What do you have against Tim Ferriss, lifestyle designers, and life-hackers?

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I read Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Work Week, right as I was leaving the Navy and had no idea what to do with my life. After having based my entire post-college life plan around becoming a Navy SEAL, I was completely lost and needed some guidance.

What Tim did was offer an alternative model on how to live, one based on imagining an ideal lifestyle and building a “passive-income business” around this dream lifestyle. It was (and still is) super attractive, but I discovered that a) building a passive income business is very difficult and b) meaningful lives are not created through desire based lifestyle-design planning.

Of course we all want to have easy money rolling in and the ability to do whatever we want, when we want, but meaningful lives are crafted by navigating the circumstances and events of your life as they come in accordance with time-tested (read: ancient) values.

Though I don’t think Tim meant to make everyone’s life philosophy revolve around an online passive-income business, many people (including myself) have lost valuable time that could have been better spent learning to cultivate virtues that can help us become better people and craft meaningful lives.

I don’t have anything against some of the lifestyle design and productivity techniques that Tim and others advocate, I just don’t think they should be the centerpiece of a well lived life.