How awesome would it be, to be able to speak one on one with some of the most successful and well-respected people in their field and be able to get advice directly from them? You could get all of the tips relating to health, wealth, and happiness from the elite in society. Well that is exactly what Tim Ferris has done and he has documented them all in his book “Tools of Titans”. So, what can we learn from this book?
You can gain the perspective and the drive you need to succeed
A lot of people will tell you that hard work will bring you success. But this is not really true. There are plenty of people who work hard and try their best, but they don’t necessarily achieve success. Drive has actually been identified as the leading indicator of success. It’s no surprise when you look at people who are successful, many have had very tragic upbringings that have fuelled their passion to succeed. But can you teach drive to a privileged kid? It turns out you can. The book tells us of a story of a successful investor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area whose parents did just that. When he was young, his summer was broken in to two halves. The first part he would go and intern for a relative who worked with members of congress and he sat in all of those high-powered meetings from the age of 12. The rest of the summer was spent cleaning septic tanks, cleaning excrement and so on. This put a very clear difference into the mind of the kid. Which path did they want to take, and how much were they willing to sacrifice to achieve? The person was very clear that they never wanted to clean septic tanks ever again and forged a life where neither him, nor his family would ever have to.
Success is the result of long term planning
Imagine that you wanted to be a world class photographer, you will dream of taking the perfect photo and selling it for millions. But this is not how success works. When everyone thinks about success, they think about the short-term goal at the end. Taking a photo to sell. But success is built upon a long-term process. If you picked up a camera today and started taking pictures of leaves in your garden, are you going to become successful? Probably not. Its likely no one is going to pay you for them or offer to feature you in an exhibit. But this is what is necessary for success. You need to start small and build the skills you need to achieve your goal in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years’ time. You would have to start by taking pictures of some leaves. Eventually become good enough to take some photos for a website or wedding. Then maybe larger and more prestigious opportunities. It is a long-term journey that takes years of effort and planning. The same lesson applies in pretty much any field, but most people do not understand this and focus on the short term.
Ignoring peer pressure is a key to success
Very often, you need to develop an immunity to peer pressure in order to achieve success. The book tells the story of an Olympic snowboarding champion who competed in an international event when he was 15. The night before the event, all the athletes went out and partied. The athletes all agreed as they were hungover, they would just split the prize money and not take the competition seriously. The younger athlete refused to go along with this, took it seriously, won the $50k prize and put himself on the path to Olympic success. The other athletes were furious with him, but if he had not gone against them, something not easy for a 15 year old surrounded by the stars of his sport to do, no one would have ever heard who he was. He is now one of the most marketable athletes in America.