Aim High: Meaning and How to Set Big Goals

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

What is the aim high meaning according to The 4-Hour Workweek? Why should you aim high to achieve your goals?

The aim high meaning refers to setting goals and dreams for yourself. Ferriss encouraging aiming high instead of choosing dreams you think are reasonable.

Read more about the aim high meaning in Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Workweek.

Aim High Meaning: Dreams Should Be Big

To fully embrace the 4HWW lifestyle, you need to find something to do with all your upcoming free time. When brainstorming ideas, don’t ask yourself what you want or what your goals are. Instead, ask yourself what you find exciting. The first two questions are too vague and don’t steer you toward the right course of action. You probably want something, or want to achieve a goal, because it will make you happy. But happiness is a vague concept—at different times in your life happiness might be as simple as having a good meal. After a while, happiness can morph into boredom, and boredom is even worse than failure. Excitement is a much more precise objective, and can be found by thinking about the aim high meaning.

Aim High

Don’t restrict yourself to what seems reasonable or realistic. Interestingly, it’s actually easier to do really big things than moderate things. First, there’s less competition. Most people don’t think they can do big things, so they aim lower, creating a lot of competition in the low arenas. Second, a big goal with a big payoff gives you more energy and adrenaline. Small goals aren’t very exciting, so you’re not as inclined to put in enormous effort.

For example, when the author gave a lecture at Princeton, he challenged the students to contact three very famous people (such as George Bush) and get them to reply to one of three questions. Whoever got the most impressive result would win a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world. The challenge seemed so difficult that in spite of the excellent prize, not a single student even tried. If someone had gotten even a half-baked response, they would have won by default.

The next time the author gave a lecture, he told the students about the results of the first challenge. This time, some of the students tried to contact the famous people, and plenty of them received responses.

Aim High: Meaning and How to Set Big Goals

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Tim Ferriss's "The 4-Hour Workweek" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The 4-Hour Workweek summary:

  • The 4-step process to live a "retired" lifestyle now
  • Find out if you're wasting the best years of your life working a 9-5
  • How to create a business that makes you money without sucking up your time

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *