In my interview today at The Gospel Coalition with Bethany Jenkins on What’s Best Next, I talk about why I wrote the book and how it ties in to productivity books like Getting Things Done and Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Workweek, as well as how it seeks to take books like John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life or David Platt’s Radical a step further.
This is something that is absolutely foundational to why I wrote the book and how I conceive of it, but which I haven’t talked about much in other interviews on the book.
Here’s an excerpt:
Why did you write this book?
[One of my chief reasons] is that I want to reshape the way we think about productivity altogether. Years ago I read Tim Ferriss’ very helpful book The 4-Hour Workweek. His book gives some of the best productivity tips of recent years, but he puts them toward the wrong purpose: minimizing the time you spend working so you can join the “new rich” and live however you want. (Its subtitle is: “Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”.)
So I said to myself, “What if, instead of putting productivity within the context of joining the new rich, we put productivity within the context of fulfilling God’s vision for our lives?” That is a much more exciting thing, in my view, than joining the new rich and being able to do whatever you want. That’s why the first few sections of the book are about God’s vision for our lives and why we should care about productivity at all. I seek to show both what that vision is and that it is the most exciting and interesting way to live.
What do you mean by God’s vision for our lives?
God’s vision for our lives is that we glorify him by doing good for others radically, creatively, and abundantly. That’s simply the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We love ourselves creatively and abundantly and, therefore, we are to love others creatively and abundantly as well. The energy and initiative that we put into advancing our own welfare we are to also put into advancing the welfare of others. We are to see our entire lives as avenues for doing good.
You don’t have to run to the hills or escape 9-5 to have a meaningful life. You can have the highest possible significance in your work right now — whatever you are doing — if you do it for the good of others and glory of God.