When I was doing the London tour last year in 2019, my guide/ photographer, while taking pictures inside Daunt Books, recommended me Tim Ferris books. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard much about Tim Ferris, but my guide was quite excited when he recommended this book. “This book has literally given me tons of information to help me in my work and mt general well being.”
So, I picked up this book, and having finished it last night, there was only thing I could say to myself: I wish this book were available to me like 15 years ago because I could have benefitted so much from all the wisdom that’s packed into these 674 pages!
Tim Ferris tells us that this book is different because he doesn’t see himself as an interviewer, but rather as an experimenter. As he talked to all these people in the book, he kept taking vigorous notes, and now those notes have been compiled into this amazing book.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by reading literally 100s of advice covering three main areas: health, wealth and wisdom. The guests have answered Tim’s questions, and they have shared what worked for them, what they eat, what they read, how they exercise and so on. I won’t be talking about the people interviewed in the book because it will take too much time.
Hs lays down two rules: (1) Skip liberally (don’t feel pressured to read everything in order- jump back and forth and pick up what appeals to you; (2) Skip, but do so intelligently (whatever you skip, come back to it and ask yourself why you skipped it in the first place?)
He also reminds of two very important things:
- Success, however you define it, is achievable if you collect the right field-tested beliefs and habits.
- The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths.
There is a ton of information; part one covers people who have shared how they keep in shape, what exercises they do, what they eat (or not eat) and daily routines. Part two covers those people have invested wisely and intelligently to be able to make money, and there are enough lessons on humility, being wise gut investing, saving money and so on. Part three is all about wisdom and how to apply it to our lives, which includes things like getting proper sleep, reading the right kind of books, asking questions and so on.
Here are some of my major takeaways from the book:
- Sleep 8 hours and get up early, before sunrise.
- Meditate/ Stretch if you can
- Have a healthy breakfast (although 40% of men in the book say they don’t have breakfast!)
- Morning routine is very important, which include making your bed.
- Keep things simple, and maintain humility
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable
- Invest smartly (read, ask experts, research)
- Experience failure
- Hard works pays off- no short cuts in life
- When asked what advice they would give to younger self, a common answer was: it’ll work out/ live your life/ experiment/ don’t be afraid
- Worst advice: follow your dreams/ follow your passions
- When asked what success is to them, a lot of people answered by taking names of individuals instead of saying something about themselves. One person very rightly said that success needs to include peace too!
This is the kind of book I wish I had when I was in college. So many life skills I could have picked up that the university classes don’t really teach. Having said that, it’s never too late, as I transition from one career to another, I found a lot of beautiful words of wisdom in this book, enough to inspire and motivate me further to take on life!