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TOMS founder: You only need to read one book to lead a successful life

Blake Mycoskie, founder and Chief Shoe Giver of Toms Shoes
Vivien Killilea | Getty Images
Blake Mycoskie, founder and Chief Shoe Giver of Toms Shoes

Blake Mycoskie dropped out of Southern Methodist University after 18 months, but first he took a lot of philosophy classes.

"I originally majored in archaeology because my goal was to become Indiana Jones," the founder of TOMS Shoes tells Tim Ferriss in AT&T AUDIENCE Network's new original series, "Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss."

His stint as an archaeology major didn't last long. The classes were "like watching paint dry," he tells Ferriss, "and I thought, 'OK what else could I be interested in?'"

Mycoskie continues: "Part of my fascination with Indiana Jones, and this idea of traveling the world and discovering people and ancient ruins, also came with this idea of discovering world religions and why some people think this way and other people think that way. And so that led to philosophy."

Tim Ferriss and Blake Mycoskie
AT&T AUDIENCE Network
Tim Ferriss and Blake Mycoskie

He quickly fell in love with the subject and "to this day, when I have time for free reading, I read philosophy," the self-made millionaire says. He's a fan of Descartes, Aristotle and Plato, he tells Ferriss, but his favorite book of all time is "Meditations," a series of personal writings by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Few ancient writing have been as influential as "Meditations," which offers insights and advice on everything from dealing with adversity to interacting with others. Ironically, Aurelius' stoic passages were never meant to be published — he wrote them for his own personal clarity.

"If you really allow yourself to slowly read and allow those words and allow those phrases to be imprinted in your mind, you could read only that book and have all the wisdom you need to live a virtuous, successful and adventurous life," says Mycoskie.

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