Anybody who follows me on Twitter probably knows I LOVE “The Four Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss. Here are a few of my favorite nuggets of his wisdom in the area of creating a fulfilling life:
- “Focus on being productive instead of busy” (p. 33).
- “If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way” (p. 33).
- “You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to repeatedly fail better” (p. 56).
- “Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions” (p. 67).
I’m still a long way from accomplishing some of my big dreams, and certainly don’t have everything I want—but I have been blessed with a life I love now. A lot of that has come about as a result of assessing a less-than-desirable circumstance, looking at my options of how I might change it, and taking risks. Here’s what this looks like:
I have my own business as a naturopathic doctor. (At the time I was going to school and then starting my practice: SO. HARD.) But now, not only do I get to do what I love and get paid for it, but I can make my own schedule too. I spend an hour praying and an hour working out every morning, and then usually an hour and a half writing four days per week (because I’ve discovered that I write best in the mornings).
I used to have to drive two hours a day commuting from my office and it was totally inefficient… so I moved my practice close to my house. (At the time: COMPLETELY. SUCKED. But now it’s fantastic.)
For awhile I was waking up an hour earlier every Friday to start seeing patients an hour earlier, and then I thought, hmm, this is lame. Why am I doing this? So I just changed my hours. I get done early on Fridays too, so that I can write my blogs and do Quickbooks. At Starbucks.
Last week I took a day off in the middle of the week to be an extra in a TV miniseries that will be aired in April (can’t give any more information than that because they made me sign a release that I wouldn’t until it airs—but I will say I got to wear a hoop skirt, a corset, and a bonnet!)
When I moved to my new office and expanded my hours, for awhile I was a total stressball because I forgot to schedule breaks to prep for patients and answer emails, phone messages, eat, go to the bathroom, put on chapstick… that sort of thing. So I built that time in to my schedule, and life improved dramatically.
I had a few truly awful office managers who created WAY more work and stress for me… so I hired somebody else. Took awhile to find her, but she is AMAZING, and she makes things run smoothly… which gives me more time to do the things I want to be doing, and the things I’m better at, and the things that make me more money.
Now, I realize risk-taking isn’t always possible or wise. I’m definitely a security-minded person by and large, and had I been able to stay in a less-than-desirable spot that was still reasonably comfortable, I probably would have done it. I usually just didn’t have the option. Looking back, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am now a big believer in overcoming fear and taking calculated risks to achieve the lifestyle you want.