The 4-Hour Work Week

By pure chance I picked up this book when I was in Waterstones a month ago and decided to buy it as the title intrigued me.  I subsequently read a couple of weeks ago when I was in Italy.  For anyone looking to change the direction of their life and to figure out a way to live your life, embracing the things that you love to do, then this book by Timothy Ferriss is the one you need to read.

The fundamental principles of the book are;

  • You don’t need to be a millionaire to stop work and pursue your dreams.
  • If you lost your job tomorrow, what is the absolute worst thing that could happen.  If you really look at this seriously you will understand that it is never usually as bad as you imagine.
  • Focus on your strengths and experience.  If you focus to improve your weaknesses, they will be improved but they will still be weaknesses.
  • Focus on the key things that make a difference, outsource everything else.  You will be surprised how easy and cost-effective that can be.
  • Get over your fear.
  • Live more, work less.

The book is full of practical advice, reference material, url’s and examples of people who have done exactly this.  Possibly the easiest way to get insight into the topic is to visit the website and then go to Tim’s blog.  There is a huge amount of information as well as video clips of a number of people who are now pursuing their dreams.

 

True Entrepreneurial Mindset

Following is an article that came via a daily newsfeed.  You have to award 10 points for entreprenurial flair and leveraging cheap airfares.

Cheap air tickets allow prostitutes to operate at Schiphol

Friday 29 July 2011

Cheap plane tickets have led to the development of a ‘red light district’ in
the departure areas of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, with working girls plying
their trade in the toilets and transit hotels, airport staff have told the
Telegraaf.

The women fly in, pick up transfer passengers or those with delayed flights,
and sometimes fly back the same day, the paper says.

Immigration police say they can only intervene if a formal complaint has been
made, which has not yet happened.

The airport has two hotels behind customs and security lines, which offer
cheap daily room hire rates for passengers who want to rest or wash during the
day, the paper points out.

 

Television: I simply don’t get it.

I have the luxury of living on the 6th floor of a building which is slightly higher than most of the buildings within my area.  Because of a park in front of the house I get a 180 degree view, with other apartment buildings on the 3 sides in front.  I sometimes stand and observe the pattern in people’s lives. Come home from work, switch on the TV, cook dinner, eat dinner (with the TV), clean up and then sit and watch TV for the entire evening, go to bed, get up – rinse and repeat.  This happens (with minor variation) 7 days a week.  The was a person (he has since moved) that actually used to sleep in front of the TV, which was turned off only when he went to work.  On average people are watching TV either directly or in-directly 5 hours a day.  Every year they spend an equivalent of 76 (24 hour) days, watching TV.  Add in a further 7 hours sleep each day and that totals 182 full days per year – comatose.  I simply don’t get it.  There are articles decrying how western culture is becoming “Dummed down”, why might that be?  Children with high levels of tolerance to graphic violence, why might that be?  People with no real idea who they truly are and what they really want from their life, why might that be?

The best thing you can do if you truly want to begin to live your life consciously is throw away the television!!  Reclaim your life.

This video says it all.

My advice: Wear Sunscreen

Doing some research last night I came across this clip and ended up watching it 7 times in the space of a couple of hours.  The repetition came from showing it to my two daughter as well as my friends who were eating with us, however I did watch each time because the video had a real impact by reminding me (again) that life is indeed very short and how easily we waste it.  Above everything else I want my daughters to be free.  Free in their minds to embrace life in a manner similar to this clip.  When I pick them up or drop them off at their home I see people who have been born in that area, grew up and went to school, got married and then repeated the whole process sitting in their little houses not really understanding that life has just passing by.  Now it is definitely not my place to judge nor criticise, I just know that for myself that concept freaks me out and I sincerely hope that my daughters continue to use this video as a benchmark for their young lives.

 

If you are interested, Ki’une has an interesting website called Risingbean which provides a lot of thought and inspiration.

Perfect week in Puglia

Took last week off to just relax, do very little, eat great Italian food and most of all escape the weather in Holland.  By sheer chance I found this house on Mr & Mrs Smith which looked amazing on the their site and it was.  The property was very private so we didn’t see anyone for the entire week, the house was really large so we had our own bathrooms.  Best of all was the weather.  Later in the week it was 36C which was fantastic.  All day we just read books, took a siesta, had wonderful food, swam in the pool and just emptied our heads of all of the usual.

   It’s amazing how easy it is just to dump all the rubbish that is in your head and give yourself the time to reflect on where you are and what is important in your life.  We don’t do    it enough which is a shame.  The fact that there was no real desire to leave the house at all speaks volumes.  We did go into Cisternino a couple of times for dinner as well as to the beach once for a look but that was it.

Each morning I could get up just before the sunrise, sit by the pool and meditate.  The meditation combined with the peace, the warmth and relaxation helped to focus my mind on my goals for the next few years and how to execute.  More on that later.

If you want an amazing week, I cannot recommend this villa enough.  You have to book well in advance because generally it is fully booked from April to September.