Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Of Tools of Titans

I'm reading Tim Ferris's "Tools of Titans" at the moment and plan to share my learning via a number of blogs in the coming weeks.
For anyone unfamiliar with Ferris he is in his own words a human guinea pig. He tests out all sorts of ideas and theories on himself from how to get a six pack, to how to learn a language quickly, right through to how to avoid depression and remain motivated to get the most from each day.
His first book was the 4Hour Work Week and proved a seminal work and an international bestseller. Many bestsellers later he has published this year "Tools of Titans" which he claims is his best book to date. I agree.

His fame and success from book 1 has opened up all sorts of opportunities for Ferris. It's clear that he now has access to more or less anyone he wants to interview so the tips in this book really do come from those at the top.

Here are my top five learning points to date :

1. "Busy" means "Out of control"- Here it is straight from the book :

Every time people contact me, they say, “Look, I know you must be incredibly busy…” and I always think, “No, I’m not. Because I’m in control of my time. I’m on top of it. Busy to me seems to imply out of control.
TF Lack of time is lack of priorities. If I’m busy it is because I’ve made choices that put me in that position so I've forbidden myself to reply to “How are you?” with “Busy”. I have no right to complain. Instead, if I’m too busy, it’s a cue to re-examine my systems and rules.

2."Busy" Part II. Here it is straight from the book again :

In fact, you need just one rule : What you do is more important than how you do everything else, and doing something well does not make it important.

If you consistently feel the counterproductive need for volume and doing lots of stuff, put them on a Post-it note :

Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions

3.Everyone is interesting. If you’re ever bored in a conversation, the problem’s with you, not the other person

I'm trying to practise this. I get what he is saying here but very occasionally and particularly when a person is talking at me, about himself and about one thing at length I question this advice.

4.Getting into your Body Everyday

It's clear Ferris believes there's an art to getting into your body every day. He calls its priming. Get it right and you set yourself up to maximise your day.
A few techniques he mentions include :

# Cold water plunge cold shower 30 to 60 seconds
# Breathing exercises
# “Breath Walking”
# Ten minutes “meditation”

This consists of three sections :

First part – feeling totally grateful for three things, such as the wind on my face, the clouds I’ve just seen. I don’t just think gratitude I let gratitude fill my soul. Because when you’re grateful there’s no anger. It’s impossible to be angry and grateful at the same time and there’s no fear.

Second part – Total focus on feeling the presence of God, however, you want to language that for yourself. Feel the inner presence coming in healing everything in my body, in my mind, in my emotions, my relationships, my finances. I experience the strengthening of my gratitude of my conviction of my passion

Third Part - Focusing on three things that I’m going to make happen, my three to thrive”. See it as though it’s already been done, feel the emotions etc…
And as I’ve said always there’s no excuse not to do 10 minutes. If you don’t have ten minutes you don’t have a life

5. Journaling/Writing

Morning pages he claims are “spiritual windshield wipers”. Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes”.

Even if you consider yourself a terrible writer, writing can be viewed as a tool. There are huge benefits to writing, even if no-one including yourself ever reads what you write. In other words the process matters more than the product.

Top stuff Tim. Top stuff.

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