Why Being Grateful Is Not Enough – 3 Things I Learned From James Altucher

Really, who doesn’t like James Altucher?

We talk about him all the time here at the studio – quoting him, referring to his Success Secrets, laughing at the crazy, inventive ways he mocks himself in his newsletters.

I’m always hearing from London Real fans how much they loved him, and each person has their own takeaway from James’ interview. I thought I would give you three of the big takeaways I got from interviewing this business genius and brilliant writer:

  1. We live in an ideas economy, not a knowledge economy.
  2. There are no straight trajectories in life – always be prepared to reinvent yourself.
  3. Just being grateful is not enough – be grateful for the HARD stuff.

1. Ideas Economy

We’re so used to hearing that the modern economy is knowledge-based, but as James said in our interview, even knowledge can be outsourced. The only thing that can mark you out and guarantee your market value, is the quality of your ideas.

You might remember James’ trick of writing 10 ideas every morning, about anything from chess moves to how Amazon can improve their service.

For James, the key is keeping your ideas muscle strong, like a daily workout.

Something else James said about ideas stuck with me: “Execution is a sub-section of ideas.”

This goes against conventional wisdom, because we usually think action is the most important thing. But without an idea governing how you act, you’re just wasting energy.

The idea determines how effective you will be when executing, so get your strategy right, set goals and focus your actions accordingly.

2. Life’s not a straight trajectory

Like I said James is an expert at shaming himself and turning that shame into ideas that help others.

This is how he writes, and there’s always some new horrible story about how he messed up in his past!  But James also has a talent for starting over, never giving up and reinventing himself.

He’s been a tech guy, an investor, a venture capitalist and now he’s a writer.

Reinventing yourself means seizing opportunities, rolling with the changes and being able to turn negatives into positives.

James is a badass at all these things, and it’s that’s why he’s managed to come back from so many failures.

3. Be grateful for the hard stuff.

Like James said, it’s easy to be grateful for the people you love, for the sun shining, and lucky things that happen to you.

But maintaining a gratitude mindset is about weakening the hold negativity has on our lives, so that we’re not governed by, as James says, regret or anxiety. You can’t do this by just finding nice things to think about. You have to see the value is tough times, the challenges, the dark days.

This is what James calls “difficult gratitude problems” and finding three of these a day reprograms you to stay strong when life throws those curve balls.Okay, so these are just three of the MANY things I took away from my hilarious and enlightening chat with James Altucher.

In the comments below, let me know what’s a difficult gratitude problem you are facing right now, and how have you managed to be reframe it and be thankful for the challenge?

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