The impossible is easier

by Kim on March 22, 2011 · 15 comments

The one thing I learned from the 4-Hour Workweek

Last Christmas I asked for the book The 4-Hour Workweek and my poor mother-in-law, who didn’t yet know about our trip around the world, was probably wondering what kind of early mid-life crisis I was having.  She was right to wonder!  But bless her heart, she bought it for me anyway. 

I was excited to read it.  I mean, the sub-title is “Escape 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich.”  The “new rich” are people that are rich on time and rich enough on money.  Obviously, I was drinking that kool-aid. 


And yet, it’s many months later and I still haven’t finished the book.  I think it was during the chapter on outsourcing your ‘to do’ list to India that I thought to myself, wait, this is really f’ed up.  And so there the book sits, gathering dust on my bedside shelf, and I doubt I’ll go back to it.  It’s not that I haven’t gleaned a few great nuggets of wisdom, it’s just that the point of this whole thing isn’t to make $40,000 per month, as the author Timothy Ferriss claims to do.  Nope, it’s about chasing a dream.  It’s about living a life that excites me.  I hope that I can eventually make money doing what I love, but getting rich is so not what it’s about. 

But, there is one part of the book that has stuck with me and that’s the part I’m sharing with you today.  It’s the idea that doing something that seems impossible is easier than doing something that’s just mediocre

Now you’re thinking, whaaaatt??  But it make senses.  Timothy Ferriss explains that most people don’t believe that they can achieve mighty things and so instead of shooting for the stars they aim for the middle.  When everyone aims for the middle the competition is greater there and therefore the chance of succeeding in the middle is statistically lower.  Get it?  

The whole point is that many people don’t believe their big dreams are achieveable so instead they spend their lives clawing their way to the top of the middle. 

This leads me to think of a quote that I love, maybe you’ve heard it.  If not, I bet you’ll like it.  I’m whittling it down a bit, to my favorite part:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?”  Marianne Williamson