The Tim Ferriss Show, a podcast committed to “deconstructing world-class performers,” is one of the most popular podcasts of all-time, and for those who don’t have the time or desire to listen through 200+ episodes (at the time of this review), Tim Ferriss put together Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers.
It’s a sprawling, nearly 700-page manual on life optimization: tips and advice from more than 100 guests on his podcast who give their takes on success, performance and life in general.
It’s an ambitious book, and for those familiar with Ferriss and his style of writing and podcasting, Tools of Titans will feel like a welcome companion to his other books, including The 4-Hour Workweek. It’s packed with nuggets of insight, and though it acts essentially as a book of notes and highlights from the podcast, it has a completed, comfortable feel.
Structure of the Book
Tools is broken up into three main parts – Healthy, Wealthy and Wise – and each section contains brief profiles and stories from podcast guests, as well as a handful of chapters written by Ferriss or other authors.
In Ferriss’ words, the book is a “compendium of recipes for high-performance” that he intially compiled for his own use. “Now, when I’m feeling stuck, trapped, desperate, angry, conflicted, or simply unclear, the first thing I do is flip through these pages with a strong cup of coffee in hand,” he writes. And in typical “scratch your own itch” fashion, that’s often the best way to make something of value for others.
It’s easy to see the average reader doing the same. In fact, Tools of Titans might be most useful as a reference book of sorts, something to refer to for a quick dose of inspiration or practical strategy when things feel off-balanced. Ferriss recommends reading the book in a way that’s fun – focusing on what you like, skipping what you don’t and revisiting sections you missed the first time around for more ideas.