Executive Performance Books - 'Tools of Titans' (Part 1: Healthy)

Tim Ferriss' 'Tools of Titans' is a summary of his podcast. The podcast is a series in which the world's most famous and wealthy people reveal the tools, tactics, and tricks that led to their success.

The book takes the very best from 110 interviews. It's safe to say there are some absolute diamonds of advice within these pages.

It is split into three parts: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.

Here are the takeaways from Part 1: Healthy

Christopher Sommer - When in doubt, work on the deficiencies you're most embarrassed by.

This requires a hit to the ego and to understand that working on weaknesses now will put you in a greater position of strength later on.

"You're not responsible for the hand of cards you were dealt. You're responsible for maxing out what you were given."

Dominic D'Agostino - Fasting can purge any precancerous cells living in your body.

If you're over the age of 40, cancer is one of the four types of diseases which will kill you with 80% certainty. Fasting is a way to reduce the risk of cancer, so it seems like a good deal. This doesn't include the many other physique, health and mental benefits.

Tim recommends a 3-day fast once per month. I'm yet to try it myself, but after reading this, may do so.

Jason Nemeth - Play! Treadmills kill your spirit.

There are much better ways to exercise than hopping on a rotating bit of rubber and running on the spot. Don't sell yourself short. Playing is a simple way to take the seriousness out of movement. It doesn't take much to drop back into the childlike wisdom of playfulness and the benefits on health and happiness are tenfold.

Charles Poliquin - Increase testosterone by decreasing cortisol.

Both hormones use the same raw materials. In times of stress, your body is wired to move towards the cortisol pathway. Take direct action to reduce stress to feel the physical and psychological boost of higher testosterone.

Pavel Tsatsouline - Calm is contagious.

As a leader, people are going to mimic your behaviour. It's a guarantee. Staying calm in situations when other are panicking is contagious. Your team will follow suit and you're more likely to handle the situation better.

Dan Engle - Floating is meditation on steroids.

Floatation tanks are a form of sensory deprivation. You float in warm salt water in a pod. You can't see or hear anything. There is zero sensory input coming into your brain and all the processes which take in that information are turned off. It's complete relaxation.

Through this, you're whole physiological system starts to recalibrate and you get a bleed over effect into everyday life. Heart rate and blood pressure normalise. Pain and metabolic issues start to resolve. Anxiety, insomnia and mental chatter start to improve.

I've tried this myself and can vouch for the feeling of relaxation. He recommends 2-3 floats in the space of a month.

Tim Ferriss - Daily practices.

How to start your morning either facilitates or hinders the next 12+ hours. Tim has asked hundreds of extremely successful people about their morning routines and came up with a few favourites.

1. Make your bed in the morning - "If you make your bed in the morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. This gives you a small sense of pride and gives you the courage to complete another, and another." Control what you can control.

2. Meditate - Whatever this means to you. Be present and focus on your thoughts coming and going.

3. Morning journal - Not a 'dear diary' type moment. Instead, a quick way to prime your day. Complete three answers to the following questions:

- I am grateful for...

- What would make today great?

- Affirmations: I am...

It brings appreciation to the present and be therapeutic to some.

Christopher Sommer - The Single Decision.

(1-minute read which may change your life)

Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations time wise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear progress.

The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.

A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, simply refuse to budge. Refuse to compromise.

And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.

Certainly celebrate the moments of triumph when they occur. More importantly, learn from defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough. And absolutely refuse to accept less than your best.

Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes.

If the commitment is to a long-term goal and not to a series of smaller intermediate goals, then only one decision needs to be made and adhered to. Clear, simple, straightforward. Much easier to maintain than having to make small decision after small decision to stay the course when dealing with each step along the way. This provides far too many opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal. The single decision is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox.

A book full of quotes and wisdoms from the world's most successful people. What's not to love?

Stay tuned for Part 2: Wealthy.

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