I read book after book but the advice seemed awful. And even the advice that was clearly good (“eat better”) there was almost zero chance I would follow.
I don’t know how to take good advice. I don’t know how to give it. And all of this talk about “habits” seems beyond me.
I was all alone with no one around to police the spill of my primitive desires.
Trapped in that nightmare world between: “If only this had happened” and “if this happens, I will be a success” without thinking that right now is when things can be different.
The negative things I was doing were weighing on me, causing me anxiety, stress, darkness, draining me of energy, and I refused to take responsibility for them.
So I tried something. Happiness is when you do good things for yourself, but do them just a little each day – else disappointment and failure.
Every day I’d take a random habit that I knew was good (see the attached 20 below) and I’d try to improve it a little. Just “1%”.
Following these habits was not about me. I didn’t see success in me.
I noticed I was impacting others when I followed good habits. A good habit is the pebble dropped in the ocean that ripples out to every shore.
Each habit compounds over time. Each habit is a super power.
Self worth is a myth. We’re in this together. Our actions are the impact everyone else feels.
Be the person that everyone remembers.
These 20 habits are the seeds. You plant them, you water them, some grow, you grow, everyone grows. I only know this because I had to do it.
The 20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires
1. Say “No”
When you say “NO” you have more time to read, learn, sleep, ask questions, contact friends, love life. Say “no” more.
This is the only religion. This is the only thing worth surrounding to. This is the fuel for your ideal muscle
3. Make Mistakes
Mistakes are the spell books of success. Study them hard. Learn their incantations. When muscled tear they rebuild
4. Plant seeds
Basic garden math: 1% of seeds turns into 50% of the flowers. Plant lots of seeds
5. Be around people who are kind to you and love you
Other people will make you unhappy, unkind, and unsuccessful.
6. Stand next to the smartest person in the room
Harold Ramis did is (Bill Murray). Steve Jobs did it (Steve Woznick). Craig Silverstein did it (Who? Larry Page). Kanye West did it (Jay-Z). I make money only when I do this/
7. No excuses
Blaming is draining. Camplaining is draining. Explaining is draining. We don’t have enough inner plumbing for all that draining.
8. Don’t be in a rush
Every overnight success I’ve spoken to. Took 10-20 years to get there. But ONLY if the celebrated small success along the way.
9. Solve difficult gratitude problems
If you can find a diamond in the mud, you’re going to end up with a lot of diamonds in life.
10. Warren buffet’s 5/25 rule
Make a list of the 25 things you want to do in life. Now foo the top 5. And NEVER THINK ABOUT THE OTHER 20 EVER AGAIN. Else they will take time away from the 5 that are most important to you
11. Write down 10 ideas a day
This actually turns into a super power. Do this for six months straight and see what happens.
12. Follow up
I’m shy and bad at this. And lazy. Send on email the next day with an idea on the next step. I have to do this.
13. Ask questions
There are more questions than answers opportunities are buried in the questions. Facts can be outsourced.
14. 1% a day
Whatever you want to get better at: do 1% more each day. 1% a day, compound, is 3800% a year. You win.
15. Right now
Regret will waste time today worrying about yesterday. And anxiety will steal energy from the future. Focus on right now.
Sleep rejuvenates brain cells, heals the body, reduces anxiety. And your brain is only active 2-5 hours a day. Sweet dreams.
17. Every day, avoid death
You can’t get rich from a hospital bed. Or a grave. More every day, sleep well, eat well.
18. Do one thing every day you loved as a kid
WAIT – I thought you said there were 20?
Secret to success…
Give yourself permission to be wrong.
James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Image courtesy of Leah Kelley.