439: Tools of Titans — Derek Sivers, BJ Miller, and Christopher Sommer



Show Notes

  • How to use this book (and why I wrote it). [02:19]
  • What makes the people featured in this book different? [08:50]
  • Performance-enhancing details — why 10x results don’t always require 10x effort. [11:00]
  • What do the tools presented here have in common? [12:08]
  • Two rules for getting the most out of this book. [14:02]
  • What do I hope to convey in this book? Here are two principles to remember. [16:08]
  • A few important notes on the way this book has been organized — from structure, included quotations, patterns, humor, spirit animals, non-profile content, and the omission of most URLs. [18:13]
  • The three tools that allow all the rest, courtesy of Siddhartha (and Naval Ravikant). [24:40]

Derek Sivers

  • Who is Derek Sivers? [27:16]
  • Derek’s rank-ordered book reviews and two of his life-changing favorites. [28:27]
  • How Derek’s first appearance on this show changed a listener’s life. [29:10]
  • It’s not what you know — it’s what you do consistently. [29:45]
  • The best plan is the one that lets you change your plans. [29:56]
  • Who does Derek think of first when he hears the word “successful” — and why is the third person who comes to mind probably more successful? [30:24]
  • Just starting out? Say “yes” to everything — even if it’s playing acoustic guitar at a pig show in Vermont. [32:11]
  • The standard pace is for chumps. [33:24]
  • Advice Derek would give to his 30-year-old self. [34:11]
  • Business models can be simple: you don’t need to constantly pivot. [35:39]
  • Once you have some success: if it’s not a “Hell, yes!” it’s a “No.” [37:47]
  • Feeling busy? Lack of time is lack of priorities. [39:02]
  • What would Derek’s billboard say? [39:47]
  • On taking 45 minutes instead of 43. [40:28]
  • Why Derek has no morning routines. [43:28]
  • Things Derek believes that other people think are crazy. [44:18]
  • Treat life as a series of experiments. [45:22]
  • The most successful email Derek ever wrote. [46:19]

BJ Miller

  • Who is BJ Miller? [49:00]
  • What would BJ’s billboard say? [50:20]
  • Stargazing as therapy. [50:37]
  • What purchase of $100 or less has had the most positive impact on BJ’s life in recent memory? [51:45]
  • A good reason to question your “I can’ts.” [52:35]
  • The miracle of a snowball in the burn ward. [55:58]
  • The power of bearing witness and listening. [58:52]
  • How BJ would honor an introverted hospice patient’s request for something to watch, do, or absorb without human interaction. [1:00:31]
  • Some people say laughter is the best medicine. But sometimes it’s cookies. Or art. Or anything that allows us to live in the moment “on behalf of nothing” but the enjoyment of that thing. [1:01:26]
  • Advice BJ would give to his 30-year-old self. [1:02:24]

Coach Christopher Sommer

  • Who is Coach Christopher Sommer? [1:02:54]
  • How did gymnastic strength training and AcroYoga remodel my body at age 39? [1:03:56]
  • “If you want to be a stud later, you have to be a pud now.” — Coach Sommer [1:04:23]
  • Flexibility versus mobility. [1:05:30]
  • Consistency over intensity. [1:06:11]
  • The difference between “diet and exercise” and “eat and train.” [1:07:02]
  • How exactly does someone fail warmup? [1:07:24]
  • Why male Olympic gymnasts have gigantic biceps. [1:08:34]
  • Three movements everyone should practice. [1:09:32]
  • Good goals for adult non-gymnasts. [1:10:14]
  • Sometimes you just need a vibrator. [1:10:35]