Things I've Learned and Loved in 2008

181 Comments


Training in horseback archery in Nikko, Japan. (Photo: David West)

2008 has been one of the most exciting years of my life. I did more dealmaking and met more people than in the last 5 years combined. This produced many surprise insights about business and human nature, especially as I uncovered tons of my own false assumptions.

Here are some of the things I learned and loved in 2008. I’ve linked to posts that I wrote when exploring some of the concepts in more detail…

Favorite reads of 2008: Zorba the Greek and Seneca: Letters from a Stoic. These are two of the most readable books of practical philosophies I’ve ever had the fortune to encounter. If you have to choose one, get Zorba, but Lucius Seneca will take you further. Both are fast reads of 2-3 evenings.

Don’t accept large or costly favors from strangers. This karmic debt will come back to haunt you. If you can’t pass it up, immediately return to karmic neutrality with a gift of your choosing. Repay it before they set the terms for you. Exceptions: ubersuccessful mentors who are making introductions and not laboring on your behalf.

You don’t have to recoup losses the same way you lose them. I own a home in San Jose but moved almost 12 months ago. It’s been empty since, and I’m paying a large mortgage each month. The best part? I don’t care. But this wasn’t always the case. For many months, I felt demoralized as others pressured me to rent it, emphasizing how I was just flushing money away otherwise. Then I realized: you don’t have to make $ back the same way you lose it. If you lose $1,000 at the blackjack table, should you try and recoup it there? Of course not. I don’t want to deal with renters, even with a property management company. The solution: leave the house alone, use it on occasion, and just create incoming revenue elsewhere that would cover the cost of the mortgage through consulting, publishing, etc.

One of the most universal causes of self-doubt and depression: trying to impress people you don’t like. Stressing to impress is fine, but do it for the right people — those whom you want to emulate.

Slow meals = life. From Daniel Gilbert of Harvard to Martin Seligman of Princeton, the “happiness” (self-reported well-being) researchers seem to agree on one thing: meal time with friends and loved ones is a direct predictor of happiness. Have at least one 2-3-hour dinner and/or drinks per week — yes, 2-3 hours — with those who make you smile and feel good. I find the afterglow effect to be greatest and longest with groups of 5 or more. Two times that are conducive to this: Thursday dinners or after-dinner drinks and Sunday brunches.

The two blog posts whose principles I’ve practiced the most in 2008: The Art of Letting Bad Things Happen (from 2007)
; The Choice-Minimal Lifestyle: 6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm (from 2008)

Adversity doesn’t build character; it reveals it.
(Suggested reading: How to Test-Drive Friends)

Related: Money doesn’t change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice.

Total Immersion swimming
(Suggested reading: How I Learned to Swim Effortlessly in 10 Days)

It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do. If you have a strong informed opinion, don’t keep it to yourself. Try and help people and make the world a better place. If you strive to do anything remotely interesting, just expect a small percentage of the population to always find a way to take it personally. F*ck ’em. There are no statues erected to critics.

Related: You’re never as bad as they say you are. My agent used to send me every blog or media hit for The 4-Hour Workweek. Eight weeks after publication, I asked him to only forward me positive mentions in major media or factual inaccuracies I needed to respond to. An important correlate: you’re never as good as they say you are, either.

It’s not helpful get a big head or get depressed. The former makes you careless and the latter makes you lethargic. I wanted to have untainted optimism but remain hungry. Speaking of hungry…

Eat a high-protein breakfast within 30 minutes of waking and go for a 10-20-minute walk outside afterward, ideally bouncing a handball or tennis ball. This one habit is better than a handful of Prozac in the morning.
(Suggested reading: The 3-Minute Slow-Carb Breakfast, How to “Peel” Hardboiled Eggs without Peeling)

I dislike losing money about 50x more than I like making it. Why 50x? Logging time as an experiment, I concluded that I often spend at least 50x more time to prevent a hypothetical unit of $100 from being lost vs. earned. The hysterical part is that, even after becoming aware of this bias, it’s hard to prevent the latter response. Therefore, I manipulate the environmental causes of poor responses instead of depending on error-prone self-discipline:

I should not invest in public stocks where I cannot influence outcomes. Once realizing that almost no one can predict risk tolerance and response to losses, I moved all of my investments into fixed-income and cash-like instruments in July 2008 for this reason, setting aside 10% of pre-tax income for angel investments where I can contribute significant UI/design, PR, and corporate partnership help.
(Suggested reading: Rethinking Investing – Part 1, Rethinking Investing – Part 2)

A good question to revisit whenever overwhelmed: Are you having a break-down or a breakthrough?

Rehearse poverty regularly — restrict even moderate expenses for 1-2 weeks and give away 20%+ of minimally-used clothing — so you can think big and take “risks” without fear. (Seneca)

A mindset of scarcity (which breeds jealousy and unethical behavior) is due to a disdain for those things easily obtained. (Seneca)

A small cup of black Kenyan AA coffee with cinnamon on top, no milk or sweeteners.

It’s usually better to keep old resolutions than to make new ones.

Chloe Sevigny. ‘Nuff said.

To bring in a wonderful 2009, I’d like to quote from an email I received today from a mentor of more than a decade:

While many are wringing their hands, I recall the 1970s when we were suffering from an oil shock causing long lines at gas stations, rationing, and 55 MPH speed limits on Federal highways, a recession, very little venture capital ($50 million per year into VC firms), and, what President Jimmy Carter (wearing a sweater while addressing the Nation on TV because he had turned down the heat in the White House) called a “malaise”. It was during those times that two kids without any real college education, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, started companies that did pretty well. Opportunities abound in bad times as well as good times. In fact, the opportunities are often greater when the conventional wisdom is that everything is going into the toilet.

Well…we’re nearing the end of another great year, and, despite what we read about the outlook for 2009, we can look forward to a New Year filled with opportunities as well as stimulating challenges.

Happy New Year everyone!


Goofing around at a maid cafe in Akihabara, Tokyo. (Photo: David West)

Posted on: December 31, 2008.

Please check out Tools of Titans, my latest book, which shares the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. It was distilled from more than 10,000 pages of notes, and everything has been vetted and tested in my own life in some fashion. The tips and tricks in Tools of Titans changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for sample chapters, full details, and a Foreword from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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181 comments on “Things I've Learned and Loved in 2008

  1. Your concise articles are making more impact every time I read them. And having read your book I know it’s a flaw not having implemented more of your very workable and practical strategies.

    Like

  2. Thats an interesting thought. Most people carry too much karmic debt that we cant seem to get lose from our situation.

    Its one thing to live our own lives but its a whole different ballgame to carry others into our lives, especially unknowingly.

    Great Idea’s. Keep up the good work.

    Like

  3. Hey Tim,

    Great post. there are a number of things id like to agree with from my personal experience over the last year as well, especially the scarcity thing. My business partner broke our partnership in an unethical way, because of his scarcity mindset (this deal is so valuable that I can break the partnership and profit more). Also, he had the cash leverage (i had the unique business plan), and therefore you are right again. Having money shows who people are when people stop having to be nice. Luckily, partnership law was made to protect business people against unethical behavior of their partners. Also, he was my best friend.

    Timquote: “I should not invest in public stocks where I cannot influence outcomes.”

    Precisely. Investing in a mostly efficient market, where you are investing based on widely held information about the value of any asset, gives you no way to buy under the value that the general market sets for the asset.

    The way buffet invests, is that he is proficient at gaining information that is not widely held (through intense scrutiny of the business-as well as his advanced knowledge of his ‘specialty’ industries), and therefore is able to buy under value instead of depending on value appreciation.

    The only way to consistently get ahead is to buy under value (investing), not predict future value (gambling). Investing vs gambling has 100% to do with the quality of information that you possess. Quality of information has 100% to do with the degree to which people know something about the true value of an asset that most others do not.

    Therefore, directly participating in a business gives you not only control, which can be good or bad depending on a persons talent, but market insight as to the true value of the asset that outsiders cannot possibly attain. This is information leverage effect should be magnified greatly the more outsiders participate in the investment in the business.

    Im almost done with my 4hour project tim, its taken me 8 months so far, but I have a 400 page book to show for it. Thanks Tim!

    Chris

    Like

  4. Awesome! I always feel energized and supercharged after reading your comments and blog with this profound sense of “Yea, that’s right! F…that bullsh.. crap that society has shoved down my throat all these years. I can and we can all live life on our terms all the time! You Rock Tim!

    Like

  5. Thank you for insightful lessons and willingness to share your experiences with everyone. I really appreciate that.

    Your out-of-the-box thinking always amazes me. It must have taken painstaking hours for you to think over all the accepted standards in our society.

    I always feel appreciation for those who go against the accepted standards and traditions as that’s the only way we can progress.

    Thank you for your amazing book. I bought an audio version which is always with me in my mp3. Some of the sections of the book makes me laugh even after listening several times to the same bit:)

    I think your book should be read (or listened to) not only for the wise words inside, but also for the humour.

    I hope 2009 wil bring you even better experiences and realisation!

    All the best,

    Simona Rich

    Like

  6. Tim – would love to see an article by you on deconstructing music. I’ve written lyrics, decent ones methinks, but haven’t a clue on accompanying notes.

    Another option is how to contact recording artists who may be interested in creating their own music for my lyrics.

    I’m also looking to build a working castle in CT via corporate partnerships, a project well beyond anything I’ve accomplished to date. Thanks for the indirect encouragement there, btw. Any tips on either?

    Back to 4HWW.

    Much obliged,
    Kristina

    Like

  7. Amazing article Tim,
    I’ve ordered the books at your recommendation-

    I completely enjoy your posts, specifically the ones on nutrition and exercise- I am so excited to see my end results of 2 experiments I have started after reading your posts. Keep it up- you are a true inspiration. Hope to cross paths on a project someday.

    Sean

    Like

  8. Hi tim my name is cathy and I really want to loose weight and I have tried everything I’m to the point where I feel so unhappy about myself I happened to go into google search for weight lost and I got ur site and I started to read it and it really got my attention. Tim I’m going to give it a try. I have a few question about what to eat asfar as is it ok for me to eat cheese, tuna,tomatoes,steak, basically what should I eat for breakfast,lunch,dinner. Tim I really need help I’m so depressed with this weight gain. Please help.

    Like

  9. Hi,

    If I take the book back to the bookshop I purchased it in, do you think I can get a refund? If no, is there another way to get a refund?

    Thanks,

    Ian

    Like

  10. Tim,
    You are an inspiration.

    Keep up the good work – I just reduced my working hours at the office from 5 days to 3 just days and took only 11 % pay cut – all because of your advice from your book.

    Thanks again.

    Tino

    Like

  11. Tim,

    Excellent post. And the quote from your mentor was just what I needed. Really inspiring.

    [Sorry, URL removed per comment policy!]

    Thanks for the continued high quality posts and info!

    🙂

    Like

  12. Tim, why not dive deep into direct asset allocation? Owning private companies, oil wells, etc. This way you have much more control and influence on investing. I have been studying with Loral Langemeier who specializes in this direct asset allocation stragety to investing. She has little money in stocks because she hates the idea of having no control. She calls this the “park and pray” method. With your business smarts, owning a piece of a privately held company would make sense.

    Aaron

    Like

  13. Hi Tim,

    Just read your post again, and on what you say about critics I can’t resist to post a quote by Paul McKenna:

    ‘Try to reinterpret negative things that others may say about you. See their criticism as a cry for help as they wish they where as amazing as you.’

    Like

  14. Happy New Year Tim and thank you so much for your book!
    A freelance photographer I met while reviewing a gig recommended it to me when I was explaining how I run my freelance writing business. I was telling him that hours available to spend with my family and friends and on leisure activities increased my sense of wealth in a way that far outweighed any dollar value I could earn in that time.
    Using your principles I hope that 2009 will be an even better year for freelancewriterbrisbane.com and me!
    I am writing an article at the moment about remote working and escaping the 9-5 and would love your input and to mention your book if possible. Can I mail you?
    Lisa

    Like

  15. Very well done summary Tim. Thanks for teaching us so much over the past year. I can only imagine what’s to come.

    I will definitely have to add Seneca to my reading list.

    To a great year!

    Scott

    Like

  16. Tim,
    After my son passed away in Aug. 07′ I was so lost on so many levels. I found your book and website last March. Since then, my wife and I have moved to BsAs. We are learning to live again. We take Spanish and Tango. I’m learning to play polo and she takes art classes. After Jack died, I had no reason to get out of bed other than to make money to pay the bills. Now every day brings something new and exciting. Of course we will always mourn our son, but at least we are living again.
    Thank you,
    Ray

    Like

    • @Ray,

      Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. My sincerest condolences, and — also — my sincerest congratulations on embracing life again. Buenos Aires is a great environment for this, and I wish you and yours nothing but the best.

      Thank you again and un abrazo gordo desde SF 🙂

      Tim

      Like

  17. Interesting, thought-provoking post Tim, I have 3 comments:

    1. I think trying to impress people is bad in general, regardless of whether or not you like them… speaking from the heart and telling it like it is, being authentic, trying to get to know the other side, and being a better person period are all probably more using than trying give out some sort of an “impression.”

    2. Character can be built, maybe adversity reveals that I am indeed a cowardly loser, but if this revelation embarrasses me, then I certainly have the choice to change course, we all have a choice. Not everyone is born with great characters or raised by parents who have instilled in them great values, but we can always learn and growth ourselves.

    3. I think a breakthrough is almost always preceded by a breakdown, at least that’s the case for me. I rarely ever experience a breakthrough without first experiencing a breakdown, when I realize I have nothing to lose.

    Like

  18. Tim,

    Gary Vaynerchuck’s video on “How to get your wine palate trained “is comical. His spring wine cruise looks very entertaining, I’m interested.
    Anyhow, found an Aerial Art school in LA which offers an indoor aerial arts training and performance facility, I’m eager to learn Aerial Tissue for recreational purposes.

    I have yoga, kickboxing, salsa and belly dancing classes in full swing until next month. On Friday’s, I check my email once, leave early to surf at Venice Beach and enjoy the rest of my weekend.

    Just the other day, I made Gluten Free Pancakes, substituted the egg for a banana, added no oil but did add soy milk and stevia into the mix= absolutely delicious! Try it.

    FYI: I make some remarkable homemade black beans and a tasty tofu dish.

    Anyway, Life is good. I use to be on the fast track as a workaholic and a big part of me faded away, I just worked to fill the void. Now, my experiences are so different- thinking big and doing big things brings so many rewards (the shift is a big eye opener). It’s so cool when you find someone (people in general) who shares the same values. That’s why I am grateful for this blog.

    Also, I’ve read a few (not all) of the books you recommend (I understand your perspectives a lot more). One of the books I’m reading is The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham- I praise it.

    You know, sometimes the thought of “information overload” makes me sick to my stomach, it’s way too much, I appreciate how well you work to help us cope.

    Can’t wait for another “blog group” event for 09’… SF is a hot spot.

    Will chat later,

    Like

  19. Hi Tim
    And Happy New Year!
    I just popped in to find out what you’re up to and check that you’re still having a ball despite the doom and gloom thats being peddled aroud at the moment ;-o And I’m delighted to find that you’re still out there, doing what you do, and inspiring others too! Loved the book when I read it earlier this year and am now inspired to take another look 😉 Here’s to a fantastic 2009! Afterall, life is what you make it. Have fun, be happy Dx

    Like

  20. Tim, “Trial by Fire” is exactly something I’ve thought would be awesome for years! Congrats. I propose this: with my consulting, become a Magician or Mentalist in one week. I was just voted 2008 Trick of the Year and have been a top rated magician as a full time pro for most my career with lots of magic products on the market. I’d love to be involved.

    Like

  21. Hay Tim- Sorry if you already answered this, I think I did a pretty good scan of the comments though and didn’t find it:

    Are you willing to divulge the name of the mentor you quoted? I’d like to quote him and re-post in an electronic newsletter.

    Happy New Year & Thanks for continuing to inspire people.

    Like

  22. The bread you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the naked; the gold you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor.

    ——–St. Basil the Great

    Like

  23. Hi Tim,

    I agree 100% with what you said about investments. I never liked the stock market. I always thought of it somewhat like gambling in Vegas, there were just too many things out of my control that could happen. I did get a little Starbucks stock for Christmas from my boyfriend (who used to be a stockbroker). It never actually made money on the stock. The one good thing is since I live in Seattle, I got invited to all the Shareholder meetings. I
    enjoyed listening Howard Shulz speak (plus they give you free coffee and other starbucks swag). There were some great surprise performances at the meeting such as Tony Bennett and K.D. Lang which alone made worth it.

    I always loved Real Estate (although that is not my day job), so I did really well at investing, renting, and fixing it up. What I love about it is that it is tangible and if I do my research on pricing and negotiate well, I can influence how much money I make. There is alway opprotunity in a good or bad market. I will never be a big stock investor because it is not as much fun for me. I always ask myself in any investment “How will you feel if you don’t make money at this or even worse, lose money”? I have passed up alot of good investment opprotunities because I just was not interested in them enough to persue them.

    So about your house in San Jose (I am not sure if it is still on the market). I remember you mentioning having a contest to see who could raise the most money for a education charity and had contestant create web pages. What about a contest for your house?

    Either A- you offer the house as a prize in a contest and find a way for your accountant to write it off based on the appraised value.

    Or B- Have a contest to sell your house and offer a prize (commission) to the winner. I am sure you have many fans that are up for the challenge.

    I sold my condo on Craigslist not too long ago without a real estate agent- I just had to pay an attorney $500 to do the paperwork. It took 2 weeks to sell it (with a nice profit).

    Like

  24. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for a great summation of your learnings & lovings this year. Not only a resource for me, but also a reminder to reflect on the what worked over the past year, as well as what I can improve on. So easy (for me) to focus on the faults.

    Couple of responses to commenters…

    @Alvin, Re: Karmic Debt for downloads… If you’re an info-marketer, expect to be treated in kind! 🙂

    @Joan Atin, Re: Karmic Neutrality… I have often wondered the same thing and read an interesting article by Robert Ringer on this subject in Early to Rise (http://www.earlytorise.com/2009/01/08/when-bad-guys-get-what-they-deserve.html). He shows some interesting examples of how it can actually be compounding, but also points out that we can’t know what the experience of their lives are like… there is a quote on the above link from Elbert Hubbard that puts it quite nicely… “Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.”

    @Joshua Blank, Re: Renting TIm’s House… I think Tim “CAN” rent his house… and probably could find great tenants if he wanted to. But that’s the point – he doesn’t want to! Let’s all drop our preconceptions (me included, and at the top of the list!) about what others “should” or “should not” do.

    @Dave, Re: Book Recommendations… I highly recommend Paulo Coelho’s (http://www.paulocoelho.com.br/engl/) first book, The Pilgrimage, which is Paulo’s account of his own pilgrimage and lessons learned through the Pyrenees. He also wrote The Alchemist, which is also good. Any Coelho book will teach you something if you read with an open heart & mind. 🙂 (Note: I am actually not a “religious” fellow, although Paulo’s book all have very spiritual overtones and he self-identifies as a Christian.)

    @Tim & @All, Re: Something I Have Loved… There is a poem/prose called The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer that I very much love and use to reconnect me back to what is truly important in my life. It has been distributed widely on the internet and Oriah herself has published it in its entirety on her website here: http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com.

    Enjoy!

    Paul

    Like

  25. Tim,

    I have listened to your book 20+ times, each time letting the paradigm shift inside of me, finding new methods in my life all around me. Thank you.

    There is one thing about happiness I’d like to add to your NR community. At first I was in opposition to your definition of “happiness = excitement.” I’m a spiritual man, and the truest happiness in my decade of energy work has been the revelation that happiness is who we are at the deepest levels. When the wounds, bad paradigms, and bad energy is healed, we get to who we really are, which is just unconditionally happy. Keep healing and happiness springs to life.

    What “excites us” can open a window into who we really are…kind of, but it is fleeting because who we are not, will keep rising up and we get bored, or irritated, or whatever, and we have to do something else. We will run from those wounds for the rest of our lives unless they are healed.

    Sure this can lead to a fantastically complex and refined life of many talents and experiences which is better than mediocrity. But if you can heal first, and find your true self (which I’ve seen is unconditional happiness) as the reward, you will find that you can be excited by just breathing. The moment itself is so full and rich that the mere thought of chasing something that excites you is so very funny. It is all exciting!

    I’m not dogging the book or the idea…just trying to add to it. This leads to a strong debate though:

    Should one…

    Go for the healing first and find happiness and excitement in everything? or…
    Go for the excitement, find yourself in it, and hope that you eventually heal and don’t just have to keep on the excitement treadmill your entire life? Which I will add is still going to be one hell of a good life!!

    I chose liberation from the excitement treadmill, and ironically, found myself in a constant state of happiness and excitement.

    But…I could only have done this by reorganizing my life through the paradigm shifts I achieved through your work, because for the healing that I’m talking about you will definately need the skills to acquire more time, money and mobility. To heal the wounds to get to “The field” which Rumi talks about, one needs to heal a lot of judgment, poor-man’s ways, emotional energy/trauma, etc, to get free enough to see who they really are.

    My daily gratitude for your work is the result of my liberation which is in part the result of your work. Thank you so very, very much.

    Like

  26. Good stuff. Who need Jesus? (joke)

    I like the one best about trying to impress people you don’t like.

    My favorite variation of the Adversity line: People are like teabags. You don’t know how good they are until they’re in hot water.

    Another idea: You always do better in job interviews when you don’t want the job. Maybe honesty and a “why worry?” attitude comes out of that. So that might be a good thing to cultivate.

    All good thoughts.

    Like

  27. Tim you’re a constant source of inspiration and you do it with humour – refreshing to say the least man!

    “There are no statues erected to critics” – this is becoming my mantra from now on!

    Like

  28. Tim,

    Forum site on the back end could be a powerful tool, but it’s completely misguided. I’d like to throw some ideas by you how we could turn it into a braintrust for entrepreneurs and developing business people. There is a need for greater specialization in the topics and clearly defined goals for each section so that the information is clearly categorized as it is in your book. I’d be happy to send you a sample design, let me know.

    Scott

    Like

  29. That list looks like a lifetime of wisdom!

    Thanks for thinking different and speaking your mind. Your unconventional writing has been an inspiration and helped me improve my life in so many ways. Still got a long way to go to the 4 hour work week.

    You know that saying “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? My day job is like that 80% of the time, because I get to help young people most days. But I’m still working on my own projects to be able to keep doing it for the love and not the money.

    Your efforts blogging are hugely appreciated.

    Cameron

    Like

  30. Tim,

    Thank you for helping me to enjoy 2008. Your tips on speed-reading, batching and following the 80/20 rule helped me to carve out more time for enjoying the slow lane and watching my three year old daughter laugh and learn.

    The big highlight for 2009 is shaping up to be the altMBA – a virtual non-MBA where we teach each other over 26 weeks and 26 great books and get behind the highest voted big ideas. Of course, you’re on the curriculum (http://altmba.pbwiki.com/Course-Outline – week 20 – starting June 1st, I’m facilitating that week) and we’d love to interview you for the course. LMK! (BTW, registration closes tonight, if you want to join in)

    Like

  31. I started swimming again last year and find it an excellent exercises.
    Really profound comments right there about not having to be nice.

    Regarding a walk outside – I do that during the summer and spring and its a fantastic way to start the day off.

    Happy Belated New Year

    Like

  32. This is late and probably one of the last posts but I had to say that I have found Seneca and understand why you have quoted him regularly in your book and on this site. Very good.

    After coming to the realization that I need to change some things in my outlook, reading Seneca and The Magic of Thinking Big has been like a big slap in the face. A great wake up call. There are so many great things to look forward to and start today.

    Thank you so much for the recommendations.

    Like

  33. Tim,

    You are wrong about leaving the house, unrented. Just sell the house or rent it out. I will greatly increase your energy, you spend in thinking consciously/unconsciously about the house unused.

    Also, it voilates all your earlier principles of having less clutter.

    Like

  34. Tim, as always thank you for the great motivational insights. I too reflect back on 2008 with many lessons learned, both good and bad, and yet each contributing to my overall growth. I keep up reading your blog and have read through your book more than 3 times, good stuff, especially about theory of time, money & foreign economic strategies. I also signed up for a new virtual assistant service called Red Butler to help me outsource my tasks. They’re based in the US and take care of a lot of my day to day tasks. I look forward to seeing what you have planned in 2009, and please keep posting pics. The picture of you and the maids in Japan rocks!

    KP –

    Like

  35. Hey Tim
    I find you interesting.
    Ive read your book and found it stretching and liked that.

    I was thinking – with your energy, intelligence, amount of spare time etc what an incredible amount of value you could add to an agency that helps people.
    Why not volunteer for some worthwhile cause – I think you and many more people will benefit from it than a very well put together chair review.

    It would be incredible to see what you could accomplish if you fell in love with helping people.
    Saying that – you have definitely encouraged me to work smart and free up time so that i can contribute to lives that need.

    All the best
    James

    Like

    • @James from S. Africa,

      Hi James! I have fallen in love with helping people, specifically with education. Just search “Donorschoose” “litliberation” or “karmic capitalist” on this blog to see what I mean.

      All the best,

      Tim

      Like

  36. Hi James,

    I think it’s possible that you don’t see the true value of “a very well put together chair review”. Let’s suppose that Tim would like to help all mankind as much as possible. And we know that he has a brain. It might even be the “best” brain.

    So does that mean his talents should be used to directly help every person in need? Or would they be better used to help other “powerful brains” or potentially PBs get into the position of being as capable of helping others as he is?

    To be as capable as he is, he has had to solve problems that any human might face in a similar situation. The importance of these solutions in allowing any of us to become super productive should not be underestimated, and I personally appreciate his sharing deeply.

    How about you? Wouldn’t your time be better spent increasing your power/brainpower to the point where YOU would have the “energy, intelligence, amount of spare time etc” to add “an incredible amount of value” … “to an agency that helps people.” rather than thinking about what Tim should do?

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  37. Tim, I’d get overwhelmed by the stuff I have to do then I’d remember your site… it puts me back on track by reminding me that life and work don’t have to be such a drag if you are conscious about having other things besides work.

    Thanks again.

    By the way, please answer Kristie Wolfe’s question! 🙂

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  38. From very powerful takeaways in the post. I especially liked your mention of Slow meals = life. I have found that I tend to feel better when I take at least once a week to do this.

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  39. Hi Tim, hi All!

    Short question: is it OK to play with the Rubik’s cube during the morning walk? Does it replace the ball bouncing sufficiently?

    All the best to everyone!

    Radagast

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  40. Tim,

    I am preparing for an extended trip to Sri Lanka as I asked the magic question from my employer – can I work remote? Yes – Great – sell everything and taking off in 28 days. – Thanks and Have a great life.

    Ian

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  41. I’ll be in China/Japan Japan this summer and I’m dying to do the horseback archery in Nikko. Is this something they offer or did you pull some strings to try it? Thanks!

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  42. Hi Tim,

    I had to run away from domestic violence with my 3 month-old baby girl. I had to start again from zero. I have just finished reading your book and it gave me so much motivation and strength to do anything I want and take care of my little one. I´m already working on my business idea, I´m going to implement automation so that we can finally start enjoying life and start smiling again. Thank you for great ideas and inspiration…

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    • Best of luck to you, Monika 🙂 There are many like-minded people here, so I hope you stay part of the community! Definitely also visit the forum, where a lot of people share their successes and advice.

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  43. Tim,
    Love your thinquing, and writing style… but then I love to laugh as I learn 🙂
    Especially loved this one: “You don’t have to recoup losses the same way you lose them.” It’s typical of your ‘outside the box insights’ that makes so much sense once you recognize it. Now off to check out the two blog posts whose principles you practiced the most in 2008… as I’m sure they’ll be as timely for me as this was (2 years after you wrote it!).

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  44. I have learned some essential things through your website post. One other stuff I would like to talk about is that there are lots of games out there designed mainly for preschool age young children. They incorporate pattern acknowledgement, colors, animals, and forms. These generally focus on familiarization as an alternative to memorization. This keeps little children engaged without having a sensation like they are studying. Thanks

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