Tools of Titans

Brand: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 1328683788
EAN: 9781328683786
Category: #2300 in Hardcover (Motivational)
List Price: $30.00
Price: $18.24  (127 customer reviews)
You Save: $11.76 (39%)
Dimension: 0.08 x 9.00 x 7.00 inches
Shipping Wt: 2.56 pounds. FREE Shipping (Details)
Availability: In Stock.
Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

The latest groundbreaking tome from Tim Ferriss, the #1 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 sixty 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 within these pages 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.”


  • Tools of Titans The Tactics Routines and Habits of Billionaires Icons and World Class Performers

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Top Reviews

Huge fan is disappointed
by D. Patterson (3 out of 5 stars)
December 9, 2016

Tim, if you're reading this, I have a great idea for you at the end of this review. No sarcasm, no snark.

DISCLAIMER: I am a Tim Ferriss apologist. I've listened to almost every episode of his podcast. Own his books. Have been following him since 4 Hour Work Week came out.

Tim's podcast has rewired my brain. My life is measurably better because of what I've learned. Literally. I have hereditary cholesterol problems and my forays into a ketogenic lifestyle dropped my particle count from ~1950 to ~1225. There are many other great things that have come as a result of my exposure to Tim's podcast, too many to list here.

When he announced TOOLS OF TITANS, I was ecstatic. I pre-ordered this book in September.

I'm sad to say that I'm non-plussed, borderline disappointed.

On one hand, I love having a "totem" of something that has changed my life so profoundly. To that end, I am happy to own the book.

On the other hand, it does not deliver on its promise. This is supposedly a "recipe book" (according to page xvi in the Foreword).

It is no such thing.

If I want to bake an apple pie, I go to the Table of Contents, I look up apple pie, I turn to that page.

You cannot do that in this book.

Tim has amazing things to say about meditation. A few guests on his podcast have amazing things to say about meditation (Sam Harris, Naval Ravikant, Kevin Rose, etc.).

But there is no central place to which you can turn to find out the collected wisdom of the many guests who have delved into this topic.

The same goes for investing. The same goes for particular health hacks.

In fact, there's not even one central place in the book that gives a list of the commonalities between the guests. That's a HUGE missed opportunity.


Make a second edition. Soon. It doesn't even have to add new content. Just tighten this up and make it so that you can read about certain topics in a centralized place. If there are parts that don't fit, maybe have an author section at the back... but, dang.


Millionaires become millionaires (in part) because they've learned to say "no." They have the discipline to turn down the good, so that they can pursue (and achieve) the great.

This book is just too too too much good. It doesn't tell you what is great. It will leave you chasing dozens upon dozens of random tactics and thoughts in a dozen different fields.

It might teach the tactics and routines and habits of world-class performers, but there's FAR TOO MUCH here to make it valuable in showing YOU how to achieve those heights. And, if there is ONE person that you could model to become like them in their field... there is FAR TOO LITTLE here to actually help you on your way.
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super hopeful, but left disapointed
by Chris (2 out of 5 stars)
March 18, 2017

The idea was a good one. Tim has spent thousands of hours interviewing top performers in every category and industry. So sit down and distill the collective wisdom into a book -- seems like a great idea, right?

But all in all, it's too superficial -- it's divided up by person, not by topic, so you get 2 pages of distilled wisdom from each performer, but without the full context, the advice loses almost all its power.

I imagine this was AMAZING for Tim to write -- he said he took a month off and spent all his time going through all his interview notes and condensing the most important parts from each interview. But Tim met the people, knows their accomplishments, and spent time talking to them. How much of that power is supposed to convey in 2 pages if I don't even know who the expert is?

For Tim, this book is probably the ultimate summary and reminder of all the powerful stuff his interviewees have told him. But for readers, it's little more than a disparate mishmash of "I did this for X result and that for Y result" over and over again.
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Some good tidbits, but mostly an homage to workaholism and perfectionism and other afflictions
by Keifer (3 out of 5 stars)
November 5, 2018

I like the D'Agostino profile, the chapters on psychedelics, few other profiles and tidbits, and some of Ferriss' sleep hacks and routines. But it's largely an homage to workaholism, perfectionism, hyper-ambition, aggressive careerism, wealth chasing, and incessant striving. Lot of n=1 advice being dispensed as universal truth, just because the dispenser is "successful". And not sure you want advice from people who stay up till 1am looking at a computer, or go to the gym late at night, or compulsively start companies, or make exercise into some monstrous project. The breadth of info is a feature of the book, but also a detriment... it's info overload and exhausting even thinking about trying to assimilate so much. What happened to living simply? It also seems to be a major vanity project for Ferriss. It is enjoyable to browse though, and i like the lists at the end, and the book feels good in the hand and is an appealing object.
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Thanks Tim
by DickensRocks (5 out of 5 stars)
December 18, 2016

This is the first Tim Ferriss book I've actually read, after listening to Tim Tim Talk Talk for about a year now. As I sit down to write this, I'm finding it quite difficult to express exactly how I feel about the book, and what Ferriss ultimately represents. I found his podcast at a very difficult time in my life, where I was searching for a way out of a seemingly hopeless situation. At about 3 am, I stumbled upon Tim Ferriss. Since then, my life has changed dramatically. The content in this book is incredibly helpful not only in terms of the actual information, but what the information represents. It proves to the reader that those Billionaires, Icons, and legends are just people. They all had difficult child hoods, periods of massive failure, and times where they felt hopeless. They made it from there to the top simply by doing what works, and ignoring what doesn't, day after day after day. If I could, I'd distribute this book to every person on earth. Not because each person needs a chillipad, or exogenous ketones or whatever, but because each person needs to realize that the future is malleable, and daily habits are the paint by which we create our destiny. There are no secrets, or hacks, or tactics reserved for the special elite. It's all right here, in this book. Its simply a matter of applying what will help you, ignoring what won't, and taking advice only from those who have a life you'd like to emulate.

So thanks Tim. Please continue with what you're doing. I have a suspicion that in twenty years, there will be a lot of people who will cite this book and podcast as the thing that turned their life around. Be happy about that. It all really does make a difference.
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How to read this book
by Josh Haroldson (5 out of 5 stars)
December 9, 2016

The best thing I can say about Tim Ferriss is that he's introduced me to an incredible group of people that have changed my life. These people are world class performers that look at their skills, the world, and their lives in deeply contemplative, humble, and surprising ways.

And that's how you should read this book. Look at it as a phone book of introductions to Titans.

In each section, "Healthy", "Wealthy", and "Wise", you'll get questions to ask yourself and a path to head down. You won't necessarily get the full plan, but you'll get the questions and the direction to go.

Again, this is not a manual, but a phone book and a map. Use it accordingly to your advantage.
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A treasure trove of information and insight
by Stephen M. Fragale (5 out of 5 stars)
October 4, 2018

I have previously read two of Tim's other books, The Four Hour Chef, and Tribe of Mentors, but in both I came away a little disappointed. I decided to give Tools of Titans a try anyway and am sure glad I did! In some ways Titans is very similar to Tribe of Mentors, but I felt like in Tribe of Mentors it got too repetitive and lacked depth and insight. Titans has it all and more. The interviews with all the great leaders and achievers are all great but I also found the personal information that Tim added invaluable as well. There is so much good information here that I anticipate going back and reading sections over and over. I think a lot of the personal information that was added with Titans has made the book feel more intimate and appealing, whereas for me Mentors almost came off as cold and detached.

If anyone wants to know how ultra successful people have achieved their success this is the book for you! It's fascinating seeing the similar habits that world class performers have used and how anyone can incorporate these habits into his or her own life. This isn't a book to plow through in a few weeks, rather it's a book to savor and read slowly and to absorb the vast amounts of information and insights that it contains.
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by Josh Rogers (5 out of 5 stars)
February 7, 2017

I would count myself as one of Tim's original "raving 1000 fans" but that does not compromise my objectivity. Having studied philosophy and the Great Books at St. John's College and then later becoming an entrepreneur in the financial services business, I feel have a unique perspective to confidently say that Tim Ferriss is the closest thing to the Montaigne of our age. This book, more than his others, exhibits the broad range of Tim's interests and insights. It shows that he is becoming more philosophical about what it means to live a well lived life. He is getting a little older, and for sure a lot wiser. His tone in this book reflects a little more softness and perhaps even artistic approach to life. His hard edges of the past are filed down by his interviews with the likes of Maria Popova and Sam Harris. Don't be deterred by the physical size of the book, it is written in an extremely readable manner that allows you to breeze through it quite fast. The salient notes that he has taken from his interviews of world class performers had be underlining and dog earring almost every page. I took 10 pages of notes myself on Evernote while reading this book it was so incredibly helpful and insightful. This book will change your life for the substantially better. Not reading this book would be the equivalent of actively choosing ignorance over enlightenment. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Tim deserves all good fortune that flows to him because he has given so much knowledge to so many. I wish him nothing but prosperity and to keep sharing and teaching.
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Good, but lacking in simplicity
by Mark Blasini (3 out of 5 stars)
February 6, 2017

I love Tim Ferriss' books. But the over-organization of this one, filled with seemingly random information that, according to the author, was very important, was overwhelming. In Ferriss' other books, simplicity was the driving force (consider principles like DEAL, "30 (grams of protein) in 30 (minutes of waking up," or "DiSSS and CaFE"). However, in Tools of Titans, it seemed that Tim was so excited about the little gems he was getting from his interviews that emphasis on simplifying these ideas to principles for use for a specific goal or set of goals was, in my opinion, missing. My opinion may change as I come back to the book, but my general sense was that there were a lot of really good and inspiring ideas, but with not a lot of clarity on to what I would apply them. As a result, I feel like I had to do a lot of the heavy-lifting in this book to figure out how to apply all this stuff. Of course, a lot of the interviewers were very fascinating and I learned a lot, philosophically, about how to approach life differently, so I did get some valuable insight from the book. But in the end, I think I'd rather a guide than a vast, super-powered toolbox.
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Something brilliant in it's uniqueness and special in it's value
by steph (4 out of 5 stars)
January 18, 2017

This is a classic Tim Ferriss book.

Something brilliant in it's uniqueness and special in it's value.

I didn't think much of it when I first heard about it.

However as Christmas rolled around, I started to recommend this book. I didn't even read it but I knew it would be a good coffee table book at the very least. Turn a page, find something special.

I suggested it so much, my wife bought it for me.

It immediately inspired me in Arnold's Introduction - which you can Google for free "I am not a self-made man".

Now, this is not a book you may want to read page after page. You may find some chapters you find boring.

I made it a habit to read those chapters too. If you don't know, each chapter is about one of his Podcast guests (and Tim has had some amazing guests). These are the chapters in which I skipped during it's Podcast episode airing, not relating enough to the guest. But the small chapters he has on all of them is a great way to get the "cliffnotes" of the guest, their story, their life routines.

I am also doing what I think everyone who reads this should...

Place the micro post its on any page you find of true value, something you may want to go back to in the future.

So far I have done this on every other page haha.

How to Make The Keto Ice Cream - Gotta try that this month!

Summaries on how to use and do Keto - Interested in as an athlete!

Charles Poliquin's views on weight loss - Legende!


So far I am still on the Health Section.

I like taking my time with this book. I feel NO need to continue or finish - I stop and go all week. sometimes all day.

I cant rate this a 5 though. Its not perfect, esp. for me! But thats all relative.

I would love to give this a 4.5 though.

Oh well.

Tim, keep up the unique work!
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Valuable but lacks sttucture
by Anthony L. Butler (3 out of 5 stars)
December 9, 2016

In Tools of Titans, Tim grabbed some of the best of his podcast and moved it into print. But the content is missing real structure and is mixed with silly nonsense that is meant to be funny but misses the mark such as favorite spirit animals and his useless billboard question. There are some golden nuggets in here and they are worth going after, I just had to work a little harder than I wanted. It was worth the price especially after 200+free episodes of the podcast which I enjoy every week.

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