Book Review – A Milestone Work in the Self Help Literature – Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

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Last year, while surfing the net looking for inspiration and productivity tools, I found about Tools of Titans – the book by Tim Ferriss. For the past decade I’;ve been reading massive amounts of self improvement literature, so the average promotional copy of a new book does not impress me that much. However, this one did!

It is marketed as an ultimate Everest of self help tools. I read the sample chapter on the author’;s website, then purchased a paperback copy. I was so anxious for it to arrive – I even waited 3 weeks for long distance delivery, checking every 3 days with the library if they received it. In the expectation, I felt like my life would be upgraded with every page I will read.

Well, why so much anxiety and these many expectations?

This is a near 700 pages tome! The author – a bestselling author, avid reader and very disciplined experimenter himself – has gathered condensed information from his interviews with billionaires, athletes, best selling authors and various experts in their fields.

Right at the beginning of describing it thoroughly, let me tell you this: I believe this is one of the most comprehensive books in the field of self help, and I’;ve read tens (if not more than one hundred books!)

What’;s great about it?

First of all, the structure! The navigation, indexing and grouping of topics and interviewees is one of the best I’;ve encountered so far! The book is split into three parts: Wealthy, Healthy and Wise; This way, you can read directly something in the field that is most appealing to you at the moment! Then, there is also an index by authors (of course, in alphabetical order). If you absolutely love, say … Tony Robbins, you can jump directly to the chapter with him, and be sure that you will not miss a word; the discussion with him is not spread among the various parts of the book.

Secondly, the people. This is a summary of the best advice, routines, tips and tactics of more than one hundred successful people! It’;s like you would read the summary of 100 different books (assuming all of them would write a book to share their wisdom); Some of them did; for example, Seth Godin and Paulo Coelho are world revered writers, and they are also featured

Third, the content itself! Tim Ferriss has asked most of them a standard set of questions, while interviewing for the podcasts. This way, most guests answer the same question. It’;s very enriching to read the answer from so many perspectives. For example: "What’;s your advice to your younger self?" or "What’;s your favorite documentary?" and, as an avid reader, of course I highlighted tens of titles, for the question: "Which is your most gifted book?"

On the other side, I thought what is it that I would find as a downside to this book. The price seems reasonable to me (I paid around $ 20); When I think about the value of the content, I’;m not even bothered by the 700 pages length. And given the fact that the author has clearly set the expectation that the book is skimming the best of the content in his interviews, I can not judge for lack of depth and wide coverage with one interviewee only.

This being said, I would add only that: Tools of Titans is the only book I’;ve read and does not rest in my library, but near my desk; it is at arm’;s length and I frequently go through it and look for inspiration. This is why I’;ve said it’;s one of the most comprehensive books in the self help literature – I find remarkable value in it, by having the wisdom of nearly 100 successful people at my fingertips.

In the end, I recommend this as a lecture to begin when traveling for a longer time, a 2+ hour train ride or airplane flight – you will arrive refreshed, for sure. The next book by Tim Ferriss has been released and I look forward to seeing what is new and how this valuable work has been expanded – I’;ll be covering that and sharing it with you as well.