The Best 4 Hours of My LifePosted: March 13, 2013
Upon arrival back into the United States I lost some pertinent documents, couldn’t access my (not full enough) account in Liberia and was altogether overwhelmed.
I was secretly panicking & my ability to hold the secret in was fading by the day. I couldn’t help but to ponder the decision I had made five months earlier.
In October 2012 I stumbled upon an opportunity to live in Liberia, my home country.
This was an adventurous decision for a girl that had been in Atlanta, GA for over half of her life. Friends, lovers, heart breaks, primary school, college; all had happened in the US. This was my reality and though I was curious, I was frozen by the fear of stepping outside of it.
I was working at a Fortune 500 company in corporate social media (who actually gets to use their Journalism/Public Relations degree these days?), lived in a tiny but trendy Midtown studio apartment & was dating a cute, ambitious Alpha. I was supposed to be content.
Unfortunately, I don’t do well with content. I want ecstatic, adventurous, purpose driven! In pursuit of these things and more I packed up my bags & headed home.
So, here I was back in Atlanta with nothing to show for it but an expanded view of the world, of my possibilities & of humanity. Sounds like a lot but as we say in Liberia “dah deh wan we will eat?”.
How was I supposed too feed myself on ideology?
Then I picked up The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. This book gave me reassurance that I wasn’t completely destroying my life, that others were on my wave length & that there was a structured way to make my dream of continent hopping, good living and a compassionate lifestyle a reality.
Tears filled my eyes with the turn of every page at the exquisiteness of God’s timing and how the universe really has my back.
To review the whole book would take far too long; I literally have about 20 pages of notes. Fret not, below I give you the three most important epiphanies that I took from it.
1. My time is my own & it’s really precious.
We have been conditioned to believe that we have to give our time in exchange for money. This is mostly true, time is money. Tim reminds us that Its your time on the line; your time to use as you wish. Use it better.
He gives very explicit advice and case studies to show you how to reclaim your time and consequently your life from the hands of conventional ideas of what is considered a successful career.
2. I am not alone. Afropolitans are a subgroup of the New Rich.
Tim refers to the New Rich as “those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of time and mobility.”
One of my friendtors (friend + mentor, a term coined by my best friend) joined the New Rich four years ago & didn’t even realize it. She now splits her time between the States & Liberia and runs a successful program in Monrovia. She takes several trips a year, goes to the beach a lot, helps her country, works hard and is mostly in control of her reality. All in her early thirties!
She’s never heard of this book or Timothy Ferriss for that matter. She is an Afropolitan, a sector of the New Rich.
Afropolitans are (mostly) second generation Africans living off of the continent. Returnees have been birthed out of this group. These are individuals that have relocated back to their countries of origin or spend a significant amount of time there a year.
Now that I think of it, many of the African returnees that I call associates & friends are unintentional members of the New Rich. We live on two (or more) continents, in various cities and own a lot of SIM cards. Many of us are born in one place, educated in another and live elsewhere. In order to maintain relationships, we toddle life with our families and friends between all of those realities, hence all the travel that I enjoy oh so much.
3. Freedom Aint Free!
By the time you get half way through this book you realize that the four hour work week is not about laziness, it’s about efficiency. In order to live this free you have to cut excuses and distractions and deal with yourself. All of you; your shortcomings, opportunities & the rest of the fear talk we tell ourselves to create and remain in our own jail cells.
Tim uses practical step-by-step ways to get yourself out of your own way. It’s certainly much harder to be your own boss but the freedom I’ve experienced over the last few months is unmatched.
I’ve learned that I unintentionally took the first step towards my ideal lifestyle design by freeing my time. I am now working on eliminating nonsense, adjusting to continent hopping and enjoying my present while securing my future.
This was a life altering book. It proved that once you have a thought in your mind all that keeps you from that dream is a clear plan and some clever hard work.