This is a seriously inspiring video by two authors who have met because their books were extremely similar. This is also a part of the Authors@Google series.
Marci Alboher, author of One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success and Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich talk about how to live and balance your life and career(s) and share really cool stories about people who are doing this. They also share how they themselves are doing this in their lives.
They validly questioned (threw away, and replaced) some of my basic assumptions about what can and what cannot be done. What should and what should not be approached as possible.
This is very important for me, because I'm always interested in two million things at one time, and this especially resonates with my idea of "The Long Tail Person".
A very important distinction was drawn by Tim, which I knew before but this time it sunk in more; the distinction between being busy and being productive. If you confine your thinking to your working hours, you will inevitably find ways of filling that time, and be "busy". If, on the other hand you really focus on what it is you are trying to achieve and do that, you might really be creating more time and space for the things that you want to do.
One of Tim's main ideas was to think about what you really want to do, and design everything around that.
"Well, what if you don't know what you want?" asked one of the people. Marci was actually "waiting" for that question, and they both shared some tips:
1. Go back to your childhood, which is the time you did things without being paid for doing them. "Interview your parents". This is a really nice and easy way of doing this. You immediately discover the things you would love to do when there is nothing you have to do.
2. Experimenting: taking classes that just seem to be interesting to you. This is actually how Marci changed her career from law to writing. She took a course on writing and found out that this something she would really love to do. Tim also points out some insights from his own experimentation. One of the most important is that the experiment is not the same as doing the work. Surfing two hours on Sunday is a lot different from surfing forty hours every week. Keep this in mind during the experiments. Is this something I would like to do throughout the week?
3. Pursuing happiness: Tim gives a very nice way of getting rid of the pursuit of happiness, because it's just a mental abstraction that might simply not mean anything. Instead, you should pursue excitement. Things that keep you awake at night, and make you really wonder how this might be possible. Another awakening realization for me (by Tim) was that you don't really need that much money to do the things that you want to do. He shared a cool anecdote about one of his friends, who wanted to work in a field he hated, just because if he worked hard enough for some years, he'd be making 3 - 5 million dollars a year. Tim's question,"what are you going to do with all that money?". His friend didn't have an immediate answer, he made up a goal about "having a long trip to Thailand". I could have been that friend. Actually I felt it was me talking. Time for action!