It’s Ten Times Harder to Come Back
- Posted by James Altucher
One day I was so scared, I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt empty because everything I had ever worked for and ever wished for had gotten me to this point: lying on a mattress with no job, no money, no friends or family.
But I wasn’t scared about the past. I was scared because I knew that as hard as it is to get successful and then fall apart, it is ten times harder to come back from such a shattering.
I got dressed and walked out onto the street. Everyone wearing their suits, a hot summer day. Old men straightening their ties, their postures bent over with fear of one more sale botched. Would I be afraid like them? Or worse?
I walked past South Street Seaport and walked up the Pier stared out onto Brooklyn. Old Chinese women next to me doing Tai Chi while the bored sun started to watch.
I didn’t know how to be grateful for what I had. Nobody taught me that. Go to a good school and get a good job and then you are safe. Grateful maybe comes later. I didn’t know.
I didn’t know how to come up with new ideas. All of the ideas I had ever come up with had led me to this. All ideas were bad and even harmful.
I was afraid to sleep. And it wasn’t because of dreams from the night before but it was because I was afraid the dreams later that night would be worse.
Could I reach out for help? I was ashamed to. Who would want to help a burning thrashing corpse while the flames were still flickering?
Self-help books? All drivel to mint TV millionaires and sell infomercial products.
One time I had thought success meant I was a fully finished product. Now I was just finished.
I went to a coffee shop and took out my waiter’s pad and made a list of every good thing I had seen people do over the prior 30 years.
It was a big list and filled up a lot of pages.
Then I started to put on an act and pretended to be like the people written in my pages, doing the good things they had done.
And I fooled people. And fooled myself until I didn’t know what was an act and what was real. I just read off the script.
I still don’t know what’s real. But that’s ok. The good things started to help people. And then they helped me.
And maybe one day I will be a line on someone else’s waiter’s pad.blog comments powered by Disqus
- How to Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0
- 7 Things Happen to You When You Are Completely Honest
- How to Deal With Crappy People
- 10 More Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now!
- The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur
- 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer
- How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps
- 10 Unusual Things I Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs
- 8 Alternatives to College
- I’m Completely Humiliated by Yoga
- How I Screwed Yasser Arafat out of $ 2mm (and lost $ 100mm in the process)
- 10 Things I Learn From Richard Branson
- What I Learned from my First Podcast Guest in 1980 and What I Learned from My Last Podcast Guest (Yesterday)
- The Ultimate Guide to Making a Personal Manifesto
- What I Learned About Life After Interviewing 80 Highly Successful People
- FAQ ON HOW TO BECOME AN IDEA MACHINE
- Who Is In Your Scene?
- Ep. 65: Dan Ariely: Dishonesty, Irrationality, and Money
- Ep 64 – Tucker Max: Surprise Announcement! Part 1
- 10 Things I Learned While Interviewing Tony Robbins About His New Book “Money”
- Ep. 62 – Tony Robbins: Money Is Just A Game
- Ep. 61 – Trip Adler: Overnight Success 7 Years in the Making
- Nothing Is Wrong With You
- Ep. 59 – Brian Koppelman Ruined My Life
- 21 or 22 Yet Even More Amazing Tips to Be a Better Writer
- Ep. 54 – Gabriel Weinberg: The Man Who is Fighting Google
- The Idea Matrix – What Changed Everyone’s Life After “Choose Yourself”