I met him randomly at a bookstore in New York. I had the privilege to shake his hand and thank him for the impact he’s made on my life.
James Altucher was a web developer that was wildly successful. He lost it all. Then he became a hedge fund manager, financial expert and author. He lost it all again.
Then he started his blog, JamesAltucher.com and opened up. He gave people a front row seat to his personal life.
He wrote of his failures, mistakes, and the mental demise of each downfall. He shared his climb back, his evolution. He held nothing back.
Thank you James, for the experiences you’ve shared. You’ve changed my life. It was cool to meet you in New York.
Here are 15 things I’ve learned from James Altucher from his books and podcast:
1. The Daily Practice. Everyday work on developing yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
-Physical – Get 7-9 hours of sleep. Don’t eat too much junk food. Exercise. Moderation is enough. Walking 20 minutes per day is a good start.
-Mental – Write down 10 ideas everyday. Build your idea muscle. For every 500 bad ideas you write down, you’ll come up with 1 excellent idea.
-Emotional – Only spend time with people you love and respect, and who love and respect you. Remove everyone who brings you down.
-Spiritual – This simply means being grateful. Everyday. For the good and the bad that arises. Gratitude is a spiritual practice.
2. Always be giving – Help your friends. Help your colleges. Make connections for others. Give your ideas away to help people in your network. Give value, instead of asking for favors.
3. Focus on getting 1% better everyday. 1% compounded everyday doubles every 72 days. Which means in 1 year you’ll be 5 times better than before. Think big. Think 1% big. Everyday matters. It adds up quick.
4. The first arrow wounds and second arrow kills. The first arrow is the circumstances that happened, or the mistake you made. Wounds heal. The second arrow is the negative dwelling of the mistake. The second arrow is what kills us.
Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Have awareness of your reactions. Be aware of the second arrow. Don’t let it kill you. We will heal from the first arrow.
5. Let go of regrets from the past and anxieties of the future. Focus on today. Too much energy on past and future is wasted energy. It becomes the second arrow that kills us.
6. Watch comedy everyday. Laughter is the best medicine. Comedy takes the edge off before a big meeting or date. Children laugh on average 300 times per day. Adults, only 5 times. Let’s act more like children.
7. Treat everyone you meet like they are going to die tomorrow. Give them the upmost respect and attention when you meet them. As if it’s the last time you’ll ever see them again.
8. Live like you will live forever. This is counterintuitive from, “Live like you’ll die tomorrow.” This mentality is PATIENCE. Patience to improve 1% each day. People try to do too much and burn out. Avoid burn out and go further.
9. Say no. Saying no frees you from obligations that don’t make you happy. Focus only on what you enjoy and what matters to you.
10. Focus on eradicating stress. Don’t strive for success. Strive for less stress in you life. Success will come easier when the stress is gone.
11. We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. Make mistakes. Fail, learn, grow, fail again.
12. The 24-hour rule. When someone hurts you or makes you angry, bite your tongue. Don’t react for 24 hours. By then you’ve cooled off and didn’t fuel the fire. The situation is diffused because of your non-reaction.
13. Themes. Not goals. Goals can be stressful if you’re not reaching them. Think themes of what you love. James said, in his New York Times article, “There are no goals. There’s only practice. Practice never makes perfect. Practice makes happy. Practice makes habits.
14. Purpose is overrated. People try so hard to find their “purpose.” When they can’t find it or fail at it, unhappiness sets in. James says in his book Choose Yourself, “Happiness should not be based on some far-fetched purpose, or self-inflicted mandatory journey.” Purpose is overrated. Life is about being happy now.
15. Invest in and choose yourself. “If you don’t choose the life you want to live, chances are, someone else is going to choose it for you. And the results are probably not going to be pretty.” – James Altucher