Following in the footsteps of greatness

4 habits for success

Have you ever wondered how the names you read in the tabloids every day got there? What was their path to success (those who didn’t benefit from family connections or trust-funds that is)? These are some of the questions that Tim Ferriss of The Tim Ferriss Show addresses in his new book, Tools of Titans. Having conducted many interviews with famous people over the years on his podcast, Ferriss has the unique advantage of picking and choosing the best, most successful habits and tricks these stars revealed to him.

While this sort of book might have the potential to seem like nothing more than an homage to the rich and famous, Ferriss succeeds instead in turning what he has learned through the years into an honest self-help book. With a focus on health and wellness, as well as perseverance in the face of mistakes or difficulties, there are plenty of useful tips and habits to pick up.

Here are our top 4:

1. Working out is key to outstanding work
As any former or current athlete knows, the strict routine of practices instill structure in your daily life. But you don’t have to be a pro athlete to benefit from the discipline that comes from following a daily workout routine. Pushing yourself physically each day can, and will, lead to enormous benefits in other aspects of your life.

2. Dreams are not the same as goals. Don’t forget this.
The difference that Tools of Titans highlights between dreams and goals is a matter of intention. Dreams are fantasies that will not be realized, while goals are something that one intends to achieve, through planning and strategy. Dreams might be reformulated into goals, but only by instilling that key element of preparation and taking action.

3. Meditate. It’s what they do.
This is one of those practices that Ferriss highlights as being a common unifying factor between stars of every kind. Some sort of mindfulness practice that forces the people he interviews to focus on the present is their key to enhancing all other disciplines. The practices themselves vary (from free-writing to actual meditation to a specific exercise routine), but all of them have beneficial effects for a person’s creativity and general performance.

4. Invest in yourself
The reluctance to sink time and money into self-enrichment can be difficult for some people. The question of “is this really worth it?” can undermine the long-term goal behind the investment. Spending your own money on a class, or taking out a loan for a car might seem wasteful at the time. However, this act of investing in yourself to enrich your life will ultimately pay off, whether through a pay raise thanks to the new skill you acquired from that class, or getting yourself out of the city to explore the California coast in your new car.

It is easy to see many of the people that appear in Tools of Titans as existing on a different level than we plebeians. But very few of them got there by magic, and none of them stay there without considerable effort and hard work, which is why learning about their very down to earth habits is both a humbling, and inspiring, experience.

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