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Ideas Post

James Altucher


10 Ideas, Opinions, or Beliefs You Have Changed Your Mind About Over The Past 10 Years

    1. Bitcoin

    In March, 2013 I tweeted that I thought it was a scam. But in May , 2013 I created a bitcoin-only store to sell "Choose Yourself" before I released it and went on CNBC to talk about the merits of Bitcoin.

    The reason I change my mind: I started studying how every industry evolves throughout history. This is written about in books by Matt Ridley "The Evolution of Everything" and Yuval Harari's "Home Deus". And it seemed like Bitcoin was the natural evolution of money.

    2. Owning a home.

    I'm still 90% against home ownership BUT...I was afraid rents might go up too fast if there is fast inflation in certain areas so decided to buy a home. I have PTSD from owning two homes prior, however, and losing both of them. So owning triggers a lot of anxiety for me.

    3. My ability as a writer

    I recently looked back at some writing I did 15-20 years ago and BLECH! I thought I was a good writer but I am still just a student.

    4. Marriage is forever

    I was very ashamed when my first marriage ended in divorce. But now I realize people change and what's good for one period of your life might not be good for other times. Or, as Judy Blume told me on my podcast, "third time's a charm."

    5. Bitcoin, part two

    Many people equate bitcoin with the entire industry of crypto. I do think Bitcoin goes up from here but I recently sold all of my bitcoin. To be honest, I can't figure out a solid use case. So I sold Bitcoin and bought Ethereum instead as well as other, smaller, DeFi-related coins.

    6. TikTok

    I used to think it was just an app for young girls to enjoy. But I love watching good tiktok videos. It's a real art form.

    7. College

    I STILL think nobody should go to college. It's a waste of time and money and there is nothing applicable to the real world. If you want to learn something you have to be passionate about it and teach yourself by books, videos, talking to people, doing things. Not a classroom with tests. I swore I would never send my kids to college and I told them this when I was younger.

    Nevertheless, I caved and sent them to college. I didn't want this to be the thing they remembered me by. When they have real problems later in life I want them to be able to come to me and not have bitterness over the college issue. Parenting is hard!

    8. I used to think I was a good judge of people.

    but I'm not. I've made so many mistakes in relationships, business, etc, I realize I have no clue.

    But realizing I have no clue has helped me a lot. One time I had a meeting where a company was pitching me. I did background checks on everyone and I knew that they were not the sort of people I wanted to do business with. But I also knew that once I was in the room with them, they would convince me.

    So I brought someone to the meeting and told this person that no matter what I said after the meeting to remind me that THERE IS ZERO CHANCE WE WOULD INVEST.

    After the meeting I said, "Hmm, I'm not so sure anymore. I kind of liked them." And my friend said, "THERE IS ZERO CHANCE WE ARE INVESTING."

    It's ok to have weaknesses. Just be aware of them.

    9. What makes a good relationship?

    As recently as ten years ago I thought a good relationship meant zero to little arguing. And that we would just naturally agree on everything and life would be fun. This almost sounds like I am joking but it's pretty much what I believed.

    When I was doing standup comedy I would often see couples who had been married a long time. I would do a little warmup bit where I could guess how long each couple had been together by how many inches they sat from each other at the club.

    When I found couples who had been with each other a long time I would ask, because I was genuinely curious, what's the secret.

    One of the couple would always say, it's always 90/10, me/her. But then the other person would say, "each person in the couple has to put in 90% of the effort to make it work."

    You have to cherish what you have each day, work hard at listening and understanding and anticipating, you have to care enough to do all of the above, and then MAYBE it works out.

    The other thing I realized is that the best indicator if I will be happy in a relationship is if I was happy before the relationship started.

    10. "It's too late"

    I used to think that for many things in life it's too late to start. For instance, "you should start a business in your 20s else it's too late. Now I realize it's never too late.

    In fact, if you find things you love, then that's ALL you should pursue, regardless of the age. Doing this actually turns back the clock on what your "biological age" is versus your chronological age.

    Sometimes I get in trouble just doing what I love because some of those things don't make any money. But, so far so good. Well, I shouldn't say that. I've been broke many times. But I've survived and, as don Jose Ruiz told me on a podcast ("The Fifth Agreement"), surviving challenges is "medicine".

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