Why Tools of Titans?
In my last post, I went into the story of how I came to be so enamored with Tools of Titans, or more appropriately, The Tim Ferriss Show. It was an evolution of discovery as I gathered insights into being intentionally effective. 9 years of medical training hadn’t provided this much consolidated value. The impact was immediate on my personal and professional life.
Within Tools of Titans are more how-to’s than even Tim realizes. There are the literal tips – wake up and make your bed, have a go at intermittent fasting, take cold showers, start your process with extremely small steps. Then there are the tips buried in metaphor and symbolism – begin with a win, intentionally create adversity, shock your system, climb mountains from the flat part. An already affordable book, its value is at least 2 for 1.
The nature of the guests is also an important topic we should explore. People often regard elite performers as having something they do not. “They were born with it.” “They’ve got that something special.” “They are gifted.” It is a defense mechanism we mobilize to cope with the jealousy and self-loathing we experience watching them. This is partially why have highly emotional reactions when we meet celebrities. It is easier to palate the dream of a mythical person who can be an elite surfer, an inventor, and a great husband all at the same time. “Well, I know I’m never going to be like Laird Hamilton. But it’s okay, he only exists as that collection of pixels.” However when we meet them we are flooded with all the suppressed emotions our defenses were holding back. It can be adulation one might associate with meeting God, “my hero is real, it is possible that I could be the same!”. It can be shame, “my hero is real, please don’t talk to me or you may see and I may admit how far from you I am.”
However, as we will see over and over again in Tools of Titans, these people aren’t born with any especially unique genes that predisposed them for success. You don’t meet Jamie Foxx. You meet Eric Bishop, an adopted kid from rural Texas who found his success model in the love of his grandmother. You don’t meet billionaire Chris Sacca. You meet a boy whose parents had resolved to give both their children a personalized and balanced upbringing that naturally conferred the skills necessary to create two top-level performers. It isn’t a story of Casey Neistat who ran his bike into a car and got lucky. It is a story about a man who loves what he does so much that it sounds effortless to work for 18+ hours a day, every single day of his life. Tim doesn’t interview Naval Ravikant, founder of Angelist and successful investor. He interviews a guy who takes as much pleasure in discovering a Teppanyaki grill for his family as he does in discovering Uber and Twitter.
For each person, their success was created. We are all an executed plan away from achieving it ourselves.
As was my initial reaction to Think and Grow Rich and Tony Robbins, some may take issue with Tools of Titans focus on success or elite performance. They should. It is a marketing mechanism. He can’t buy a billboard in Times Square to promote a book called Tools to be Used: Some Things People Do. Still, Tim talks about his discomfort with being part of the self-help genre. He pursued his podcast with a goal of learning for his own interest (“scratching my own itch”) and discovered so much that he wanted to share “the book [he’s] wanted [his] entire life”.
Try to see the ideas in the book as pieces of information. I’m going to steal a lot from Mindfulness here. Tools of Titans is a book that contains a lot of information. The value of that information is for you to determine. You can assess that value by taking the information in, considering it, maybe even testing it out. The experiences of Tim and the guests in the book represent a body of support that testing the ideas may be more likely to produce a result than not. Notice my intentional use of ambiguous language – change, value, result. I don’t want you to assume an expectation of any outcome such as success, better, improve, gain, achieve, etc. By eliminating your assumptions, biases, and ethnocentrism (here comes the anthropology) you can experience Tools of Titans with a minimum level of Ego resistance.
I will dive into the structure of the psyche (i.e. Id, Ego, Superego) another time. The short version is that if there is something in your life you hope to do and are not, there is a part of your mind that has become very efficient at making sure it stays that way. The straight dish is that few human beings have an Ego structure ready to tolerate change. Those people have adopted a growth mindset. A culture of change.
The idea of change is a scary void of space. It is the closest we can get to the future. Status quo isn’t the future, it is the present. To change is to put in motion a hypothetical scenario. At baseline our Ego fears what may happen. It has an arsenal of defense mechanisms dedicated to managing your outcomes based on its perception of your ability to survive. Consider the first time you read or even heard about Tools of Titans. What happened? How did you feel? What thoughts immediately came to mind? Congratulations, you just met your Ego. The pattern of efficacy in your life affected itself upon the book and your experience of it. That pattern is a valuable tool to understand. Doing so dictates your ability to manipulate your Ego and thereby your outcomes.
The final question to consider is this – is your life on the trajectory you want?
My completely biased, marginally expert opinion is that it would be a valuable idea to join me in exploring Tools of Titans to discover what the information may bring to your life. Hopefully we can take your outcomes in the direction you want them to go.
Thank you for your attention and that of your Ego.