The James Altucher Show

Ep. 156 - Turney Duff: This is Wall Street

February 23, 201658 min
I’d rather be an alien. I’d rather be myself. Than be liked. It makes sense… why you’d want to be liked. Think about it. From an evolutionary standpoint, when you’re liked, you’re safe. You’re in the tribe. People protect you. But now, I’d rather be an alien. I don’t want stress. I don’t want to worry, “Do I fit in?” There are consequences to being liked. You start compromising. You stop taking risks. You follow the herd. You get stuck in a crappy job at a fluorescently lit cubicle. Where they can watch you. You stop taking risks. You wonder, “Is this ok?” Ok to who? Not you. Not the only person who matters. I’d rather be an alien. If I’m an alien, I can act like I just landed here. And I’m not supposed to know if I fit in. I’m forced to be myself. No trying. Just forced. I can surrender. My guest today, used to be in a tribe. I won’t say it’s the worst one. But it’s bad. Turney Duff is the New York Times bestselling author of, The Buy Side: A Wall Street Trader's Tale of Spectacular Excess, where he tells the truth. He bleeds. "Look, chances are people aren't going to like me after I tell the story, so at no point am I ever, ever, ever going to try to get the reader to like me,” Turney says. But that wasn’t easy. Because he spent his whole life trying to be liked. “I've always had this 'Nobody loves me' syndrome. I had this fear of ordinary, fear of being normal.” On Wall Street, Turney was a trader. But he wasn’t just trading stocks. He traded sleep, health, relationships, money. All of it for drugs. He was afraid. He’d go to hotel rooms and snort cocaine by himself. But nothing was enough. He made $2 million dollars a year. He thought, “If I could just make three million dollars a year, all of my problems would be solved." But before that he said, “If I could just make fifty thousand dollars a year, all of my problems would be solved. All of them." He wanted to be a journalist. But he traded. A lot of people trade. Maybe you traded. But it’s not too late. You can choose yourself. There are three things you need to know to choose yourself. And I got these from my interview with Turney. He’ll show you. He’ll prove to you it’s not too late. I believe in you. Three steps to (finally) choose yourself: 1) Don’t try to be liked. When Turney wrote this book, he knew people would stop liking him. Or hate him. He told it anyway. And it saved his life.  That’s what saved my life too. Bleeding on the pages. Telling my truth. Listen at [2:35] to learn how to cure something in yourself too. 2) Want less. Wanting more hurts. Because you trick your brain into believing you don’t have enough. And start feeling sorry for yourself. Instead of grateful for what you do have. So I want less.  Listen at [6:28]. Turney explains why wanting more destroys you. 3) Build up your gut. We have instincts. And our bodies speak to us. But we’re good at ignoring it. The pain. We think stomach aches are just stomach aches. But it’s an accumulation abuse. Stress. Worry. Fear. You have to listen to your body. Notice the pain. Turney says, “I became successful on the trading desk because I had great instincts, and I used my gut. Along the way I lost that.” Listen at [51:50] to hear how he got his gut back. After everything, I ask him, “Has it worked out?” “I'll tell you this...” Listen here for my interview with Turney. You’ll learn how to choose yourself. And you’ll hear how Turney did it himself. How he turned his back on his tribe, his drugs, his money.  It took him most of his life. But he did it. You can too.

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