Taken from James Altucher’s blog.
He is one of my favorite bloggers and authors.
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).
The “idea muscle” atrophies within days if you don’t use it. Just like walking. If you don’t use your legs for a week, they atrophy.
You need to exercise the idea muscle. It takes about 3-6 months to build up once it atrophies. Trust me on this.
D) 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:
- Pray (doesn’t matter if I’m praying to a god or to dead people or to the sun or to a chair in front of me – it just means being thankful. And not taking all the credit, for just a few seconds of the day).
- Meditate – Meditation for more than a few minutes is hard. It’s boring. Here I give tips for 60 second meditations. You can also meditate for 15 seconds by really visualizing what it would be like meditate for 60 minutes.Here’s a simple meditation: sit in a chair, keep the back straight, watch yourself breathe. If you get distracted, no problem. Just pull yourself back to your breath. Try it for 5 minutes. Then six.
- 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. Its hard.
- Forgiving – I picture everyone who has done me wrong. I visualize gratefulness for them (but not pity).
- 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) I tend to feel good. This is not as powerful as praying or meditating (it doesn’t train your mind to cut out the BS) but it still makes me feel good.
My own experience: I can never achieve the three “simple” goals on a steady basis without doing the above practice on a daily basis. And every time I’ve hit bottom (or close to a bottom, or I’ve been at some sort of crossroads) and started dong the above 4 items (1991, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2008) magic would happen:
A) Within about one month, I’d notice coincidences start to happen. I’d start to feel lucky. People would smile at me more.
B) Within three months the ideas would really start flowing, to the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas.
C) Within six months, good ideas would start flowing, I’d begin executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything together.
D) Within a year my life was always completely different. 100% upside down from the year before. More money, more luck, more health, etc.
Thank you James for sharing. I’m glad you inspire us to write more often. You helped me start my own podcast and for that I’m grateful for you.
Davidson Hang is currently in Sales at Cheetah Digital which is a Marketing technology company located in NYC.
Davidson is an avid networker, personal growth- life and business coach.
He loves spreading the love and regularly helps people create and design the life they want for themselves.