If you’ve never heard of James Altucher, I feel for you, but at the same time I’m excited you’ll get to discover him for the first time. The truth is, he looks like a mad scientist and some people might even say that his ideas match.
I’m not one of those people!
James’ story spoke out to me. Always trying to live the “normal” life that someone else has programmed you to live.
Whether it be about buying a house, getting a job, saving towards your pension, it doesn’t matter. Times have changed, and a lot of these things haven’t.
Opening my eyes!
James has a great way of making you focus and think about who you are and what you actually want.
His book, Choose yourself, was the first of his book I read. It was given to me by a good friend.
Since then I follow his blog, his podcast – The James Altucher Show (which is great fun) and I continue to read his new books when they come out. I was even lucky enough to see him talk in London a few years ago.
Living for yourself, not for others!
For year and years, I followed the same thought process as the vast majority. I was a sheep. Through no fault of my own I might add. We all do it. In fact for most of the time, I didn’t even realise I was doing it, it was just called “normal” life.
Once I started to take away what I thought I should be doing, I started finding what I really wanted to be doing.
I used to think that was being “selfish”.
I was wrong!
A good friend taught me that one day when we were away together and we had a day off in the US.
“Beach” he said?
I didn’t really fancy it! At the time, I would have usually said, “yeah ok” and gone along with it. I was “easy going” at that time, or at least so I thought.
The truth is, I wasn’t easy going, I just put a lot of effort in to making other people happy, doing what they wanted to do, thinking that was the way to live a “good” life.
What I actually said was “no mate, I’ll drop you off and I’m going to go for a drive and have a look around”.
“Cool, catch you later for dinner” he replied.
It suddenly clicked. He didn’t think less of me, he wasn’t angry about that, in fact he thought it was completely normal.
We spoke about it later on that week, and he made me realise just how “normal” what I had done actually was.
At that point I started doing what I wanted to. Not selfishly, but as James Altucher calls it, “Choose yourself“!
Doing what makes you happy can change everything around you.
Not doing what you don’t want to do has the same effect.
It’s worth understanding and building on this. If you feel like you do too much to “go with the crowd” then you really need to take a minute.
It can feel really weird at the beginning, and you will probably double take and question your choices a few times to start with. But stick with it. It still feels a little weird for me sometimes, but I’m sticking to it.
In the long run, it always makes me feel so much better.
Today, I’m doing what I want to be doing!
I’m travelling around the world whilst working and best of all, it’s all because I wanted to. You can read that story here – Why I plan to leave it all behind me in 2017.
Why do anything that doesn’t make you happy? Doesn’t make you feel good?
Well, simply put, I don’t anymore. Maybe you shouldn’t either!
NOTE: A couple of great posts from James’ blog – Altucher Confidential.