The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of World-Class Performers | Derek Sivers, BJ Miller, and Christopher Sommer on Tools of Titans

Check out the Tools of Titans Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Commonalities between Tim’s guests
    • More than 80% of guests have some form of daily mindfulness or meditation practice
    • Many male guests, over 45, never eat breakfast
    • Many use the ChiliPad device at bedtime (Use code PODCASTNOTES25 for 25% Off a ChiliPad or PODCASTNOTES15 for 15% off an OOLER)
    • They love reading (a few popular picks: Sapiens, Poor Charlie’s Almananck, Influence, Man’s Search for Meaning) 
    • They listen to single songs on repeat for focus
    • They have a belief that failure is not durable
  • A lot of successful individuals have a ton of flaws, but they maximized one or two of their strengths to the fullest 
  • “When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say ‘yes’ to everything. Every little gig. You just never know what are the lottery tickets.” – Derek Sivers
  • Question your “I cant’s”
    • BJ has three limbs that have been damaged but he loves riding motorcycles so he had a custom motorcycle built for him
      • What are some excuses you tell yourself that are holding you back from doing something you love?
  • “If you want to be a stud later, you have to be a pud now” Christopher Sommer
  • When it comes to working out: Consistency > Intensity
    • Certain adaptations take weeks or months of constant stimuli
      • “If you rush, the reward is injuries” – Christopher Sommer

Intro

  • Derek Sivers (@sivers) is a writer, entrepreneur & musician. Check out Derek’s Website
  • BJ Miller (@zenhospice) is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, where he thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients
  • Christopher Sommer (@GymnasticBodies) is a former US national team gymnastics coach
  • Host: Tim Ferriss (@tferriss

Books Mentioned

Book Introduction

  • Tim is a compulsive note-taker, he has roughly 8 feet of shelf space occupied by notebooks
    • “My goal is to learn things once and use them forever” – Tim Ferriss
  • For his book Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, Tim reviewed all of the lessons he had learned from 200 world-class performers
  • A good question to ask yourself: If you have a 10-year plan of how to get somewhere, why can’t you do it in 6 months? (Inspired by Peter Thiel)
  • Commonalities between Tim’s guests
    • Over 80% of guests have some form of daily mindfulness or meditation practice
    • Many male guests, over 45, never eat breakfast
    • Many use the ChiliPad device at bedtime
    • They love reading (a few popular picks: Sapiens, Poor Charlie’s Almananck, Influence, Man’s Search for Meaning) 
    • They listen to single songs on repeat for focus
    • They have a belief that failure is not durable
  • A lot of successful individuals have a ton of flaws, but they maximized one or two of their strengths to the fullest

Derek Sivers

  • Derek has read, reviewed, and ranked 200+ books on his website 
  • “When you’re earlier in your career, I think the best strategy is to just say ‘yes’ to everything. Every little gig. You just never know what are the lottery tickets.” – Derek Sivers
  • “You can do everything you want to do. You just need foresight and patience.” – Derek Sivers
    • Don’t try to do everything at once, pick one thing to go after, then move onto the next thing
  • Business models can be simple and you don’t need to constantly pivot
    • Derek’s business model for CD Baby: $35 setup fee and $4 per CD sold
      • “That was my entire business model, generated in 5 minutes by walking down to the local record store and asking what they do” – Derek Sivers
  • When given an option of doing something, it should either be a: Hell yes or a No
    • “Once I started applying this, my life just opened up” – Derek Sivers
  • Busy = out of control
    • “To me, that sounds like a person who’s got no control over their life” – Derek Sivers
  • What would Derek put on a billboard?
    • “It won’t make you happy” 
      • Too many people try to buy their way to happiness, that’s the wrong path to being happy
  • “I believe you shouldn’t start a business unless people are asking you to” Derek Sivers
  • Treat life as a series of experiments
  • Derek recommends reading Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert 
    • In the book, Daniel recommends talking to a few people who are where you want to be and asking them about the pros and cons of their position
  • When you make a business, you’re making your own little world where you control the laws and culture

BJ Miller

  • What would BJ put on a billboard?
    • “Don’t believe everything you think” – BJ Miller
  • Stargazing can be therapeutic
    • “When you are struggle with just about anything, look up. Just ponder the night sky for a minute and realize that we’re all on the same planet at the same time.” – BJ Miller
  • Question your “I cant’s”
    • BJ has three limbs that have been damaged but he loves riding motorcycles so he had a custom motorcycle built for him
      • What are some excuses you tell yourself that are holding you back from doing something you love?
  • BJ’s advice to his 30-year-old self?
    • “Let it go. I do mean to take life very seriously, but I need to take things like playfulness and purposelessness very seriously” – BJ Miller
      • “This is not meant to be light, but I think I would have someone encouraged myself to let go a little bit more and hang in there and not pretend to know where this is all going. You don’t need to know where it’s all going” 

Christopher Sommer

  • “If the best in the world are stretching their asses off in order to get strong, why aren’t you?” – Christopher Sommer
  • “If you want to be a stud later, you have to be a pud now” – Christopher Sommer
    • “When in doubt, work on the deficiencies you’re most embarrassed by” 
  • Flexibility and mobility are different
    • Flexibility can be passive
    • Mobility requires that you can demonstrate strength throughout the entire range of motion 
  • When it comes to working out: Consistency > Intensity
    • Certain adaptations take weeks or months of constant stimuli
      • “If you rush, the reward is injuries” – Christopher Sommer
        • “There are stupid gymnasts, and there are old gymnasts, but there are no old, stupid gymnasts because they’re all dead”
  • 3 Movements everyone should practice:
    • J-Curl
    • Shoulder extension
    • Thoracic bridge
  • Goods goals for adults:
    • Beginner: J-curl
    • Intermediate: Straddle press handstand
    • Advanced: Stalder press handstand
  • Use the Hitachi Magic Wand to relax your hypertonic muscles
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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