An open letter to Tim Ferriss
I’ve had something to say to you for a long time, though it’s always been relegated to the “if I ever ran into Tim Ferriss on the street” scenario.
Of course, the reality is I’m an introvert and I’ve never liked to bother celebrities, especially when I know they are also introverted. So it’s unlikely my scenario would have played out even if I did bump into you here in SF.
But today I was walking to muni after work and thought maybe I should just write to you. So here it is.
In 2007 I was at a serious crossroads in my life. I was in the midst of an existential crisis after my wife and I had lost a stillborn daughter. I was working as a software engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, but the death of my daughter had taken all the joy out of my work. I thought I wanted to start my own company. I ended up leaving JPL to do consulting work and to figure out what was next. A buddy told me about The Four Hour Workweek and I picked up a copy, thinking it would help me figure out how to optimize my time… but it had a totally different effect.
It challenged me to think about how I really wanted to spend my time, to ask myself what I would do if I could do anything, and to challenge the assumption that my dreams were off the table. I realized my faith in God was really important to me and that I wanted to help mentor younger people. Long story short, I ended up leaving programming altogether, and spent the next 9 years traveling around the world as a minister with Jews For Jesus. It was a crazy adventure: I mentored hundreds of people, learned to preach and spoke at over 150 different churches, wrote and presented papers at conferences, summered in Israel and India, led a communal living house in San Francisco, and so much more. It was one of the best decisions in my life, and I’ve felt for a long time I should tell you the impact you’ve had on me. Reading the Four Hour Workweek truly inspired me to dream bigger.
Now I’ve got 3 kids (I’m still married to the same girl). And I’ve transitioned back to programming (I’m an engineer at Amazon) because life with 3 kids is an entirely different (but equally amazing) kind of adventure. I love my life!
All this to say, thanks for being you! Thanks for the impact you’ve had on me. I pray that God continues to bless you and that you continue to be a blessing to others.
PS — After writing this I realized I don’t have your email address, and even if I did, I’d be another voice among the thousands. Figured I’d throw it on Medium and eventually you might actually see it.