Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

I'm a compulsive note-taker. To wit, I have recorded nearly every workout since age 18 or so. Roughly 8 feet of shelf space in my home is occupied by spine upon spine of notebook upon notebook. That, mind you, is one subject. It extends to dozens. Some people would call this OCD, and many would consider it a manic wild goose chase. I view it simply: It is the collection of my life's recipes. My goal is to learn things once and use them forever.

This book is a buffet - here's how to get the most out of it




Quotes, Ideas and Things To Put On A Billboard

Money is a story. Once you have enough for beans and rice and taking care of your family and a few other things, money is a story. You can tell yourself any story you want about money, and it's better to tell yourself a story about money that you can happily live with.

If you generate enough bad ideas, a few good ones tend to show up.

If the best in the world are stretching their asses off in order to get strong, why aren't you?

You don't succeed because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.

Breathe, motherfucker! - Wim Hof a.k.a. the Iceman

Just because you exercise doesn't mean you deserve sugar water.

Lift heavy, not hard.

Slow down.

When people tell Joe to stop and smell the roses, his first response is, ''Who is maintaining the roses?''

Stressed is the achiever word for fear.

Losers react, leaders anticipate.

Mastery doesn't come from an infographic. What you know doesn't mean shit. What do you do consistently?

Calm is contagious.

Clarity of writing indicates clarity of thinking.

There are huge benefits of writing, even if no one - yourself included - ever reads what you write. In other words, the process matters more than the product.

''I can think'' - Having good rules for decision-making and having good questions you can ask yourself and others.

''I can wait'' - Being able to plan long-term, play the long game, and no misallocate your resources.

''I can fast'' - Being able to withstand difficulties and disaster. Training yourself to be uncommonly resilient and have a high pain tolerance.

Don't rush the experience. Don't cheapen the experience.

What is the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it's  not how much time you spend doing what you love. It's how little time you spend doing what you hate.

Creativity is an infinite resource. The more you spend, the more you have.

Good content is the best SEO.

Amplify your strengths rather than fix your weaknesses.

When you complain, nobody wants to help you.

The interesting jobs are the ones that you make up.

If you don't believe in God, you should believe in the technology that's going to make us immortal.

The secret to life is hidden behind the word cliche.

Work will work when nothing else will work.

What are you going to do that is hard?

Tips and Tactics

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

Every time I've tried to get sophisticated, the universe kicked me in the nuts.

Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.

On a daily basis,  Reid jots down problems in a notebook that he wants his mind to work on overnight.

Improve your mouse speed.

You need to build your own house, your own shelter.

One of the many life skills that you want to learn at a fairly young age is the skill of being an ultra-thrifty, minimal kind of little wisp that;s traveling through time... in the sense of learning how little you actually need to live, not just in a survival mode, but in a contended mode... That gives you confidence to take a risk, because you say, ''What's the worst that can happen? Well, the worst that can happen is that I'd have a backpack and a sleeping bag, and I'd be eating oatmeal. And I'd be fine.''

Don't believe everything that you think.

How to elevate your mood? This might sound really crazy, but I will just look in the mirror an laugh at myself.

Invest in the best router you can afford.

A day that ends well is one that started with exercise. That's for sure.

Don't try to find time. Schedule time.

Never buy a present you wouldn't want to receive.

Grow things that you can fully control, that directly affect sales, like your email list. Likes do not pay the bills. Sales do.

Find what nobody wants to do and do it.

Find inefficiencies and waste redundancies. Identify leaks and patches to free up resources for new areas.

Produce more than everyone else and give your ideas away.

I assume the best in people. I assume I can trust them until they prove me wrong. When you do this practice enough, trusting is like a muscle that you flex.

My 30th birthday, my friend throws me a party. That night I got a book on Buddhism, a case of coconuts, and I hung out with my friends. The next day, my van's gone. My home is gone. Everything is gone. So I crack a coconut and start reading about Buddhism because... what the fuck else am I gonna do?

4 Bullets to Dodge - If you're over 40 and don't smoke, there's about a 70 to 80% chance you'll die from one of four diseases: heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, or neurodegenerative disease.'

How to practice poverty

Sleeping in a sleeping bag, whether on my living room floor or outside.

Wearing cheap white shirts and a single pair of jeans for the entire 3 to 14 days.

Eating only A) instant oatmeal and/or B) rice and beans

Drinking only water or cheap instant coffee or tea.

Cooking everything using a Kelly Kettle.

Fasting, consuming nothing but water and perhaps coconut oil or powdered MCT oil.

Accessing the Internet only at libraries.


Most of us have had the experience of sitting at a computer with 20 open tabs. How did this happen? Didn't I just clean this up last week? Then you get a warning of “Startup disk almost full.” So you delete a few videos as damage control, but... why is everything still running so damned slowly? Oh, Dropbox is syncing. Slack has 17 new notifications. Microsoft needs another “critical” update? There are 20 applications running on top of 20 windows, fracturing your ability to focus. 60 minutes later, you've done a lot of stuff, tapped the keyboard a lot, and burned a ton of energy, but you couldn't say what you've achieved. Feeling rushed and frustrated, overwhelm begins to set it. Time to get another coffee...

Life can feel this way. Finances, taxes, relationships, wedding invitations, car check-ups, Facebook, groceries... ''Startup disk almost full.''

For me, moderate to high dose of psilocybin with supervision serves as a hard reboot. It closes all the windows, ''force quits'' all applications, flushes the cache, installs upgrades, and - when I'm back to normal - restores my 30.000 foot view. It removes the noise, giving me a crystal clear view of the most critical priorities and decisions. The first time I used psilocybin at sufficiently high doses, the anxiolytic - anxiety decreasing - effect lasted 3 to 6 months. This catalyzes not only insight but action.

Sound great, right? It can be, but that result is far from guaranteed. Psychedelics usually give you what you need, not what you want. To get to pleasure, you often need to claw through pain first.

If my daughter does not try a psychedelic like psilocybin or LSD at least once in her adult life, I will worry that she may have missed one of the most important rites of passage a human being can experience... a life without drugs is neither foreseeable nor, I think, desirable. - Sam Harris, author, philosopher, neuroscientist, critic of religion, blogger, and podcast host.

Mattress checklist

Soft is the solution for bedding.

The softest mattress you can get your hands on is ideal, but avoid those made solely of memory foam, as it locks you into extension.

Lie on bed at a mattress store for 5 minutes. If you have to cross your feet, your bed is to hard.

If you need to put a pillow under your legs to put you into flexion, then you need a softer bed. You should also focus on opening hip extension.

About shoes

Get your kids (and yourself) flat ''zero drop'' shoes, where the toes and heel are an equal distance from the ground. I wear Vans for this reason, my favorite model being Vans Classic Slip-On skate shoe (unisex, gum sole) in black. These can be used for hiking in a pinch, or worn to a business meeting when traveling light. Get your kids Vans, Chuck Taylors, or similar shoes.

Seth Godin

  • --

Breakfast is one more decision I don't make, so it's a frozen banana, hemp powder, almond milk, a dried plum, and some walnuts in the blender.

I think we need to teach kids two things: I) how to lead, and II) how to solve interesting problems.

There are plenty of countries on Earth where there are people who are willing to be obedient and work harder for less money than us. So we cannot out-obedience the competition. Therefore, we have to out-lead or out-solve the other people...

Send someone a thank-you note tomorrow.

Jocko Wilink

  • --

When Jocko slept at my house following our interview, my then-girlfriend woke mu up the next morning at 8 a.m. with ''Umm... I think he's been up reading for 5 hour already. What should I do?

A shot of serendipity - Jocko Podcast

Derek Sivers

  • --

The standard pace is for chumps.

The school has to organize its curricula around the lowest common denominator, so that almost no one is left out. They have to slow down, so everybody can catch up. But you're smarter than that. I think you could just buy the books, skip the classes and then contact the department head to take the final exam to get credit.

Business models can be simple. You don't need to constantly ''pivot''.

I thought 45 minutes of my time, that's worth about $25. That shows what I was valuing my time at in those days. So I'll charge a $25 setup fee to sign up for this thing. And, then, oooh... in my head, $25 and $35 don't feel very different when it comes to cost. $10 is different and $50 is different, but $25 and $35 - that occupies the same space in the mind. So you know what? I'm gonna make it $35 and that will let me give anyone a discount any time they ask.

What would you put on a billboard?

This thingy: It Won't Make You Happy

I would place it outside any big shopping mall or car dealer.

If it's not a ''HELL, YES!'' it's a ''NO''.

Treat life as a series of experiments.

Try a few months of living the life you think you want, but leave yourself an exit plan, being open to the big chance that you might not like it after actually trying it.

James Altucher

  • --

James recommends to habit of writing down 10 ideas each morning in a tiny notebook.

Perfectionism is the enemy of the idea muscle... it's your brain trying to protect you from harm, from coming up with an idea that is embarrassing and stupid and could cause you to suffer pain. The way you shut this off is by forcing the brain to come up with bad ideas.

The World Doesn't Need Your Explanation. On Saying ''No''.

I don't give explanations anymore, and I'll catch myself when I start giving explanations like 'Oh, I'm sorry, I can't make it. I have a doctor's appointment that day. I'm really sick. I broke my leg over the weekend' or something. I just say 'I can't do it. I hope everything is well.'

Peter Diamandis

  • --

I think of problems as gold mines. The world biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities.

There are two elements that tie very much to human longevity. It's strange...One is those who floss and, second, those people who have a higher VO2 max.

Find the smartest 20-somethings in your company. I don't care if they're in the mail room or where they are. Give them permission to figure out how they would take down your company.

Peter's Laws

  • --

Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.

When forced to compromise, ask for more.

When in doubt: THINK.

The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.

If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.

Scott Adams

  • --

Losers have goals. Winners have systems.

Scott believes that there are six elements to humor: naughty, clever, cute, bizarre, mean, and recognizable. You have to have at least two dimensions to succeed.

When I first started blogging, my future wife often asked about what my goal was. The blogging seemed to double my workload while promising a 5% higher income that didn't make any real difference in my life. It seemed a silly use of time. I tried explaining that blogging was a system, not a goal.

If you want an average, successful life, it doesn't take much planning. Just stay out of trouble, go to school, and apply for jobs you might like. But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths:

1. Become the best at one specific thing.

2. Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.

I always advise young people to become good public speakers (top 25%). Anyone can do it with practice. If you add that talent to any other, suddenly you're the boss of the people who only have one skill.

You make yourself rare by combining two or more ''pretty good'' skills until no one else has your mix...At least one of the skills in your mixture should involve communication, either written or verbal.

To practice

  • --

Priming my state is often as simple as doing 5 to 10 push-ups or getting 20 minutes of sun exposure. - Tony Robbins

It is essential to get lost and jam up your plans every now and then. It's a source of creativity and perspective. The danger of maps, capable assistants, and planning is that you may end up living your life as planned. If you do, your potential cannot possibly exceed your expectations.

Look for patterns.

''I always say that I'll go first... That means if I'm checking out at the store, I'll say hello first. If I'm coming across somebody and make eye contact, I'll smile first. [I wish] people would experiment with that in their life a little bit: Be first, because - not all times, but most times - it comes in your favor.

Identify two people walking past your office and secretly wish them to be happy. You don't have to do or say anything - just think. Since nobody knows what you're thinking, it's not embarrassing - you can do this exercise entirely in stealth.

Go to as many higher-level meetings as possible. Figure out a way to be useful. Start taking notes. Read all the other notes you can find on the company, and gain a general knowledge that your very limited job function may not offer you.

Invest a little bit of time to make something, anything, a little bit more human or - depending on your brand - a little funnier, a little more different, or a little more whatever. It'll be worth it, and that's my challenge.

"Productivity" Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me)

  • --

1) Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.

2) Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.

3) Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.

4) For each item, ask yourself:

– “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”

– “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”

5) Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.

6) Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.

7) TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.

8) If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.

Congratulations! That’s it.