Nine Unusual Ways To Get Yourself Off the Floor

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by James Altucher: How
I Cured My Constipation



What does it
mean, “Your divorce was amicable.”? When someone tells
me that, I think: liar. How does that happen? And don’t
think I don’t ask.

I ask.

“Was it
just, you guys woke up and looked at each other and said, ‘ok,
that’s it’ “and then it was all good after that?
You just moved out and started having sex with other people?”

no, but…”

And I never
get an answer. You never hear about the car tearing into the street,
the spouse screaming and running after it, the lights going on in
the houses up and down the street, the kids nervous in their beds,
the police, the aftermath, the sun, the dawn, the burn, the hole
in the wall, the door, the mothership landing, the blaze of lights,
the feeling, ‘am I ever going to see my kids again’, the
feeling: ‘are their lives ruined now because of this?’

“It was
amicable.” What is amicable? Friendly? Your stuff here, my
stuff there. You can have that scented candle. I’m going to
take this book about baseball. You can have that painting with the
sunrise. I’ll take this painting of the rain.

It’s like
breakups. When are breakups amicable? If you’ve gone on a date
or two, sure. I’ve had that. Where you go on a date or two,
everyone is kissing, and then someone calls and nobody answers.
And then someone calls 20 times in a half hour period and nobody
answers (that would be me…calling) and then some more calls
and finally, “was that you calling?” Yeah, I’ve had
those “breakups” but they don’t count.

I ask.

“No man,
we were just too young.”

that make it bloodier? Like, you’re less mature so you actually
start beating on each other.

And it doesn’t
just apply to marriages. It applies to business breakups. Like,
“we were partners but we didn’t really see eye to eye
so we went our own ways.”

No you didn’t!

It’s not
like one of you was on a ladder and the other on the floor so you
didn’t see “eye to eye” and now one of you had to
leave and the other stuck around to build a business. What happened?

People lie
to me all the time. They lie, lie, lie.

Well, you can
say, it’s none of your business.

But it is!

I’m human.
I want to know. There’s only so many experiences I can have
that can teach me about life. I want to know how you guys broke
up and ended things. I want to know how that business didn’t
work out. I want to know about when you cried because you thought
the world was going to come crashing down on you.

so used to thinking about the past and the future but never the
But what if suddenly the past and the future are stripped
from you. The past because it’s too painful. The future because
all of the dreams and expectations you had no longer exist. You’re
no longer going to grow older with that person, you’re no longer
going to tuck your kid into bed after she wakes up with a scary
nightmare, you’re no longer going to build that business even
though it was your idea, you’re no longer going to count that

I count future
money when I’m in the shower. Other people masturbate. Other
people sing. But counting money I make in the future is a beautiful
thing. What if that money is no longer there?

In your worst
moments you have to forget about the past and the future. You have
to suddenly take a survey of what you have RIGHT NOW.

People always
write me, “but how do you take that first step when you are
lying on the floor.” They don’t add: in the fetal position,
crying, drunk, poor, and so on. It’s assumed.

what you do. Requires: Pen and waiter pad on the floor with you.
Can you get that? I’ll wait.

The past is
dead. The future has now shifted. You’re going to an alternate
universe and we don’t know which one it is yet. So thank god…you
no longer have that glazed shiftless expression in your eyes. You
know – the one you see when everyone is walking around the street,
stuck in their futures or their past. You are unique for this blissful
moment. You are stuck right now. This is a gift to be in the PRESENT.
So use it.

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30, 2011

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