Chris Young Sketchnote from Tools of Titans

Tim Ferriss describes Chris Young as one of the articulate thinkers he knows. Young is the creator of, which is a hub for people who love science and cooking.

Interestingly, Chris told himself the story that he was not mathematical as a kid. He would continually receive grades that were around the C- mark. However, he has gone on to study biochemistry and theoretical mathematics. For me, this reaffirms the power of curiosity. When we’re disengaged from something, we’re not gonna learn much from it.

Over to the sketchnote.

The Advice of Chris’ Dad

I use Chris Young’s last name as a beginning point to recall his dad’s advice.

The interesting jobs are the ones that you’ll make up.

This passage is a data point for defining one’s mission and purpose in life. Master what interests you and you’ll find a way to generate a business out of it.

Focus and commitment are the elements to the secret sauce to this recipe. It’s all going to work out anyway.

That sounds a little bit like blind faith. You know what? To some extent it is.

The one element that distinguishes blind faith to just showing up and knowing is intention and identity.

James Clear and Tony Robbins both allude to this when talking about defining your habits based on who you wish to become.

Over time, you will embody this identity and you will reach your goals as a by-product. So it is blind faith, but you are creating the identity you wish to embody so it’s more than just hope.

On Cultivating Curiosity To Better Oneself

I use the first letter and sound of Chris’ first name to prompt the next section: curiosity.

Chris has worked and been mentored by British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. He mentions his fascination with the questions that Heston asks. Here’s a few Heston uses to probe other and uncover what matters to another person.

  • What interesting thing are you working on?
  • Why is that interesting to you?
  • What is surprising about that?
  • Is anybody else thinking about this?

Tony Robbins speaks at length on the quality of life being determined by the quality of our questions.

This links neatly to Chris’ company Chefsteps, which is entirely funded by Valve. The founder of Valve asked Chris if you had $100m what would you build?

The example that’s given in Tools of Titans is that of Intel.

Intel makes chips that cost millions of dollars of research and development. This makes any competition essentially irrelevant as it’s too costly to match the offering.

Intel is sailing in a blue ocean of uncontested waters.

Tim goes on to suggest a litmus test point for investing what can be applied to business:

For each $1 you generate, can you cost an incumbent $5?

Tim Ferriss

I notice the asymmetrical risk-ward ratio here. How can you risk as little as possible but look for a five times return? Unearthing those opportunities seems to be one of life’s core games.

A Lesson From Heston

While I’ve digressed from Heston, he is the cue for the final section. Chris mentions a time where he sent out a dish that he knew wasn’t perfect while working in one of Heston’s restaurants.

The dish boomeranged back almost immediately.

Heston was over his yelling days and now just expressed disappointment. He looked at the Chris, then at the dish. He looked back at Chris and said something akin to not a chance.

The message here is to “hold the standard” and not take shortcuts.

Perfectionists rejoice at this but is holding the standard always practical? Do trade-offs need to occur?

Context is the key. When it comes to the integrity of the offering, then hold the standard.

Ask for help, fix it but whatever you do, don’t cheat.

Application of Holding The Standard to Your Life

In this phrase, there is a deeper meaning of remaining accountable to who you say you’ll be. If you are someone who has defined their identity and wishes to take action that’s in alignment with you identity, then you better hold your standard.

If you don’t, that results in a loss of momentum and those nasty human feelings of guilt and shame. That can start an insidious slide.

So whenever you are at a decision point, refer back to your standards. In other words, the identity you’ve defined based on your values.

Even when, no, especially when the decision feels uncomfortable and it aligns with your identity, then that’s a great signal that you should do the uncomfortable thing. That leads to growth.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Tools of Titans is book that organises and categorises identified themes and patterns of Tim’s podcast guests. He has sifted through the information to serve up recipes and the need-to-know information that can be reproduced by people like you and me. Tony Robbins suggests that the shortcut to success is to model people who have already done what you seek to do. So this book is a wonderfully targeted sequence of steps and procedures to help you model your action on the world’s top performers.

If you’ve found this content valuable and are interested in this book, then you can help support this blog by getting the latest price at Amazon at no extra cost if you decide to purchase.

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