James Altucher wrote a book that changed my day to day living in 2013 titled Choose Yourself! In the book, James explains his shortcomings and failures along with his successes over the past 20 years of business. This is not a normal book, there are no major triumphs over humanity and a museum built in James’ honor at the end. It’s an honest look at how James has completely lost his entire livelihood multiple times and after each collapse he’s had to completely reinvent himself with new ways to make a living and define himself. After the 2008 crash of his life (and the stock market), James resolved to build himself back using a daily practice.
The daily practice is dead simple. Write down 10 things your are grateful for and 10 ideas about anything in your life. Every. Single. Day. This is just like Darren Hardy’s book The Compound Effect where you have to take action every day to ultimately achieve a larger goal. Another book that has completely altered my worldview as well as my career when I used the principles to become a web designer.
Seeing James’ new approach I immediately built The Daily Practice into my day-to-day and saw some very nice rewards…
I felt better about my place in the web design and entrepreneurship scene. I felt energized and excited about where I was in my journey. I had better ideas and when I was required to build things for clients or myself, I had flushed out the bad ideas I use Evernote and IFTTT for my daily practice so every day at 7:00AM a new note is created for me in Evernote with a pre-built list I fill in with 10 things I’m grateful for and 10 ideas about anything. Some people use paper. Other’s use whiteboards. Whatever it is you’re going to choose to use, go all in. I like to use Evernote so I can see days that I missed and times where I haven’t been using my practice. When I looked back on April I was shocked at how little I had been actually pursuing my daily practice…
I only did this half of the time and I still feel the benefits every day even months after doing this.
What if I went head on next time and really knocked this out each morning? How much more would it take to do something great? I was on fire with my practice a few months back when I first started, over time I’ve let a few days pass without pursuing my Daily Practice and that bred even more missed days.
Even with a little success over the past few months, I still have a lot of work to do. The Daily Practice, just like learning new tools as a web designer, is a journey that continues on without an final stopping point. This applies to web design, development, entrepreneurship or whatever big journey you’re on. Just because you scored a 50% this time around doesn’t mean that’s your final score. It’s called a DAILY practice just for that reason, we have to do it every day for it to be completely effective. So if your trying to change careers or just come up with better ideas and be a little more grateful make this the month of the hammer and nail rather than the half built house.