Slim Ferris and The 4 Hour Merk Week: An Audit of Ambition

Can we ignore the horrible lip choice for a minute and get into these color-coded ambitions of the same hue behind me?

I wrote them almost 2 years ago after reading Tim Ferris’ Four HourWork Week. In the book, he talks about how to design your lifestyle, not around your goals but the things that excite you. If you zoom in a bit you’ll see “edges” written under the “have” column…

What? Why you laughin’? Knowing that deep down I wanna be a self-published author with edges is half the battle and having this trusty corkboard here nudges me each day to put action behind my ambition. It says, “Have you massaged your scalp with castor oil today whore?” 

Basically, I use this to remind me of who I want to be, so I don’t get lost and caught up in the daily distractions of life; dying without ever reaching #mydestiny. 

Ferris goes on to guide readers, asking you to jot down 5 things you want to BE, 5 things you want to DO and 5 things you want to HAVE all without, at first, thinking about how much it’ll cost.

If stuck he says, “What would you do, day-to-day, if you had $100 million in the bank? What’s that 1 thing you’d do weekly? What’s that one place you’ve always wanted to visit?  The 1 thing you’ve always wanted to learn? The 1 thing you want to do before you die?”

It’s called a Dreamline Worksheet and for me, it acts as a guide; a vision that excites me, a roadmap of sorts — one in which I check in with regularly to gauge progress on who it is I wanna be and whether I am her yet.

Below are a few of “her” initiatives and an audit to determine whether she is in fact that bitch yet.  

Things to Do Regularly

Read, Write, Share Experiences, Exercise

Things to Learn

Psychology, Adobe Suites, Photography, Social Media 

Be: Graphic Tee Novelist 

Why: I wanted to express who I was without talking much. I wanted to spark meaningful conversations with strangers. I wanted to combine my love for writing, self-discovery, pop-culture, fashion, and art. I could not find a job and when I did I couldn’t think of anything to do at my desk but poke my eyes out with ballpoint pens. I knew that if I wanted to keep my sanity and my almond-shaped eyes, I’d have to create my own job – one that was reflective of my personality and was on a schedule that I created.  

Well: Last week I introduced #yodestinymakemeashirt to a small audience I’ve been cultivating on WordPress and Instagram. I’ve gotten great feedback, have been consistent with relevant content and am looking forward to putting some marketing ideas that have been lying dormant to use. 

Now: “You see me!” -African proverb used predominantly by women of the diaspora to indicate a considerable amount of growth and progress 


Have: New Phone with a Superior Camera, Ample Ass Storage, and Bomb Battery Life

Why: Wanted to be able to take my own blog + shirt photos without hiring a photographer

Well: Did I get it? Sorta. I actually got it, broke it, got it again and broke it again. Three times I’ve cracked this Samsung 8 and 3x’s I’ve replaced it only to take this goal off the board and put it up again. 

Now: I’ve paid off the ‘crack phone’ and am gonna treat myself to my last and final device this Christmas – the Samsung 10 who’s draw is that they’ve integrated an Instagram Stories shooting mode into the phone’s camera app which means it’s basically over for you hoes and by “over” I mean, I might have to add “vlog” to my list of goals. 


Have: A Bulldog

Why: Wanted a baby but wasn’t ready to make that commitment. Figured if I bought a dog and gave it away it’d be more socially acceptable than having a baby and giving it away.

Well: Found a baby bulldog in the weirdest way; one that would ultimately convince me that – you just tell the universe what you want and it will reveal itself in the form of a dog that looks like a pig, purrs like a squirrel and acts like a housecat  

Now: I want a baby


Have: Simple + Downsized Wardrobe

Why: Got tired of looking at 36-54 items of clothing that I never wore. Each day I’d shuffle through a cramped closet of cardigans, mismatched hangers dry rotted rain boots and uninspiring interview outfits all of which were ignored in lieu of the same old sweatpants and crop top combo. I figured that cleaning up my closet was the first step in cleaning up my life. 

Well: My closet is clear-ish. While I rid myself of about 7 garbage bags worth of polyester-place-holders, I’ve bought another bag worth of “Hmm. One day maybe I’ll wear this”ers

Now: I am slowly reaching the age in adulthood where I just wanna dress like Steve Jobs – black jeans, black turtleneck, and busted sneakers. I crave simplicity so perhaps I need to tweak this target a bit to simply say, “Adopt a Signature Style & Stick with It” 


Do: Visit Thailand

Why: Wanted to travel internationally without breaking the bank and Thailand was recommended consistently

Well:  With strategic planning (and a weak-ass tax refund), C̄hạn thả xỳāng nận, which translates to “I did that” in Thai. 

Now: I’m determined to return; this time with my daughters in tow so while I accomplished this, it went right back up on the board as I can’t relinquish the reoccurring vision of seeing my daughters take in a whole new world…on a budget. 


Have: Sterile + Inspiring + Redesigned Living Space

Why: This one is actually funny. No. It’s embarrassing. Mmk. It’s Fun-barrass-ing. Why? Because we had mold yall. (Shields face in shame). It was on everything. Our clothes, our furniture our brains. We’ve lived in a sucky complex for 7 years. It has little ventilation, a broken air conditioner in the summer and a shitty management office year-round. 

Well: The mold grew so fast; so fast they moved us to another unit for a month to rework our place. While there I decided that I’d take our temporary move as a perfect time to begin again. 

Now: I did it! Once back in. I turned one of our 3 bedrooms into a creative studio you see pictured above. I lined the living room walls with Pinterest shit, practiced some feng shui in the bedrooms and got rid of the clutter on the kitchen counters. (No one uses a can opener and toaster every day. Why are you here? Go away). Our complex is still trash so my next goal is to just move but until then, I believe I have made the best out of a moldy situation. 


Have: Innovative Group of Mates 

Why: I’m not sure why I decided to articulate this one like Steve Irwin but what I am sure of is – I waffle between wanting friends and being easily exhausted by people (a la Summer Walker).  Still, I crave synergy. I love brainstorming and burstiness and knew I needed to expand my network outside of my mom, my kids and my dog. 

Well: Figured if I could find a group of people that were all creative, all working towards something great, then they’d be too busy to call me but also open to sharing their ambitions and creative side.

Now: First of all, I lightweight realized that I already have at least two of these friends so have used this time to strengthen my relationship with them; meeting up frequently to exchange ideas and be each other’s soundboard. I also joined a writers group. (No friends there in case you’re wondering). So that’s when I decided I’ll keep my 2 human friends and find the rest on the internet.  


Do: Flexible & Fulfilling Freelance Work 

Why: Uh duh. Have you met me? I’m what the medical world calls, virtually unemployable a condition that forces me to only work jobs that not only use my wit and imagination but encourage and exploit’em. If you have had the awkward pleasure of meeting me then you know that job does not exist. I would have to create my own. 

Well: I can sum this status up in three words – I am poor.  But I am also very much in control of my day which for me means I’ve laid the foundation for designing my life now I just gotta fill it with things that make me money. 

Now: I recently erected a creative enterprise that is pretty autonomous. I have a metric goal tied to it and a schedule that allows me to market in the morning, ship midday and create at night. In between, I walk dogs professionally which brings me closer to my desired result of making ‘x amount of dollars’ a day. I’m nowhere near that but still closer to my goal of financial independence and a self-governing work schedule than I’ve ever been. This remains my top priority and from the looks of it is going to be an ongoing undertaking considering I have chosen the life of a creativepreneur. But I’ve come to find “the artist’s way” is like an onion. There are lotta layers and the first is actually believing you can make a living off of something you create and the next is peeling away at actually doing those things while crying but also preparing to eat


Have: Edges

Why: Duh

Well: People keep confusing me for Naturi Naughton

Now: I massage my scalp with castor oil when I remember but for the most part, I just blend in with the rest of you bal’headed hoes of the world who have more to worry about.


Do: Write a Book of Essays

Why: I want to leave a legacy, I want to make money, I want to empty my brain, I want artistic exposure, I want to acclimate myself with #mystory and encourage others to do the same.

Well: Um. I have an idea. Actually. I have more than an idea. I have a title, a prologue, a preface, and cover art but what I don’t have – you guessed it – is a single chapter. 

Now: I will realistically start writing this book once #yodestinymakemeashirt is up and running. Part of the reason it’s taken so long to make any sense of my life is that I’ve been trying to put too many endeavors in place at once. Now that I’ve got that outta the way I can move on to all the other missions I’m determined to accomplish before I die.

Answering these questions bought me closer to #mydestiny. If you could design #yodestiny, what would it look like? Download the Dreamline Worksheet and design away. 

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