Most lifestyle entrepreneurs first found inspiration after reading the book “The Four-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris, so did I. You can find the details and reviews on the Amazon page here
However, the title of the book does not resonate with what he actually wants to convey. The title was selected primarily because of the most hits it got on Google Adwords test. In this post, I want to discuss the myths about work..misery, happiness and life in general.
“The Three Most Harmful Addictions Are Heroin, Carbohydrates, And A Monthly Salary.”- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
^ One of my most favourite quotes ever!
Myth 1: Work is only a 9-5 corporate job.
No, let’s redefine work as Tim defines it, and now I define as = anything that you either want to do less of or do solely for the financial benefit.
Work is anything that will bring you the financial support you need to live your life. Anything that helps you achieve that support, is work. However, people lose track and start confusing financial support with a ‘dreamy’ bank balance. Sure, you have all the liberty in the world to aim at building or acquiring the highest level of wealth there is, but don’t choose to do that if your work is not fulfilling. Most things done purely for money, don’t provide fulfilment; Most fulfilling things you’re truly dedicated to, provide money. Why chase fulfilment? Just because, on your very last day you would want to see that your life was fulfilling and meaningful rather than spent doing things you did chasing money. Chances are, if you love your work, it won’t feel like work at all.
Myth 2: You need to spend your life building a resume.
No, you need to spend your life doing work that actually matters and something that you care about. If you delay to do those things, you are missing your opportunity to lead the life you are here to live, because you are simply choosing to stick to the ‘rules’ or being ‘too normal’. You choose to settle so as to have an excuse to avoid putting yourself out there, taking a risk because you are scared of achieving your personal and unique dreams. Ask yourself, what are you trying to add things/experiences to your resume for? If the answer isn’t to bring you closer to YOUR own ambition/goals, then you are missing the shot at life.
Warren Buffett said it himself: Doing things to build your resume and get experience is kind of like saving up sex for old age. Life’s too short to build a resume.
“You are not your resume, you are your work. “ – Seth Godin – and chances are many people’s resume are going to look identical; how do you make yours different? By being YOU and by doing YOU.
Myth 3: You have no freedom, time, life.
You are the decision-maker, get behind the wheel and start making decisions for yourself. You are already free, start acting like it! There is nothing more belittling than feeling like your life is governed by the things around you. You can choose to spend your time better, you can choose to be happy and more importantly you can choose to live. Sure, there are constraints that come with different jobs, but if it’s not letting you be your best self, chances are it probably isn’t the best job for you. Look for opportunities and ways to do things you actually think make you grow, don’t settle.
Myth 4: You need to ‘postpone’ happiness. Work now, live later?
“Conditions are never perfect. “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.” – Tim Ferris
If you’re putting yourself through misery now, aiming to enjoy after you retire, or later, then you’re deferring your own right to happiness. Work should be exciting, challenging and something that makes you grow not dream-murdering, unsatisfying and depressing. Most people on their death-bed wish to have done things they would’ve done all along but just didn’t see it then or make enough time for it. Don’t wait for life to happen to you, take steps and create the life you want to live. I’d rather have mini retirements now, visit friends in different continents, learn, have life-changing experiences, all while making money NOW, rather than waiting inside my cubicle for the next 20 years, to get promoted.
I’m young now, I’ll only live once- and if I get it right in these next few years, this one time is going to be enough. My decision to become a lifestyle entrepreneur comes from this deep-rooted desire to live an incredible life. I want people to think of me as someone who did not take the conventional route, made mistakes, experimented with life, chased excitement and shared it with the world. I want to fall in love with the work I do, to an extent that it won’t feel like work. Even if I commit myself to it for 80+ hours in a week, it will be because nothing could bring me as much joy as doing it. I cannot digest the pre-conceived notion that you must put yourself through torture for years to gain credible ‘work experience’, and I certainly won’t waste life trying to build a resume. I feel resume is something you build for others, life is something you do for yourself. If you’re living enough, things on the resume will add up on their own.
I have this feeling that if I pursue the work that is fulfilling to me, makes an impact while giving me flexibility in life, I won’t need to prove anything.
“Finding new ways to deal with the world is superior to overtraining old patterns.”- Peter Belvin