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Tools of Titans

The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
Written by: Tim Ferriss
Length: 22 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The latest groundbreaking tome from Tim Ferriss, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek

From the author: 

"For the last two years, I've interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads. 

"This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and 'inside baseball' you won't find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new 'guests' you haven't met.   

"What makes the show different is a relentless focus on actionable details. This is reflected in the questions. For example: What do these people do in the first 60 minutes of each morning? What do their workout routines look like, and why? What books have they gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices in their field? What supplements do they take on a daily basis? 

"I don't view myself as an interviewer. I view myself as an experimenter. If I can't test something and replicate results in the messy reality of everyday life, I'm not interested."

"Everything [in this audiobook] has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I've used dozens of the tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration. 

"I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It's changed my life, and I hope the same for you." 

Cover design by Brian Moore

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2017 Timothy Ferriss (P)2019 Timothy Ferriss
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian Sachetta
  • 08-06-20

If I could sum it up: too much of a good thing

Despite this less-than-stellar review, I actually am a fan of Ferris’. I absolutely loved “The 4-Hour Workweek,” I listen to his podcast a decent amount, and I’ve read a lot of his stuff online.

It always pains me to leave less-than-positive reviews for folks I look up to, but I think a few points need to be made here. As to not harp on the negative, however, I’ll start with what’s good about this book.

The Good:

-There are so many high-profile and successful folks (the “titans”) interviewed in this work. Tony Robbins, Seth Rogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Whitney Cummings, etc. It’s awesome to hear the perspectives of such successful people.
-The book provides countless life hacks, tips, and tricks for the reader to digest and implement.
-In the final hour of the audiobook, Ferris has a section on depression that’s really raw and real. Though mental health is something that’s very important to me, specifically, I think almost anyone would find this section moving.

The Bad:

-The book is way too long. This is something I disliked about “The 4-Hour Body” and “The 4-Hour Chef” as well. Writing is just as much about what you leave in as what you leave out. It’s just my opinion, but I think the deluge of information here feels slightly lazy, which is a shame, because I know just how much work must’ve gone into this book.
-This is where I make myself laugh, but there really is too much good information here. This plays into my previous point. At the end of it, I was frankly overwhelmed — though I had just finished a 700+ page book, I still had a long list of other books and movies to check out thanks to the recommendations made here. I was hoping this one would be a “be-all-end-all” synthesization of good content — not a journey into even more of it.
-In my mind, the formatting and editing miss the mark here. I know Ferris says to jump around and treat the book as an encyclopedia, but I just don’t think the content allows for that. If I buy a book filled with interviews from the world’s best, I’m probably going to read every interview. Jumping around in this one is also difficult because the interviews are not categorized by subject. That is, you can’t jump to the “wellness” part of the book; you can only make guesses as to which interviewees will talk about the subjects you’re interested in, and skip there.
-There are many narrators of the audiobook, which can make listening confusing at times.

Again, as to not harp on the negative, I think I’ll probably leave my points at the above; you likely see my argument by now. Turning back to the positive, however, there is some seriously good content here. The problem, however, as I’ve mentioned, is that you have to wade through so much other content to get to the stuff you’re most interested in.

I saw a review on Amazon that recommended that Ferris come out with a new edition of this book, one that catalogs the information better and provides a useful index. I totally agree. I also don’t think it would’ve hurt to have broken this book into multiple titles.

I don’t really see myself revisiting this book, but what I definitely will do is revisit Ferris’ podcast and his breakout hit, “The 4-Hour Workweek.” That book was one of my favorites when I read it — I think I’m overdue to jump back into it.

So, while I can’t say that I fully recommend this one, I also can’t say that I don’t recommend it. If you are going to jump in, I just suggest that you buckle up and drive slowly. It’s a long ride.

-Brian Sachetta
Author of “Get Out of Your Head”

22 people found this helpful

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  • igor mintz
  • 03-06-20

Disappointed-much bullshit mixed with legit advice

full of "bro-science" health products and practices, name dropping. Feels like he's affiliating the book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 04-06-20

1,000th true fan

First, because I’m a fanboy, hiring Ray Porter as one of the narrators was a solid choice. Realize now that a sizable chunk of my Audible library is full of Ray.

On ward.

Tim Tim Talk Talk is gold, if you have no reference for that fix it.

Tim’s books line my shelves and my Audible and my pdf/kindle library. I buy Tim stuff. I like Tim stuff.

I dig this book so much... super slice of annoyed when the Audible release was pushed. Now, on to Tribe of Mentors. Because I like Tim’s neurosis, they jive with my own.

5 people found this helpful

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  • michel vidal
  • 10-06-20

Killed it!

Tim you killed it once again my man. I love this so much!!! Thanks for always being a guiding light in my life and in so many others. We’re so lucky to call you a virtual mentor.
All the best,

Michel.

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  • A. Mark
  • 03-06-20

So much better as an audiobook

I bought the text when it first came out and ended up flipping through it a few times but never found myself sitting down to read the whole thing all the way through. This audiobook is the perfect way to consume this content, it is well narrated and if anything really jumps out at you, i suggest pausing and making a clip or in my case i will get the text out for reference. There is tons of listening here so you definitely get your credits worth. I recommend.

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  • E. Mcginnis
  • 13-06-20

Buy the book

This should not be an audiobook. It reads like a bunch of bullet points and twitter handles and it’s hard to follow the thread of who he is quoting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Temiloluwa
  • 13-06-20

Not For Me

Not Good as an Audio Book - Too Many Voices and Moving Parts, Probably Better in Written Format

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  • John DeWitt
  • 04-06-20

Tim Ferriss has done it again!

His analytical mind is at work in this amazing collection of advice from truly successful TITANS. I purchased the audio book and am one hour in but the golden nuggets abound! The biggest pint for me to this point is that NOBODY is successful ALONE. They all had help from a variety of people, whether it Arnold's Dad teaching him to be "useful" or the ability of someone to win a grueling obstacle course only 8 weeks after knee surgery! I can't wait to dive deeper into all these amazing tips and routines to create my own personal regimen that will get me on track for a TITAN life.

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  • Robert ONeill
  • 02-06-20

Tool

It would take a year of 4-hour work weeks and enough caffeine to make ones heart explode to get through this. Did you ever look inside someone else’s tool box? Unless you are a diagnosed neurotic narcissist desiring to create the perfect human specimen, this is excruciating. I want to like listen and learn from Tim, as he must have something useful to say I hoped, but I find myself gasping for air listening to Him love the drone of his own voice. I would be afraid to ask him the time, because I really don’t need to know how to build a watch. What is more remarkable, is that he made all these professional narrators ascend to his level of boredom. The authors other talent lies in being able to warp time, making 4 minutes seem like 4 hours. Note: there might be a couple nuggets in here from his subjects, but buy the synopsis.

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  • Kyle
  • 30-06-20

Years of podcasts in bite size form

Great clips of interesting and thought provoking interviews. The themes of wisdom, health, and wealth helped organize the thoughts.

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  • papapownall
  • 15-06-20

Life hacks from insecure over-achievers

Tim Ferriss is an American author of self help books. In Tools of Titans he compares notes with high flyers from the worlds of sport, business and entertainment to produce a toolkit for changing lives for the better on the broad themes of Health, Wealth and Wise. There are multiple narrators of this book, none of them are the actual contributors.

Each section contains an introduction to each of the Titans who provide answers to a template of questions which begin with their social media and website information before moving on to each of their "animal spirits" and questions about product / book recommendations (unsurprisingly, many of the recommendations are for their own products), their best $100 purchase and advice to their 30 year old self. It all becomes a bit formulaic and predictable after a while as each of the Titans attempt to come up with something profound and interesting about themselves.

Much of the advice concerns exercise routines, extreme diets and recommended food supplements in the section on Health which also covers the use of experimental drugs. In the Wealth section we hear from several angel investors who outline their thought processes when investing and in Wise we hear several scholarly words of wisdom such as "the purpose of life is a life with purpose" and others, such as "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" which are quite bizarre.

This is a long book at over 22 hours and is also padded out by repeats of some of the author's previous podcasts including "17 questions that have dramatically changed my life". Many of the contributors to this book are undoubtedly interesting people and I would like to find out more about some of them. Despite the length, however, Tools of Titans comes over as being superficial and, at times, merely an extended advert for the contributors' books and products.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-20

Seriously motivating

The structure is really stimulating. You are hearing the distilled wisdom of legends in their industry, and because it jumps from business to tech, food to meditation your brain starts to see the patterns regardless of the specialisms. The diverse mental models, philosophies about risk and opportunity, and the scatterings of literature and some fun with spirit animals mean it never gets too dense. I was able to dip in during a run or for an afternoon and get a veritable smorgasbord of interesting ideas and tactics. I had bought the physical book previously and was skeptical about how it could translate into an audio book but the narration is structured to keep things organised in a way that's easy to follow. In the current (crazy!) times, access to this calibre of thinking has been very much appreciated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Diarmaid
  • 03-06-20

A Life-changing collection of practices and wisdom

This book, if you put in the work on the vast ocean of knowledge within, WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN A POSITIVE WAY.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-06-20

Very useful

I would recommend this to anyone. I enjoyed most of it and all people will find information that is relevant for their lives, to get better, healthier and happier.
Really good!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-06-20

Best book in the self-help genre

A collection of the best life advices you could get. Now, you only have to put them to practice!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-06-20

Listen & relisten

I started listening to Tim’s podcast not so long ago and I was wondering when will I have time to go through his archive. This book delivers a lot of cherry picked tips and ideas that will make a huge impact in a short amount of time. I see myself re-listening this book multiple times in the future.

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  • gary brooking
  • 18-06-20

Another dissapointment

I was hoping this would be better than Tribe of Mentors in audio format but alas, it remains full of Twitter handles (why is this necessary in audio format???) and the same monotonic, souless voice narrates most of it. The bug shame of this is that it overpowers the many valuable messages in the book. I recommend sticking to the physical copy of this book and save your credit for something a little less frustrating.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-06-20

Brilliant, valuable tools. Eye-opening!

I will listen to this audiobook regularly to make sure I get the boost from all these titans stories. It's uplifting, forces you to level up, sharpen your saw, and stop coming up with excuses for not living the best life you could be living for you. I'd highly recommend this impactful book to anyone I meet. Great value.

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  • Phillip
  • 14-06-20

Brilliant from start to finish

Brilliant from start to finish thanks so much Tim Ferriss for putting this book together, I learned so much!!!!