I wanted to be a Colonel. And not just any colonel. I wanted to be an Honorary Colonel in the Kentucky State Militia. Just like my hero — Colonel Sanders. I had to start off slow — Kentucky was the glamor state to be a colonel of.
First I started off with Mississippi. Cliff Finch invited me down to Mississippi. His campaign and my dad split my air fare, about 60 dollars each. It was the first time I had ever been in a plane and I was scared.
When I landed everything looked the same but people talked differently. It was a weird feeling. As if I had landed in an alternative universe.
The main things I remember from that trip was getting the certificate that made me an honorary colonel of the state I better get an 18 gun salute the next time I fly there!
Then I wrote to the governor of Alabama and I said my family was moving to Alabama, I had read everything about Alabama and I loved the state and now I wanted to be a colonel there. The governor there sent me back a huge certificate: James Altucher was now a lieutenant colonel in the Alabama State Militia.
With Texas I became an honorary citizen. They knew how valuable their colonelship was. They needed references, background checks, etc. I was twelve years old and decided for the first of many times to quit while I was ahead. Which brings me to an important point. Extra crispy kentucky fried chicken still has to be one of the best foods on the planet.
You might get sick afterwards but who cares. Buddha says live in the now! It implies that somewhere in the future I will find something that will make me happy.
And until then I will be unhappy. People fool themselves into thinking that the currency of unhappiness will buy them happiness. You can find the tools to be happy right now. That makes me very happy. Maybe I can have lots of adventures between today and the day I die. Maybe I can do lots of different things. What does purpose mean when we are dead? We might as well choose to be happy now. Other people who found success after changing many careers: One of the funniest guys ever, he was an aluminum siding salesman.
And then he had to start his own comedy club, Dangerfields, in order to actually perform as a comedian. He chose himself to succeed!
But not until his 40s. Ray Kroc was a milkshake salesman into his 50s. Then he stumbled onto a clean restaurant that served a good hamburger run by two brothers with the last name McDonald.
He bought McDonalds when he was Raymond Chandler, the most successful noir novelist of all time, wrote his first novel at age And, of course, Julia Child was a young 50 when she wrote her first cookbook.
One of my favorite writers of all time: Stan Lee, created the entire universe for which he is known for: If you like restaruant reviews you might have read Zagats. Started by Tim Zagat who quit his job as a lawyer in order to create the book of reviews when he was His prior 40 Forty!
When his memoir came out he was 93 years old. A quote from him: Peter Roget was a mediocre doctor who was finally forced to retire in his early 70s. But he became obsessed with words that have similar meanings. When I was in college I ate Ramen noodles every day.
One time in a grocery store a woman tried to tell me they were the worst thing I could eat. Like worse than eating a brick, for instance? That was when I was If something costs 25 cents and has a few slivers of peas in it then its ok by me. Thank god for him!
He liked to just collect plants and butterflies on remote islands in the Pacific. And then he wrote Origin of Species when he was This is not meant to be inspirational.
Because some journeys are very painful. And nobody says you get special marks in death if you wrote a great novel at the age of Or came up with a great chicken, or a way to stuff lots of people into factories. I want to cut out the middleman. If every day you can be grateful for even the small things abundant in your life than you have reached achievement. Meanwhile, Harlan Sanders made such a great chicken that even though he had barely made a dime off of it that would happen 15 years laterat the tender age of 45 the Governor of Kentucky made Sanders an honorary colonel.
Hi James, we share a birthday. Today I turn 30 and am about to incorporate my second company after my first failure, or success depending how you look at it: Treat yourself to something special today.
And great article it WAS inspirational anyway. Come to Austin again — maybe during SXSW? Reading this while sitting in a grey cubicle with another seven hours ahead, this stirred me. Made me feel light-headed. Thank you for all that youve done. You are SO right! You can choose to be happy just because.
The key to happiness? I love this post, and its very good timing as I just read Drive. A whole chapter on purpose that left me wondering what mine is. That is enough purpose to keep me moving forward on other projects. This is a big boost. Happy birthday to you, James!
I hope your day is dazzling. I just turned 61 last month. James Altucher is an inspiration and this blog gives me some hope for the future that not all American are brain dead. I knew I did it on purpose…. Altucher… I have learned something new today. Oh, and Happy Birthday! Cheers to being happy! Happy Birthday James great post James, I turn 48 today. He became somewhat of an alcoholic and coke head during that time, and was clinically depressed.
Dangerfield also sold gutters, but they were upsells to his aluminum siding biz. Happy birthday fellow Aquarian my birthday was yesterday! And thank you for sharing your ideas with us during the wonderful weekend at Kripalu. Great post my friend. Each facet requires the other to radiate a perfect shine.
Your concept of living in the Choose Yourself era has encouraged me to move past my excuses to live my own life by eating what I kill. Thanks for your words. Happy Birthday and Brilliant words. Its in our ability to just be. Thank you for sharing. The best is yet to come. Happy HAPPY Birthday, J. So cheer up James, you are just entering your prime. What validation of success are you looking for? You probably have more influence though this blog and money than probably This is pretty damn good.
There is hope, that you will recognize what you have instead of continuously seeking more. Quit drinking the haterade. The message I get here is: Yesterday, I had a birthday myself and hit yet another significant number, so your post was timely encouragement for me.
As usual, well said, James. Thanks for all of your writing. You may not have meant this to be inspirational but it is. Thank you for another great post. I certainly needed to read something like this with the way I started the day feeling. Enjoying the struggle is very hard to do but certainly makes us who we are. Happy birthday James, thank you for this post and for this blog. You talk about happiness as something we can have at every moment and not something we need to work hard to get.
You also disregard purpose as something worthy of looking for. And you make some very good points there. But what about meaning? The one Viktor Frankel talks about, the one you find in love, in doing work you believe to be important, in journey in which you find stuff about yourself, in the narrative that you create that give sense to your life.
So eventually I ended it. And I was alone for some-time. And then I went to travel. And then I met an amazing person that became my wife, whom I love and respect more than anyone I ever met. Focusing on happiness in just the moment does feel shallow and empty in of itself. I do agree with much of what James has said but I still do find that meaning can act as a source of happiness for me. Just the sense of having worth and purpose in life is something that I feel is an inherent emotional need in people.
A few decades ago, you could be successful and feel like stephen greig stockbroker made a difference in the world, because your local community actually needed you. There are no more local communities. So unless you are the worlds best at something you are nothing. Now there are no local celebrities.
No one cares if you are the strongest man on your block today. Unless you are the internet king or queen at something you are a no-name joe blow. Unless you are a global mustafa center forex rate you seem irrelevant. And to be a global leader in anything you have to be a MUTANT. You have to be a mutated person with some kind of 6 sigma something about you.
The world has naturally selected you to survive and thrive. I think he played 3 sports. Today, his athletic abilities would barely get him onto a rural high school team. Its like we are all shooting to be 6 sigma people at everything we do.
Thats statistically impossible for us ALL to be the extreme talent. And anytime there is a book written about this or that, the examples of who to follow are crazy. I just read a book about treating yourself like a startup. The whole book was filled with examples of mutant people…. Zuckerberg, Bezos, Bill Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, etc etc…. As if those are people I can relate to? Thats like writing an exercise book animal crossing wild world infinite bells expecting me to train like Michael Jordan or Usain Bolt or body build like Arnold Scwartzneggar.
How about we all have a little empathy and enjoy some of the banalities of life. But maybe its human nature to weigh ourselves against the top shares to buy jse. Maybe I need to find out what kind of mutant I am and exploit myself for fame, fortune and satisfaction. In the meantime, if I could sleep and pay my bills I would be happy: At the end of the day, I think if you can pinpoint your god-given talents and use them to help the global body around you, you will be happy.
Finding talents is an iterative process which is filled with successes and failures. The process takes time but ultimately works because you have all your lies and delusions beat out of you by time and by the nasty cruel world. Everything is way overdone today, so no wonder most people myself included feel overwhelmed and unsatisfied. Journey may not be the right word. I had such awful nightmares last night I awoke feeling fear and stress.
That is a very crappy way to start any day.
Stockbroker jailed six years duped friends £million - lazuxyderonav.web.fc2.com
It appears easy to live in the moment when you feel good — but no one feels good everyday. And do we care? Happy Birthday to you. Thanks for giving the world a birthday gift with this post. Not feeling so old and useless after that. James, it is amazing to me how, when I am pondering what to do next, I read your post and it inspires me … Thanks!
Happy Birthday James… this was a really nice post… thanks for writing it. Well first, belated happy birthday Colonel Altucher! Secondly, you have done it again! You keep painting the picture clearer and clearer… Just do what you feel like doing right now… that may be different 10 years from now but live in the now and you do not have to pay a ton of unhappiness for some illusive happiness in the future… I LOVE that quote James, Brilliant!
Good stuff as usual, Colonel. But I have to disagree about the most important person from Kentucky. Nice job on this post James. Thank you Colonel James, for another insightful article! You continue to be a source of inspiration to me and many others. When I have plans and when I have a reason to wake up. When I go to bed early and wake up very early with things on my mind I want to accomplish. Having the money to assist me and my plans is invaluable.
RecentlyI was driving my Kia when the frame broke. I thought it was odd that a frame would rust out in 10 years. I did a little research and found that Kia had recalled the frame in The good news is kia is replacing the frame on their dime. The bad news is I was out of a car for a few days. This happened on a Friday afternoon.
I had no cash on me and my phone had stopped working a day earlier. Money matters a great deal. I understand that this piece is not about money but money plays a huge part in whatever way we define happiness. He said around After 25 years away from Van Halen they reunited and recorded a new album. How about being forex broker marketing plan rich nor poor and just having enough relatively to the masses?
Where does that put you on the happiness spectrum? Stephen greig stockbroker stomach rumbles at the idea of owning a yacht. When I imagine myself owning a yacht the first feelings that come to my mind at this point in my life are injustice, waste and disgust.
Of course money is sweet, oh so sweet, it allows you to fulfill your ambitions into tangible things.
Some people get rich because they just want to do good, contribute, better humanity, express themselves and money happens to flow to them. Some WIN more I guess. It has bettered humanity. Answers at our finger tips. Others with the same intent end up starving artists. Life just sucks like that, thousands of new born turtles attempt to cross the beach to get to the water, only a few make it.
The rest get eaten alive. Check it out on youtube. Others squash every person around them to reach their goal. That we are competitive by nature. That the best wins. That external inputs have no bearing on free will.
That any man can do it. I need to be there. I care for them, I love them. I prefer the idea of remaining poor than utlizing any means possible to attain money at the expense of being good, honest, kind and caring. I just get sick to my stomach, nothing can help it. I enjoy the idea of competion on ideas and implementation but not at the expense of someone not having food to feed his kids. Your post inspired me and I went off on a tangent. I thomas cook forex bangalore no qualms with anything in your post.
I agree with the importance of money. I used to work for a Jeweler many years ago, Actually I worked for two Jewelers. One of them was probably the most successful hi-end Jeweler on Long Island. The owner of the Mom and Pop store made a good living but not a great living. He turned down an 13 million dollar offer on a piece of property which cost him 3 million a year earlier. Both owners how to earn money fast on ebay hard working and there every day.
The biggest difference that I could discern was that the hi-end owner charged three times as much for everything. His clients were more than able and happy to pay it. Does that mean the millionaire who charges more is more selfish?
aunt agatha | Old Honitonians Club
I thought I was doing very well until I discovered that others where charging twice as much or more for the same work. My brother quit a relativity high paying job and joined me to take a log building course and build a cabin. We have no building experience at all outside of this project. My other brother and his wife are realtors. Is that a lot of money for a year of hard labor? I get fresh perspectives every time I read them.
Just a little story: About half a year ago, separated from the woman I had been married for over 9. Over all that dark time, I only felt something inside: Your books and writings were more than inspiring and supportive then.
They felt me with hope and energy. And gosh I did. I am way better now. And today I find this jewel of yours. I value happiness over purposes. I will turn 39 in a few days. Same sort of thing happened with me: I can simply understand what you are going through. There is no doubht purpose of life is denfined for everyone, even the dead ones like me who thought life is just ended after the family life broken and kid departed from a sweet home, This is time to rethink and look ahead past has gone with the wind no can change it but future is ahead and life still left in me and you: What I respect most is you live by your terms.
PS — Screw Colonel…how about General James? Man…did I need to read this today. I think the most important man in KY is one of three people. Going through the same shit. We still have hope. I grew up in Mississippi and I remember Cliff Finch. He was a character to say the least. I think I heard him speak in person at a youth government convention in Jackson once. Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature inbegan drawing and painting at the age of 63 with no formal training!
Thanks for the great article James! Currently PR is my plan and CIS is my backup. Maybe I should just travel for a year or two. Please, please, please tell that to employers! No retirement, no job, many thoughts and ideas, but not sure what to do with them. Stress has been a constant companion on our journey and quite frankly it needs to go. This post is da bomb! I have never commented on anything in the cyber world….
The message hit home regrading not living a deferred live…. Whatever that means…cheers Gregg. Why does life have to have a purpose? Great job on the blog — as a friend told me — our purpose in life has been with us since the day we were born.
For me, it has been about service and excellence. Thank you so much for sharing this story. It brought tears of joy to my eyes. You really made my day. Having a purpose in life the most unsettling thing for me. How can one have just one purpose? I think its purposes and we need to constantly be trying out new stuff to realize what is that makes us happy and move quickly enough to discover more about ourselves! Finally, I have an idea how old you are.
Looking at your photos I thought you might be 25 or so which has been freaking me the fuck out. Finding Your Goal And Purpose In Life… Goals are good…but who says you have to have a purpose? You sound very confused and have too many moral messages around money Listen to: I went right to college after high school majoring in Philosophy. Boyfriend talked me out of it said I should model. Well, started modeling in Philadelphia and New York then went to Italy, living there for 5 years and traveling throughout Europe.
Came back to the States, continued modeling and was not happy. I went back to school, got a degree in Social Work, did that for a number of years and got out. In between, the whole time. Looking back now, I should have taken them.
Going after something is worthwhile too but reacting to this or that is not good. You have to know what is in the core in your heart as to what you REALLY want. Listening to those unwanted and random thoughts in your head is a good start. By the way, this website is really great. James, I recently started reading your articles and find this to be one of your best.
Not too long ago, amidst a bout of soul searching I completed an exercise similar to the subject of this post. Henry Ford mentioned in your post did not even found the Ford Motor Company until he was Cornelius Vanderbilt didnt begin buying ferry lines until his late 30s; railroads another years after that.
Construction began on Disney Land California when he was Disney World didnt open until years after Walt passed away. Perhaps the most interesting example is Steve Jobs.
Though he co-founded Apple at a young age and gave consumers the first GUI he was fired from the Company. Without Jobs Apple almost went out of business. His real crowning achievements: We just do everything as well as we can. I will share with my friends.
I hope that many people prefer to read the same information as me. From age 3 to 17 my purpose was to be a good student, son and athlete. Age 17 to 30 I was very selfish and was the most fit body at any pool in Las vegas. The best or 2nd best runner in my USMC unit. I got married to a very good woman, German citizen, we had 2 fine kids now grown.
Age 33 to 61 now, my purpose was to be a good dad, husband, try to be unselfish. Very blessed by God. I am still one of the most fit 61 yr olds at the pool in Vegas. Ha, Now retired DWP Hydrographer. This is such an awesome post. I once knew a Trust Fund Baby on Park Avenue in NYC, who was married to a Corporate Raider, who ALSO had these same thoughts and struggles.
And that is what I find so humbling and thought-provoking—the fact that people share the EXACT same fears and struggles whether they have achieved wealth and greatness, or whether they are tirelessly trying to figure out their purpose.
Hi James, I wonder, how a shy guy like you interviewed a governor and even tried to interview the US president all that as a young kid. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I also ate ramen noodles for a year. I balanced it out with cocoa Cheerios, which had just hit the shelves at my local CVS.
They were pricey too, but I loved them and splurged. But back to the ramen noodles, I remember being sick and wanting some chicken soup; all I had was chicken-flavored ramen. Ate it anyway, and then, surprisingly, felt better and recovered magnificently. Which made me realize something so profound thatfor a moment thereI thought the world was about to end simply because it no longer needed an explanation…of course, I prevented myself from fully comprehending so that we can all live to see another day.
Home Podcast Contact Affiliate Information Work With Us. Your browser is out of date. Please upgrade your browser or install Google Chrome Frame.
Toggle navigation James Altucher. About Books Podcast Appearances Altucher Report Free Updates. Henry Miller wrote his first big novel, Tropic of Cancer, at age I would have died of starvation if not for the guy who invented this.
Many happy returns of the day. A very Happy Birthday James: Excellent journey so far. Make excellence a goal in everything you do and purpose will be forgotten. But thanks, the internet had been running low. Thanks for your truthful and insightful posts.
The author of Ecclesiastes would be proud of your, Colonel. On your 46th birthday, write a piece about why Colonel is pronounced kernel. When will I ever learn, or is this so hardwired into me that I will never let go?
Although only 41, I wonder if I have time enough to get there…. Thanks so much for the inspiration. Have a splendid birthday! Just so you know; you are living your purpose. Thank you and wish you the best on your birthday. I hope the girls baked you a swanky cake. And Happy Birthday James!Amerikas skurrilste Wohngemeinschaft
Happy Birthday, James … hope your day is filled with sweet surprises. Happy Birthday and thank you for everything! You have really helped me change my life. Would love to hear what you think. Couldnt agrree more with you. You summarized the moral of this post very well. I am only asking. THANK YOU FOR BEING SUCH A GREAT AND INSPIRING PERSON. Happy birthday, Colonel Mississippi! No car, no phone and no cash from Friday until Tuesday.
You may not need to be rich to be happy but I thinks is near impossible to be poor and happy. He turned down an 13 million dollar offer on a piece of property which cost him 3 million a year earlier Both owners were hard working and there every day. I am sure you will be happy as such, no need to reach any distant targets.
Thanks for the perspective. Happy belated birthday, James! A very nice post, James! Happy Birthday James, Great job on the blog — as a friend told me — our purpose in life has been with us since the day we were born. And thanks for all you do for us with your blog! First time an article force me to read it full. This is such amazing timing for me. Main Menu Home Podcast Contact Affiliate Information Work With Us Copyright - Altucher Confidential - All Rights Reserved.
Join My Free Newsletter I'll teach you how to thrive in a world out of balance. Sign up today to get my free tips and ideas.