Why Do Anything?
- Posted by James Altucher
I don’t know.
I don’t want to do anything. Everyone says things like:
“I’m feeling stuck” Or, “I wish I knew what my purpose was” OR “I have lot’s of ideas, what do I do next?”.
Why do you have to do anything?
I was at a conference this past week. I was very intimidated by the other attendees. At least four bestselling authors there. Another guy who gets millions of views on his beautiful videos. Another guy sells a billion dollars worth of clothes per year. And on and on.
I felt very lazy. I was very scared to be asked to speak there among these incredible people. They were all good looking also. It was a conference of good looking successful people. And me.
It suddenly hit me while I was there – all I want to do is lie in a big field and stare at the sky.
All day long. Or most of the day. I also like to read. I like to eat. Have sex. Sleep. I LOVE to sleep.
I felt like a big fake.
I like to submerge myself completely in water and just float for as long as I can hold my breath. I like to play online chess. I’ve played three games so far since starting this post. I’m an addict.
Sometimes I like to eavesdrop on conversations about relationships or sex.
At the conference someone showed a 3D printing machine. That seems like a real smart thing to invent. I’m not smart enough for that.
So check that off my list. Inventing the next generation 3D printing machines.
I read a book recently about people trying to get salt out of water. And other people that are genetically engineering algae from, I guess, stem cells, in order to get biofuel from them.
I’m really impressed. Those people must wake up in the morning and think to themselves, “I’m going to save the world today because I’m quite possibly the smartest person in the world.”
I’m not one of them. I want to see “The Hangover 3″ today. And laugh. Then maybe I will want to write something that will make people laugh.
I’d even want to be a standup comedian but it’s past my bedtime. I would actually prefer sleeping to being a standup comedian even though I really enjoy making people laugh.
Why do you have to do anything?
I get it – we have to pay the bills. We all do. But here’s the problem:
Income is going down versus inflation. And it has been for forty years. 40 years ago that didn’t matter. 10 years ago it didn’t.
But now it does. Now it’s a big problem.
So eventually if you get a job and try to pay your bills you will go broke. You now have to hustle.
There’s lots of ways to hustle. And you can avoid cubicles and fluorescent lights and stupid bosses and backstabbing colleagues.
I’ll give you one solid idea that will work.
There’s a trillion dollars in student loan debt.
Write a 60 page booklet on 20 ways to get rid of your student loan debt. Are there 20 ways? I have no clue. Figure it out. This is the US government we are talking about. You don’t think they have loopholes? I bet there are 200 ways to avoid paying student loan debt. This would be a no-bullshit real valuable book. Do it.
Then advertise it to people age 22-28 living in the United States on Facebook. Even better: target the people who went to the 200 most expensive colleges in the country.
Sell the booklet for $225. You think they can’t afford it? Of course they can. They owe $200,000 in debt. They can afford $225 to get rid of $200,000 in debt.
Sell 1000 of those booklets a year. That’s all.
Oh! I have another idea. CERTIFY people who buy the book and then take another course with you (price: $1000). Now those people can be official “Student loan debt counselors”. Certified by your “Students Avoid Debt” (SAD) Association.
Oh wait, but if everyone does that idea then it’s too many people doing it, right?
WRONG. There’s a TRILLION dollars in debt. That’s a big market. And anyway, do it better than anyone else. Why not?
20 years ago I knew four siblings who inherited $20 million each. One was a doctor, another did something on Wall Street. Another was some sort of holistic healer and the fourth was a professional squash player. Their dad started and owned a newspaper empire.
Each one of them said they were going to stick to their careers. They loved what they were doing.
Within two years none of them were doing anything. One “took a year off”. Another “was going to travel”. Another decided to “write a novel”.
Now, 20 years later, I’ve lost track of all of them. They have vanished.
I’m not advocating doing nothing. Some people love doing things. I met one guy this weekend who is really passionate about making really warm wintercoats.
But for me, I love holding my breath underwater.
Actually, I love writing these posts.
And I hope you love reading them.
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