I Surrender

goingoutofbusiness

I was going to go out of business or get sued.

I had just started my fund of hedge funds and on our fourth month in business our main investor said, “I’m going out of business and I need my money back.” Apparently he had never told HIS investors that he was putting money in a fund of funds and he had promised them their money back right away.  I couldn’t give him his money back for at least a year. He had given me around $20 million.

I had to do something.

I couldn’t sleep at night. My lawyer said, “why don’t you just shut down” and I was screaming back, “this is my LIFE! I don’t want to shut down.” I would wake up and think to myself, “why am I here YET AGAIN!” I would wake up and feel a clenching in my chest and I would think, “can I ever protect my family? Can I just once be happy?”

We all decided to meet in my lawyer’s office. The investor had a tic that made his entire face crunch up every few seconds. Like a piece of paper you want to throw out because it’s a bill you can’t pay. The meeting with my lawyer ended up with the investor throwing a chair at the lawyer and then running out of the office.

He was scared. His CFO quit because he thought the investor was up to illegal activity. Let me tell you something: every hedge fund is  a crime. Of the 13 hedge funds I invested in maybe 12 were engaged in some sort of criminal activity when I look back on it.

But I was afraid to go out of business. I had a family to feed. I didn’t want this investor suing me, nor did I want to give him his money back since he had committed it for a year and it was now gone, invested in 13 other hedge funds that would not give me the money back for a year (that’s standard practice).

So, I kid you not, I bought a book, “The Tao of Star Wars”. And I re-watched all the Star Wars movies. I think I bought, in total, three books about “The Force”. I meditated every day.

I surrendered.

It’s hard to “surrender”. We’re not used to that. We go for the FRONTIER. We win wars! When I was a kid we were taught that “the US has never lost a war”. Somehow in 12 years of schooling, we never learned about Vietnam. We always seemed to run out of time by the end of the school year.

“Surrender” also has religious connotations. Most people  I know went to graduate school of some sort. Grad school warps your brain. There should be “un-Grad” schools that get your brain back into balance. Grad school intensifies your brain into a very specific area, whatever area it is, and that’s enforced by the fact that all the people around you are being warped as well. Thank god I got thrown out of graduate school.

But the word “surrender” makes people think of things that are very un-academic, even un-intelligent. Giving up with out a fight.

But I decided to surrender to this science fiction movie. Star Wars. “I can’t raise $20 million overnight,” I would say. “So I’ll do whatever you tell me to do and it will be ok. I give up.”

(Yoda was my guru)

Which doesn’t mean I just lied around in bed all day. I did everything I could to raise money. But I wasn’t going to stress on it. Every day I meditated and would conclude with, “I give up. I’m going to do all I can do. But I give it up to the Force to get me into the right situation.” And I felt better after saying it. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night anymore.

If you were one of my investors you probably didn’t know that I relied on a spiritual relic out of a movie made in 1977 to save my business.

But it worked. $3mm here. $2mm there. $10mm there. Bit by bit I got the $20mm. I paid this investor back. Rather than going to jail, he went on to start another successful business.

And you know what I did almost as soon as he as out?  I shut my fund of funds down. Everything smelled ugly. Every fund I was in, disgusted me (with 1 or 2 rare exceptions). There were suicides that looked like murders. There was money that got misallocated to Switzerland and was never recovered. There were at least two Ponzi schemes. There were kickbacks. There were lawsuits.

(one manager stole money for his numbered account in Switzerland)

Finally, I got an offer for my Fund of funds. Some bank thought it would fit in nicely with their business. They raised money for companies.  So if they also ran a fund of hedge funds that invested in companies they could somehow tie it all together. Good for them.

They made a very generous offer. But they wanted me to sign a six year employment agreement and if I ever left then I had to return ALL of the money. My lawyer said, “I thought slavery was banned a century or so ago?”

My business partner said, “We can’t take this offer.” I was sad. I wanted to get rid of the business and I wanted the money. I was pacing up and down the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel. “We have to take it,” I said. But Dan, my business partner, said, “If you sign this offer then a year from now you’re going to be standing on the top of the Empire State Building debating whether or not to jump off.”

He knew me pretty well.

So we shut it down. Our investors were upset at us. They still are. The irony being we managed to save them from going through the entire housing crisis with us. If we had even shut down a few months later then they would’ve gotten 40 cents on the dollar. Instead, they all made money.

And then I surrendered again. My money was starting to run low. I needed something to happen. But I surrendered. I said, “I’m going to start ten web businesses. I’m going to pour my heart into them. But that’s all I can do. The rest is up to YOU.” Whoever YOU is.

(I Surrender!)

If I ever found myself stressed, I would surrender again. “YOU take care of it.”

Most of the websites I started didn’t work out. For instance, keauty.com. Or smartorstupid.com.  I made a contest site where people could make their own versions of “hotornot”. I made site after site. None of them got any traction.

But I started stockpickr.com and it took off. A million plus users a month. Thestreet.com then bought it and I think it’s still around but barely. It’s hard to really nourish a community while it grows. Thestreet didn’t know how to nourish properly.

Now, it’s a little over a year since I started this blog. I want this blog to be my life somehow. To be the thing I’m most proud of. But I don’t quite know how to do it. So I write every day. I syndicate as much as possible. I read every day. I study every day. I respond to emails and coments. I hold my Thursday Q&A on Twitter. I write books based on the ideas on this blog. I have a comic coming out soon based on this blog.

And I surrender.

 

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  • http://736hundred.tumblr.com/ 736hundred

    You and Claudia should join forces and create an Learning Institute in the U.S.  Combine all your knowledge and teach, instruct and inspire.  Different classes, varied time commitments, grow into a actual place people would stay for a weekend or longer ….also offer a yearly organized a trip to Mysore.

    People go to fat camp to lose weight, spas for relaxation, ranches for a western experience, outward bound when they want to push their limits  – why not create something for people who to better their better life experience in entrepreneurship.  Combine emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental…

    Just an idea.

    • James Altucher

      736, we’ve actually thought a lot about doing something like that. It hasn’t quite become clear yet to us the best way to do it but we’ve been thinking about it and letting it ruminate around.

      • http://twitter.com/sonicviz Paul Cohen

        Count me in. Lets talk!

      • Anonymous

        an unconferance could work well..the comments on this blog are of the highest calibre…

        • Anonymous

          p.s. James have you seen the Qatsi Trilogy, your strapline always reminds me of them?

      • Chuckie D

        Keep moving forward and learning about yourself.  There is something vaguely sinister in the suggestion that you should now build a temple to which your followers could make pilgrimage. aka “an institute” You are a welcome voice crying in the wilderness.  your voice resonates with me and a lot of other people.  keep up the good work James.

      • Swo

        Somebody else mentioned cruises so how about this.  Host a cruise or even a tour of some kind and have daily activities surrounding what you want to “teach.”  Don’t know how much money you would make but you’d never have to pay for a cruise again and you could probably claim a cut of whatever your patrons created.

    • AJbaker

      Excellent Idea. I bet it would be a winner

  • Anonymous

    Love it!

  • modernmind

    James, I’m proud of you and it’s an honor to know you.

  • Anonymous

    I think you will most be proud of your children and family. The blog will be a close second. Possibly 3rd if you write the great American novel…

  • http://www.thishockeyday.com Mansal

    I know how you feel. Many religious people surrender on a pretty regular basis to their god etc. For us not-non-believers-but-just-don’t-know people, we have to surrender to…whatever IT is. In your case it was Yoda (and I have to say he is very god-like at least).

    Not sure if you have read any Hindu scripts but fate and surrendering yourself to your life’s task, your status in society, your husband/wife is very important. 

  • http://www.preemptiveplacebo.com Preemptive Placebo

    Each of us was born with a whole bunch of innate internal errors.  Nature put them there for our benefit.  Sadly, they can also do us harm. 

    One such error is the Optimism Bias.  Humans have a tendency to be overly optimistic.  Sometimes this delusional optimism makes us do great things.  That’s why it exists. Nature selected for it because a thousand generations ago someone did something really optimistic and got to breed because of it, beating out the less optimistic person and passing on the predisposition.  Of course, sometimes this excessive optimism causes us to do some really dumb stuff that can harm us. 

    Another innate error that we all have is the Belief Bias.  We want to believe that there is “something more’, something greater than us, because we want to surrender to it.  Especially in times of difficulty.  Surrender helps us to cope.  In order to surrender, there must be something to surrender to.  We create that something from our desire for it to exist. 

    Trouble is, we as a species tend to surrender even when there are things we can still do, actions we can still take, control we can still exercise to solve the problems ourselves. Yet it is difficult to continue striving and it is comforting to surrender.   So the “something more” becomes the self-created excuse to give in. 

    Take a good look around you today and you will see that people are exercising premature-surrender in just about every aspect of life.  More so than ever before.  Why?  Because we have more reasons to surrender.  Where once we surrendered to God and only God, we now have genetics, physics, the mysteries of the universe, and credit default swaps to name just a few.   Each new scientific breakthrough reveals not how much we know, but how much more is unknown.  The complexity itself causes people to throw up their hands in despair. 

    Now more than ever we are surrendering responsibility for our health to doctors and health insurance companies.  We surrender responsibility for our children’s education to schools.  We surrender our future well-being to an employer and our happiness to material objects. 

    We are allowing our innate internal biases and our innate desire for surrender to be used by those with a vested interest to turn us into passive, obedient drones.  If anything, we must resist this innate desire to surrender until all else is lost.  

  • Jerry

    The concept of surrender is both wise and, on the surface, simple. Deep reflection on what one is honestly surrendering to can lead to a deeper sense of comfort with oneself. Comfort with the entire, real, unique and quite imperfect package that each of us are.

    Thank you again for your posts James.

    • Garyt

      I came upon a quote that I live by when life or situations meet the dregs:

      “It is better to have a bad plan, than no plan at all”

      What you are giving up, by surrendering, is a meandering, chicken-without-a-head “No Plan” activitiy.

      The bad plan (which is better than no plan) here is doing nothing to make it worse. Following a plan to gracefully give up, is often the better plan when there is no way out.

  • Voip

    you are just stuped. you do not know anything about economy and talking baseless. try to keep quite.

    • Matt Enns

      You missed the mark so badly with that comment, Voip, that I actually liked your post. Hahahaha.  Awesome.

    • http://www.feed.us RacerRick

      volp stuped. bad comment.  no like.

  • Loislanew

    I surrender

  • http://twitter.com/juliejulie Julie Anderson

    Wax on, wax off.

  • Mckra1g

    I’ve started to view ‘surrender’ as the Cosmic Baton Transfer. AKA The Theo Roosevelt Equation. I do what I can where I am with what I have and release the outcomes. I sleep pretty well and so far, it seems to be working. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the occasional WTF-ian surge of pure unadulterated panic when I can’t SEE how it all ends up. But I’m learning to jettison the urge to control it. I really needed to see this today. Thank you. Best, M. 

    • James Altucher

      i like that: the Cosmic Baton Transfer, although once you do the transfer sometimes you still have to run but now its a new race.

  • http://www.howardlindzon.com howardlindzon

    the same shit has happned to me but I cant write as well :)

    • http://www.szelhamos.com TheAcsMan

      Who needs to write well when you have a way with the spoken word?

      It was the spoken word that I missed the other day when you appeared with Herb Greenberg on CNBC. It was a rare day that I was out of the house and sitting at a computer streaming the broadcast without sound. I thought I discerned a
      certain George Carlin like phrase, although my lip reading skills may be suspect

      If those were the words, you’re my hero. Otherwise, I may have to go with the 7 second delay.

  • Patrick Moynihan

    The face tic bill you can’t pay and wanted to crumple and throw away bit is humor business! A lot of gems in here.
    There is real power in surrender.

  • http://twitter.com/bclund bclund

    Alternate title: “How I Learned To Embrace The French Philosophy” :)

  • http://www.obsessedwithconformity.com Jim Mitchem

    I had to surrender about 20 years ago. Blindly. Well, not completely blindly – I gave up my will to my idea of God. Which, at the time, was nil. So yeah, pretty much blindly. Then things started to happen. Slowly. They still happen slowly, but I’m extremely happy now and it dawned on me just this day that I have everything in my life I ever used to ask Him for. Twenty years later, I continue to surrender on a daily basis. No, my story wasn’t based on financial chaos like yours, but the whole ‘life spinning out of control’ thing, as well as part about deception, was the same. Then I let go. It was liberating. It still is.

  • Tuzo

    James, I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything.  

    For you, do you need to “personify” your surrender?  Or is it enough to acknowledge that there are some things you can control and some you can’t and as long as you’ve done your best that’s all you can ask of yourself?

    • Anonymous

      How about that gravity?

    • James Altucher

      i never personify the surrender. What is it then that we are surrendering to? it might be our own creative force insider of us that is begging to be let out and fight the stress monsters that have invaded our body.

    • Anonymous

      You should check out “The Quantum Activist” on Netflix. I’ve watched it twice and will probably watch again today since I’ve got some time to kill.

      Dr. Amit Goswami is a physicist and he’s got a very interesting take on quantum mechanics. Very deep stuff.

      • Tuzo

        At least one person got the reference — it seemed apropos.  :)

        • jemehris

          I got it and got a smile from it; thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoy your posts.  I’m glad you’ve surrendered to writing.

  • Kristian j. Olsen

    I like this post. I was laid off from my job about 7 weeks ago. I saw it coming. I saw it coming for 6 months and somehow had convinced myself I would survive the lay off. Silly rabbit. About 2 weeks ago I had my first interview since the layoff. I didn’t get the job. It was devastating. I almost cried. And I don’t cry. I felt like less of a man. Like I was failing as a father and husband. I sat in the shower after I found out and let the warm water run over me. I talked to God. I surrendered. He has been wanting me to surrender for a while. I have resisted. But He finally broke me down. It was a good thing. I have been less stressed. I work hard everyday to find/create a new job. But now I sleep well at night. 

    • Randy693riggs

      Kristian:
      I’ve been where you are. 16 years ago I saw it coming too and it still hit me like a ton of bricks.
      Take some quite time to think about what you’re good at and enjoy doing. Then, find a way to start your own business doing that. You might need to pick some part-time work to help get by. That’s what I did. Now, I’m self-employed and making it on my own. I love it.
      Keep your chin up, it only gets better from here.
      Cheers,
      Randy

    • Melville1977

      I sympathize. I haven’t had a full time job in almost 4 yrs and that is with a Masters in Librarianship I got back in late 2008….bad timing considering that is when the job market began to implode. All I’ve been able to hold is temp jobs and I had to move back in with my parents in late Oct. 2010. I too cried.

  • http://twitter.com/DailySuicide Jscott

    Letting go of what I don’t know so I can act on what I do know is a constant battle that often ends up with me on my knees…to vomit.  

    Surrender…Relaxing into fear.  Leaning into it.  Seneca had some things to say about that.  Eight years in exile will do that to a person. Maybe we should all opt for a one-term-long stay verses the constant repeat offending that goes on for many of us.

  • PC

    10 big ideas for the altucher confidential

    – learn a new skill for your audience in real time: ie.  practice the song “help” on the guitar w/ vocals for 20 min / day 7:40 – 8 am for 30 days.  show us the before and after on video, then open up the 30 day skill challenge to see where it goes.

    – open up some pizza hut franchises because they are profitable and growing and you can tell those customers to go to the blog.

    – give more proof to the daily practice.  Set up a tight rope and demonstate that optimal mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health can get you across the rope.  Start out low to the ground and as you get better keep raising the rope higher; video it live and you should see more traffic.

    – combine the smart phone and the coffee mug into one device using a flexible display.  Have only your blog appear on every coffee mug in town.

    –  call it the “kid toucher confidential” but make sure it is used as a sting to catch pedophiles.

    –  advertise on fast food packaging because it will become THE new print media.

    –  advertise on Norwegian cruise line ships; they have new ships with alot of digital signage and the audience is great and has idle time.

    –  Challenge Larry Page to a chess match.  Try to get him to play you at a burning man festival.  Then write the post “How I gave Larry Page a beat-down in the desert”.

    –  Organize and sponsor a pickup game of ultimate frisbee, pick up the tab on everything.

    –  Find a really filthy park or preserve and sponsor a cleanup.  You take care of the cleanup part with other help and treat your volunteers like royalty – because they volunteered.
        

    • PC

      James, my apologies on the one point above that re-reads to me as inappropriate it is regretful and not laughing matter. Not intended to mock either. -pc

    • http://www.facebook.com/zafkastudios Jim Kasper

      I do like the burning man Match. It is my goal to make it to the next one.

    • http://www.feed.us RacerRick

      It should be “Larry Page is a PUNK so I gave him a beat down in the desert”

    • Richard Simpson

      How about writing a location-based law-lookup iPhone/Android app for travelers?  A traveler pulled over or arrested could look up the local fines and penalties for whatever they might have done (eg broken taillight, expired registration, littering, etc), perhaps adding statistical metadata (common defense strategies, conviction rates, typical punishment).  Sell ads in the app to lawyers and bail bond agents, etc.  Oh, and hire me to help lead the project ;)

  • http://www.szelhamos.com TheAcsMan

    Surrender is such a harsh word. We do it all the time, but usually use other ways to describe those actions.

    When investing, I tend to be a contrarian. Contrarians are just people that have given up on conventional wisdom. Just a form of surrender, but with a name befitting velvet elbow patches.

    Sunk costs. You never chase sunk costs. That’s a golden rule of investing and business. You just give in and accept the fact that you’ll never recover the losses. Move on.

    I follow that form of surrender when it comes to business, but can’t apply it to some aspects of real life, like when sitting through a horrible foreign film showing at our local film society. There, I adopt Bruce Springsteen’s concept of “No Retreat, No Surrender”.

    I wish I could do what James does and just focus on another film to help me understand that it’s OK to walk out in the middle and let everyone think that I’m just a shallow slob, instead of a deep snob.

  • Anonymous

    you finally made it, and it’s very solid! you should be proud of yourself :)

  • http://twitter.com/douglewis2000 Doug Lewis

    I was either going to read this or search on warning signs of heart attacks. I think I chose the right thing to do.

    • James Altucher

      Doug, hmm, maybe do both!

  • Jaydenlye

    You’re really brilliant.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent Post. As a business person going through the nightmare of trying to survive through this recession I can relate totally to everything you write about. It really helps to know that my experience is not unique.

  • http://theWebalyst.com/ Mark the Webalyst

    I’m loving your blog – you win a place on my RSS reader!

    Thanks, Mark (in London)

  • Anonymous

    “Surrender…” Brilliant! I think I should too. I think I really really should.

  • Anonymous

    Ungrad school may be your best idea yet. Why stop at the Grad level though? I’m not sure Elementary School did me any good.

  • Eric M

    The only question I have, is how the hell were you SO bad at your job as a FoF manager that you invested almost exclusively with criminals? The idea that you would take fees on fees in order to invest with criminals is no different than legalized theft, in my view. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/altucher james altucher

      Well, a. I shut it down. And b. I think when the tide came in ALL hedge fund managers had no clothes on and I avoided that spectacle. That,s why people paid me

  • BrianBalk

    You’re trying, which is what counts.  Didn’t Yoda say “There is no try.  Do – or do not.”  I disagree.  You ARE doing – the best you can – exercising body and mind, coming up with new ideas, executing to the best of your ability.  Letting go and letting ‘the force’ – or whatever – work through you, around you.  Many things don’t work out.  Some do.  Keep on doing.

  • http://snowpyramid.com SnowPyramid

    The idea of “surrender” or “acceptance” has always seemed creepy to me. Not so much physical surrender, but mentally surrendering yourself to anything. It’s SCARY.

  • Sabirechter

    Excellent post……surrendering is just letting your Higher Self/Divine Self/Your Inner God, take charge and guide you. Process is more important than endings that is why I love to read your blog……thanks for that…..

  • http://sovereignbohemian.com The Sovereign Bohemian

    James, you’re post keeps swaying me to ask this question:  Would you pack up and move across the country if you felt your career is diminishing?  Or would you stay put, and learn something new? I’m 50/50 on it.

    • http://sovereignbohemian.com The Sovereign Bohemian

      *your

  • Kepeneter

    Tao taught me surrender to the Universe.  From reading the comments, I see that I am in the very good company of those who also have practiced this skill.  Thanks to the Universe for each of us.

  • Andrefiker

    hey, trilled to know you read every comment! I’ve started a blog based on your Blog! I’m from Brazil so some of the posts are in portuguese, but I think most are in english. If you could find time & will to stop by, I would be very happy!

    The address is fikerfiles.com 
    I’m Fiker.
    Nice to meet you James!

  • Cranky

    I get it now. I always hated reading about “surrender” or giving things
    over to God because it just felt wrong. But I can say “Hey, it’s up to
    you” AND keep doing what I need to do.

    I need to find a new job. The VP got fired, the GM got fired, I am next
    in line. I will start sending out resumes but it’s up to the universe to
    help me find the right place this time. (At least until I can come up
    with enough ideas to not have to work for anyone any more!)

  • Joe Oh

    James,

    You are the man.  I truly look forward to your blog posts when I get to work and I find myself sharing your stories to my friends.  Of course, they will ask what proof do you have that this guy isn’t faking the funk?  I just know you are raw/real/honest.  Also, even the great philosophers debated this whole what’s the meaning of life issue and most of the questions really don’t get answered… but I think you do a great service/job of linking spirituality with health and our life on earth.  As humans, there is only so much we can control over despite how much money we have.  How do we know what will happen tomorrow?  At that point I acknowledge that I have enough, not to be greedy, be humble, not stress, and surrender all.

  • Chris McGrath

    You might enjoy reading the 70 Maxims of Highly Effective Mercenaries (it is from a web comic, but I think you might enjoy the economist’s perspective it adds to the 7 habits)

    http://ovalkwiki.com/The+Seventy+Maxims+of+Maximally+Effective+Mercenaries

  • http://itsallaboutnonduality.blogspot.com/ Shivani Allgaier

    Surrender is a word which is not so common in the internet. Happy to read this here. Normally I read this in more spiritual topics. 

  • http://www.segodnya.ua/useful/internet/14271972.html вебпромо

    I even told my friends to take a look at your blog and in fact your blog is already bookmarked on my computer. Hope to see more of this. 

  • Yoda

    This is a nice post.

    • Capn Mike

      This a nice post IS!

  • Mr Lukestevens

    James,

    Great post as always.  Suggestion for a blog: why dont you write a post about Dan your business partner?  He always seems to come up as a voice of reason and sounds like the only friend that you have consistently kept up with( at least that you’ve wrote about).  I would love to hear more about him, his background, how you met, what kind of influence he has had on you.  A great bromance!

  • http://catchthejiffy.com Adam Allegro

    Wonderful post.  Well said my friend.

  • Boris Bear

    As they say in Hebrew (translated): ‘quiet water runs deep’. You speak the truth from deep within your heart and it lights up my mind like nothing else I heard or read.

    I am just another, on the endless quest to start a career in IT sales and marketing, in the ‘small hood’ of Toronto Canada. 

    A little self promotion of my own: if anyone looking for an energetic sale and marketing intern in the B2B/IT areas, then I am yours. 

    And James if you ever need an excuse to come to Toronto I can get you an audience if you give me enough notice.

    Boris

  • sarnic

    it is meaningful and also somehow touchy and funny that you have discovered yourself an eastern philosophy cluster called “tevekkul”.
    As a summary; you plant your crops; you water them; you keep them warm; you keep away bugs with pesticides etc. etc. you do whatever you can, as much as you can. Then, you get in to a tranquility as you wish that the parameters which yo can not control turn out to be good. sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. but you knew that you did it all. you wish that you can harvest your crops; good crops.
    just be careful that out of nowhere probabilities with no causality explanations do not kill your inner equilibrium. because they can.

  • http://riverofliberty.com ChrisRossini

    It is ironic…but surrendering is one of the most powerful things that we can do.

  • Anonymous

    James,
    You are a good shit.

  • Skunk1980

    James —

    Many of your entries have this vibe where it seems like you think of yourself as a failure. But, um, you have done more than most people will do in a life time. You’ve raised millions of dollars, done a lot of amazing business ventures, written books, etc. etc. I can barely get out of bed in the morning! You get depressed and still do shit, and do it well. Some of us barely function. And yet I still feel pretty good and grateful about life. All in how we frame it, isnt it? Neat.

    But seriously, I dont know how you do it…

  • Al

    No one’s post had mentioned Yoda, nor the Force. I kiddingly call myself a Yodist, but am dead serious about this spiritual help I get via surrender. I design hardware and software for a living and have often worked myself into a insolvable problem. I ask for help and the answer just appears in my head. It works in my day to day living where my extreme grandiosity needs tempering just to live and work with other people. This Force thing has also driven me to make some outstanding investments as a result of being guided to and applying Austrian economics. I just keep the money for emergency use for my family and friends, pay taxes out of my own pocket, and never spend a dime of it on myself. It has brought me nothing but peace and serenity in my life today.

    • Garyt

      The Yodian philosophy is rehashed, but still valid, Zen philosophy. So of course it works, even if in a different wrapper than traditionally.

  • Dave

    I use the Franklin method myself. When making a decision, I list on paper the positive and negative aspects of the decision to be made. Then, I turn the entire thing over to God. Usually within a day or two, I have a solution to my problem.
    I wanted a new truck. So I wrote down everything I wanted on that truck and what I wanted to pay. Within 3 weeks, the exact vehicle I wanted, even down to the color became available to me.
    Normally, I do this on anything I really want. Sometimes I write it on the computer, sometimes I handwrite it. But it works.

  • Anonymous

    The timing on this was utterly perfect. It’s exactly what I needed. I’ll let you know how it all works out…

  • http://twitter.com/GiavelliReport1 GiavelliReport

    I had joined a software company in california as a CTO and after I got there slowly it morphed into a non management position where I was doing everything and working long hours. I tried not to surrender and fought hard to make it work and in the end it wrecked my health. I surrendered and took a break to collapse and pick up the pieces.

    I started the political journal GiavelliReport.com just for fun and as much as I tried with good articles and commentary it just never got traction. One day it hit fire and I got thousands of visitors, but they didn’t come back. Not being a social space, there was no lure for people to stick around other than their comments

    So while I still write there, I’ve put it to rest for a while while I work on CrossMyPath.com, the social GPS while I still work on recovering my health

    Stop. Surrender. Rest. Find the breaks in the sand. Start walking even though it seems like it will lead nowhere. that will become a path…

  • Ben

    James, I really love the way you write.  You’re inprising me every time I read your articles.  I’m about to finally do something about it! :)