Tim Ferriss: The Art of Letting Bad Things Happen

I had to revert back to one of my favorite books that helped me incredibly about a year ago.  Tim Ferriss, one of my favorite authors who has put together some fine reference books, coined a chapter called The Art of Letting Bad Things Happen.

 One of our fulfillment companies had been shut down due to the CEO’s death, causing a 20%+ loss in monthly orders and requiring an emergency shift of all web design and order processing
– Missed radio and magazine appearances and upset would-be interviewers
– More than a dozen lost joint-venture partnership opportunities

It’s not that I go out of my way to irritate people—not at all—but I recognize one critical fact: Oftentimes, in order to do the big things, you have to let the small bad things happen. This is a skill we want to cultivate.”

Excerpt From: Timothy Ferriss. “The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated.” iBooks.

So, my life (at the moment) isn’t as interesting as Tim Ferris’ (in terms of dealing with CEO’s, order processing, joint partnerships, etc), but I have just let the bad things happen.

So, when I first started denying work at location number 1, it was because there was something massive festering at other smaller locations.  It’s like we focus on the big markets and ignore the smaller markets.  We focus on bitcoin but we don’t focus on the likes of Litecoin.

Did I think something extraordinarily bad would happen? No.  I mean others in the company can have days off, but I was the seven-day-slave, being put to work constantly.  So, that moment I cut myself out of the schedule for Sunday morning – was the decline of my workload at that particular job.  I knew that if I can commit to teaching outside, because I knew it would be extremely beneficial in the future, I would officially resign and get my dream job.  Five projects later, I was right about it.  The “BIG” thing happened.

Tim Ferris let the bad things happened….and then he received these….

“What did I get in exchange for temporarily putting on blinders and taking a few glancing blows?

I followed the Rugby World Cup in Europe and watched the New Zealand All Blacks live, a dream I’ve had for the last five years.
I shot every gun I’ve ever dreamed of firing since brainwashing myself with Commando. Bless the Slovak Republic and their paramilitaries.
I filmed a television series pilot in Japan, a lifelong dream and the most fun I’ve had in months, if not years.
I met with my Japanese publisher, Seishisha, and had media interviews in Tokyo, where the 4HWW is now #1 in several of the largest chains.
I took a complete 10-day media fast and felt like I’d had a two-year vacation from computers.
I attended the Tokyo International Film Festival and hung out with one of my heroes, the producer of the Planet Earth television series.”

And my story….

I denied work, ultimately costing my job.

However, what did I get in return?

HR Student

Project Teaching Executives

Project Teaching 300 students

Project teaching an English camp and met the deputy prime minister

Project that I can make between 1,000-10,000 USD a month (not working)

2nd project teaching vice presidents

Finally teaching the big test prep courses for big bucks.

All of this would’ve never happened if I hadn’t just said ‘thanks, but no thanks.’

“Once you realize you can turn off the noise without the world ending, you’re liberated in a way that few people know.” – Tim Ferris

“Here are a few questions that can help you pop on the productivity blinders and put things in perspective. Even when you’re not traveling the world, develop the habit of letting small bad things happen. If you don’t, you’ll never find time for the life-changing big things, whether important tasks or true peak experiences. If you do force the time but puncture it with distractions, you won’t have the attention to appreciate it.

  • What is the one goal, if completed, that could change everything?
    What is the most urgent thing right now that you feel you “must” or “should” do?
    Can you let the urgent “fail”—even for a day—to get to the next milestone for your potential life-changing tasks?
    What’s been on your to-do list the longest? Start it first thing in the morning and don’t allow interruptions or lunch until you finish.”

Excerpt From: Timothy Ferriss. “The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated.” iBooks.



Tim Ferris Questions

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