Feeling Stuck? Read This…

Parc del Laberint d’Horta, Barcelona (Photo: Marcel Germain)

Big successes often seem like foregone conclusions.

In reality, most entrepreneurs (read: creators) who appear to have unique genius suffer through the same frustration as the masses of unknowns. They simply test and persist a few steps further.

Richard Branson will tell you this of his Virgin empire.

Tony Hsieh of Zappo’s shares similar stories.

Steve Martin can prove that it applies to anything creative, not just business.

Below is a piece of paper from 2005 I recently unearthed while purging books and folders from my house.

It reflects a complete failure–protracted over weeks–to find a good title for what later became The 4-Hour Workweek (4HWW). Most of the ideas are horrible beyond belief, and it wasn’t until I tested a few variations using Google AdWords that we decided on “The 4-Hour Workweek,” which I still disliked on multiple levels.

Here are two pages of frustrated attempts, two pages of dozens (click to enlarge, then click again)…

Let me know which title is your favorite ridiculous option. “This Sucks,” perhaps?

But, moving on, what of 4HWW writing itself?

I’m pleased to report that the writing flowed like a crystal clear stream. Perhaps a torrent of genius. Sometimes–how should I put this–I amazed even myself.

Oh, wait a second, I lapsed into fiction. Back to reality: the writing, for the most part, made me want to Hemingway myself. On good days, I’d settle for the impulse to slam my own head in a car door.

I tossed the first four chapters I wrote and almost gave up on multiple occasions. Futility was the brain soup du jour. Draft, doubt self, panic, hate self, throw out draft–rinse and repeat.

To give you an idea of how many rewrites it took to get right, here are two early draft pages of a sample chapter. Far from the worst I produced, but still far from polished (click to enlarge, then click again):

It changed only when I started viewing each chapter as a magazine article: strong enough to be a stand-alone piece, including a clear opening or “lede”, a clear middle with case studies, and a punctuated end with lessons learned.

From that mindset, a few trial runs, I developed a chapter template that involved starting with a dialogue or anecdote (even if it was scrapped later) and moving through the above steps to a resource-rich “Tools and Tricks.” I needed a repeatable process. To sit down to “write a book” was just too overwhelming, even with a table of contents as a blueprint.

If you plan on any creative undertaking, whether business, writing, or art, I strongly recommend the book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. If you spend a lot of time working alone and get trapped in your head, it’s required reading.

It saved my sanity and has done the same for several friends who’ve gone from “I want to quit” to New York Times bestsellers.

In Conclusion

Most miraculous successes are nothing of the sort.

Those on front lines, the people who seem to jump into the limelight from nowhere, experience the same plodding frustration and trial-and-error as the rest of the world.

They differ in that they don’t expect luck to help them, nor good fortune to save them. As James Cameron would say: “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.”

Sporting my game shirt a few weeks before the launch of The 4-Hour Body. The book itself is a “looks like” mock-up with blank pages.

James might also tell you that the best creators are like ducks. They appear to glide along serenely on the surface. Beneath the surface, however, they’re kicking like a motherf*cker.

Keep calm and carry on.

###

Odds and Ends: NYC Launch Party Highlights!

The following video was shot and edited by the incredibly talented Michael Gebben.

The NYC launch event was an all-around huge success. Sadly, NYC weather decided to serve the coldest day of the entire season, and an unexpected mandatory coat check (due to fire hazard potential) backed up the line and left more than a few people freezing for far too long. This led some people to abandon ship, including many of my closest friends and family. I did my best to take notes, learn from it, and make amends.

For positives, the event helped raise almost $10,000 for DonorsChoose.org, it was a total blast, and I’m planning a summer party in NYC with a slightly smaller crowd.

I hope you enjoy the video:

Tim Ferriss 4-Hour Body Launch Par-tay New York City! from GEBBS on Vimeo.

And for those wondering, the song in the video is “I Want It All” by Copperview.

UPDATE: Many thanks to Maggie J. for all the fantastic pictures she took at the party. You can see all 937 photos she took here.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 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.

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381 Replies to “Feeling Stuck? Read This…”

  1. Hello Tim, I’ve been on the 4HB for two weeks now and have lost seven pounds. I have a lot more to go. I’ve been down during surgeries and let myself go, now I’m paying the price and I must get back in shape if I want my military job and I do. There is one thing I need to find out and that is about tofu. I love the stuff and it’s a great substitute for eggs in the morning. Am I OK with this or should I give this up?

    1. Hi Ron, check out the index to see what Tim has to say about soy – and by extension tofu. He didn’t seem too keen about the substution and heavy use of vegetarians and vegans are making today. Plus there are lots of critics of the faux-meat foods out there.

  2. tim, or anyone with thoughts, what do you think of carbon copy pro as a potential side business? please advise.

    paul berkey

  3. Dude, this article is right on time for me it’s very cool to know people of genius, truly inspired people, like yourself have the same struggles as everyone else but that you do just a few things with more focus and determination. I appreciate this blog, it’s special. Great article.

  4. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for this post. I needed it today.

    Sometimes working alone can be so…….alone. Lonely. It’s SO good to hear you speak about your own experience with the frustration you had getting to no.1.

    Thanks again.

    Renee.

  5. “They differ in that they don’t expect luck to help them, nor good fortune to save them. As James Cameron would say: “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.””——This is Definitely an eye opener for me. Been guilty of this since I started my career life. I have been blaming all that happened to me entirely on luck and fortune. Even my problems with weightloss I expect luck to fix it. You know hoping someone would give me a free ticket to a cosmetic surgeon or something. Thanks for sharing a fraction of your life TIM!

  6. Tim, did I hear you on public radio the other day say that you want to write a screen play? If so, do you have a story in mind? I have been wanting to write one for years, I have the story, characters, even the actors I wrote it for, but my writing skills STINK! I dont think studying screen writing is going to help me. If you need a strory idea, I’d love to work with you. If not, are you going to study screen writing before you start, or just jump into it? Steve

  7. Great article. My fail-safe method is to research, research and research – inevitably at some point I find myself drawn to put my ideas or thoughts down on paper or together. The process of planning and research help focus my often lazy attention – almost like living with a pregnancy – birth is hopefully the outcome

  8. Tim-

    First off, instead of selecting the worst title, I must say that I DO really like “40 Years in a Cubicle: It Tastes Like Chicken”. I would have no choice but to buy whatever was on the other side of that cover.

    Secondly, great post. I agree with the premise wholeheartedly. I have gotten “life stuck” in terms of finding what creative route to venture down. My reaction to this might seem drastic: I will be hiking all 2,179 miles of the Appalachian Trail beginning next month. I give 4HWW the first line of credit for inspiring me to do so.

    I have an idea to turn this episode of “Feeling Stuck” into a book. I would love for the opportunity to bounce exactly two questions off of you and pick your preeminent marketing mind.

    Either way, thank you for everything you do. I am truly grateful.

    Best,

    Zach

  9. I agree – the shirt is great and we will find a way to get one! I have already been looking on eBay.

    Anyways, this article is great and could not have come at a better time, I have been crafting my muses for YEARS now with many trials and many errors. It wasn’t until the last week that I have cut ties with the modern 9-5 and am pursuing my 4 Hour Workweek on a “full time” basis. Once this is self sufficient, I will sculpt my body with the 4 Hour Body….everything you do is truly a game changer.

  10. Dear Tim,

    I had a question about 4HB and the slow carb diet. I used to do a little bodybuilding back in college. I’ll try to list some details. At age-22 I was 5’10 and 200lbs with a 30″ waist. My arms were 17.5″ around. I could bench press 400lbs, squad 500+lbs and leg press around 1,100 pounds.

    Now I’m 5’10 (still!) and I weigh 222lbs. My waist is now 37″. I’ve kept most of my body measurements outside of my waist. My arms are still 17.5″. I’m benching a little less at around 350lbs, but recently I did leg press and was still in the 800-900lbs range for reps.

    I read 4HB and noticed that in one section you talked about being at a certain point and only seeing incremental gains due to physical fitness. I realize my waist is not where it needs to be. I’ve recently gotten back into some hardcore DC Training (high intensity/low volume with heavy aspect on negative reps using very heavy weights) and I’m supplementing with creatine as well.

    I was curious as to your thoughts on this with regards to weight loss using slow carb diet. Should I expect the same losses while training in this particular style along with creatine supplementation?

  11. Tim, long time lurker, first-time commenter. I just wanted to thank you for completely changing my life. Before reading The Four Hour Workweek, I was drifting along in what most people would consider a “good” job with “good” benefits, but generally disliking it for a number of reasons. Your book was exactly the medicine I needed. Now I’m working on developing a couple of muses, and working toward doing what I want to do on my own terms. Thank you so much–you’ve opened my eyes to the enormous possibilities available. I’ve started the Four Hour Body–if it can do half as much for me as 4HWW did, I will be eternally in your debt. Thanks again, man, and keep fighting the good fight!

  12. Tim,

    Just like reading the 4HWW, this allowed me to catch another wind. I have been working on getting my muse established for 6 months, now I finally have product rolling in and need to launch by March 1st to make goals a reality. 6 months of working after everybody goes to bed…6 months of working on the muse during my lunch at my bill paying job…6 months of what felt like lost time. I am starting this beast solo and holding all of the operations, marketing, admin components to myself before I start to outsource. I have to know what it takes to do the job before I can tell somebody how to do it. So it has been 6 months of telling people that, no, they can’t help. No, this is my muse and having them looking at me funny. I read the Virgin story 6-7 years ago and he was an inspiration to me that failures don’t matter when you finally find success. The man sold used vinyl! I don’t care about failing and telling people an idea didn’t work…but all of those failures have brought me to right here, the first real success. I know it is going to work and when it does it will be a self operating machine!

    Thanks again, Tim. Keep on Gettin’ on!

  13. Thank you for sharing. I think personal struggles are necessary in life because it shapes who you are today. Trials strengthen character and I think those who are really successful have gone through a lot of struggles in life. Gambatte! Do your best 🙂

  14. Thanks for a GREAT post! I truly need the inspiration right now and hit a brick wall yesterday so it is good to know that I should just keep on keeping on – keep pushing!

  15. Great post – thanks. I read it at a time when I needed to hear the message. (which upon reflection is probably most of the time!)

    By the way, I resisted buying 4HWW for a long time because I hated the title and the picture on the cover. I thought it looked like another cheesy get rich quick / self-help type book – the ones that are a dime a dozen. It was only after I saw multiple interviews and reviews in magazines such as Inc. that I took it seriously and bought it. I am grateful that I did.

  16. I have to admit, I thought the book was going to be a lot of BS. At 56, I aways wanted to be able to hold my breath for a long time, but had to strain to make just 50 seconds. As soon as the book arrived, I layed in bed, turned to page 460, or there abouts, and read the steps to become Houdini-like. When I got to the instructional step that said: Now attempt to hold your breath for a minute and a half, I nearly crapped my pants. I whispered to myself to avoid waking my wife: “If I could hold my breath for a minute and a half I wouldn’t need to read this s#?t.” But guess what? I held it for 1 minute 20 seconds. The next night — 2:07! Maybe not a big deal to anyone else, but for me, I figured this Ferris guy might be on to something.

    I am now doing the Low Carb diet, KB, and weight lifting routine with great results. Can take a 10-minute ice cold shower while holding my breath for 1:30; not easy to do when you’re shivering.

    Thanks Tim! — Mike

  17. Hey Tim, my name is Nate and we met at the bar last night in Medellin..Listen I have a loft here in Poblado I wanted to offer you and also a quick tour around the city or night life if your interested.

    Here is some photos the place, it would be yours for your time here..I normally rent it for $100 per night, but would just ask that you cover costs, basically around $30 per night. Let me know if your interested. Chao for now 😉

  18. I just got “Bird by Bird” from the library – I look forward to reading it and think that it will help me on a writing project that is currently the bane of my existence – ok, it’s just one of the banes.

    But, a more pressing problem has emerged (no pun intended) — I failed to finish the reps on Tim’s bench press routine – so, do I march forward with heavier weights? Keep doing this week’s workout until I get it right? Any thoughts readers? Tim? Thanks in advance – fwiw, I’m in week 7 and I failed the first set (I’ve failed on some of the deeper sets before, but I dont see this as problematic). from 4HB pp.426-30.

    1. I have this same question. I am on week 4 and have not missed a rep yet. My training buddy got stuck on the last two reps of each of the three lifts. Could just be a bad week, maybe he didn’t down enough protien. He just took a 2 minute rest then did the last two reps. I’ve looked all over for an answer and it brought me to your post. Does one continue with the same weight next week? Does one move on and hope for the best?

  19. Hi Tim,

    Just curious what your thoughts are on the new diet guidelines released this week by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services. I came across an article discussing it on LiveStrong.

  20. Hi Tim. Thanks for this post, I needed to read this today. I easily forget the struggle that high achievers went through, and I just compare and make assumptions and believe any crap that my head throws at me. Fortunately I have examples and sources like you to clear me in the right mind set and direction.

    This post goes to my favorites right noe, and I will sure check into the book you mention. A million thanks.

    Saludos desde Mexico. Te mando un fuerte abrazo y gracias amigo!

  21. Like Tim, I totally agree with James Cameron’s, “Hope is not a strategy. Luck is not a factor. Fear is not an option.” Truly inspirational, Tim has opened my thoughts on how to push myself more and go beyond my limits. This made me realize that life is what I make it. I don’t have to put on others or even fate what is to become of me…. Now I know, that if I want it, I can make it happen.. If I badly want it, no one or nothing can stop me from making it happen…

  22. Hi Tim. love your new book. heck love the old book too.

    on pg 94 under hitting a plateau. you mention “eating too late” i presume you mean not eating within 30 min of waking? and not eating late at night?

    there is a common theory/myth that eating late at night causes fatness.

    I’m curious if you tested that theory? and if it should be included in your list of mistakes?

    thanks

  23. May sound crazy, but I love the look of papers with with scribbles and scratches on them. To me it means a new idea is coming into being! I love it! I got giddy when I saw those images. It reminds me that most of my successes came from that trial, error, retrial, re-error, process. Thanks for the motivation and giggles.

  24. This is a great post Mr. Tim. This is just the right words for me at the right time. It directly conveyed my interest as I read the title coz I really feel sort of stuck right now with everything in my life turning upside down. With my fair share of failed plans, bad tries, misfortunes or whatever I call it that ends me up feeling an intense loathing towards everything. But this post inculcated me the spirit that its part of life to try and fail at times and failure does not mean any misfortune or bad luck. That shirt just says it all. It’s not about hope and luck and neither fear to be successful in our endeavors but our will to continue and persevere despite of our downfalls because in this journey called life, nobody said it will be all easy but its surely gonna be worth it.

    PS: “How to live like a drug Lord” is my fave. I kind’a know somebody from our place and I seriously wonder how they live life each day. Are they always in euphoria or they also feel bad and down sometimes? and when they feel such, they drug themselves again? Just a thought…

  25. Hey Tim,

    Personally, I liked “Live Like a Druglord” and “Sick of the Bullshit”.

    I have a couple of things I want you to know:

    I love that you use the word “ass” in your video. Irreverence rocks my world.

    You inspire me. I rarely say that to anyone. It’s gratifying to see someone who thinks outside the box succeed and live on his own terms. Thank you.

    4HB is fabulous. I will save my success story for when I’m more than a few days in but I can already tell how much it is changing me. Thank you.

    You are a kind, generous soul. I love your spirit. Thank you for sharing it.

    With respect and gratitude,

    Kymberlee

  26. I really enjoyed reading this article and while I did, I felt that something has empowered me to work for my dreams!

    I liked what it says on the shirt:

    hope is not a strategy

    luck is not a factor

    fear is not an option

    It awakens my senses! Thanks a lot! This should inspire the people who read this with optimism!

  27. Tim.

    I’ve been following your the Slow-Carb Diet for 3 weeks now and have had no results. What’s strange about it is that I’ve calculated all the calories associated with each meal and remained, at least, 1000 calories under my 4961 calorie per day max. I’ve cut all dairy products, white stuff, sugar and grains with the exception of some 97% fat free popcorn our of my diet.

    Could my age have something to do with it? I’m 47 and I notice the older I get the fatter I become and the harder it is to take the weight off. I’m 6′ 6″ and 365lbs. My lean body mass is 265lbs so I’m carrying 100 lbs of fat. The only way that I’ve ever been able to loos the fat is by starving myself. If I go under 1000 calories per day, I’ll loose the fat, but that always ends in a binge which brings me back to where I was prior to starving myself.

    Any advice?

    1. Write down what you eat and drink throughout the day and then google each one like this “blood sugar response to _______”. I found that coffee and other caffeinated drinks were holding me back after I googled “blood sugar response to coffee” and found out that some people have a blood sugar spike after drinking coffee. The whole slow carb diet is based on the idea that extra blood sugar triggers an insulin surge which controls the blood sugar rise by storing the excess sugar in your blood as fat. For more information read either “good calories bad calories” or “Why we get fat” by Gary Taubes. Another one that was killing me was cheese

  28. I really do like this paragraph below, its giving me some motivation to push on, already having the second part, I hoe the first will come soon.

    “James might also tell you that the best creators are like ducks. They appear to glide along serenely on the surface. Beneath the surface, however, they’re kicking like a motherf*cker.

    Keep calm and carry on.”

  29. Hi Tim, just got your book and after years of reading and fighting it’s been an eye opener, all the hidden thoughts in my mind thinking I was alone out there till I read your story.Over the past 2 years Ive created a Business just about to be launched which most probally will give me an amazing income…funny that Im not really excited about it and after so much lifestyle goal setting it’s as if I alread have atained the material wealth, strange that Im so close now and my motivation has changed so much to simple things, I’m so glad to have found your book and feel on track again.

    Thanks once again,

    Russell

  30. Hi Tim,

    Have you tried Low Blue Light eyeglasses or bulbs for better sleep? These products are supposed to filter out the blue spectrum light known to cause suppression of melatonin.

    I wonder what you think of their effectiveness?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  31. You have a lot of ideas. There are many notions to achieve success.

    But we all have to consistent of our goals, be honest in everything that we do and strong amidst challenges…

    Maintain a positive outlook and you’ll get more than Life like a Druglord…

    By the way I would have to agree on James Cameron’s quote…

    And just what you’ve said,” Keep Calm and Carry on.”

  32. Tim,

    I got the 4HB a couple of weeks ago (in came to Amazon here in the UK a little later than the US) and am finding it a fantastic read! When I saw the size I doubted I’d even make it through the whole book, but I’m already halfway through!!! It’s so easy to read!

    My question – Damage Control.

    On page 103 you tell us about your super binge day and you give your “before” and “after” weight.

    29th August – 12st

    31st August – 9.7st

    Now I don’t mean to be a doubting Thomas, but two and a half stone seems too much to lost in just a weekend – is it a typo?

    Gabriel

  33. Is there a place for alcohol (ie vodka, gin, scotch) on the slo carb diet? If not, what is the rationale vs the OK for wine (excluding the other possible health benefits of wine)? I’m an MD, so some scientific info would be appreciated

  34. Whey or Casein protein for shakes? I know studies have shown that lactose and whey inhibit fat loss, so when choosing protein powder, should I chose casein?

  35. Great post Tim- thought I was the only one who did this lol.

    Just one question: Should you be working minimal hours to get a business started? Or should you work 12 hour days to get it started THEN liberate yourself and work only a few? Thanks!

  36. Hi Tim,

    My co-worker, Scott, is totally obsessed by your books. He has lost weight following your diet (although he looked great before). And he shares the details of his “cheat” day diet with me. I know you get thousands of emails, but since I have to work in the same room with one of your rabid fans-please could you give a special shout out to Scott? It is his birthday. As great as your books are, there is a limit to how much I can handle listening to about how wonderful and smart you are. He also is obsessed with the 4-hour work week and brings it up in our daily sales meetings. Please-I need a little break…

    Thanks,

    Doreen

  37. Hello Tim,

    On success – I like Rodney Dangerfield’s quote “It took me 20 years to become an overnight success.” Of it helps to combine persistence with awareness and creativity. Anne Lamott’s wisdom has gotten me through many “writer-block” moments – it’s bird by bird which means for a writer it’s page by page.

    Riley

  38. Hey Tim,

    Love the books and the blog!

    Can I eat 33 French Fries (burger KIng) every tuesday at 11:37pm? Or would weds @ 3AM be better?

    Anxiously awaiting your reply

    Loca Vida Zip

    1. Thank you for asking this important question, Zippy. The optimal time for Freedom Fries is actually Monday at 3:30pm Pacific. You’ve missed this week’s cutoff, so please wait until next week before attempting. Also, do not exceed 35 fries. You probably wouldn’t understand the science behind it, and you don’t need to.

      Good luck!

      – Charlie

  39. Great post, Tim. I always like hearing the behind-the-scenes types of posts about how people I follow came to achieve the success that they have, especially when it talks about their struggles. Everyone can use a little “you can do it!” every now and again. Thanks.

  40. Hey Tim + Co.

    Love 4HB, I’ve recommended it to countless friends. Most of them have that “Bike-Shed” attitude so they are generally ignored when it comes to the criticisms. I experimented a little with the Slow-Carb diet and saw results. I have, however, switched it up a bit and added some additional carbs for muscle gain. I just wanted to thank you guys for introducing me to my new best friend: the kettlebell. Doing high rep double-handed swings and low rep single-handed swings has me exhausted after only 20 minutes of working out. I end up feeling great after each and every workout. I’m also seeing and noticing the results. Once I muster up to it, I’m going to attempt the Occam’s Protocol, but I have been using a few strategies posted within the chapter for normal weight lifting.

    Thanks again guys.

  41. I really liked your quote:

    Most miraculous successes are nothing of the sort.

    Those on front lines, the people who seem to jump into the limelight from nowhere, experience the same plodding frustration and trial-and-error as the rest of the world.

    They differ in that they don’t expect luck to help them, nor good fortune to save them.

    I resonate with those words. As I struggle to get my own online business going, many people would like to think that I’m doing something wrong because I am struggling… I must be wrong because it’s not easy….

    Thanks…

  42. Hey Tim,

    You’ ve gotten lazy with your blog, no posts for over two weeks. You’ve made your money from your book and are probably laughing all the way to the bank. Don’t you think you at least owe the people who follow your blog some of your time? after all, most of the people who follow your blog also spent good money on your book and have made you what you are today, not to mention fattened your bank account.

    1. Nic,

      2 weeks? Give the guy a break. Maybe reread a few of the hundreds of free posts he has done of the past 3+ years. I’m sure Tim has much more up his sleeve 🙂

      Rgds,

      Daniel

    2. While I’d also like to see more updates, I don’t think 2 weeks is something to complain about. I rather read a good post once in a while, than a shitty post every other day!

  43. Props to Zippy and Charlie – both the question and reply had me laughing out loud.

    Honestly, the posts reflect a little bit more truthfully on their respective parties (questioners on this blog and Tim) than each would probably care to admit..

  44. HO-LY SHIT!

    I just saw your little banner ad with the copy that reads…

    “Eat Like Santa… Look Like Jesus”

    …and I thought, “Ohhh f***, he’s done it again!” 😀 I hope this ad is crushin’ it for you and I’m wondering if this copy has been tested six ways from Sunday like the “4 Hour Work Week” copy was.

    Just wanted to give you props for that copy and you can bet your ass I’ll be swiping it! Hahaha!

    Wishing you massive prosperity in all walks of life,

    Note Taking Nerd #2

  45. Need help with Adrenal Fatigue. Tim, thanks for the great books!!! You mentioned in 4HB “adrenal fatigue” in connection to using ECA. It has been suggested to me by my physician that I could have adrenal fatigue caused by stress and by a possible Lyme infection. I took herbs to treat the Lyme infection and many symptoms have improved, but I’m still struggling to get over adrenal fatigue symptoms: tiredness and hypoglycemia between meals.

    I (and a few others who have posted on your blog) would really love to hear what you know about adrenal fatigue.

  46. Hey Tim,

    Congratulations on all the hard work in making the 4HB, another hit!!

    I thought it was about time I dropped by and showed some gratitude to the guy who helped change my whole life. Thank you Tim. No doubt I’m only one of millions who’s life has benefitted so much from your knowledge.

    In 2007, 25 yrs old, things changed. I began to feel the power of my life in my own hands, I always felt that this ‘deffered life-plan’ was just not for me. I was hungry for a lifestyle of happiness and freedom, and to create something that could support that freedom, financially. I didn’t know exactly how this would happen…

    I stumbled accross your blog, I was hooked. Something inside clicked. Just before the 4HWW launched, I’d made a decision to leave the UK and experience the world and wondered if the things I read about could really be possible. I was so excited. I picked up your 4HWW in JFK. I couldn’t wait to open the pages and start changing my life. I was on a flight to Bermuda, then onward to Vancouver where my partner and I had visas to ‘work’…but now we had other plans. This was OUR time, we wanted an automated business that would let us live free and a way to make our way in this world, maybe even change it!

    We’ve been working towards a more automated life (business/income wise) for the past 3 years. Lots of (amazing) travelling has put of the ‘legalities’ of running a business on the back burner, but were now staying put for a while to finally try to ‘get it together’ and reach the TMI that will help us see live way of life as a permanant change. It’s quite a distance away yet…but we’re still moving forward.

    But, it’s getting harder to focus, information overload. Self development, marketing, the mind-set, goals becoming undefined, shakey ground. Reading book after book, worrying about not actually implementing things I read, and then forgetting it all together.

    I know we should keep going, persevere, break down the walls. I’m paralysed by indecision at the moment, which I know is more damaging than the wrong decision, but it remains.

    Thank you for this article. Great timing for us. It’s good to see under the surface that great accomplishments don’t just happen. They’re created. Facing problems, taking action and overcoming them.

    Sometimes the feeling of seeing successful people and businesses everywhere doesn’t inspire me, it drowns me. This article helped me to keep my head above the water and don’t stop kicking.

    I know that one day we’ll be where I keep visualising we always will be, and I can’t wait.

    Cheers Tim, thank you for all your effort, you’re inspiring. I spread the word of the 4HWW wherever I go.

    Onwards and upwards, stay happy.

    Lee

  47. Thanks so much for this post Tim! It is hard to remember sometimes that many currently successful people have at one point dug themselves out of tougher times. We all just have to keep on trekking on and keep our eyes on the prize. It can get really rough sometimes but the end goal is what makes it worth it. I hope everyone here eventually makes it to the liberation stage.

  48. Tim,

    You MUST be my brother by another mother… Really.

    We should talk about educational reform sometime (last time I intoned I wanted to open a school of my own, I was passed several CVs from disgruntled teachers – the time is right…)

    About the shirt – IIRC, the ‘Luck is not a factor’ phrase appears in the Abyss – another fine Cameron production. The others are pretty public domain. Likely, we could go to screens without hassle…

    Keep rockin’ it!

  49. It’s a pity this line from your draft was left on the cutting room floor:

    When is the last time you wanted the life of someone who told you that you were being “unrealistic”?

    Classic!

  50. Three months ago I was 30 lbs overweight, had a cholesterol level of 270 and had no clue about blogs, adsense, widgets or anything else about creating a website.

    I read both of your books and now I’m down 16 lbs. My cholesterol is 217. AND, I started my own blog. I even know what a widget is now!

    Your books and these posts are great. The information is solid but it is your presenation that makes the difference. Getting motivated is what it is all about.

    My site might not set records but I’m gaining knowledge each day. I’ll be able to build on that forever. Thanks Tim.

  51. Congrat on your new book, it is not my cup of tea though. Is Please Shoot Me in the box a title idea? or just out of frustration! I would buy the book with title ungodly riches, or 40 years in a cubicle.. I can see why the 4 hours work week is the best title though.

  52. Hi Tim. I can’t tell you how much you have changed my life. Reading your first book reaffirmed everything I was already thinking and helped me make the changes I wanted to make in my life. I’m sure you’ve heard these stories again and again, but sometimes I still feel like the odd one in the crowd because of the way I view life. I am glad I am in good company!

    You have great ambition and I am very grateful for your failures and your successes and your endurance through it all. I needed this post now as I keep creating my own path in life – and enjoying every minute of it!

  53. Its amazing how inspirational those discarded pages are.

    I read this blog because I am totally stuck. What I learned is that I am stuck because I am doing the wrong thing. I asked myself the question, “What do I want to do?”, and this time I hope I have the right answer.

    I’m sure I’ll get stuck again, but at least the next time, I’ll know that its not because I’m doing the wrong thing.

    Thanks

  54. OK, the 4 hour body diet is excellent. I really didn’t think it would work this well. I only have 3 or 4 pounds to go to my ideal body weight. I look and feel great.

    Here is my question: How do I turn it off? Pretty soon I’ll want to get to a maintenance weight–not lose and not gain. I want to keep my “binge day”, because I love it. So, any thoughts on staying put on the scale??

  55. Hi Tim!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your book. My question is of the medical nature. Can I start the CQ and the PAGG while taking prescriptions and other vitmains and supplements??? Are there any interactions that I should be concerned with? I would really like to get off the last bit of body fat and let my muscles show! Thanks!

    1. Hi Becca,

      Please consult a doctor first if you’re unsure about the supplements you plan on taking. Tim is an expert on this stuff, but it’s impossible for him to assess how you’ll personally respond simply by reading your comment. We definitely don’t want you to experience anything nasty, so please pay the doc a visit!

      All the best,

      Charlie

  56. Very timely article for me, Tim. I bought and devoured the first publication of 4-Hour while I was working a traditional job as a contract administrator. I passed it on and bought the 2nd Edition which sits on my desk highlighted and earmarked. I was released from employment in June 2008 and have had the time of my life since. The most inspiring story for me was Yoga For Rock Climbers. I was thinking way too big and defeating myself in the process of considering a muse. The story helped me back it down to a manageable process.

    This Saturday (26th) I will be self-publishing the final draft of “The Development of Felted Cross Stitch, Complete Instructions to Get You Started”, for sale on Scribd, my Etsy store and possibly one other site. The book is a result of having time to play and experiment with the art but it was put to paper directly because you challenged me to consider a different way to think about income, retirement and life.

    After the draft is out, the entire book is going to be dissected with a graphic designer I’ve found and prepared for professional publication. My muse has risen out of the process.

    I am mid 40’s and many of my friends have finally seen the possibilities of not being tied to a corporation for success-but 3 years ago they looked at me like I had 3 heads when I suggested your ideas.

    Thanks Tim!

    ps-love the shirt!

    Dev

    Creative Director, Gypsy In The Castle, LLC

  57. Really interesting to hear your strategy about how you wrote your book. I always imagined writing a book as an amazingly daunting task, and your strategy allows one to think of it as only a slightly daunting task!

  58. Great post Tim.

    Inspirational stuff! I think you hit the nail on the head my friend. Just don’t give up. Anyway, I know that’s been the case for me and the other success stories I know of. It all seems like “magic” when it happens, but basically there was a lot of “keeping on” involved.

    Anyway… great stuff.

    And I really thank you for sharing the “titles” and “old pages”. I can relate. Just nice to know that a “best selling” author goes through the same stuff.

    -Jason

  59. I like “Billionaire Beer Goggles” best! lol, thanks for sharing your brainstorming. It’s interesting to see how much thought went into a simple title, LOVE it!!

    This is my first time here, although I am well aware of who you are and have read your book;)

    Love your stuff and your style!!

    ~Molly Dalbec

  60. A link to this post just showed up in my in box…talk about perfect timing. I have two excellent book ideas that just never seem to get past the note-taking phase. Reading this post has inspired me to get moving again, thanks Tim. Your insight and inspiration is always welcome – can’t wait for your next post.

  61. As a small business owner dealing with my own demons and big plans, I find this post extremely appropriate. But, I wonder if I’m the only one who likes the rawness of the original writings. I found some of the tips in the 4 Hour Work Week helpful, but find the original writing are more realistic and appealing. I have been struggling and looking for something to let me know I’m not crazy, and here it has been in my email for over a month. I want the raw version of the 4 Hour Work Week!

  62. Hi all. Hi Tim.

    I am working my way through 4HB book and taking on suggestions for reducing body fat AND increasing muscle. What I am having trouble with the links in the book to pictures of the excercies and programs and such. I found all the end of chapter links on the blog but all the links throughout the chapters seem to be gone. Where are they now? In particular http://www.fourhourbody.com/excercises

    Thanks David

      1. Thanks mate. It is the same as I typed. Only tried for 1 day so maybe just bad timing. Really appreciate the reply.

  63. 4/1/11

    HELP!!!!

    I’ve been doing the Slow Carb Diet for nearly two weeks, but I’ve only lost 3 pounds and my BMI is still @ 22.

    I’ve stuck to the diet religiously.

    Example breakfast, Glass of cold water, 20 Bridges, 30 bird dogs, 50 Kettle bell swings, 3 hard-boiled eggs, 2-3 strips turkey bacon and coffee (2 tablespoons 1/2 & 1/2).

    Lunch and dinner is lean meat (chicken, steak, burger) stir fried with a veggie and beans (black, red, black-eyed peas). I eat all I want cause the book says its OK. I also workout 5 days a week, 3 cardio,2 weight.

    I’ve had 1 cheat day, number 2 is tomorrow.

    WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!