The human race is considered as the smartest of all life forms. No one has dominated the food chain like human beings. Right from the invention of the wheel and fire, to coming together to live as a society, to making plenty of food available at your convenience and finally the development of money as a medium to facilitate transfer of things – human beings have done it all. We have invented mobile phones to talk to anyone in any corner of the world, invented airplanes to circle around the world in hours, constructed beautiful buildings and cities to live and developed machines to do manual labor for us. Any alien hearing this story would have thought what a wonder the human race is and would be desperate to meet us to see how happily we are living. But alas, if it ever comes, it will observe something completely contrary.
People have become slaves of the means they developed to live a comfortable life and have become bitter in the process. Although, money was created to enable you to buy things easily (which was difficult with the barter system) but people are living miserable lives trying to accumulate more money with no end use. Jobs were developed to enable creation of bigger things that cannot be done by a single person and an opportunity for people to earn enough money for their daily requirements. But people have become slaves to their 9 to 5 jobs, even though they don’t like what they are doing.
The world has gone upside down and there is a need for a revolutionary to bring the people back to their senses. But ‘revolutionary’ is an old word, very popular in the 19th century but now defunct. Today they are called life hackers. These are people who challenge the established norms prevalent in the society that ‘Life is hard’, ‘It is a long struggle’ or the deadliest one ‘You have to adjust’, and find a way to do what they want to. Some of the best life hackers I can think of in today’s world are – Tim Ferriss (the author of ‘The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)’) and Abraham Hicks (the inspiration behind the book, ‘The Secret’). These 2 are must reads if you want to know the secret behind hacking life. While Tim Ferriss hacks life at the physical level, Abraham Hicks does it on the spiritual level. Both of them combined together would make you a juggernaut – an unstoppable force to achieve your dreams.
The Tim Ferriss's Hack
If you have not heard of him, which is quite a surprise, the first question that comes to mind is why you should listen to him. There a thousand blokes out there who offer quick fixes, a way out of your miseries, or a get rich quick scheme. Before you dismiss him as one of the other phonies, just google him out. He is the author of 3 New York Times bestseller, listed #6 in the “Top 20 Angel Investor” rankings for 2014 (with investments in Uber, Facebook, Twitter and Evernote to name a few), speaker of 5 languages, first American in history to hold a Guinness World Record in tango, National Chinese kickboxing champion, Horseback archer in Nikko, Japan, MTV break-dancer in Taiwan and runs a business selling nutrition products that makes 40,000 dollars a month. Most people would consider themselves brilliant if they can achieve even 1 of the above. And he wasn’t a child prodigy. He has done all the above between 2004 to present. Looks unbelievable, doesn’t it?
Let’s go through his super-efficient and deadly ninja style. There are 3 building blocks around which Tim’s technique works:
1) Pareto principle or ‘The 80-20 Rule’ – The 80-20 Rule has been repeated umpteen times by several people, but the first one to put it to phenomenal use was this guy. The rule just says 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of the effort. So, if we eliminate the other 80 percent of the work, we will still get broadly the same result. It is that simple. So any work that you do, you have to just identify which 20 percent of the activities form the core? For e.g. If you are running a business, you might try to identify which 20% of the customers provide you with 80% of the revenues. Let’s say you have in total 50 customers who do repeat purchases with you year after year. This technique will enable you to cut down the 40 painful customers, focus on just the top 10 customers and still make 80% of the revenues. Similarly, this technique can be used in any task that you do, whether it be business, learning a new skill like a musical instrument or a foreign language and even your boring 9 to 5 jobs.
2) Automation – Any task that you do repeatedly can be automated. Technology has made that possible. Let us consider a simple activity like checking or writing an email. According to McKinsey Global Institute, the average person spends 13 hours every week reading, deleting, sorting and sending emails. That is 28% of our work-week! Imagine if you can outsource that part of the work, you are already down to a 27 hour work week. Now how do you outsource it? I can already hear you saying that you do not have enough money to pay a secretary. Use the power of the internet and the geo-arbitrage or the currency advantage. Using freelancing websites like Elance, Odesk or BPO firms based in India and Philippines like Brickwork, you can easily get virtual assistants at a fraction of the cost what you would pay in the US or Europe. Just prepare a FAQ and basic mail reply rules and behold the addition of 13 hours in your life. Email is just the beginning. Once you get used to it, you can even outsource fixing meetings, travel booking, weekly purchase of essential grocery or utilities and even the basic research in your area of work. The possibilities are endless.
3) Attitude – Although it comes at the last, but I cannot emphasize the importance of it enough. How many times have we thought of a great idea and failed to act on it, just to realize some years later a million dollar business built on top of it by someone else? How many times have we thought about taking that dream vacation, and postponing it due to some excuse or other? Probably, a million times. It’s great to be lazy. In fact, some of the most intelligent people of the world are also the laziest but they always find a smarter, less labor intensive way to complete the task at hand. Laziness shouldn’t impact the things you wish for in life. Act, act and act. Develop your attitude to do things in a smart way and work towards your dreams.
Now you have all the tools to live the dream life you wanted to. Eliminate your 40 hour work week to 20 hours by outsourcing email checking or basic research to virtual assistants at minimum cost. And, reduce the remaining 20 hours to 4 hours by prioritizing the activity that produces 80% of your results and working only on that. With a 4 hour work week and the attitude of an adventure traveler start ticking off your bucket list. You have just one life, make the most of it.
In this article I have only covered the Tim Ferriss's Hack. The Abraham Hicks way deserves another article. To know more about the Abraham Hicks way to get the complete toolkit to hack life, read the next article in the series.
Amazon Price: $22.00 $9.36 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 1, 2014)