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Talking With Titans

A visit with Tim Ferriss reveals the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers

If you’re going to succeed in anything, if you’re going to take your life to another level and make a real breakthrough, then you need strategies. Whether it is in your relationship, your career, your health, your finances, your happiness – you need to know how to make the shift. Tony Robbins has spent the majority of his life looking for the strategies that bring the quickest results in the shortest amount of time with the most enjoyment and the least amount of pain. And one of the most powerful strategies he has discovered is modeling.

Success leaves clues. If someone is consistently successful, they aren’t just lucky, they have a strategy that works. And if you study them, you can figure out what it is, and you can learn and adopt their patterns and save yourself decades of trial and error. This is the key to unlocking an extraordinary life.

This modeling strategy is so powerful, that it has become the lifeblood of some of the most accomplished people in the world, including Tim Ferriss. Tim has been listed as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People,” one of Forbes’ “Names You Need to Know,” and one of Fortune’s “40 under 40.” He is an early-stage technology investor and advisor (for Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo and Alibaba) as well as the author of three #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers: The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. His podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, has exceeded 100 million downloads, was selected for “Best of iTunes in 2015” and helped set the stage for his latest book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers.

Tools of Titans contains the “distilled tools, tactics and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met” – from their morning/evening rituals, daily habits and workout regimens to their core beliefs, values and perspectives. Yet Tim doesn’t merely relay the information – he has taken it, vetted, explored and experimented with it in various situations to yield this 600+ page tome full of high-leverage tools that could completely change your life.

In this episode with Tim Ferriss, Tony and Mary B. speak with Tim about the evolution of this book and what Tim has discovered about himself during the process. They hammer down on the power of asking better questions, mastering your key strengths and shedding your limiting beliefs. They examine pattern recognition, internal synthesis and the processes of building physical and mental strength. They explore some of the greatest tips, tools and tactics Tim has learned from masters like Peter Thiel, Chris Sacca, Dr. BJ Miller and Peter Diamandis. And finally, they have a candid conversation about coping with the darker periods of life, and how Tim’s perspective on his life’s mission has changed over the years.

Listen on iTunes

Tim Ferriss Podcast

Tim Ferriss Podcast Show Notes

[1:00] Tony Robbins & Mary B. introduce Tim Ferriss
[3:00] Hello Tim!
[3:20] What’s the genesis of Tim Ferriss? Where did this human guinea pig come from?
[4:20] Leaders are readers
[5:40] Runt wrestling
[6:00] Weight Cutting 178 to 152 twice a week
[7:30] Princeton bound
[8:15] OCD: physical or mental, it’s all the same machine
[8:30] Tony: We’re all grateful for the crazy
[8:50] Tim Ferriss: Undergrads, immunity bracelets, deadlines, disappointment, and suicide
[15:00] Ivy League libraries and Mom’s mailing address grace
[16:00] Suicide is …
[17:00] Mind over body became BODY over MIND
[18:30] A collection of stories (A.K.A. Nonsense), Darkness, Kittens & Rainbows
[19:45] Tim Ferriss: The most important thing I’ve ever written
[20:25] Tony Robbins on running ‘til you puke, recovering from mistakes, and consequences
[21:06] We’re all flawed creatures
[21:25] The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions.
[22:10] Tim Ferriss on assumptions, worst case scenarios, and the lies we tell ourselves
[22:35] My first job, cold calling, trial-and-error secret hacks, and sales closers
[23:50] Facebook’s first investor Peter Thiel thinks you can accomplish a 10-yr plan in 6 months
[24:15] Absurd notions, breaking the framework, and Peter Diamandis
[25:24] The second skill Tim takes with him everywhere
[26:30] Tony on Tim’s 2 master skill-sets, obsessive certainty and creating patterns
[27:55] Tim Ferriss had “given up on writing books” until the ultimate Cliffs Notes,Tools of Titans
[29:00] Mary B. tells the secret quirks of Tony Robbins and Tim Ferris (Hint: Notebooks, Moleskine journals, tablecloths, closet walls, etc.)
[32:15] Healthy, Wealthy, Wise = Tools of Titans = sequels to Four Hours Workweek, Body, Chef
[33:00] Misinterpretations of Tim Ferriss, and Mary B. probes personal evolution in public forum
[35:10] “Constant Low-Grade Anxiety” and “Plant Medicines”
[36:10] Achievement & Appreciation. “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”
[37:35] Crazy-Ass Over-Achievers and Mindfulness
[38:00] Robin Williams
[39:06] Woo-Woo, Appreciation, Didgeridoos, Crystals, Meditation and Northern California
[40:30] Repetition is the mother of skill; practice gratitude
[42:00] Tony and Tim have interviewed the greats, here’s what surprised them
[43:00] Sleep, Rick Rubin, Kelly Starrett, Navy Seals, morning people, and sharing a bed
[45:00] The pre-bedtime cocktail Tim Ferriss swears by (the “elephant tranquilizer dart”)
[46:00] Patterns that help induce flow and Tim’s soundtrack of excellence
[46:45] One of Tim’s most surprising interviews – Dr. BJ Miller
[48:50] The beauty of purposelessness
[50:15] What brings people out of funks – the small things
[51:00] The similar patterns of Dr. BJ Miller and Ed Cook – star therapy
[51:30] Gaining perspective through star therapy
[53:40] Pick a game you can win
[54:00] Analytical, informational, behavioral and structural advantages
[54:15] Why Warren Buffet has an advantage
[55:00] Incorporating a structural advantage to your finances
[55:55] Ray Dahlio’s use of red-teaming: how to disrupt and destroy your company
[56:20] Creating a portion of a team whose job it is to destroy your company
[57:00] The difference in speech patterns between the financially successful and everyone else
[57:40] Capping the downside and minimizing risk
[58:15] Don’t be afraid to try what you’re not qualified to do
[58:20] Watching Chris Sacca’s journey
[58:50] Chris Sacca in executive Google meetings
[59:15] People’s expectations can change depending on your actions
[59:45] “If I always did what I was qualified to do, I’d be pushing a broom somewhere.”
[1:00:30] Organizing your life by asymmetrical risk
[1:01:15] The value of Tim’s podcast
[1:02:40] Tim’s upcoming television show “Fear Less”
[1:03:00] What the future looks like for Tim
[1:03:25] Shifting focus to 6 to 12 month projects and to upholding values
[1:05:00] Tony’s influence on Tim
[1:05:05] Why the future is wide open for Tim
[1:06:30] What does Tim do for pure joy?
[1:06:50] Embracing absurdity
[1:08:19] Releasing absurd content to see reactions
[1:09:00] The relevance of trickster gods
[1:09:50] Learn to be more open to the possibilities and seize the opportunities that come along
[1:10:50] Who is Tim Ferriss at his core?
[1:11:20] Creating a benevolent army that is made up of creative problem solvers
[1:12:00] Where you can find Tools of Titans

Asking the right questions

In this Tim Ferriss interview, Ferriss talks a lot about the power of asking better questions. Are you asking the right questions in your life – both of other people and yourself? Asking good questions is key to identifying what you really want out of life and being honest about your own tendencies to hold yourself back. To learn how to ask better questions, get an outside perspective so you can challenge yourself to think in new and different ways. This is also where working with a business or life coach comes in very useful. When you learn how to ask thought-provoking questions such as “What is something I can do to add value to the world today?” and “What do I value most in my life?” you can deepen your understanding of yourself and others and form better connections.

Developing empowering beliefs

This episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast with Tim Ferriss brings up some interesting ideas on limiting beliefs and the stories we tell ourselves about our abilities and talents. Ferriss states in the interview that if he only ever did what he was qualified to do, he’d still be pushing a broom. Instead, he developed empowering beliefs that he could accomplish anything he set his mind to, no matter what skill set or knowledge he was lacking. What stories are you telling yourself that lead to limits? Do you feel you don’t have enough time, education, knowledge or talent to accomplish a certain goal? Do you believe you’ll always be poor or overweight because it runs in the family? Examine those beliefs and replace limiting ones with the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. This helps you turn obstacles into opportunities and shows you that life is happening for you, not to you.

You can find a number of other tips in this Tim Ferriss interview and in his book, Tools of Titans.

Further reading

Mindfulness beyond mediation – Ken Wilber combines ancient practices with modern psychology to help you take the next level in all aspects of your being.

The no.1 secret to fulfilling work – There is a vast difference between work, career and mission. If you find a mission, you’ll devote more energy to it since it’s building toward a greater purpose.

Grow and give – Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. Learn how to find what fulfills you and the importance of achieving growth.

Team Tony

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