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What percentage of your worries come true?

James Altucher
29th Aug 2016
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So then I put Turney in a cage.

Turney Duff, who wrote the bestselling book, The Buy Side, was once so torn up by drugs and addiction that he lost his seven-figure job, his family, his self-esteem, everything.

Bit by bit he climbed out of it. He wrote a book. He wrote more books, articles, etc. He patched things up with his family. He became sober. (He went on my podcast).

Quick story about my podcast. Afterwards, the sound engineer comes up to us and says to him: I thought I knew you from somewhere. 10 years ago we were under a chair at [club] doing [drug].

The other day Turney called me up, “Hey, I’m near where you are staying.”

worry-stress-woman-anxiety-glasses-coffee-morning-window-light-text-phone-sad-grief

So of course I had to put him in prison.

When I moved into this particular AirBnB, there was a cage. The woman who first showed me the apartment said “it’s a bird cage.”

For some reason, I believed her. “It’s for big birds,” she said. OK, I thought.

And everyone after that laughed at me. “It’s for a particular type of bird,” a friend told me.

I still couldn’t figure out how to open the cage. One day my 17-year-old was over and she simply opened the door and said, “like this.”

Hmmm….

Turney said, “That’s no bird cage,” and he went in and I took his photo.

Then we spoke for awhile.

He told me, “The main thing I learned getting sober: 99 percent of the things we think will happen, never happen.”

“We all worry about so many things and almost all of those things we stress about, we worry about, we have anxiety about, are just wasted thoughts.”

We get put in prison by our thoughts. Cages of anxiety.

I’ve woken up in that prison. It’s not pleasant. It’s sort of gross to be an adult and have that happen.

You get so anxious you have to drown it out in any way.

Wake up with vomit leaving a trail from the bed to the bathroom. A meeting I have to run to that I’m already late for.

Bits and pieces of paper with random numbers adding up to nothing.

I was always worried after everything…there would be nothing. Nothing to show for this pathetic life.

99 percent of the things I predict will not come true, both good and bad.

When I remind myself of that, I slow it down. Slow down all thoughts. There’s less of them (less anxious thoughts) and I don’t need to react to most of the others.

Bad things happen to everyone. It’s how we react to them that determine how they will affect our life.

And the best way to react is to simply slow the thoughts down. Your brain wants to tease you. But I don’t have to let it.

Slow it down. I have fun right now.

Like taking photos of my guests in a cage.



Related reading: Shoot Your Fear — 7 photos from just 7 days.

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