Ask James: Society, the Presidency, Eckhart Tolle, Love, Bubbles and More

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by James Altucher: 6
Things I Learned From CharlesBukowski

 

 
 

They say that
comets crashed into the Earth a billion years ago and tiny microbacteria
came from the comet and impregnated this Earth with water and life.
From that combination, eventually, we humans rose out of it.

Sometimes I
want to go home. Back to the comet and continue on its journey to
the center of the Universe. Where, presumably, all of the answers
can be found, where the prism for all life pulsates in the middle.
It’s hard world to live in. We’re all suffering post-traumatic
syndrome. Over what? Loss of Jobs. Loss of jobs. 2008. 9/11, the
loss of the hope in the 90s.Sometimes having someone to talk to,
even on Twitter, is a small way to heal from this post-traumatic
stress. For me most of all!

Every Thursday,
from 3:30–4:30 I have a Twitter Q&A where anyone can ask
me about anything. From marriage, to money, to ancient cosmology.
While this all stems from my goal (ever since I was seven years
old) to be a “Dear Abby” I also have a lot of fun and
I like tweeting with people. Then the next day, I’ll post a
summary like this. Please join in next week.

WHAT IS
THE BEST WAY TO GIVE BACK TO SOCIETY?

@alyosha19
asks: What do you think is the best way to “give back”
to society as an individual? If at all…

ANSWER: Everything
comes from you. If you work at a charity but beat your kids at night
then you have failed to give back to society. The best way to give
back to society is to make sure you are healthy:

Physically:
you can’t be sick and give back. You need to eat well, sleep
well, exercise well. You can be your own superhero.

Emotionally:
you can’t give back if you are always arguing with wife, parents,
etc. You need to eliminate the people from your life who bring you
down and surround yourself with uplifting people who inspire you

Mentally: your
idea muscle needs to be in superhuman shape if you want to give
back to society. This means coming up with creative ideas every
single day, good or bad.

Spiritually:
this doesn’t mean praying to an old man with a beard but it
does mean having a sense of surrender and gratitude. These are two
different things. Surrender is when you say, “That’s it,
I’ve done all I can. I need help now.” Where does the
help come from? Is there a god? Who knows. Maybe it just comes from
a creative force locked inside of you that is dying to come out
and take over the world if you let it. But it does come from somewhere.
And gratitude: as soon as you wake up, list the 10 things you are
most grateful for.

Then, being
fully in shape, you are able to walk through life and be a beacon
to others. People will be attracted to you and they won’t know
why. Opportunities will throw themselves at your feet. And, by being
a force of nature unto yourself, you will give back to society without
even directly knowing how you are doing it.

IF I WERE
PRESIDENT

@bgn2end asks:
Are you running for President? If so, when you are elected, would
you abolish congress and eventually the presidency?

ANSWER: Ha,
the problem with the Presidency is that at some point you have to
decide that a little child is going to die at your hands (through
war, military action, etc). But here’s what I would do if elected
and had the power to do these things

A) Abolish
Congress and replace it with an internet voting system. The only
reason Congress exists is because there was no means to communicate
important issues around the country when the Founding Fathers existed.
[See, July
4 is a Scam
]

B) Abolish
the FDA. They make lethal substances legal: most chemicals are unregulated,
alchohol and nicotine are lethal, and they keep drugs that cure
people out of the hands of old people who need that one last chance
to survive. [See,
Eliminate the FDA
]

C) I’d
abolish every cabinet position. What do we need a Department of
Education for? Education in the US has only gone down since that
Department was created. What do we need a Housing Department for.
We had a housing crisis and nobody helped. What do we need a State
Department for? Rarely or treaties negotiated and we should stop
giving all of our money to foreign countries anyway. What do we
need a Department of Defense for? We haven’t legally declared
war since 1941. If you go to Washington DC you see these long enormous
buildings down every street that do nothing but bureaucracy.

D) I’d
appoint myself Vice-President. Someone has to go to funerals of
kings.

E) I’d
sell off every federal asset: highways, the IRS, federal lands,
trains, etc to raise money to pay down debt so that taxes can also
be reduced.

F) I’d
abolish the Presidency [See, “Abolish
the Presidency
”]

A lot of people
who are politically minded disagree with me on some of these things.
But the reality is. If we had the bravery to do all of the above
then life would be better. People still would obey Stop signs (there
are local governments to handle this) and they still wouldn’t
kill people and “our way of life” would stll be defended
since our greatest offense is now global capitalism and innovation.

ECKHART
TOLLE

@EricRomer
asks: Any thoughts on Eckhart Tolle?

ANSWER: Eckhart
Tolle wrote the best seller The
Power of Now
and was fortunate to spend some couch time
with Oprah Winfrey to really propel his message to the masses. When
he first wrote the book, he printed up 3000 copies and basically
went door to door at all the bookstores and handed them out. It
took him years to find success, which I truly appreciate. I also
think much of the advice in “The Power of Now” is interesting
to read. It’s a watered down version (he does not admit this)
of the Hindu philosophy Advaita Venta (best exemplified by a teacher
from 100 years ago, Ramana Maharshi) but Tolle does a good job translating
that into every day language and I agree with his approach of not
mentioning the roots of his philosophy.

The one thing
I think limits Tolle is that he hasn’t raised a family, or
failed at a business or a career, or has shared his own stories
of sadness, depression, and pain. I think that ultimately limits
his message. Many of have real careers that we are stressed about,
family that drives us crazy, businesses that we fail at.

Many of us
need to get off the floor after those failures and know that the
hand that’s reaching out to us comes from someone who has been
there before.

WHAT TO
DO INSTEAD OF COLLEGE

@goldfo100:
if you had a very intelligent child entering college today, what
major and language skills would your recommend?

ANSWER: Here’s
the problem with college, in a nutshell – you are going to
be with the same people you spent the past 12 years with (demographically)
and doing the same thing (spending most of the day reading books
that have nothing to do with anything, and then fooling around with
your friends without any supervision for the first time) and doing
it on your parents (or the bank’s) dime.

So if you are
fortunate to have that dime, how about do something that would be
much more beneficial: don’t go to college. Spend a year learning
to paint, or taking singing lessons, or learning yoga in India (getting
in shape, meeting people from all over the world, learning Eastern
philosophy) or any of 100 other things that will actually better
your life, force you to meet new demographics, and do it for much
cheaper than the cost of college.

Then, after
a year or two of that, why not go to college then – if you
still even want to?

WHAT WOULD
I DO IF I WERE 25?

@rballe33 asks:
What would J Altucher do if he were 25 yrs old right now?

ANSWER: Not
everyone could be a Mark Zuckerberg and start a new business from
scratch and watch it grow into billions. So the obvious answer,
“start a business” doesn’t really apply. It’s
hard, requires money, and requires you to know what people are missing
in their lives. Also, a consumer-oriented business is the hardest
sort of business to start but if you have no enterprise experience,
then its also hard to start a business selling to the enterprise.

Believe it
or not, here’s what I would recommend: work at a big company,
learn everything about them (See, “10
things You Should Do if You Were Hired Today
”), find out
what they are missing, and after two years start a business supplying
the things you find that they were missing. This, in fact is what
I did (I was 26 and not 25) when I went to work for HBO. If you
are vigilant, you will find many things they are missing and even
if they don’t become your first client, if you build your network
while you are on the job, you WILL find first clients for your service.
(Be service-oriented, then transform to product-oriented. This way
you are profitable right away).

Read
the rest of the article

October
11, 2011

The
Best of James Altucher

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