Reading as a Hobby
I'm a relatively avid reader. On average, I work my way through 1-2 books every week. In general, I read on my Kindle Paperwhite right before bed. The high contrast screen with low light output is ideal for bedtime browsing.
Though I'm interested in just about any genre, I admittedly have a preference for certain types:
- Non-fiction > fiction
- But story format > technically description
- For every pro-[topic] book, I must read one anti-[topic] book
- I usually switch genres and topics with each book
- I almost never read more than 1 book at a time
- I almost never read the same book twice
I also won't deny that self-help books are rarely my cup of tea (I prefer green tea!). I don't hold anything against such books. On the contrary, they're deeply valuable and intrinsically interesting. Rather, I just tend to be drawn toward compelling narratives in certain settings (e.g. sci-fi novels) or informative content related to one of my interests (e.g. non-fiction).
Which is why I was so surprised to stumble across "Tools of Titans" by Timothy Ferriss. Perhaps "self-help" isn't the most accurate label to categorize this sweeping set of interviews with some of the most successful leaders from nearly every industry. It was created as the "ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools" that can be used to help you reach new heights in your life.
Like any book, I suspect that each person who reads it will walk away with something different. Useful, but different. I also suspect that everyone will identify with a different aspect. For some, it might be the wonder of what these people have been able to accomplish. For others, it could be the push needed to keep them trucking down their difficult path.
Main Takeaway from Tools of Titans
For me, it was how obviously peculiar each person was. From start to finish, the recurring trait that struck me the most--more than how many meditated or woke up early--was how each interviewee had their own little quirks and eccentricities. Perhaps this stuck with me because I myself am on the unusual side. I'm introverted, but have no social anxieties. I can stay home for weeks and work on a schedule without a break, but then also fly to far-flung parts of the world for months of unstructured travel. The oddity in me recognized and appreciated the oddities in them.
As I read "Tools of Titans" on my Kindle, I left behind a long trail of highlighted notes. These include short quotes, long excerpts, and specific advice that I wanted to read again later. All in all, I saved more than 100 entries! Seeing the expansive list of highlights in front of me, I started thinking: what if I challenged myself to use these in my own life? And thus the idea of 2-week challenges was born!
Call to Action
Starting in May, I will challenge myself to try one new habit I found in the book. After completing the challenge, I will let everyone know about my progress, what I thought about the habit, and if I think I'll stick with it. While I'm more than happy to take on the challenges alone, I certainly wouldn't mind a bit of company along the way! Feel free to join in on the challenges at any time. Comment below to let me know!