ou may already know Tim Ferriss as the author of the best-selling books „The 4-Hour Workweek“ or „The 4-Hour Body“.
He describes how you can run a business with an effort of just four hours a week (and travel for the rest of the time) and how you can get in shape with just four hours of training a month.
While I was a bit disappointed by the latter because it contradicted with my basic understanding of fitness and health in general, „The 4-Hour Workweek“ really inspired me and challenged me to think about work and life from another perspective.
So I was really excited when „Tools of Titans – The tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers“ came out. Tim Ferriss reviewed and summarized the essence of over 200 podcasts he did with world-class performers he interviewed on his popular podcast „The Tim Ferriss Show“ (It was downloaded over 100,000,000 times).
As you might imagine, this book is kind of huge. But, as Tim stated in one of his interviews, it is just a reference book. Something you can read through from time to time and take notes if something inspires you.
And that’s exactly how I use it. I read it at night, half an hour before I go to sleep. I have a small notepad next to my bed where I write down everything that inspires me. But inspiration is nothing without action. You have to execute on the thoughts you have. That’s why I write it down, I don’t forget it and I can execute on it the next day. It’s about „speed of implementation„. Don’t get addicted to information and thoughts, action is what gets results!
But now, without further ado, let’s get to the five things that inspired me the most and how these can influence your life:
#1: „The cold is your warm friend“ (Wim „The Iceman“ Hof)
Wim Hof (nicknamed „The Iceman„) holds 20 world records at the moment, including completing a full marathon at temperatures close to -20°C/-4°F wearing nothing but shorts or enduring an ice bath for nearly two hours. He created the Wim Hof Method that basically consists of three main pillars: Breathing exercises, cold exposure, and commitment.
I started doing the Wim Hof Method because of two reasons:
a) I was inspired by what he said about the benefits of the method in this book (improving immune function, increasing fat loss, elevating your mood) and
b) Manuel, a good friend of mine, started doing it and had amazing results in all these areas.
I will do an own blog post about the Wim Hof Method and how it changed my life (seriously, it feels like magic), but for now, if you want to take a quick start, do the following:
a) Every time you shower, do a cold water „finish“ (make the last 30-60 seconds of your shower pure cold)
b) Do three sets of the breathing exercises every morning. You can do it right now like shown in this video of London Real:
#2: My new bedtime drink (Seth Roberts, Ph.D.)
Ok, first of all, I don’t know why this works, but it works. Tim, a lot of his close friends in Silicon Valley, and now also me, drink the following pre-bed cocktail every night: 2 tablespoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar (I use the one from Bragg) and 1 tablespoon of honey, stirred into 1 cup of hot water.
a) It lets you sleep like a baby
b) you wake up completely refreshed and ready to crush it. (even with less sleep)
I’m usually not a big fan of „magical“ drinks and supplements that promise you to change your whole physiology, but this one works for a lot of people (including me). Try it out and see for yourself!
P.S.: I added some ginger to this drink because it is very beneficial to your immune system!
#3: 10 Ideas a day – „If you generate enough bad ideas, a few good ones tend to show up“ (Seth Godin & James Altucher)
This one really was an „aha“ moment. James Altucher and Seth Godin both recommend having bad ideas on a regular basis. If you ask successful, creative people who have great ideas, they will almost always say that they have even more really bad ideas. Think of your ability to come up with ideas (business ideas, for example) like a muscle. You can’t find great, world-changing ideas out of nothing. It’s like going to the gym. You can’t bench press 300 pounds if you haven’t touched a barbell ever before.
So James Altucher recommends making it a daily habit of coming up with 10 ideas. It doesn’t need to be business ideas all the time (because that tends to be the hardest category), I used categories like „10 blog posts I can write“, „10 people I want to be friends with“ or „10 things I want on my résumé in two years“. The key is to come up with 10 ideas AND the first step for each one. For example, in the category „10 blog posts I can write“ one point was „One about Tools of Titans and 5 things I learned from the book“ (See? Some – arguably – good ideas tend to show up 😉 ) and the first step was „look at your notes and decide which 5 points you want to cover“.
I encourage you to do the same, train your idea muscle!
#4: Write a Morning Journal (Tim Ferriss & Julia Cameron)
As I’m writing this, I realize I changed my whole morning routine because of this book lol.
But writing a morning journal turned out to be one of my favorite and most useful parts of my morning routine.
Basically, I write down what comes to my mind for five minutes each morning. Simple as that. Julia Cameron, author of „The Artist’s Way“, refers to this as „spiritual windshields“. It seems so simple, but it can clear your vision and let you think more focused.
Tim and I do this mainly for 2 reasons:
a) Trying to figure things out. We tend to always ponder about different thoughts, goals, and opinions. But if these thoughts stay in our head, we are usually just running in circles. There’s something that happens when you write your thoughts down when you look at it from the outside. Suddenly, you are not so biased anymore. Suddenly, you have a new perspective, a thought pattern that wasn’t there before. It’s freeing.
b) Caging the „monkey mind“. If you read my blog post about meditation you already know what the „monkey mind“ is. To quote Tim here „Morning pages don’t need to solve your problems. They simply need to get them out of your head, where they’ll otherwise bounce around all day like a bullet ricocheting inside your skull.“
#5: Some macadamia nuts and a cold fucking shower (Tim himself)
This is based on a quote I randomly found in the part about Tony Robbins. When I first read it, I had to laugh very hard. When I read it again, I realized it was probably the most useful quote I read this year. It goes like this „Sometimes you think you have to figure out your life’s purpose, but you really just need some macadamia nuts and a cold fucking shower.“
If you are like me, there are countless situations where you are pondering about how you want your life to be or what’s the purpose of all this. You get frustrated or even depressed because you have so many important questions but no answers.
But guess what? After a cold shower, a glass of water, some sleep or whatever you might need at that moment, the world looks different. It reminded me of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (you may be familiar with this concept). You can’t fulfill your needs regarding self-actualization if your physiological needs (air, food, water, sleep, sex) aren’t fulfilled.
After you got that going, you can think much clearer.
So, my recommendation for everyone searching for meaning and purpose in life? Breathe, eat, drink, sleep, fuck. And then ask that question again. 😉
I hope you found some inspiration in this article. Inspiration is like a seed planted in your mind. It’s up to you to nurture it, so it becomes a big, strong, and thriving tree.
So my conclusion on this book: It’s definitely worth a read. Not everything in this book might appeal to you and your life’s situation, but I can guarantee you, you will find some „gold nuggets“ in this book that will upgrade your life. If you want to buy the book, for example on Amazon, you can click here.
Have a great and productive day, guys!