The Hard Truth About the 4-Hour Workweek
Think about it: four hours of work a week. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But it’s not for you. It’s not even for Tim Ferriss.
What makes you happy?
You’re ambitious, desire success and won’t settle for just any job when you could be doing something meaningful that would make you happy.
To quote Stephen King, who could easily kick back on the beach or drink fancy cocktails by the pool for the rest of his life:
“I always wonder two things about these folks (writers with scanty legacies like Harper Lee — one book): how long did it take them to write the books they did write, and what did they do the rest of their time? Knit afghans? Organize church bazaars?… If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”
King writes every day, without exception, because it makes him happy. He’s a successful guy.
If you think about success in life and still have a problem nailing it down, listen to Richard St. John. In his “8 Secrets of Success” TED talk, he shares the elements of success he compiled after interviewing 500 successful people:
- Passion. Though recently a buzzword, it’s also a major happiness factor.
- Expertise. Get good and own your skill.
- Focus. Practice it like a muscle.
- Push. Push yourself through self-doubt and inhibitions. Even great people think they’re not good enough.
- Serve. Serve people something of value because it’s how you get rich.
- Ideas. Follow through with your ideas; we all have them. Creativity isn’t magic.
- Persist. Persistence, according to St. John, is the number one reason for success. Persist through failure and CRAP (criticism, rejection, assholes and pressure).
Does a four-hour workweek fit into that picture? Probably not. Take a close look at those who advocate the passive income lifestyle. They work their butts off and sell the idea for the big bucks.
“Get rich quick” and “do nothing and accomplish everything” recipes are like the Holy Grail. They exist in legends and fairy tales. (Click here to tweet this thought.) But the basis for your decision should be what the easy money advocates do, not what they say. Who walks the talk?
It doesn’t work in reality
The messages you’re exposed to can cause headache and confusion: find your passion, help others, seek fulfillment and happiness. But on the other hand: be smart, delegate all tasks, macromanage, work four hours a week, become financially independent.
What’s the right thing to do?
Listen to your gut and these facts
According to Scott Dinsmore, Tim Ferriss, the author of 4-Hour Workweek, works a minimum of 60 hours a week. And so do other financially successful business people. Business Insider dedicated a section to their schedules and lists by name who gets up earliest and how long they work.
Why would somebody work so hard if they’re already financially free and could do virtually anything?
If the answer doesn’t come easy, imagine you created something. Perhaps you set up your own business or launch an innovative project and, after a tough period when you work hard and see no results, you finally begin to see it catching on.
People start talking about it. There’s interaction, revenue and satisfaction. Even if your idea or creation isn’t a huge hit from day one, you watch it bud and blossom to life. It’s your pride and joy. It’s who you’ve become and how you define yourself.
Then you step down, say goodbye and go trekking through the Peruvian Andes, leaving everything to your employees and a host of virtual assistants.
Even if you’re an inexperienced newbie at the start of your career, you can see that’s rather unrealistic.
The magic behind success in your career lies in the development of your personality. You become someone new, someone who’s fulfilled and has a purpose. It drives and energizes you, and once you’re inspired, new ideas and improvements will come to you.
Another reason why successful people enjoy working longer is the rewards, both financial and social. Your income will rise and people will seek out your expertise. And once you become important and valuable to others, they’ll respect and follow you. You’ll have a purposeful and rewarding life without giving up anything.
And you’ll find the life of adventure and exotic travel even more accessible with your growing income. Everybody needs time to recharge their batteries, and accomplished people desire to develop their personal lives, too. They’re the ones climbing high mountains, dog sledding in Alaska or sailing through the Atlantic because they’ve discovered how great it feels to push your limits.
Sylvia Rytarowska is an entrepreneur, coach and English philology graduate. She is an advocate of making science more accessible to regular readers and is obsessed with psychology, self-development and sports. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook and visit her site here.
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