[Book Notes] Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss

My current book is Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Fantastic read so far. I’m currently working my way slowly through this one with a pen/highlighter and really giving it all I’ve got in terms of taking notes. I’m being quite selfish in this regard since I’m only highlighting sections that I personally find interesting and important to me- although I feel the entire book is a goldmine. This post is very much a work in progress since I’ve only read about 30% of the book so far.

Also, just worth a note, I highlight from the book and later on go back, re-read the highlighted sections and note them into Onenote, then from Onenote they come here for the world to see. Most of the time there will be typos and grammatical errors since I’m moving quickly and not bothering to spell check.

Lets begin.

“I’m a compulsive note-taker” – Collection of my life’s recipes. (Tim Ferriss)

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

What makes these people different? Page xix

In a surprising number of cases, the power is in the absurd. The more absurd, the more “impossible” the question, the more profound the answers.

IF you have a 10 year plan of how to get somewhere, you should ask: Why can’t you do this in 6 months? Peter Thiel asks that question, “What might you do to accomplish your 10-year goals in the next 6 months, if you had a gun against your head?”

  • Don’t expect you to take 10 seconds to ponder this and then magically accomplish 10 years worth of dreams in 6 months. Do expect you to ponder over that question productively until it breaks your mind.
  • You need to go digging in other people’s heads to unearth riches – Questions are your pickaxes and competitive advantage
  • Suggestion is that you spend real time with the questions you find most ridiculous in this book. Thirty minutes of stream-of-consciousness journaling (Page 224) could change your life.
  • It’s the small things, done consistently, that are the big things

What do they [interviewees] have in common?

  • More than 80% of the interviewees have some form of daily mindfulness or meditation practice.
  • Many use the ChiliPad device for cooling at bedtime.
  • Almost every guest has been able to take obvious “weaknesses” and turn them into huge competitive advantages

The variation is the consistency.

  • Very often, “our” beliefs are not our own. – This type of practice is how you create yourself, instead of seeking to discover yourself. There is value in the latter, but it’s mostly past-tense: It’s a rear view mirror. Looking out the windshield is how you get to where you want to go.
  • Success, however you define it, is achievable If you collect the right field-tested beliefs and habits.
    • Someone else has done your version of “success” before, and often, many have done something similar.
  • The superheroes you have in your minds (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximised 1 or 2 strengths.
    • You don’t “succeed” because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.
    • The heroes in this book are no different. Everyone struggles. Take solace in that.

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

  • Information without emotion isn’t retained – Tony Robbins


Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick (Page 7) – Podcast

  • Hyperthermic Conditioning  (calculated heat exposure) can help you to increase growth hormone (GH) levels and substantially improve endurance.
    • Drastically decreases DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness)
    • Good example on page 7 regarding a study for 3 weeks sauna post-workout
    • “Two 20 minute sessions at 80 degrees celcius separated by a 30 minute cooling period elevated growth hormone levels by two-fold over baseline. Whereas, two 15 minute dry heat sessions at 100 degrees celcius separated by 30-minute cooling period resulted in 5 fold increase in growth hormone… effects persist for a couple of hours post sauna.
    • Hot baths can also significantly increase GH over baseline.

Christopher Sommer (Page 9) – Podcast

  • If you want to be a stud later, you have to be a pud now.
    • When in doubt, work on your deficiencies you’re most embarrassed by.
  • “You’re not responsible for the hand of cards you were dealt. You’re responsible for maxing out what you were given.”
  • “eat and train” instead of “diet and exercise”.

Gymnast exercises (Page 14)

Dominic D’agostino MD (Page 21) – Podcast 

Dr Dominic D’agostino on Ketogenic Dieting

Fasting and Keto diets

  • Great info on ketogenic dieting
  • Fasting. “If you don’t have cancer and you do a therapeutic fast 1 to 3 times per year, you could purge any precancerous cells that may be living in your body.”
  • Fasts of 3 days or longer can effectively “reboot” your immune system via stem cell-based regeneration. Dom suggests a 5-day fast 2 to 3 times per year.
  • TF: Aims for  a 3-day fast once per month and a 5-7 day fast once per quarter.
  • “Fasting before chemotherapy is definitely something that should be implemented in our oncology wards”
    • “Fasting essentially slows (Sometimes stops) rapidly dividing cells and triggers an ‘energetic crisis’ that makes cancer cells selectively vulnerable to chemo and radiation.” There are good studies to support this. (pg 31).

Dom’s most gifted books:

  1. Cancer as a metabolic disease by Thomas Seyfried
  2. Tripping over the Truth by Travis Christofferson
  3. The language of God:  A scientist presents evidence for belief by Francis Collins

Patrick Arnold (Page 35) – Podcast

Short bio: Patrick Arnold is an American organic chemist known for introducing androstenedione, 1-androstenediol, and methylhexanamine into the dietary supplement market, and for creating the designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone, also known as THG and “the clear”.

Metformin for Life Extension

  • Considered by many to be the most promising of the anti-aging drugs from a scientific standpoint
  • In type 2 diabetics (to whom it’s prescribed), metformin decreases the liver’s ability to make and deposit glucose into the bloodstream. Metformin also dampens the signalling pathways associated with cancer growth proliferation.
  • Rats with metastatic cancer in Dom’s studies have increased survival rates by 40% to 50%. It mimics calorie restriction and fasting in many respects.
    • Some researchers believe it could damage mitochondria, although, many MDs and technologist are taking metformin prophylactically to prevent cancer.
  • Dom did a test where he took 1g of metformin daily for 12 weeks, and had blood work done throughout. His diet and exercise didn’t change. In his “post” test, his triglycerides were the lowest they had ever been, his HDL was around 98 (bumping up from 80),  and his C-reactive protein wasn’t even measurable. The only side effect he saw was that his testosterone was lower, and that came back into normal range once he stopped taking metformin.

Jason Nemer (Page 46) – Podcast

What do you believe that other people think is insane?

“That you can trust people. You can trust a lot of people. You don’t have to live in fear of strangers. Strangers are just people you haven’t flown yet.”

“I assume the best in people. I assume that I can trust them until they prove me wrong.”

“Let go of what’s not working and really assess what is working and ‘what can I be excited about?’ It’s not that bad things don’t happen to me. I don’t label a lot of things good/bad. [Instead I ask] Can I evolve from this? What do I want now? What is my center now?

Jason said all this after a really good example of how he turned a bad situation (him losing all his worldly possessions) into a good one (moving from san fran and founding AcroYoga and making it a worldwide practice).

What would you put on a billboard?

  • Play! Play more. I feel people are so serious, and it doesn’t take much for people to drop back into the wisdom of childlike playfulness.

Parting thoughts:

On theoretical yoga versus applied yoga: “I also feel that there’s a ceiling on yoga, and the ceiling is: You have all this amazing knowledge and all this amazing practice, but how are you bringing that into the world? What happens when you’re in traffic? How are you with your mum? Do you talk to your mum? Do you tell her the truth?”

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