Saturday, July 14, 2012

Being Humble

James Altucher has written an article on his past.  He calls it a resume, but I certainly wouldn't say half of the things he's done on my resume, even if it were true.  For those of you who read LewRockwell.com, there are often links to Altucher's articles there.

I would not imitate Altucher.  There are certain things to admire about the guy, but overall his life has been a disaster, even with all of his successes.  He writes a great blog and I would encourage people to read it.  You can learn some things of what not to do.

With that said, Altucher does offer some great motivational advice too.  He seems to be quite honest in his writings and it serves him well.

For someone who wants to imitate Altucher, I really say, "don't do it".  There are certain qualities to imitate (particularly the honesty thing), but some of his better characteristics are part of his personality.  If you are capable of imitating his good characteristics and staying away from the bad, then go for it.

One thing in particular that you can learn from reading Altucher, especially about his past, is that it is important to remain humble in life.  This goes for your investments, your money, your business, your job, your relationships, and virtually everything else.  I have seen it too many times where someone thinks he is on top of the world and then comes crashing down.  It is often the result of not remaining humble.  If that wasn't the cause, then being humble would have at least made it easier on the person when they fell down.

There is a difference between being humble and not being confident.  You can be confident in yourself and your abilities while still remaining humble.  It is important not to cross that barrier of becoming over-confident when you think you are indestructible and that nothing can go wrong in your life.

Stepping over that line costs people their jobs, their money, and even their relationships.

You can see that with Altucher's resume.  He did not remain humble.  It seems like he has learned from his past and is more humble now, but who knows?

The funniest part of Altucher's piece is when he tells of a job he had for about a week.  He writes, "One day, in the middle of a meeting I had set up I said, 'excuse me for just one minute, I have to go to the bathroom' and I walked out of the meeting, walked out of the building with my coat, walked to the subway, went to Grand Central, and never came back to the office.  Never returned their calls afterwards."

This is funny on the one hand and also creates some jealousy on the other.  There are a lot of people who would love to do that.  They would love to be able to just get up and leave their job because they don't like it.  The problem is that most people don't have the financial freedom to do it.  If they did, they probably wouldn't be in the job in the first place.  For the few that might have the gall to do this, they probably shouldn't because they need the income to support themselves and their family.

If I were an employer looking at Altucher's resume, there is no way I would hire the guy.  He is the epitome of irresponsibility.  He made millions and lost it all.  He didn't take his work seriously.  It seems that his blog is the first job in his life that he actually takes seriously.  While I wouldn't hire the guy, I might consider him as a consultant.  He is full of ideas and some of them are actually pretty good.

We can all learn from people like Altucher.  He was not humble and he got crushed.  But I like his writing and his creativity.  Some of his writings can be uplifting.  I will continue to read his blog posts that interest me and I would encourage others to do the same.  I just wouldn't imitate his past life.  If you do, just imitate the good parts.

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