The 4 Hour Work Week or Wakeup Call
As I am reporting to you now from a new perspective, that is making the ordinary extra ordinary, I found myself being drawn into an airport bookstore on a recent trip. I realized there was probably a book or magazine that I should read without knowing ahead of time what it was. Jumping out at me was The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. Here was a self-help book, a few years old, but chucked full of good ideas. Most importantly it seemed to challenge to those who might feel trapped in their daily lives, but could see no way out. I read the book and then a sampling of the wide range of reviews on Amazon.
Ferriss lays out ways that one can outsource, cut wasteful habits, and utilize the computer to become financially independent: in short a way he shows you a gameplan to break out of the rut of an unsatisfying 9 to 5 job. The message for me was not all of the content driven ways to stop working so hard, or to gain financial freedom, so that I would be able to do what I really want to do. It was more of a way for me to ask myself if I am in any ruts that are holding me back. For Ferriss the goal is more free time delivered through his financial freedom model so you can afford the time to get on with what one really wants to do.
He personally succeeded in his quest for more time and money, with a map of exactly how to do it. Yet for me, it is all about reaching a state of emotional feeling that perhaps I don’t have now. If I don’t have enough money I might feel insecure. So my goal is to “feel” secure. He lays out the idea that some of the simple things you might want to do like being a volunteer worker, learning a new language, or living abroad will be available once you have the free time and money.
For most, life is made up of a rich and rewarding weave of relationships for which the financial choice is only one component. We are not all wired to be independent self-driven business persons, which is what you need to successfully realize Ferriss’s strategy.
What seems to be on the horizon for all of us is an alternative model which says that if we focus on experiences we really want with intent, then events can conspire, in ways we cannot see, to bring them in to play. Becoming a volunteer worker, learning a language or living abroad could materialize without the sophisticated financial freedom model.
Ferriss’s model maybe exactly the right thing for some people. I certainly could resonate with parts of it. For others his book could be thought of as a catalytic “wakeup call,” to focus with intent on the experiences we really would like to have and let the universe surprise us.
Years ago when I was running an advertising agency I came to work one morning only to find that I had fifteen telephone messages. Among theme were a few fires to put out, and a couple of urgent requests. By the time I had dealt with everything the morning was gone and I was “wired,” not an uncommon state for life in the ad business. That weekend, vowing to change this kind of life experience, I took a journal home and with intensity wrote down three ways I wanted to spend a perfect day at the office, three ways I wanted to spend the ideal weekend day, and three ways I wanted to spend a holiday. None of these, I can assure you, included fifteen incoming calls.
Three years later, I was reorganizing my home office and ran across the journal. I had forgotten about it completely. When I opened it, there before me were my entries on how I wanted to spend the perfect days. To my surprise I was now living those perfect days exactly as I had written them.