Here’s What is Wrong with “The Four-Hour WorkWeek”

The year was 2007 and a Tango-dancing, Chinese-kickboxing champion named Tim Ferris decided to write a book that would revolutionize the way Millennials and GenXers approached their occupation. A Princeton Grad, who decided the normal work day was quickly growing extinct decided to create a blue-print for, “ditching your 9-5, and joining the new rich.” This dreamy life-style promised people an opportunity to work from anywhere in the world. It afforded them the opportunity to take vacations, and to begin focusing on what really matters to specific individuals. Unfortunately Tim’s book had one very specific thing wrong with it.

Too many people, to no fault of Mr. Ferris, missed the purpose of this newly designed lifestyle. If you haven’t read the book I highly recommend doing so. If you prefer to take notes in the margins, and desire having something you can easily refer back to, hard-copy is the way to go. Otherwise liven up your next long drive, or weekly commute to work, with the audiobook version. Leverage the strategies that are provided in, maximizing the amount of work not done, de-cluttering your inbox, and applying efforts to those tasks that most require your attention. Most importantly, understand the purpose of this life-style change; trading menial tasks for the discretionary time to make an impact elsewhere.

I have definitely drank the Tim Ferris Kool-aid by listening to his podcast and purchasing his most recent book, “Tribe of Mentors.” So naturally he comes up quite frequently in conversations with friends and associates. Yet, I frequently feel like people I speak with lose sight of the fact that we seek a shorter workweek to become a more effective person. This increase of time should not contribute to more extended Netflix binges, boozy lunches, and bigger bar tabs. Instead, treat the habits, techniques, and procedures for increasing productivity as your own force multiplier.

I use the term force multiplier as a cheesy rip off of the marketing used by the MRE producers on their own packaging. An MRE is a pretty awful meal that comes in a bag, contains anywhere from 1500-2000 calories, and almost never goes bad. These meals will stop you up for days, but they revolutionized the ability of our military to operate in austere environments. I’ve probably eaten close to a thousand of these things and on almost every main-meal’s cardboard box it says “Force Multiplier” in big block lettering. Napoleon said it best when he stated, “an army travels on its stomach.” MREs are a product that completely eradicates the need for front line forces to require a logistic train that supplies fresh food to where ever they may be. In essence, Tim Ferris is providing you a product that completely cuts out the logistical non-sense that you think you need to accomplish your goals.

Yet, most people believe this abundance of freedom is the soul ingredient to their personal happiness. In fact, it is not. The soul ingredient to your happiness is leveraging the free time developed from the strategies provided in the 4HWW, to be a force multiplier in other areas. Ferris has leveraged the free time afforded to him to write a whole serious of books. He has gone on to interview some of the greatest performers in the world with his podcast and guess what? He used this experience to write another book. The man is not sitting on a beach sipping slushy drinks (all of the time at least). If anything he has only shed the shackles of the 9-5 and provided society with more content to read, listen to, discuss, and share.

What We Should Do With a 4HWW

As humans we naturally choose the easiest path possible. We want to “optimize” our life for limited expenditure of energy when it is not required. Doing so has enabled us to survive in some of the most austere conditions. Fortunately, most of us are never placed in these conditions anymore. We walk from our climate controlled home, to our climate controlled car, to our climate controlled work space. For many of us, that walk is the hardest part of our day. If anything, the lifestyle Ferris opens us up to, is a more difficult one. Having the discipline to wake up every day and accomplish your own personal goals is extremely difficult to maintain. Finding the right people you can outsource work to is much more difficult than that. This doesn’t mean we should refrain from attempting to do so.

We should take as many lessons from Tim Ferris as we can. The man started his own supplement company, he was an early investor in facebook, Alibaba, and other billion-dollar start-ups. He is the author of five different books, one of which has the most copies sold on Amazon. He emerged victorious from a near suicidal bout with depression(His Ted Talk about it has over 5 Million veiws). He has created a podcast that is considered the #1 business podcast on I-Tunes. Lord knows what he’s working on behind the scenes right now. If there is any lesson we can take from Tim Ferris, it is that you need to bust your ass to be successful and you should not allow the 9-5 corporate world to stifle the creativity you possess in order to do so. The 4HWW does not exist. If it does, I assure you Tim Ferris isn’t doing it. If anything a 4HWW affords you the opportunity to spend four hours a week on your current source of income. Something you can only do after you have spent tons of resources, be it time or money, to create said income.

If there is anything we subscribe to at Post-modern Patriot it is that the only way to obtain happiness in life is by leaving ourselves spent in a worthy cause. It is embodied in the quote below and it is what keeps men and women happy. Find your sense of purpose. Find the group or organization you take pride in belonging to. Purpose, and a sense of belonging are key ingredients in the pursuit of happiness. Most importantly, throw your entire being into the things you love to a point that almost destroys you. Develop a 4HWW to throw yourself into the things you love. Do it to have a larger impact on the world, and not to sit idly by on the sidelines.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!

Hunter S. Thompson

3 Comments on “Here’s What is Wrong with “The Four-Hour WorkWeek”

  1. Well said brother knowledge is not powe, the power comes from the knowledge you use.

  2. Pingback: What Really Moves the Needle. –

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