The James Altucher Show
The James Altucher Show

Ep. 161- Charles Duhigg: Be Smarter, Better, Faster… And Most of All Be Free

April 5, 201664 min
Before writing this, I closed my eyes. I allowed myself to rest. I went from, “think, think, think” to nothing. And nothing felt good. Nothing worked. Nothing is my success. Today. I used to have another kind of success.  I was a hedge fund manager, web developer, producer, investor, corporate employee, CEO, writer. I still do some of these jobs. But not because “they” tell me to. I look back and see desperation. I was desperate to secure my future. My income. My relationships. There was always a risk of getting fired. I knew my then-wife could decide she didn’t love me anymore. My kids could, too. I was shrinking. Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually shrinking. I thought if I was miserable, “they” would help me. They didn’t. I bled out on the floor.  And then I chose myself. Now I do the daily practice. I experiment. I find what works for me. And I write about it. Because advice is autobiography. But something is still stopping me. And, if you've read to here, I bet there’s something stopping you. If you learn one thing today, I hope it’s this: experiment everyday. The steps are: Experiment. Pay Attention. Experiment And if it doesn’t work out how you imagined, then you’ll have a better story. I got evicted last week. The same day, I did this interview with Charles Duhigg. You'll hear it in the podcast. Charles is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.  Renting doesn’t work for me. But I tried it. It was a successful experiment with a failed result. I’m finding what works for me everyday. Charles says that’s what the most productive people do. They cycle through systems. Charles cycled. He wasn’t always smarter, better, faster. "I would come home every night and tell my wife, ‘If this is what success feels like, sign me up for failure.’ It was killing me,” he says. “It’s very easy to lose sight of the ‘why,’” he says. “[We] lose track of why we’re doing something, how it links up to our deepest values or our biggest aspirations... what we actually want to do with our life.” This interview might teach you something about experimenting, or focussing, or motivation. Or it might teach you nothing. But, nothing is a lesson, too.

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