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

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.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 700 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply to Samantha Cancel reply

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

  1. Aloha!

    Grand idea Tim… As you know people respond well to challenges.. as I read your post I thought to myself.. well I should go out and have a great time.. so I thought of the standard ” well I should go out to the nightlife and drink, etc” but it was damn icy and snowy in Vancouver, so I thought to myself … “that’s not cool… No – one checked with me about throwing all this snow on Vancouver… that’s not why I moved here…”

    So I did some research, checked out some sites you mentioned in your book, but ended up finding a seat sale on Westjet to Honolulu for 524 return taxes inc… and a beach side hostel for 29 bucks a night.

    It wasn’t easy to do it, but worth it.

    And that’s where I am now… I thought the sun wasn’t gonna come out, but it did, and ouch… it is hot@!…be careful what you wish for…

    I did alleviate the heat with dips in the beautiful pacific ocean.

    I talked to some cutie on the beach and I think I’ll be taking surfing lessons tomorrow or the day after… and who knows what after that.

    Well, I think it’s time to mix up some malibu rum and OJ.

    Thanks for sharing your work.

    Mark

    Aloha!

  2. Oh did you catch me in the right two weeks.

    First of all – I don’t know if I qualify since I am a college student, but none of the less I did have a job.. up until last weekend that is.

    So here is the list:

    Two weekends ago:

    -Close friend comes back from 2 month trip to Indonesia/Bali/Switzerland and brings all sorts of interesting things with him – like hand made figurines cut out of tusk and 3 large wooden statues of intriguing women with perky breasts – none of which he’d share.

    – I get fired from my job for going to the bathroom. I am not even 1% worried about this; coworkers start asking me “How does it feel to be free?”

    – I spend an hour and a half in a teacher’s office because he submitted a formal complain about me to the university for “huffing and puffing” during his class. We chat for awhile and come to the agreement that I will get an A and am allowed to write papers in my own thoughts – not school’s brainless thinking.

    – Dressed in suits, my friend and I drive 30 minutes in the worst part of town, to spend $5 cash (only money we had) at the single Popyes in my state and decide to never come back again.

    – I go to a club with friends and proceed to leave with a girl dressed like she just auditioned for an ABBA video. I start resenting falling for just looks.

    This last weekend:

    – I start to feel as if I am getting sick. It is possibly a flu but I heed “Secret”‘s advice and repeat to myself “You are in excellent health, and will win an NBA title” After which I gather my friends to hit the college bars. After 5 bars the guy who weighs 115 lbs on a rainy day proceeds to tell our drunk ears that he is “quite sober”. Ten minutes later he is standing in the middle of a dancefloor holding his head and looking concerned. We immediately send him off with a random girl – they walk 2 miles (it is -5F) to her place.

    – Next day I feel even worse but decide to go snowboarding since I’ve been putting it off for a year. Not content with just riding at moderate speeds (this is my 2nd time snowboarding in 2 years) I decide to attempt jumping hills. An hour later my friends are worried that my left wrist is broken and my right wrist is severly sprained. I tell them that I can’t feel my ass.

    – The bill comes on the Superbowl morning – I definitely got the flu. The whole previous night I wake up because of the pain, congestion or muscle aches and have a dream about a revolution against a corporation – which ended up being successful.

    I stay in bed all day, and proceed to lose money on Patriots, my first bet in 2 years.

    I guess I’d rate those weekends 5/10.

    ./if I don’t die from influenza. then 3/10

  3. I am loving this blog more now, at first all I saw was people going away for the weekend, so what, but I just read a few about doing what mattered to them. People like me who have come to the conclusion if it’s meaningful to you, it fulfilling. I too will take crazy long fun mini retirements, they are wonderful, BUT the real juice of life is finding something MEANINGFUL and doing it. It may be work to some, even hell to others, but no matter what you are doing if YOU feel fulfilled doing it’s awesome. You can fill your time and will be happy doing it. BTW to the cyclist, and the guy programming computers for kids….hats off to you both, changing the world in a positive way, doing something you love, and not needing to take an exotic trip or spend money to be fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong I will be a rich and VERY mobile, but I still know happiness comes from WHAT you do, and how meaningful it is to you, NOT how much money you have. Thank you all for reminding me of this, in my broke state and from a job I will fire as soon as possible, because it isn’t meaningful. All my unhappiness is sourced from my job, my private life is WONDERFUL and soon the two will be indistinguishable:-))

  4. last weekend i did the following:

    Had coffee in bed with my partner and looked out the window at our view.

    Walked the dog to the gym and attended a circuit class and worked pretty hard.

    Walked back and started to pack in a leisurely way for our weekend trip away.

    Went for a swim at our beach.

    Drove 1.5 hours to Phillip Island to a cabin we rented as a gift for my sister-in-law’s birthday present.

    Had a yummy salad roll for lunch on the way.

    Headed down to the beach with my partner and little nephew and niece and played.

    Cooked a really good bbq.

    Had lashings of red wine and played cards with my teenage step son.

    Met my mum who drove 4 hours to be with us for the weekend.

    Went to bed a little tipsy.

    Sunday morning – headed out for a run.

    Then packed up the teenager and his mate, and the boogie boards, and my mum, and headed down to a surf beach.

    We caught waves for an hour or so.

    Then went back, made lunch and headed out to a wonderful music festival, Chill Island Festival.

    Saw my favourite band ever, the Waifs.

    Saw some other amazing music including John Butler Trio.

    Stayed at the cabin again and took Monday off work (I already planned that).

    Then Monday, more boogie boarding, drove back, unpacked, picked up the dog, went for another swim in the beach and went to bed early.

    How’s that for good. Healthy, family living and a gorgeous music festival. All a gift for my sister in law’s birthday – we decided a family weekend away and great music was more important than another gift from a gift shop.

    cheerio

    Miss Jojo xxxx

    PS do you post to Australia?

  5. can someone tell me how i can post an answer to this question and have a hyperlink created for photos, etc, as people have done previously?? sorry i’m not much into web techi-ness!

  6. Oops! Hit the wrong key, sorry about that earlier (and incomplete) post.

    Q1. Past two weekends: About an 8, in summary:

    Long museum visit (novel research), morning run, visit with inspiring friends(about to travel far south with newborn), a few hours of frosty photography, shared silence with my elderly father, learned how to draw comix in a workshop, a few hours of writing, had a dinner date (alone) with my love. Would’ve been a 10, but writing didn’t move into flow (this time).

    Q2. Yes, I want to retire from my 9-3 / 3 days per week job.

    Q3. A 10 – Absolute confidence.

    The challenge weekend:

    Followed crows east at twilight to their communal roosting site (hundreds of them), started website that makes my heart do a happy dance, photographed neighbourhood trees, bought spring flowers for the front window, journalled, spent Sunday morning holding my daughter (she had the flu).

    Started thinking about the projects that are in the someday file and checked my bookshelves. The books are like breadcrumbs waiting to lead me to weaving, dyeing, building with cob and straw-bale, growing better tomatoes, writing great novels.

    I’ve said this all in a pretty cut and dried manner, but the main reason I’ve responded was the the quote:

    “found myself completely taken in this moment … And I was there, at least in my mind, which, really, is all that matters.”

    I think he’s talking about the sense of awe and wonder that comes when you’re not just going through the motions. Being present, whether to comfort a sick child or revel in the raucous chatter of a community of crows makes the day wondrous. This seems to me to be the point of the four hour work week. Use the time available to live deeply and without reservation.

    That’s pretty much what I intend to do. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

    Cheers.

  7. Hey Tim just wanted to really thank you for your blueprint…I now Live in Prague…I read your book a few months before I moved…it inspired me to start my site and It was also my excuse to get a business license here and a way for me to get a visa without having to work for anyone:)…I have a lot of work to do but thats the exciting part…again..thank you so much..If you are ever in Prague let me know, the woman are great here ;)…Ivan Campuzano

  8. Hey Tim

    I have been working in Japan teaching English for the past year or so. Although most of my friends think my life is exotic and crazy the truth is that I spend a lot of my weekends with other English speakers drinking beer at a pub for foreigners. Basically what I would do if I were back in the US. I decided that the combination of my birthday, the new year, and this blog should change my weekend plans. So I took an overnight bus with a friend to Tokyo. Walked around the biggest fish market in the world. Ate the best ramen in Tokyo (possibly Japan.) Let my inner child run free at a 5 story toy store. Drank shochu with beautiful girls. Generally I believe it to be one of the best weekends I’ve had in my life. Pictures and details are in my blog at http://thelyfeinjapan.blogspot.com/

    I created this blog after receiving a copy of 4hr. work week for Christmas. It really does make a great present

  9. Hey Tim,

    Glad I read this now.

    You see I’ve got lots of plans. I’ve got so many exciting plans for 2008 they’re just bubbling up inside of me! Within the next 6 months I’m going to get promoted, get a 30% salary increase, tender my resignation and go bottle feed lion cubs in Zimbabwe (uber cute). After that I’ll head down to Australia and do some kind of work that allows me to spend most of my time diving, sightseeing and meeting new people. On my way home to Ireland I’m going to stop off in South America for a look, after that – who knows?!

    All of these plans are great and they will get done, the thing is I’ve realised that I’m so busy making plans that I’ve forgotten to enjoy the fruits of my 2007 plans (very John Lennon I know) I’m living abroad in what has to be one of the strangest countries on the planet and I’m restless so I’m making plans for months ahead instead of smelling the roses now so to speak… so today, instead of leaving work ‘groundhog style’ and mapping possible routes to get out of here – I’m going to go out (without a plan) and party like an animal.. well that’s a start! 🙂

    Thanks for shaking me up,

    Helen

  10. Hi Tim. I bought an audio copy of your book in May from audible. I enjoyed the book so much that I bought a hard copy before I finished it. It was then that I started by escape plan from my job, and in August I became self employeed. So now, my time truly belongs to me. I make a point to do work that I really enjoy and that I would probably do for free if I was independently wealthy. But this past weekend I put all work aside and just had fun. Saturday morning I got up and trained in my new sport, Judo, for 2 hours. That was followed by about 1.5 hours of sparring in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is one of my biggest passions. I have video of this sparring session, but since it was just me getting beat up, I didn’t post it anywhere. A link to the school where I train is teamtooke.com. I’m really focused on getting my Brown Belt right now, so that’s where most of my non-business focus has been on lately. I spent the rest of the day hanging out with some friends of mine and getting ready for the UFC. My UFC plans fell through, which wasn’t so bad because I was pretty exausted. The next morning, I went back to the MA school and sparred for about an hour with the head BJJ instructor, which was awesome. I felt like I had already increased my stamina from the day before. When I got home, I got on the computer to review the sparring that I did the day before and made some mental notes on how to improve. I’m not a big football fan so I didn’t watch the Superbowl (I hope that doesn’t go against me). Instead I went over to my Dad’s house, caught up on some TV shows and the new book I’ve been reading, Lunar Park, before I went to bed. The weekend was pretty laid back. There was no stress and I had a really great time because of it. I tried to make an effort to push the NR lifestyle, but honestly, this is what most of my weekends are like now.

  11. Hi Tim,

    What a great idea!! Lets get thinking about those mini-retirements with a two-day no-obligation trial!

    Here’s how mine is going…

    Day one…changed diet radically…using your 20lbs in 30days suggestion, I purchased the groceries needed and the vitamin supplements…

    Learned an important lesson…whats life all about if you dont learn as you go along, right? Niacin and slow-release niacin are very different…guess which one I bought…yes…the straight niacin…guess what I learned…niacin is a vasoconstrictor…how did I learn this…I turned red…not blushed a little…red like I could be spotted from the Space Station red…

    Went for a nice brisk walk (in Ottawa Canada in February, brisk is good!!!) while listening to the 4-Hour Work week on my Ipod.

    Starting working on a startup business website, using the knowledge base and skills that I have (high school teacher of 20 years) and began planning a cruise for March Break…not the cheapest time to go but if I wait, I wont go so lets cruise.

    Thank you for the guidance your book has shared so far…I am sure there is much more to come and much I can share with others!

    Keep enjoying life!

  12. This is my second comment as I have had a couple of more days to think about it. I think the term retirement truly means “leaving what you did to provide for your family or did what you thought would be best.” Bob Knight didn’t say retire for that reason, he is just stepping aside. He still loves basketball and did what loves. Now he will just do something else. Probably speeches.

    Many fear change as I do myself. We are unsure that the “plan” will work. So working in some jobs, such as mine which have high earning potential or others which have great security in a cubicle, are not where we want to be. I have met with many artists and creators and wished I had the gumption to do what they did but felt I would end up penniless and a failure.

    The real underlying question is what do you want to really do? This is where Donny Deutsch misunderstood you. I bet you are giving more than 4 hours a week in your endeavors, but IT ISN’T WORK! Deutsch, who I love for what he does on his show, was too focused on working like a dog with your passion. I can spend hours on a personal project or idea and it never feels like work.

    I think the 48 hour challenge it great because it is immediate.

    My answer to what I would do is, “Whatever the hell I wanted to do.” And that would fit me fine.

    1)My weekend was almost perfect, work being the part that wasn’t and even then it was 9.5.

    2)Fuzzy goal as my debts are more than I would like and it seems that this job is about the only way out save bankruptcy.

    3) 10, no a single doubt that I would enjoy retirement. I have taken a few 3-5 week vacations in the past. My mind was even more creative and my motivation higher. For the time being I am feeling stuck but am trying to change that.

  13. Hi Tim,

    First off I want to say your book is awesome. Second, I’m glad I discovered your blog and third, glad I read this one in particular.

    So my weekend (since you asked):

    Went to a Super Bowl party Friday night with Phoenix Suns players Boris Diaw, Grant Hill and Shawn Marion (who is an ex-Sun as of about an hour ago- Shaq anyone?). Pam Anderson was also there along with Terrell Owens. Pam hid out in the corner the whole time, but she did look pretty good. I can send a photo of myself and Boris as evidence of presence at said party, if needed.

    Saturday woke up early and went to Starbucks where I worked on a book I am writing as well as a website. Thanks for the inspiration as your book helps guide me through the process.

    Went and played basketball with a few friends for the first time in a while.

    I made dinner for my girlfriend and one of her friends, then we all went to a concert Saturday night.

    Sunday consisted of a quick workout at the gym, and some laundry after that. While the laundry was running, I continued work on my book (might need some help with the publishing process if you have any more advice to share).

    Then I planned out the things I needed to accomplish and do the next week, which I always do on Sunday – I find it helps relax me seeing what the week holds in store.

    Sunday night was dedicated to what else? The Super Bowl! Man, what a game that was.

    After the game, I bought a one way ticket to Barcelona – where I will be traveling to in April. Unfortunately, I bought a return flight from Venice back to the states… not ready to pull a complete Tim Ferriss… yet.

    By the way, love that car. Freakin’ sweet, man!

  14. Video link for proof of the things I did this past weekend.

    Question answers

    1) Personally fulfilling weekends- 8

    2) Yes, even though I love my job (playing football)

    3) 10!

    In this video you will see how I lived my life during the 48-hour “fill the void” challenge. Most of these things I do on a regular basis because they are a part of my Lifestyle Design. Here is what I did:

    1. I played the guitar (with no thumb, see video for example) go to http://www.chordfind.com to teach yourself like I did.

    2. Practiced Spanish- recently traveled to central Mexico to study the culture, practice Spanish, and for a Lucha Libre introduction (Where WWF wrestling began)

    3. Practiced my next speech for my Toastmaster Club entitled “You’re in the Zone”, how athletes must find that mental trance to become the ultimate competitor. AKA “living in the moment” for non athletes. http://www.toastmasters.org for more club info

    4. Went to the gallery hop- First Saturday of every month in the Short North of Columbus, Ohio are new art gallery openings. (See http://www.fieldstofactory.blogspot.com/ for an example of an extremely talented artist who is featuring Mexico and the U.S.)

    5. Went to a 60’s themed thrift store and danced with monkeys.

    6. Read 4HWW and thought of new muses. Told 5 individuals about the book and referred them to http://www.fourhourworkweek.com, also bought one 4HWW book to give as a gift.

    7. Went outside, walked and played with my dog, and got my energy level up.

    8. Worked out in the Gym- I have had a full arm cast on for the past 5 months from a bone graft surgery on my wrist. I get it off next week hopefully, but need to stay in shape to get ready for the Arena Football season and prepare for the NFL-my ultimate goal. Go to http://www.vipersaf2.com click on the video and you can see a td by me.

    9. Went salsa dancing! One of my favorite passions is salsa dancing; it is a great skill to have and an international language. During your travels for any of your mini retirements you can almost always find a salsa club, and if you still haven’t mastered the local spoken language, you can always meet people and communicate through the art of salsa. It’s a great workout too! http://www.salsapower.com/cities/index.htm for more info on salsa clubs around the world.

    10. Hung out with friends and family. You can see me at my cousin’s party with other friends watching the Giants win the Super Bowl.

    11. Read the 4HWW blog, and worked on my own podcast. I am currently putting together a weekly podcast interviewing top professional athletes to give motivation insight on the things they are passionate about, how they made it as a pro, and the steps to get there. (A similar format to Donny Deutsch The Big Idea) Check out http://www.talkshoe.com for podcast information.

    Things I did that you don’t see in the video.

    1. Learned how to do video editing- this one. Used Final cut Pro

    2. Called two Major League athletes and asked them for advice, also asked them if they would be on my podcast. (- World Series winner and centerfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and a 4th overall pick in MLB draft, current pitcher for the Detroit Tigers). Also personally met with one former NFL player and Ohio State WR standout on networking with other top profile athletes for my podcast and book.

    3. Introduced myself and emailed 4 individuals on http://www.Linkedin.com to ask about possible relationships with one company I am forming and two products I have developed.

    4. Talked with two of my mentors- Owner of- http://www.amspirit.com on a networking company he is helping me form, and owner of- http://www.trident-design.com, http://www.powersquid.com, and http://www.thirstylight.com, my inventor partner with one of my inventions.

    5. Mentored two individuals. Even though I am young, I know that you can’t just receive help and information from others, you must continue to give back constantly for the law of abundance to fully operate, or you could say, “You reap what you sow”. One was a friend of mine starting his new business, after we talked I told him what Tim Ferris said to me once, “surround yourself with much smarter people than yourself” and have many mentors. The other was someone who found me online and wanted my help finding him a sports related job and how he can connect with individuals in the industry.

    6. Went to a local university to meet with a professor of web site design. Asked if I could hold a competition with her top five students to create an automated site for one of my niche companies, so I may continue to live the NR way. Offered $100 for the winner, a site for their portfolio, and future business. She was excited because she wants her students to get real life experience. A win-win for both of us.

    7. Had dinner and lunch with my family members. I like to stay in contact with my siblings and parents as much as I can.

    8. Talked with the head scout of team Arkansas for the All-American Football League (a new professional football league starting in April for NFL type athletes who have all graduated with a four year degree. http://www.allamericanfootballleague.com ) Promoted my athletic abilities and my highlight film (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8530133387887838201&q=lewis howes&total=32&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0 ) and talked about playing for his team this year, it is a good possibility!

    Some other information:

    http://www.rotary.org and http://www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org for community service projects. If you really want to learn another language, join rotary and host an exchange student. Growing up my family hosted seven different exchange students for 6 month periods. I basically had big brothers and sisters from around the world. Host someone from Mexico or Spain if you want to learn Spanish, and practice with your new guest.

    Thanks for everything Tim, your message and Lifestyle Design inspires us all!

  15. My video evidence for the 48-hour “fill the void” challenge

    Question answers

    1) Personally fulfilling weekends- 8

    2) Yes, even though I love my job (playing football)

    3) 10!

    In this video you will see how I lived my life during the 48-hour “fill the void” challenge. Most of these things I do on a regular basis because they are a part of my Lifestyle Design. Here is what I did:

    1. I played the guitar (with no thumb, see video for example) go to http://www.chordfind.com to teach yourself like I did.

    2. Practiced Spanish- recently traveled to central Mexico to study the culture, practice Spanish, and for a Lucha Libre introduction (Where WWF wrestling began)

    3. Practiced my next speech for my Toastmaster Club entitled “You’re in the Zone”, how athletes must find that mental trance to become the ultimate competitor. AKA “living in the moment” for non athletes. http://www.toastmasters.org for more club info

    4. Went to the gallery hop- First Saturday of every month in the Short North of Columbus, Ohio are new art gallery openings. (See http://www.fieldstofactory.blogspot.com/ for an example of an extremely talented artist who is featuring Mexico and the U.S.)

    5. Went to a 60’s themed thrift store and danced with monkeys.

    6. Read 4HWW and thought of new muses. Told 5 individuals about the book and referred them to http://www.fourhourworkweek.com, also bought one 4HWW book to give as a gift.

    7. Went outside, walked and played with my dog, and got my energy level up.

    8. Worked out in the Gym- I have had a full arm cast on for the past 5 months from a bone graft surgery on my wrist. I get it off next week hopefully, but need to stay in shape to get ready for the Arena Football season and prepare for the NFL-my ultimate goal. Go to http://www.vipersaf2.com click on the video and you can see a td by me.

    9. Went salsa dancing! One of my favorite passions is salsa dancing; it is a great skill to have and an international language. During your travels for any of your mini retirements you can almost always find a salsa club, and if you still haven’t mastered the local spoken language, you can always meet people and communicate through the art of salsa. It’s a great workout too! http://www.salsapower.com/cities/index.htm for more info on salsa clubs around the world.

    10. Hung out with friends and family. You can see me at my cousin’s party with other friends watching the Giants win the Super Bowl.

    11. Read the 4HWW blog, and worked on my own podcast. I am currently putting together a weekly podcast interviewing top professional athletes to give motivation insight on the things they are passionate about, how they made it as a pro, and the steps to get there. (A similar format to Donny Deutsch The Big Idea) Check out http://www.talkshoe.com for podcast information.

    Things I did that you don’t see in the video.

    1. Learned how to do video editing- this one. Used Final cut Pro

    2. Called two Major League athletes and asked them for advice, also asked them if they would be on my podcast. (- World Series winner and centerfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and a 4th overall pick in MLB draft, current pitcher for the Detroit Tigers). Also personally met with one former NFL player and Ohio State WR standout on networking with other top profile athletes for my podcast and book.

    3. Introduced myself and emailed 4 individuals on http://www.Linkedin.com to ask about possible relationships with one company I am forming and two products I have developed.

    4. Talked with two of my mentors- Owner of- http://www.amspirit.com on a networking company he is helping me form, and owner of- http://www.trident-design.com, http://www.powersquid.com, and http://www.thirstylight.com, my inventor partner with one of my inventions.

    5. Mentored two individuals. Even though I am young, I know that you can’t just receive help and information from others, you must continue to give back constantly for the law of abundance to fully operate, or you could say, “You reap what you sow”. One was a friend of mine starting his new business, after we talked I told him what Tim Ferris said to me once, “surround yourself with much smarter people than yourself” and have many mentors. The other was someone who found me online and wanted my help finding him a sports related job and how he can connect with individuals in the industry.

    6. Went to a local university to meet with a professor of web site design. Asked if I could hold a competition with her top five students to create an automated site for one of my niche companies, so I may continue to live the NR way. Offered $100 for the winner, a site for their portfolio, and future business. She was excited because she wants her students to get real life experience. A win-win for both of us.

    7. Had dinner and lunch with my family members. I like to stay in contact with my siblings and parents as much as I can.

    8. Talked with the head scout of team Arkansas for the All-American Football League (a new professional football league starting in April for NFL type athletes who have all graduated with a four year degree. http://www.allamericanfootballleague.com ) Promoted my athletic abilities and my highlight film (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8530133387887838201&q=lewis howes&total=32&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0 ) and talked about playing for his team this year, it is a good possibility!

    Some other information:

    http://www.rotary.org and http://www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org for community service projects. If you really want to learn another language, join rotary and host an exchange student. Growing up my family hosted seven different exchange students for 6 month periods. I basically had big brothers and sisters from around the world. Host someone from Mexico or Spain if you want to learn Spanish, and practice with your new guest.

    Thanks for everything Tim, your message and Lifestyle Design inspires us all!

  16. 1) 6

    2) NO – give me my dreams!!

    3) Maybe 7, although potential 10 now after this weekend…

    So my husband of 5 months (booyah for newlyweds!) and I returned from our 2nd movie ever, Sweeney Todd, and read this “challenge.” We thought this wasn’t necessarily the most convenient weekend to be retired, but that’s kind of the point now, isn’t it??

    I’m an ICU nurse, he’s a sales engineer for a sound/light production company. We work far more than we want to @ things we don’t dream about doing. The first thing we did was spend a fabulous Friday night together, talking about our love for our city (Fargo) and how much it needs a real lounge. Similar to the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis (http://www.kittycatklub.net/photos.html). So we drove around to see the current downtown buildings for sale and began to make plans for designing a lounge and what all would be entailed. We’d seriously be working towards making one happen if we were retired. We tried a new drink @ home (since there is no lounge in Fargo) – the boilermaker – and proceeded to get tipsier than either of us had ever been and had the time of our lives having a danceclub party in our apt. Would definitely create sweet random times with my husband every chance we got if we were retired…

    Saturday, I trained for my first marathon and took time to look up local runs like the “freeze your buns 5K” to help. I kept asking, what would I/we be doing if we were retired? I would spend more time with meaningful old friends over a cup of coffee, so I drove an hour north to my college best friend (and recent maid of honor). We proceeded to talk about losing our dreams and what we’re going to do about it. Later I met up with my trendy band brother (in the same town) and took him to a music store to let him know my husband and I decided to buy him his keyboard he’s been wanting for to start his next project (which will come in this week). If I was retired now, I’d listen to people’s dreams and start helping them make ‘em happen. So I did. I also played a mandolin there and decided I should really get one soon. I’ve talked far too long about learning it after seeing the folky 2-man band “jayber crow.”

    Spent the drive home that afternoon calling old college friends and catching up, asking them where they’re at with their dreams. Came home to wait for Justin (who worked) & started to bake random desserts I’ve been waiting to do for us and others. Then I used the old fabric I’ve been saving to start designing things with, took out the sewing machine we got for our wedding, and surprised myself that I can actually complete a project (a handbag) in just 1.5 hours! Maybe Etsy.com is calling my name!

    I kept asking Justin “what would we be doing right now if we were retired.” He said, “we wouldn’t make very many plans.” So he made us dinner and we did some rockband and we had a beautifully quiet Saturday night (partly because I got sick from the nachos (!) and we couldn’t make it to the biker bar like we “planned”).

    Sunday morning, I was scheduled to work a 12hr shift, but got them to put me on call! Justin played drums @ our church (something we’d definitely keep involved in even if we were retired). I went to Barnes, bought a “teach yourself Swedish” book and spent some of the afternoon learning about Swedish and made a date with our Swede friend, Simon, to have him begin to teach us this week (he was too busy studying on Sunday). We’d do mini-retirements to Sweden if we were retired, so thought we’d best get going on the language even if they all speak English.

    Justin worked on his recording studio and made a purchase for it he’s been putting off on ebay! This is both of our dreams – to work with musicians. He also built some more stuff for his current gear and put more time into an artist’s work he is currently working on…

    Justin’s mom was just diagnosed with Parkinson’s and if we were retired, we’d by far spend more and better quality time with our family. So we went to visit them (in Fargo) and ended up spending the evening there to chill with his family and brother’s friends for the game (woot for teenage boys!). I finally took time to blog my thoughts, which I really miss doing and find a heck of a lot of relief once I do (http://sunsetsandcitylights.blogspot.com/). I baked more while I was there and we talked more about our lounge dream to his dad, a successful entrepreneur with crazy dreams himself.

    Then I bought the mandolin!! The same one from the music store, but on ebay!! Justin made one last call to a local successful “metalcore” band to agree to help them this coming weekend record a new CD!

    I got to end our night with a little bit of Swedish that I learned that day “Jag älskar dig” or “I love you” to Justin as we jump into our cold bed ready to wake up out of retirement the next a.m…well, not ready to…

    Already I see us changing…let me tell ya, The Four-Hour Work Week” is a dangerous book to read, but is the saving grace to those of us who won’t put up with having our dreams on the back burner for long!

    Here’s our photos on Flickr!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/23541226@N03/sets/72157603866122577/

  17. Hola Tim…great blog. I am going to be 33 in the morning. I stay home with my three children all under seven. My husband is in the oil industry. he works out of town Monday to Friday and sometimes more. It is amazing to me that so many people have so much time, touring around Europe…scuba diving…mini-vacations. How is it that they are so blissfully spoiled. Yesterday one of my great friends was unable to afford the gas to make it to playgroup! My peer group and I are all middle class. Our husbands work constantly we shuttle children around all weekend we do science projects. We watch little league, we Iron shirts and make potato salad. when do I make time for these for filling life changing events when I struggle to make ends meet and time stretch??? I know I am not alone.

    ps I’m gonna try the all beans all the time diet … sounds wonderfully bland and rewarding.

  18. As a college student, I began my weekend with a leisurely 11 am wake up time. Since this was my first weekend of freedom, I decided to start off on a strong note. I spent an hour honing my Spanish skills(using Rosetta Stone. After a light lunch, I worked out for an hour. I decided to proceed to another activity. There was only one problem, I couldn’t think of anything else to do. Sure I could watch a rerun on TV or read the same book over again, but nothing really new or exciting.

    What Tim had said, “If you can’t fill the time, there are questions you need to ask and skills you need to develop.” came flooding back into my mind.

    So I decided to change my direction and use my freedom to evaluate my priorities. I decided I needed to work on a muse, as well as decide on some non-school related activities that spark my interest.

    As I took a walk and thought about this, I realized how dominant school had been in my life. Like most children, I had been attending school nine months of the year for my entire life. My friends, experiences, and knowledge all stemmed from this structure of school. Then it donned on me. This is why it is so hard for me and many other young people to do what we love. We are bound to the limits of school that we have trouble thinking beyond it.

    For all of our lives, school has dictated how we spend our time and has provided a social structure for us. While the school experience can be both enlightening and adventurous, it restricts the skills necessary to deal with freedom. A college education in many parts of the United States is preparing someone to become an employee, not an entrepreneur. We are taught to follow the rules, do a good job, repeat for 40 years, and have a happy 10-20 year retirement.

    I decided this wasn’t for me. So I started charting a new course. Since I could not cherish the freedom of this weekend fully, I decided why not do something better: create a plan to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to have a lifetime of freedom. So that is exactly what I did. I put aside academic knowledge and wrote down all my skills and knowledge. While it was a fair amount, it needed to be improved.

    I decided to focus on the following areas in the next 90 days(after this period, it will be time to reevaluate). These were initial ideas followed by more detailed goals.

    1. Physical wellbeing(workout more efficiently by using some of Tim’s techniques as well as working with a trainer)

    2. Muse development(if I want to achieve freedom, I need a financial vehicle to get me there)

    3. Self-directed learning(taking a topic not taught effectively in school and begin an intense self-education in that subject)

    4. Hobby creation(finding other things to preoccupy my time as well as develop my mental acumen)

    Here are my results and what I will be doing for the next 90 days

    1. Working to gain 15 pounds of muscle, as well as eating a healthier diet.

    2. Studying the art of advertising, as well as launching my own website to begin testing some product ideas.

    3. Studying psychology of compliance and what causes humans to do what they do. This will benefit me in all areas of my life.

    4. I have decided to pick up writing as a hobby. I am beginning work on a screenplay, as well as ideas for short stories.

    All in all, while the mini-retirement did not turn out how I thought it would, it pointed me in the right direction. These two days have helped identify what needs to be done and to me, as a college student, that is the most important result.

  19. Hi Tim. I have taken a weekend mini retirement in Panama. It was an awesome adventure. My friends and I were the only foreigners in this native celebration. We literally participated in the parade, and held the peoples flag as they Marched behind us. Not bad for a weekend trip if I do say so myself. I know for sure that I wouldn’t be bored retired, or with unlimited resources, because I’m never bored now, and my life just keeps on getting more exciting all the time. The link includes stories and pictures. I hope to win the contest.

  20. Tim,

    I initially read this post in my news feeds on the Sunday morning local time (across the Pacific as it were). I didn’t live my weekend as a mini-retirement, but you did give me cause to think about how I -do- spend my weekends and free time. The answer is: not very well.

    You have helped me come to the realisation that despite my best efforts this year, my priorities keep sliding out of all perspective to how I want to live my life as a father, husband and human being. I now realise that despite half-realised, ill-thought out dreams to the contrary, I’m -not- ready for release from the daily grind as I don’t know what I want from my life. I really don’t, and that’s a shattering conclusion to come to when you think you have all the answers. At least I’m young enough to still make changes.

    I have nothing to show for my revelations except a simple blog post (link should show up above). You’ve provided me with the simple gift of perspective, and for that I thank you.

    I have yet to read your book. I’m starting to think that perhaps I should.

    PS You’ve got a bunch of great readers. So many interesting tales of what can be achieved with a sense of fun and a spare 48 hours!

  21. Tim,

    The broader vision’s easy. I’d build a nice little house/studio, not unlike the house here: http://www.simondale.net/house/

    I’d fill it with furniture, not unlike the furniture I’ve already built here: http://brandonweaver.com/gallery/woodworking/rustic_furniture

    And would spend my days working on novels or essays (or building when I was ready for something more physical.)

    But alas, building requires land, which last I checked requires money, so that will have to wait for a little while as I save up for it.

    In the meantime, I’ve recently switched from driving to taking the train to work which gives me roughly 90 minutes a day to write or read, and I work 4 (10-hour) days a week so I can spend the 5th at the library for some more dedicated time to study and write. Currently I’m busy with my first novel, and am enjoying it quite a bit.

    This past weekend my wife and I went on a small adventure to this little fountain pen shop, where I got a very wonderful pen as a self-reward for a month of solid writing. Switching to the train has really allowed me the space to start pursuing some of my longer term dreams.

    On a side note, I’d like to say I really appreciate your take on living. I find that I can get rather easily buried underneath life and fail to accomplish what I really care about. Your blog is a great encouragement to not only to stay on top of things, but to reduce the number of things to stay on top of. I really enjoy reading your thoughts on this. Thanks for that.

    Brandon

  22. 48 hours, in my mini to Seattle 2 hours. Pick up a friend and dinner a couple of more hours. Drive to Kennewick pick up Jim 5 hours. Spend the remaining time tracking down Timothy Ferriss ask him to drink a beer with us and discuss the in and out of lifestyle design so my two friends believe me, and are convinced this can be done. Comfort challenge, spend at least 24 hours with a couple of smelly drunk friends on a road trip in a classic mini cooper without getting arrested, divorced, lost or asphyxiated by the smell of Jim’s feet. Chances of mechanical difficulty 98%, chance of finding Mr Ferriss 2% chances of 3 friends on the road again changing each other’s lives 100%.

    See you in a couple of days. We’ll buy the beer.

  23. Hi Tim,

    I can’t say that I’ve been able to apply the 48 hour emancipation challenge, but I praise you for initiating this. It’s a great exercise in throughly blocking out one’s goals. The reason for my inability to follow through with the challenge is that I’m only 16 years old. I have no control over a lot of things in my life, however, I don’t mean to make myself seem like a regular teenager. Whether or not that excuse permits me to say that I am unable to be apart of the challenge, I can honestly say that I’ve been a very goal-oriented teen.

    As with many people my age (and beyond), there are times where one just tends to stick around, being alive without any real direction or dreams. This was how my life went for a few years, but it was only a matter of time before I really found the urge to juice my life of all its enjoyable potential. I wish this were the case with other individuals, but… well you know. That’s why I think it’s so great that you’re pushing this experiment, although I’ve noticed that a lot of the folks who comment are relatively successful already, but there’s always room for growth, right?

    This year I’ve grounded in some major goals:

    1.I came across your 4-hour body article and I am currently doing my own research as I believe that most of your principles (or the principles of success in general) highly depend on personalization.

    2.I got a copy of The Four Hour Workweek for my dad because he’s always acted unreasonable about achieving his goals, and now he wants to start a company with me!

    3.Earn enough money to return to Japan (I went for the first time in 2006 through MISCA) and see all my friends again, while utilizing the BIT method of travel.

    4.I’m going to see how much Japanese I can learn in three months. I’ve pretty much got a head start on this one due to having connections with my Japanese friend’s English cram-school teacher, and he owes me.

    I’ve found that when I’m working towards achieving my goals, a few principles always pop up. Taking off from the Buddhist belief that everything can be learned from nature, it seems goals are realized in the same way the Grand Canyon was formed: with time and pressure. Self-criticism is the key, I believe, in realizing one’s goals. Most of the time I find that I’m not anywheres near what I want to be when I’m living my dreams. I take this information and criticize my personality and every other facet of my being to fully understand what it is that I need to do. It’s a ridiculous and very necessary weeding process that conceived a great habit of mine where I constantly point out my mistakes and evaluate how I can make things better, this becomes the pressure, and then it’s only a matter of time.

    This takes me to another prevalent concept of success: progress without effort has a lot less value than an honest mistake. There is so much valuable information in negative results. Let me put it this way, photographs are developed by exposing the negative image, which leaves the positive image. Although it may seem kind of counterproductive, one would be less prone to becoming mislead. Allow me to quote Miyamoto Musashi “…if you mistake the Way even a little you will become bewildered and fall into bad ways.” It’s hard to be critical when everything is working out, but with that kind of attitude, a fatal mistake could appear without warning. I don’t mean to preach, my intention is to hear your thoughts on these concepts, and to have you understand that I intend to compete. That $750 could be a great help in budgeting my return trip to Japan.

    All in all I’m not living the 9 to 5 monotonous lifestyle, and I never will. I’m glad that I’ve had the correct combination of experiences to install a successful attitude and I’m not planning on backing down or compromising my goals, not ever. By my belief, it’s only a matter of time before I start living my dreams. Thanks for your time.

    Much Love

    -William

  24. Tim:

    I must say that you are my hero, and I look forward to meeting you. This weekend I am launching a worldwide online community for teens and young adults to share the great things they are doing. The message is it doesn’t matter what your grades are, your age, your race, or your circumstance – You can Do Great Things, and I beleive in you. My two teenage children are helping me with the clothing line and the logo.

    I have to tell you, I can’t get much more life changing, and fulfilling than that. Serving Hope, Building Self Esteem. I am booking a flight to Costa Rica in April for a little fishing and golf, and I am going to contact the School Officials in as many surrounding towns I can to speak about DoGreatThings.ning.com

    I am looking to partner with OLPC and one day we will be giving away OLP day as designated by one of the members of the site. The person receiving the laptop will then be invited to connect with the person that “chose” them.

    Tim – It is Going to BE AWESOME!!!!!

  25. Tim,

    This is an exceptionally fortuitous post for me. I read your book in August when I was working as a consultant for a large global firm. I quit my job in October and signed a contract with an ex-client to work independently for their company. Now, I work 7 months out the year making 60% more than I did at my last job. Saturday was day one of my first mini-retirement. I did several things over the next 48 hours that I am not sure I would have without your prompting:

    I finally opened the ‘Learn Spanish with Carlos and Chiquitita’ dvd i borrowed from my niece with the hope that I will have a basic understanding by the time I go to Central America in March. Next, I dyed my hair blond to test the theory about having more fun! And finally, I picked up a group of friends and spent the night at the base of a waterfall in cloudland canyon. I know these are not life changing events, but when you can remember that discovering your true purpose is your only real obligation in this life, trying new things seems that much more significant.

    So, thank you for the challenges. Your message continues to remind me of the saying, ‘you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf’.

  26. I read this Monday night. I sell random things on eBay. But spend a lot of time checking their prices and responding to emails about specifics and shipping. So here’s what happened when I let things go and followed this challenge.

    48 hrs: Monday night-Wednesday night.

    After reading this post, I watched House and read the 2nd chapter in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Went to sleep.

    Woke up. Ate.

    Went and voted while wearing a Horse costume (note the write in ballot). 2nd in line!

    Went home showered/shaved/ate/

    Went to my sister’s and played with her kids. http://tinyurl.com/yoch6f

    http://tinyurl.com/2dfw67

    http://tinyurl.com/yr6hcc http://tinyurl.com/yvkdph

    She let me use her piano..tried to play Samson by Regina Spektor.

    http://tinyurl.com/yw2x7y

    http://tinyurl.com/yw2x7y

    Scheduled a test drive: http://tinyurl.com/29nvvb

    Hung out with a girl. We made stuffed animals. http://tinyurl.com/25vvnf

    Watched “Lola Rennt”. http://tinyurl.com/yop9fy

    Went to sleep.

    Woke up late.

    Based on some of your language learning advice, I reviewed my high school Spanish & college German—translated some sentences (checked them on happy planet) and decided to polish up on my German first. http://tinyurl.com/26krso

    http://tinyurl.com/23lc5x

    Did Volunteer Work at the community center helping children.

    Signed up at Gold’s Gym for a “penny a pound.” And talked them into letting my weight – be my target Weight not my Current weight. Worked Out.

    http://tinyurl.com/29x8k4

    Had dinner with a friend who wants to start a business, since I want to do consulting in my spare time when I retire (for longer than 48hrs) I said

    I’d coach him for free and promised him a copy of your book. Winning these books would be great to jumpstart my spare time/retirement consulting: “Here’s a book, I’m going to Germany.”

    Watched LOST. Typed this up.

    The most fun—playing with my nieces, the most worth while—volunteering, the most exciting hanging with my friend/girl (when I’m retired, hopefully I’ll have a companion to travel with), the most telling—my auctions sold even without me responding to questions and checking their prices every 30 minutes.

  27. Hi I left a comment with links to lots of pics. I don’t know if it got deleted because there were too many URLs in the post, but I don’t see it.

    I don’t want to repost it in case it is waiting to be moderated. Let me know if it isn’t in there so I can repost it in time for the deadline.

    Thanks.

  28. [This from a working mom with a high-level management job…well-educated family living in CA…seeming to “have it all.”]

    I first read Tim’s Groundhog post at 3:30am Sunday when I couldn’t sleep…too depressed. But it got my attention – one day left to complete the challenge, so it really felt like Groundhog Day.

    I love Bill Murray when he transforms himself by looking outward to serve others & to improve himself (reminiscent of page 270 of 4HWW).

    In Northern California it poured Saturday night…i kept thinking what i could do that would really make a difference…how i could really make this day worthwhile.

    Tim’s post inspired me to:

    * give a toasted bagel/hot chocolate to a homeless person (gosh the look on her face was priceless, as was the look on my son’s face)

    * discuss over lunch the movie Groundhog Day & the transformation the main character underwent (our kids liked hearing about fixing the tire & catching the falling boy)

    * phone & then bring flowers/chocolates to an elderly neighbor who had moved away – we hadn’t talked with her in many months – turns out she had become bedridden & we were her only visitors in weeks besides the nurses and the direcTV guy

    * visit the cemetery & spend time remembering my father-in-law with our kids

    * make 54 muffins (the kids’ idea) & give them to our neighbors — we tried to tell them how much they meant to us (before they moved away & became elderly)

    For self-improvement, I tried a new seafood pasta recipe that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Not quite like learning to play the concert piano or carving ice-sculptures, but then the director of Groundhog Day said that Murray’s character had about 10 years of the same day.

    I’m impressed looking over Tim’s blog at what some folks accomplished…moving forward on their businesses…doing serious self-improvement…enjoying quiet or exciting moments.

    One moment that stands out in my day was my daughter getting ready for our upcoming trip…snorkeling in the bathtub.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22908016@N07/2249392965/

    By Sunday night, it hit home that one day isn’t really much time. On the last day in the movie, Bill Murray RUSHES around helping this person or learning that skill.. he has all these things he wants to do & he knows he has limited time. But then don’t we all.

  29. For the last year and a half, I’ve been working on my interests in Japan, music, writing, and design while living in Japan teaching English.

    I’ve passed Level 2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

    (http://pearlalexander.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/???/ )

    have upcoming performances with Japanese taiko drummers (my group here:

    http://www2.ginzado.ne.jp/shayo/yosidamati/bunsuidaiko/ta7.jpg) and a peformance in which I will sing and play jazz play at a local establishment.

    I’ve also recently been asked to contribute to stippy.com, a popular blog about foreign life in Japan, learned Japanese cooking (http://pearlalexander.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/gooooooya/ ), and made plans to visit the shibori dying studios in western Japan and sell the works resulting from that on Etsy.com.

    Because I think of the results of these projects as the grist of my labor rather than the fruits of it, I can’t yet fathom a large payout so much as I plan to maintain a financial security that enables me the continued freedom to pursue my interests. In other words, I want to make my interests pay for themselves. Thus, retirement doesn’t image so differently from my current workload and activities, other than that I could live off my savings and not feel the clock ticking.

    If my next 48 hours were my emancipation, I would go back to somewhere like here: (http://flickr.com/photos/11715260@N02/1258195005/in/set-72157601726672577/ ) and sit for a while and think about the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met.

    Then I would get up and resume what I had been doing before I sat down to reflect on it.

  30. The Road Less Traveled

    I took a few days to think about this blog post, and decided that the first step in getting out of the daily grind was always the hardest. I have been in business for myself since 2001, and grew my small pizza shop in to a four store chain over the past seven years. During that time, I made more and more money, bought my first Porsche, first house, and many other fine toys. I also forgot who my family was, missed my son’s first school play, and gained a nice beer gut. February 6, I took the day off and started my retirement.

    My first step of the day was to seek out and find the highest mountain in the prefecture. I started climbing at 6am, and finally made it to the top later just before noon. I made it to the top, paid my regards at the small shrine, and took a few minutes to collect my thoughts and choose the course I would take over the following 48 hours.

    Here is a short video of the view from the top:

    Or http://www.youtube.com/v/ixSRJK0J-0U (if the code didn’t work)

    After an hour of meditation on the topic, I headed back down to civilization, and directly to my home office for a goal setting session. I came up with the following mission statement:

    Over the next 12 months, I will:

    1.Make $10,000 a month.

    2.Look better naked

    3.Learn all 2,000 daily use kanji

    4.Spend more time with my family

    5.Cultivate a great garden

    6.Sell my pizza chain

    After setting my long term goals, I got to work on the short term ones. First off, I contacted a broker and began the process of looking for a buyer for my business. I expect to have it sold within the next three months (Anyone want to buy a pizza chain in Southern Japan?). I had an early dinner meeting with my accountant to bring her on board, and begin the process of valuating my business. Owning the pizza chain is nice, but very time intensive, and I am sure that the last thing I will say on my death bed is that I wish I had worked more.

    I have a few small streams of income outside of pizza, and I will nurture those, and work on an idea that I have been tossing around in the back of my head for a while. As a hobby, I study economics, and I have a tight knit group of advisors who I plan on using in my next business model. It is an economic consultancy for online games, or MMORPGs. Currently there is a very real exchange rate between gold and Yen (or dollars), and as soon as the IRS takes virtual world money seriously, there will be some consequences that game companies (who traditionally focus on graphics, playability, continuity..) have not, and are not interested in looking into.

    At home that evening, I planned out my garden with my son. At 6 he is an avid gardener, and a great helper. We will be planting a few more rose bushes, and a kiwi tree as soon as it warms up a bit. After he went to bed, my wife and I shared a bottle of wine and a warm bath. If I ever leave Japan, I will be sure to build a Japanese bath in my new house.

    Thursday morning began with a trip to the gym. I work out regularly, but still have a bit of a gut, and I discussed this with a personal trainer. We developed a 4 day a week work out plan tied with a great nutrition plan designed to maintain my weight, but decrease my body fat % to my goal of 8%. I haven’t seen my abs since high school, and was beginning to miss them. I also renewed my ties to my high school kendo team. With enough practice, I will be able to take the 2dan test by the end of the year.

    I picked up a kanji dictionary, the same one I used in college, and developed a plan to learn 5 a day over the next two years. That, combined with reading more Japanese books should do the trick there.

    I picked up my son early from school, hopped on the ferry, and took the family out to a local hot spring, and talked more about the future over a dinner of yaki niku, and finished the evening with a dip in the natural hot spring of Iwojima. All in all it was a very satisfying two days, and I made some serious progress toward getting out of the daily grind.

    Thanks for the push in the right direction Tim.

  31. Great site! I just found it through a link at Get Rich Slowly, and will be picking up the book this afternoon. Last weekend was far from ideal–got in a big fight with my boyfriend which will likely lead to a breakup. Maybe it would have been better if I had found this post before then:) That said, my weekends usually leave me content and recharged. It helps that I try to make a point to leave work at work. I get up early, take some time to reflect on my goals and progress made toward accomplishing them, then, depending on the season and weather, I go snowshoeing, take my dog for a long walk, or go to the local Farmer’s Market. I spend a few hours with my parents, I’m starting to worry about running out of time with them. I have dinner with my friends. 8-10 times a year I take a workshop of one kind or another (the next one is knitwear design!). Here’s what I don’t do on the weekend: Check my work email, ever; Spend time with people I don’t enjoy being around; Time-sucking errands that could eat the whole day if I let them (dry-cleaning, prescriptions, oil changes for the car, etc.). Basically, if I won’t like doing something, I try my hardest not to do it on the weekend. Overall, my weekends are usually pretty fulfilling. Funny, I didn’t realize that until I had to actually think about it. Thanks!

    If I had more free time and disposable income, I would spend a lot more time taking classes, learning about everything I can think of (intensive Spanish in Mexico for 6 weeks, 2 months in Italy studying art history, etc.), I would also devote more time to furthering my Big Ideas (not sure I’m ready to reveal them yet) and volunteering, both home and away.

    Thanks to everyone for the inspiration. Financial Independence is a great goal, but if there aren’t any dreams beyond it, I can’t imagine how lost one might feel.

  32. “The challenge in life — the beauty in life — has to do with trying to balance movement with stillness. Which is to say, action and contemplation… I want to balance the two so that I can try to understand the world and understand myself, and so that I can go out and learn and offer what I can, and then come back in, as it were, and gather myself, find out what I really think and believe, place solid foundations underneath my life.”

    -Pico Iyer

    I want to balance the stillness and action in my life that Pico Iyer talks about. My 48 hours is a combination of the routines that ground my life and a few special treats that whisk me away from that routine to a place where I can frolic, play and reflect.

    The Routines:

    4:30 am morning run with my dogs and husband: Getting up early to be with my family and exercise is one of the best parts of my day and truly helps to get each day off to the right start.

    Hot Oatmeal Breakfast & Salad lunch: I have found that by automating these two meals with super healthy foods, the rest of the time I can eat what I want without stressing about it too much.

    Hot Yoga: Hot Yoga is 90 minutes of mind and body healing that I have come to cherish. It keep my body nimble and gives me time to meditate.

    Morning Study: My mind is clear and fresh in the morning. After my morning run, I like to spend a couple of hours reading and writing. This is also time to plan my next travel getaway and to learn about the place I am will travel to. Currently, I am preparing for a trip to Costa Rica.

    Afternoon Nap: A pause for rest in the afternoon keeps me productive the rest of the day

    Evening Walk: This is my time to unwind and appreciate the day that I have had. The dogs appreciate it too.

    Weekend Cleanup: I believe strongly in taking care of what I have so I can take less from the world and show my intention and appreciation to the universe. Keeping my house clean and clutter free is an important part of that.

    The Special Treats:

    Bagels and Coffee Breakaway Breakfast: Getting a break from oatmeal and tea once a week is delicious and fun

    Dinner Party with Friends: Connecting with friends and food. Need I say more.

    Hiking up in the Mountains with my parents: My family is very important to me. It is they who have taught me to appreciate nature.

    Lunch with my husband at the Banana Leaf Café: Banana Leaf is a cheap Malaysian restaurant that my husband and I love. Chatting about our life over yummy Malaysian cuisine is pure delight.

    This is the weekend, of course, but my life during the week still contains the routines along with the a handful of projects that I am passionate about and that allow me to lead a productive, quality life where I grow and give back to the world that has given me so much.

    Yvonne Caples

    P.S. I have not read your book, yet. I have put a hold on the next available copy at the local public library. I have been waiting a couple of months, but am currently 6 out of 76 holds, so maybe in a month I will have the opportunity to read it during my morning study. Now, of course, if I could win this competition that woud solve this problem entirely.:)

  33. The next 48 hours of my emancipation …

    Easy.

    While I can compete with anyone else here to see if I can fill 48 hours with impressive ‘NR’ stuff like eating at the nicest restaurant on the planet … dancing with a star … surfing a monster wave … tandem skydiving with a supermodel… learning 12 languages , eating all 31 flavors … see all the wonders of the world…

    The most SATISFYING thing I could possibly spend once ’emancipated’ … is using my brain, my skills, my money, and my two hands … to help those in the greatest need.

    I was nearly killed in a tornado a few years ago … and since then I have wanted to find a way to give back in the same way that so many gave to me. With my money .. time .. and even research to reduce the death toll that storms always bring with them…

    The past 48 hours I would have spent all of my time recovering , assisting , giving … sharing … anything I have … with those that have lost so much in the Tennessee / Kentucky / Mississippi storm damage.

    Yeah , there are some folks that didn’t have much money, maybe even live in mobile homes … But they still need help … not just a wad of money thrown in their direction.

    Rebuilding, … restoring … renewing .. recovering. Setting up ways to assist those that lose everything so quickly. Researching technological ways to prevent the loss of life. I know I can find a way … and that is why I am working toward emancipation like everyone else here.

    … love your book , your blogs … your time dedicated to helping us achieve what you have achieved …

    TIME!

  34. I’m a bit late posting this, but I’ve just gotten back to a place with internet so here goes…

    I read this post on Tuesday from my iPhone and was truly inspired. Currently I’m on a business trip to The Big Island of Hawaii where I’ve been following many of the principle’s of 4HWW. I decided to really push things for the next 48hrs after reading this challenge and…

    – stuck my scooter in the back of a friends truck across the island.

    – camped out 1 night on the beach and stayed another night at a friends place in Waimea.

    – Drove 200 miles, averaging about 20mph while I explored the northern and western coasts of the big island!

    http://cslice.com/hawaii08/

    Great challenge, it truly inspired me.

    – Tim B

  35. I’m a college student who desperately wants to make movies. I’ve finished writing my first screenplay and am devoting this weekend to editing it. When it’s finished, I’m going to send it to a director I know in hopes that he will give it to a producer to look at. I cannot see myself doing anything else besides working in film, so this weekend will be important because I’ll either get closer to selling this screenplay, or improving my craft. Besides that, I’ll be planning my summer trip in Costa Rica, trying to determine the best combination of cities to visit in 11 days after volunteering there for a week. Tim, if you have any suggestions, I would really appreciate it. Those two tasks will mainly occupy my weekend, but I also hope to see more of Lake Michigan as the ice covering it slowly melts, find a good Indian restaurant in northern Chicago, and enjoy the snow before it’s gone.

  36. My name is Brad Manilla and in T-minus 1 year, I will be moving to Costa Rica to chase my dreams and focus on my non-profit aspirations. While the 4HWW was a fantastic tool in articulating how to offset expenses and live portably, I’ve been focusing on my part of the deal: creating void fillers. I am taking photography classes, Tae Kwon Do lessons and generally trying to push myself just beyond my comfort zone to prove to myself what I am truly capable of achieving. While I’ve been stockpiling money in preparation and haven’t consumed much in the last year, I have come to a personal/spiritual fulfillment level that has since alluded me.

    I spent my Groundhog Day weekend in just the same manor. After leaving Chicago for business in Tampa earlier in the week, I decided to stay in Florida and went camping…by myself…for the first time ever. While this may not seem like a feat to some, it was an incredibly complicated process planning, coordinating & packing for a camping trip piggybacked on a business conference.

    After the conference, I grabbed a rental car and enjoyed a nice 2 hour long drive towards the campsite in 80 degree weather enjoying the sunset along the way and even stopping to witness a control-burn forest fire. I reached the park after sunset only to find the gates locked, but luckily found the nearest camper with the combination and proceeding to setup my friend’s tent…by myself…for the first time…in the dark. Oh, the hilarity that did ensue. Luckily, I packed my sense of humor and purchased a nice supply of Beef Jerky and Nascar Brand apples (no joke) at the convenient store earlier to celebrate the victory over my tent I assumed would manifest itself.

    The next day I woke up at 5am and drove an hour away to my next challenge…snorkeling with manatees. Now manatees may be the cows of the sea, but they reside in a thing I fear immensely, the ocean. After watching 9 too many Shark Week’s on the Discovery Channel, I am terrified of the ocean. But with my impending Costa Rica relocation and planned Latin American globe trotting, I desperately want to personally take part in the adventures I see in documentaries like Planet Earth. So I slipped on my wetsuit, jumped on a boat and lowered myself into the water filled with Manatees.

    Now, I don’t pretend to be a hero or even relatively brave, but there is one thing that I am and that’s honest. Those damn manatees scared the crap out of me the first time I saw them and I about swallowed my snorkel. I know that they are the fat kids of the ocean but I have never seen a 2,000-3,000 animal in the wild before, LET ALONE be swimming with the thing. It took me a good 15 minutes to adjust to my environment which I had to come to terms with and realize I couldn’t control. But once I accepted my circumstances, I turned on my underwater video camera I bought just for the occasion and began shooting the big, lovely animals that now seemed more reminiscent of childhood cartoons. It was a living fantasy.

    After swimming around for the hour is was off to location 2 where the manatees were more playful and the water murkier. I don’t like murky water, and I sure don’t like deep murky water. But embracing the rush from the previous experience, I jumped right in and searched for manatees. Now when I say searched, I mean swim in a general direction with 3 foot visibility hoping to stumble upon a manatee and not simultaneously hit it or scream like a girl, thus scaring it away. The manatees alluded myself and the two new friends I made, but my friends discovered if you dove down 5 feet, everything cleared up and there was a whole new world.

    HA. Dive down. Are you crazy? I am just fine on the surface thank you.

    Well, after they repeated that a number of times, surfacing only for another breath and to discuss the 5 foot long Tarpin swimming about, I had to try. I held my breath dove down and about SHAT myself when I found, as described, a completely foreign world. Multiple 5 foot Tarpins circled below us and I was amazed at these prehistoric beasts that seemed to have avoided evolution. I was so fascinated with them that I completely forgot about my cartoon manatees (whimps) only to almost smash into one that seemed to appear out of no where.

    This time, I got the nerve up to actually touch the large mammal. It was incredible. I began stroking its back, a texture comparable to a wet football to which he (or she, I don’t know where or what to look for) rolled partially over exposing his underside for me to pet. HE/SHE LIKES ME!!! It was incredible. And truly a monumental hurdle I crossed.

    After the trip concluded, I spent the rest of my camping trip shooting photography of my beautiful surroundings and simply lost in thought. I couldn’t help but wonder what other extraordinary adventures I had missed on my previous trips. But I live by the motto that you don’t worry about what you can’t change, change what you can and know the difference between the two. Life’s too short for regrets and, as I found out last weekend, is also to short to be paralyzed by fear – whether that be from getting in the water or moving down to Costa Rica. Its all possible, I am capable…now its only a matter of time.

  37. I accomplished a lot more than I thought I would, but not everything I wanted to. I’m in a unique situation. But I’ll let you all jusdge for yourself on my new blog (part of what I started for this challenge). You can read about all of it at http://3nnui.net. I hope I win, but if I don’t I learned and gained things far more valuable than prizes. Tim, let me know what you think!

    William G.

    aka Chiron

  38. What is this ‘boredom’ you speak of? There isn’t enough time in a day! My problem is focus, though, so this challenge was great motivation to get focused on a couple fun & creative things and get them done.

    In last 48 hours, I…

    – Recorded this song for a Magnetic Fields tribute album (release date = February 20th).

    – almost finished the cover artwork for the album (but wanted to post this comment in time). I’ll be posted with the MP3 (in the above link) within the hour.

    – Wrote this post yesterday.

    – Recorded some backup vocals for a friends song (a work in progress not yet fit for public ear consumption).

    – Wrote a new original song and recorded a raw version (also not yet fit for public ear consumption).

    – Meditated 2x

    – Did yoga 2x

    – Frolicked in the snow with some friends for awhile and had warmed up at a coffee shop. Great times.

    – etc.

    time’s up.

  39. I’ve been told that people were having trouble getting to the complete long article I posted on my blog and referenced above. It’s a new blogging system, so I expected a couple of hiccups. Anyway it’s been fixed and all of the photos, youtube vids, and google maps should show up now. pWned!

    She Who Must Be Obeyed:

    Boredom has more to do with *what* you’re doing, not so much *how much* you’re doing. My days are usually fairly busy without a lot of extra time. But, I am soooo bored because it’s always the same old stuff. And after a while that leads to a sense of ennui (dissatisfaction through boredom) then to depression and the downward spiral continues if you’re prone to depression.

    By the way, I really like your new version of Born On A Train!

  40. Are we in the know on who won this challenge?? I’m new to this ‘game’ and am not sure if I’m just running in circles trying to check… thanks much!!

    ###

    Hi Ashley,

    This will be announced in an upcoming blog post. It’s coming soon — promise 🙂 Easiest thing to do is subscribe to this blog. Then you can’t miss it: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/feed

    Tim

  41. wow – right on the money … such an interesting idea that somehow I never really paid attention to. We’re all trying to figure out how to make money online, free ourselves from the office, so we don’t have to get paid in proportion to how much time we invest in work … and if we actually achieve that goal and have more free time then what do we do with it?

    I was so busy with getting to that state that I never seriously bothered for ask myself what I’d do if I actually get there. Your idea of treating weekends as examples of what this ‘free time’ retirement would be like is just brilliantly simple. Thanks Tim – I know now that I have to seriously consider how to properly use the free time I’m working so hard to obtain.

  42. Hi there! I love your book – which was recommended to me by a German author and friend. I was always working outside the 9-5 schedule and intent to remain there, but I regularly fail at making the necessary income for it :/ This year I’m trying to reboot parts of my business. Your book is a part of the process.

    This whole weekend I’m going to attend a course in self-experience in the hope to break open some of my thinking blockades. It was recommended to me by someone I met on an acquisition conference I attended in January (a very valuable last minute decision). I also got myself a business coach – not sure how good it will work, but she’s just relocating from Germany to Nigeria 😉 So the right people are around me. And dang, I want keep my free time, because I need it for writing, drawing, swimming, and many more new hobbies…!

  43. As I read your highlight of the f500 snowshoe snow queen this morning I stopped reading the rest of my emails, put on my snowshoe togs and and amd now heading out (while my laser print runs off one of my jobs!)

    I work at a home office and need to get reminded to GET OUTSIDE

    Thanks!

  44. Pingback: rhino video games
  45. “Who is willing to participate in making this day extraordinary or, at the very least, have a funny story to tell all your friends?” This was my opener for leading rounds of row, row, row your boat on BART trains.

    Having recently read this blog, I thought, no reason to wait until the next Groundhog Day. Why not tomorrow? I pitched my idea to two friends. One said, “I have a hard time believing people will sing on a BART train.” Pause. Would I quit? No. I was invested. I committed to doing it with or without my friends. I replied, “Of course they will! I am confident!!”

    My objective was simple: play at 1000% and invite others to join in. These are a few of our highlights.

    I was inspired to discover at least one person on every train was an enthusiastic supporter and encouraged us. Note to self: excellent screening method for potential friends.

    Inside the Ferry Building, we sat down to play patty-cake. Side-splitting laughter guaranteed.

    Outside I asked two men enjoying the swing music if they danced. “Not in public” they replied. Men, listen up: when a hot woman asks you to dance, say yes!

    Observation: no one questioned these two girls or looked at them oddly. At what point did I start telling myself I was too old for the monkey bars?

    At the park it was somersault races and Red Light, Green Light. Look – our little playgroup that could gained critical mass.

    The delight topper: Derek tickled one of my feet while Jas sucked on the toes of my other. Half of my body moaned and melted while the other half jerked and squirmed.

    Oops – need an email address to share my snapfish photo album. Readers *insert imagination here*

  46. Boredom has more to do with *what* you’re doing, not so much *how much* you’re doing. My days are usually fairly busy without a lot of extra time. But, I am so bored because it’s always the same old stuff. And after a while that leads to a sense of ennui (dissatisfaction through boredom) then to depression and the downward spiral continues if you’re prone to depression.

  47. Tim,

    I know this was posted way back well no so long anyway… But I guess, I also want to say that I really want to fill in the void. I don’t want to end up like all empty and lonely. So maybe for now, I’d start by going out more often and doing worthwhile for the community and for the pets too. 😀

    Anyway, I’m thinking of getting involved in a charity for animals. I can see they are getting less and less value as time pass, especially dogs. I love dogs a lot and I have one although I don’t know what breed he is.

  48. “Subtracting work and the office doesn’t automatically create life.” So simple. So obvious. So often overlooked. You called me out on this one Tim. Going to mix it into the daily meditation and see what emerges.

    (On another note, greatly enjoying your podcast—working through the archive and I’m floored by the names and insights. You deserve that top ranking.) Keep up the great [& generous] work. Cheers!