• 6 Unusual Things I Learned From Hula Hooping

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    by James Altucher: 20
    Ways To Deal With Regrets

     

     
     

    I was living
    on my own after ten years of marriage and my kids were visiting
    me every two weeks I didn’t know what to do with them. I didn’t
    have a door on my bathroom. I had girl problems. I had money problems.
    And now I had two tiny people who I needed to entertain.

    If you think
    about it superficially, what does a 40 year old man have in common
    with a 12 year old girl and a 9 year old girl. What? Are we friends
    or something?

    But they were
    my kids and I loved them and I wanted them to love me back. I also
    didn’t want their lives to be in too much shock over the separation
    of their parents. Time magazine does its annual cover story
    on “Divorce Ruins the Lives of Kids” and now my kids were
    going to be divorced kids. “I don’t want to be one of
    those”, one of them was crying when we first told them.

    Kids don’t
    deserve the burden that’s thrust on them. They have no control
    over their lives at all. They have no control over where they will
    live. They don’t know how to take care of themselves so they
    often get sick in the germ factories at the schools. Most kids hate
    school and are bored out of their minds sitting down from nine to
    three listening to boring teachers talk boring topics. Kids should
    run around and sweat and climb trees.

    Plus kids are
    often cruel to each other. My oldest daughter was having a problem
    at the time with being ostracized at the school she was attending.
    It was very hard for her and broke my heart. Having been cruel at
    points in my life, I saw very clearly what they were doing to her.
    On top of it their parents were getting divorced. I was so sad for
    the both of them.

    So I did the
    only thing I knew to do with them. I overbooked them. They would
    arrive and we would eat out dinner at a nice place, then play ping
    pong, then go to a movie, then next day: bowling, ping pong, basketball,
    swimming, ice skating, magic show, Holocaust museum (they HATED
    that), and hula hoop lessons. They were out of breath, out of mind,
    by the time they left to go to their home. My old home.

    I found a woman
    who performed with a circus. I hired her for almost no money to
    come over and teach my kids all sorts of hula hoop tricks. “Why
    don’t you join in?” she said to me.

    “I can’t
    do that,” I said. Maybe something homophobic in me. Don’t
    only girls hula hoop? Plus, every time I tried it it seemed scientifically
    impossible. I would move my whole body in a circle to keep up with
    the hula hoop, I would to spin as fast as possible, and it would
    immediately fall down. Whatever. Hula hooping is for girls.

    “Sure
    you can,” she said, and she had a hula hoop for me. So I took
    lessons. And by the end of the first lesson I was hula hooping and
    my kids were doing all sorts of tricks.

    But I did
    learn 6 Valuable Things From Hula Hooping

    A) What
    seems hard is sometimes very easy.
    Sometimes you just need to
    know the right trick and something that you previously thought was
    not just hard but IMPOSSIBLE becomes easy. But everyone else still
    thinks it’s hard. So it’s like you’re doing a miracle
    whenever you show people. One time CNBC asked me to say something
    for one of their promos. I said, “Can I do it while hula hooping.”
    They said, “sure.” So I did it. Afterwards they were like,
    “Oh my god, how the hell did you do that?” Sadly they
    didn’t air it. I was in a tie, hula hooping, saying something
    about how capitalism was going to rule the free world and maybe
    it didn’t quite all fit together.

    A lot of people
    say “I can’t do it” through their whole lives. I
    bet 95% of the things that “can’t” is applied to
    is actually very easy. In fact, I know this statistic to be true.
    I see “can’t” from people every day. When you say
    “can’t” look at the deeper fears why you might not
    want to do something. Or why you think you aren’t good enough.
    Or why you think you don’t deserve the magic.

    B) You need
    a teacher.
    For everything I want to get better at, I get a teacher
    or mentor. Without a teacher I never would’ve learned the tricks
    to hula hoop. Without a teacher, I never would’ve gotten better
    at chess or poker. I had a good
    teacher on trading
    . I wish I had had someone show me the ropes
    on entrepreneurship. Instead I had to learn these rules the hard
    way. Through bitter tears and a
    lot of failure
    .

    But you can
    get virtual teachers as well. The Internet is a blessing. It removes
    even more reasons for “can’t”. Where soon going to
    collectively run out of excuses for everything.

    Read
    the rest of the article

    September
    15, 2011

    The
    Best of James Altucher

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