When I look back at these times now I realize there was a common thread.
EACH TIME THERE WERE FOUR THINGS, AND ONLY FOUR THINGS, THAT WERE ALWAYS IN PLACE IN ORDER FOR ME TO BOUNCE BACK.
Now I try to incorporate these four things into a Daily Practice
The key is: every day try to make some improvement in the following areas: PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, SPIRITUAL.
PHYSICAL – being in shape. Doing some form of exercise. In 2003 I woke up at 5am every day and from 5-6am I played “Round the World” on a basketball court overlooking the Hudson River. Every day (except when it rained). Trains would pass and people at 5:30am would wave to me out the window. Now, I try to do yoga every day. But it’s hard. All you need to do, minimally, is exercise enough to break a sweat for 10 minutes. So about 20-30 minutes worth of exercise a day. This is not to get “ripped” or “shredded.” But just to be healthy. You can’t be happy if you aren’t healthy. Also, spending this time helps your mind better deal with it’s daily anxieties. If you can breathe easy when your body is in pain then it’s easier to breathe during difficult situations. Here are other things that are a part of this but a little bit harder:
• Wake up by 4-5am every day.
• Go to sleep by 8:30-9. (Good to sleep 8 hours a night!)
• No eating after 5:30pm. Can’t be happy if indigested at night.
But the most important side effect of being healthy is that sickness will not get in the way of your freedom. It won’t get in the way of mental vitality, emotional health, and ultimately spiritual health. And will allow you to enjoy high quality of life in your later years. So find even the 10 minute routine that resonates with you. Don’t depend on the late night infomercials with their false dreams and promises. The cemetery of dead exercise machines in basements is an enormous graveyard.
EMOTIONAL – If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer. Nobody is sacred here. When the plane is going down, put the oxygen mask on your face first. Family, friends, people I love – I always try to be there for them and help. But I don’t get close to anyone bringing me down. This rule can’t be broken. Energy leaks out of you if someone is draining you. And I never owe anyone an explanation. Explaining is draining.
MENTAL – 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. The other day I tried to write 100 alternatives kids can do other than go to college. I wrote down eight, which I wrote about here. I couldn’t come up with anymore. Then the next day I came up with another 40. It definitely stretched my head. No ideas today? Memorize all the legal 2 letter words for Scrabble. Translate the Tao Te Ching into Spanish. Need ideas for lists of ideas? Come up with 30 separate chapters for an “autobiography.” Try to think of 10 businesses you can start from home (and be realistic how you can execute them)? Give me 10 ideas of directions this blog can go in. Think of 20 ways Obama can improve the country. List every productive thing you did yesterday (this improves memory also and gives you ideas for today).
SPIRITUAL – I feel that most people don’t like the word “spiritual.” They think it means “god.” Or “religion.” But it doesn’t. I don’t know what it means actually. But I feel like I have a spiritual practice when I do one of the following:
The Results • Within about one month, I’d notice coincidences start to happen. I’d start to feel lucky. People would smile at me more. • Within three months the ideas would really start flowing, to the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas. • Within six months, good ideas would start flowing, I’d begin executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything together.
WITHIN A YEAR MY LIFE WAS ALWAYS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. 100%
I Was Blind But Now I See: Time to Be Happy by James Altucher
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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