Tim Ferriss is the Godfather of lifestyle design and The 4-Hour Workweek is the bible.
Eight years after it was published, everything in it is still true, still hard to grasp for many people and still described as unconventional, but the philosophy Tim shared there has evolved into something beautiful.
So many passionate, hard-working individuals around the world saw the possibilities of this unusual lifestyle and decided to try it out – they quit their jobs, sold what they owned and moved to another continent (but it can also mean staying at the same place, just not being dependent on location).
These are the location independent entrepreneurs. The guys who work hard (often more than 8 hours a day) not because they have to, but because they love the hustle and enjoy every second. Also, they have the chance to do it from every corner of the world, and often choose a tropical beach for that purpose.
It’s a risky lifestyle, requires a lot of hard work and difficult life choices, but also opens so many new doors that all the costs are nothing compared to the benefits.
So back to the book that described it all in the first place – The 4-hour Workweek.
Here I’ll share some of its main points, that are also important life lessons Tim learned a long time ago, and how they are still valuable and practical in 2015:
10 Principles from The 4HWW That Are Not Dead
1. If you have free time and can go anywhere in the world, the value of your money increases 3-10 times.
To have money and to live like a millionaire are two completely different things.
So the guy that works 80 hours a week and makes 500K a year is far less happy and rich than the one working 20 hours for 40K, but who has the freedom to live however, wherever and whenever he wants to.
So in this case, the value of 500K is much less than 40K (regardless of the currency).
2. Working less doesn’t mean you’re lazier.
The lifestyle designers Tim talks about are just smarter – they get more done in less time, alternate periods of hard work with vacations throughout the whole year, eliminate everything that doesn’t give them the results they desire and focus on the stuff that does.
They double their productivity and thus complete a lot of tasks in a short time.
3. Money is not the solution we need for our problems in life.
Even if most people start making a lot of money, their level of happiness may stay the same. In fact, they’ll have much more work, worries and responsibilities.
That’s because they don’t know how to spend and enjoy this money once they’ve earned it.
In order to increase your wealth, you need to have a clear idea of what you want your lifestyle to be like before you actually have it.
4. We tend to choose misery over uncertainty.
Almost a decade later that’s still true.
When something isn’t certain, we choose not to do it even if it’s what we’ve always been dreaming of.
But guess what? Life is uncertain, security is an illusion, tomorrow is unpredictable and the only way to live freely and thrive is to accept that and feel comfortable with it.
Lifestyle designers are okay with risks, new stuff, failing and not knowing how things will work out.
5. A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.
That’s a famous quote from Tim Ferriss.
Most people live in the prison of their comfort zone and the bravest thing they do are the vivid dreams they have of who they could have become.
But that leads nowhere. However, it’s never too late and that dream can be used as a starting point – your definite desire that will help you break free and start feeling comfortable with discomfort.
Do one thing every day that scares you, that makes you feel uncomfortable and that you really don’t want to do.
6. It’s easier to be on the top.
People overestimate competition.
Most don’t even dare to aim for the top. That’s why it’s lonely there.
99% of people don’t even think about doing something great with their lives, that’s why their goals – and what their lives look like – are mediocre.
7. Aim for passion, not happiness.
Happiness is too commercialized, passion is the new thing we all secretly desire, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves.
We hear about happiness way too often, but the idea we have of it is either too vague, or connected to material stuff and outer sources.
But passion is about enthusiasm, doing what you love, spending your time exactly the way you want and feeling alive. Be it in a career, hobby, relationship, education, sport, appearance, communication, technology, reading, or else.
It’s all about doing it with passion. Only then does it matter and do you find meaning in your life.
8. Lifestyle design is not about traveling the world or moving to a tropical island to work on your computer for a few hours a day.
It can be that, of course. But it’s not just about being a digital nomad and living on the beach.
Some people stay at the same place, work more than 8 hours a day, and don’t take vacations.
But they can also drop everything for a month and go somewhere else without planning, have the freedom to set their own working hours, do what they love and aren’t dependent on anyone.
It’s just that they love the hustle and want to keep doing it. And if it means just having this exact lifestyle for the rest of their lives, then so be it.
9. You should have an idea of how you want to spend your free time in the future.
You’ll need to be clear about that if you want to take full advantage of this kind of lifestyle and have excitement and adrenaline in your days.
Boredom is the real face of failure.
It means doing the same thing for the rest of your life, being okay with no big achievements and changes, and doing it simply because you don’t have anything else to do (or don’t know any other way to feel productive).
But if you decide how you want to spend your free time a year or two from now, you’ll know how much money you’ll need for that, what habits and qualities you need to develop and how to fix your environment, people in your life and your way of thinking so that they can fit the new you.
So don’t be afraid to set huge goals. Decide now what you want to do every day of your life that you’re not doing now, what adventures you want to have time for every week, what things you want to try and what you’ve always wanted to learn or see.
10. It’s not about shortcuts, it’s about elegance.
Tim says that in an interview for Steve from Nerd Fitness, explaining that the main principle of the 4HWW is finding uncommon solutions and the shortest path from A to B by removing all obstacles and unnecessary stuff on the way.
Simple but powerful ideas like these must be taught in school.
They are just facts, but they also expand our horizons, let us see opportunities in places others will never look at, make us learn and grow, believe, have a vivid imagination, dream big, think of action steps and strategies, and eventually achieve great stuff.
So what do you think of that?
My favorite point is #7. What’s yours?
And have you read The 4-Hour Workweek?
What other principle can you think of that is still practical today?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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