The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris.

Tim points out his four key concepts in the book with an acronym “DEAL”:

DefinitionForget about what you can’t do and replace self-limiting beliefs. Define what you want and chase after it.

  • Because most people follow the conventional route of receiving schooling, getting a 9-5 job, saving money, having kids, buying a house, and retiring, that “easier and stable” route is actually more competitive, whereas executing your dream, the “impossible” route, now becomes less competitive.


EliminationThe 80/20 Principle. Simplify your life. Information Dieting. Free up time.

  • Chances are, roughly 80% of the impact comes from 20% of the work, and 20% of the impact comes from 80% of the time you spend working. Take out what you don’t need. Replace it with what you do need. Turn off your news feed; stop absorbing information that has nothing to do with your life. If it’s that important, someone else will tell you about it. More leads to confusion, thus less is more.


AutomationOutsource. Build passive income. Free up money.

  • If someone else (can be a robot, virtual assistant, freelancer, etc.) can do part of what you are doing with 80% of the similar effect, yet at a smaller cost, let him do it for you (chances are, he can do it better and faster than you). But before you do that, make sure you are generating enough profit that can cover his cost. And when you put enough of them together and make them communicate amongst themselves, you can establish a system of passive income, one where you don’t have to deal with it most of the time, and you only have to work 4 hours a week. The idea and the brain behind the business is far more valuable than the actual work over which others can easily take.


LiberationRemote working, Location independent.

  • If you can’t take control of where, when, and how you work, at least have mini-retirements in life. Don’t wait until you are 65, retire, and do what you want to do. By that time, you are not likely to have enough energy.


Freedom you’ll gain by being able to decide:

  • With whom you work/hang out.
  • When you want to work.
  • Where you want to work.
  • On What you want to work.
  • Why you do what you do. This one I feel the most strongly because most people work their butts off and find out that’s not what they want to do in the end. This is because regardless of how hard you work, you are just doing negative work and going to the opposite direction.


However, it is a paradox that Tim himself works really hard, much more than 4 hours a week. I believe it progresses in 3 stages:

  1. Have nothing, or work at a 9-5 job and as someone’s slave. Work because you have to work.
  2. Have the freedom to decide work and life; achieve the 4 hour workweek lifestyle. You don’t have to work.
  3. Work hard because you want to work. Work hard for your own growth and fulfillment. Work hard because you believe what you are doing has a positive impact on society. Work because you want to work.


And Tim is at his 3rd stage.


For a more elaborate review of the book, click here. 

Proofread by Anna Johnson.