More than one purpose

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Really love this thinking from James Altucher. Another inspirational writer, Jeff Goins, calls it the “portfolio lifestyle”. What they mean is: don’t stress. You don’t need to settle for just one career. Keep growing and stay creative and things will happen.

Amen to that.

Everyone thinks they need to focus on one thing. To be good at “their purpose” and that’s it. This is a myth perpetrated by the beginning of the industrial age when factory owners wanted workers to just do one thing all day long, 12 hours a day. Hitting the same hammer against the same nail.

There is no one purpose. The average successful person has 14 different careers in their lifetime. If you stick with one thing, you never get a chance to have “idea sex” – to become the master of the intersection of two totally different areas.

This is how change is made; this is how innovation happens.

The 1000 Hour Rule – by James Altucher

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Crazy or genius? Well, writer/thinker/speaker James Altucher has them both covered in an entertaining way. This is his take on Malcolm Gladwell’s famous 10 000 hour rule. I like it so I quote it in part below and link to his full post here.

THE 1000 HOUR RULE (note: this is NOT the 10,000 hour rule. One less zero).

Everybody knows the 10,000 HOUR RULE. The one popularized by Malcolm Gladwell that basically says if you do dedicated practice for 10,000 hours you can master a field. You can reach your full potential or close to it.

He used the Beatles as an example. They spent 10,000 hours playing music 18 hours a day in German porn clubs for five years and became the best in the world.

It makes sense. If you practice painting water colors for 10,000 hours you will be among the best in the world at water color painting.

Here’s the problem: We don’t just have one passion or love in life. The universe wants us to have fun doing more than one thing in life. That’s how it learns. You don’t have one purpose in life. You have maybe 500 or so.

And 10,000 hours is a lot of time. It’s anywhere from 5-30 years of your life. And then you die. And what do you show for it? That you’re great at watercolor painting. Not everyone is going to be the Beatles. That involves some luck also.

So I prefer the 1000 hour rule.

If you practice ANYTHING for one thousand hours and make sure it’s dedicated practice then you will STILL be among the best in the world.

How come? Because with anything worth learning there is a steep learning curve. In the first 1000 hours your ability goes straight up. Then it starts to even out as you learn more of the subtleties required to be among the best.

Here’s the thing: NOBODY GIVES A SHIT.

Since only the best in the world can really appreciate the subtleties and 99.9999% of the world can’t tell the difference between somebody who has studied for 1000 hours versus someone who has studied for 10,000 hours then you can appear to be the best in the world and get much of the benefits of it by just putting in 1000 hours of dedicated practice.

In fact, if you get good at learning new things, then you can even take another zero off. The 100 hour rule. Or maybe 200 hours. This makes life a LOT better and more fun. You can take that zero off after you get really good at the first thing.

Because then you have learned how to learn. So that saves a lot of energy on the next thing you learn.

Phew! This one rule has saved me decades of time. I can’t be the world champion at chess but I can be a chess master. I can’t be a billionaire but I can perhaps learn enough about a field to make a real contribution to society.

And I can do it more than once. In fact, I can do it every year of my life and learn many things.

Thank god for the 1000 hour rule. (or the 100 hour rule).”

Why You Should Choose Yourself

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Recently I finished the wonderful book “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher.  James writes one of the most honest and thought-provoking blogs in the world and has interesting view on just about anything. Here’s the first paragraph in the Amazon description:

The world is changing. Markets have crashed. Jobs have disappeared. Industries have been disrupted and are being remade before our eyes. Everything we aspired to for “security,” everything we thought was “safe,” no longer is: College. Employment. Retirement. Government. It’s all crumbling down. In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It’s on you to make the most important decision in your life: Choose Yourself.

Sounds interesting, right? It is! Check it out at Amazon. (Buying it through this affiliate link gives a tiny percentage to the maintenance of this blog for which I say thanks).

Here’s James free cheat sheet for reinventing yourself (created by Hamish Irving) which will give you a taste of what the book is about. Download cheat sheet.

Life is short so why not make it great

I’m in a period of reading a lot. Well, I always read a lot, but currently I’m both reading fiction and “self-help” books. Why I put quotation mark around self-help? It’s because I think that term has kind of a negative weight to it, because there’s too much self-help crap out there. What I’m reading is more personal stories with some advice thrown into them.

Two weeks ago I finished James Altucher‘s very interesting “I Was Blind But Now I See” and now I’m reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I’ve also purchased The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson after a heavy recommendation from @kreelanwarrior’s blog. So I’m up to do some more reading!

Or actually listening, because I decided to go for the audio book version of both The 4-Hour Workweek and The Slight Edge.

Starting with The 4-Hour Workweek it really takes all the notions of being an office man and dissolves them. Life is about being challenged, entertained, it’s about positive stress not negative stress and Tim Ferriss is very convincing in selling that notion. He has a record to prove it too.

The 4-Hour Workweek is also about sales/entrepreneurship and making enough money and time(!) to be able to do the things you really like. Learn a language, try skydiving, take a pilot certificate or whatever your heart desires and what I like about the book is that the focus is more on time than the actual sum you earn.

Because it’s all about time isn’t it? Time is money and money is time. But it takes so much time and effort to make money that we have no time to actually use it for something! This is exactly what Ferriss is getting at in The 4-Hour Workweek.

Coincidentally (or not) this is also what James Altucher gets at in “I Was Blind But Now I See” or at least in a slightly different angle. Althucher focuses on eliminating negative energy in your life, meaning stress, crappy people who upset you and troublesome thoughts in worries. The great thing with Altucher’s book is his honesty as he’s using plenty of his own failures and mishaps as examples in illustrating how not to do things and also to explain how he came to the conclusions in the book.

Altucher is also a skilled and humorous writer which makes “I Was Blind But Now I See” a fast, entertaining and illuminating read.

I’ve really understood that reading these kind of books really inspire you in to better yourself, remove negative energy from your life, and figure out what you REALLY want to do. Even if you have heard the concepts or ideas before or they sometimes sound self-explanatory it’s just great to be able to hear it from someone else and to be reminded of what life is and how life can be.

In the end it all boils down to:

Life is short, so why not make it great?