In a crisis... Wait

By James Altucher|11th Sep 2015
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I got fired. Security escorted me out. They would send me my box later.

A few weeks earlier Amy dumped me for another guy. I lost my inside when I found out. I lost my humanity.

All self-help is bullshit. It's hard to choose yourself when an iceberg hits the Titanic.

People write books: "How to not give a shit" and it's supposed to be helpful - to toughen you up, make you stronger.

"The 5 Minute Effective Leader".

Doesn't work.

Or then there's the books not in the psychology section but across the aisle in the self-help section: meditate, think positive, picture positive visualizations.


When the girl dumps you, when the boss asks you to leave and security escorts you out and there's no severance, there's also no meditation in the world.

Meditation won't pay the rent. Thinking of nothing won't bring back the first time she and you touched hands.

Visualization is a dream. And the universe owes you nothing.

Sure, if you do it, it might help. But who is doing that? I'm not doing it. I can't. I'm stuck.

When you are so depressed you can't sleep at night and then you can't wake up in the morning.

Who is going to stare at the sun and say, "I'm grateful to be a teardrop in your rain today".

Nobody. Not me.

I can't handle thinking of a future without her ("how could she do this?" a record over and over).

(And then I panic. What if this feeling never ends?)

I can't handle thinking of a future where I might be broke. Or lonely. A shaved head, living in a gutter, abandoned. I've seen it happen.

What did I miss? I go over it 1000 times in my head. Did she call him when I was away?

I try to daytrade to make money. I lose it. I try to call her and write her. She doesn't respond.

I can't live in the present. I can't have the Power of Now.

Self-help is for people who have a self, or who can accept help.

I live in the girl's head. Or the boss's head. And I want to change those heads. Or fuck them up. So that my life would be some version that is better.

People give me advice. Chris might say, "If she's the kind of person who will do that, then you don't need her."

Dave, my accountant, said, "You're going to make your money back. People always bounce back."

He said, you know who was in my office once? I said no. DD, he said. He was scared to death. The IRS was after him. And then he became mayor of NY.


Beth said , "You're a good person, you don't deserve this."

Who knows? It doesn't matter. Here I am, I think.

And that's why I'm drooling in my bed.

Do you really want to know what works? Other than drugs?

Do you really want to know how to stop the head from thinking and analyzing and thinking and thinking and thinking?

Nothing at first.

Then getting out of bed.

Then taking a walk. Having that feeling of being a little lost. It's ok to be lost.

Stagger a little. Lose hope. Be empty. There's nothing left you hoped for.

Being outside for the first time in days, when the sun is enraged and not a warm breath against your face.

Then run.

Running away from it. Running in every direction: new friends new advice new jobs new girlfriend. I have to change but no direction seems right!

But that takes awhile. It's hard. It's ok to wait.

Maybe first it would be better if I sleep for a little while longer.

Get my strength up. Get my rest before the marathon.

At the end of all of the running, maybe I can read self-help books again. I can find seven effective habits.

I can "win friends". I can "grow rich". Or be a giant.

But when the Titanic hits an iceberg it doesn't help to live in the Now.

First I need to learn to float. Take a breath. Float on my back.

This is the truth. No BS. In a crisis..wait. Do nothing.

And lying on my back, unsure if I'm going to sink or not, before I die, maybe one last time I can look up and see the stars.


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