Do You Have to Be Rich to Be Honest?

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by James Altucher: July
4th Is a Scam



I got this
email a few months ago: “you must be TOTALLY LOADED to write
the kind of stuff you do.”

Another person
wrote me, “I’m not rich enough to be as honest as you
are. I’d lose my job and customers.”

Finally, after
I got several emails like this I asked someone back, “Why do
you think I’m rich? Do you think someone needs to be wealthy
in order to be honest?”

And the guy
wrote back: “If you’re rich you don’t have to worry
about what clients or customers or investors think about you. Or
even what friends think about you. So you can say whatever you want.”

By implication
it must mean that everyone who thinks they are “poor”
is lying to his friends, customers, bosses, etc. This is a horrible
way to live, when the ego tightens around you like a straitjacket.
Eventually it doesn’t end well. All of these friends will backstab
you. Its happened to me. Repeatedly.

actually creates Wealth.

Blodget asked me
a few months ago, what happened in your writing?
Why did it change all of a sudden?

I told him,
“I decided to stop lying.”

He gave a nervous
laugh (it has to be nervous. Was I lying to him? Was I committing
crimes?). He asked, “what were you lying about?”

And I was stumped.
I don’t really know what I was lying about. I had been lying
about everything. To everyone. Forever. I couldn’t remember
telling the truth.

I had basically
been broken to the ground. I had 16
out of 17 businesses fail
. I survived divorce, losing a home,
depression, people dying on me, not seeing my kids for long periods
of time, investments fail, I
was fired
from about eight jobs simultaneously. What was the
point? I was just going to write how I saw it. Screw it. It couldn’t
get worse for me.

For 15 years
I’ve been lying. Ralph (not his real name) used to call me
up at 4 in the morning. He was a client of my first business. He
needed advice about his job. I couldn’t stand him. In fact,
at one point he borrowed a lot of money from me he never paid back.
And he never paid his bills on time. I had to worry about payroll
every month. So at 4 in the morning he’d call for advice and
ask, “is now an ok time? I couldn’t sleep.” And I
would always say, “of course it is.” When of course, it
wasn’t. I was lying to him. And it made me hate him even more.
And it made me hate myself even more.

You lose yourself
when your ego takes charge like that.

I’ve lied
quite a bit. To customers, to bosses, to employees, to girlfriends.
It doesn’t work. It shows less pride in your work, less pride
in yourself. It makes people hate you in the long run. It makes
you less money. You have sex less. You die earlier.

better than that. You don’t need to blog all your failures
and confess all your sins. Let me do that. I have fun with it. Just
start small by exercising the honesty muscle.

How to exercise
the Honesty Muscle:

Every now and
then someone writes me and says “I broke the rules” on
the Daily Practice
. It’s ok to break the rules. It’s
just a guideline really. But here’s an alternative. A simplified
version. And it uses the four legs of the Daily Practice to build
the Honesty Muscle so you can slowly stop all of your lying. Because
don’t BS
me – you lie also.

If you ask
these core honest questions (see below) to yourself every day then
two things will happen:

A) It will
lead to great honesty and confidence in every aspect of your life.

And the more you ask the below questions, the more this honesty
will increase. It will lower your center of gravity on the planet.
So that wherever you stand, nobody can knock you over.

B) Your
life will be completely different within six months
and that
difference will be measured in degrees of success.

You don’t have to answer these questions, “yes!”.
You just have to be aware when you are saying “No.” The
more you are aware, ultimately the less “Nos”.


A) Are you
eating healthy? And you know what I mean! I eat that ice cream at
11pm at night also. No good!

B) Are you
exercising? Are you keeping clean? Are you sleeping 7-8 hours a

C) Are you
doing everything you can do so you don’t die an early death
from liver or kidney or lung cancer? If you aren’t, then you
are lying to yourself. If you lie to yourself, you’re going
to lie to others. It’s a horrible spiral down a death trap.
Why die earlier and with a lower quality of life than you have to?

This doesn’t
mean you have to change everything today. Make one change a day.
Pick the biggest lie. And make it honest. That’s all. But don’t
BULLSHIT yourself here. It’s ok if you’re not perfect,
if you break the rules here and there. But don’t BULLSHIT.
Be aware. Be AWAKE. If you aren’t the master of your thoughts
then you are the slave.

And if you
don’t want to change anything then at least you’re aware
of where you are lying. That’s not a bad start. But make sure
the start has a good End.


A) Are you
cheating on wife/partner/friends? Are you being good to your family?
To your friends? Not in a way that drains energy from you but are
you genuinely giving all you can without doing any draining?

the rest of the article

7, 2011

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