Kids just left, and I miss them. A rusty nail scratched my chest. Ouch.
My head hurts. Goodbye, I miss you.
On Facebook, everyone seems happy. Like the world had a party and didn’t invite me. I was available.
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Oh, and now “Bob” doesn’t speak to me anymore because I’m anti-war. Twenty years of friendship down the drain. I argued with him once on GChat all night.
I was sure he’d see things my way. It hurt my head. My head was crying.
Claudia came down. She looked good in her nightgown. She was like, “You have to get to sleep.” And I was like, “But we’ve been friends for over twenty years!”
My shoulders scrunched together. My eyes squinting. Ready to type.
She said, “no you haven’t been” and turned around and went back to sleep.
Every day, there’s something. Something I’m afraid of. Someone I’m worried for. Someone who does me wrong. Someone who is stabbing me in the back.
I can’t cure them. They are always there. Every day. But I want today to be good. Please?
If I don’t cure myself, the day will get infected. The sky will gush blood. My brain will get knifed.
My stomach hurts.
I am just going to straight out tell you my cure. No fooling around. This is what I do. And I do it all day long. And it works for me. And when I don’t do it, I fall and it hurts.
This is what sculpts the clay bit by bit into what will be the final product when I die. I hope I do a good job.
A) ADMIT IT.
There’s nothing I can do. It’s nobody’s fault. People are just jerks, sometimes. Or sometimes, I’m a jerk. Or sometimes, shitty things happen. Sometimes, there’s a hurricane I can’t control.
I don’t know.
Just admit it. Pain exists. And if it’s outside, then it’s inside.
I feel it in my stomach, head, chest. Sometimes my chest squeezes shut, and I hold my head and think I’m crazy. She’s right. I’m right. She’s right. I’m right. Nobody’s right. I miss her. I miss him. I’m afraid.
If you start thinking someone (anyone) is right, that’s the beginning of mental illness.
All I know is my head hurts. Just admit it. I miss you, and I suffer.
B) LIST IT.
What hurts? Maybe I feel lonely. Maybe my ego was hurt because someone sent a hurtful email. Maybe someone was wrong about me, and I’m frustrated I can never correct them.
Let me explain! But explaining is draining.
Maybe I want more money. Or love. Or safety and I’m afraid I won’t get it. Or I’m scared for someone. Worried. Are they ok? Just admit it. List it. This is the chance to be honest. To yourself.
What do you crave?
C) STOP IT.
This takes practice. I have to say to myself, “This is not a useful thought.” Thought, thought, thought…not useful thought.
I’m getting a little better at it. The ratio of useful thoughts to not useful.
Sometimes, I put question marks at the ends of all my sentences instead of exclamation points. I deliberately confuse myself. What?
The key is just to stop for a second. Stop the obsessive treadmill. Get off the merry-go-round. Get out of the orbit of the gravitational pull of your obsession.
But I’m scared.
Get out of orbit. Let go of the merry-go-round. Fly out of control. Trust for one split second so you can:
I’ve written a billion times about the daily practice. Some people ask me: If I want to be successful, which leg of it should I focus on? The answer: no legs. The chair will fall if you think that way. It’s not about success; it’s about survival.
It’s about the tiny nicks in the stone to make the sculpture.
It’s every second taking a step back and just triple checking, am I healthy:
- Physically: Did I eat well, sleep well, exercise?
- Emotionally: Am I surrounding myself with people I love, who love me, who inspire me. Can I love myself even when lonely or angry?
- Mentally: Am I exercising my idea muscle, reading, becoming an idea machine?
- Spiritually: Did I say “Thanks” to someone today? Did I surrender to everything in the world that I can’t control? And then, once again, “thanks.”
That’s the cure for the emotional flu. Don’t worry if you are “off.” Just start now. This is how I take care of myself. I’m going to do it right now. Then later today.
Then when I talk to you, I might do it again.
I might still get lonely or angry or sad, worried, or jealous. I might still regret. Or get anxious.
The blackness is always there. But I take the cure and a slice of rainbow cuts through. Hi!
One time a day. Ten times a day. All day.
There’s an infinity before we are born. An infinity after we live. We’re jumping between those two mountains, and we’ll die if we fall. We have to create our luck every second.
But if we take care of ourselves, we grow wings. The mist of the clouds open like fluffy lips. And for this briefest moment of life that I cradle, I can fly. I can kiss.
James Altucher has built and sold several companies, and failed at dozens more. He’s written ten books, and Choose Yourself is the book to RULE THEM ALL. He’s an investor in twenty different companies. He writes every day. He doesn’t have enough friends. Still interested in knowing him? Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
*Image courtesy of danielito311.