Implementing the Four Hour Work Week – Chapter 2’s Thoughts

As I continue to digest Tim Ferris’ book,  The Four Hour Work Week, I’ll dive into my thoughts regarding the second chapter of the text.  The first chapter at best whets your appetite, yet the second chapter begins to break down the walls, making you really start to think about reality and how you are defining it (yes, I know that sounds like the Matrix in some way shape or form) but it’s time to start thinking what’s important in your life and stop wasting time filing things into folders.

Ferris starts the chapter with a little anecdotal story regarding his own rise to fame in the world of kickboxing – interesting story regarding tricks of the trade, continuing onward to "Challenging the Status Quo versus Being Stupid."  There are several points that Ferris brings up, of which the following I find to be quite interesting in application to my own situations.

Point 3 – Less Is Not Laziness is a point that definitely makes me stop for a moment and consider what I see in the world of work – focusing on several things, attempting to multi-task, taking on more than one should, over promising and under performing.  As Ferris points out:

Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness.

I agree that this is something that is very hard for most people to accept, primarily in that it has been bread into the minds and souls of previous generations, "Working hard is what matters."  Recently several companies have grown quickly with great substance and power such as Google as they attract the brightest in the world to work and be creative – working smarter (and albeit hard) than most other companies in the technology business.  As MarketWatch’s John Dvorak mentions, to beat Google you won’t just have to work smarter, you’ll have to work harder – with the forethought being that in your working harder, you focusing on the strategy rather than just doing the typical American thing of taking an old process that doesn’t work and just working it.

Innovation – something that every company likes to think that it is, is probably the key.  Innovative solutions that are creative, more than likely you won’t have these unless you’re able to clear your mind and have less "busy-ness" on the mind so that you’re able to be more productive.  As Ferris mentions, "Focus on being productive instead of busy."  This is something that I have to remind myself and my colleagues of, "Let’s work to be productive, not necessarily busy."

Point 4 – The Timing is Never Right – how true it is.  As Ferris mentions

…the timing always sucks.  Waiting for a good time to quit your job?  The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time.  The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up all the pins either.  Conditions are never perfect.

I keep having to wonder if I’m in the right spot, it I’m just waiting for something incredible to happen, some miracle to pop up and the opportunity come about where I’m suddenly a millionaire, however I think much as Ferris mentions, just get up and go.  We tend to sit back and let things come to us, we feel as though we should receive things, that we’re entitled to them.  We’re entitled to nothing, it’s time to get up and take the risks and adventures that we want to take – no one is going to do it for us.

There are several other points that Ferris brings up, these are just two of them that peek my interest most.  The ending of the chapter with the Questions and Actions definitely makes one ponder…

How has being "realistic" or "responsible" kept you from the life you want?

For me, I would say that it’s kept me from overselling myself, keeping me from being boastful.  It’s kept my feet on the ground rather than traveling here and there – time to revitalize the soul and get back the youthful nature of a child.

Quote of the Day:
Your heart often knows things before your mind does.
–Polly (Pearl) Adler

Implementing the Four Hour Work Week – Chapter 1’s Thoughts

So on a whim, I took the advice of my brother and picked up a copy of the The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris from audible.com and listened to it over the holidays while at the gym, listening to each chapter once (or twice sometimes if I inadvertantly set it to repeat the track) and decided that I wanted to get a little more out of it, so I ordered a copy off of Amazon.com and thought, "let’s start putting this into action" or at least start letting it affect the way that I work and the way that I live.

The first chapter, definitely an interesting read, though nothing really lept out at me, springing off the page and making me go, "Whoa, how true it is."

It did catch my eye however when Ferris was discussing the difference between the Defferers (D) and the New Rich (NR), specifically on page 23 where he states the following:

D:  To have freedom from doing that which you dislike.
NR:  To have freedom from doing that which you dislike, but also the freedom and resolve to pursue your dreams without reverting to work for work’s sake.

This hits me squarely in the chest, primarily the "working for work’s sake."  Stop and think for a minute, and I’m not saying that you should cut corners and leave your jobs or do anything drastic that could get you fired, but what is your passion?  What is it that drives you?  What motivates you to work hard?  For me, I would definitely say that I work to the best of my ability to support others to make better decisions.

Though I cannot say that I am a member of the NR yet, I do seek (and dream) to get to that way of life here soon.  I want to be able to have 90% of my time working from my home office or St. Louis Bread Company or local coffee shop whereever I’m off adventurering rather than in the corporate workplace, constantly being pulled aside to assist with tasks that don’t provide benefit to me.

So what’s that mean?  Right now as I continue to parse through these interesting notes, it’s time to replace assumptions of life – people seem to say things to scare us off from adventuring, time to break down those relics and illusions.