Starting OverJul 13, 2015
You are stripped to nothing, you are homeless. What you could do, from this place, starting over? What 10 steps would you take?
Well... I actually just talked about this very experience when James and Claudia interviewed me for Ep 291 of Ask Altucher.
Regardless of the circumstances that got you to this situation, it is not the end of the world. As in any moment, one can choose to decide a new destiny for their life.
That being said. Here are my 10 steps for picking yourself up and starting over.
Step 1: Draw some flowers.
One of the most transformational moments of my life (and I talk more about it in the podcast) was the moment I was living at SFO Airport and didn’t have a penny to my name. But instead of getting depressed, I decided that I needed some flowers at that very moment. You see, in our house growing up we always had fresh flowers. So in that very instance, I got out a pad of paper and some pens and drew the flowers above.
And I remember thinking when I was finished, that there wasn’t anything that could break my spirit. You can always create your own beauty.
Find that one thing that will inspire you and be the tipping point for moving forward.
Step 2: Know you are not your external circumstances.
One of the most inspiring books I have ever read was “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. He wrote it about his experience in a concentration camp, and while so many others around him were struggling he was not letting the situation define him.
No matter what is going around outside of you, you get to choose how you react. This holds true for each and every minute of our life. We always have a choice.
Step 3: Gratitude list.
Make a list of at least 100 things you are grateful for in this very moment. Powerful and will get you focusing on all the amazing things in your life that you have to be grateful for in this moment.
Doing this takes you from focusing on what you don’t have, and reminds you of all the amazing things that you do have going for you!
Step 4: Journal
I know personally, I can work thru a lot of difficult situations by getting out my journal and just starting to write. That is one of the reasons why I do morning pages every morning!
Just start writing about how you are feeling. Do an emotional brain dump and don’t hold anything back. Get it all out!
Step 5: Who could I help right now?
There may not be someone right there at that moment that you could help BUT even getting into the mindset of thinking about others outside your present situation will cause things to start to shift in your life.
Is there someone you can hold a door for, or smile at and say hello? Even the smallest random acts of kindness can have a positive impact!
Step 6: What resources do I have right now?
Put the thinking cap on and start thinking about what resources you have available. What do you have to work with? Are you near a phone or a library where you can use a computer?
This is more about taking inventory of what you have available so that you can later come up with some ideas on how to move forward.
Step 7: In this moment
What is one action that I can take at THIS moment to take ACTION to move forward?
We all have things we want to move towards in our lives. For example, say you want to live in NYC. What is one simple step that you could do RIGHT NOW to move one step closer? (There is no right or wrong answer here!) So maybe there is a magazine near you that has a picture from NYC in it that you could tear out, and have as a visual reminder of what you are moving towards.
Step 8: What can I do tomorrow?
What is 1 more simple action that you will be able to do tomorrow?
Now that you have today’s 1 action. Start thinking about what you could do tomorrow for that 1 additional action. They don’t have to be huge, anything that takes you even one step closer and helps keep your focus on the goal is a step in the right direction.
Step 9: Crank up the idea machine.
Get that journal back out and come up with 10 things that you could do TODAY to start moving forward.
Ok, time to roll up your sleeves and get out a piece of paper and a pen. Come up with 10 ideas of things that could help you move out of this current situation. The sky is the limit. Could be people, could be a service you could provide, or it could be the product you could invent. There are no wrong ideas. The important thing is to commit to at least 10. Know that not all will be good, but that you’ve gotta just keep coming up with them to find that nugget!
Also – commit to writing out 10 ideas every day for the rest of your life. I promise you it will change your life in ways you could never imagine. You will become an Idea Machine!
Step 10: Head to the airport.
Now that you have done the previous 9 steps, it’s time to find someplace safe for the evening. If it was me, I’d figure out how to get to an airport.
There are the 10 things that I would do if I once again found myself without a penny to my name, homeless, and with nothing.
Having been through all that before and having known several other people who have too, know that the experience will only make you stronger.
You’ll see that you truly are not your external circumstances and that at ANY moment of your life you can choose a different path.