As a species, we human beings just love to be right. We hate to be wrong and we’ll go to any lengths to be right. Countless relationships go sour because each person is more committed to being right than happy. Numerous business dealings get full of conflict because no one wants to appear wrong. Heck, entire nations do stupid things for years simply because people are adamantly committed to being right. If we were willing to be wrong, then what? Goodness maybe a new possibility would open up and how horrible THAT would be (dripped in sarcasm).
What has gotten me on this rant is the recent video floating around the ‘net of Matt Lauer and Donnie Deutsch attempting to ruffle the feathers of Timothy Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Workweek. It is such a lovely illustration of two guys trying to prove one guy wrong simply because they don’t think what Tim writes about is possible. Well, guess what guys? Mr. Ferris is living what he writes about. So, like him, his style, his book or not the guy is happily living life by his own design.
For those of you not familiar with The 4 Hour Workweek it is a book about redesigning your life, working smarter, and living more today (not some elusive “someday”). I have to admit I was initially VERY resistant to reading the book and had my own pre-judgments of how what this good-looking, semi-macho, young guy could possibly have to teach me. He doesn’t look, act, or live like I do so how applicable could it be?
Well, I love to admit when I am wrong and I was wrong – big time. Now, do I think everyone and their sister should work four hours a week and live as a somewhat professional vagabond in exotic locales? Not necessarily. That is not everyone’s dream. I don’t advocate trying to live any life that isn’t the right fit for you. BUT, what you CAN learn from this book is a new way of thinking and a new drive that just might get you into action towards the things that personally matter to YOU. If nothing else it will open your mind and expand your realm of possibilities.
I believe this is the reason why these two media guys were freaking out in such a socially acceptable media bully way — they were scared. I mean, what if Tim IS right and these guys spent most of their lives spending 100 hours a week working and climbing industry ladders, then what? What do they make that mean about themselves?
What most plugged me in (my issues I know!) was their inference that:
— The book is about not having to work and simply sitting around sipping umbrella drinks on a beach
— The happiest people are those who love to work and work tons of hours
If you actually read Tim’s book you’d realize that he isn’t talking about working less so you can be a bum (although bumming for a bit is encouraged and why the heck not!). He is talking about liberating yourself so you can have once in a lifetime experiences that turn you on whether that is doing extended volunteer work, traveling, or learning a totally unrelated skill. You would also realize that Tim isn’t saying you shouldn’t have a strong work ethic or do work you love. He is simply saying it is shortsighted to be so singularly focused as a slave to working in some goofball world of assumptions that you miss out on the chance to work smarter and experience more of your potential and what life has to offer. Let’s face it, there are more flavors out there than just vanilla (aka sitting in a cube for 80 hours a week).
Regardless of what you think of the book or any of these guys, it pays to take note of this little display of ego-battling. Use this as a chance to inform yourself and be more self-aware. If you find yourself defensive and puffing up to be “right” at any cost, you are missing the world of opportunities and possibilities that await you if you’re willing to be wrong and open your mind. It is possible to be open to multiple realities (where reality is just someone’s interpretation of what is) without making anyone wrong. Then you get to choose the most empowering interpretation for your life.