“The 4-Hour Work Week” — part 1

OK, so I know there are plenty of posts out there about the Tim Ferriss book The 4-Hour Work Week. There’s no need for a long-winded dissection from me.

But as I type this, my bare feet are up on a windowsill in Portland, Oregon, with an incredible morning breeze coming into our hotel room; I’m relishing that perfect, teeny bit of bourbon-head that — rather than truly hurting — reminds me that I had a really fun time last night; and I’m about to go for an absolutely gorgeous run along the Willamette with my beloved spouse. We flew in yesterday from Albuquerque primarily to watch the US Women’s Soccer team play a friendly (exhibition) match against Canada last night, and it was totally worth it.

In short, it’s bliss.

If you’re familiar with the world according to Tim Ferriss, you get the connection. You might think he’s a douche as a person (I’d be inclined to agree for reasons spelled out in his book and in some high-profile blogs), and the whole package that he pushes might not work for you. But one point on which I definitely agree with him is this: Feeling free, or even successful, is not nearly so much about money as it is mobility. At least for me. Ferriss, who has earned $70K/month and more, can’t exactly speak from an either/or perspective about money vs. mobility anymore. Nor do I believe for a minute that he only works for four hours per week. But he is definitely a mobility guru.

For Karen and me, there’s nothing so fun and energizing as getting way – even for just a day or two — to explore a new city, to find the locals’ favorite coffee house, to have a few great meals somewhere new, to window shop. It doesn’t take a ton of money; on the plane here yesterday, I did a pleasant editing job that will buy us a decent dinner at the Bridgeport Brewpub tonight. It doesn’t even take a lot of time, because amazingly, consistently, a few well-filled days feel more like a week. It mainly requires mobility.

When I tell friends and colleagues about our little jaunt, too many say, “I wish I could do that.” Actually, a lot of people say the same thing when I talk about having left the corporate gig to do more of the things I love.

My response in both cases is, “Are you sure you can’t? Absolutely, positively sure?”

If you take a good, hard look at how your life is set up, do you find that you’re assuming some tethers that don’t exist, and maybe hanging onto others that needn’t?

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About CK Barlow

I'm a composer and music-technology instructor. In the summer of 2011, I decided it was time to give full-time music-making a shot, so I left my corporate job (I've always had one). That's part of what inspired Composing Kitchen, the blog I publish with my incredible spouse, Karen Milling. View all posts by CK Barlow

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