This week, Life Training Online is reviewing The 4-Hour work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss, the twenty-third of fifty-two books in the 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks series.

Right now, at the time of writing this review, I would have to say I’m up in the air with this book. Never forget that just because a book is a bestseller doesn’t make it worth reading. And after reading The 4-Hour Workweek I’m not entirely impressed.

The first part of the book is dedicated to how we should be spending less time working and more time living. Nothing new here. Thoreau covered that in Walden. It also stresses the need for automation if we want liberation. Robert Kiyosaki covered that in Rich Dad, Poor Dad with the concept of creating residual income to escape the rat race. Again not entirely new.

Furthermore, Ferriss’ concepts aren’t entirely sustainable in our society. If everyone were to become a member of the New Rich, society would collapse. I mean, who would grow the crops, stock the stores, ship the products, or sell the services that we need? On the other hand, who’s to say we couldn’t create a society where everyone is liberated from work? We would just need some more advanced robots to allow that kind of automation.

Now don’t get me wrong, this book isn’t a complete waste of time. For example, I did like Ferriss’ concept of taking mini-retirements throughout life instead of waiting until we’re 65 when our health and youth are gone; or the ability that we have to outsource much of our day-to-day tasks — I found that to be really cool and plan on doing that for many of the routine things I do everyday.

All in all though, while Timothy Ferriss may not have the most original ideas, he definitely is a master salesman. He must of done something right to make this a bestseller and it for sure wasn’t the amazing content. With that in mind, this is what you should ultimately take from the book: He knew the market (white-collar working Americans), found the need (they’re slaves to their work and have no time for living) and marketed the book to that need (they all dream of only working 4 hours a week). Brilliant…

The 4-Hour Workweek is the twenty-third of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.

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