In 2007, Tim Ferris wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, and in doing so, added considerable value to the lives of many, including my own. In this guide, he does an excellent job outlining solutions for liberating yourself from a 9-5 drudgery. He teaches on how to effectively earn an income in a manner that is time-efficient and enjoyable. He gives travel tips and tools for making the most out of your free time. At its core, he teaches you how to enjoy your life.
But he got one thing terribly, terribly wrong.
The first sentence in a chapter titled, “The Point of It All: Drumroll, Please”.
“I believe that life exists to be enjoyed and that the most important thing is to feel good about yourself.”
He goes on to give ways you might go about this. You could work with orphans, compose music, and his own personal example: “to love, be loved, and never stop learning”.
This is all found under the section of his book called “Filling the Void.” In fact, he discusses the idea that, once retired from 9-5 life, it’s very natural that questions begin to crop up. Questions like, “what does it all mean?” “What should I do with my life?” “Is this as good as it gets?”
One that particularly stuck out to me was, “Why am I not happy? I can do anything and I’m still not happy.”
Ferris’ remedy for these questions? Filling the void. Distract yourself. Don’t give these questions too much thought. Become so engrossed in how much fun you’re having, that you don’t have any time to “overthink” with questions like these.
. . .
Doesn’t that break your heart?
It was at this point in The 4-Hour Workweek that it became evident to me that Tim Ferris’ worldview is one that I did not share. I don’t claim to know the details of his beliefs, but I can’t understand how this could align with the acknowledgement of the Creator.
But how sad is that?
And how wonderful is it that we have answers to these questions?! How encouraging is it that we have hope?! We have a home in heaven! A home with the One who made us. Guys, we will be where we were created to be, in the presence of the One who created us to be there. We will one day fully live out our existence. And there will be no doubt. No longing.
Tim Ferris illustrates an excellent point. Without God, there is no hope. There is only distracting yourself, by having as much fun as you can before you die.
But Tim doesn’t appear to be the only one with this belief.
Take a look at the world around you. It doesn’t take much to see a world full of people having as much fun as they can before they die. People living life as if this is all there is. And when I am not mindful, I am no exception.
How easy is it for us to get caught up in what’s visible, what’s “tangible”, what’s right in front of us? We work and work, so that we can retire and have fun. When I’m not careful, my thoughts are spent “planning” an early retirement — a quick escape from my desk job, and a life spent exploring the world with my family and friends.
We know that the most important thing in life is NOT to feel good about yourself. Let us spend our short time here helping people like Tim Ferris: showing them that this is not all there is. Let’s give them hope! Let us glorify God, the one who gave us life. Let us live like Jesus, no matter our circumstances.
And when we feel a void within ourselves, like there’s something missing, let us remember that we were not made for this world. Our time on earth is only the beginning.
Let’s live like it.