**Irrationality is an art form. Because “impossible” is a tricky thing to pin down.
Hecklers of the Wright brothers were correct in saying humans can’t fly. But, at the same time, the Wright brothers proved them wrong.
Humans can fly.
Teleportation is, indeed, impossible. (Or, at least, it appears to be so.)
But, at the same time, I’m writing this from inside a barn in Ohio (Wi-Fi extenders for the win). And now these words have been teleported all across the world. The Internet has allowed us to transcend time and space. I can learn from the masters, go “anywhere,” be anyone… from inside a barn. This is at a time when, not that long ago, your choices of sending information were either the Pony Express or carrier pigeons.
Teleportation is real.
Throughout history, the impossible has turned into the imaginable, has turned into the mundane. (Who, these days, gets excited about flying?)
Lots of people think, for whatever reason, that incredible achievements are reserved only for those who were granted with special gifts, or the stars are aligned in their favor, or were (my favorite because it’s, when you look at most of the greatest historical figures, disastrously wrong) products of immense privilege.
But the people who make breakthroughs, achieve “impossible” things, time and again, aren’t usually exceptionally gifted… touched by angels… or anything like that.
It’s usually because they’ve simply made the decision to do it. They’ve shut out the naysayers (and their naysaying thoughts)…
They’ve tuned their “reality tunnel” (or reality distortion field, if you will) to only move and act in ways that make the “impossible” more possible. They have the tenacity to try to make a lightbulb one thousand times. Or run a thousand 5 minute miles to eventually hit that 4.
It sounds incredibly simplistic, but…
The decision breaks open the opportunities.
The decision opens up pathways from A to B. Informs the little decisions each day. Makes you debate whether you should stay up and watch another episode on Netflix or go to bed so you can get an early start and crush it tomorrow.
The decision makes the magic happen.
As one of my favorite quotes from a very famous book, The Alchemist, puts it:
“He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision he is really diving into the strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”
“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
Today, on this note, we invite James Altucher to talk about his interview with Jen Sincero, author of You Are a Badass.
Get rich. Live the humble (or not so humble) dream life. Live free. Make a dent. Change lives. It all applies.
Roving Reporter, Laissez Faire Today Editor
Some people collect stamps. Some people collect clocks. Others collect seashells. Chris Campbell collects awesome (and often weird) experiences. And then he writes about them.
Sometimes these stories end up in his free daily e-letter, Laissez Faire Today.
Other times they’re far too inappropriate for print. And he wouldn’t dare tell you about them. (Maybe if you ask nicely.)
He drinks coffee. He takes pictures with his camera. He writes ideas in a little notebook that he usually keeps in his pocket (though he currently thinks he might’ve forgotten said notebook in Bangkok). And he does yoga. But not always all at the same time.
Chris also wants to let you know that he’s a card-carrying medical tourist. And he tells people that Laissez Faire Today is worth reading every single day. It’s (probably) true.
Has pen and camera. Will travel.
Jen Sincero was making $30K a year. Then, one day, she just “decided” to get rich.
It sounds crazy. But it worked.
But one year later, she was making six figures.
She said, “I was sick of living my life so small. I was in my 40s. I was living in a converted garage. I was scraping by. That’s what kicked me in the ass.”
Jen told me what she did to increase her income. And how she did whatever it took to change her financial reality.
I had a million questions. And only one hour to ask them. Here’s what I learned:
1. How does “deciding” to get rich actually change anything?
A lot of people want to be rich.
But Jen says there’s a difference between “wanting” and “deciding.”
“Describe what that means,” I said.
“They don’t want to do what it takes,” she said.
“But how does deciding make you do what it takes?”
“Because when you hit a challenge, which you certainly will, you don’t look for excuses. You look for ways to push through them. That is the difference between ‘wanting’ and ‘deciding.’ Because when you’ve decided, there is no plan B.”
She kept saying, “And that’s what a decision is.” The more she said it, the more I felt like I understood it.
I make this joke when I do stand-up about aborting your child as long as they’re under the age of 18. I joke that it’s not too late. And everyone laughs because that’s murder.
You can’t abort your kid at 14, 15 or 16 years old. You made the decision to keep them alive. You made the decision from the moment they were born. Or maybe earlier.
I feel like Jen made the decision to get rich the same way we make the decision to keep our babies alive.
“The only option is success and moving forward. That’s what a decision is,” she said. “If your life depended on you succeeding, you would go about things very differently. And that’s what a decision is.”
2. Okay, so then what do you do next then? After you “decide” to get rich?
“You should get clear on how much money you desire to make,” she said. That’s step two (after deciding).
“And you should make the hell-bent decision to make that a reality for yourself and do every single thing you can think of within your moral scope to make that happen. And do it as though you had a gun to your head. Do it as if this is your one and only life on planet Earth as the you that is you and insist upon it.”
I wanted her to say that over and over again. Because it had so many steps of meaning in it:
3. “How did the light switch go on?”
Jen was making $30K a year. Then a year later she was making 6 figures. So I asked, “What happened? How did the light switch suddenly go on for you?”
She told me about her life, her expenses, her worries. “I was making all my decisions based on how much things cost,” she said.
Part of me felt like that was normal. But maybe that’s what I was missing. Because she explained: “Money is currency and currency is energy.”
“Everything is make believe,” she said. “It’s what you make yourself believe.”
So she started tell herself this mantra. Because she felt like the life she was living wasn’t actually the best she could do.
“This is why I call the book, ‘You Are a Badass.’ Because I knew there was so much more I was capable of. I hated feeling like I was playing so small with my one life on Earth. And that’s what kicked me in the ass…”
(This is my favorite part of the interview.) When she says…
“And that’s what kicked me in the ass to get out there and do whatever it took to change my financial reality.”
4. How did you start?
She was at her lowest point when she got started.
“I’d been trying to make money on my own for 40 years and it was not working,” she said.
But then she realized why…
“When I was living in the garage, I said, ‘I can’t afford it,’ every five minutes. No matter what we were talking about.”
She told me about concentration. “Where you place your focus determines what your reality looks like,” she said.
I’ll give you an evolutionary example. You’re with your tribe. You hear a noise. Is it the wind? Or a tiger in the bushes?
You have two choices:
If you ran, you lived. Negativity was an evolutionary saving grace for us. A tool for survival.
“Is that why we’re so damn negative?” Jen laughed.
I wanted to play devil’s advocate (my 2nd favorite game to chess). I wanted to challenge her theory that ANYBODY can get rich.
“Let’s say I have a mortgage and three kids. I want to get rich. And I have an idea. But I’m scared to quit my job. Because I have a family to support”
It’s hard because you might think your decision to get rich is conflicting with your decision to stay alive and not leave on the street.
But that’s not true. The decision to get rich supports your decision to thrive.
“If you’re going to constantly say to yourself, ‘If I leave my job, I’ll lose all my money and live under a park bench for the rest of my life,’ it could happen. But if you keep focusing on that you will pull it into your radar. You’ll pull in all the ways in which you can make that true.”
She showed me how to think for success.
“If you focus on, ‘I could quit my job, make 10 times more money and do all the things I love and meet all the people I want to meet,’ that totally could happen, too.”
I kept pretending to be the devil.
“But it’s hard to be positive,” I said.
And she agreed. “It’s unrealistic to feel positive all the time. And unhealthy. You’ve got to feel your feelings or you will get sick. We’re emotional creatures. And to think that you always have to be positive gives you another reason to feel like a loser. Because you’re not always positive.”
She had all the answers. And the clock was ticking.
Jen told me that her first step was to get all these self-help books. She created a mantra. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford it,” she said, “Money flows to me freely and easily.”
It wasn’t a magic spell. It was the key to the creative mindset that allowed her to (finally) see all the opportunities around her.
“It woke me up to the opportunities that were all around me the whole time that I was too busy proving I can’t afford it to see these new opportunities.”
She also went to money-making seminars, hired a coach, listened to meditations.
“This was all new territory for me and extremely uncomfortable,” she said.
“Why did you link meditation to money making?”
“Because the books told me to. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing,” she said. “I did whatever it took.”
If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know I didn’t stop at question #4. I kept digging. I wanted to keep defining “decision” and keep learning what it means to do “whatever it takes.”
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