30 Days Of Genius Blog: James Altucher
Perspective is one of the most important things in life. It changes everything. One of the most unique perspectives on life has to belong to James Altucher. He is constantly questioning, learning, reinventing, and taking everything he has experienced to help others (through brutal honesty and insight) with their own experiences. I am a huge fan of his, and was thrilled to be able to write this.
I have taken his interview on 30 Days of Genius with Chase Jarvis, extracted the information, and used it to answer common questions by readers just like you, who are looking to take their lives to the next level, or at least a different level than the one they are on.
I Am Too Scared To Quit My Job And Follow My Passion. What Do I Do?
That works out great, because you shouldn’t quit your job yet anyways. Honestly, you may not quit your job ever!
The important thing is actually doing the thing you love. Just because you don’t leave your job to pursue your passion doesn’t mean you should use that as an excuse to not pursue it at all.
Get what I am saying?
This is the greatest time ever to be anything you want. Not only are there less gatekeepers because of the internet, efficiency through technology is consuming more jobs every day. You might as well do something you love, because your job will most likely be taken by either a new program, or a robot.
Don’t look at it as a bad thing, because it really isn’t. What do you do with this slightly gloomy outlook on your job security? My suggestion is to write down 10 ideas a day that have to do with your “passion,” whatever that is. I do this in the morning, you can do it when it works for you, but do it. What you will find is the more ideas you have, the more you flex this idea muscle, the better the ideas get, and more frequently. Don’t worry, most of your ideas will be bad, but some will be great. This will speed up the process of getting all the bad ideas out of your head to make room for the good ones.
As you come up with actionable (hopefully good) ideas, you start implementing and experimenting. If you think of anything great that was ever invented, it is really just a series of mini experiments. It’s actually the best way to learn. Experiment, fail, learn, think, experiment, fail, learn, etc.
This is why you don’t quit your job. You need to mitigate the risk of this new endeavor. Having money come in is part of that mitigation. What you need to do is focus on your down time (nights and weekends), or the time when it looks like you are at your desk working (not that any of you do that), and create your passion project then.
The best job to do this? Night security. Why? Because no one is doing anything at night, you are the only one there, and no one is watching you because you are the one watching them. See? Perfect!
The keys are action and repetition. The more you create, the more creative you become. It’s just how it is. Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Why? Because that guy is REALLY good at that one kick. You just need to figure out your kick.
What If I Don’t Have The Equipment To Create The Way You Want To?
That’s just an excuse.
One of the greatest movies of all times, Star Wars, was filmed on a camera worse than the one on my phone, or your phone, or pretty much anyone else with a phone. Try and wrap your head around that. Star Wars.
Tech is better than it was 20 years ago. There are less gatekeepers than there were 20 years ago. There is more information out there than ever. Just create. Tell your story through the medium of your choice. Storytelling is the oldest art form in the world. For the rest of your life, and the rest of everyone’s life, you will always find media for storytelling. It’s been around for 70,000 years. It may look different. It may be on cave walls, then newspapers, then TV, now on your phones, but it’s still storytelling.
Keep your expectations low, achieve them, and then set your expectations a little higher. The goal should be creation, ideas, experimenting, and reinventing. That’s how you develop something great, something you can quit your job over.
Where Should I Start?
Advice is autobiography.
I will tell you what I do, and hopefully you can use some of it for yourself.
I believe that everything compounds. The more you do it, the better (or worse) it gets. I have 4 daily practices that I do, well, daily. They help me immensely in my personal as well as business life.
Here they are:
1. I do something for my health. This could be a walk, a run, as long as it is physical and you get your body moving.
2. I do something creative. For me, it is most likely writing, but it could be painting, singing, whatever you want. Just create.
3. I practice gratitude. Not easy gratitude, like your kids or health. Nope, difficult gratitude. Take the thing that sucked the most yesterday or today and find the goodness in it. It is not always easy, but it can do amazing things for you mentally and emotionally.
4. I do something for my relationships. This can be kids, parents, friends, anything. Do something that builds or reinforces the relationships in your life.
Figure out what you are doing when you are doing well and keep doing that. Then figure out what you are doing when you are doing bad, and figure out how you get back to the “good” faster.
Easier said than done, but remember that we all have ups and downs, the key is to figure them out and stay up as much as possible. It’s better for you and everyone around you.
My motto is, “I’m an idiot.”
Almost by definition, you have to have a side gig.
You can constantly find media for storytelling.
You only learn through experiences. I would tell my former self, “go f** yourself.” You need to learn on your own.
James Altucher Links
Chase Jarvis Links