Can a book change your life? This one changed mine.

A few months ago, my son lent a book. It’s a big, hardcover edition and, at almost 700 pages, it’s intimidating to look at, let alone absorb. It sat on my bedside table for the longest time until, in a moment of weakness, I picked it up.

I’d like to say that there was some kind of “eureka-moment” reason why I finally did. To be honest, it just wore me down with its subtle title and its imposing presence. However, when I did start scanning the first few pages, I quickly realized that this might be more than a casual read. That was an understatement.

The book’s author is Tim Ferriss. He is best-known for his best-selling book, “Four Hour Work Week,” which he’s parlayed into two related books, “Four Hour Body” and “Four Hour Chef.” What few people are aware of, including me, is that Tim’s podcast ( is the #1 business podcast on iTunes, having interviewed almost 200 world-class performers. And I mean world-class.

Tools of Titans: The tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers ( is literally jammed with a non-stop list of proven strategies and practical actions validated by actual results and success from the world’s top achievers.

What Tim tried to do with this project is glean the best-of-the-best ideas, concepts, strategies, disciplines or rituals from each interview. He supplies the reader with a non-stop list of success tips from people who have actually achieved incredible results and accomplishments. The page-upon-page of practical information blew me away!!

Here’s how I think you can get the most out of this book:

  1. Suspend your cynicism. Every interview summary starts with a bio. Some of the biographical information will blow your mind. It’s easy to sit back and think “This isn’t for me” or “I could never accomplish this.” Look past their status. Focus on the basic information. It’s worth it.
  2. Take notes. The amount of practical information in the book is staggering. Unless you have a way of capturing the material that resonates with you, you’ll never remember it. There’s simply too much quality information.
  3. Action your top three take-ways. I guarantee you’ll walk away from this self-development exercise with a number of great, actionable ideas. Your challenge is to put them into practice. Pick any (or your top) three and start using them today.

My top 3 take-aways from Tools of Titans:

  1. Daily journaling and affirmations (P. 146). I have always been skeptical about this practice, but after reading about how so many successful people do this and the impact it’s had on them, I have implemented them as daily routines. I’m already seeing and feeling the results.
  2. 1,000 true fans (P. 292). This is the concept (from Kevin Kelly) that you don’t need a million people to be successful. You only need to make 1,000 people extremely, extremely happy. I can do that. And I will.
  3. Personal mantra (P. 414). I’m as good as anyone at creating excuses. Tim’s interview with Jocko Willink supplied me with a personal mantra that I’m using to push myself further and accomplish more. It’s working. Maybe it can work for you.

While that’s my top 3 take-aways, it could have easily been a Top 10 list. I have a few more learnings that I’ve absorbed from the book. I know that you will get more as well. I suggest keeping a list, keeping it close, and pulling it out as you get comfortable implementing your top three. I have one more that I want to implement starting next week.

What’s next to maximize this investment?

It took me almost a month to read this book, by investing between 15 minutes and an hour a day. I read every page. Some of it resonated. Some of it didn’t. But every page had value. This is only the beginning of my journey with these powerful people because Tim has included some great value-added components in the book. It’s what he does.

  1. Podcasts. The beauty of the interview summaries in the book is that they are the tip of the iceberg. They each come from longer, recorded conversations that Tim had with each person. I’m going back to cherry-pick the ones that had the most impact on me so that I can dig deeper into that person and category.
  2. Tim’s top 50 podcasts. If you’re a podcast fan, Tim gives you his list of top podcasts at the end of the book. I plan to check these out, but only after the ones I liked from the book. It’s easy to get sidetracked by a celebrity name.
  3. Relevant books. I was amazed at how many books were listed as part of a biography, referenced as part of the interview or listed as “most gifted.” Tim has a list at the end of the book. I kept track of each book. My list of relevant books I want to read has 149. Check it out here. What a library.
  4. Learning plan. Like you, I consider myself a lifelong learner. I can see where this project can become a mini-MBA as I continue to use this encyclopedia to expand my knowledge. I am committed to continuing to investigate and leverage Tim and the Titans.

I challenge you buy, read and leverage this resource…You’re welcome.