The choices you make today determine your autobiography tomorrow.
So I gave up.
I didn’t sign any new leases. I didn’t officially live anywhere.
I started moving around in Airbnbs. I had to clean ship. Clean out. Clean up.
People would smile around me and I couldn’t understand how they moved their mouth muscles like that. People would laugh in restaurants and eat food.
Amy called me and said, “Send me a photo of every meal you eat and who you are eating it with. I want to know you are eating and socializing.”
So I lied.
I’d go to a restaurant, order a meal, and take a photo of the waitress and the meal. I’d pretend to be eating and I’d pretend the waitress was my friend. Then I’d leave the restaurant with the meal untouched.
The next year was a daze. I couldn’t tell if things were coming apart or piecing together. Or messing up or cleaning up.
One time I went on stage to do standup comedy. I got obsessed with it. I lived for it.
I started doing it up to six times a week (well…once I did six times a week, but usually three or four).
It made me happy. You don’t find a passion first, you find “a happy” first.
Once you find one happy thing, other things start to glue to it and it gets bigger and life gets bigger.
It got me confidence. I made new friends. It was a way to hide inside whatever was causing me pain and use it to make people laugh.
Amy called me. “Stop doing the AirBnBs. People will think you are creepy.”
So I found a place to move. I moved across the street from the standup comedy club.
And I started eating better. Protein for breakfast. Greens for lunch. Light dinner.
I started to read more. I had stopped reading.
And I started exercising. And I spend time with good friends. And I made new friends.
My rule for spending time with a friend: if I were throwing a big party, and they were the only one to show up, would I be happy? If “yes”, then I could hang out with that friend.
I started reconnecting with people. I’d write down ten ideas for someone and send them their way.
Because of reconnecting with good people and discarding bad people I had many more opportunities and joy in life.
This is how I became an advisor on my favorite TV show. This is how my business reached tens of millions in revenue.
I wrote to a girl I had “ghosted” a year earlier and I said, “I liked your last column very much. I understand if you hate me but I wanted you to know I loved you and I’m sorry I ghosted you.”
We’re engaged now.
James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Image courtesy of Austin Chan.