It’s been three weeks since I last published a post. I’ve been reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris since then. It’s a 600+ pages book which took me longer to finish than the previous books I’ve read. From now on, I want to put more focus on applying what I’ve learned.
If you let your learning lead to knowledge, you become a fool. If you let your learning lead to action, you become wealthy – Jim Rohn
Knowledge itself is valuable but if you don’t apply it, you can’t improve your life for the better. I’ll go over how I applied my learnings from this book and how it has had a positive impact on me.
Is that a dream or a goal? A dream is something you fantasize about that will probably never happen. A goal is something you set a plan for, work toward, and achieve – Paul Levesque (Triple H)
Most of us have heard the importance of setting goals. This is the first year which I have set resolutions for the year. It has driven me to put more focus on personal development than I had ever before. However, resolutions are things I want to accomplish for the year and don’t necessarily indicate my goals in life. I had the mindset that if I keep improving myself every day, be patient, and do the right things for me and the people around me, I’ll eventually end up where I want to be. I think this is a good mindset to have and has contributed to why I’m a positive and happy person. This previous mindset of mine will see me make improvements in life, but the improvements I made won’t necessarily lead me to become the person I want to be.
Inspired by the above quote from Paul Levesque, I have a different mindset now. If I don’t put in the work on a consistent basis for a goal of mine, then I won’t be achieving that goal. So first, I detailed the type of person I want to become:
- A person who is in a position to help many people
- A person who is an expert in his field of interest
- A great communicator
- A great leader
- Spanish speaker
- A person who is fit and has an active and healthy lifestyle
- The founder of a successful business
- A great son
- A great brother
- A good friend
Once I have this mindset and these goals in mind, I asked myself this question: “what am I currently doing to achieve these goals?”. This is in itself very motivating for me since for example, I wasn’t dedicating any time to become a great communicator and the thought of myself not becoming one led me to action. I did some research immediately and came across an Udemy course by TJ Walker
. Since then, I have dedicated at least one hour every other day to improve my communication. I have recorded myself presenting for practice and have gotten feedback from TJ Walker which I have applied to my subsequent practices. I’m still a long way away from being a great communicator but I see the work I’m putting in and the progress I’m making.
Once you have clear goals in mind, putting in the work becomes easier as you will know the reasons behind your sacrifices.
Here are the 3 tips I use to develop habits to achieve my goals:
Put in the work you can sustain on a consistent basis.
Start out small, if you think you can dedicate two hours per day, start with one hour or even 30 minutes. It’s more important to build up the habit first before you increase your commitment.
- Dedicate a block of time just to focus on what you are trying to accomplish.
One block of time without any distractions. No TV. No phones. No youtube. Put on a timer if you have to which I do. I currently dedicate 1 hour or 2-hour blocks for things I want to accomplish for the day.
- Be patient.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see immediate results. Setbacks are expected and the frustration of not improving is the reason why so many people gave up on their goals. See the big picture, put in the work consistently and you will see the results eventually.
I dedicate time every day to improve myself, but procrastination, either going on youtube or catching up on NBA rumors, is taking up too much of my time. I often find myself led by my thoughts or desires. One youtube video usually turns into three or five videos. And by the end of the day, I can’t recall spending much time on what I planned to accomplish for the day.
At least 80% of the people interviewed by Tim Ferris at his podcast
have some mindfulness practice.
My reward for meditating is getting 30% to 50% more done in a day with 50% less stress. Why? Because I have done a warmup in recovering from distraction: my morning sit. – Tim Ferriss
Recovering from distraction. This is exactly what I needed. I value the occasional breaks, but I want to be able to recover from distraction so it’s controlled procrastination instead.
You are starting your day by practicing focus when it doesn’t matter so that you can focus better later when it does matter – Tim Ferriss
I started to use the Headspace
app every morning for meditation. You don’t need an app to meditate, it just makes the process easier for me as I was never exposed to it. I have since meditated for 23 days in a row and counting and I can already see the following benefits:
- I’m more mindful and aware of my thought process.
By being mindful of my thought process and the distractions resulting from it, I am able to recover from distractions more quickly. Being distracted is often fun and relaxing and there are still times I let random thoughts lead me to procrastinate. However, distractions are taking up less and less time of my day and I’m able to recover from it much more frequently.
- I have a better idea how my body is feeling.
Part of the exercise is to scan your body. The idea is to separate your mind from your body and not let one dictate the other. By clearing my mind and paying attention to my body, I’m more attuned to how my body is feeling. Often times I don’t realize my body is aching in certain areas until my meditation session. I’m more aware of how bad posture is negatively impacting me throughout the day. You might not notice it throughout the day, but if you pay close attention and examine your body, you will realize the damage bad posture is inflicting on you.
- I learned how to be more effective when I work.
It is important to prime your state. Putting yourself in a positive mindset can affect the quality of the work you put out. A coworker and friend of mine asked me last week to meditate for 10 minutes near the end of the day. We have done it for the last two working days and it has helped me recharge and regain my focus for the remainder of each day.
If you win the morning you win the day. The idea is similar to priming your state where how you start off the day can impact your actions and mindset for the rest of your day.
This is the 5 morning rituals that Tim Ferris uses:
- Make your bed
- Meditate or mindfulness practice (10 – 20 mins)
- Do 5 to 10 reps of something
- Prepare tea
- Morning pages or 5-Minute Journal (5MJ)
I have added #2, #3, #5 to my morning ritual. For each morning, I’ll do the 5-Minute Journal, meditate for 10 minutes, do 25 pushups (increase week by week), and make my bed.
The 5MJ asks you to fill in the following in the morning:
- I’m grateful for… 1. ____ 2. ____ 3. ____
- What would make today great? 1. ____ 2. ____ 3. ____
- Daily affirmations. I am… 1. ____ 2. ____
and these questions at night:
- Amazing this that happened today… 1. ____ 2. ____ 3. ____
- How could I have made today better? 1. ____ 2. ____
It literally only takes me 5 minutes to do the journal. It is an easy habit to build up and can improve your outlook of the day. I have the habit of praying and saying thanks to what I’m grateful for when I’m in bed every night. I enjoy doing it and it helps me be more appreciative. And doing the 5MJ further expands on it as I’m giving thanks at the end as well as the start of the day now.
Whereas “I’m grateful for…” and “Amazing things that happened today…” impacts my mindset, “What would make today great?” and “How could I have made today better?” impacts my actions throughout the day. It’s amazing how simply stating out “what would make today great” will make you conscious throughout the day on what you want to achieve and prioritize. This has helped me become more productive and often times one of the things I’ll write down is “Dedicate X hours to do _____”.
“How could I have made today better?” on the other hand helps me reflect on the day. I’ll see which of the to-do that I set out for the day is not accomplished and what is the reason behind it. Sometimes I’ll write down things such as “Spend more time with a friend or family” if I feel like I’m too focused on improving myself and not spending enough time for the people I care about.
When in doubt, train your grip and your core. Strengthening your midsection and your grip will automatically increase your strength in any lift. With the abs, the effect is partly due to greater abdominal pressure and partly to improved stability. With the grip, you are taking advantage of the neurological phenomenon of irradiation – tension ‘radiates’ from the gripping muscles into other muscles – Pavel Tsatsouline
I consider myself as having a healthy lifestyle but I’m not a fitness person. I workout twice a week on the weekend and play basketball once a week but that’s the extent of it. I skimmed over most of the health/fitness section of the book, but the one thing that I took away is to train your grip.
Pavel is a former physical training instructor for Spetsnaz, the Soviet special forces, and is currently a subject matter expert to the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Navy SEALs. I took the advice mainly based on his track record and minimal research online. I don’t understand the full benefit of it but that’s enough information for me to give it a try. I have since gotten myself a set of IronMind’s Captains of Crush Grippers
and have built up to doing 3 x 10 reps every day. I find it easier for me to do pull-ups and lifting weights now. I’m aware of how it coincides with me doing pushups every morning. However, I do believe it is helpful and will recommend you to give it a try if training your grip strength isn’t part of your workout routine.
I’ll say this is by far the most impactful book
I’ve read so far. I’ll strongly recommend it to anyone. The book is about the summary of the learnings Tim Ferris has by interviewing the “Titans” of the world. It is broken down into 3 sections: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. It is unique in a way where people will likely get very different takeaways. Tim Ferris started out by outlining a guide on how to use this book, which basically says to skip the parts which aren’t applicable to you. I’ll most likely revisit this book sometime in the future. If you have a different takeaway, I’ll love to hear about it as well!
The book I’m currently reading is Zero to One by Peter Thiel.