While working 14-hour days on a supplement startup in 2001, Tim Ferris stumbled upon the writings of obscure 20th-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80 percent of outputs typically stem from 20 percent of inputs. Intrigued, Ferriss drastically reduced the amount of time he worked, focusing on finding essential inputs rather than maintaining long hours. After implementing his new work schedule, Ferriss managed to sell BrainQuicken, hit the gym, and write his first book. After being rejected by 27 publishers, 'The 4-Hour Workweek' skyrocketed to #1 on the 'New York Times' best-seller list.
Ferriss has spent much of the spare time success has afforded him by applying the principles he used to revolutionize the workday to the human body, with 'The 4-Hour Body,' and the kitchen, with 'The 4-Hour Chef.' He speaks six languages, holds a world record in tango, a national record in Chinese kickboxing, and now has his own television show. 'The Tim Ferriss Experiment,' which follows the so-called "lifehacker" as he attempts to rapidly perfect skills, debuted December 1 at 8 pm EST on HLN TV. The show is supposed to be an entertaining look at a larger-than-life character while also serving as a call to arms for people spending their time, well, watching TV.
Most of Ferriss's advice is centered on breaking the chain of monotony and getting back into our bodies. Sometime we have to be reminded to take pleasure in being human.
Practice daily awareness.
Ferriss stays away from using the word meditation, because it puts people off, but he does a short – three- to five-minute – vipassana session every morning to cultivate awareness before he starts his day. According to Ferris, when you have a Protestant work ethic, like the one we have culturally inherited in the United States, practicing some type of gratitude or awareness training is the difference between feeling successful and simply being successful. "I've even experimented with sensory deprivation tanks," he says.