Books,  Excerpts

Excerpts from “Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers” by Tim Ferriss

About a year back I stumbled on this book, bought it then, but got to reading it recently, completed it a couple of days back. Absolutely a brilliant book, a must read for different perspectives in life! I read this book little differently than usual, I read only a few pages at a time, because there are many profound thoughts in these pages, it took a while to digest them before moving on. The book is 672 pages long, but did not feel like it was such a long book! I now follow all Titans on Twitter, whose account is mentioned in the book 🙂 This excerpt is no justice to the thoughts captured in the book, these are some thoughts that struck a chord with me, every single page had something in it for me. It was super fun to see many books that I have already read or are in my list to read, mentioned in this book by many Titans as most impactful or influential books.

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[Page xxi] “The habit of listening to single songs on repeat for focus”.

Talking about “What do they (all Titans interviewed by Tim) have in common?”

Was 🙂 while reading the above line!

[xxii] Humans are imperfect creatures. You don’t “succeed” because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strength and focus on developing a habit around them.

[177] I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.

[179] “In negotiation, he who cares the least wins.”

[181] When deal-making, ask yourself: Can I trade a short-term, incremental again for a potential longer-term, game-changing upside?

Arnold Schwarrzenegger

[233] “I don’t like talking in terms of tech ‘trends’ because I think, once you have a trend, you have many people doing it. And once you have many people doing something, you have lots of competition and little differentiation. You, generally, never want to be part of popular trend.”

[235] So I think, every day, it’s something to reflect on and think about “How’d I become less competitive in order that I can become more successful?”

Peter Thiel

[333] This week, try experimenting with saying “I don’t understand. Can you explain that to me?” more often.

By B J Miller in “The Miracle of a Snowball” section

[407] I think the paradox is that accepting the requests you receive is at the expense of the quality of the very work — the reason for those requests in the first place — and that’s what you always have to protect

Maria Popova
By Maria Popova

[413] “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.”

Frank Kafka, mentioned by Jocko Willink

[441] You can tell the true character of a man by how his dog and his kids react to him.

Shay Carl

[462] “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Anais Nin, mentioned by Caroline Paul

[471] “The Zen mantra is ‘Sig, sig. Walk, walk. Don’t wobble.’ It’s this idea that when I’m with a person, that’s total priority. Anything else is multi-tasking.”

Kevin Kelly

[471] In a world of distraction, single-tasking is a superpower.


[479] And I think ultimately, sometimes when we judge other people, it’s just a way to not look at ourselves; a way to feel superior or sanctimonious or whatever. ?My trauma therapist said every time you meet someone, just in your head say, ‘I love you’ before you have a conversation whit them, and that conversation is going to go a lot better.

Whitney Cummings

[489] Don’t panic. Let the silence do the work.

“Listening is about being present, not just being quiet.” ~ Krista Tippett

[511] The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

Paulo Coelho

[534] #1 – It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do.

#2 – 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it and treat it as math.


[543] Cynicism is a disease that robs people of the gift of life.

[544] So I would just say ‘Believe in yourself more deeply. You’re bigger than that. Dream bigger,’ I would say.”

[544] “Be yourself, Everyone else is taken”

Rainn Wilson

[551] What you choose to work on, and who you choose to work with are far more important than how hard you work.

Naval Ravikant

[565] Richard Betts.

[581] It’s such a beautiful and critical principle, and most people think they can wait around for the big moments to turn it on. But if you don’t cultivate ‘turning it on’ as a way of life in the little moments — and there are hundreds of times more little moments than big — then there’s no chance in the big moments… I believe that when you’re not cultivating quality, you’re essentially cultivating sloppiness.

Josh Waitzkin

[594] Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain
Former speaker of U.S. House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich. “Am I hunting antelope or field mice?”

[642] “You must want to be a butterfly so badly, you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

Sekou Andrews
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Professor @ IIIT Hyderabad