The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss

the-4-hour-workweek

What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 4%

The commonsense rules of the “real world” are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 4%

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field. —NIELS BOHR, Danish physicist and Nobel Prize winner

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 5%

I sell 32 spots at $50 each for the 3-hour event, and $533 per hour convinces me that finding a market before designing a product is smarter than the reverse.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 5%

As soon as I remove myself as a bottleneck, profits increase 40%.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 6%

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. —ALBERT EINSTEIN

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 6%

He explained that he had spent more than 30 years with people he didn’t like to buy things he didn’t need. Life had become a succession of trophy wives—he was on lucky number three—expensive cars, and other empty bragging rights. Mark was one of the living dead. This is exactly where we don’t want to end up.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 6%

So, what makes the difference? What separates the New Rich, characterized by options, from the Deferrers (D), those who save it all for the end only to find that life has passed them by? It begins at the beginning. The New Rich can be separated from the crowd based on their goals, which reflect very distinct priorities and life philosophies.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 6%

Enough is enough. Lemmings no more. The blind quest for cash is a fool’s errand.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 7%

Options—the ability to choose—is real power.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 7%

Pre-trip, her three little boys had fought like banshees at the drop of a hat. In the process of learning to coexist in a floating bedroom, they learned patience, as much for themselves as for the sanity of their parents. Pre-trip, books were about as appealing as eating sand. Given the alternative of staring at a wall on the open sea, all three learned to love books. Pulling them out of school for one academic year and exposing them to new environments had proven to be the best investment in their education to date.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 8%

Now that she had done it once, she had the itch.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 8%

It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter—nothing can justify that sacrifice.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 9%

Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 9%

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 9%

Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitant to get in the way if you’re moving. Get good at being a troublemaker and saying sorry when you really screw up.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 9%

It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 9%

It is possible to have too much of a good thing. In excess, most endeavors and possessions take on the characteristics of their opposite. Thus: Pacifists become militants. Freedom fighters become tyrants. Blessings become curses. Help becomes hindrance. More becomes less. Too much, too many, and too often of what you want becomes what you don’t want. This is true of possessions and even time. Lifestyle Design is thus not interested in creating an excess of idle time, which is poisonous, but the positive use of free time, defined simply as doing what you want as opposed to what you feel obligated to do.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 9%

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 11%

The worst really wasn’t that bad. To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 12%

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. As I have heard said, a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 12%

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. —GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Maxims for Revolutionists

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 13%

It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for “realistic” goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming. It is easier to raise $1,000,000 than it is $100,000. It is easier to pick up the one perfect 10 in the bar than the five 8s.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 13%

The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 13%

What is the opposite of happiness? Sadness? No. Just as love and hate are two sides of the same coin, so are happiness and sadness. Crying out of happiness is a perfect illustration of this. The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is—here’s the clincher—boredom.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 13%

This is how most people work until death: “I’ll just work until I have X dollars and then do what I want.” If you don’t define the “what I want” alternate activities, the X figure will increase indefinitely to avoid the fear-inducing uncertainty of this void. This is when both employees and entrepreneurs become fat men in red BMWs.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 14%

Remember—boredom is the enemy, not some abstract “failure.”

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 14%

Dreamlining is so named because it applies timelines to what most would consider dreams. It is much like goal-setting but differs in several fundamental respects: 1. The goals shift from ambiguous wants to defined steps. 2. The goals have to be unrealistic to be effective. 3. It focuses on activities that will fill the vacuum created when work is removed. Living like a millionaire requires doing interesting things and not just owning enviable things.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 14%

People are fond of using the “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” adage as an excuse for inaction, as if all successful people are born with powerful friends. Nonsense.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 14%

‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to repeatedly fail better.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 15%

The best first step, the one I recommend, is finding someone who’s done it and ask for advice on how to do the same. It’s not hard.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 16%

One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 16%

Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 16%

I’m not going to lie: It sucks. It hurts like pulling out a splinter. But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 20%

If you haven’t already accomplished at least one important task in the day, don’t spend the last business hour returning a DVD to avoid a $5 late charge. Get the important task done and pay the $5 fine.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 20%

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. —ALBERT EINSTEIN

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 21%

Problems, as a rule, solve themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as an information bottleneck and empower others.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 21%

Focus on what digerati Kathy Sierra calls “just-in-time” information instead of “just-in-case” information.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 22%

Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate. —DAVE BARRY, Pulitzer Prize–winning American humorist

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 23%

Learn to be difficult when it counts. In school as in life, having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 23%

It is your job to train those around you to be effective and efficient. No one else will do it for you.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 24%

People are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 27%

The bottom line is that you only have the rights you fight for.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 27%

Eliminate before you delegate. Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 31%

Principle number one is to refine rules and processes before adding people. Using people to leverage a refined process multiplies production; using people as a solution to a poor process multiplies problems.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 31%

Golden Rule #1: Each delegated task must be both time-consuming and well-defined. If you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off and assign your VA to do that for you, it doesn’t improve the order of the universe. Golden Rule #2: On a lighter note, have some fun with it. Have someone in Bangalore or Shanghai send e-mails to friends as your personal concierge to set lunch dates or similar basics. Harass your boss with odd phone calls in strong accents from unknown numbers. Being effective doesn’t mean being serious all the time. It’s fun being in control for a change. Get a bit of repression off your chest so it doesn’t turn into a complex later.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 31%

Creating demand is hard. Filling demand is much easier. Don’t create a product, then seek someone to sell it to. Find a market—define your customers—then find or develop a product for them.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 38%

It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 53%

It is far better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains. —THOMAS H. HUXLEY,

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 56%

Getting what you want often depends more on when you ask for it than how you ask for it.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 57%

Practice environment-free productivity. Attempt to work for two to three hours in a café for two Saturdays prior to proposing a remote trial. If you exercise in a gym, attempt to exercise for those two weeks at home or otherwise outside of the gym environment. The purpose here is to separate your activities from a single environment and ensure that you have the discipline to work solo.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 58%

It’s too big a world to spend most of life in a cubicle.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 58%

If tolerating a punishing work environment for years at a time is a prerequisite for promotion in your field, could it be that you’re in a game not worth winning?

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 61%

The person who has more options has more power.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 61%

Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything. —CHARLES KURALT, CBS news reporter

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 62%

It became clear that the biggest risk in life wasn’t making mistakes but regret: missing out on things. He could never go back and recapture years spent doing something he disliked.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 65%

Does history record any case in which the majority was right? —Robert Heinlein

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 97%

If results are fast and measurable, self-discipline isn’t needed.

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, 97%

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