James Altucher: How to take control of your life right now, today
A lot of angry people out there are trying to control you and even kill you.I bet you can list at least a dozen people trying to control you right now. I wrote an article on my email list the other day saying how I was paid up on my taxes for the first time ever, but that it made me sick to my stomach. Blech!
The first time I ever made a lot of money, it did not make me free. It cost me my freedom. Before I had money, I had a lot of friends, I did what I wanted on weekends and at nights, I had fun.
After I had money, I started thinking I needed to make more money. A LOT more money. I started buying things I couldn’t really afford. I felt people wouldn’t like me if I didn’t have these things.
I started lending money out to friends and family in the hopes of “helping” them. I thought people would like me if I “saved” them.
NOBODY will ever remember how you helped them. And you can’t save anyone.
This was my first lesson.
My second lesson is that I never really owned anything. When I “owned” a house I became slave to the bank, slave to the government, slave to upkeep of the house, slave to the other people living in the house (my family, who I became afraid would be homeless).
Third, I let money control who I associated with. Eventually I ended up with no friends or family. The people I truly loved at the time, I lost. I still regret it.
I was afraid of consequences. I was afraid to lose “everything” even though I had already lost it.
I sold everything. I had to give up many of my friendships and even many of my family relationships. I disappointed probably everyone. But it was the only way I could get free and start from scratch.
Once I started from scratch, I was able to begin the long process of reinventing myself.
I probably own nothing right now except some clothes and some books. And all my relationships, 100% of the people I talk with, are only with people I choose to talk to.
If someone in my life tries to control me because of their own fears and angers, then they are out.
I also try to not control anyone else. If someone does something I don’t like, I can’t control what they think or do. It’s useless and it’s a waste of my time. I try to change my circumstances so I don’t have to deal with those people.
What if you are stuck in a job and have bills to pay because of past mistakes? You have to work for your freedom then. And it’s an ongoing process. It’s every day.
The key to freedom is luck. But luck is not magic.
Luck equals Persistence plus Diversification.
1.) Persistence is a sentence filled with failures punctuated by the occasional success.
2.) Diversification means coming up with 1,000 ideas and implementing the one or two percent that seem reasonable.
Coming up with 1,000s of ideas means having the energy and creativity to brainstorm.
Energy equals Physical plus Emotional plus Mental plus Spiritual health.
All forms of health are a function of how much you control your own life divided by how much people control you.
When I respond to an angry comment, someone controls me. Anger controls me. Then I spend less time being healthy.
If I’m in an unhappy relationship but afraid of the consequences of breaking it then fear controls me.
If I daydream arguments between myself and a boss or a sister or a colleague or whoever, then anger is controlling me. Their issues have nothing to do with me.
If I let them control me, or I try to control them, then I sacrifice my health. Then I can’t generate ideas. I lose persistence. I get unlucky. I lose my freedom.
Every time. No exceptions. I’d rather be healthy than “right”.
Many people have written about things like “the law of attraction”. The law of attraction is about attracting things in the outside world into your life.
This is fine. But it won’t work unless you control what’s happening on the inside world first.
This is the one thing truly under your control. It’s the only way to choose yourself.
Don’t be the slave. Be the master.
Crux note: If you haven’t heard James’ new radio show yet… you’re missing out. The former Wall Street “ultra-preneur” shares his addictive mix of business insight, common sense wisdom, and hilarious wit. You’ll learn more useful knowledge in 30 minutes with James than in four years of college. In his latest show, James interviews New York Times bestselling author Robert Greene. Greene has written The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War. His newest book is called Mastery. You can listen to this eye-opening episode right here.
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