Work Smart, Not Hard.


Work Smart, Not Hard.

Are you familiar with the adage: “Work smart, not hard”?  We all have encountered it at one time or another. This advice is appealing enough. Who would not want to complete any menial and unpleasant tasks as quickly as possible in order to focus on the more rewarding ones? But if you are like most people today, your life is probably far too hectic for you to be able to slow down enough to find a better way.  Luckily for us, author Tim Ferriss has spent the time and effort to interview countless leaders in their fields of expertise and questioned them about what makes them successful. The result is the must-read book entitled “Tools of Titans”. It is a veritable fountain of information on tried techniques, hacks and advice on how to do things better. You will find wise words from the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Amelia Boone, Margaret Cho, Tony Robbins, Edward Norton, Luis von Ahn, B.J. Novak, Paulo Coelho, Jamie Foxx, Robert Rodriguez and countless others. There are athletes, doctors, venture capitalists, actors, bloggers, CEOs, authors, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, you name it.

The book is aptly divided into three components whose clever titles are “Healthy”, “Wealthy” and “Wise”. What’s great about this book is that you don’t have to read it sequentially. You can pick and choose topics or “titans” that interest you. However, I do advise you read it all at some point in time as I am sure you will find all interviews extremely fascinating and some even surprising. The chapters or interviews are usually not very lengthy, which makes for a quick read even for those with hectic lives. I promise you – you will re-read some of these, as the wisdom presented might sometimes be counter-intuitive to what you have been accustomed thus far. This book will make you think. It will make you question yourself and your habits. But most of all, it will inspire you.

After having read this book (while taking copious notes for my self-improvement), I found myself so inspired, that not only am I trying some of these amazing techniques (a lot of which are common to a lot of the “titans”), but also, I have been bombarded by an onslaught of ideas both professionally and personally. One of the most inspiring topics in the book, for me, was the idea of exercising your creative muscle which we all have, but often dismiss creativity as a privilege of a few gifted ones. You have to read the James Altucher chapter on idea generation. I think this spoke to me on such a deep level, that it awoke something dormant I have been afraid to release for a long time.

One quote in particular that I found very inspiring was this: “To create something great, start extremely small”. These are wise words by Seth Godin. How many times in our lives do we make these grandiose plans only to abandon them when we become overwhelmed? Well, why not start small? See where it takes us? I love this advice.

All in all, I believe there is something for everyone in this book. We all struggle with our own personal demons, blocks and obstacles. This book will make you face those issues. It will show you that even the greats are regular people just like the rest of us facing daily battles. And sometimes, even the “titans” have lousy days. And that’s OK. We are all human after all.

For more on Tim Ferriss, visit http://fourhourworkweek.com/ and check out his blog, podcast and other great books he has written.

Written by Bea Dabrowski, March 19, 2017