This week I am posting about Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week, simply because I have recently got into his podcast and it took me back to re-reading one or two chapters from the book. There is in fact not a lot I can say that has not already been said about this book but I can illustrate briefly my experience.
It was given to me by a friend who recommended it highly. I said thank you, flicked through it and put it on a shelf.
For 3 years.
The reason I ignored it is because I didn’t feel I had the time to read it (oh, the irony) and I was super-cynical about its contents - I am, you see, by nature, not given to belief in any form of self help books. But before you throw stones at me for being some kind of heretic, I am pretty sure my narrow minded view (which I am glad to say I have shed to a great degree) is held by the majority of people. Thank God for nurture.
Within 50 pages it had started to change my life
Anyway, I left it on the shelf for years. I have absolutely no recollection as to why I took it off the shelf and opened it. I wish I did. I wish I could identify the catalyst. Perhaps one of my sporting, literary or artistic heroes mentioned it in some interview… I simply don’t recall.
Suffice it to say I opened it and within 50 pages it had started to change my life. Stop with the cliche’s Tommy!! I know, I know, but its true. There are principles in it that can be useful across so many professions, positions and life in general. Whatismore the guiding concept of improving the quality of one’s life is surely too intoxicating to resist in this day and age.
NOW I WRITE STUFF ABOUT MOUNTAINEERING BOOKS THAT NOBODY WILL READ.
If you want to work more effectively, have more free time, enjoy your life more, enjoy your family more it is an indispensable manifesto. Remember it is not a strictly dogmatic work, apply what you can to your life, perhaps take baby steps in altering your lifestyle. For example it has never been practical for me to only read work email for one hour on a Monday but I certainly do not need to be constantly connected, as I felt was crucial for such a long time, in order to be effective.
What it did for me:
- Made me more efficient (you see I only used four words there)
- Made me tackle problems early (dealing with the uncomfortable)
- Made me set the right goals for myself (personal or work)
- Gave me more free time do do what I want to do (like write stuff about mountaineering books that nobody will read)
- Got me thinking in a focussed, yet more open-minded way (systems can free your mind)
- Made me enjoy life more, and gave me belief in a positive future for myself (like one in which I write about mountaineering books... ah, you get it)
As with so many wise reads I came out the other end of it feeling that everything I had read was simply common sense. Common sense I had not actually thought of, mind.
Above all it is an excellent motivator. Whilst I have not implemented everything in the book and fully joined the New Rich (this is not about money, but a richness of life) I feel I am on the right road, a road I can go as far down as I want.
Since reading it I have spoken to a couple of people whose lives have been positively influenced by Tim's writings - both of whom have enjoyed great success because of what they read. Right, a couple of Tim Ferriss blog posts in as many weeks is quite enough as I am starting to look like a creepy fan boy.