Book Report – ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’

I recently read ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Timothy Ferriss.  It was a very interesting read and had some good advice.  The author has a very different take on life than my own, and it was fun to see the contrast.  Some of the ideas I agreed with, some I didn’t, but it was an inspiring book for me.  Here are some of the ideas I took away:

1 – I need to practice not finishing things, so I am currently trying to apply this in my own life.  This includes food (I often overeat just because I can’t stand to let things go to waste), movies (how many stupid 2 hour movies have I sat through just because I started them or paid $7 to see them), books (why finish a book just because you started it, if you’re not enjoying it?) and other things in life, as well as in business.  If something isn’t working or you don’t want to do it anymore, just stop doing it.  This goes against much of what I was taught growing up, that you always finish what you start, but what if you’re doing something stupid?  Why not cut your losses and start something more beneficial?

2 – I need to concentrate more on getting work done than spending time at work.  The book offers some great advice on how to distance yourself from the office and then spend time concentrating on completing your essential work, and letting the rest of the crap that you fill your typical day up with, go undone.  This leaves more time for doing things that are important.

3 – The 80/20 rule.  I don’t think this is a new concept, but it was new to me.  The idea applies to a lot of things: about 80% of your problems are caused by 20% of your customers; about 80% of your income is generated by 20% of your work; and so on.  If you concentrate on the most useful, profitable, or enjoyable 80% of things, letting the other 20% go, you can maximize your efforts.  I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to apply this in my life, but it’s got me thinking.

If nothing else, the book inspired me to look at my life and try to be more proactive and assertive in making things the way I want them, rather than letting others dictate my life for me.  I recommend this book to anyone.

Here’s a link for anyone who wants to buy the book on Amazon:

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Great political ad

Dead Dogs and Human Kindness

A friend of mine told me the following story about one of her relatives and I wanted to share it.

This young lady is working as a nanny back on the east coast.  Recently, the family she works for and lives with decided to go on a vacation.  While they were away, the old family dog died.  Not sure what to do, the girl called the family on vacation to tell them the sad news.  They weren’t too shocked, as the dog was quite old, and they asked her to take the dog to the vet so he could be disposed of properly.

The girl agreed, but later realized she didn’t have her own car and was going to have to take the dead dog on the bus.  So she found an old suitcase, managed to get the dog zipped up inside, and made her way to the bus stop.  As she was struggling to get up the stairs onto the bus, a man offered to help her with her obviously heavy bag.  Once onboard, the man curiously asked what was in the bag.  Not wanting to reveal the strange truth, she instead responded, “um… computer parts.”

When the bus got to the girl’s stop, she again began to struggle with the heavy bag, and the same man came over to help again.  After setting the bag on the ground, they both watched the bus drive away.  Then the man turned to the girl, punched her in the stomach, and ran away with the suitcase.

I just wish I could have seen the man’s face when he got home and opened the bag.

Linux Update

So I’ve been using Linux for a few months now, and it’s been a pretty fun adventure.  There are definitely some great advantages: all the operating system and applications are free and it runs very well on outdated hardware, both of which are very appealing to a cheap-skate like me.  There have been some very frustrating times, though.  Like the time I stayed up until 5 in the bloody morning trying to configure my stupid xorg.conf file to properly use my video card’s TV-out.  That’s definitely one of the times where Plug-N-Play sounds pretty nice.  Also, I recently tried to upgrade from Kubuntu 7.04 to 7.10 and it quit somewhere in the middle of the upgrade, basically hosing my system.  I’ve since managed to get it up and running again, reconfigure the xorg.conf file (another couple of hours, but I guess I’m getting better), and it is still not operating at peak performance.  I’m going to have to wipe it and do a clean install, but I’m waiting for the new KDE 4.0 desktop to come out next month before I do that.

All things considered, it’s been a good learning experience.  I don’t think Linux is ready for the mainstream population, yet, but I think it has great potential for those who know what they’re doing with it.  I still wish I had an extra 1200 bucks to go plop down for a new iMac, especially with the pretty new Leopard OS that came out last week.  Oh well.