The Weekend Retirement Test Drive: Groundhog Day and the Rest of Your Life (Plus: Competition)

155 Comments


Don’t be a groundhog [yes, I know this is a hedgehog, but I liked the shot]. (Photo: Anxious223)

There are a lot of rich and depressed groundhogs.

This is a critical concept, so let me introduce it with an e-mail I received from a reader and executive at a Fortune 500 company a few hours ago, edited for length:

Tim,
So I was out snowshoeing this morning and found myself completely taken in this moment thinking I was like the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale and that I was walking through the Black Forest. And I was there, at least in my mind, which, really, is all that matters. …Here’s how this is relevant to you – the problem most people are going to have with your book is that these people don’t know how to dream. I think your book is like the 2nd in a series… unless you can find moments of the sublime in whatever present moment, and unless you can dream about creating the next one, what does it really matter how much time you free up from work?

Here’s how we make this e-mail hit home for you and get you $720 in the process:

1) On a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, how life-changing or personally fulfilling have the last two weekends been?

2) Is retirement from the 9-5, 50-weeks-per-year routine one of your current goals? (Yes/No)

3) How confident are you on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, in your ability to fill 20-40 years of retirement, whether in one stretch or spread out as mini-retirements?

If your answer to 2 is affirmative, here are two worst-case scenarios…

-The answer for 3 is low.
-The answer for 3 is greater than your answer for 1.

In both cases, there will be a serious depression in your future if you create time abundance without the skill and practice needed to fill that void, not to mention regret for having followed the “deferred-life plan” of slave-save-retire (if you choose that versus lifestyle design and its present-tense options).

The next 48 hours of your life — or this weekend — is a microcosm of your potential retirement. How you spend this time is reflective of how you would fill time once you cash in your chips for the good life after 10-30 years of accumulating capital and assets.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day here in the US, and I want you to make the next 48 hours the opposite of the repetitive rinse-repeat life I associate with the classic movie of the same name.

Here’s the challenge and competition.

Pretend like the next 48 hours are the first 48 hours of your emancipation — you’ve done it and now all of your time is free time.

Prove to us and yourself that you can fill the void with something worthwhile. This could be one of the most telling experiments of your life, so I encourage you to treat it as a required exercise.

If you can’t fill the time, there are questions you need to ask and skills you need to develop before focusing 100% on finances, investments, nest eggs, etc.

Put your real “filling the void” experiment results in the comments of this post. Proof of some type (links to photos, video, etc.) is ideal but not required.

The best comment posted no later than 5pm PST on Friday, Feb 8th will win 36 copies of The 4-Hour Workweek from the original limited 1st print run. It’s now in it’s 29th printing and 36 new copies are worth $720 at retail. These 1st-edition versions are collector’s items and worth more with signatures, which 12 will have :) First-edition original manuscripts have sold for upwards of $1,500 each on Ebay.

OR

I’ll send you a collector’s edition talking action figure of Shaun from one of my favorite movies of all-time, Shaun of the Dead:

If this doesn’t motivate you to action, I don’t know what will.

Here are some links that might help:

E-mail Free Fridays and How to Save Your Weekend [Read the comments of this post and the one before it for ideas]
The Top 5 Reasons to Be a Jack of All Trades
How to Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour
A Beginner’s Guide: How to Rent Your Ideas to Fortune 500 Companies
Lack of Seriousness – The Last Interview with Vonnegut
The Magic of Groundhog Day

Good luck and remember — Subtracting work and the office doesn’t automatically create life. That’s the most neglected and important art of all.

Think big and do the uncommon.

Posted on: February 1, 2008.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

155 comments on “The Weekend Retirement Test Drive: Groundhog Day and the Rest of Your Life (Plus: Competition)

  1. Tim,

    I’m a bit taken back by your wording here. I’ve found more value in your book for the ways that it’s made me reevaluate my goals and my processes which i use in my life than for any other reason. I’ve lent it out to several friends to read, all of whom have found it at least “interesting.”

    Now hoping to win a book for a potential signature and the value of that signature, seems very materialistic. I hope no one enters for that reason alone. The book is far too valuable.

    (Yes, this post did make me check my book and it is a First Edition, however I wouldn’t think of selling it.)

    ###

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the comment. By the wording, I assume you mean the ethical bribe part of the competition. Or the e-mail? In either case, I’m very happy that different people get different things from the book. For the competition, I’m just giving a little incentive to those who need the push, and it doesn’t hurt me to offer the books, so I figure: why not?

    I want people to take disruptive action, but there’s a lot competing for attention, so I throw a bit in the mix to make it more compelling. Most won’t do it for the books, but a few will, and once they test the concepts, they’ll find the rewards from that to be the main motivator.

    I just need to get their foot in the door.

    It’s all just a big experiment, so we’ll see how it pans out :) Have a great weekend…

    Tim

    Like

  2. I would fly to Maui with my husband and daughter. I know – really not that exciting in the scheme of things. But, for us it’s an easy get-away if you make the time for it – short flight, great change from the dreary Seattle weather, no passports required and we like it there. I would show my 1 year old little girl what it feels like to dip her tiny toes into the warm, salty water and dig her chubby little feet into the sand. I would drink pina coladas in the sun with my husband and talk and by happy. I would snuggle and cuddle my little family and plan what to do next.

    Like

  3. wow…
    .
    .
    .
    wow.
    Tim, your book and your blog have made me re-examine my life in ways I’ve never done before.

    Now, I’m realizing that my dreams of a fulfilling retirement and going to be dashed if I can’t live through a fulfilling weekend – no matter how large my 401K.

    Thanks for the wakeup call.

    Like

  4. Hi Tim – Do you mean for us to do all these things this weekend, or can we use our imagination? Some of the things I would really like to do aren’t physically possible right now.

    Wow – I think I have a first edition too. Well, it’s a hardback and it says first edition but the numbers are only 10 and 9 – it doesn’t have the usual 10 numbers from 1 to 10. Does this count? If so, would you mind signing it with blood or something Tim? It would only take the small prick of a needle and I might get a whole heap more for it.

    Like

  5. Hey Tim,

    I have finished reading your book couple of weeks ago and thought to myself, I understand everything what this guy is talking about. Why? Because I have been living like him for the last 8 years. I have left the corporate 9-5 environment to enjoy life, and I have been. Focusing on my passions like travel and photography,blogging for fun, reading and learning whatever and wherever I want. I came back recently Buenos Aires, Argentina (my new favorite city in the world) and Uruguay. And already I have booked a trip to Barcelona, Spain for April. Later on this year I am looking forward to French Rivera and Monaco or may be Tokyo (I have not decided yet). I have visited to 117 cities in 21 countries over the years! I enjoy each and everyday of my free time now, I appreciate the fact that I am actually living my life to the fullest and stay in the moment. I keep a collection of photos from my travels over 8,000 by now on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tysonwilliams/). You are right about the fact that most people do not know what to do with themselves if they do not have “the job” to go to, because since they were kids at secondary school they were thought about living in a daily routine. Without it they are lost. They need to re-learn it how to let it all go, free themselves from it and be creative with what they are really interested in doing with their life. We all have a lot of potentials, passions and dreams, but it may take time for someone to break away from “Monday to Friday” life. It is possible, it is doable. I know because like you, I have done it and I could not imagine going back…

    Like

  6. How does watching the Superbowl, doing eight loads of laundry, and changing some poopie diapers sound? Pretty awesome right? Damn skippy. Go ahead and send those books to 324 Dreamsville Pike, Annandale, Va.

    Like

  7. Does it count that I have already lived my life for many years in that fulfilling way? I am not officially retired, but still self employed for the bit of money I still need to live. However, I got off the treadmill long ago by being more self-reliant, needing less money because I built my own home and made much of the furnishing. My home is tiny, but that is part of not being on the treadmill – no mortgage, manageable. I pursue so many interests that my problem is not how do I fill my day, but does the day have enough hours. There is plenty of proof on my website, which shows my lifestyle. I have believed for a long time that money is just an exchange token and a means to an end, and work is a way to get a number of those tokens to pay someone else to do what you can’t or won’t do for yourself. I feel fortunate that I need relatively few of those tokens.

    Like

  8. I quit my job. Today was my last day.

    I’m a game programmer and I’m going to spend the next 48 hours working on meaningful games that I truly believe in. I’m building a company where we hold ourselves to the highest standard in all of our conduct.

    I do yoga first thing every morning on the weekend. I’m also training for the Vancouver Half-Marathon in May.

    Like

  9. My whole life, I have loved stand-up comedy. I have tons of DVDs and CDs (Sam Kinison is my favorite) I have a bookshelf dedicated to comedy writing and stand-up how-to books, and I’ve read them all. I use to teach public speaking and I would use the opportunity to try out material. Of course, a room full of college freshman didn’t find my material very funny, especially at 9 A.M.

    I even did my master’s thesis on the use of humor in persuasion.

    I am now 38, and I’ve never got up at an open mic at a real comedy club and performed. I’ve been so wrapped up in pursuing the “American Dream” that I’ve never had time to do it. I’ve been telling myself that I have bigger fish to fry right now but someday, I’ll do it. Maybe when the kids are grown, or maybe when this happens or that happens.

    If I could retire right now, I would spend the first 48 hours beginning to pursue that dream. I would go to my local comedy club and bribe the owner to let me do a set.

    Then I would travel around the country in my Ford Focus and get as much stage time as I could. I would hang out with other comedians and listen to their stories of life on the road. I would stay in crappy hotels and eat nasty comedy club food. Man, what a blast!

    Like

  10. Very frickin’ interesting…you’ve got me wondering what I’ll do this weekend… I’m a RN and work a 12 hour on Sunday & my husband is working Saturday, so we’ll see… I’ve been trying to find ways to practically apply your book, as people remain critically sick on Mondays and Fridays and still “crash” at anytime…so I still need to be at work (working in cardiac ICU), altho this has got my husband & I thinking about what we really should be doing instead…pretty sure it will involve us quitting our jobs in the next year, but the whole dreaming thing is taken care of (the concern of the Fortune 500 man) — we’re as big as dreamers as I think we could get! (maybe some yoga for nurses?!) This year is time to put it to action…thanks more than words!

    Like

  11. Tomorrow I’m starting a marathon of DANCE classes. Ballet, Modern, Arabic Fusion, Belly dance, Hip Hop… Physical Expressionism with top choreographers… you name it. I’ve lived in the South for 4 years and have YET to watch Gone with the Wind. It’s about darn time. That’s on the list for this weekend too :)

    Call that mellow but it’s a HUGE change (a nice change) for me… in the past twenty days I’ve traveled to four countries for vacation, (got sick in Mexico), drove cross-country (thanks to snow in the SE), finished one headliner speaking gig, two teaching gigs, had a power-meeting in Vail, photographed the homeless, battered, and needy in Denver, and saw a world-premier play last weekend.

    Home sounds like the perfect Ground Hogs Day for me :) Perhaps I’m already in a mini-retirement. At least that what friends wonder when they ask “do you actually work?”

    Pictures of the past 20 days will be up shortly….

    Like

  12. Tim,

    I think about this all the time. Yeah, you’ve inspired this kid a bit. I’ve got my situation to where I’m only working a couple hours out of the day. As soon as I’m not tied to any one setting I’ve got an extensive plan laid out to accomplish my idea of a meaningful lifestyle design. Until then, I continue my weaning initiative. That time is very soon.

    I’m 26 and am inches from endless mini-retirements. I almost had a veritable “quarter-life” crisis thinking about what to do with my free time. I’m done thinking. I’ve already been on one mini-retirement. But the second is the kicker. I need one year to finish this project and another to dethrone your book from the top of the charts ;) Here it is…

    Objective: Do something that has never been done before and write an influential, best-selling book about it and produce an accompanying documentary.

    Task: Interview 5 high-ranking leaders, 15 manager-level leaders, and 50 members of the 16 most common world religions from Zoroastrianism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Muslim, Catholicism, etc (I haven’t included Scientology.. though I wouldn’t mind meeting Tom.. and some religions don’t have defined leadership or regions which will be tricky but I’ll figure it out). Then write about my findings and produce a film.

    Purpose: To set a foundation upon which a bridge of communication and understanding can be built between different religions. To find and write about SIMILARITIES (not been done to my knowledge) in thematic elements, doctrinal belief, liturgical practice, and everyday lives of leaders and members in each religion. To create unity where often times there is none. To help people find a reason to stop killing each other in the name of religion.

    Evidence: I’ve got extensive notes that I really don’t feel like transcribing even if it meant 700 bucks in free Tim books, but just in case you’re wondering, no it is not easy to get an appointment with the Pope, the Dalai Lama, or the LDS President. If anyone has any contacts, hit me up. I’ve got a film team in the wings waiting already..

    Next time consuming project: Do it again for Christian religions.

    Peace and love,

    Seth

    Like

  13. Hmmm, if I retire… I honestly don’t see myself retiring at all. My life isn’t perfect but I already take about 12 weeks of vacation every year. Perhaps I’ll want more than that in the future, but who knows. I do have asset goals that are still my focus, but as time goes on I see myself spending more time helping others. I went on a humanitarian trip this year to East Africa that really opened my eyes so to speak to what I could be doing in the world. A lot more. But this is a great idea to think about before the weekend starts.

    Like

  14. We (my wife and I) have already done a few of such ‘test drives’.
    Some of the them lasted for a day, some for one week and some a little longer.
    Once, it was a one-day spring trip to the plant preserving facility in Bolestraszyce. On
    the other hand, there was a few days’ long truly amazing trip to Venice. And many others.
    Whether it was gazing at flowers blooming in the spring, or the moment of contemplating
    the view of St. Mark’s Square from San Giorgio Maggiore Island – it was something
    worth remembering and sharing with others.

    You can find some pieces of our memories on our website (url in the header of the comment).

    It was no problem at all to fill up the time with valuable, at least for us, activities. I think that will be no problem in the future, either. Especially if you are a travel (and not only) freak or, to put it simply, if you are open to the world that surrounds you, being constantly curious of what the next day will bring.

    This weekend is devoted to another set of experiments, the aim of which is to set us free from
    everyday, the-same-place work routine and allow to have “too much free time (and other resources, too) to spend” problem. I’m pretty confident that we can easily find a solution to this problem.

    Great blog btw. With lots of new enlightening ideas.

    Thank you for that.

    Like

  15. Thanks for the nudge! I started reading the book about two weeks ago so the limited spare time I have has been focused on small money generators. It always amuses me when people talk about having nothing to do. If you have a home, there’s always plenty of work that needs doing. Now if you have a sport, there’s preparing to participate (tie some flies, restring racket, read other’s ideas on the sport, …) and actually participating in the sport. When I was laid off last February, I was always busy. The gas price increases started limiting what I could do so I fell back into the old rut of a W4W, this time at a grocery store. A muse seems to be evading me but attempting an eBusiness to generate $200 a week seems possible with your hints from the book. I don’t know how exciting pictures of me filling in LLC forms will be tho…

    Like

  16. Tim,

    I’m in a very opposite situation to most of the people who are getting acquainted with your book. I just finished a 16 month trip around the world visiting 24 countries, and this is my first week back at work. I guess you could say I’m coming out of mini-retirement.

    I found that for the first four months, seeing all these wonderful places was enough to keep me going although I had to pace myself to prevent burnout. After that, it was activities like scuba diving and salsa dancing (I’m still learning both) that filled my time.

    How do you personally schedule short-term events that are life-changing and personally fulfilling? I personally like to jump into something and commit to a very intensive trial, but this strategy fails for short time spans like a weekend or even an afternoon.

    Maybe you’ve already written an article on this topic or will in the near future?

    Like

  17. Tim,

    This is an easy one for me as I’m already moving towards it as a result of reading 4HWW. I’m taking my current company that does sales and marketing training and moving everything online and completely automating it. At the same time, I’m building another website that is a fundraiser for 6-7 million homeless animals in the US (I’ll tackle the world next). So, while I’m working now in big spurts to build both of these things, I also take off weekends for mini-retirements. I add in a few two-week trips now, with month-long ones coming soon.

    My 48-hour plan is quite simple (I already have everything but the exact dates and the plane tickets). After getting off the plane in Johannesburg, I hop on a bus to my hotel. After checking in, I take a two-hour stroll around the neighborhood, soaking in the sites and smells of my first trip to Africa. My friend, Derick, who is from Zimbabwe, has hooked me up with a local friend who has helped me choose some places to visit.

    The next morning I take a car down to Cape Elizabeth to meet up with a lovely woman I met online. I get a grand tour of CapeTown and crash on her couch for a few days.

    A few days later I head to the Zulu Nyala camp where I’m booked for a 7-day safari (I bought the trip in a charity auction this year). We rise each morning for a sunrise jeep trip into the bush to see rhino, elephants, lions, giraffe, hippo, etc. It’s the SA winter so the views are great. During the day we lounge around the compound and fight off the monkeys. I get a chance to meet my other campers from around the world and share travel stories. In the evening, we head out for another photo shoot, then dinner around the fire.

    After leaving the camp, I’ve got two more weeks of travel around southern Africa planned including of course a stop at Victoria Falls, but also an amazing swamp Derick has told me about. I’ll couch surf most of the time as I don’t really like swank hotels. A few of my friends have joined me for part of the trip so we all have a great time together. One of my favorite parts of travel is going someplace long enough for others (my poor wage slave friends) to come visit. I’m always hoping I’ll spark some interest for them.

    That’s a bit more than 48-hours but hopefully it’s a glimpse of what my retirement looks like. Lots of travel to places that stretch me. I want to see places that my animal rescue site can benefit and the best way is to get there in person.

    Also, look for me on the Ellen Degeneres show. She’s going to love our non-profit and I’m not afraid to contact her, especially since reading your helpful tips.

    Thanks, Tim, for writing a book that should shake us all out of our complacency. I advise each of my clients (about 2000/year) to read it since I started living it last year. Rock on, brother, and keep sending the good ideas.

    Laura

    PS: If I win the books, I’m putting them in our online auction of celebrity items to raise money for our non-profit. Thought you’d want full disclosure.

    Like

  18. Hey Tim,

    My weekend started earlier this week. Here’s a rundown, in chronological order, through this Sunday.

    Wednesday – Filed provisional patent after finishing Inventright (thanks for the pointer)

    Thursday – Negotiated new position at new company, totally work from home, more vacation and total flexibility with my kids schools schedule. And it will pay much more.

    Friday – Notified my company that I will take their Voluntary Separation Package.

    Saturday – start with son’s karate class then spend a few hours a BJJ on my own, followed by family time and a local fundraiser

    Sunday – Sleep late (as late as the kids will let us) visit summer camps, brunch with inlaws and then Superbowl with friends (and a lot of kids)

    That’s it and I would “Ground Hog’s Day” it anytime. I really took your comment the other day to hear, about the measure of happiness is equivalent to the time spent have dinner with friends and family. It’s a great formula and one we have been trying to exercise as much as possible.

    Thanks Tim.

    Neil

    Like

  19. Wow. Shaun is *awesome*. But I’d rather have the book :)

    I’ve got an interesting story (you can read the long version on my site, if you like). Was born with a genetic disability causing much pain; worked off and on then had to stop. I spent a couple years practically living from my bed (and watching Shaun with my daughter, who adores that movie!). A year and a half ago, God healed me… completely, totally removed this genetic condition from my body (my doctor nearly fainted when she saw me!)

    I’ve spent the last year and a half struggling with issues of time management and identity. I think I’ve got the identity issues solved by now… but really I’m having to learn from the ground up how to prioritize and manage time and life. My husband and I are new pastors, and pastors have demands coming at them ALL the time. Your site has been very helpful, and I hope to read your book VERY soon!

    Like

  20. Tim… always intriguing posts. And I know what you would say to me about what I am about to say.

    I am busy building a business to help me get out of my 9-5 prison. I tend to be like you when you started with BrainQuicken… always working.

    That has to be the hardest part when you are starting because my weekends tend to be spent learning ways to increase internet traffic… getting my readers to participate in discussions, etc…

    Well maybe more fun will free up the brain cells for creative ideas!

    That Audi by the way is kick ass!

    Like

  21. Whatever happened to posting once or twice a week? This is the only blog I have ever subscribed to (and I’ve read thousands)… I was always anxiously waiting for the next post. But it’s getting watered down so fast with the daily posts… the content is starting to look like a combination of rehashed old posts and random thoughts like you’d see on a Myspace blog (that no wants to read). That and now I get an email every day (feels like spam), and I haven’t even had the time to read your last two posts yet
    :(

    Like

  22. Hello Tim,

    First let me say that your book has changed me in so many ways. I come from family where hard work and long hours are expected…work is not something that one should enjoy, rather something that you have to do.

    But I digress…if I could start today what would I do? I am a teacher and a surfer and a parent and a business owner and a blogger, just to name a few. There are literally hundreds of surf spots I have yet to visit…and three little guys who need to learn how to handle a board. I have 8th graders from the California Central Valley who are just dying to learn how to “rip” (most from low-income families who have never seen the ocean) and want me to start a surf school of sorts.

    That takes care of the first few years….as for the rest, new opportunities have been presenting themselves to me weekly and working 40 hours a week just gets in my way.

    I am off to the beach…thanks.

    Sam Reid

    Like

  23. It won’t really serve me to take up this challenge in the literal sense. I’ve got too many plans this weekend to ‘make it a knockout weekend’ or anything like that.

    I will say that after reading your book as well as ‘Getting Things Done’, I’ve made some remarkable changes in my life.

    1. I’m getting up at 5am repeatedly now – without an alarm clock.
    2. I’m 90% vegetarian.
    3. I’ve brought my blood pressure from 140/90 -> 120/75.
    4. I’ve brought my weight from 175 -> 158’ish and stable.
    5. I’ve started a self-help blog.
    6. I’ve turned $300 profit this year so far in craigslist business.
    7. I’ve started a donation-based tech support service for which all tech support I give will go to a charity to house homeless people.
    8. I’ve consistently leaving work ~4-4:30 pm.
    9. I’m getting back to reading books. I knocked out your book in 3 sittings and GTD in about 3 sittings.
    10. I got a reply from you (Tim) in e-mail, but it was probably one of your VA’s :)
    11. I finally cleaned out my garage.
    ..
    the list goes on. All this in the past month.
    Hopefully, this will last.

    I just wanna say thanks, Tim, for your book. I take the book with a grain of salt, but the hyperbole got the message across. You’re book isn’t the only thing that got me to wake up (and I’m sure I’m not entirely ‘woken up’ yet), but it was a most welcome catalyst.

    Like

  24. “..support service for which all tech support I give will go to a charity to house homeless people…”

    I meant to say that the donations I get from the tech support will go the the charity… not the tech support.

    oops!

    Like

  25. Tim,

    If I could do anything within the next 48 hours… wow… so much fun here..

    I would definitely use that free air ticket I have been saving to visit my friend in Costa Rica. Enjoy the 85 degree weather, hike the rain forest, get in some scuba diving, maybe even learn some surfing and enjoy the company of a friend that I have not seen in years.

    If I had any extra time after that I would throw my snowboard in the car and go up to Tahoe to get at some of that fresh powder that has fallen.

    Tim, your book has changed my life and is still making it better a year after reading it. I agree with you in that it takes a good imagination to really push you to take advantage of that newly formed free time. I find myself wasting away a weekend, because I don’t look back at my dreamline often enough to really prioritize my values.

    -Mike

    Like

  26. Anyone who’s ready to wake up to the reality that there’s more to life than they’ve known will be moved in ways similar to you will when they read your book.

    And those that aren’t won’t. It’s not their time.

    Being ready for that bigger view is key, and compelling ethical bribes or not, readiness cannot be rushed.

    It can be manufactured, kind of like mimicing a secret club handshake, but not much will change. It can’t: what effects and sustains change won’t be present.

    The thing I love about your views and material is the mind-shaking realization that there’s more to life if only you expand your awareness and begin to think beyond the box.

    But lifestyle ain’t the bomb so many think it is either – and life isn’t a game to be figured out and won.

    Making the most of your day isn’t about where you’re going, what you’re doing or the style in which you do it. Its about who you know yourself to be as you go and do.

    Which is why so many ‘fail’ (cough) to take action to design a lifestyle that, in the end, on a purely instinctive level they know won’t make them all that much happier than their cubicle did.

    Awareness – that’s the thing. And when aware, there is no box – not even the self-designed box called lifestyle.

    And that is what Groundhog Day is really all about.

    Now I’m not advocating staying put when called to more anymore than it sound’s like you are, Tim, but if that point is missed so’s the real show.

    Like

  27. I can’t even remember my last two weekends without looking at the calendar. Too many binges? Nah. Like Nick, there’s diapers and feedings to contend with on a seemingly hourly basis. I don’t plan to be doing those same things upon retirement, so my mind is overflowing with dreams for the non-tethered life – whether to work, social obligations, bills, or small children (whom I am more than happy to be tethered to for this season). I crave a long, quiet period in Scotland – wandering the hills, talking to the sheep, writing, taking photos. I long to return to the streets of Florence, walking hand-in-hand with my husband. A road trip along the East Coast in the fall would fulfill a desire nicely. Just writing these words bring me peace.

    Like

  28. I think most are missing the point of Tim’s exercise. I don’t think he is trying to get everyone to think about what you would do with that free time. It’s easy to think about all the glorious things we would do and could do once we retire. Everyone has those visions. The point I see is that most people aren’t able to go out and actually act on those dreams today. They aren’t ready to mentally and may not really have enough to fulfill their time. He is trying to test everyone to see if we are truly ready for all the free time everyone is seeking. If you can’t get out and spend 48 hours now doing what you love, then how are you going to be able to spend your entire retirement doing it?

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  29. In our mid-40s, my husband and I took a year off to travel the country in a converted bus. We liked it (and not working so hard) so much, we downsized our lives. This enabled us to take this very cold winter off and are busing around California. That’s what I’m doing this weekend – spending 24/7 with my hubby (and my cat) in a new town, just being and exploring. (Well, OK. The cat doesn’t actually do any exploring – he’s blind and declawed, so he stays in the bus.) That’s what I’d like to KEEP doing in retirement.

    Like

  30. What I HAVE done this weekend is posted a link to a free report on my blog in order to test the buying potential of a particular market.

    If I get a huge list, I’ll start working out what product I’m going to create.

    **fingers crossed**

    this is the beginning of a new life….

    Like

  31. This morning I worked on content for a new blog I’m starting.

    Then after spending regular saturday morning with daughters eating doughnts and goofing around, we went to nature museum to see the groundhog.

    then this afternoon, I set up a low-tech photo studio in my living room to test lighting for a series of portraits I’m planning to take next month on a trip to Tokyo. I’m going to get Japanese volunteers to help me translate and I’m going to shoot a series of portraits of locals that I get to volunteer by approaching them at Shinagawa and Shinjuku train stations. I’ve already hooked up with someone via Flickr who lives there and runs a local photo club. He said they’d love to come watch me work and help me out.

    Lighting test was done on daughter’s doll (see one of the photos on link above at Flickr). Fur around her neck is from a different trip i took to Tokyo last month – explored in some small alleys around Shinjuku and found a 6-story shop for people who do sewing/fashion. This was a small squirrel fur from the remainder table. It was fun trying to get the Japanese woman at the cash register to translate into English what type of animal it was from – she thought opossum. Turns out Japanese word for squirrel sounds like “Ree-sue”.

    I’m throwing a big party this fall to have a “gallery show opening” of my photos – have picked out a place in a warehouse district I can rent. going to get a DJ, invite as many people as I can and take donations to give to local foodbank. (I’m going to ask them for their mailing list to help drum up more folks).

    Also planning trip to Spain in 1 week where I’ll stay with an old friend. Going to NYC over my kids’ spring break (they’ll be with grandparents) to stay on floor of another old friend, and I and my family will live in France this summer via house-swap (thanks Tim for introducing me to homeexchange.com).

    Once I started acting on what I love/have dreamed of, the ideas just started coming. And the most interesting part is that once I started moving, it wasn’t nearly as difficult to work into the rest of my life as I thought it would be. Though I can relate to those of you with small kids (have just gotten through that phase myself)…

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  32. I think most are missing the point of Tim’s exercise. I don’t think he is trying to get everyone to think about what you would do with that free time. It’s easy to think about all of the glorious things we would do and could do once we retire. Most people already have those visions. The point I see is that most people aren’t able to go out and actually act on those dreams today. They aren’t ready to act mentally and may not really have enough fulfilling activities to fill their time. He is trying to test everyone to see if we are truly ready for all the free time everyone is seeking. If you can’t go out and spend 48 hours now doing what you love and are passionate about, then how are you going to be able to spend your entire retirement doing it?

    Like

  33. Alright, here goes…
    My weekend. (48 hours)

    I live in New Zealand so I only got your post on Saturday.
    Saturday night I went to have dinner with a cherished old family friend. This lovely lady has an old farm near where I live. Here husband passed away last year, but she has heaps of grandchildren to fill her life and keep her young. (They love her too.)

    We spent the evening having dinner on the porch, and talking about the state of the world and other Important Stuff.

    Sunday (today.) I went surfing with my dad at the local beachie (surf break.) It was a whole lot better than it looked, and I only came out when my fingers and thumbs got numb. (The water was quite warm but I have bad circulation – lucky I don’t smoke.)

    This arvo – had a delicious lunch of grilled eggplant and wild rice, and watched a David Attenborough documentary about bears. Bears are cool.

    Right now, I’m typing a comment….

    Life is good.

    Naomi

    PS. I haven’t got any pictures – forgot to take a camera because I wasn’t thinking of this competition at the time. I live on the west coast though. North Island. My local is Kariotahi.

    Like

  34. To truly enjoy life in a sustained way, it is necessary to find meaning and enjoyment in the simple or basic things, even work (not talking job here, but tings in your daily life). Trying to frantically fill the day with lots of activity for activity’s sake is just another form of killing time, or chasing another fix. There is also space with which to fill a day, calm space. In a hectic world with hyperactive children and adults with high blood pressure, we could all do with more of that. There is no better meditation – whilst even getting something done and connecting with your environment – than to sow seeds in the garden, craft something for the home, or just listen to the birds.

    Like

  35. Tim, I am writing to you from the road. I have always had a passion for travel, people and photography and decided to take your experiment literally, which is what I believed it was intended to be.

    I have always thought it would be fun to travel to a place I am passionate about and attempt to record the history of that place through the eyes of the camera and dialogue with the locals. Since I cannot go to, say Italy, on short notice, I have decided to take on Texas this weekend. It is, after all, a country in itself, and a place I have always been curious and passionate about, but never had the time to explore.

    I will attempt to learn a little about the state and the history of its people through their own words. I think this “project” has always piqued my curiosity because it satisfies both of my desires to travel and to learn.

    One day, I hope to be able to do this without ever worrying about coming back to work again. I am now in Houston and will check back in for an update at my next stop.

    Eric

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  36. I spent the last two weekends in Park City, UT, at a little known film festival called “Sundance.” I frolicked in the snow, atop my board, with the night lights of Park City glimmering in the distance. I saw some films I’ll probably never get the chance to see again because the best are always the treasures that aren’t picked up by distributors–unfortunate, but very true. I sled down a hill on a Slamdance Film Festival banner with about ten other people and almost broke my arm and loved it. I tasted region-specific foods I look forward to every time I travel. I mingled with friends and filmmakers with big ideas and lofty goals and passions that don’t quit.

    Three weekends ago, I was on the set of a film I’m producing. I even played a few cameo parts: “creepy older nerd” and “black Chewbacca.”

    Tonight I’m wrapping up some Internet detail, before heading out for a film. I’ve been prepping for an upcoming shoot (of a entirely different film) all day today and will continue tomorrow. From rehearsing with the actors, to managing the production design on-set, to simply being there, able to witness all the events unfold, I find it’s one of the most fulfilling and purposeful ventures of my life.

    But what’s really great about my weekends is that they’re not really weekends at all. They blur into the weekdays as well. There’s really no set hours–it’s all what I put into it. And because I don’t have a nine-to-five job (nor have I ever), I put in as many hours as I want.

    My goal is not to get away from a 9 to 5 job because I’ve never had one. I’ve always worked for myself and because of it, I don’t feel like I’m working. My life is really just one fulfilled day after the other. I’m never tired, I’m rarely stressed, and I’m always looking forward to the next, daily, life-changing experience.

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  37. Heh, heh, you caught me on a good weekend! I work a 9-to-5 job for money. I use the money to support my family. I used to feel irritated that I had to spend so much of my time working for someone else and not doing anything particularly useful. This weekend, though, is filled with several of my favorite activities. They aren’t easy and they can be draining but they’re very rewarding.

    We teach a curriculum at our church called Our Whole Lives, a comprehensive human sexuality course. While there are age-appropriate curricula for all age ranges (through adult) the core of the program is for middle or junior high youth. We also hold a concurrent program for the parents of the youth and while it is a *very* big commitment of time for all concerned – we met for eight hours today and meet for four hours almost every weekend between now and early April – almost everyone goes the whole distance. This year my partner is working with the youth and I am working with the parents.

    On Sundays, I am a youth advisor for our Jr. High youth group program and I have worked with the Sr. High group, too. We discuss spirituality, current events, social action, etc. It is fulfilling to provide these opportunities for growth and contribute to my community.

    When I got started working with the youth several years ago I was concerned that I would burn out, that I would miss out on other activities. I found, instead, that it charges me up. I realized that this was so important that it doesn’t matter that I don’t get paid to do it. Should I be able to retire (or if I won the lottery) that would be one of the things that I would continue to do.

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  38. Tim,

    This is a very interesting topic. I have found that escaping the 9 to 5 is not that hard when you set your mind to it. In the last few years I have managed to transform from freaked out, highly stressed workaholic to relaxed, underworked, frequent traveller with a well managed, semi-automated business. That was the easy part.

    During the last year I have enjoyed 11 weeks of travel and holiday. This coming year is already crammed full of “mini-retirements” and travel.

    I think the biggest challenge for people who are successful enough to set up profitable businesses that allow them to indulge their freedom fantasies, is to do something satisfying with their new found freedom. It creates internal conflict for these A-type personalities. They are driven people. To switch off is counter-intuitive.

    Having just returned from a 6 week, self-indulgent ski vacation I have found my head full of new ideas and challenges. Sure I love to travel, but I also find the need to take on challenging and hopefully beneficial projects.

    This weekend alone has seen me bike riding and surfing, as well as helping run a high profile triathlon in my town. Next week I am exploring the potential of setting up a new not-for-profit focussed on health, fitness and addressing the obesity epidemic.

    Seems the more free time I create, the more things I do.

    Like

  39. I don’t have to imagine emancipation, I am living it. I am 52 and approaching my 2nd year of retirement from a Big Oil corporation. Having a “worthwhile” life has two components – the admirable life and the enviable life.

    Although “increasing shareholder value” seemed to me to be a worthwhile goal for much of my career, that eventually lost its luster. While working, I was well compensated financially but had little time for friends, family, charity and often even simple courtesy. There was too much to do and I did not have or make time to think about options. Occasionally I would try to instill some balance but I got sucked right back into work. I actually enjoyed my work more than the gym, so why rush home? And my husband was (and still is)just as absorbed in his career.

    After two years of retirement I aspire to redirect my life towards “admirable” but now I am enjoying the “enviable” life (in London where my husband is posted). I hike weekly, walk along the Thames daily, and work out with a personal trainer – removing more than 10 pounds and lots of cholesterol. I have made several wonderful friends and I spend time with them. I attend many lectures, museum exhibits, and guided tours. I travel extensively. I keep my mind active by listening to lectures by The Teaching Company. This year I will become a Competent Toastmaster and Leader. I support Hillary and will be volunteering and voting at the Democrats Abroad event in Porchester Hall on Tuesday. My husband and dog see a lot more me in a happier and relaxed state. And so that I don’t ever forget this wonderful time in my life, I blog about it for myself and my family and friends.

    Even if you don’t know what you will do or if the time you spend will be “worthwhile”, sometimes you just have to go ahead and try. If you don’t like it, you can usually return to your former life in some form or fashion.

    P.S. Affording to retire is a whole separate topic. However, I know many people who can truly afford to retire but don’t want to or say they cannot afford it. More people have a choice than they want to admit (and whatever they choose and why is their own business).

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  40. Here is something cool you could include on your new and improved site, and would be a logical result of this current topic of weekend mini retirement test…..Could (and readers) suggest more cool low cost escapes?

    On the website under “Ideal Lifestyle Costing” you detail a few inexpensive but exotic examples such as “Smithsonian tropical research island” and “charter plane in Mendoza wine country in Argentina”. Geo-arbitrage is a clearly a big theme of the book and a potential mobile lifestyle. Therefore it would be fantastic if we could all contribute with suggestions of cool and exotic activities and locations that don’t cost the earth…both home and away. And, importantly, how to track them down.

    This would be an invaluable resource for all us “lifestyle designers”.

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  41. I work on weekends at night and it’s sucking the life out of me! Haven’t been doing it for so long, but it is still very cumbersome. I understand the concept of the “mini retirements” because I try to do those all the time. Money doesn’t rule me and I don’t care too much for being a millionare.Maybe my problem is that I make them escapes and not accomplish anything substantial, I don’t konw.
    How can you be so successful at everything you do? Where do you find the patience?

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  42. I think I will approach a local new hotspot if they want to host a board game and arty farty open mic night so we can dance and whip each others’ asses at Scrabble.
    Been a while since i’ve had time to cheat at a good game with friends :-)

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  43. Tim, My weekend went like this – I blogged on http://www.investorplacesblog.com, where an MSN sponsored stockpicking contest kicked off round two on Friday(Strategy Lab Open). I spent several hours on my Spanish lessons with Rosetta Stone. Spanish is a must learn language for my wife and me, as we will take two mini-retirements this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Cartagena, Colombia. The first lesson takes 25-40 hours, achieving a mastery of about 1000-word vocabulary. And then I went to the Big Ten Iowa – Ohio State men’s basketball game, where Iowa got revenge from a 30-point loss three weeks ago. Sunday – more Spanish lessons. I skipped the Super Bowl – because there are a lot of better things to do. I did a site survey of the local Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar and restaurant in Iowa (I’m on the road), as I am planning to set up a franchise in Northern California (but of course only for passive income, because I will have a general manager to run the day to day operations). I got this idea from your suggested reading of the E-Myth Revisited. Sunday night – I am kicking back with a nice bottle of Burgundy (Givry 1er CRU, Clos Du Cellier Aux Moines, Domaine Joblot, 2003).

    I’d say this was a great weekend, the Tim Ferriss way! The only thing missing – my wife, as she is on the road for the week, visiting family in Oregon.

    Pierre

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  44. I downloaded a course of Spanish lessons and sent an E-mail to my mentor about taking advanced business English courses at school (Cambridge stuff). I went out with friends and met a lot of new people and made a bit stronger connections with the friends I already have.

    I contacted a guy I really respect for his discipline, energy and innovative ideas and offered my services for his project, he was quite enthusiast and we set up a meeting.

    I planned a 2-3 weeks holiday to Italy this summer and started working on the list of books I want to read during that time.

    It’s not what you would have expected but I’m 18 year old and after reading your book I started cutting down on the time I actually spent at school and increasing the time I am productive. My grades have improved quite a bit and I am no longer bored all the time at school. I consider it a huge improvement. Now I am off to create a budget and start creating a ‘long term” investment plan.

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  45. Friday
    3:00 p.m. – Alerted VAs (http://www.officeevolution.com) I was leaving the office (4 year old startup company from my college senior business plan project). If important, VA transfers office calls to my cell phone. Loaded car with weekend necessities.

    4:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Rode with my brother in exciting winter driving conditions up to Aspen; eight inches of snow fell during the drive. Listened to favorite road-trip music and read through employees’ activity from the week on my MacBook. Quickie dinner of sliders and diet coke.

    Read until I fell asleep. (Crashing at grandparents’ house).

    Saturday
    8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Incredible day of skiing on Snowmass Mountain with my family (38″ of fresh snow in the last 7 days) – aspensnowmass.com. Best lunch ever – Grilled Chicken, Pineapple, Swiss & Bacon Sandwich with a chilled Corona. Slightly cold temperatures and snowfall kept mountain from being overcrowded.

    Post ski-Hot Tub
    Sent a few office emails to staff with ideas from the day

    Saturday Night
    Hysterical comedy & dinner show at The Crystal Palace in Aspen (www.cpalace.net/palace.html) with outstanding dinner to match – grilled salmon, wasabi mashed potatoes, squash, carrots and 2 martinis. People-watching incredible.

    Sunday
    Slept in until 8. Getting ready for another major powder day on the mountain. We’ll quit skiing at 2, watch a little of the Superbowl, and then drive back home.

    I repeat this mini vacation at least once a month, or as necessary. Thanks for the tips, Tim. I hope you continue to have as much fun as your readers.

    Sarah

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  46. 1)On a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, how life-changing or personally fulfilling have the last two weekends been?

    9 because I found this site and the inventright product and am acting on several life changing and fulfilling projects, 3 because I can’t buy the inventright for 3 months.

    2)Is retirement from the 9-5, 50-weeks-per-year routine one of your current goals? (Yes/No)
    3)
    Yes, ALWAYS HAS BEEN, but now I have a strategy :-)

    3)How confident are you on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, in your ability to fill 20-40 years of retirement, whether in one stretch or spread out as mini-retirements?

    25, my hobbies, and social life are already such that ( dispite working only 13 hours a week, my work (was 10, but that wasn’t enough to allow me a life above survival) interferes with pursuing my life affirming and fulfilling plans. This doesn’t even touch the things I want to do for travel, learning to master hand drumming, scuba diving, wind sailing, snowboarding, and many this I don’t even know exist yet.
    My 48 hours:
    I only work Monday through Thursday, and a total of 13 hours teaching English as a Second language in Japan.
    My weekend starts Thursday after work at 6 PM when I get back from my job (after a whopping 2 hours work;-). On the way back I go into my head and brainstorm about what things I CAN do once I get back to my apartment.
    I decide to clean as this makes it easier on my hyperactive head to get anything done without the frustration of losing anything I put down 2 seconds ago.
    I listen to an audio book (guess which one;-) while cleaning the bathroom (and think that in not long I will NEVER do housecleaning again, it will be outsourced since it is my overriding domestic weakness and clutter tortures my head).
    After I finish I sit down to work on one of my latest projects, a new generator design, which is it performs as I thing it will will be superior to current designs.
    Here’s a pic of the modified design:
    I am waiting for the silicone to dry before testing it, (silicone is one of an inventors best friends), if you tinker you know what I mean.

    I am writing this after the fact now, it’s Sunday night, rather Monday 12:43 local time in Amagasaki City in Japan, (midway between Osaka and Kobe).

    Like any of my projects the time melted away, the generator modification took most of Thursday until 2 AM ish then I watched a movie and went to sleep around 4AM. These carzy hours are the hours I naturally gravitate to when, like now, my schedule allows, and the hours I will likely live the rest of my life with, once I obliterate my schedule permanently.
    During Thursday I also thought about some other things that might serve as Muses for me, the most immediate being a short VERY effective workout and fitness program I have spent 25 years developing for myself through reading, and personal experimentation. Ultimately and first my heart and soul belong to inventing for my muse/ and defining my place in things, but if necessary I will start with something else until I get there.

    Below is a latex mold of a Heracles beatle to be used for a bronze or silver pendant.The silicone fills the details that would “lock” the mold up if they where left.
    Silicone came to my rescue again (I actually struggled with how best to do it for a while then realized how easily silicone sould fill in the undercut detail. It took me a couple/ three hours to get them just right then set them asside to dry in the latex drier I built.
    2 Heracles Beatle molds (now coated with dish soap to the mother mold won’t stick)

    Then I moved to opening a finished mother mold to get at the already vulcanized ( heated for an hour to cure the rubber) latex mold inside.
    Below is a cement mother mold, inside is a real flower.

    I have yet to cut the mold open remove the model and then have a mold to make many wax copies the the very detailed flower to be turned into jewelry using lost wax casting.
    I think I might fair better if I say that this was a “telling experiment” but for me it was a fairly typical day off as these projects are my hobbies, dreams and some of my future business aspirations.
    “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Confucius.

    For me the time was easy to fill, it flew by, but then again I have been striving, however slowly away form wage slavery and toward some form of self support for most of the last year.
    If I win this…I want the books, so I can keep one autographed copy, and sell the rest on e bay or to a bookstore so I can get the inventright kit and get my lifelong dream of being an inventor out of my private domain and put me into the new rich category I have dreamed I would…since EARLY childhood.

    One of the last times I talked to my mother I asked her how long agoI started inventing/ taking apart toys, tv’s…to see what was inside…her answer “as long as I can remember Tim”, no hype no B.S. This is and has always remained my lifelong dream, it’ll happen with or without this prize, it’s just the prize would save me a couple months time getting the information that Stephen Key has to offer.

    I want this as bad worse than most , maybe all the other people out there, I am 40 and have slowly, then faster been fumbling toward this goal for about 35 years, contrary to the (benevolent yet misguided)“take the main stream” encouragement of family, society and friends.

    Tim

    P.S.
    I don’t know why but the 4 photos I had in this doc didn’t seem to copy across, if they did great, if they didn’t, can someone with more web savvy help me do so? I’m playing to win, I think pictures would help,and it’s a noble cause;-)

    ###

    Hi Tim2,

    If the photos don’t show, please try uploading them to http://www.flickr.com and then pasting the links in the comments here.

    Thanks for contributing!

    Tim1

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  47. Ironically, I was too busy with my weekend to check my RSS reader, and missed this post. :)

    There’s something going on right now called February Album Writing Month (fawm.org), a challenge for songwriters to write a song every two days this month. (I’m sure that you can appreciate the value in that) You can listen to the submissions, mine included, on the website.

    At first, I was physically ill at the thought of all the work it would take, but I buckled down, reworked my sleeping schedule (for compatibility with my job) and managed to write two songs yesterday alone. Since I’ve always struggled with completion of my work, that already makes this one of the most fulfilling weekends I’ve had in a long time.

    Maybe I will even participate in Novel Writing Month later this year. :)

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  48. Tim,

    Your book has really inspired me, in fact I’ve been thinking a lot about my muse. I didn’t get to experience the 9-5 (or shall I say the 9-infinity) dread till about 2 years ago. Now your book is a safety vest in treacherous waters.

    If I didn’t have to go back to work on Monday, I’d spend this weekend in Arizona hopefully meeting my beloved Pats and somehow finding tickets to the Superbowl.

    I’d really love to escape the cold Boston weather.

    Like

  49. After major loss, I am still moving forward in the recovery on a lot of levels. Funny, it took longer than I thought.

    Usually, my work is my passion–hobbies turned into work. The main difference would be that I would travel more and so would be able to impact more people.

    I love to speak and am a good educator and so bigger venues would be the goal. I get good media coverage and other opportunities but live in an area that isn’t conducive for a lot of other interactions. I am taking it to cyberspace now–in hopes of that being the final piece to make my outreach more of a viable option.

    so, I don’t see retirement life as too much different than it is now except that it would include travel. Every day I educate people, have fun with animals, and have the time to interact with both.

    At the moment each 48 hours is filled with activity, some productive, some social–I don’t work 9-5–at the moment it is a bit longer as I am working on some new projects and goals.

    My profession is related to animals, nature, and pets but it is also about lifestyle. I find that listening or paying attention to others by making time for them can be the most rewarding and impacting–for them and for me.

    I like creating those connections…I help people to understand their animals and then themselves.

    So, what I would see is taking that to the bigger world. Teach people to understand animals (and themselves as an adjunct) and then take that to understanding the issues other cultures face.

    Finally I’d like to help facilitate the discovery of steps they could take to help the immediate issues here in the USA and eventually to other places where animals are endangered.

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  50. From my perspective you’ve got the right questions dead on! Having “experimented” with retirement I have no confidence that I could fill the next 30 years with traditional retirement experiences such as golf, travel, etc. For now at least, there has to be more for me. I’ve have the opportunity to be in a position of helping people prepare for and live through the next stage of their lives. Many would benefit from asking themselves these questions.

    For me, It has come done to living every day understanding and following my passions. I’m extremely lucky for one of them to provide meaningful engagement in peoples lives and provides an excellent living as well. The concepts in your book help provide time for family and relationships at a meaningful level and the opportunity to do all the traditional pastimes is available now. Why would I stop? Careful examination and patient introspection would serve all well as they are considering the next stage of their life.

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  51. I was two days away from leaving to NYC on business. As it stood, my wife was staying at home with our two kids. My plan was to race to NYC and back, staying at a nice hotel on Broadway and skipping all the excitement the city has to offer. After flipping through 4HWW, I thought, “what the hell am I doing?” I was passing up an awesome opportunity for a mini-retirement.

    I instantly visited Craigslist, called the Grandparents, got my wife a ticket to Newark, and extended my stay 5 nights.

    The mini-retirement/date-night began with wine in our one bedroom rental in Times Square with views of the city – music courtesy of the laptop but no email!

    Then it was to the heli-pad for a helicopter tour of Manhattan. Dinner at Trattoria Casa Di Isacco in Hells Kitchen – best food and service ever. A show at the Laugh Factory…And later during the trip The Late Show with Dave, comedy with Sommore (pic – http://www.thepeopleschemist.com/img/Sommore.JPG), iTrulli, wine, wine and more wine – with many discussions of futuer mini-retirements and how great the Internet and the 4HWW is. My business didn’t miss a beat.

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  52. What a great challenge. I read this Sunday evening but I am still proud of my weekend.

    On Saturday I woke up late, read a little and went back to sleep. In the afternoon I walked about 30 minutes to the park in town with my wife and youngest son and went to an art exhibit and played catch.

    On Sunday I woke up early and went for a run with my youngest son. At noon I picked up my wife and drove to see my aunt, her friend who is visiting and her Dad. Then we walked around a bit and went out ot dinner.

    I could live with a retirement like that!

    Like

  53. Hi Tim,

    I’ve just watched the Today show clip on MSN from last year. Hard to honestly say what was achieved in that article but I was amazed to hear Donny Deutche saying that the happiest people in the world are working 50 hrs a week. What the f*ck?!? I had to replay it to check if he was serious! I worked those hours for most of my 20’s and aside from plenty of money I can’t remember having time to be ‘happy’ and very nearly forgot what it was entirely. Over the past couple of years I’ve started to step back and only contract for a few months of the year and even then I’m still able to be sailing and travelling etc. (Sydney is the city of opportunity!). One thing I do notice now is how so many people seem to begrudge me for having a life and not wanting to work fulltime. Much like the Donny D thing I just figure now that there are some people (probably most) who have bought into the treadmill existence and have forgotten what it really means to have a life and can’t entertain the idea of being able to support themselves without working all the time and still have a proper good time. Sad but I’m beyond trying to reason with them!

    Anyway, thanks for the book. I continue to re-read certain parts to keep my head in the right place.

    Hayden

    Like

  54. Hey Tim

    I come from a low income bracket family and I am a freshmen in college which is being paid for mostly by loans. SO to make sure I have the income to pay for it I already have a internship in my field.

    And To say the least I work from 8am to midnight every day. Two weeks ago I had a nervous breakdown and decided it was time for change. I told my boss that I’m working less, and I will also be working more from home. He saw the value in me and decided to allow it.

    I have read your book twice and I believe I need some help with creating cash flow so that I do not need to work at this internship and I can enjoy my time at school and focus on my studies. In your book you said you need to stick to your strengths. And to be honest my strengths are hard work and finding answers to problems and researching.

    Unfortunately all of my strengths have not turned into cash flow and its not from lack of trying. I did the entire ’30day challenge’ and found out it was just a sales gimmick for the Immediate Edge. And did some of my own research to no avail.

    Your book also said find a super mentor and try to get a hold of them. And I have chosen you, and who would be better. Your strengths are Product Creation and Research. I have tried to get a hold of you but unfortunately like your book preached you have a assistant wall of flames making sure you only get what information you need.

    So here is one of my last resorts to get a hold of you. If you could find some time out of your world venturing and blogging to help a a student of your teachings. And mentor me in the art of entrepreneurship and automated cashflow.

    Please if you cannot find the time at least find the time for a reply.

    Thanks alot!

    Jason S.

    ###

    Hi Jason,

    Thank you for the comment and kind words. I really appreciate you reaching out. Regarding the mentorship — as you might imagine, I get too much volume to do one-on-one work, but the reader-only forums at http://www.fourhourworkweek.com do have some helpful contributors and would-be mentors who answer questions, just as I do on this blog.

    Best of luck with all, and keep up the good fight — it’s well worth it.

    All the best,

    Tim

    Like

  55. Does anyone else feel that by the time they have read some of the other comments they’ve forgotten what they were going to write about?

    My new tip for commenting:
    Write my comment before reading others.

    I like seeing the websites of the other people who comment, and it’s nice to see other people in various stages of muse creation and success. It keeps reminding me that I’m behind! The road ahead may be long but like Tim says above, “it’s well worth it”.

    What about the weekend challenge?

    Well last saturday I spend 2 hours in a yoga and english teaching/exchange lesson, 3 hours reading and studying about self development, 2hrs at the gym, 2 on chores and cooking, 2 researching internet marketing ideas, and 4 hanging out with the girlfriend. Sunday was Snowboarding, shopping for food, more QT with the girlfriend and cooking a massive vegetable hot-pot!

    If I had already retired would it be similar to that? I think so. Except I did come to the conclusion that if I spent 3 hours a weekend just ‘studying’ about exercise I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am now!

    Conclusion: take as much action on wealth/muse creation as I currently do on exercise, in terms of both invested money and time.

    Something I think about… It took me about 5 years of gym training and learning about diet and exercise to get to a point where I am socially accepted as the ‘healthy one’ in the group.

    Is it reasonable to expect that it might take just as long to become ‘the wealthy one’?

    I started learning about it last year so only 4 years to go!

    Rich

    Like

  56. I didn’t see this post until Saturday afternoon, but I feel like I had a good jump on this competition without even having read it.

    My ‘Filling the Void’ Weekend:

    Friday night I spent with some friends. We played some Halo 3, Rock Band and Guitar Hero on xBox360. For people not into video games this may not sound too exciting but with the “live” network and the group game play capabilities it actually a ton of fun. This lasted till about 3am Saturday.

    After a few hours of sleep we wake up at 5:30am and go to IHOP and get some breakfast (gotta beat those crowds…haha). We come back a play a few more quick games then get a few more hours of sleep. After our ‘nap’ we decide to catch a movie. After hearing the interesting reviews of “Meet the Spartans” we decided against that and went to see “Natural Wilderness” instead. It was a great movie and not many people had discovered it yet so the theater was nearly empty. After the movie I go visit with my dad and step mother and step brother. My dad and I have been working on a bookshelf for my condo, we were able to finish this little father-son project, which as usual, was a little more work than we anticipated. After we all eat dinner and visit a bit I head home. It was upon returning home that I got to read about the challenge and started considering it.

    Saturday night is a night on the town, me and three friends go to two different bars and meet some cool new people and have a blast. (It helps when someone you know has VIP status!)

    Sunday starts out with a good sleep in till about noon. After waking and checking the mail and a few things online I consider working on designing a new business card. That thought lasts for all of 30 seconds, then I call a friend and ask if he wants to go ride. I’m big into action sports, especially BMX, so I ride as much as I can stand/afford. He’s planning on going already and we make plans. We meet up at a semi-local park where they have a decent skatepark. We’re there for about 3 hours and it’s total bliss. Perfect weather…new people to meet and ride with…everyone throwing down and not getting hurt. We grab some food to end our amazing riding session and I head home.

    On the way, I make plans to head over to another friends place where we have a little Superbowl gathering. We share some drinks and munchies and watch the intense and better than anyone could ask for Superbowl where the New York Giants knock the Patriots, the team without a lose all season, off their pedestal. After the great game, I head home and decide to write about my exciting weekend here. I’m going to practice playing my piano once I’m done writing here, which is technically past the end of the weekend, but since I haven’t slept it still feels like the weekend so I think it counts.

    Although my weekend may not sound extravagant and super exciting, it is perfect for me (a 24 yr old recent college grad) who doesn’t have a ton of money yet and still isn’t tied down to a job. I visited family and friends, met new people, learned or continued to learn a few things, and did what I love (ride my bike). These are all things I’m 100% positive will never get old and can fill as many mini retirements or retirement weekends I can afford to take.

    Like

  57. Superbowl weekend was an interesting weekend to start the challenge. I reflected a bit as I was waiting for a client. I have been working since I was 13.

    My Dad told me I could work if I kept my grades up but he said very clearly, “The day you start working, you don’t stop until you die.” A little ominous eh?

    But I have worked since then and I didn’t get to have much fun. I sacrificed, I thought, “then” for “now”. But “now” never materialized. I am still working and never got ahead like I thought I would. I eventually used work as a shield to miss social events that might be uncomfortable because I didn’t learn the social lessons most do in their teens. I learned roles at work and school, getting along better with the adults usually. And though many say I have charisma, I feel I am just playing a role, fooling them like others.

    If I were to retire now, I would spend time with family and friends. I enjoyed the Superbowl with my Dad today and I enjoyed watching the UFC with friends yesterday.

    I am in my mid 30’s and had very few close friends that I thought I could count on until now. Finally in these last few years I have relaxed a bit. I do what I can to be social but work hasn’t gotten harder and I find myself saying no more often than yes to either work or save money.

    I really like to help people. Though I feel I haven’t got my own life questions answered many come to me for my thoughts. My day would be filled with being with friends and family laughing and enjoying our time together, possibly even helping them surmount their tough times.

    And in between I would work on one of those many great ideas I have but can’t seem to find the time to do.

    Like

  58. Answer #1: Last 48 Hours were about a 6 on fulfillment scale. More detail below.

    Answer #2: Absolutely YES.

    Answer #3: I am level 10 (or 11 even) confident that I could fill the time effectively.

    Saturday morning early: Up with my kids, went over some Dungeons and Dragons planning with the 14 year old. Would love to have freedom to dive deep into the game with him: Make our own dungeons and script them or travel to tournaments.

    Later Saturday morning: Did Algebra with the 14 year old — he’s homeschooled and I’m his math teacher. Would love to be able to devote even more time to his education — SAT training/testing, more detailed efforts in math. My work gets in the way.

    Also, the 14 year old wants to WRITE A BOOK. I’ve published a book myself and would love to spend a 6 week slot with him straight out focussed and writing a book with him. We could totally do it if I had time.

    Saturday Afternoon: Skiing with the kids in New Hampshire where I live. Would love to take 4-6 week ski vacations in Winter. Would ABSOLUTELY love it. Weekend skiing sucks because it’s more crowded. I ski after work during the week, but would love to go every day for a month or 2.

    Sunday: More DnD planning, housework, preparing meals. Sunday Afternoon — another 3 hours on the ski hill (40 min drive from my house). The 14 year old stayed home (wanted some time away from his siblings) but the 8 and 10 year olds were with me. The 8 year old is into snow boarding and she’s loving it. She is soo cute and her confidence is really building. The 10 Year old is getting good and he’s begun trying jumps in the terrain park — he crashes a lot.

    Point of all this is:

    – Extra time translates directly to more time with family following family pursuits.

    – I’m extremely creative and have written a lot, plus I write software for a living and I could build valuable web sites.

    – One other thing would be the value of being able to outsource many of my daily chores — like housework and/or cooking and/or some homework time with my son. I enjoy working with him, but I think having a professional tutor a couple days a week would be good for him and allow me to focus on other things.

    Here it is now Monday morning and I just got off SKYPE working with a software developer (for my job) in Asia whose work I’m overseeing on part of one of my current projects. I could so easily manage other parts of my life that way.

    Thanks Tim — I’d love a hard copy of the book as I bought it from Audible and only have an audio copy.

    BTW – we met at MIT at your talk there. The NY Times photographer got me and you together and I was standing next to you in the picture that got published in the NY times.

    -kevin

    Like

  59. Tim,

    The 4HWW book has definately changed me. I recommend it to everyone.

    Who I am: Triathlete, Student, Traveler.

    My dream: Travel all over the world competing in triathlons (Ironman’s & 70.3’s), train whenever, and where ever I want, and live in cities people dream about visiting.

    How I made my dream somewhat of a reality this weekend: Best 48 hours I have ever spent.

    Triathletes are rather regimented people, we plan our entire year, and know exactly what and when we will train…… and it has always bugged the shit out of me. So this weekend I changed that, and finally “broke free” of the monotony. I took some chances, and experienced a few things I would not normally experience. I have realized it is all about putting yourself in situations that are borderline uncomfortable and hope for the best.

    SATURDAY
    (1)I slept in (a triathlete no-no). When I should have been up at 6 a.m. riding with a group of 60 people on the Ironman course in Scottsdale, Arizona. Instead I slept in till noon and signed up for Ironman Brazil in Florianopolis instead.
    (2) Booked my tickets, and started planning my trip. I will spend 3 weeks in Brazil (Florianopolis, Rio, Recife, Salvador), and then proceed to fly to Buenos Aires for another 2 weeks.
    (3) Trained all by my lonesome: Road 70 miles in complete silence allowing myself to finally get some time to think and reflect.
    (4) Remembered it was Carnival in Brazil, so sought out a local Brazil party. Found out that Scottsdale has a large Brazilian community. I contacted the party coordinator and he invited me to sit at his table at dinner (it is crazy how accessible people are, who would have thought).
    (5) Learned how to Samba, ate delicious native food, made some great friends, and met some people who will let me stay at their vacation home in Recife!

    SUNDAY

    (1) Instead of training in Scottsdale like I do every weekend I drove down to Tucson to check out on of the mecca’s of cycling: Mount Lemon, one of the training grounds of the olympic cycling team. There was a gentle 25 mile climb, but being alone and working my ass off through the cool mountain air was just what I needed well worth the two hour trip. It is amazing how much thinking you can get done when you do not have a care in the world are just enjoying being on the road.
    (2) Watched the Superbowl and UFC with my best friends while sharing Red Breast Whiskey on the rocks. A perfect cap to my weekend. Plus the Patriots lost, and Frank Mir made Lesnar look terrible (What the hell was he thinking taking him down?)

    It was the first 48 hours of my new life.

    -Daley

    Explore. Discover. Dream.

    Like

  60. Pancakes! The perfect groundhogs day morning starts with contraband carbs! The whole house will smell fantastic. we will clean up the daily messes as a family. PLay games, take care of the critters, sledding at the park, and then packing! Silly dances in straw hats and swim suits while its 10 degress outside. Loud steel drum music, coconut jokes. This is is we are getting ready to leave for our mini retirement in Hawaii. Some warm sand, a breeze, and sights never seen.
    This is how it will start once I can get all of the pieces to fall into place. Even with a goal about to be realized-life is still happening. The regular activities, and being able to enjoy them are as much a part of the dream, as the goal.

    Like

  61. You know what I did this weekend? I played with Legos with my five-year-old. We built a couple of ships from the Star Wars line, one of them rather large, one medium. That’s some pretty detail-intensive stuff right there. Then we finished watching the Phantom Menage, which we started Thursday night. We went to the mall and walked around a little bit, bought Momma a coffee, then went home and made dinner.

    I’ve noticed that my happiness on weekends and days off is directly tied to whether or not I have shut off the computer.

    Like

  62. I saw this post the Monday after it went up. So, I couldn’t prepare my 48 hours. Its interesting to look at in hindsight how I put my time into my weekend without knowing the challenge.

    Here’s how it stacked up. For context, I was in a gnarly accident that I’m recovering well from. Here’s the full details on that http://masterycenter.blogspot.com/2007/11/sooner-or-later.html

    Essentially, I’ve been getting around just fine. I’ve had to make a few adjustments and ask for a lot of help. And, I’ve been in development on several projects which has meant money has been scarce in recent months. I’ve applied for Disability Insurance and so far, been denied.

    I’m on a non-recommended pattern when it comes to lifestyle design. I have no income and all the time in the world. I have a ton of financial commitments to keep, one of which is a follow-up surgery to get rid of the metal hardware in my ankle.

    It’s been frustrating being father to an 8 year old boy and showing up nearly empty handed week after week. Additionally, I’m dating a great woman who is over waiting for me to ask for her hand. That’s not something I’ll do before I’m financially fit. Little bit a tension there.

    So, that’s the context leading up to my recent weekend. And my plan for the weekend was to host an “Indoor Moving Sale” to raise money for the surgery. My son, Romeo, has been very committed to helping. He priced a bunch of his stuff and told me I could borrow anything he made and use it to help pay for the operation.

    He and I worked very hard for the last three weeks to prepare all of our sale items.

    We were very fortunate. A good friend who is in Real Estate donated an empty home of his that is going into re-hab in a few weeks. We cleaned it and set up our sale there.

    We made it look like the show room floor of Gimble’s. Or very nearly did. We arranged all the items under the track lighting. We were up at 6 am posting signs in the neighborhood, watching our fingers turn white in the uncharacteristic Silverlake cold.

    My son never complained when the person who agreed to bring breakfast never showed up. He never complained when we missed the Superb Bowl to sell two items on Sunday.

    He didn’t complain when we sold his bike, and his toys, and over $150 worth of his memories to people we’ll never see again.

    And with an open heart, he gave me the proceeds of his sale, no question.

    “Here Dad. Let’s go get you better.”

    * * *

    So, I fell about $1500 short on my goal. I still have some great items for sale. I recognize part of Tim’s post said something like, “How you do anything, is how you do everything,” [taken from T.Harv Eker], and generally I agree.

    I’d love to know what this says about my life. I definitely get what it says to me about my son. Additionally, I’m looking for ways to be beyond this surgery and well into my healing.

    I have a LOT of projects and plans that I’d like to be at peak performance for.

    This injury didn’t keep me from three weeks in Hawaii in December. It did modify how I enjoyed myself while I was there.

    I’m at a point where I realize I need to ask for help. I’m not even necessarily writing to win books. I won 12 in a contest several weeks ago and I’m still gifting them to the people who matter most to me.

    I invite people to connect with me through my site. Perhaps I can learn from you. Thanks in advance.

    Like

  63. This post comes at a great time for me. I graduated from college in May, Spent 3 months (Sept.-Dec.) backpacking through Europe and am now working in a job I absolutely love and which is helping prepare me for my own projects. My weekends and evenings are spent dreaming and working to make those dreams into a reality. I’m going to share 48 hours from this weekend.

    Friday 5:00 – Finished work, made my way straight home eager to get some writing and brainstorming done. From 5-10:00 I worked on several projects. The first was working on a basic blog post that I felt would help friends and family discussing useful web stools, free resources and how to protect themselves. The post took about an hour to write and was a great exercise as it allowed me to go back through the tools and options I have available to me.

    After finishing and posting the blog post, I set to brainstorming. I’m currently working on the business/design plan for what I feel is a product that will revolutionize the way we do remote business, classes & lectures (If I can pull it off WebEx, Video Conferencing etc. will all be DOA). Part of the process I’m going through right now is setting up my own company and looking at the patent process. I spent several hours continuing my on-going research in these areas, brainstorming on the name I’m going to use, and adding a new element to the product’s design (Mindjet is Amazing for this btw).

    10PM-2AM – I got into ballroom 4 years ago and try and hit the club up at least once a week. This week it was Friday night at the local salsa club. As always it was a blast and a great change of pace from sitting at my computer working/research on my project.

    Saturday 11:00AM-4:00PM – Politics fascinate me. Its people, power and ideologies all in one spot. Over the last month I’ve been exploring the power of social networking tools with a good friend as a powerful grass roots enabler. We’ve had awesome results. On our primary info awareness group we’re up to 759 members and our scheduled event for Super Tuesday w/ primary info has 504 “attending” & 109 “Maybe” responses. Saturday we decided to take it to the next level and REALLY push our comfort zones [had not done anything like this before]. We tossed on our suits and ties and hit the local community. Our goal was just to inform and remind people. The 3 of us did 20-30 houses over a 2 hour period. We were not pushing an agenda, just encouraging people to vote and do research.

    5:00-9:00 Pumped up after the experience I decided to cook a nice meal. I always get my seafood from the local Chinese cultural center. As I was picking up some whole fresh shrimp I noticed their live Dungeness Crabs. Without any clue how to cook it, I decided I’d go for it and experiment. After a nice nap, I woke up and started preparing to cook. I don’t like recipes and prefer to just shoot from the hip. To mix it up, I decided I’d record parts of the process to share as part of a blog post on how to eat like a king for $15 or less while only using a microwave, frying pan and pot.

    9PM-3:30AM I hit up the town and enjoyed the pre-super bowl bar scene here in the greater Phoenix Area. Ended up crashing on a friend’s sofa and woke up to Wulfgaar the husky sitting on my head.

    My problem right now isn’t filling the time. It’s finding more time to fill =)

    Proof:
    http://tinyurl.com/22kk9m – Primary Awareness Facebook group.
    http://tinyurl.com/24k8pg – AZ Primary Event
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f65t9sZm6w – Direct Crab Video
    http://tinyurl.com/yt3r78 – Blog post on the crab meal.

    Like

  64. Hey, just wanted to say thanks, I have been applying everything I have learned from your book and your blog to my life and I can not believe the results I have seen:

    * Started two new fully-automated online businesses. The first has paid itself off within two weeks. The second launches on Sunday and I think it’s going to be another winner.

    * Have changed my thought process. I have hired a person to automate my workflow here at my office, freeing up my time incredibly. Automated other things including my shipping, bill payments, order taking and fulfillment, email and phone calls. I have freed up at least 12-15 hours a week by doing these things.

    * I am taking my first semi-retirement in March 19-24, just a small getaway for 5 days to Switzerland. I’ll be couch-surfing via globalfreeloaders.com and skiing some amazing terrain in Engelberg and Zermatt. (I got a ticket for just $550 roundtrip). If you can make it, I know you like to ski, I would love to meet you there and take you out for dinner to thank you and pick your brain a little more).

    * I am taking my second semi-retirement in May, where I will be renting a room and living in Italy for a month. This will be a real test of income autopilot that I am setting up with the above mentioned startups.

    * Applying your techniques for weight gain (the good kind “muscle” and not the bad “FAT”), I have increased my muscle mass in two months, gaining 10 lbs of muscle, going from a svelt 185 to a more solid looking 194 (OK, so 9 lbs). I need to take a photo, I promised you I would.

    * Saturday I attended auditions for American Gladiators which was just a fun thing that I wouldn’t have done under normal circumstances, but I figured life is too short to just wonder about it.

    * I have outsourced work to India which has worked incredibly well. All I have to say about that is WOW.

    So thanks a lot. You have influenced my lifestyle incredibly and I know of several other followers of your 4hour workweek.

    It’s funny how hard it was for me to click the “Reserve this flight” button on expedia.com, as I purchased my tickets to Switzerland. I think I can get used to this, though!

    Like

  65. Tim! Let’s see – two weekends ago I flew to Denver for 4 days to see friends I had lost contact with for 17 years – when i came to Wisconsin to live with an enlightened Master and study A Course In Miracles. I googled my friends, then found a good ticket and went.It was fabulous. Last weekend I hooked up with a world class artist friend to breath life and put a deadline on (next weekend) into a stagnating project – kid’s book series beginning with the book titled “Truth”, as a prep for writing a script for a movie on the Course In Miracles. Nothing (and I do mean nothing) satisfies like conscious contact with God, and I want to get the word out.

    Like

  66. This contest lines up perfectly with a special occasion holiday my wife and I took. She recently received her white coat in veterinary school. It symbolizes a transition from the classroom to the clinic, where she will get to apply her book knowledge to her patients. Friday began with me leaving work early despite a serious issue brewing while I was on my way out the door. I showed up early to the ceremony and was able to enjoy the unseasonably warm day and sunshine before the show began.

    After many pictures and congratulations, we hosted a banquet to celebrate the momentous occasion with family and friends. We had a chance to catch up with people we haven’t seen in months, and shared food and laughs with the people we hold most dear to us.

    The next morning, we went to buy provisions and headed to a bed and breakfast in the cotton plantation country of South Louisiana. We took a tour of the haunted Myrtles Plantation and had dinner in the carriage house on the property.

    After a lovely dinner, we sat on the porch and smoked cigars and drank wine until late in the evening. We chatted about the past few years and what the future held for us.

    The next morning, we had breakfast in bed and toured the rambling grounds and main house of the plantation where we stayed. We retired to the back porch of our cottage and had a picnic. We spent several hours eating cheese and olives and enjoying the quiet. Our weekend had the right number of phone calls and emails. Zero.

    Later that evening, we cooked a meal we’d never had before, a rolled sirloin roast stuffed with bleu cheese and crab cakes with beurre blanc sauce. I sneaked occasional peeks at the Super Bowl score (who thought that would turn out the way it did?), but otherwise we were incommunicado from the outside world.

    This weekend showed us that we could drop everything and do what we wanted without worrying about things falling apart. Work was there when I rolled in on Monday morning, and nothing blew up. I think this was the perfect presentation of a life of mini-retirements since I’ve been having trouble trying to convince my wife that this is not a dream. I think she’s starting to understand that it could be our reality.

    Pics are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/chris.damico/Coating

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  67. Oh did I have a weekend…

    My favorite weekend each year…

    The culminating weekend of the Carnival Season.

    I ate and drank. I went to every single Parade here in New Orleans. I met up with old friends. I hung out with family. All while doing one of my all time favorite things to do: Enjoying the greatest city in America.

    My fiancé and I used the time between parades to re-discover magnificently beautiful architecture that had long since grown into nothing more than a backdrop. (Isn’t it amazing how wonderful the world looks on a day with a blue sky through a camera lens?) We walked and explored. You notice so much more walking, even if it is an area you have driven through a zillion times.

    I didn’t let the weekend end at the end of the week though. All the krewe names re-kindled my interest in Greco-Roman mythology, which I have spent the better part of the day re-educating myself on (along with a little bit of genealogy research.

    …And tomorrow in my first step into freeing myself from the binding of working in an office. As tomorrow is the shrove, my office building (a mere block from a parade route) will be closed. I have setup a remote desktop connection, along with a little automated script that will allow me to “work” while standing on the parade route.

    Then as the quasi self-penitent attitude of our city will facilitate, I will use the day after Mardi Gras to once again begin reach for my life long dream of becoming a Marine Officer. (And if there is anything that is further from the corporate hell in which I find myself trapped, Marine Officer Candidate School is it.)

    Like

  68. Audi R8, funny thing, I watched their commercial during the Super Bowl. Looks like a sweet ride.

    Cool Postings

    Jose Castro

    Like

  69. I like the idea of a 48-hour microcosm of my retirement, but it’s not very practical given that my plans for my retirement involve things that take a lot longer than 48 hours. For example, I want to master t’ai chi, learn to play the ney (a reed flute used in Turkish Sufi music) and write a novel, none of which can be done in a weekend. (OK, some writers have produced novels in that time, but the amphetamines can give you a really bad hangover.)

    So given the constraint of limited time and the freedom of unlimited resources, I’d probably fly over to Peter Gabriel’s studio and say “Hey Peter, shall we make an album?”

    Like

  70. Well, my mini-retirement challenge is almost over. How did I spend my last 48 hours? Oddly enough, the results are really telling:

    My son Samuel had a cold; so I nursed him. He was bored but unwell; so we snuggled up and watched a movie. I made him Swedish Meatballs for dinner and veggies, which he loved, and put him to bed.

    On Monday morning, I let him rest and recover. No school for him, lucky bunny. My next door neighbour across the hall kept an eye on him while I volunteered to do a workshop at a school for disabled children for an hour.

    I came home, designed some marketing material for a friend, made plans for the surprise trip to Spain that I have planned for Samuel and myself (it’s my birthday this month), went to the gym for an hour, cooked a fantastic meal and ate it with friends.

    It was all so simple and yet so rewarding. When I took this challenge, I set out to prove something. I’m not exactly sure what it was but I think it had something to do with showing that I was worthy of being alive and taking part in the miracle of it. And yet, in the first few hours (when Samuel became ill) I felt like a failure. “You’ve blown it.” I thought. “You should really be more imaginative.” Then I realized: it is the quality of the experience in my heart that matters. It is all about my intention…

    A sunrise isn’t beautiful if I don’t bother to notice. A ski trip isn’t fun if I’m complaining in your heart. A concert isn’t fulfilling if I lack peace of mind and thankfulness…and the mundane isn’t mundane if I can sense the joy in the moment, the love in the acts of service and the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I was highly aware of everything that I was doing this weekend because of the challenge. After I got over my initial guilt over not being “exciting”, I noticed that whenever I ‘checked in’ with myself that I could honestly say that there was nowhere else I’d rather be.

    It was a fantastic two days. I hope that my retirement is filled with the same joy. I pray that I will continue to have the love of friends and family in my life and more opportunites to serve. I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel…and oh, what a glorious sunrise!

    Thanks Tim, I needed to know that.

    Like

  71. I would go on a two day meditation retreat. The one thing missing from our busy lives is time for just sitting doing nothing and introspection. We are so busy thinking all the time that we don’t observe what is really going on.

    Like

  72. I just spent a fantastic relaxing and romantic weekend in Melbourne with my girlfriend.

    I live and work in Brisbane and have been working out of Melbourne on a fairly large tender for the company that I work for. However, due to the impending deadline for the tender submission, I have had to stay in Melbourne for 3 weeks straight and had to work over the entire (long) weekend last week.

    To reward myself for all the hard work I purchased a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne for my girlfriend and had the company’s leased apartment overlooking Melbourne city, Docklands and the Yarra River to myself for the weekend.

    FRIDAY – Girlfriend flies in. She spends the day sightseeing in Melbourne. I work.

    FRIDAY NIGHT – Pre-purchased tickets for Colonial Tram Car Restaurant. 3 hour trip through Melbourne city and St Kilda, whilst enjoying a 5 course meal and unlimited Wine and Scotch.

    SATURDAY – Spent the day at the Melbourne Zoo. Zoos always make me feel relaxed. I love how all these animals from various parts of the world can be brought together in one place in the name of conservation (and tourism). Always makes me ponder whether I should have become a Vet instead of an Engineer.

    SATURDAY NIGHT – Dinner on Lygon St. Lygon St is Melbourne’s answer to Rome. Walking down this street is always a great experience. Street front cafes and restaurants with Italian spruikers offering various incentives to get you into the restaurant. Ended up with a free bottle of wine and free entrées.

    SUNDAY – More touristy stuff. Did some shopping in Melbourne’s famous laneways. Overlooked the whole city from the Rialto viewing deck. Visited some of Melbourne’s museums and art galleries. Took a tram out to St Kilda beach.

    SUNDAY NIGHT – Buffet dinner at the Crown Casino.

    MONDAY MORNING – Girlfriend boards a plane home for Brisbane, I go back to work.

    All in all it was a much needed relaxing weekend. I am looking forward to the next one which will occur in 2 weeks time when we travel over to Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort on Moreton Island (just North of Brisbane).

    Cheers,

    Aaron

    Like

  73. Hi Tim,

    You’ve got the right idea! Here is an excerpt from my life spanning a very recent 48 hours. Woke up in Ekaterinberg, Russia with my best friends step-sister who I had fallen in love with over the last 8 days. She cooks a wonderful spread for us, as the snow falls outside in the forest. It is -15 degrees and we all eat together before I head to the airport.

    Arriving in Moscow a few hours later at 9pm, I was happy to have built a 10 hour layover into my schedule so I could stash my bags and check out Red Square at midnight. I negotiate a taxi and head down the long stretch of highway straight into the heart of Russia…arriving with a light snow dusting St. Basil’s cathedral and Lenin’s tomb while church music poured out into the bone-chillingly cold night.

    Back at the airport I crash on a couch and awake to a megaphone yelling flight information a couple feet over my head! I go to check in…the lady at the ticket counter looks at my visa and hands it back “visa expired…next!” and waves me aside.

    My heart drops. I ask who I may talk to and an icy cold manager Irina comes over and, after pleading in broken Russian, she helps radio the consulate and American embassy to arrange a special visa to leave. Bless her heart, with 3 minutes left before take off time, the assembled collection of Russian stewardesses waved me off and I am safely on my way to Paris….renewing my faith in humanity and love for Russian women;)

    I arrive as the sun is setting. Dropping my bags at a hostel I rendezvous with some friends to walk down to the Eiffel Tower and drink pastis while watching the tower sparkle with the moon lighting it from behind. We all reflect on how lucky we are to live a seemingly carefree life, lined with passion and full of rich experiences born from dreamlining and premeditated lifestyle design!

    Like

  74. I spent a big chunk of my weekend working on one of my favorite hobbies: making homebrewed beer. While I was bottling my second batch of IPA I thought that maybe what I should do is open up a brewpub so I could make beer professionally. That’s all Seattle needs is another brewpub, right?

    Like

  75. Hi Tim,

    Just a question about the prizes.

    Why give 36 books to ?person and not say, 3 books to 12 people?

    Surely it’s easier for 12 people to pass three books to friends and family members, than for 1 person to try to give them away. I think it would spread your book to a wider range of people. Of course they can sell the ones they don’t want on ebay, but I think that’s kind of pointless.

    Plus I think having more winners creates more goodwill. You would personally touch more people. Maybe just one ‘winner’ could receive the the Shaun model as well/instead, and the books could be shared out.

    I guess it makes the judging, finding out addresses and the posting more time consuming, but don’t you think it’s worth it?

    To me, just to win one book would feel amazing!

    Thanks for reading,

    Rich

    Like

  76. I didn’t see this post until today (monday), but it’s great timing because this past weekend I decided to do essentially the same thing you’ve challenged. I realized I hadn’t been paying enough attention to the important stuff in life and desperately needed to bust out of the rut that I’ve been in for far to long.

    So, Saturday morning, I rented a car and surprised my girlfriend with a weekend up in Vancouver (we live in Seattle). I’d never been there before, and it was awesome, among the highlights, we:

    (whole weekend is here: http://robbyalldaylong.com/date/2008/2/2)

    1. hung out in Stanley park (which is beautiful), taking long strolls until dusk, then watched the sunset over the Pacific (which was even more Beautiful)

    Swan and ducks and skyline

    Sunset

    2. Spent an hour in a Japanese market marveling at how Japanese product design is a billion times more awesome than American design.

    hahahaha

    3. Found the largest box of Pocky I’ve ever seen.

    COMICALLY HUGE POCKY!!!!

    4. Wandered around a completely unfamiliar city for hours, getting lost and loving it.

    5. Found a lowrider mini-truck painted EXACTLY like Eddie Van Halen’s guitar (!!!!)

    Eddie Van Halen's guitar.... er... as a truck.

    6. Tried durien fruit gelato, just because we heard it was the nastiest thing ever. (it is)

    7. After gorging ourselves on fondue, walked across town in search of vegetarian poutine at 2am, which was every bit as good as that guy on the Food network said it was.

    8. Woke up sunday morning in time to check out Chinatown before racing back to Washington to catch the Superbowl with my girlfriend’s family.

    That's right y'all, year of the dragon represent!

    The whole timeline is here on my lifestream:

    http://robbyalldaylong.com/date/2008/2/2

    One of the things I actually found while reading 4hww was that I started fixating way too much on how I was going to break out of my 9-5 job, and wasn’t giving any thought to what I would do with that new free-time. Taking a weekend to forget all about work and obligation and money and just focus on having an awesome time was the best thing I could possibly have done (although, as a side note, I was totally surprised at how cheap the weekend turned out to be)

    I’m more just sharing than anything, because I’m psyched about my weekend, and I guess that Shaun of the Dead figure is pretty sweet too. :p

    Robby

    Like

  77. Did It ever occur to you, Tim, That not everyone can have their first book on the new york times best seller list? Did it never occur to you, Tim, that a lot of people have to fail many times to achieve things that others may achieve more easily? This is generally speaking not judging you since I don’t know you well enough. Of course, I do know that you got into Princeton, which MOST people CAN’T do.

    ###

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m not sure why this post prompted this — as I have as much trouble with these questions as anyone — but yes, I’m aware of all of these things. I’ve failed plenty myself, and quite of few of them made it into the book.

    All the best,

    Tim

    Like

  78. Well, my mini-retirement challenge is almost over. How did I spend my last 48 hours? Oddly enough, the results are really telling:

    My son Samuel had a cold; so I nursed him. He was bored but unwell; so we snuggled up and watched a movie. I made him Swedish Meatballs for dinner and veggies, which he loved, and put him to bed.

    On Monday morning, I let him rest and recover. No school for him, lucky bunny. My next door neighbour across the hall kept an eye on him while I volunteered to do a workshop at a school for disabled children for an hour.

    I came home, designed some marketing material for a friend, made plans for the surprise trip to Spain that I have planned for Samuel and myself (it’s my birthday this month), went to the gym for an hour, cooked a fantastic meal and ate it with friends.

    It was all so simple and yet so rewarding. When I took this challenge, I set out to prove something. I’m not exactly sure what it was but I think it had something to do with showing that I was worthy of being alive and taking part in the miracle of it. And yet, in the first few hours (when Samuel became ill) I felt like a failure. “You’ve blown it.” I thought. “You should really be more imaginative.” Then I realized: it is the quality of the experience in my heart that matters. It is all about my intention…

    A sunrise isn’t beautiful if you don’t bother to notice. A ski trip isn’t fun if you’re complaining in your heart. A concert isn’t fulfilling if you lack peace of mind and thankfulness…and the mundane isn’t mundane if you can sense the joy in the moment, the love in the acts of service and the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I was highly aware of everything that I was doing this weekend because of the challenge. After I got over my initial guilt over not being “exciting”, I noticed that whenever I ‘checked in’ with myself that I could honestly say that there was nowhere else I’d rather be.

    It was a fantastic two days. I hope that my retirement is filled with the same joy. I pray that I will continue to have the love of friends and family in my life and more opportunites to serve. I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel…and oh, what a glorious sunrise!

    Thanks Tim, I needed to know that.

    Like

  79. Tim this is a fabulous post and the idea mentioned of ‘the lack of an ability to dream’ is so potent imo.

    I see from so many friends, clients and reading online that many people have lost their ability to dream about what is possible, though I think that is changing (a la The Secret). As kids we dream and fantasise continually and then as age and time creep forward we become more adult and ‘realistic’.

    As a dreamer all my life I’ve been told to grow up, stop living with my head in the clouds and be realistic (there’s that word again) whatever the heck that really means (ie don’t ever believe that life can be easier by believing it so).

    It is asked why most lottery winners end up the same or in worse financial state than before they won. I think its a similar reason ~ no one actually prepares mentally/spiritually for when they are not living in survival city. To be freed of all survival issues (have to pay the mortgage/rent, pay the bills, go to work) opens up a huge vacuum and if you are not prepared for ‘working the 4 hour week’ then I think there can be a shock of the space that is left in your life, that used to be filled by those things. But if you do the work before and prepare yourself for what the vision of your life looks like then it will be on and upwards. I imagine for a minute (usually a lot more than that) ok no anything to have to do, no W-O-R-K, bills are all paid, life is materially effortless for I have everything I need, but then what is there left? For some people that’s all there is, take it away and there is nothing. For me, the ultimate life would be to take survival out of the picture and become more philanthropic, more creative, less identified with what I do and more with who I am. I figure having my material needs/wants sown up would give me the time to dedicate to that, it would make me smile coz even now as one who is making inroads to having that life, I get a buzz from helping others.

    May be some of the people who strive for a ‘better life’ through entrepreneurialship, lottery winners, stock traders, whatever don’t really quite believe its going to happen but my hats are off to the ones who create the reality of freedom and have prepared the way.

    Love your blog Tim
    Cheers
    Lise :^)

    ps. oh yeah just to answer to your questions:
    1: 8 whilst nothing over the top incredible a great sense of peace and moment by moment enjoyment on my last two weekends with my darling partner and friends.
    2: Yes!
    3: I think about building this ‘free time’ a lot!

    Like

  80. My fulfilling weekend.

    I recently purchased a condo in Rosarito, Mexico; 15 minutes from the richest nation. This move allows me the comfort of having access to everything “American” while experiencing a third world country. I am on a 2 year plan to “MAKE DOLLARS while SPENDING PESOS”.

    Lastly weekend, I introduce friends to Mexico’s Wine Country (actually, it was my first time) as we drove further into the Valley. I felt comfortable enough to NOT take the more commercialized tour path and instead find our way along the smaller dirt roads. This lead us to discover some great gems and avoid the gringo tours buses. No offense gringos, but some of us are trying to enjoy the weekend…Save the loud, drunk behavior for Papa’s and Beer.

    Small tips allowed us to meander through the vineries, getting the special treatment and the underlying scope of the area.

    At one prominent winery we were given a tour by the daughter who is to inherit the winery that has been in her family for over 100 years, but she had one issue. She is dating and considering marriage to a fellow with a not so prominent Mexican last name and having to face old traditions by having to ponder the fact that if proposed to: She will require a prenuptial agreement…

    One to keep her prominent last name and Two to keep the family business…

    But what if he says NO?

    She was debating these issues while giving us a tour of her family’s winery. WOW!

    We connected, and began to have one of those special moments when total strangers have that elusive bond that makes for long lasting friendships.

    We were in the moment and felt the connection to the land. We discovered how vino is processed and enjoyed several bottles before making our way back onto the main highway.

    Wish I could have captured it, and bottle it for later…But great moments just like great vino are meant to be enjoyed not stored away.

    Thanks Tim.

    I would have never wrote this down if it was not for your blog entry.

    Luis Navarro
    Member of the Couch Surfing Project

    http://www.couchsurfing.com/people/geoluis

    Like

  81. It’s 1022 days to retirement, or as Paula Poundstone inscribed a bookplate for me–1022 “cottonballs” to retirement. (I happen to be a RN). I have defined myself as a nurse, by the amount of my take-home pay w/ the perks of being the major wage earner, and by keeping my family afloat these past 25 plus years. It will be nice to have a different pace. I see myself having more time for doing relaxing things, such as reading, spending time w/ family, knitting for charity, family, myself; also blogging, doing research online, and perhaps doing some advocacy.

    Like

  82. My fulfilling weekend. Jan 18-21th, 2008

    I recently purchased a condo in Rosarito, Mexico; 15 minutes from the richest nation. This move allows me the comfort of having access to everything “American” while experiencing a third world country. I am on a 2 year plan to “MAKE DOLLARS while SPENDING PESOS”.

    Lastly weekend, I introduced friends to Mexico’s Wine Country (actually, it was my first time) as we drove further into the Valley. I felt comfortable enough to NOT take the more commercialized tour path and instead find our way along the smaller dirt roads. This lead us to discover some great gems and avoid the tours buses.

    Small tips allowed us to meander through the vineries, getting the special treatment and the underlying scope of the area.

    At one prominent winery we were given a tour by the daughter who is to inherit the winery that has been in her family for over 100 years, but she had one issue. She is dating and considering marriage to a fellow with a not so prominent Mexican last name and having to face old traditions by having to ponder the fact that if proposed to: She will require a prenuptial agreement…

    One to keep her prominent last name and Two to keep the family business…

    But what if he says NO?

    She was debating these issues while giving us a tour of her family’s winery. We connected, and began to have one of those special moments when total strangers have that elusive bond that makes for long lasting friendships.

    We were in the moment and felt the connection to the land. We discovered how vino is processed and enjoyed several bottles before making our way back onto the main highway.

    Wish I could have captured it, and bottle it for later…But great moments just like great vino are meant to be enjoyed not stored away.

    Thanks Tim, I would have never wrote this down if it was not for your blog entry.

    Luis
    Member of the Couch Surfing Project

    Like

  83. Tim, your book and your blog inspire me!

    I have joined the OLPC foundation for one-laptop-per-child, and was “put to work” putting together a “server” for the OLE Nepal group. This involved taking an old Windows machine I had, wiping it clean, installing Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP, all so that we can test out some school software called Moodle. I have never done this before, but was willing to learn, bought some books, downloaded some CD images, and got it done and working over the weekend in time to relax and watch the Superbowl. While this might sound like boring work for others, I am glad to have done it, found it fulfilling for me.

    — Tony

    Like

  84. So I’m posting this here because it is the most recent post. Since you seem to be a man who gets whatever he wants – why can’t I find any evidence of a girlfriend? Just a cheeky question I’d thought I’d ask.

    ###

    Hi Leah,

    LOL… fair question. I am moving from Man Jose (San Jose) to San Francisco soon, which is where I had my last long-term girlfriend. There are VERY few eligible girls I find attractive in my neighborhood, and I have avoided long-distance relationships, hence no girlfriend.

    I’ll be writing a bit more about related issues — and dates — closer to Valentine’s Day :)

    Tim

    Like

  85. Just saw this and it reminded me of this post – thought i’d share.

    “Vision with action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare” – Japanese Proverb

    I’ve found that if you do right by those around you, the universe tends to weave a wonderful pattern. It strikes me that for most people, the problem isn’t finding opportunities it’s recognizing them and then having the drive and motivation to act upon them. It seems that people, far too often, act simply to act without truly understanding what their goal is and what it will require. This type of action seems more driven than fear, than actual desire. A fear of failure, of insignificance or even more often a fear driven by others judgment.

    One of the most difficult things is stepping back, asking myself who I am, what I want, where I want to go and then why? Why is such an amazing question. Especially when repeated. Why do things work, why do I want this? Why not pursue this opportunity?

    Jeff – Failure is just another opportunity to try something new. Those who succeed don’t succeed at every task, they are just master failures. Men & Women who embrace each mistaken or dead end as a foundation to build upon and learn from. Einstein was perhaps the best example of this. Instead of contemplating how you’ll judge others, consider reviewing how and why you judge yourself. You, ultimately are your own best teacher.

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  86. Tim-

    I discovered this blog post at a really interesting time for me– I’m a devout cyclist and through a silly mistake (read: crash with a speed bump, embarrassingly enough) I made on a short ride two weeks ago I had broken my collar bone. Needless to say, not only was I deeply depressed, I also have been doped up on pain medication, unable to properly attend to my work (caring for children), my art (designing fabrics and making custom cycling caps), or my schooling (interactive design, in my senior year). I could barely put together a coherent email.

    This past Thursday, however, I kicked the Percocet, and found, in fact, I wasn’t in much pain anymore. I started going back to the Neighborhood Bicycle Works (a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that helps youth and adults learn about bicycle repair and safety) and found that I could now teach the customers much better now that I was unable to execute some of the more difficult repairs, and that I was much more patient and helpful because of this. I also learned a lot about the internal workings of a three-speed hub that I overhauled with an engineer.

    This is a group of people, for some reason or another, I had lost touch with over the years because I stopped making room in my schedule, but now with my ‘retiree’ status, I’ve been forced to slow down and really look at what’s important to me, not winning races or logging miles, but being part of the community of cyclists.

    And in the time that wasn’t spent at the bike shop? Well the guys and I went out for drinks at the local microbrewery after we closed, and talked about the local food movement, and all the farmers and bakers we knew (most of the NBW workers are members of the local food Co-Op). Other than I sat at my drawing table drafting pattern repeats that i’d had in my head for a while and re-read Emotional Design by Norman, then started to read some short stories by Saunders.

    I had also spent some time visiting with the children that I normally care for, and, although it was a bit sad to not be able to pick up and hug them, chase them around the park or get really rough and tumble with Jesse, both he and his brother Nico seemed to understand that I would be playing with them again soon, which made me immensely happy.

    I guess that my retirement isn’t exactly purposeful, or exotic, like some of the other posts, but I also didn’t come across this blog until just today, and none of what I did was anything more or less than what I myself was inspired to do. Which I think, is rather the whole point of the thing.

    Like

  87. I was sitting at work and reading the icy weather reports and contemplating whether it was worth the four hour drive up into the catskills to go snowboarding for the weekend.
    The reasons I shouldn’t have gone seemed to outnumber the reasons why I should. I’d be the least experienced and spend most of the days alone on the slopes, my health insuranced doesn’t kick in for another week, I shouldn’t spend the money, etc.

    After some debate I decided that spending a weekend in the mountains would be way sweeter than doing laundry and watching tv. So I went and braved the slopes for 48 hours of glorious times with friends food and football, I even acquired some great battle scars. The second day was really painful, so I decided to leave my more experienced friends to the slopes and just wander aimlessly to take some photos. I came back relaxed, inspired, and with more perspective. The freedom was worth the drive.

    Here’s my photographic proof.

    http://all-things-grow.blogspot.com/2008/02/catskills.html

    Like

  88. This past weekend was a long one. Me, my husband, and our little girl caught a plane Thursday morning and flew from cloudy Oregon to sunny New Mexico. We visited with both our families and celebrated the kid’s fifth birthday in style with family and friends (including grandparents and one great-grandmother). It was tons of fun and we got to enjoy the big empty quiet that is Southern New Mexico and soak up some blue sky and sun.

    It is a super-exciting and stimulating mini-retirement? Maybe not. But it was great fun and a chance to connect with the people we care about. And we did it with a little one in tow. I need to download the pictures from the camera, but who would claim a whirlwind tour of New Mexico if it wasn’t true?

    Like

  89. answers
    1: 4
    2: YES!!!
    3: 10

    I read this post on monday morning and not friday, yet I still feel as if my weekend was filled with many of the most important things I would do with the extra time I create for myself in my coming mini-retirements. Saturday morning I spent having breakfast with my 2 daughters and then learning and teaching gymnastics to my 2 year old. Saturday afternoon was my other daughter’s 5th birthday party. Seeing her full of life, surrounded by 20 uncorrupted 5 year olds having fun like only 5 year olds can is priceless. Party like a 5 year old is my new slogan! Sunday, in unseasonably warm weather in NJ, I was outside with my kids, playing on the swing set, playing hide and seek, and giving them “super fast” wagon rides around the property. I then spent the rest of the day watching the super bowl with my family, with the night ending as my 2 year old fell asleep on my lap in the waning moments of the game.
    For me the good life does not have to be filled with extensive travel or extravagant luxuries. This past weekend was a glimpse of how I would spend my emancipated time; having breakfast/meals with my family, learning and teaching skills to my kids, and just having fun and memorable moments with the people most important to me. It can happen at home, 1 mile from home, or half way around the world, as long as it happens.
    Many times over the years my wife has complained about the day to day drag of routine, and in response many times I would ask her to describe her perfect day to me, and then push her to make that perfect day happen. Thank you Tim for asking me that same question.

    Like

  90. @ Leah and Tim

    Interesting topic. I’ve been thinking about relationships in my life lately – and I’ve come to the conclusion that what Tim experiences as “filling the void” career-wise, I am experiencing relationship-wise. Over the last several years I’ve consistently had relationships in which men are ready to spend the rest of their lives with me within a four-week courtship period. Not that they’re actually proposing (though most probably would if I encouraged it), mind you – they’re not desperate freaks. They just become genuinely and thoroughly devoted, quickly. And they stay that way – even years after we’ve stopped dating in many cases.

    It’s suddenly become rather unnerving. I just moved to a new town, and same song, different verse. First single guy I had a conversation with. Whatever I’m doing, I wish I could patent it because I see women all around me who struggle so much to get the quality they want out of relationships. In fact, my current partner was seeing someone else before he met me – someone who makes more sense for him and who wanted to see their new relationship go somewhere. But, he bailed on her and is smitten with me despite (or maybe because of?) numerous warnings and disclaimers on my part.

    It may sound like I’m an egotistical, cruel bitch. Or, like I’m desperate for constant male attention. But, take my word for it, I’m not. I just believe that nearly any relationship can be fun and a learning experience – so why deprive myself of that? And why put off enjoyment with bachelor #2 today in the hopes that it will increase my chances of finding Mr. Right tomorrow? That doesn’t fit with the Law of Attraction (for all you closet The Secret fans out there). Besides, I’m incredibly upfront and honest about expectations and levels of commitment (or lack thereof) while still doing my best to be sensitive and respectful of my partner’s ego.

    I think I’ve decided to write about it. Obviously – I am right now. I was even looking at the 4HWW as a template over the weekend – just in terms of the organization of the book. I’ve been polling people who know me well and who have witnessed my “techniques” – my mother, my current partner, etc.

    I think it would have to be targeted towards women – and be more interesting than the standard “how to get a guy to put a ring on your finger.” I just couldn’t be bothered to write a book that didn’t have guts and grit – or some good old-fashioned shock value.

    Anyway… sorry to hijack the post. I guess I did mention what I did over the weekend. I was fantasizing about being a Tim Ferriss avatar in the world of relationships. Does that score any test-driving-the-rest-of-my life points? ; )

    If not, I’ll still offer to be a guest poster for Valentine’s Day. Let me know if you need some extra material.

    ###

    Hi Anna,

    Always looking for good material for Valentine’s Day. A Tim Ferriss avatar? Hmmmm…. :)

    Pura vida,

    Tim

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  91. Well… this weekend, my husband and I are leaving North Carolina to sail our 32′ Bayfield (sailboat) down to the Florida Keys to meet with a guy who just might sell us our dream boat/business, a 44′ Catamaran to do adventure charters on in the Bahamas. It’ll take longer than the weekend to get there. We will probably be offshore out in the Atlantic ocean this weekend, no land in sight, riding the swell, catching our dinner, and sailing nonstop under the sun and stars. It’s always life-changing to put yourself in the position of being 100% self-reliant, and it’s really cool too. Check our website for proof.
    http://www.yachtpuff.com
    /Users/jeannettedougherty/Desktop/IMGP1534.JPG

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  92. Well, I was all set to write something, but read MacEwen’s post and thought to myself, super tuesday and all, I’d do some politicking.

    If there was a way I would spend the next 48 hours, it would be to spend the time with my son like he did – do something that was right, deemed sacrificial, and with the purpose of something greater than myself. So I say give it to his son. That would be a lesson worth learning, and a example of how 48 hours of life should be lived.

    Like

  93. Tim,

    Your book seriously made me put in my 2 weeks last Friday. I’m going to take a “pre-mini retirement” after my last day. Your book doesn’t mention taking a small break after quitting your job – do you recommend? Know any cool places you’ve heard about visiting recently? Wanna join me? If you’re serious email me and let’s go! End of February was when I was thinking.

    ###

    Hi Dave,

    Congrats! My recommendation is Patagonia in Argentina — amaaaaazing. San Martin de Los Andes and Villa la Angostura in particular. Rent a car and check out the 5 lakes area. Stunning :)

    Have fun,

    Tim

    Like