Tim’s new book, to a climber seeking out new challenging peaks to conquer, is like discovering some mystical elf on some craggy outcropping while attempting a difficult summit. This strange creature whispers for you to follow him, and something inside you tells you to do exactly this. He rounds a jagged death drop of a corner, you take a peek, and he grinningly points to the real mountains you should be climbing. “Those are the right mountains, there!” he points. It dawns on you that while the range he points to is on your path, it would have taken you years to get there, because of all the mountains you’d have to climb in-between. Now you can just pack up and go direct.
Only in this case, the mountains represent your life, and the climber is the seeker inside of you.
Some of you are reading this and saying, “What the hell is Brandon doing getting off talking about elves?”, I’ll tell you why. I played Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) as a kid, and it was probably one of the best things I did to foster and carry creativity into adulthood.
Note: Contrary to my Christian grandmother’s advice to my mother, it did not send me on a path straight to Hell. And bless my mother’s heart for secretly buying me D&D game modules with Grandma’s Christmas money. She swore me to secrecy of course. I love my mom for that.
Back to my review.
There are no hacks in life, like Jocko says, you just have to put in the hard fucking work. Funny side note, Jocko and I were neighbors in San Diego for a while. I don’t think he was a big fan of Team Guys writing books when he was on active duty but, like Tim Ferris talks about on his own podcast, perspectives often change, especially once you’re out of the military. I see opinions shift quite a bit with a lot of the guys that transition to civilian life. Jocko’s gone on to stand up a great podcast, and has a bestselling book now.
Knowing where to focus your efforts is the gift usually passed down from the mentor to the seeker. It saves precious time. This is the gift Tim Ferris gives us all with Tools of Titans. This book saves your time, and one thing I’ve learned having lost so many friends and SEAL teammates since 9-11, is that time is our most valuable resource. My friends who know me well, know that I don’t suffer fools who waste my time or theirs. I call them Time Bandits, and I can seem them coming a mile away.
Ever since I saw the power of positive psychology (we focused on self-talk, and positive teaching methods vs. negative) transform a 30% failure rate to 0% failure at my time teaching as the Naval Special Warfare sniper course manager; I’ve been a seeker in both my business, and personal life.
Tim’s book is something to be treasured for a lifetime; the real tragedy is that only a fraction of people will climb the mountain. Too many people today want a shortcut, or the easy way and there’s no easy way to becoming an expert. I saw this years ago as a young twenty-three-year-old, when 220 of my SEAL classmates turned into 23 graduates six months later. When SEAL graduates couldn’t cut it at a SEAL team by putting in the hard work to master the basics of the trade (they were sent back to the fleet Navy). And I see it every day in the business world as a digital media entrepreneur; people know what to do but just don’t fucking do it. Don’t get me started on follow-up either, I could go on for days…
Tools of Titans is not a book I will read, and then just give away. No fucking way! It’s a book I’ll keep to myself. It’s my new performance bible on health, wealthiness, and wisdom.
It is a book, you buy again, and again, gifting it to the right people you care about. I just bought over 30 copies on Amazon to give away to the people I care about most.
Special thank you to my best friend Kamal Ravikant (check out his new book Rebirth it’s our January book club selection) for getting me an early copy to review, and thank you to Tim for writing it.