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. Happy Birthday! May you have a wonderful one. I can;t wait for where you will be in life this time next year and all the things you cook up in the months between.

    Education, for me, is the catalyst that drives any outcome that is deemed “good” and positive (I shall save you a definition for those terms and leave it to your wisdom); for the betterment and advancement of humanity; worth living and ultimately dying for so as to make room and pave the way for others to be cultivated by it.

  2. To me, education means a gift and a tool. If you are fortunate enough to receive the gift, you need to use it in the correct way to maximise it’s effectiveness.

    I will put details of Water in my shop at Kew Gardens, London. A million visitors come to The Gardens here every year so even if a small % see the information it will be v beneficial. Posting information to Facebook (350 friends worldwide) and other social media sites.

    I am a graduate of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. I can help or assist in the

    growing of plants (food and crops) for these communities, so they leverage the use of their water. Happy to take a bit of action! 🙂


  3. To me, education means taking control.

    Taking control of your thinking.

    Taking control of your actions.

    And ultimately taking control of your life.

    I gathered the best dancers I could find to help me out with this clip (did everything myself, filming, dancing, editing, sound etc. best video I made so far haha):

    I tried using the whole dance community network and you can find the video on the following FB-groups:

    http://www.facebook.com/bboyworld (230.000+ likes)

    http://www.facebook.com/r16korea (75.000+ likes)

    http://www.facebook.com/Strife.tv (20.000+ likes)

    Tim, I’ve been following your work since the 4HWW and been a fan for many years. I always wanted to do something back but never really knew how to do something of value. I think this videoclip is my way of saying thank you.

    Next to that, I never really reached out doing something for a good cause, and now that I’ve did, I’m surprised of all the positive reactions I get!

    Tim, the work you’ve done makes you larger than life, I hope you keep inspiring and educating people the way you do right now.

    Hope to meet one day,

    Alexander Dziri

  4. Hi,

    I donated and posted my entry for the competition on the 30th explaining what education means for me and what I have don in terms of measurable online marketing for the charity.

    I can not see the post below and just want to ask if it has been received.

    Just to follow up Yesterday (31st) I again sent out a request on Twitter, LinkedIn and FB to visit the link on my Blog. I also sent out an email to all contacts and added the link to the charity on my signature on a 3rd email account.

    All the Best


    1. Update:

      I searched for Jimi Clarke and found this link to a different page:


      This is what I posted on the 30th:

      To me, education means . . . That it (academic or life) provides an individual with experience and knowledge that help in lateral and critical thinking. This can be used for a career focus or reaching other personal goals and aspirations. But most importantly it will widen ones horizon to posibilities and openmindedness. Hopefully it will also make one realize how much there is to learn and that could have a rather humbeling effect making one a more collected and positive person.

      With out education I could not have done the following to promote the



      I created a Blog post How do you feel when you are thirsty?

      This Blog is backlinked to a wide network of social media and serve as my “keep current” site to stay on first page on Google.

      I then used my Windows phone that is tying in all my online presence and posted a request to visit my blog post. This request was sent to LinkedIn, Twitter and FaceBook.

      I also added the link to the charity on my Email signature on my Live account and also on my Windows phone account.

      I have screenshoots from my blog showing traffic saved from today that can be compared with later dates to see if my emarketing worked or not. (I have 30 hits in 40 min so far)

      Today 1st of August I have repeated the marketing from yesterday.

      Hope this project works out well.

      All the best Jimi

  5. To me, education means to be given an equal chance, to make a difference, a positive impact and live a life fulfilled. It’s about putting our trust and hopes in our next generation to be better than us and do more.

    I’ve been having a great month with a new paleo app I recently released and I thought it would be a great opportunity to give something back. Therefore, I ran a promotion in my eShop and I’m giving away the days profits to the campaign.

    I share my results here: http://bit.ly/1chm3dj – the promotion was to over 9,000 eShop subscribers, over 7,300 Facebook and 13,000 twitter.

    1. I wanted to add something my husband says, who is a science/math teacher at an amazing publicly (under)funded charter school.

      It levels the playing field. It did for him.

  6. To me, education is the gift of reflection, given by the teacher to the student. I like that education and water have been associated in this challenge. Water reflects, of course . . . at least, the surface-part of if it does. If a viewer looks into that mirror–whether it’s the surface of a puddle, or of a bubble in a spring-fed pool–she sees herself in the context of the facts around her.

    To me, education threatens to get philosophical and poetical without much prodding. Fortunately, education can also be funny. To me, education is a gift of time. Splitting into two (or more) selves is not the most efficient way to deal with facts. At the same time, observing in reflection is often the only way to deal with facts. To me, education is the place to deal with this conundrum.

    While in reflection, the student might notice a small jellyfish pulsing along, one that has gotten caught up in the littoral zone at the wrong moment. It remains, for the time being, trapped in the tidepool beneath her nose. This cnidarian interferes with the student’s reflected image, and distracts from her study of the alga she has been dispatched to identify.

    Jellyfish are lovely things, and have been for a very long time, the teacher might tell the student. Scientists do not know exactly how long these little tissues have been organizing themselves delicately around sea water. We are still working to learn this. We do surmise that jellyfish were among the first things to flex their muscles in the ocean.

    This student might then recognize that she is made up of tissues. And, while water comprises less of the student than it does of the jellyfish, the student is also mostly water.

    To me, the jellyfish is a living bubble. Can any bubble be said to have tissue? One time, I met this guy named Jellyfish who gave me some pink gum. He said to me, ”Man, you talk like a weird-ass bird.” Then he threatened my life with Eternal Life. Reflections held in reflection. What is education again?

    I am mindful of Donald McQuade’s advice that perhaps the most significant thing that the writing teacher can do is to “highlight repeatable successes.” Too often in the humanities, I see teachers praise only what they think of as original ideas, thinking novelty is the only antidote to rote learning and standardized testing. Conversely, one of my more impressive teacher-friends does his best to point out to his students when they say something that he thinks he’s heard before. Especially if Socrates beat them to the idea, or Thomas Jefferson, or e.e. Cummings. The students like that, and also the idea sticks.

    To me, education is the thing that guides the mind’s eye around in the world.

    A student must ultimately be her own teacher, of course. I learned all of this somewhere, and still have many questions. I think all of us life-long learners should find ourselves and our ideas reflecting off of the other thinkers in the world. Good citizens, then, take that learning one step further, and use it to make our world better. To me, education is the conversation that makes this happen.

    Thank you, Tim Ferriss, for the opportunity to participate. I have made a donation in the spirit of the prompt, and have, as straightforwardly as possible, asked my friends to do the same. Happy birthday!

  7. (warning: long post ahead, sorry about that Tim. quick intro: I’m a 15 year old boy turning 16 this year, in about 21 days time)

    To me, education means the constant pursuit of self-improvement in spite of obstacles put in your way, from disgruntled school teachers to your own physical disabilities. Education is a word that holds great importance to me as this year has been an arduous struggle through teenagehood and life as a whole. Education means opening yourself up to new perspectives, such as:

    1. Learning not to believe the dogma other people preach

    2. Learning to make my own decisions and take responsibility for the consequences

    3. Learning to take full responsibility of your own education and life (a slight variation of point 2, but I believe it’s distinct and ought to be said)

    But most importantly, I believe education can be summed up in a single sentence, which I’ve already written above:

    Education is the constant pursuit of self-improvement and growth despite whatever obstacles are in your way.

    That’s about it, though that definition can go really, really deep.

    Now, some examples! The past 2 years for me have been a crazy ride through teenagehood, and my definition of what education is has been truly shaped by all things I’ve experienced in them.

    Point 1 (testing assumptions):

    This year, I learnt how to speak basic Spanish and French and can finally understand Chinese tones and pronounciation (my mother tongue) after years of struggling in Chinese classes and not being able to hold even a basic conversation. I recently managed to connect with my grandmother for the first time in my life speaking to her in Chinese and learning about my heritage, and can hold 3-5 minute conversations in French, with the occasional English word slipping in. (*Note: it is hilarious when you’re talking to a Swiss and attempt to say a sentence in German, but find out she’s a Francophone and surprise her by talking to her in French and actually get complimented for your pronounciation!)

    -Point 2 (learning to forgive yourself for your own stupidity):

    I went into a physically crippled state for more than half a year with back and knee injuries [saphynous nerve entrapment through overzealous overstretching , blew out my sacral ligaments and disrupted my own sacral rhythm (through bad lifting technique) that left me with daily episodes of back pain and knee pain for months along with some pretty bad depression] and I only began to fully recover psychologically and physically once I accepted that it was my youthful idiocy that led me to destroy my own body, and I’ve gained a huge amount of knowledge from it and could probably pass for a half-baked physiotherapy student (my physiotherapist’s words, not mine). It was a very painful lesson, but a lesson well learnt.

    -Point 3 (taking control of my own life)

    e.g I recently threw away rote-learning style 3-week intensive Chinese tuition camp during the summer holidays for a month-long retreat (turning my school holidays into a mini-retirement) into books (Michael Ellsberg, Seth Godin, your own books and your recommended reading list in 4HWW) and inner reflection returning to school in a new state of awareness and calmness like never before, while managing to rush out most of my school assignments on time*. At the same time, I’m setting up several websites that I hope can amount to something great with some time and loads of hard work

    *note: most of them.

    What did I do about your charity campaign? I’m turning 16 on 21st August, so instead of asking for presents and gifts, I appealed to all of my loved ones and close friends to contribute the money they might spend on my presents to put it into the charity instead (application of your favourite principle, the 80/20 rule). I also did share it on Facebook, but I don’t believe that had as much of an impact. After all, quality over quantity. I’ve managed to get quite a few people in my inner circle to contribute to your cause, so I do think it’s worked decently!

    And what would I do with the plane ticket… I’d love to go over to San Francisco for an awesome dinner where I can show you the stuff I learnt through The 4-Hour Chef, and test out your Mandarin Chinese skills 🙂 I also plan on actually picking your brain apart (on topics you haven’t been picked apart on) and will share all of that information online with other people who might be just as interested in those topics

    To anyone who’s read this far, thanks for reading! In the modern world we live in today, not many people can spare the time to read the words of some teenager living in Southeast Asia.

    And to Tim, even if you don’t pick me to be in the top 5, I just want to say thank you so much for everything. For shattering the dogmatic grips of society on my mind, for inspiring me to reconnect with my mother tongue, for the awesome information in 4HWW, 4HC and 4HB (including that chapter (you know which one I’m referring to). I’m only 16, but that’s gonna come in useful someday for sure…)

    Above all other things, here’s the hard sell ending* which I don’t do very often (a certain someone’s words…)

    PICK ME.

    *note: I’m doing the hard sell because I’m assuming in accordance with the 80/20 rule, 80% of people who will comment on this blog post will not explicitly push to be chosen, but only 20% will. I’m hoping that this 20% who push to be picked will become part of the 80% of the 5 people you’re choosing…

    1. Can’t believe I forgot to sign off!

      Yours sincerely,

      Chris, a teenage Singaporean on the cusp of the beautiful and chaotic 21st century.

      1. Prodigy in the making. Your in the flow Chris, great things are coming you way.

  8. Education to me is learning how to learn. It’s not just about the information you gain while in a classroom but about learning where to acquire knowledge, how to retain it, and when to apply it. You never stop learning but knowing how and what to do with that knowledge is what I think true education is about. With that a person can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.

    Created a blog post here: http://www.onpurposeadventures.com/blog/lifestyle-design-while-changing-the-world

    1,680 views, 111 tweets, 1.1k Facebook Likes, 1.3k Linkedin Shares

    Shared direct link/blog post on the Following Facebook Pages as admin posts not comments.

    https://www.facebook.com/OnPurposeAdventures – 1,560 Fans

    https://www.facebook.com/HolyCityHooligans – 6,567 Fans

    https://www.facebook.com/rUNdead5k – 1,406 Fans

    https://www.facebook.com/AdventDesigns 1,437 Fans

    https://www.facebook.com/MyPositivePerspective 1,343 Fans


    https://twitter.com/adventdesigning – 698 Followers

    https://twitter.com/OnPurposAdvntrs – 329 Followers

    Shared on personal facebook page 645 friends and LinkedIn 153 connections

  9. To me, education means everything. In my youth, when I was not a big fan of school, my father once told me, “life is a race to see who can read the most books.” What he meant by this was that to truly live a fulfilling life, you must constantly be learning and absorbing knowledge wherever you can gather it from. That hunger to continuously learn is what leads to greater experiences, interactions, and quality of life. Education, formal or informal, is what sets humans apart from every other species on earth. The ability to think, grow, learn, and experience allows us to develop and evolve. Much of this knowledge can come in the form of a book, but there is a large part of learning that happens outside the walls of a classroom; outside the bindings of a book.

    My father is a brilliant man; however, I would like to revise his statement slightly to “life is a race to see who can have the most experiences.” When I look at the times in my life when I learned the most, either about the world or about myself, it was the experiences that put me outside my comfort zone and pushed my limits that brought me the greatest knowledge and understanding. It is in those times that we learn and grow the most.

    These boundary-widening experiences can be anything from trying to read a book once a month, to trying to understand a subject you have always struggled with, to visiting a foreign country, to starting a business, to simply calling your grandmother and telling her you want to have lunch with just her. When you push yourself (read: continuously learn), you discover a new part of yourself. This quest for further knowledge becomes both an outward and inward process. The more you learn about your surroundings and new experiences, the more you impact yourself internally. Be cautioned though….you can never go back. Once you have started this experiential learning process, you will not be able to stop. Continuing to learn through experiences becomes as addicting as flipping the pages of a novel.

    The point is, education—the process or action of being educated resulting in increased knowledge or development—is what makes us who we are. Education can be different for everyone and it’s what makes everyone different; that is the beauty of it. For me, it means everything. It means learning more about the world and myself each and every day.

    “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

    Happy Birthday Tim. Im a long time reader, but first time post-er. What I great thing you are doing for your birthday. You are truly making a difference.

    I donated and posted a link to your blog and cause on my facebook (922 friends) and twitter (275 followers) two separate times.

  10. To me, education means death, because without it you’re dead. There are enough resources on the planet to achieve the loftiest of ambitions, let alone the simple things like food & clean water for those who lack it; it’s just that we, humanity, can’t see how to solve these problems yet… that’s where education comes in. By education I don’t mean college degrees and lectures in some stuffy cloister from two centuries ago… really to me, education means a personal commitment to learning how to live one’s own life, to solve one’s own problems and to grow into a more effective and free being. Why is education the way to save the world? Because by freeing a person’s mind, we unleash the greatest power ever known; that of the brave and free individual.

    Happy Birthday Tim, and thanks for helping me to become more brave and free!

    Alex Pryka

    For Promotion:

    I can’t compete with the social media Gurus on Tim’s mailing list, so I won’t. But if I’m selected by the voters for dinner with Tim and a trip around the world, I will:

    Work a full work-week to get a Charity: Water Ad in Times Square and significant media coverage her in NYC. Estimated fund raise $20,000+. Last fund-raising project I raised $30,000 for a short film.

    Donate 10% of my year 3 August profits of the FinTech Startup I’m working on here in NYC. Just started the project, but this will be HUGE!!!

    Donate $536 the day I get an email from Tim inviting me for dinner and offering me a trip around the world.

    Also, today, August 2nd is my birthday!!! Wink wink!!! I think you can guess what I want!!!

    (PS, just so I technically qualify by sharing what I DID and not just what I will do, I shared this with 629 of my friends on Facebook… hope everyone liked it!)

  11. To me, education means to have better skills, and resources to pursue opportunities/passions to fulfill oneself first and in turn be able to give back to the world by extending his/her hands to provide opportunities for betterment for other people, no matter how big or small the act.

    I have been working on a potential MUSE, and have been trying to figure out how to give back in the future once it launches-hopefully- if everything goes well. Before it launches, however, your birthday charity, Tim, would absolutely be a great cause to get involved with!

    I have posted your Charity Water link on our instagram page, hashtagging whatever I could think of to better expose this cause and telling people to comment on it, telling me whatever they did to make your project a success- no matter how big or small the act. I shared it with our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr page. Moreover, I made a dedicated page on our website to your Charity Water Page entitled “Giving Back.”

    I also shared it on my personal Facebook page!

    I have also donated $25 to a Charity Water Cause that was done by a friend of mine just a couple weeks ago. I also donated $25 to your Charity Water Cause as well.

    Your book and 2 others have affected my life in a lot of ways; I’m taking a detour, and I have no clue how it will end up, but my eyes are opened to the potential of my dreams. So Thank You!

    Best Wishes! Your Project is already a great Success!

    -Mark Cimafranca

  12. hi Tim, great initiative. I´m about to board on a flight when I saw this, so I had to be quick.

    Email blast o all my email list 5500 people, can post open rates latter, usually about 20%

    Facebook biz post 3500 likes http://www.facebook.com/mytweetybeauty (my biz was created after reading your book!)

    Facebook personal post, 700+ friends

    I didnt have time to donate but I will as soon as I have internet again

    To me, education means choice. The more you know, the more choice you have to be who you want to be.

    1. Ok, so now I see I forgot to say Happy Birthday Tim!! I was the last one to board in the flight so I have some kind of excuse.

      I manage to make a donation of $36. As usual, creative way to celebrate your birthday and life.

      Again I have to thank you, I only have my business and now working in front of the beach thru 3G because of you. You have helped so many of us realise there was another path, your book is my first advice to any person looking for a different kind of life, you must have sold quite a few to my friends and anyone I meet while traveling around!

      be well


  13. Hi Tim, I have made a video about Charity: water and asked a couple of my family, friends and colleagues to feature in it telling me what educations means to them. I sent the link to your blog post to all my contacts via LinkedIn and Facebook explaining about your mission.

    To me educations means growth. It is a powerful tool. As a university student studying something unrelated to what I want to go on to do, I see it as a platform for my future as it is the transferable skills that are important. As a passionate linguist, the languages i have learnt have broadened my mind to other cultures and ways of life. Just as water nurtures the body, education nourishes and broadens the mind. Good luck with the rest of the fundraising! I donated $36, I’m only a student after all!

  14. “What does education mean to you?”

    To me, education means to be a Life Changing Tools.

    We all knew that not everyone on the earth born in the country/environment which come with a proper education system/oppurtunity.

    There are still alot of peoples who are struggle for education so that they can Change. A simple “Change” word mean everything, a “Move on” to where they want to be, to who they want to be.

    Hi Tim Ferriss, I posted to my social media and spread it among my circle and family. Hope this help. Cheers

  15. Happy birthday Tim! I was happy to make a donation, AND my company matched it! I also spread the word on social media, and I’m hoping this helped based on the number of followers I have:

    Facebook: 1,338 (and an additional 58 subscribers)

    Twitter: 3,761

    LinkedIn: 500+

    Google+: 1,570

    To me, education means nurturing people’s natural gifts to help them make a career and life out of utilizing those gifts. I’ve been very moved by Ken Robinson’s TED talks about education and creativity, and I think we need to do something about the way we teach creativity and encourage future generations to be themselves and contribute their gifts to the world. If there’s an organization doing work like this, I’d love to know more about it and support it.

  16. To me, education means financial and spiritual freedom. It expands the mind to see all possibilities and it opens the heart to understand them.

    Education is a friend, confidence, lifelong inquisitiveness. It’s a craving, an understanding, a desire for more. It highlights the world in more layers and colors than our brain can comprehend. It makes life exciting regardless of your age! Happy Birthday Tim. Xo

    I’ve made a $36 donation in celebration of your Birthday. I’ve posted your link on my Facebook page. Additionally, if I win I choose dinner in San Francisco with you. WARNING….I have a healthy appetite! 😉

    Many Blessings,


  17. To me, education means the gift of hope and possibility. While something as simple as water is both crucial and life giving, it is a life with hope and possibility that is worth living. The type of cognitive shift required to jump from a survival mindset to one of potential is a huge undertaking, be it for an individual or an entire population. Education exists to foster that environment- it is the freedom that allows for the growth in an individual and a culture- without that growth, without that understanding of possibility, the chance at a better life (for everyone) is lost.

    I posted the charity site to Facebook and donated as well. Happy birthday Tim, nice work (again) on using your super powers for good 🙂



  18. To me, education means…opportunity.

    Just donated.

    Shared your link via Twitter, Facebook & G+ on both my personal and business profiles (I used Buffer so I can track how many clicks and shares they get).

    I’m also sending emails (using Mail Chimp) to my friends and family who don’t do the social media thing.

    Happy Birthday Tim!

  19. To me, true education is to inspire curious minds and nurture the ability of continuous learning rather than memorizing, to deliver knowledge that help one to pursue what he/she wants to become.

    I just saw this on the last few hours so I …

    -Pleged my birthday on Charity: Water for raising money.

    -Shared the content on all the SNS websites I have an account with as below:

    “Normal life is thirsty when I sit on my butt refreshing facebook pages without bothering to fetch myself a glass of water. At the same time there’re millions of women and kids in developing countries walk thousand miles each day just to collect clean water.Solution is simple: Build a well. How hard can that be, we can do something about it right? Donate, Support, or Pledge your birthday,I just pledged mine :)”

    -Wrote to responsible officials of the university on the issue of promoting this event.

    -is planning to do a presentation on this topic on a highly potential future occasion.

    I adore you dude.

    Happy belated birthday!

  20. To me, education means to objectively study the past, to use imagination to experiment with futures, and to use what you’ve learned to act in the present.

    I retweeted and donated 36 bucks. Here’s to more clean drinking water!!!

  21. To me, education means a doorway to infinite possibilities. Education has resonated with me just about my entire life, being that my mother is an educator. I love to learn new things, no matter how important, and I love to read. If it wasn’t for a solid education and strong parental backing, I probably would not be who I am today.

    Education goes beyond just knowing a lot of things. Knowledge that can be put into action is true power. Education broadens the imagination and thinking capacity. Not many people think about how much reach education has, until you look at how many aspects of life education contributes to.

    Going to college was a big eye-opener to me. I never expected to find people my age, and older, that could barely read and write, and they were in college. This finding has stayed with me for many years and has made me pay even more attention to education on all levels, worldwide.

    I found one of my purposes in life to be teaching others new things. I’m not a teacher, formally, but I’m always open to share what I have come to know with anyone willing to learn. I have made education and literacy my mission, so much so that I formed a company (less than a month old) to benefit efforts worldwide.

    Tim, I love what you’ve done, and what you continue to do. Your books (I have all three) have had a huge impact on my life. I’m glad you’ve pledge your birthday with charity: water. I donated $100, and though it’s not much, I know that many will be helped through the combined campaign. I have shared the link to your campaign on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Reddit accounts, and on my website’s blog.

    Thank you so much, Tim, and Happy Birthday!

  22. To me, education means power, growth and possibility.

    charity: water is a great organization and I wanted to do something that would have a bigger impact than me pleading with my friends and collegues. Using the ideas in the Four Hour Work Week and previous posts on the Four Hour blog on connecting with important people, I reached out to former Shopify Build-a-Business winners. Four of them agreed to do interviews to help fundraise. These are all impressive people who have taken action, and it’s great to learn more about how they built their businesses. All who donate get access to the interviews. A few focused emails was all it took. Now I’m reaching out to contacts to help spread the word.

    I haven’t reached my target for the fundraise yet, but this was never something just done for the prospect of a free ticket, though travelling is nice. The fundraise is open until October, and until it closes I’m using the leverage to raise more. After all, $100k is not the ceiling, just a milestone.

    – Isabelle

  23. This is a right format,and a better version:

    To me, education means to channel curiosity to continuous learning and to inspire creativity and nurture humanity inside every one.

    What matters is to teach people how to fish rather than giving them the fish. Knowledge is power only when it makes a difference in people’s life,helping one on the way of pursuing what he/she truly wants to become.

    I saw this article just in the last couple of hours before deadline so here’s what I did.

    -Pleged my birthday on Charity: Water for raising money.

    -Shared the content on all the SNS websites I have an account with as below:

    “Normal life is thirsty when I sit on my butt refreshing facebook pages without bothering to fetch myself a glass of water. At the same time there’re millions of women and kids in developing countries walk thousand miles each day just to collect clean water.Solution is simple: Build a well. How hard can that be, we can do something about it right? Donate, Support, or Pledge your birthday,I just pledged mine :)”

    -Wrote to responsible officials of the university on the issue of promoting this event.

    -is planning to do a presentation on this topic on a highly potential future occasion.

    These were nothing compared to some thousand dollar fundraiser, but I’m glad I’ve tried my best.

    Happy belated birthday,Tim!

  24. Hi Tim,

    Such a lovely cause. Donated and tweeted out to my 2K followers twice, along with a share on my FB pages. I’ve got 3. It’s a great cause and I love drinking water — why shouldn’t the rest of the world enjoy what we Americans take for granted.

  25. I would like to win so I could take my 12 yr old son on an adventure and see how people in other parts of the world live each day. We spoil him and I would like him to see how other 12 yr old live in need. Plus it could be a great bonding trip for us. I love the 4hr ww and have inspired my brother and others to read it.


    Bryan and Spencer

  26. To me education means everything and this should be accesible to every person on this planet, no matter what income, race or origin. It gives a broad perspective and with given a good education we can make this world a better place for ourselves and our future offspring. It is time to act now!

  27. To me, education means the ultimate form of empowerment. This is not as simple as ‘…teach a man to fish.’ Rather – teach a man, woman, and child to think, hope, dream, love, and most importantly, do.

    Teach her the awesome power of free thinking and expression. Teach her the power of information, the confidence it inspires, and how that can be utilized in a way to turn the potential into kinetic. Teach her what inspiration means to her. Gift her with the opportunity to treat every day and every relationship like a learning experience. And perhaps most importantly, teach her that the education process is among the most grueling and rewarding activities she’ll ever embark on…and that it never, ever ends.

    I donated and sent this to my contacts who I trust would find the same kind of inspiration in this as I do.

    Tim, I mentor for a program called Streetwise Partners in San Francisco. We serve as confidants for folks who are typically low income, ESL, and looking for work. We empower them with the knowledge required to build opportunities for themselves in the modern workforce. As an avid reader of your material, I think you could really connect with this program in a deeply meaningful way: http://www.streetwisepartners.org/volunteer/

    **Any other local SFers, we’re looking for mentors for September!**

  28. To me, education means the growth of one’s mind, an expansion of one’s vision as well as an instillment of discipline. And with that comes strength and power. As an English teacher for three years, nothing beats a student with an intense desire to learn. So perhaps, that’s what it’s all about… a means to find one’s own happiness.

    Happy birthday, Tim! I’ve notified my running friends about your charity through Facebook. We are on our third week of marathon training (we’re running the Philly one in November) and we’re all pretty much running for ourselves. So I said, “Why not run for a great cause?” We’ll be raising money for it. I will set up something this weekend. As someone who was born in the Philippines (and I went to the hospital when I was 5 because I drank unclean water), this cause is important for me.

  29. Tim…what an awesome project….gift to the world …. you have created! I pledged next birthday too….which is December the 9th. I’ll be in Mexico and probably visiting the iguanas in Tulum. Love those ancient spirits.

    I’ve facebooked and twittered. I copied the url and will post on my business facebook. I’ll also email my friends. Keep well and have a great birthday…what a great feeling to put this in motion! Namaste

    And scanning messages below : Eduction to me means living with eyes open, ears cocked and an open heart. Alert, Aware and Happy. 🙂 Peace.

  30. First off Happy Birthday man!

    I shared this on my personal FB profile, and on twitter with one of my bigger accounts. I’ll send off a donation when I get back in tonight, as I’m on the way out the door to pickup a birthday gift for the wife (her’s is on Monday)…


    To me, education means…freedom. I got my undergrad in Social-Psych and have always been fascinated by ‘why we do what we do’…this freedom I speak of allows me to better understand myself and others. While the degree was fun and all, my self directed education in the last few years has allowed me to grow in compassion and has stirred the desire to help more.

    For many, education can also mean freedom in the way that it may (industry specific of course)…allow them to climb through to some level of success (monetary or otherwise).

    Well thanks again for being awesome, esp on ‘your day.’ High five to a bodhisattva warrior…

    PS: If by some crazy chance my number was picked in this contest. Save the round-trip money and donate it to the cause. I’m only a few hours south in SLO county and could drive up for dinner or lunch…which would be awesome.

  31. I did it! I donated $36 to Charity:Water for Tim’s Birthday! Really excited that this funding is going to Ethiopia because my co-worker just adopted two awesome 8 year-old after years of waiting. Tweeted and shared and had my company do the same, especially since we are in the business of water too- frozen Antarctic water. Everyone deserves clean water!

  32. To me, education means expansion of one’s view coupled with the spark of curiosity. To allow one to expand upon their way of thinking and see further potential in action.

    Also, I’ve passed word of this on via facebook. Often people are concerned with the connect of charities. Its great to see that this is going straight to the core.

  33. To me, education means learning effective problem solving.

    Shared your post on FB.

    Happy Birthday, Tim!

    (from Hungary)

  34. To me, education means… growth. You can be educated by others, your own trials, your own failures, other people’s successes – our own success, and it all leads to a growth in knowledge and experiences.

  35. To me, education means the difference of now and the future.

    Education is the key for a better world by changing the people mind, open opportunities, opens the people’s mind, gives tolerance, understanding, interest for other cultures. It gives awareness for how things a working in society, nature, and an understanding for what we all have in common in this world! It is stool enable people all around the world to care for themselves, make the world a little bit better.

    I think that there should be additional lessons in school that support more soft skills and also more awareness of what is really important in life. We seem to forget we all are human. There are boarders. And most problems we are handling with are no problems. Every person in this world should get as much education as possible. I think we could even stop the wars with that!

    My English is not the best, but I hope you understand…

    I only shared via Facebook as I saw it this night. In Germany it’s nearly midnight. But I hope it helps! To spread more! I donated that’s important. And you now, I try to use less water always I remember that water us really luxurious. Did you Kniw the king of the Netherlands has worked on the water problems on this earth a lot in the past. As I learned he seems to be a real expert!

    To win a round trip would be great! :)Also having Dinner with you, but important is, to help the people there!


  36. To me, education means sharing knowledge with someone and empowering that person to use that knowledge, improving his/her life or our society’s quality of life.

    This is a great idea! I’ve had a few friends do this recently and I plan to do the same for my next one (dirty 30!). I donated and shared this on Facebook.

    Happy Birthday! 🙂

  37. To me, education means you have a population that can think for themselves and question the status quo to turn negatives into positives and offer the next generation a life worth living.

    I promoted this awesome charity and cause via my personal Twitter account (@DianaShallard) and my business Facebook page & Twitter account (Facebook.com/EfficientSpaces & @EfficientSpaces)

    Best of luck in your quest to help Ethiopia get the clean water it deserves. And of course, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Tim!

  38. What does education mean to you? To me, education means learning from people you’d never meet in the normal course of your life. Everything we learn comes from other people and all the educational tools we use help us communicate what we’ve learned from each other’s lives, research, and exploration.

    I helped spread the word by tweeting my donation and encouraging my followers to do the same.

  39. To me, education means improving my thinking sufficient to break bread with you Tim in San Francisco and improving my thinking sufficient to make a significant contribution to the world 😉

    To quote Russel M Nelson, the surgeon that invented the machine to bypass the heart and lungs for open heart surgery:

    “Being educated is the difference between wishing you could do some good and being able to do some good.”

    Thanks Tim for introducing charity:water and for writing the 4 hour series. I’ve met my best friends through the course of life you put me on in the 4 hour workweek and continuously the most inspiring people I meet and connect with are fans of yours.


    As I jumped into this I ran across a quote by Scott Harrison about the actions to TRULY SOLVE the water crisis. He said:

    “We can imagine solving these problems by the inevitable math of these networks of people…”

    The inevitable math of the networks of people. I realized the most powerful approach would be the ones that tapped into exponential growth and intentionally influenced culture to cause repeated action and viral growth. I focused every strategy on applying the inevitable math of the networks of people for exponential growth!

    (I also bitly linked everything for the huge bonus points you mentioned)

    To start with, rather than make a donation and ask for individual donations, I split my test group donations into multiple donations.

    I saw that charity:water has had great success with direct media so I tapped into that by combining direct media power and broadcast power. I wanted Facebook for social multiplication but also needed the power of direct and specific communication so I determined how to combine the two synergistically.

    I went to Facebook and selected friends with upcoming birthdays because the birthday strategy is BRILLIANT and I wanted to piggy back on all the work done around it.

    I sent direct messages to friends with birthdays and posted on their walls a video and a link. I gave them my heartfelt appreciation for who they are (I have AWESOME friends) because of their inspiration I made a donation in their honor to provide a well in Ethiopia. Because of them a village would have crystal clear drinking water for generations to come. I told them to follow the link for a special message to them which took them to the message and the donate page.

    I wanted to see if my friends would regive. Sure enough, The first one came back encouraging others to give and that she had given $36. BOOM!

    1. MULTIPLYING the original donation and tapping the “inevitable math”

    2. Landed a targeted high potential NEW BIRTHDAY DONOR on the donate page who was enjoying a powerful emotional experience and is now invested into a charity:water well in their name. HIGH candidate for creating their own campaign, THE ULTIMATE DUPLICATION, to actually multiply what you Tim have done, donating a birthday over individual donation. This is a dramatic multiplying of the small donation given in their honor.

    3. Charity water now has expanded their email list

    4. The fb experience is no longer a broadcast. It plants charity:water right in the middle of a dramatic, touching emotional exchange of respect and generosity between two friends that the audience knows personally. HUGE social proof and cultural reinforcement.

    First round total SUCCESS! Not only multiplying and leveraging what would have been a straight donation but massive social proof and establishing a new cultural behavior to give to charity:water in another persons name. I wanted to reinforce that even more.

    Here are the kinds of posts shared:

    My dear friend Ashley Webb made a birthday donation in my honor to bring clean drinking water to Ethiopia. This inspired me to make my own donation. What an awesome project ? Ya might want to check it out ?

    I gave in honor of Richie Norton, Author of The Power of Starting Something Stupid (Fantastic book, endorsed by Seth Godin, Steve Forbes, Jack Canfield…)

    This is what he said on his Facebook wall:

    Wow! Wow! wow! That is the most thoughtful gift ever! You really are an inspiration! Thanks so much for thinking of me and for changing the world for good. I deeply appreciate it!!!

    A huge endorsement of charity:water right there to his entire tribe!

    That worked AWESOME!

    I wanted to take it a step further. I did the same thing again but this time I “seeded” the gifts. I made a $10 donation, followed all the same steps as before but also paypalled my friend $10 to give to their fb friends birthday so they could have the same wonderful experience of honoring a friend that would appreciate it.

    Now it is guaranteed to move forward one more person but when they get to the give page, the question is no longer “will you give” its “will you give more?” the giving is already seeded. Now its just a matter of bumping the number up 🙂

    I also passed the idea on to charity:water, they said it was fantastic 🙂

    If I win, in the next phase I would like to releverage and gamify the trip to anywhere in the world. I think you will like it 😉

    Thanks again Tim, you and people that follow you are the people that have encouraged and inspired me when I’ve struggled to keep going and to hold on to the vision to be free to live our dreams in life and enjoy this incredible world while doing as much good as possible in our time in it. Thanks for leading the way and giving us tools to free up the bandwidth to join you 🙂

    In Hopes Of Breaking Bread With You In San Francisco,

    Ashley Webb

  40. To me, education means having choices. And to a certain point the more education the more paths open up for a person to choose a meaningful future that can change not only one life but the lives of a community.

    Happy Birthday Tim! May all of your wishes come true.

    It’s awesome that you do this every year.

    Shared with 4900+ Twitter followers and 249 Facebook friends.

  41. To me education means helping other people make the most out of their life. From getting along better, to having a better life, creating value for themselves, their family, the community and the world.

    Which should end in being able to create their own happiness and help those around them to join in.

    Hopefully we will be able to help much more thru our products that will help purify the water and keep it that way for much more time that what we are able to do today

    I am promoting this amazing a generous idea thru Facebook

  42. What education means to me is resourcefulness. I connect the dots with all my learning experiences.

    My PhD doesn’t mean Phfinally Done because the resourcefulness, memories, friendships, discipline, and love of learning that I gained from my education continue on.


    I used Four Hour Work Week as my step-by-step guide to get donations—totaling well over $1000.00!

    (Page 11—“Have fun and let the rest follow.”) I got excited that I could help people get clean drinking water. Wow. Just writing that I get goose bumps. So, with fun as the leader I began . . .

    While everyone is Facebooking, tweeting, notifying their school bulletin boards, all of which I did, I read, (Page 11) “What if I did the opposite.”

    What weren’t people doing?

    (Page 49—“Contact seemingly impossible people to reach.”)

    I called CEO Charles Brock, of Brock Capital Group. He wrote a blurb for Tim’s book.

    The phone call went like this . . .

    Voice: “Hello.”

    Me: (surprised to not get voice mail): “Uh…Hi…May I please speak to Charles Brock.”

    Voice: “Speaking.”

    I wanted to say, “GET OUT! That was so easy! I can’t believe I got this big CEO on the horn, just like that, and with no gatekeeper!!!” But instead, I briefly (page 325—don’t ramble) spoke about Tim’s birthday charity. Charles was a delight! I emailed him the info. He replied, “I will do it!”

    I then called the next “seemingly impossible person to reach”—New York Times best selling author, Jack Canfield. I just called the number on his website. Pitched his friendly Director of Operations. Jack OK’d it. Badda bing. Badda boom!

    (Page 70—80/20 Principle.) Asking one person for $360, saves a frenzy of asking a lot of people for $36.

    (Page 50 “Fishing is best where fewest go . . . hit the home runs.”)

    I had done some work for Marc Ostrofsky. He’s a TV personality and New York Times best selling author of the marketing books, Get Rich Click, and now, Word of Mouse.

    I felt uncomfortable asking a client for $360.00 donation. (Page 63—Get out of your comfort zone.) Okay. Here goes. I took a deep breath . . . then hit the send button. Eeks!

    Mark replied with, “Happy to do that.” OMGosh. Home run!

    What happened next also totally wowed me!

    I got an email from Pete Williams of PreneurMarketing.com about a webinar. (Page 321—automate.) I hit reply using my automated email. Pete responded and donated $360.00!

    (Page 189—Google ad words) I contacted my virtual assistant about creating a Google ads campaign. He said he didn’t have enough time. I tried to explain Parkinson’s Law (page 77), but he wasn’t budging. I suck at Google ad words (page 208-know your weaknesses), so it’s a no-go with ad words. Movin’ on.

    (Page 129—Delegate.) I hired an elancer from India. I instructed him (page 152—give precise directions) to find contacts of the people who interviewed Tim from YouTube videos. I figured friends would be happy to give.

    (Page 179-microtest first.) I tested the idea. App mogul, Chad Muretta’s peeps responded right back with, “Thanks for reaching out! Chad just gave.”

    Silicon Valley investor, David Sze, also replied with, “Sure. Will do now.”

    So I hired the elancer to find more contacts. Friends were happy to give.

    Then I get an email from a bigwig who saw my Twitter. He was my third “seemingly impossible person” to contact. I was investigating his contact info, and then—he emailed me! GET OUT! Is that a coincidence or what! Dodododododo. (That’s the Twilight Zone theme.)

    He wrote, “Just responding to your tweet regarding Tim’s birthday wishes. Feel free to reach out directly.” (Will hear tomorrow.)

    Now I feel such deep gratitude for those people who donated, and joy for the people who will receive clean water. Happy Birthday Tim!

  43. I shared on Twitter, Twice On google+, and Twice on my Tumblr.

    To me, education is more that what you learn in a classroom or through text books. Education is everything that shapes you into who you are as a person. Whether that be teachers, experiences, traveling or reading. 🙂


    You’ve inspired me so much throughout my life and I am so thankful for you and your work!

    Lots of love from Tennessee,


  44. I hope it feels like 36 is the new 19 for you. I’m sharing the link to clean water with all my Facebook friends, because cleaning water is like unconditional bestowal. The cause must be shared, liked, appreciated, and acted upon. To me, education means that we are all connected. Without integral education there’s only a line drawn by what knowledge one has received in a lifespan. In America, education and knowledge should be understood as very different terms indeed. Education can be felt as integral because it may awake the point in the heart due to the fact that unconditional bestowal connects all people learning together, including teacher, students and everyone who participates. If knowledge is not as powerful as imagination, let me imagine what we can create by sharing unconditionally as a result of receiving an integral education.

  45. TO me education means: ONCE YOU LEARN SOMETHING, YOU CAN NOT UNLEARN IT. EDUCATION IS LIKE GIVING EYES TO THE BLIND, EARS TO THE DEAF AND A VOICE TO THE MUTE. The knowledge from an education is what can heal a bad childhood or early life and what can create the present and future life. Most importantly what you learn you can always share; and we are only truly happy when we give to others.

    I posted on facebook, and did a mass e-mailing to everyone on my personal e-mail list, and my business mailing list. I also promoted through the studio by passing out printed copies off your site. And what was left over I took the beach and scattered around local coffee hang outs.

  46. To me, education means being curious about the world around you, asking questions and then using your resources to come up with your own answers by testing and then sharing what you learned with others and getting their feedback. It’s making mistakes and refining your curiosity process. Educators aren’t really people, more like they‘re catalysts who activate other people’s curiosity.

    In regard to your instructions, I donated $36 to your birthday campaign and posted a message on Facebook and emailed my family and closer friends to donate.

    Oh and as an early bday present, check out this awesome water quote/song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGFf3SRP1bE


  47. To me, education means the limitless expansion of the potential of the human brain and spirit, and the heritage of knowledge of the human race being passed on and improved upon from generation to generation.

    Happy Birthday Tim! 🙂 I tweeted, facebooked, emailed, google +’ed and told everyone I knew about your charity:water campaign. You couldn’t have picked a better cause to donate your birthday to. I have taken 2 trips to Africa with an NGO that builds wells there where we traveled 14 hours into the sub-saharan wilderness to bring water to a community that had been drinking from nothing but bacteria and worm ridden ponds and puddles for generations. It was my job to document the journey and the success of the operation there and it was the most incredible experience of my life being able to pump the clean water for the villagers the day the first well opened. I’m sure your trip to Ethiopia was similar, so I know it no doubt changed your life and it’s so wonderful when high-profile individuals like yourself use your platform for good, so thank you so much for donating your birthday to the cause! Much love, Breezy

  48. To me, education means the right to live your life, the best way possible, the way it was meant to be lived.

    We are like flowers, and education is like water, we can only bloom if we get enough water.

    People are amazing, we all are, but only with proper education we can become aware of our surrounding and first of all, ourselves.

    It is the key to discovering our place on this planet, it’s a chance to change the world with our own hands. Not only our life but also life of others.

    Education is much more than just a knowledge we gain at school, it’s a tool that help us to define the purpose of our lives. It let us make conscious decision, about our future. The more we know, the more we can improve our life, the more we can help others.

    Just like you Tim, for your 36th birthday you could do anything, but thanks to your education, it was more important for you to do something for others than for yourself – you are the best example of education put in use. First, thanks to your education you became an entrepreneur, now you are able to help others.

    And that’s why I admire your work and would definitely go for a dinner with you, rather than a roundtrip to anywhere in the world. I can put my education in use and fly anywhere, but meeting with you would be a dream come true 🙂

    I have promoted this on facebook, and told all my friends obout it. But what’s most important I will keep it in my mind and heart, casue I do not want this to be only a once a year thing. I want to educate as many people as possible, so they are aware of the fact that there are millions of people crying for water. Education is also knowing how to help, and needs it the most.

    I will see you in San Francisco

  49. To me, education means knowledge and growth. Helping children grow to reach adulthood is a challenge in developing nations, and helping a child reach adulthood with an education is even more challenging. Education is the sun to grow our planet in a healthy direction.

    Spreading the word!!! Such a great idea for your b-day. I have pledge to do this form my b-day too! I will also be spreading the word via facebook posts, emailing, and talking with my corporate committee about supporting this worthy cause!!

    Thanks for opening the eyes of the world to this, and I hope many others will get on board for such an awesome campaign.

    Best regards!!!

    In the

  50. To me, education means strengthening a relationship. In my experience, the best lessons I have learned were through family and friends. My mom taught me to cook at a young age. Watching her in the kitchen helped bring us closer together and lead to more opportunities in the future for us to bond. Now I love to cook in my free time and the delicious meals I prepare bring with them a sense of comfort and happiness. My best friend taught me the basics of programming and now we work on projects together and will hopefully start a company together. Now I program in my free time to challenge myself. Every skill a loved one shares with you helps cultivate a special rapport along with the newly acquired knowledge. More importantly, it gives you the skills to build up these bonds with someone new. One day I will go on to teach my children and other friends about anything from guitar playing to how to throw a frisbee. Education means creating life-long loving relationships and spreading happiness that will continue to trickle down for generations.

    I made a facebook post to my 1,030 friends about charity water.

    Happy Birthday Tim 🙂

  51. To me, education means unlimited opportunity to make the world a better place.

    I once read a quote that stated “What if the cure for cancer was trapped inside the mind of someone who couldn’t afford an education” and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Education opens doors that would not previously be obtainable. To be able to learn not only allows one to be closer to self-actualization, it allows progress to benefit a community, a nation, and the world. With education one learns to better help themselves, which in turn allows them to better help/educate others. Lack of education is often tied to fear and fear often results in many negative (and avoidable) situations. Fear comes from lack of understanding, and fear is what cripples the majority of human beings from moving forward in all aspects of life. We do not fear what we understand, and with education comes understanding. Being able to educate and understand allows for creativity, problem solving and acceptance, all things that help make the world a better place.

    I’ve shared your awesome fundraiser through: Facebook/ 920+ people

    Email blast/ 400+ people

    My personal Twitter acct. /140 ppl

    Instagram/ 300+

    Tumblr Blog/ 140+

    Word of Mouth / 10+

    Personal Text / 20+

    And this is just so far.

    This is an awesome idea. I highly respect what you have going and hope to do something similar for my birthday as well.

    Happy 36th Birthday Tim 🙂

  52. I know, I know – It’s after the 5 p.m. cut off – just wanted to lend my voice to the conversation. To me, education is not an end unto itself but should point to something greater. One of the great dangers of our time is not seeing the telos or aim of education as a step toward innovation and creativity. Education is like ashsoles (scrambled for the children’s sake) – most people get one. Whether or not it’s a good one is a different story.

    A good education is one that provides a context for people to understand their culture and identity – why something is called post-modern vs. modern, for example. Through understanding culture and our place in it, we now have what it takes to provide meaningful steps to improve and innovate on the past.

    Happy Birthday, Tim. I donated to charity: water! The only thing I am pissed about is that I am 36, and you are 36, and I have a keg, and you have six pack.



    1. To me, education means… growth. You can be educated by others, your own trials, your own failures, other people’s successes – our own success, and it all leads to a growth in knowledge and experiences.

      I did it! I donated $36 to Charity:Water for Tim’s Birthday! Really excited that this funding is going to Ethiopia. Tweeted and shared and had my company do the same. Everyone deserves clean water!

  53. To me, education means growth. For the teacher and student alike, an exchange of knowledge enriches both, matures both, and benefits both. Regardless of topic, the net yield is always positive. Whether you teach love or hate, whether you learn fear or joy, growth will always be had via the exchange mechanism of education.


    – MONDAY (July 29) – Found out about this challenge.

    – MONDAY – I bought the domain www.(censored per blog posting rules).org

    – MONDAY – I built a website for it

    – TUESDAY – Created the content,

    – TUESDAY – TRIED to purchase $1000 in Google AdWords advertising (denied)

    – WEDNESDAY – Hired a banner plane to fly around the Portland Metro area for 2 hours with “(my website name).org” streaming behind it. Flights occurred 4:30pm to 5:30pm Thursday and 8:30am to 9:30am Friday.

    – THURSDAY – Trouble shot a server crash (due to the high volume of new traffic)

    – THURSDAY / FRIDAY – Giddily monitored Google Analytics as PageViews SKYROCKETED! In a span of 2 hours I received 616 Pageviews. I have additional analytics to share if desired.

    This entire process has been 1 big experiment. I’ve never created a usable website before. I’ve never purchased ad space of any kind, and I’ve never used any analytics software. After YEARS of sideline education, I decided to jump in with both feet to get the education that only first hand experience can deliver. And I’m so happy I did. After the thrilling roller coaster ride of emotions, and the successful leveraging of eustress, I feel ready and confident to ride the ride again. If nothing else, this has been the education of a lifetime and the exact catalyst I needed.

    As a side note, this is a subject matter that is near and dear to my heart. As an Iraq vet with the Marine Corps and a backyard farm / sustainable living enthusiast, I am INTIMATELY familiar with the impact easy access to pure water makes. I’ve lived it.

    Thank you Mr. Ferriss for the opportunity to be involved and for the example you gift us.

    With deepest sincerity and warmest thanks,


  54. cool!!! Youre getting there my friend. Love the pura vida closing line, from pura vida country, big hug on your bday


  55. To me education means progress, and progress is the law of life.

    I posted links on Twitter 8/2 to 187 followers

    Posted links on facebook to 1,627 friends

    Sent a press-release to our news department to make them aware of all the good you do in the Bay Area and beyond…

    Told as many people as I could about the competition, and told them to tell as many as people as they could to do the same! 🙂

    “When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.” Dalai Lama

    And, I thought you would like this quote Tim:

    “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” Theodore Roosevelt

    Good luck and here’s to hoping we can surpass $1,000!!!

    Keep up the good work Tim!

  56. To me, education means being able to instill inspiration into the hearts of others so that their lives carry greater worth.

    To give credit where credit is due, I have to recognize two incredible leaders: Tim Ferriss, for being a one-of-a-kind lifestyle innovator and easily one of the most influential mentors I’ve got (impressive considering we’ve never met!) and Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, for teaching me an incredibly effective methodology of taking the excitement and inspiration instilled in me by people like Tim and turning it into something that changes this world.

    For this incredibly selfless Birthday campaign (you’re the man, Tim, seriously), I decided to have some fun, so that even if I don’t get to meet you in San Francisco, I’ll remember this campaign like I did! The same day I read your original post, I did something adventurous and introduced myself to a total stranger, who lives in a different city, in a different state, working in a totally different industry, for a purpose entirely unrelated to your Birthday. As it turned out, we are both huge fans. I quickly shared with her the link to your post and we decided we’d tackle it together.

    It can be difficult to get people to put their money where their mouth is. They may say they care, but often that’s not enough! This conundrum was a catalyst for the following post, which my new friend and I wrote and have been pushing since day one:

    When’s the last time you had the opportunity to make a decision that would inspire yourself and others to be a contribution to the world we live in? You may not be aware that millions of children from around the world don’t live to see their fifth birthday because they don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef, has pledged his 36th birthday to raising funds for charity:water, an organization that funds clean water projects in developing countries.

    My goal in asking you to participate is not just to inspire a contribution, but also to help each and every one of you to transform today into a day you’ll remember. Furthermore, I want this moment to serve as a catalyst for you to begin realizing your dreams and to live a slightly better life today than you otherwise would have. So, today, in between the crisp beverage you enjoy to relax from the heat and the steaming shower you take tonight to wash the worry of the day away, consider this: by reading, contributing, and sharing with your network, you are creating a possibility. Make a contribution to this cause and make a contribution to yourself: http://my.charitywater.org/timferriss.

    If being able to have a discussion with me about this will make it more real for you, then send me a message and let’s talk, but don’t write this one off because it really will make a difference.

    Between Facebook, LinkedIn, e-mail blasts and word of mouth, the message reached thousands. I wish I knew the actual number and, even more importantly, the impact, but it’s a pretty difficult thing to track. What I can say with 100% certainty, though, is that you, Tim, have done something amazing by inspiring so many people this way and we appreciate it so much. Happy Birthday, dude!

    “…As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” -Marianne Williamson

    -P.S. If this post and the associated efforts do the trick and earn me a trip out to San Francisco, I promised my new acquaintance (who played a vital role in this awesome effort) that she’d be sitting right by my side! Double or nothing, Tim! To marching to a different drummer!

  57. To me, education means freedom, empowerment. If one can read, one can learn anything.

    I’m sharing this post on Facebook. Thanks Tim!

  58. To me, education means helping someone to share their unique gift and be the best person they can be.

    Half of my family are teachers (both my mom and dad are from families of eight, so that’s a whole lot of teachers), and so is my fiancee.

    I teach communication skills and own or have owned 4 other businesses that are all education-related.

    So learning and teaching is my life’s work and passion. That’s also what education means to me.

    I scheduled to post this comment exactly within the deadline and I’m posting this right after crunching the numbers after the 1000th donation. If I messed up my time zone difference calculations, please still pick me 🙂

    This campaign for Charity:Water was very important to me because I’m just coming back from a 6-month trip around the world.

    I’ve seen poor communities struggling in Brazil, South Africa and India and I can’t imagine how hard it must be to walk miles for clean water instead of just opening a faucet and having all the time in the world to run a business and create value like we do.

    So I participated in your campaign because I wanted to send you a “Thank You” that would be meaningful.

    Five years ago I read 4HWW and I dreamed of traveling the world with a beautiful woman on my arm… and this year I was able to do it while still growing my business (half a million euros in sales last year, and even more profit this year although I was working only 1 day a week)

    So Here’s what I did to send you this “Thank You!”/”Pick Me” message 🙂

    I have a whole lot of Facebook fans but after 5 years of raising money for charities with my business, I know that posting to FB doesn’t work.

    Nor do most of the other “weak-link” strategies (sending the link to friends so they check it out, twittering, etc)

    All the 4- and 5-figure short campaigns I’ve succeeded with, used strong-link strategies and a template.

    What I call a strong link is actually sending a one-to-one (or one-to-few) communication to someone who is on target with the message, and the 4 most important elements of the template I use are :

    – What is in it for the person

    – What is in it for the beneficiary of the charity work

    – What is in it for me.

    – Call to action (with just one actual action to commit to)

    I’m always transparent regarding what’s in it for me.

    In this case, I candidly talked about my trip, and explained that I wanted to send Tim a “Thank you” note that would get noticed.

    So I made a list of close customers and contacts, and wrote a personalized email to each of them.

    (I had it sent, did not email each of them myself, because I’m email-free)

    I wanted to be able to track numbers (a second nature for me) so I told people to add “Go France” before their name.

    So if you wondered how all these crazy French people got there… now you know 🙂

    Something very interesting about my clients and contacts is that almost every single person that I knew would be interested in such a cause is an entrepreneur, investor or business owner. So I insisted on the “creating entrepreneurial callings in kids and women that would otherwise spend their life walking for water” angle.

    Since I was bringing French people in, I asked them to donate EUR 36 EUROS (hence the USD $48 donations).

    I did not link to the main Charity:Water page (one of my rules for charity campaigns : eliminate the clutter) ; I told everything in my very long email and gave them straight “payment page” links to donating $48.

    (I split tested “$48, $480, or $1”, and “$48,$100, or $1”, and “$48, or $pick your own amount”. Guess which won ?)

    The results :

    91 donors (9% of the entire campaign outside of Tim’s own donation)

    $5000,36 in donations (11% of the entire campaign outside Tim’s own donation)

    82% of the donations came from my closest customers – a group of 1,200 people

    18% came from my Mastermind group (friends that I meet several times a year to have fun and discuss business, lifestyle, and lots of other things) – a group of ~90 people.

    And, what I’m most happy about :

    I donated my whole week of work (8 hours so far) for this but…

    I did all this while spending a week at an artist’s retreat in the North of France, and I drew my very first two portraits this week !

    So whoever you end up picking, nothing can bring me down from the happy feeling of this amazing week.

    If you want more numbers, I can certainly get them.

    Thank you !


    PS : I was so pumped up to be able to post the final numbers right after the 1000th donation and right before the deadline, but now I’m starting to wonder whether I miscalculated the time delay !

    Fingers crossed…

    1. Go France! Genius to take them to the actual donate page, saving them a step in the process. And of course, having them put “Go France” was really smart.

      Great job Sebastien. I think a lot of people can learn from your tactics.

  59. To me, education means “Everything you learn that you weren’t forced to learn”. Or as Einstein put it, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

    A few blocks from Nova University, my wife, 4 year old daughter, and I did an exhibit during rush hour, doing a skit about the situation in Africa. It’ll be on youtube ASAP, with your link under the vid.

    We’ll share the video and the cause with our facebook friends and tumblr it as well. I’ll link to it in reply to this post.

    1. Thanks Tim, and Happy Birthday.

      I’m happy to say youtube approved

      the creative commons license for the video above.

      The approach I chose was to record a live rush hour exhibit near Nova Southeastern University in Broward, Fl, which provides a future convex payout for Tim’s birthday page.

      Sharing with Youtube, tumblr, linkedin and facebook gave our video viral potency and Charity: Water’s potential future donations are unlimited as long as the video is viewable somewhere.

      Prior to the end of Tim’s competition, roughly 10,000 cars viewed our exhibit, a captive audience of bored drivers (with iphones) at a traffic choke point with good sidewalk visibility.

      Imagining, writing, producing, performing, and editing was done ourselves, and throughout the creative process I experienced acute empathy unlike the varieties I’ve previously felt. This video and I would have been horrible without my two indefatigable partners, Roxana, my love, and Daphne, my soul.

      Thank you,

      Stephen N

      1. and like that its gone! I will have to choose another song unless eventually I can get permissions worked out long term.

        its ok, im just going to take a little time and make an original song with some musician friends and i’ll have the video back up lickity. Tim, do you know anyone who could quickly allow the minute of All things must pass for the sake of the water effort?

        Either way, ill fix it.

      2. If anyone from tims staff wants to see the original video (assuming you missed it the day it was up) facetime should work to show you quick, otherwise maybe sendspace. new music for the vid is going to take time since im only dong it once.

  60. To me, education means the greatest opportunity in the world to bridge the gap between the haves and have nots. It is the single most important key for getting people out of poverty and into the ranks of the working, middle class. Without education for all, economic disparities will continue to rule the world.

    I am very excited about Tim’s birthday fundraiser this year. I studied international water development 20 years ago and planned to go overseas to conduct these projects. I studied international development and cross-cultural studies but was derailed by a career in environmental geology shortly after graduate school. But my heart still belongs to this type of work and reading about charity: water, and especially founder Scott Harrison’s story, really resonate with me. I am now semi-retired in Mexico, and plan to volunteer in this arena again, either here in MX or in other countries.

    In order to spread the word about a subject so near and dear to me, I started by researching kids’ science project sites. Since education is key to everything, educating students when they are young about the millions who walk for water everyday is key to overcoming the problem, in my opinion. So I wanted to share this problem and invite students to research solutions as well.

    I posted a comment on every site listed below and have included the metrics for their readers/likers/followers. I found some great ones, including the following:

    Google Science Fair 2013 (1,210,724 g+ followers and 166,232 FB likes)

    MILSET (Mouvement International pour le Scientifique El Technique) a EU science fair consortium (961 FB likes)

    Science Alert (3,407,559 FB likes)

    I Fucking Lover Science (6,392,216 FB likes)

    Science is Awesome (468,850 FB likes)

    NYT Science webpage (59,364 followers)

    Global Water Partnership (8,760 likes)

    shared Tim’s link on a Scientific American article about Groundwater and Toxic Discharges in China (7023-13)

    Thanks for this opportunity Tim… I am going now to make a donation!

  61. To me, EDUCATION means freedom. It means not having to ask someone else what you think. It means having the means to shape the life you want, because you chose it. It means recognizing distinctions so that you can see the sameness in everyone.

    Awesome cause!

    I donated (mostly because my boyfriend teases me about liking nature more than people, but look, this supports both at one time!:)

    I also posted the link on my Facebook page (so 544 people saw that) earlier in the week and on my new website/blog, which has gotten about 40 views in the last month.

    Thanks, Tim!

  62. I believe education is the ability to derive knowledge from our experiences. All too often do we confine education to the label of simply having gone to school. Yet learning is obviously not limited to the four walls of a classroom or lecture hall. By simply limiting education to an institutionalized environment, we are ignoring the vast wealth of knowledge that we derive from our everyday experiences out in the real world. Those striving to continuously educate themselves have turned the world into our classroom. A college degree is not what defines one’s education, it is simply a building block.

    Regarding the charity: water campaign, after reading your post, I experienced several mind explosions of ideas after realizing the amount of potential resources I have access to. I currently work for a business development company that has a client called Nokero. Nokero’s mission is to eliminate kerosene fueled light in developing countries with solar light bulbs. Approximately 1.3 billion people still do not have reliable access to electricity. With that, millions are using kerosene as their fuel for light, and Nokero intends to replace kerosene with their innovative solar light bulbs. You can learn more about Nokero at their website, http://www.nokero.com.

    Considering the similar social values shared between Nokero and charity: water, I decided to essentially pitch Nokero on a side campaign in support of the charity: water organization. For exactly one week, from July 21st until August 7th, Nokero has agreed to donate 10% of their total sales driven from this campaign to charity: water!

    Once Nokero management had approved my proposal, I sent out an email blast (view screenshot here: http://bit.ly/1ehq7GZ) to their database of 5,785 emails. So far, of the 5,000, approximately 991 of them have viewed the email. Of those who viewed the email, 59 have gone to your campaign page through the link you provided. Although, unfortunately, I cannot track the amount donated by the directed visitors.. As Nokero just launched their 10% donation campaign, it is too early to measure any adequate sales figures.

    To help fuel Nokero’s campaign, I have been blasting a similar email to all our relevant databases of a combined 135,777 emails, directing them to your campaign page. Of those 135,777, around 4,468 people have opened the email. But, unfortunately, only 47 have followed the link to your campaign page as this point in time.

    In addition to the Nokero campaign, I personally donated $36 to your campaign before reaching out to my ~850 friends on Facebook.

    The Straight Facts Up Now:

    Over 144,367 individuals have been exposed to your campaign.

    Approximately 110 have followed the link to your charity: water campaign page.

    I’m anxious to see the final results of the Nokero campaign, which will end on August 7th. Despite your deadline being today for posts that quality for

    Oh and, Tim, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you so much for an opportunity like this to directly make an impact on countless of lives. I wish you and charity: water the outmost success!

    Kris Byberg – Denver, Colorado

  63. To me, education means freedom and power. When you have exposure to life- enhancing ideas early on in life, it changes the course of everything: the life you dream for yourself, the career you plan for, the mate you choose, what you wear, how you shop, what you create, how you spend your time, and what you think is possible. Having access to clean water is the foundation for a healthy body that supports these bigger dreams.

    I shared your message on Facebook with 1,356 friends and I would be happy to embark on a creative mission in my town to do 36 acts that promote kindness, freedom, courage and creativity. Also, I would use the trip to donate two weeks of my life on a charity:water project of your choosing. I would document it and share it to as wide as audience as I can generate. I am a local cable TV host and have a lot of resources at my disposal. I have already worked in Haiti, Bhutan, Nepal and Cambodia and can provide valuable field skills to a project.

  64. I would be happy to put this initiative into a Water and Development Multimedia education model which we are developing…

    We are a coalition of development human rights professional who are developing multi media teaching sessions which get kids inspired about global issues, get them to understand how interconnected we all are – and then give them opportunities to create meaningful change.

  65. Pretty sure education is partially the luxury of being allowed to focus on being human…and becoming more of who you really are. Sure, survival can be educational if you allow it to be transfiguring in some way, but I think that’s more the redemptive aspect of life at work. Education is really more born of rest/peace/balance—instead of having to focus all your will, time, intelligence, resources, & creative energy into keeping yourself minimally alive, you’re enabled to rather focus on pushing your boundaries and hunting for the new and formerly mysterious and strange and wonderful. You can focus on crossing borders and using any gift given to you to make something new that can then be given by you. Education…I think it’s really sacred work…work that isn’t merely burden or friction or quota-filling but rather a state of health [I say this kind of figuratively], of being fully alive and fully yourself. This potential is really what a lot of 1st-world people take for granted, I think. The opportunity is there for most of us humans in various forms, but some of us have way the heck more opportunity than we realize for making work and even struggle fruitful, for making a life-giving catalyst for creating better stories. I think about this a lot in the midst of struggling with an decade+a-half-long illness that has changed my life and on the surface seems to limit everything. I have to fight to push those boundaries and see the opportunities I’m being given to grow and learn and become more of myself—even if I no longer look like I have a free-spirit sort of life…and that has impacted how I see others’ limitations (as well as others’ fabricated limitations) and my/our responsibility to help notch up the opportunities that other limited people need in order to be given the luxury of focusing on ‘educating’ themselves and opening up to the world outside their boundaries of survival. It’s really the opposite of waste. And in some ways, maybe it’s coming present to an active gratitude for everything that’s opened itself up to you or that has the possibility of being opened by you.

    I won’t lie, I just donated $10 because I’m broke due to medical bills and crap, but I’m a militant believer in the power of $10. If more people realized that it’s not too little to give and that you can always come up with it (relative to where you live, but in America, I think anyone can come up w/ $10 in some way or another (and I say this having lived w/ formerly homeless folks)]—we could pretty much communally fund ANYTHING. I’m not big on social media, but I shall tweet to my 56 ‘followers.’ I just wanted to contribute. 😀

  66. To me, education means the Tool of self perpetuating Freedom

    Sent motivational email to all of my contacts (and BCCed Donna for your record).

    Happy Natal Day,


  67. So, I wonder who was the winner of this contest, since deadline was August, 2. Has it been announced yet? My fav: Jack Fiedler (nope, not because also Tim seems to like his comment but because Jack showed a great way of approaching things).

    PS: I’d say: Congrats to all of us who joined this effort, by sharing and/or donating. Too bad the 100k goal wasn’t reached but still: more than 60k USD is awesome which, according to Charity Water, means that 3025 will get help.

  68. Tim, you never cease to inspire and amaze me. I’m working my way through T4HB and I don’t want to get to the end! I don’t want to finish I want it to keep on going!

    The gift is in the giving and you are gifting it out there BIG TIME. Well done. I’ve donated. Good luck getting to the target but I really don’t think you’ll need it. You’ll smash it out of the water… no pun intended!

    EmmaMT x

  69. Hey Tim. Happy Birthday man! You’re an inspiration beyond words. I haven’t figured out how to create my muse but I’m not giving up.

    I donated and hope it goes to good work!