book’s main ideas and themes and encourage readers to read the complete book to gain a deeper understanding of the material. The information presented in this post is intended to be something other than a substitute for the original book and should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, the entire book. We strongly encourage readers to read the complete book to benefit from its ideas and teachings fully.

Similar Posts