An alphabet made out of rain
Daniel wrote this in a hangout that we share:
During my run today (listening to Eminem…) - I remembered this article from a while ago…
And he linked to How to Get an MBA from Eminem? - James Altucher
He continued with:
The lessons in there have stuck with me since I first read it.
Mike would probably get a kick out of this guy.
Then he linked to this
The Most Important Reasons I Waste My Life Writing
He quoted some stuff from the post. And he said:
Holy smokes - this guy IS Mike.
So went and read the stuff he’d linked to. An hour and a half later I replied:
HOLY CRAP!!!!!!! Thanks, buddy
The guy’s name is James Altucher. Today he’s my hero.
Why I waste my life writing
“Why are we addicts?” I asked my friend.
“What do you mean?”
“My kids don’t’ even know who the Beatles are. Everything you write, everything I write, will be forgotten within three days of us dying,” I said.
I’m addicted to my past. Afraid of my future.
The past is often too painful. It’s an alphabet made out of rain.
I want to assemble the letters into something sensible. So I can live. Live forever.
Me too. I want to live forever. I don’t think I’m addicted to the past. I don’t think I’m afraid of my future. Most of the past is not painful, but it’s only because I’ve done a lot of work to remove the sting.
But I do want to assemble letters into something sensible. I need to do it so I can live right now. And I want to live forever.
And the phrase “an alphabet made out of rain?” It sings to me.
The dude’s name is James Altucher.
That’s his name. James Altucher. I’ve spent hours over the past 24 reading his blog, skimming two of his books ($0.99 each on Kindle) listening to his podcasts (well, only a couple of bits of a couple of them). I wrapped up my expedition into Altucherland with a visit to Wikipedia James Altucher and Quora Is James Altucher program a scam?.
Is it a scam? I don’t care. Probably it is. But I don’t care. He writes things that are brilliant and inspiring. He takes risks and inspires me to take risks. So fuck it if he’s a scammer. We can’t all be perfect.
I’ll start with the The New York Times profile: Why Self-Help Guru James Altucher Only Owns 15 Things. The article quotes some of his advice:
Chapters include “How to Be Less Stupid” (“I lose at least 20 percent of my intelligence when I am resentful”) and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People.”
How to be less stupid is something that I can use. Losing intelligence when I’m resentment is another reason to declare war on resentment.
A key tenet of the book is the Daily Practice, a wellness regimen that comprises the physical (eat well, try to go to sleep by 9 p.m. and rise by 5 a.m., break a sweat for at least 10 minutes a day), emotional (be around people you love, who love you), mental (write a list of 10 ideas each day to exercise the “idea muscle” before it atrophies) and spiritual (feel gratitude every day).
The practice is worth some detail.
He explains “The Practice” in this post How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps.
Physical – being in shape. Doing some form of exercise. (Wake up at 4:00 to 5:00 AM every day; go to sleep early, so you get 8 hours; no eating after 5:30 PM; exercise and break a sweat)
Ideas “Every day I write down ideas; I write down so many ideas that it hurts my head to come up with one more. Then I try to write down five more.” I’m going to adopt that one.
Being grateful – “I try to think of everyone in my life I’m grateful for. Then I try to think of more people. Then more. It’s hard.” It is hard. I’m going to adopt that one.
Forgiving – I picture everyone who has done me wrong. I visualize gratefulness for them (but not pity). Also that one.
Studying- If I read a spiritual text (doesn’t matter what it is: Bible, Tao Te Ching, anything Zen related, even inspirational self-help stuff, doesn’t matter)
Also, he says, pray and meditate.
Emotional “Family, friends, people I love – I always try to be there for them and help.” I agree. But: “If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer.” is a slippery slope. Sometimes people can be a drag on you because they see you heading in a bad direction and want to keep you from wrecking your life. There’s no telling whether Altucher many catastrophes would have been prevented if he hadn’t cut out people who gave him good counsel, but he thought were drags on him; no telling whether his many successes were the result of his cutting drags out of his life. So on this one: proceed with caution.
“Nobody is sacred here. When the plane is going down, put the oxygen mask on your face first.”
I don’t like the goals that he sets out at the start of the post:
A I want to be happy.
B) I want to eradicate unhappiness in my life.
C) I want every day to be as smooth as possible. No hassles.
There’s no evidence that he lives his life that way. Somewhere else I think that he’s set out some better goals, but again, I don’t care. Nobody’s perfect.
His ideas on meditation are unorthodox and brilliant Naked girls, astral projection, and achieving Nirvana in 60 seconds or less
It sounds like he’s got horrible ADD so a ten-minute meditation session is more than he can take. That’s OK. Nobody’s perfect. So he’s got one minute, two minute “waking up” exercises.
Elevator. In an elevator filled with people, take a deep breath, feel your anxiety at not being able to look at your blackberry. How many deep breaths can you do before the elevator reaches its destination?
Waking. When you wake up, take three deep breaths, count them. Try to list all of the things you hear that moment. Do you hear cars outside? Birds? Your house creaking? Kids downstairs?
Alien. Imagine that you are an alien from outer space and you were just transported into this body. You have no idea who you are, and you have to start with a completely blank slate. Spend the next minute figuring it out.
Dishes. Stop yourself from daydreaming. Really try to do a good job washing each dish. Not a speck on them.
Surrender. Spend sixty seconds completely dedicating this day to whatever higher power you want to believe in. They are going to take over your body and mind and do their thing today. Hand over the keys to your body and mind during those sixty seconds and know that today will be dedicated to doing their mission. You are just the vehicle.
Gratitude. Make a list in your head of all the people in your life you are grateful for. Only takes a few minutes, drastically reduces stress.
Hate. Think of one person you really hate. Now, truly and sincerely wish him the best in your head. This person is just trying to get through life also. Wish him or her the best. And mean it. (Don’t pity them. Everyone is suffering. Wish them the best.)
Walking. When you are walking around in the city if you are anything like me you probably hate most of the people who you pass, even if you don’t know them or have never seen them before. Catch yourself doing that. Try the reverse. Try liking all of them.
There are all great practices.
Quotes from Quora
TL;DR - yes…it is essentially a scam - virtually no actionable info, long-winded self-hype, nothing worth anything, complete pain to refund
James Altucher is the human version of clickbait. Everything he does is designed to be attention-grabbing rather than substantive.
James’s stuff used to be really good. Now I get constant junk emails from some guy named Doug with a bunch of crap like this.
So maybe he’s a scammer.
I don’t care.
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