A $36,000 Birthday Gift (Plus: Free Roundtrip Anywhere in the World)


I’m turning 36 years young! Here in a village in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.

My 36th birthday is here!

It’s going to be a great natal year–I can already feel it. Perhaps it will be good luck for you, too. In this post, I’m giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.

But back to that strange birthday gift…

Much to the chagrin of my momma-san, I’ve become quite difficult to buy presents for. Some friends even think I’m impossible to find presents for. Not so. I love handwritten letters, homemade brownies, girlfriends in next-to-nothing, and–most of all–when people do something nice.

You, my dear readers, have an awesome track record of doing nice things.

For my b-day in 2010, you all raised more than $100,000 for high-need public school classrooms in the US.  In 2011, you helped build libraries overseas (Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam), and last year, you helped poor youth in developing nations finish school.

In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to provide clean water to the people who need it most. I’m doing it on this page. There are fun prizes involved, so keep reading…

I recently traveled to the Tigray Region in Ethiopia with the incredible Charity: Water team. I witnessed, first-hand, what life is like for people living without clean, safe water.

Nearly 1 billion people worldwide fall into this group. For me, it’s not just a health issue. That’s not the most interesting part. If you want to offer a hand up (education, work) and not a hand out, water is highly leveraged for breaking the cycle of poverty.

In fact, every $1 invested in improved water access and sanitation can yield an average of $12 in economic returns.

Here’s how:

In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year (e.g. the entire annual workforce of France!) walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking for miles to the nearest source. The solution? Installing simple water wells for clean water in strategically close locations.

Children can then spend more time in classrooms learning, and women can contribute to their communities with their minds instead of carrying jerry cans most of the day.


A jerry can, 40 pounds when full.

Clean water creates more capable problem solvers in places with persistent problems. If you want to empower people instead of doling out aid indefinitely, this is a powerful starting point.

Here’s what I’d love to ask, and where the free roundtrip ticket comes in:

1. Join my 36th birthday challenge by clicking here. It’s worth clicking through just to check out the site. Donations are tax-deductible.

2. To get your engines started, I’ve put in $3,600 of my own money.

3. If the spirit moves you, please make a $36 donation (or whatever you can: $1, $36, $1,000, etc.) to providing clean water to those who need it most. Even a $1 can make a big difference!

4. Charity: Water sends 100% of every donation directly to fund projects in the field. No “administrative fees” or anything–every penny of every dollar goes to the field. Cool, right? And because I was just in Ethiopia, they’ll be sending it there. The best part: Charity: Water will report back in 18 months with GPS coordinates, photos and information about the communities we’ve impacted.

– If you all help raise $36,000, I will personally add another $5,000.

– If you all help raise $100,000 (100% doable), I’ll add on a total of $10,000.

– The deadline is 5pm PST on Friday, August 2nd, 2013.

Sweetening the Pot…

– I’m giving away a free round-trip ticket anywhere in the world that Star Alliance flies, which is just about everywhere. There is no expiration date on the trip, so no rush on deciding where or when to go. If you like, I’ll fly you to San Francisco to have dinner with me, but other places might be more interesting 🙂

Here’s how to get it:

– Spread the word however you can. Send people to this post or to my Charity: Water birthday page. Here’s the URL for copying and pasting: http://my.charitywater.org/timferriss

– Leave a comment below telling me what you did (Facebook, Twitter, blog post, e-mail blast, e-mail signature, encouraged employees/friends to do the same, company donation matching, etc.). Measurement of any type gets huge bonus points. This comment must be put up no later than 5pm PST on Friday, August 2nd, 2013.

– Lastly, answer one question at the very top of your comment: “What does education mean to you?” Begin your answer with “To me, education means…”

Based on comments, I’ll pick the top five promoters. Then, you’ll all vote on the winner of the round-trip.

But the best reason of all to participate…

Beyond the bribes, you’ll feel awesome about yourself for doing real good for people who have so little. People who, without water, might not have much of a future at all.

Trust me. It feels great.

Will you pause for a moment and step up, even if for $1? It would mean the world to me. I’ll share updates as I get them.

Again, here is where to go to donate $1, $36, $360, or whatever you can.

Thank you for reading this post. You are all rock stars, and I continue to write on this blog purely because of you.

Pura vida!


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 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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315 Replies to “A $36,000 Birthday Gift (Plus: Free Roundtrip Anywhere in the World)”

  1. Tim – Its an odd coincidence that you announce your birthday challenge on MY birthday – I donated and Tweeted it out and Will Post it on Google + – This is a worthy cause!

    1. Of course in my Frenzy – for forgot – To me, education means.. Sharing knowledge in such away as to to improve the condition of living of both the teacher and the student.

  2. Happy Birthday, Tim! What a great opportunity to help the world. I’ll promote, but if I win, donate the miles to another worthwhile cause and I’ll pay my own way to SF for dinner. 🙂

  3. To me, education means leveling the playing field. We are all part of one human family and there have been too many tolerated ways of separating us that are believed in. To Believe means to BE ALIVE in. I AM alive in a world where we all have access to everything we require and we all have the encouragement and education to discover as much about ourselves as we can. It is only when we truly understand and love ourselves, that we can understand and love one another. Thank you for doing this.

    I shared this on FB.

  4. Hey Tim, you might want to consider moving the URL to its own line under the “Sweetening the Pot…” section in this sentence just to be safe:

    Here’s the URL for copying and pasting: http://my.charitywater.org/timferriss

    The appended “/timferriss” at the end breaks onto another line for me so people may not grab the full URL.

    Happy birthday! And thank you for setting this up.


    – Spread the word however you can. Send people to this post or to my Charity: Water birthday page. Here’s the URL for copying and pasting: http://my.charitywater.org/timferriss

  5. Happy Bday Tim, you rock! posting this to my FB, twitter and Google + accounts as well as donating. Hope you have a great day and thanks for all that you do. Also Thanks for motivating me I have been on the 4 hr body and am down to 187 from 260.

  6. To me, education means liberation. Robert and I have donated $72. and I’ve shared your post on Facebook. Thanks, Tim.

  7. To me, education means a person has the ability to create opportunities in one’s life, and the ability to take advantage of those opportunities to better herself and those around her.

    I’ve tweeted your blog and info to get additional support for this cause, and I’ve shared it with my coworkers as well (500+ employees).

    Happy birthday, Tim, and thanks for spearheading this effort!

  8. Happy Birthday Tim! You should look into mangrove desalination. Apparently 1 young plant can transpiration 300 gallons of fresh water per day. I don’t have any financial interest in the company but it seems like a really innovative method of producing clean water from sea water. Check out the website. http://newwateraquaculture.com/the_process

  9. Hey Tim,

    I just donated $100 to your cause; this isn’t the first charity I donated to that you suggested.(Room to Read).

    Lets be real, $100 is not going to hurt a single 25 year old male who lives in DC. More than happy to contribute.

    I posted about it on Twitter and will blog about it, once I remove the SPAM bomb that went off on my feed. I also annoyed a few coworkers about it.

    I was actually in Tanzania last month and I got to witness first hand how poor people really are. I mean like 3rd world poor, not, “I can’t buy shots at the bar this week,” poor.

    I saw toddlers filling up buckets of mud water and people living in the worst conditions imaginable, and I was in the nice part of Africa! It’s pretty hard to witness in person. Those Feed The Children ads don’t do it justice, no matter how many Sarah McLaughlin songs they throw in it. I believe everyone should travel to see how most of the world lives. It gives you a perspective.

    To me, education means a way out. It means a chance to get out of the socioeconomic class you were born into.It means opportunities. It means choices. It means social mobility. It means freedom.


  10. To me, education means opening of possibilities and empowerment. Education has inspired and empowered me greatly. I have taken a none traditional approach to education ( as I had suffered from psychiatric disabilities) and education has provided me with more options , knowledge and empowered me to move forward and contribute instread of become a burden to others.

  11. To me, education means power. “Knowledge is Power,” said Sir Frances Bacon, and I truly agree. If the younger generations are well educated, then they will be equipped with knowledge that no person can take away, knowledge that can transform their entire community.

    Two years ago, I took a small part in an educational revolution, helping a school developer build a new public charter school in San Jose, California’s. Their mission statement is: “preparing underachieving students who will be the the first in their families to go to college to thrive at a four-year university.” This particular internship was very special for me because it changed my perspective on education, and I was able to make an impact in what used to be my own backyard, the East Side of San Jose, the part of San Jose that is predominantly ethnic minorities and impoverished people. We are lucky to live in the United States, where, even if your family is struggling to pay the bills, the law will do their best to ensure you stay in school until you finish high school or turn 18. Many other countries do not have this luxury, and projects like these are what is helping the world’s citizens get this powerful tool, the tool that multiplies itself as more and more children are able to give back to their communities when they grow up. Thank you so much for doing this Tim.

    P.S. I shared this link with all 200 of my e-mail contacts. 🙂

  12. To me, education means that I can help make the tomorrow for many, better than my yesterday.

    Posted in Facebook, Twitter, e-mail blast

  13. To me, education means the opportunity to cultivate one’s natural gifts and interests.

    I shared your link via Facebook and Twitter and will pass it on via mail to my english-speaking contacts.

  14. To me, education means a level playing field. This is what got me to donate to Charity: Water for the first time a few years ago, the fact that these children are missing out an the blessings of an education. All children should have the opportunity to learn and reach their potential.

    I donated, and I shared it on Facebook and Twitter.

  15. What a fantastic way to celebrate your birthday and such an important cause. I will share on my personal Facebook page (600+ friends), Facebook biz page (200+ likes), Twitter (1075 followers), LinkedIn (973 connections) and Pinterest (84 followers)! Happy Birthday, Tim! From a big fan!

  16. What a great birthday idea. I am going to have people donate to World Vision for my birthday (my sponsored child Fikadu is in Ethiopia). I posted the link to my Facebook account. I hope we make the big goal. Way to change the world!

  17. To me, Education means FUTURE. Your individual future, the future of your community, the future of your region, your nation, and the world. Any sort of education makes you a better individual, and gives your more self confidence. With that, you feel that you have what it takes to make a difference in others. Education may seem like a selfish act, but in fact, it is quite the opposite. Spreading education is spreading hope.

  18. Hey Tim, I don’t believe in celebrating birthdays, but I do believe in humanity.

    You are working for a great cause.

    BTW I am from Pakistan, have you been to Pakistan or India? If yes, how was your experience?

    I want to live a life just like you 🙂

  19. To me, education means maximizing the human capacity for discovery and putting humanity on the fast track to realizing the full potential of our species.

    I’m going to promote this via email to my subscriber database.

  20. Happy Birthday Tim!

    To me, education means…being able to make Dreams come true.

    I donated, tweeted, G+, and facebooked. And it took me about 8:23 minutes to help change lives in great ways. That was my attempt at a measurement of some type 🙂

  21. To me education is hope. It is hope in a better world where we can all live in freedom and abundance. It is hope that we can all do what we love and with who we love every single day. Education is a never ending journey that will provide inspiration and growth to everyone and anyone that comes into contact with it. It gives us strength, power, love, compassion, enlightenment, and motivation to know that if someone else did it, then so can I!

    -Reposted it to my 3k friends on Facebook, 3k followers on my Fanpage, 1k followers on twitter.

  22. Tim, I LOVE this cause. You inspire me. I love your book 4 hour workweek and follow your blog/newsletter. I am doing this ,not only for the children which is a huge passion of mine (I wrote a song about the children of Africa- “I Cry” and would be honored to send you the song) but also because I would be so honored to meet you and go to dinner/lunch/coffee/water 🙂 with you. Thank you for all you do- not only for the info you give to us, but for your using your VOICE to Change the World for the better. My prayers go out to you and thankful for you.

    I donated- and in order to be entered in the contest I am about to do a video Blog of this and put it across all of my social media networks as well as my newsletter list. Thank you again!

    1. Also- I forgot to say- To me- Education means FREEDOM. By educating our minds and bodies we can FREE ourself from all kinds of chains and learn how to not only make a living, and teach others how to make a living and live their dream- it’s just a long line of freedom when given correct and awesome Education!

  23. Happy Birthday, Tim!

    I’m going to share the hell out of this and win. Your books have changed my life and I have bought dozens and dozens of copies for friends. I can’t thank you enough and I love that you do cool things like this. Using your powers for good, standard Superhero stuff, doesn’t happen enough in the world, but you’re doing it. And doing it really well.

  24. Happy Birthday Tim!

    I have posted this on both of my Facebook pages, on Twitter and I will let my Rotary Club know. Rotary International does a lot of work with projects like this. http://www.rotary.org

    Education gives people the ability to live up to their full potential. It gives people choices, options, and helps to provide the tools needed to make the better choices in life. It upgrades the quality of life.

  25. Hi Tim, happy 36th birthday!

    In my opinion, education is the expansion of intellectual horizons for those who desire to know more, be better, and live a richer life.

    I emailed this link to the server for the greek community at my university (sorority girls love giving their dad’s money to philanthropy! ha) and shared it on facebook.

  26. To me education means facilitating people in exploring tools that can help them to achieve fulfillment in some aspect of their life, whether that be love, business, academics, relationships, safety, sense of belonging and everything else that makes up a fulfilling life.

    Tim, you are AWESOME for organizing something so worthwhile and important. This will help so many people. I was delighted to donate and just wish I was in a position to give more. I’ve spread the message by writing a blog post about this project, as well as sharing on the blog’s Facebook page as well as my own personal page.

    Hopefully the $100,000 is smashed!


  27. Thanks for this invitation to do something really cool – love that 100% of donations to Charity Water go directly to bring clean water to communities. This is a charity I’m going to get behind personally. Will share in my social media space.

    To me, education means that we all evolve faster as a planet. It means reaching our full potential as human beings.

    Happy Birthday Tim!

  28. I don’t mean to be a bummer, but for what it is worth, Charity: Water is not currently recommended by GiveWell


    If you haven’t heard of givewell there are an awesome group that does it’s best to get deep inside the quantifiable details of a charity to really maximize impact.

    First off, just because they don’t recommend Charity: Water doesn’t mean that they think it is actually bad.

    “This write-up should not be taken as a “negative rating” of the charity. Rather, it is our attempt to be as clear as possible about the process by which we came to our top recommendations.”

    Then if you want to know the reasons why they didn’t recommend it, I think it boils down to:

    How it finds partners:

    “It appears to us that charity:water focuses on ensuring that projects are legitimate (e.g., avoiding fraud, ensuring that grant funds were spent as approved to construct the water projects listed by charity:water) rather than attempting to assess and compare the potential for impact across different projects.”

    And how it measures long term impact:

    “We generally found these evaluations to be higher-than-average quality (relative to evaluations other charities have sent us) as they frankly discussed significant problems with the projects in question. This is something that we have rarely seen from charities we’ve considered and, in our view, is a positive sign about an organization’s commitment to identifying and solving problems. However, we feel that the evaluations we have seen do not sufficiently address the questions above, nor do they allow us to generate an accurate estimate of the results of charity: water’s past activities in terms of humanitarian outcomes, such as decreased time spent transporting water or reduced disease burden.”

  29. Education for me is FREEDOM. I think that sums it up for me and I don’t necessarily mean going to college or a university. You can learn just about anything today on your own. All the information you need is just clicks away.

    Shared the post on Facebook. I think it would be great if they could add some sharing button to the charity page and also after the payment process. I’m sure that could help getting the word out to more people 🙂

    Just a suggestion.

    Happy B-day Tim. You really rock.

  30. To me, education means a way in which you can stand on the shoulders of giants and cut down learning time from reading about other peoples’ successes and failures. Education also helps people by giving them opportunities to reach their full potential.

    I have emailed my contacts in the following Newspapers, TV Stations and websites to promote your charity water and your birthday:

    -Fox News

    -Huffington Post

    -the Guardian

    -the Observer

    -Today Show – Australia

    -The Project – Australia

    -the Sun – uk

    -New York Times

    -Sunrise morning Show – Australia

    Best of Luck and I look forward to seeing you in Sydney at the Growth Faculty talk.

  31. To me, education means: a chance to change your world and the world of those around you. You can’t change the seasons, you can’t change the system (easily) but you can change you.

    “If you will change, everything will change for you – Jim Rohn”.

    Great to see a project like this and one that we can follow the direct progress of. I am very interested in seeing updates on this. I’ve donated.


  32. What a worthwhile project. Ill back it.

    Tim, would you also consider distributing open source designs for solar powered water distillers to ensure that the water is potable?

    You undoubtedly already know this but: One of the biggest problems in Africa (as well as a multitude of other locals) is that the water sources are contaminated and present serious health risks from: Cholera [transmitted via fecal coliforms], Guinea worm, Arsenic, and a slew of other pathogens and poisonous compounds.

    Wells alone don’t fully mitigate this risk, and the only filtering mechanism guaranteed to solve all all of these problems is reverse osmosis, which, to date, is far too expensive to be truly pervasive.

    That leaves distillation – a super effective water purification mechanism that has been around forever. Distillation can be slow so it isn’t popular for water purification, but you can speed it up by harnessing the power of the sun – a resource that Africa has in abundance. Applying concentrated heat dramatically reduces the time required for distillation.

    If this interests you, there are designs on the web. I also have some that I made open source specifically for Africa while doing my undergrad in engineering and design.

    Best of luck!

  33. To me, education means.. “freedom” by allowing people to develop the necessary skills in life to do and be whatever they want. Without it, we’re just cattle here to follow orders set by the educated..

    Great charity for a great cause. Happy Birthday Tim!

  34. To me, education means the possibility to change ones life and is something that happens during your whole life.

    I shared this post on my twitter account @OlaRynge.

    Great initiative!

  35. To me, education means a lot of things and can mean and be used for different things for different people. I like to see education as challenge, as you can work at it and reap the benefits from your hard work. Education gifts you liberating feelings and the gain of knowledge is comforting.

    I’ve mail linked this page to many friends.


  36. To me, education means leadership development. It’s something really important – shaking off old views, learning from mistakes and handing over a better world to the next generation.

    As well as donating myself, I shared the page on my Facebook profile. Will also let friends know next time I’m out with them. Enjoy your birthday. Good effort on this!

  37. Happy Birthday Tim! Thank you! I was happy to share this with my 500+ Facebook / 200 Twitter / 1K e-mail friends PLUS my companies FB and Twitter which reaches another 700 contacts. In my posts I have encouraged everyone to share as well. I will post again and remind everyone that company matching donations are welcome.

    “To me, education means … FREEDOM. Complete and total freedom from ignorance, intolerance, sickness and many more.

    1. UPDATE: I have followed charity water FB and twitter, both my business and personal pages. I have FAV and RE-twitter your original posts. I have SHARED again with all that are listed above in my previous comment. I have added to that list —



      I have generated a QR code but don’t know what to do with that yet?

      I have generated the hashtag campaign #cheers4charityH2O

      Good Luck on making your goal of $100,000.00 for this great cause.

  38. To me, education means being able to distinguish between information that matters and information that doesn’t matter, as well as being able to act on the former.

    I posted the link on my Facebook and will count how many people share it:)

  39. To me, education means what we do everyday in life. I feel that we come to earth to learn lessons needed for our spiritual quest. The faster we learn the lesson, the faster we can go on to experience new things. Formal education is a element of society that teach us from a particular skill to how behave in society. I love the education that elders give me. Both of my grandma have been magnificent educators in my life. The more I learn the more a grow and advance in my life.

    There you go, that is education for me.

    Thanks for the gift o giving.

    I share your gift in twitter and facebook.

  40. Cool initiative. It sounds a lot like an organization that I’m already a part of. It’s called 20liters. Perhaps you could find some synergies between the two organizations.

  41. To me, education means: future or past, prosperity or despair, good life or mediocre lifestyle.

    I’ve spread the word to the 734 people by means of Facebook. I hope we get 5% traction of $36 each = $1,296

  42. Great cause.

    I support Oxfam for the same reason, and have done the 100km trailwalk a couple of times to raise money.

    The trailwalk is a really good to help you visualise how much walking some of these people do each day to get water. The quickest we managed it was 27 hours…

  43. Because helping Americans is evil? How about helping greatness? How about helping INDIVIDUALS that you judge is worth the investment? Seek out superstars of the likes of Steve Jobs and help them. That would be good.

    Pissing money to Africa only helps the African totalitarian governments keep afloat. You prolong misery.

  44. Great cause Tim. We would like to create an infograph to promote the cause if their company and you would be ok with that. Would be tight turnarounds, but I think we could finish it in time to promote the fundraising.

    To me, education means opportunity.

      1. Hi Ben,

        I’m no lawyer but I would say you should go for it.

        As long as you don’t position yourself as if you were speaking in their name, there shouldn’t be any reason that it’s a problem for you to create that infographic.

        Don’t use any copyrighted visuals and you should be fine. After all, it’s just like creating a promotional blog post – of a different type, that’s all.


      2. Yes, you’re right. But we would want to use a pic of tim, the water company’s logos and probably some of their pics, tim’s logo etc at the bottom of the piece in order to point people to the fundraiser. A blog post can be asked to be taken down. Once we start submitting an image, it would be hard to retract it.

  45. Shared this post on my Facebook page, google+, tweeted about it, and it’s now a link on my email signature for people to join in. Also donated $36!

    To me, education means helping people have a clearer vision of the world around them. It gives them something to stand for, while inspiring others. Hopefully it will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.

    And Happy Birthday Tim!

  46. to me, education means passing on the lessons of this life i’m learning

    posted on facebook/ emailed to friends & family!

    happy b’day tim!

  47. “To me, education means…you have the power to do whatever the F*^% you want. Start your education NOW! but never stop your willingness to learn!” Included this link on all my emails and posted on Twitter. Tim, Thanks for being even cooler than Fonzi! Another $36 for charity water!

    If I win, please donate the ticket to http://my.charitywater.org/timferriss and we’ll do lunch…somewhere!

  48. Tim: thanks for setting this up so we can all contribute together. And happy birthday!

    Sharing this on Facebook and donated.

    Education = learning how to learn: the gift that keeps giving

  49. Congrats for such efforts and good will Tim.

    Your next book should be the 4 Hour Help 😉 or how to apply the 80-20 principle to helping people around the world improve their situation and contribute more to the improvement of our planet as a whole.

    Such a book could inspire ppl to develop products that help millions in need while at the same time making some money. By helping lots of ppl access education, information and meeting basic needs we can even prevent wars. I truly believe we are on a tipping point of wars right now with the desertification and water and air pollution, climate warming and water level raise, it will create tremendous stress on the world populations, countries with wide disparities in resources, etc.

    I feel a bit better when i see amazing ideas on TED talks but we still have a long way to go. Hoping technology (aka the web, tablets, wi-fi internet) will help us boost the poor countries conditions.

  50. I could certainly use a nice trip + that is an excellent charity! Clean Drinking Water is something every person on this planet needs! Bravo Tim + Happy Bday******** 😉

  51. Hi from NZ Timm,

    Great initiative. I will donate and pass this to friends and network in any and all ways that I can.

    This sort of work gets money and action where its needed, unlike many of those who have lost sight of anything but the money. There is the old ‘teach a man to fish…’ proverb. I heard this one also “Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give him a bank and he can rob the world”.

    Cheers man. Keep up the good work and Happy Birthday mister!

  52. To me, education means opportunity. It gives you the chance to discover your most basic to your most complex inner self: an opportunity develop as an individual with your own thoughts on your surroundings, it sparks concealed creativity, unearths passions, and most of all education presents the opportunity to grow into an ambitious confident you.

    Happy Birthday Tim! I’m your marketing guy: I have posted it on both of my Twitter feeds @chaseteron & @dynamoleader on my Facebook page and strategically posting it on my travel friends pages, on my Leadership blog (it may not have a ton of follows… working on it!), sent an email blast out to my co-workers here in Canada and finally I am in the process of getting my family friend’s business to donate! Pumped on the initiative, donated the good luck 36.


  53. Happy Birthday!!!

    To me, education means progress… not only does it nourish your mind, but also enhances creativity and imagination, leadership and inspiration, love and humility. I believe education is key for all humanity to progress and be better people. Without it we would never have all of the benefits we have today. Without education we wouldn’t see progress.

    To tell you the truth, I am truly believe in education (maybe not in the education system, lol) and hope that one day I can manage to build my startup and focus on being an advocate for education and sports. This topic means a lot to me… happy that you chose this charity to open people’s eyes of how such a resource that most of us take for granted is actually what helped us become stronger as a nation.

  54. To me, education means collective growth and awareness. There is no greater gift, or opportunity, for each of us, than to share information freely and openly; contribute to the wellbeing of others and add to the collective consciousness. I love what you are doing Tim! I have shared your link on my blog, Facebook pages (3), and Twitter, and I chose to invest my $36 contribution in promoting your link on Facebook – screenshot here http://blog.quietclarity.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Screen-Shot-2013-07-24-at-8.59.05-PM.png I hope it brings in many times more $$ that way.

  55. To me, education means opportunity.

    i had some pretty grand ideas about what my 13 years (yes, 13) in higher education would bring me in life…money, “success”, an academic career the envy of all! the nobel!!!!

    but at the end of it all, what i got out of it had little to do with my “field” of work and absolutely nothing to do with money or career. instead, it had everything to do with teaching me how to deal with change, fear and expectation. but most importantly how to embrace opportunity when it presents itself and manage that part of me that wants nothing to do with it.

    donated. link shared. although i kinda feel i don’t need a round the world ticket. i make enough money. just want to support this.

  56. Hola Timothy,

    Usually i don’t post because i became kind of anxious. But suddenly i remember the impression of this words; “Because doing the unrealistic is easier than do it the realistic” on chapter 4 (Being Unreasonable and Unambiguous; 4 Hours Work Week) and then i decide to do the exercise, and being flowing happily out of my comfort zone 🙂

    “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela

    Para mi la educación es una semilla que se aprende y que se enseña (viceversa) que en su mayor grado de potencialidad puede llevarte a crear tu propio cielo o infierno.

    La educación, solo de información, de contenido empírico, creo que es muy limitado. Pienso que la educación la deberían casar con valores universales, en donde puedas encontrarte a ti mismo y conocer la infinidad de posibilidades que tienes siendo un ser humano gregario, teniendo una mente y siendo un ente espiritual.

    Pienso que se debe re-definir el contenido y contexto del significado de la educación en la idiosincracia de nuestras sociedades.

    Hoy por hoy, me encanta como la profesión del “Coaching” ha retomado la tecnica de la mayeutica (Socrates) y han comenzado a re-educar por medio del autoconocimiento, partiendo de la premisa que la verdad la tenemos en nosotros mismos.

    En síntesis pienso que la educación debe considerarse como un concepto holístico; donde integren muchos aspectos y lo hagan parte intrínseca de un todo. Al final del día creo que gran parte de la vida es una cuestión de actitud no de aptitud.

    +My first language its spanish and i want to keep his authenticity as is.

    ~In english; sorry for typos or any misleading semantic.~

    To me, Education is a seed which could be learned and teach (or vice versa), in its highest degree of potentialiality would create your own heaven or hell.

    Education, as just information and empirical content, could be very flat and limited. I think “educere” should marry with universal values??, where you can find yourself and have the knowledge of the endless possibilities as a gregarius human being, with Mind and Spirit.

    We should re-define the content and context of the meaning of education in our societies idiosyncrasy.

    Today, I love the way how the profession of “Coaching” has taken the technique of mayeutics (Socrates) and have begun to re-educate through self-knowledge, based on the premise that the truth is within.

    At the end of the day, I think that education should be seen as a holistic concept, which incorporates many aspects and make it an intrinsic part of a whole. So, for me life is about attitude not aptitude.

    “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” -Mark Twain

    I send it to:

    Every journalist, newsman, reporter in my country (500+)

    Top Newsletter:Nuevo Dia, El vocero, Metro, indice.

    Email Blast of state University listing.

    Email for all my contacts. (500+)

    Email Blast of Director marketing of the top magazine in the island.


    My Both account = (5k)

    B-school Babes (600+)

    B-school Babes español

    Attract your ideal lover


    Putty like

    Tantras Urbanos

    Un abrazo


    amor + luz for any boy and girl of the Tigray.

  57. Hey Tim,

    “To me, education means… freedom”

    It means the freedom to learn another language. The freedom to educate yourself out of any situation. The freedom to grow. And most importantly the freedom to give back and educate those around you.

    Happy 36th birthday… i’ve sat the last three years and watched many of your other readers raise large sums of money to build and do great things. In the past I would have used the same excuse that I was still in school and couldn’t afford to donate but I’m ending this mental barrier this year.

    I’ve decided to commit $36 of my own money and have pledged to get the entire company I am interning at (TeamTreehouse) to all donate, for every employee that donates I will match $1 more for a grand possible total of $50 on top of my original donation

  58. Education=Imagination=Creation=Revolution

    Rock on bro! I’m building a business in cape town south Africa and funds are tight but I’m going to invest. Insane that for a price of a dinner out for me can have the impact to seriously change someone’s development and life. I like that and that motivates the small efforts it takes to do a bank transfer.

    Will Facebook the hell out of it and promote on email.



  59. Education = Imagination = Creation = Revolution

    Rock on bro! I’m busy building a business in cape town south Africa so the budget is tight but I’m going to invest in this idea. It’s insane that what we regard as a dinner out can have a massive impact on the development and life of another. I like that so motivates the time taken to do a bank transfer and is worth the investment in life.

    Will Facebook the hell out of it.



  60. To me, education means preparing an individual to live an engaged life by providing them with the skills and/or guidance necessary for them to pursue whatever it is that is meaningful to them in a passionate manner. (Or, at least, I think it should be a little more like this.)

    I donated and gave a shout out on facebook. I’m not sure if my facebook friends will give, but I know my Mom will when I call her. I’ll probably try something more personal with other people that might be willing to give.

    Keep up the good work, Tim, and thanks for the inspiration!

  61. I just donated 48 bucks. One $ for each year lived.

    I urge Tim and everyone else interested in water solutions to please check this out, it may be a great contribution to accomplish these common goals! I have nothing to do with this site.


    SOLVATTEN is a portable 11 liter container that is harnessing sunshine to heat and treat water at household level. Put Solvatten in a sunny place, expose it for 2-6 hours and the water will be drinkable. An indicator shows when it is safe to drink. Solvatten can also be used as a solar water heater, providing hot water for cooking and hygiene.

  62. To me, education means a better chance for a better oneself.

    Shared your campaign of Facebook . Happy b-day 🙂

  63. To me education means having a power that no one can take away from you. I especially believe in helping kids get a better education because when children are given the right tools that allow them to succeed and build a better for all of us. One of those children could be the next Tim Ferris, you never know 😉 . I sent out an email blast+ a Facebook post; hope we reach our goal! Happy Birthday Tim!!!

  64. To me, education means nothing…

    … if it isn’t education that can be applied for something that will make your world and the world in general a better place. Ideally, what we learn should help us in finding our ‘definite chief aim’ and should support us in carrying it out.

    When we look at great inventors (aka entrepreneurs) such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison etc. we can see: they had but little schooling, or what we like to call ‘education’. Our problem is that we reduce the meaning of the word ‘education’ too often to what we learn in school, no matter how useful that is in the end.

    As Napoleon Hill said:

    “An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialized knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.”

    *That’s* what sounds like education to me.

    Happy new natal year, Tim!

    Best regards from Greece,


    1. Hello Tim,

      In addition to my comment from July 25th, 2013, 2:32 am what education means to me (“nothing, if….”), see here my proof of how I shared. Not thousands and thousands but it’s something (over 2000 direct contacts that can work as multipliers), plus: my posts are getting shared until the deadline.


      (that’s a private link where I uploaded screenshots as proof of how I shared)

      Best regards from Greece,


      PS: Not because it might make a difference but because I want to help, I donated as well (you’ll also find a screenshot under the above link).

  65. Dear Tim! all the best for your birthday! Great initiative…I donated, fbooked, and gave info to friends and family from Poland (200 people), also through my small Poznan Foundation which aims it’s actions at culture and education. To me, education means giving people a chance to see, feel and understand the world better. Education also means giving people inspiration and tools that will enable them to change the world! Starting with small causes – close to home, finishing with initiatives like this one! Thanks!

  66. Happy birthday Tim !

    I think I can help reach your stretch goal for your birthday gift.

    I owe you that : I’ve just come back from traveling for 5 1/2 months around the world, working a day a week (less than 12 hours, down from 80+ two years ago), and my company is more profitable than before I left.

    I think everybody deserves access to clean water, and during my trip around the world (esp. India) I could see how dire the conditions of life can get if you don’t enjoy access to water, education, and entrepreneurship.

    I’ll certainly post a “contest entry” later. First I’m going to sketch my plan to help you get to that 100k ! I can pull a few strings.


  67. To me education means inspiring others to do great thing they thought they could never do.

    Also will promote at work as I have a few Ethiopians working for me. I’m sure they will get a kick out of what your achieving.

  68. To me, education means…OPPORTUNITY. When you raise your level of awareness through education, there are boundless opportunities for you to not only break out of your cycle of poverty but to live an extraordinary life.

    I’ve posted your link to all of my social media outlets (15k+ followers/subcribers), and sent to editors at the NY Times, WSJ, and HuffPo.

    Happy Birthday Tim!

  69. Tim, I think you’re a rock star! I will post this message on LinkedIn for all my 700+ followers will to read. I will continue to repost so everyone has a chance to be part of this wonderful thing you’ve started. My LinkedIn followers are generous, action-takers – they will contribute and pay it forward. You can count on us.

    My God, the things we take for granted – water. Thank you for all that you’re doing to change our world.

    I love you, Tim. Happy Birthday!


  70. To me, education means the freedom to learn anything you want – access to learning tools – learning accessability.

  71. To me, education means opportunity.

    In Africa, we have a saying: Water is life. Water is the essential life force. Without it, it’s impossible to get an education, and education, as you said, is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. You’ve chosen an issue so close to my heart this year. Thank you for bringing attention to this issue. I’ve run a drinking water project in Cameroon since 2008 through Engineers Without Borders, and we have helped over 10,000 get access to clean water. This water project has reduced illness in the village so that kids have fewer absences from school, and parents have to miss less work. Education is the key to creating opportunity for yourself, and I firmly believe that when all children have access to clean water and schooling that Africa will begin to rise from poverty.

    Thanks again so much for what you do! I will forward your post to my network.

  72. Tim, Great idea, and what a great cause. I tweeted the link to your blog post.

    Happy birthday!


  73. To me education means, self-improvement and empowerment(where-in you are able to improve and empower the world and others around you), building of community and connection to others. I posted this link to my facebook page, tweeted it and I will also send it out in my email campaign!

  74. Education is a person’s process of perception of its place in the surrounding reality. Education widens and deepens your perception as well as allows you to understand better who you are.

    I spread the word on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

  75. “To me education means getting skillful at recognizing and expanding our relevant piece of the common database of human knowledge we all share, wherever we are and whatever tools we own we have no excuse for not collecting, exchanging and adding on to this world heritage.”

    I shared this and would definitely love to meet up with you in SanFrancisco if this was chosen


  76. Hi Tim

    Just to let you know, I tried to donate but have been experiencing technical difficulties with the mycharity: water website. Credit card denied 3 times with the message:

    “Sorry, we were not able to process your transaction”

    Wanted to let you know as if other people are experiencing the same issue then it will be seriously stunting the total of donations.

    Good luck


  77. Thanks Tim for inspiring us in giving back and best wishes for your birthday. You never know how such acts of kindness turns into unexpected timely help exactly when we need it which we term as Miracle. 🙂

    Can you add more options to share like Google+ and Tumblr?

  78. Truly an awesome and inspiring way to celebrate your birthday! I just donated, and shared your link on FaceBook and Twitter! 🙂

    To me, education means getting a treasure map to finding the knowledge and information that is all around us. Education helps us open our minds to the possibilities! Like a child finding the buried treasure marked in the map, education helps us realize and reach our potential in ways we can’t imagine, or describe! Life is full of possibilities and education helps us achieve all that potential within us, and then some… 🙂

  79. To me, educations means freedom. The ability to better oneself, to become whatever you would like to become. No circumstances can dictate just how enriched your life can be by becoming more educated. Knowledge is something that can never be taken away from you once you accumulate it. Being a Brazilian immigrant, I feel extremely grateful for having the opportunity to study in great schools here in the US. It really did setup the foundation for my achievements in life thus far.

    At one point, I even contemplated starting a “University on Audio” where folks that were extreme commuters could get an education while driving to work or taking care of their families.

    This is a great cause, Tim. You have such strong followers because you always know how to give back. Congratulations on yet another successful campaign!

    I hope to have helped a bit. Aside from my small donation, I shared your email with family members, coworkers, and friends; I also posted it on FB



  80. Donated and reposted on Facebook & on my blog. Thinking about doing a blog. But man why this month! My brother in law, Felix, is running for Mayor of Boston and I gotta help him out too. I absolutely love they don’t charge administration fees. Keep doing the good work.

    1. To me education means… hmm… hold on I’m sure I know the answer to this. Why is there a test? 😛 Education means to me self-knowledge, revealing one’s own limitations and leaving them behind, gaining knowledge, losing limitations.

  81. To me Education is the weapon of mass correction which is unfortunately not used properly. I live in Syrian Arab Republic in one of the most dangerous cities in the world “Aleppo”. It’s been two years of hard conflict here and it’s become hard for most students to continue their education especially after my architecture school got bombed on 15 January 2013.

    But as Mark Twain said : “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

    so I don’t stop reading and learning from other sources.

    Then I read an article about You on Lifehacker (How I work series) and I started reading your books and saw your talk in TED and that changed a lot in my way of thinking.

    So now I say Happy Birthday to you from all my heart and may the best of your past be the worst of your future .

    I really want to donate but since I live in Syria I can’t 🙁 but I’ll make sure to share this on social media . Thank you

  82. Tim, been reading books and following your blog, but this post is really encouraging and puts a smile on my face. Thank you for the work that you are doing and using your influence to help make the world a better place.