How To Be The Luckiest Guy On The Planet In Four Easy Steps

I told my dad, “I’m a lucky guy.” He said, “But are you lucky in  love?” I was six years old. Love was the most disgusting thing in the  world to me. What the hell was he talking about? Love was living in  another neighbourhood at that time. Or another planet. It would be years  before Love stuck its ugly little nose into my house and said, “hello,  anyone here?

Luck was all about rolling the dice. Or finding a quarter on the ground. Or seeing a double rainbow after a quick storm.

But now I’m different. I’m constantly checking in and out of the  Hospital of No Luck. I’m older. I need luck to be constantly transfused  into me or I run out of it. Without luck, I’m dead. For me, good luck  equals happiness. On a scale of happiness from 0 to 10, I think I’m  about a seven or eight. But that’s a big improvement. When I was lying on the floor here, I was probably about a zero. Or at different points in this story, I was maybe at negative. So I’m trending upwards.  I get lucky when I stick to three simple goals:
My ONLY Three Goals in Life

A) I want to be happy.
B) I want to eradicate unhappiness in my life.
C) I want every day to be as smooth as possible. No hassles.

That’s it. I’m not asking for much. I need simple goals else I can’t achieve them.

There’s been at least 10 times in my life that everything seemed so  low I felt like I would never achieve the above three things and the  world would be better off without me. Other times I felt like I was  stuck at a crossroads and would never figure out which road to take.  Each time I bounced back.

When I look back at these times now I realise there was a common thread.Each time there were four things, and only four things, that were always in place in order for me to bounce back. Now I try to incorporate these four things into a daily practice so I never dip low again.


A) Physical being in shape. Doing some form of  exercise. In 2003 I woke up at 5am every day and from 5-6am I played  “Round the World” on a basketball court overlooking the Hudson River.  Every day (except when it rained). Trains would pass and people at  5:30am would wave to me out the window. Now, I try to do yoga every day.  But it’s hard. All you need to do, minimally, is exercise enough to  break a sweat for 10 minutes. So about 20-30 minutes worth of exercise a  day. This is not to get “ripped” or “shredded”. But just to be healthy.  You can’t be happy if you aren’t healthy. Also, spending this time  helps your mind better deal with its daily anxieties. If you can breathe  easy when your body is in pain then its easier to breathe during  difficult situations. 

Here’s other things that are a part of this but a  little bit harder:

1. Wake up by 4-5am every day.
2. Go to sleep by 8:30-9. (Good to sleep 8 hours a night!)
3. No eating after 5:30pm. Can’t be happy if in digested at night.

B) Emotional. If someone is a drag on me, I cut  them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer. Nobody is sacred  here. When the plane is going down, put the oxygen mask on your face  first. Family, friends, people I love – I always try to be there for  them and help. But I don’t get close to anyone bringing me down. This  rule can’t be broken. Energy leaks out of you if someone is draining  you. And I never owe anyone an explanation. Explaining is draining.

Another important rule: always be honest. Its fun. Nobody is honest  anymore and people are afraid of it. Try being honest for a day (without  being hurtful). Its amazing where the boundaries are of how honest one  can be. Its much bigger than I thought. A corollary of this is: I never  do anything I don’t want to do. Like I NEVER go to weddings.

C) Mental. Every day I write down ideas. I  write down so many ideas that it hurts my head to come up with one more.  Then I try to write down five more. The other day I tried to write 100  alternatives kids can do other than go to college. I wrote down eight, which I wrote about here. I couldn’t come up with anymore. Then the  next day I came up with another 40. It definitely stretched my head. No  ideas today? Memorize all the legal 2 letter words for Scrabble.Translate the Tao Te Ching into Spanish.  Need ideas for lists of ideas? Come up with 30 separate chapters for an  “autobiography”. Try to think of 10 businesses you can start from home  (and be realistic how you can execute them)? Give me 10 ideas of  directions this blog can go in.  Think of 20 ways Obama can improve the  country. List every productive thing you did yesterday (this improves  memory also and gives you ideas for today).

The “idea muscle” atrophies within days if you don’t use it. Just  like walking. If you don’t use your legs for a week, they atrophy. You  need to exercise the idea muscle. It takes about 3-6 months to build up  once it atrophies. Trust me on this.

D) Spiritual. I feel that most people don’t like  the word “spiritual”. They think it means “god”. Or “religion”. But it  doesn’t.  I don’t know what it means actually. But I feel like I have a  spiritual practice when I do one of the following:

1. Pray (doesn’t matter if I’m praying to a god or to  dead people or to the sun or to a chair in front of me – it just means  being thankful. And not taking all the credit, for just a few seconds of  the day).
2. Meditate – Meditation for more than a few minutes is hard. It’s boring.Here I give tips for 60 second meditations.  You can also meditate for 15 seconds by really visualising what it  would be like meditate for 60 minutes. Here’s a simple meditation: sit  in a chair, keep the back straight, watch yourself breathe. If you get  distracted, no problem. Just pull yourself back to your breath. Try it  for 5 minutes. Then six.
3. Being grateful – I try to  think of everyone in my life I’m grateful for. Then I try to think of more people. Then more. Its hard.
4. Forgiving – I picture everyone who has done me wrong. I visualise gratefulness for them (but not pity).
5. Studying. If I read a spiritual text (doesn’t matter what it is: Bible,  Tao Te Ching, anything Zen related, even inspirational self-help stuff,  doesn’t matter) I tend to feel good. This is not as powerful as praying  or meditating (it doesn’t train your mind to cut out the BS) but it  still makes me feel good.

My own experience: I can never achieve the three “simple” goals on a  steady basis without doing the above practice on a daily basis. And  EVERY TIME I’ve hit bottom (or close to a bottom, or I’ve been at some  sort of crossroads.) and started dong the above 4 items (1991, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2008) magic would happen:

The Results

A) Within about one month, I’d notice coincidences start to happen. I’d start to feel lucky. People would smile at me more.
B) Within three months the ideas would really start flowing, to  the point where I felt overwhelming urges to execute the ideas.
C) Within six months, good ideas would start flowing, I’d begin  executing them, and everyone around me would help me put everything  together.
D) Within a year my life was always completely different. 100% upside down from the year before. More money, more luck, more health, etc.And then I’d get lazy and stop doing the practice. And everything falls apart again. But now I’m trying to do it every day.

Its hard to do all of this every day. Nobody is perfect. I don’t know  if I’ll do all of these things today. But I know when I do it, it  works.

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