Rating 9.0/10

My Summary:

A delightful read that gives actionable advice on how to streamline your life for success and enjoyment. Don’t play by a game that others have defined. Make your own rules, make your own metrics for success. Take lots of mini-retirements. The book hit home with me as I am still trying to figure out what my life looks like (I’d say my time scale of forward thinking has matured to over 6 months!).

A note: I picked up this book after listening to countless hours of Tim Ferriss’s podcast. While chatting with my friend who is also an avid listener, we realized that saying “So, I was listening to this podcast…” felt far less grounded than referencing a book. So, if you are ever around the two of us and I reference an ambiguous ‘Book’, it most likely is from the Tim Ferris Podcast.


The New Rich ( NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility.

$1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows. The question is then, How can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000?

These individuals have riches just as we say that we “have a fever,” when really the fever has us. —SENECA (4 B.C.–A.D. 65)

I offered you $10,000,000 to work 24 hours a day for 15 years and then retire, would you do it? Of course not—you couldn’t. It is unsustainable, just as what most define as a career: doing the same thing for 8+ hours per day until you break down or have enough cash to permanently stop.

Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane. Plan accordingly.

Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?” -SENECA

Most who avoid quitting their jobs entertain the thought that their course will improve with time or increases in income. This seems valid and is a tempting hallucination when a job is boring or uninspiring instead of pure hell. Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization.

Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.

This is how most people work until death: “I’ll just work until I have X dollars and then do what I want.” If you don’t define the “what I want” alternate activities, the X figure will increase indefinitely to avoid the fear-inducing uncertainty of this void. This is when both employees and entrepreneurs become fat men in red BMWs.

If you’re an employee, spending time on nonsense is, to some extent, not your fault. There is often no incentive to use time well unless you are paid on commission. The world has agreed to shuffle papers between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., and since you’re trapped in the office for that period of servitude, you are compelled to create activities to fill that time.

Love of bustle is not industry. —SENECA

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. —ALBERT EINSTEIN

Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate. —DAVE BARRY, Pulitzer Prize–winning American humorist

It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.

People are smarter than you think. Give them a chance to prove themselves.

It is said that if everyone is your customer, then no one is your customer. If you start off aiming to sell a product to dog- or car-lovers, stop. It’s expensive to advertise to such a broad market, and you are competing with too many products and too much free information. If you focus on how to train German shepherds or a restoration product for antique Fords, on the other hand, the market and competition shrink, making it less expensive to reach your customers and easier to charge premium pricing.

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. —WARREN G. BENNIS

IF YOU’RE CONFUSED about life, you’re not alone. There are almost seven billion of us. This isn’t a problem, of course, once you realize that life is neither a problem to be solved nor a game to be won.

Time without attention is worthless, so value attention over time.

Header photo © cofcogroup.com
Body photo © amazon.com