10 Things The Aliens Forgot To Tell Us When They Left Us Here

aliens

I wish someone had told me all of this when I was 15. I would NOT have joined that cult.

I wish someone had told me all of these things when I was 30. I would not have read all of those BS self-help books.

People have a hard enough time helping their “self”, let alone writing a book that helps others.

I wish someone had told me these things when I was 32, 40, and 45.

I hope someone will tell me these things when I’m 50, 60, and 80.

I honestly hope I die in my sleep before I’m 80. Maybe a dream of a rainbow. And then death in a final exhale.

– LIFE CHANGES FAST

Don’t hang on to it. Just go where it takes you. Don’t try to control it.

The Universe just spent 13.8 billion years creating you. There’s nothing you can do to try to fight it. It’s a tidal wave of atoms.

Don’t try to have a single career. To have a “purpose”. To “figure out what I want to do”.

Just do the best you can each day. If you don’t know what that means, you have to figure that out for yourself.

If anybody tells you what it means, then they don’t know what it means.

– EXPERIENCES > GOODS

Don’t buy goods. Don’t buy a house. Don’t buy a fancy anything.

Buy (or have) good experiences.

This is how neurochemicals work. You have 4 or 5 that make you happy (oxytocin, dopamine, etc).

They get into your brain, they trigger happiness, and they metabolize very quickly so the happiness goes away and you need more.

When you buy something nice, the neurochemicals spike, and then go away.

When you have an experience, you have days (or months) of anticipation for the experience.

Then you have the experience.

Then you have the memories that can last forever.

That’s a lot of happy chemicals all the time bursting through your head.

If you just use this one rule, you’ll have a happy life.

– LISTEN

You already know all the words in your head.

You only get something new if you listen to the words that are coming out of someone else’s head.

When you talk you subtract. When you listen, you add.

– PRETEND EVERYONE IS GOING TO DIE TOMORROW

People say, as if it were good advice, “Live life like it’s your last day?”

I’m not even sure what that means. Should I have a party every day? Should I eat cake all day long. Because if I knew tomorrow I was going to die then I would eat cake all day today.

Do this instead: Live life like it’s the last day for EVERYONE ELSE.

Imagine now you see someone. You know it’s their last day but they don’t.

So you will treat them really well and feel compassion for them. And then they will treat you well.

What a nice virtuous cycle. One that helps everyone and makes you happy.

Oh, and it’s ok to eat cake sometimes. Eat what your heart wants.

– POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, NEWS IS COMPLETELY UNIMPORTANT

Congress makes minor laws that lobbyists bribe them for.

But you can make a child happy. And Google is making cars that drive by themselves. And writers write poetry, and painters make beautiful art.

Do something stupid and ridiculous that you love. Do something today that tomorrow people will say is great.

The news will never do that. Art and innovation will.

We still remember art from 3000 years ago. But we don’t remember what laws passed that day.

Or what the Kardashians were doing.

– The 5 X 5 RULE

  1. You’re the average of the 5 people you spend time with.
  2. You’re the average of the 5 thoughts you most have .
  3. You’re the average of the 5 types of food you eat.
  4. You’re the average of the 5 things you are most grateful for.
  5. You are the average of the 5 things you are reading today.

– AUTONOMY

Always take the job, pursue the life, have the friends, that allow you to have as much freedom as possible.

I asked Nassim Taleb on my podcast what job should one have. He said, “night watchman, because nobody is around to bother you and you can pursue all your dreams on the side.”

– FOOD SLEEP MOVE

Every cell in our body changes every seven years. What are the cells made out of? The food you eat.

I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes. I watched someone who only eats good foods and never eat junks. Over the past 7 years she has developed a glow. She stands out in a crowd.

It doesn’t matter what you look like. If you eat well (and you know what that means) then you will get that glow.

Sleep: we know one basic thing: at night when we are tired our brains are not that productive. So what do we do? We sleep.

Don’t fall for “sleep porn” – that the less sleep you have, the more productive.

It’s the reverse.

Sleep rejuvenates the brain. If you sleep 8 hours instead of 2 then your brain is 100x more productive during it’s peak time of the day (about 2 hours after you wake up.

That 100x compounds into amazing.

And movement. Your body depends on oxygen circulating. It circulates better when you move.

Walk 20 hours a week.

– DON’T TIME TRAVEL

We do things. We do more things. We do lots of things. And then…

We regret what we did (time travel to the past)

We are anxious about the future (time travel to the future).

Anxiety never solves the future’s problems but will always drain your strength today.

When I find myself time traveling sometimes I stop and look at rooftops.

Architects save their beautiful flourishes for the rooftops, when the building is done. This brings me back to the present.

Then I think of at least one thing I’m grateful for. Gratitude, regret, and anxiety can’t live in the brain at the same time.

Regret and anxiety resist the universe. Gratitude welcomes the universe inside for the party.

– THE IMPRESSION TECHNIQUE

If you want to impress someone, if you want to be noticed, if you want to make a friend, if you want to feel creative, do this:

Write down ten ideas a day. Sometimes…write down 10 ideas to help someone else and send it to them. With ZERO expectations back.

Do this a lot. It exercises your creativity until you become an idea machine.

It also gets people noticing you and calling you. And when you have no expectations you will find your expectations constantly exceeded.

I do all of the above. And every six months my life changes so drastically I can hardly believe it.

This is not advice. This is what I try to do. Every day I try.

When someone asks me now, “Where will you be in six months?”

I say, “Some place amazing.”

  • What a fantastic stream of consciousness post. It captures the pace of life flying by at 150mph whilst distilling what resonated with me as the most important things. Paradoxical how doing the right things at that speed would slow everything down, but thats how it is isnt it? Self help 101 without the bullshit and the 17,000 steps. Loved it!

    PS Also loved your interview on Raw Voices with Tim and Olivier

  • “I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes. I watched someone who only eats good foods and never eat junks. Over the past 7 years she has developed a glow. She stands out in a crowd.” — are you referring to your wife? :)

    Great post, as always.

  • hillary

    I bought your stupid book. It sucks. You suck. I’m not kidding, you really do and it really does. I hope I can get a refund.

  • hillary

    I was going to return your book to Amazon, but I thought what they hell. There were a few good ideas in the hot mess. Let me see skim through real quick and see if there’s anything else worth noting before I demand my 99 cents back.

    So I started reading it again, and I realized it’s not that bad. Really, some of it is kind of good.

    So I take back what I said. Your book doesn’t suck and you don’t suck.

    Now, your editor…well, I’m going to do the daily practice and just forgive him or whatever here.

  • Ken Park

    Well.. it is always fun to me to read your posts. Even if I just tried to do one or two your advises I feel getting better. Actually any good advice should be embodied through his own filter. Your advises will be one of triggers. Hoping to post good articles.

  • Jasper Oldersom

    What an awesome headline & post James :-)

    My fav quotes from this post:

    – “The Universe just spent 13.8 billion years creating you.”

    – “Do something stupid and ridiculous that you love. Do something today that tomorrow people will say is great”

    – “You are the average of the 5 things you are reading today.”

    Confession: i still do not have my idea machine up and running. It’s hard. I try, but not hard enough.

    P.S.
    Also, i LOVE Hillary’s angry comment below, and then the apology 5 hours later. Her internial dialogue was clearly messing up the reading experience.

    You know you’re a good writer when you receive strong responses like those ;-)

    • wwday3

      Also “tidal wave of atoms”. Great prose.

  • Felix Sierra

    What a great post, thank you James!

    Felix, from Colombia

  • Captain Mike Rides

    The graphic titled “Develop Competence” is really valuable. It’s alot easier to go to school, do OK, and get letters behind your name than it is to really learn to Make Things Happen, yet it is the latter where many successful people reside.

  • Hey, I am a french blogger, can I translate your article and publish it on my blog ? (Of cours I would put an attribution link at the beggining) ?

  • Brano Biznar

    Oh, reading this I sometimes cannot believe my eyes. So much essential wisdom in one place! You must have been collecting them all your life. Especially I love “ten ideas a day” part! And then “FOOD SLEEP MOVE” formula, etc, etc.. Can’t wait to your next posts, man. Take care.

  • I am grateful to read this. I had a ten year period where I lived this experience rather unskillfully – I gave it up to get credentialed but have been struggling with the tradeoff. Thanks for inspiring – skillfully.

  • Fantastic Post.Love every word written there.

  • Gordon Johnstone

    Very decent

  • Diane Olberg

    I love this – I just printed it out and will use it as affirmations every day. How refreshing these recommendations are! I particularly like the idea that we should be with others as if they are in their last day. Thank you!

  • Orsi Hegyi

    I want to print this and put it on the wall of my bathroom, so I can see it every morning, when I wake up…

  • Anthony Green

    as always, an inspiring read James. thanks

  • James Buechler

    I study this and take notes and journal on these ideas. For instance, choose gratitude over regret and anxiety. That’s money in the bank