Most of my wise decisions were made when I was 17 and 18 years old.
These decisions served me well from those days on and have helped
me to make my life better for all these years. They made my happy then and they make me happy now.
I wrote down these decisions when I was about 30 and they have not
changed in the past 20 years. I think it is helpful to the
understanding of yourself to determine your wise decisions and actually
write them down.
When you go through the effort to reflect on your life and your wisest decisions you gain a sense of gratitude and see how they have affected your life in a positive way.
I think I was choosing myself back in those days with my wise decisions.
I decided, with the help of my parents money, to start wearing contact lenses in the spring of my junior year in high school. I had worn glasses since the 5th grade. I was always self conscious of my looks because of the glasses. I considered myself ugly and the ugly glasses I wore since the 5th grade were a big part of that.
I even wore those incredibly
ugly, big, black sports glasses that were always breaking and falling
off my face even when I was hardly sweating.
It was very difficult to find affordable glasses that looked good in those days. Now there are much better choices of good looking, but expensive, glasses.
It was sad to be so ugly at that pivotal time in my life.
The contacts helped me to feel good about myself. I actually remember people saying that I looked good. For the first time in my life I felt good and liked how I looked. Contacts made an immediate impact on the quality of my life. It was huge.
You’ll find that the easiest way to look good is to wear contact lenses. This simple step will improve your life in a huge way. Some personal development steps take time to see dividends. Not contacts. You will look better and feel better the instant you start wearing them.
The problem with trying to look good in glasses is that you have to do everything else perfectly.
Perfect haircut. Perfect facial hair. Perfect clothes. Perfect watch. Perfect body. And perfect glasses that fit your face perfectly.
It is too hard. Nobody is that perfect. That is why it is far easier to just wear contact lenses when you are out and about. You will look better instantly. The problem with glasses is that they make men look nerdy, dweebish, old and without any sense of style.
Your glasses will always be sliding down your nose and you will be continually have to be pushing them up. They will get filthy and smudged and fogged up.
this pushing them up will make you look odd. This is one of the nervous
mannerism’s that you should be taking steps to stop doing.
It is so much easier to look good and feel good about yourself with contact lenses.
started lifting weights in the spring of my junior year. My high school
bought some weights at that time and the football coach strongly
encouraged all the players to start lifting. I took to it right away. It
was fun and it helped to feel better about myself the stronger and more
muscular I became.
I was not one of those skinny fat guys or a guy without any muscle tone. I developed big muscles and have kept them big and hard all these years.
I made lifting a huge component in my life. It was the only hobby that I consistently did every week.
I did not have any other activity that I enjoyed on a consistent basis. Nothing was as satisfying. Not fishing, hunting, golfing or skiing. I could take or leave all those. A few times a year is fine, maybe a few times every 10 years.
But I was hooked on weight training.
I continued to lift for another 10 years until I got married and had children.
I abandoned weights, along with anything else, to take care of my wife and kids for 18-1/2 years.
After I left my wife I decided to get back into lifting because it was such a positive influence on my life when I was younger. I wanted to get that back. I wanted to look and feel better. I wanted the strength and power. I wanted the leaner, more muscular look of my youth.
Nearly 2 decades away from something I loved have taken their toll. I cannot lift like I did as a young man. I cannot get the results or the look I want. I cannot train as often or as long.
But I still love the feeling. I have adjusted the lifting to something that gives me what I love that I can still handle.
Now all the research and evidence points to how lifting weights is one of the healthiest activities to be in and how it impacts your life in a powerful way.
I started drinking beer in the spring of my junior year. Some friends invited me to a a drive in movie in a city 45 miles away. I was surprised they asked me to go
with and even more surprised when my parents said I could go.
The guys had some beer and offered me one on the drive. I had one, then 2 then maybe one of 2 more. The cool beer tasted great immediately and I was able to loosen up for the first time in my life. I was able to joke around with the guys and have some fun.
The movie was even better. I was buzzed for the first time in my life. Everything is a little fuzzy. We did not really watch the movie, more walking around, meeting other kids, fooling around. I even met a girl and we kissed. This was the first time I had ever even kissed a girl. It was actually more of a fiendish make out session than a quick kiss. It was a fantastic night for me. The best of my young life.
Drinking is demonized but for most of us, it is a great tool to use to lose our inhibitions enough to have some semblance of a good life. I often think back to that night and wonder if I had not gone out, would I have ever had any fun at all?
Even now, my best memories all happened because of drinking.
I didn’t drink again until after football season ended that fall. But I went out drinking every weekend, and even during the week, the rest of my senior year. Each time was a new adventure in fun, in memories, in meeting girls and in bonding with guys. It was a special time.
I did have some wicked bed spins, puking, and some nasty hangovers. But it was worth it.
I was a very sheltered, uptight type of person. I was terrible at having fun. I was shy, self conscious and serious. I was not a fun person to be around. I was not happy. Life was just this massive frustrating thing to get through.
Drinking helped to change that. I started to have fun. Not always, because being overly serious is a difficult condition to get past. I became a fun loving person at times. I even consider myself a guy who likes to party. I do not have any hangups about drinking.
Obviously, I avoid drinking when I drive and I minimize it so that I can take care of my responsibilities. But going out and drinking is just such a great part of my life. It is the fun part, the wild part, the part I look forward to the most.
I believe that anything you do that makes you happy will be one of your wise decisions.
playing basketball in high school. I dreaded the practices. I hated the
games. I hated the tiny skin-tight uniforms. I got physically ill
nearly every day with the dread of going. I hated all the fall waiting
for basketball to start, not even enjoying the sport of football that I
was good at. I hated winter because of basketball.
My feet were covered in blisters from the first day of practice and never healed all season. I sprained my ankles countless times had to hobble along most of the time.That physical pain was telling me at the time that I should not play, but I just stoically got my ankles taped and kept going.
I never started, I was a bench warmer. When I got into a game, I was not able to contribute.
I played basketball in 7th, 8th, freshmen, sophomore and junior year. I never got in good enough shape to easily run up and down the court with ease the way the other guys did even though I was there at all the practices, doing the drills, running the line. And I never got good at it even though I practiced all that time.
There was no reason for me to play and a huge list of why I should quit.
But quitting anything is unbelievably difficult even if it the best decision.
I finally made the decision to quit just before the season started in my senior year. The coach went livid with rage when I told him. He could not believe that I was quitting. He wasn’t the type of guy who took things in stride.
After he calmed down a bit he said to think about it. But I had already thought about it when I told him.
That winter without basketball was the best winter I had ever had up to that point in my life. I did not dread going to school each day. I enjoyed school for the first time in years. I had fun all the time. I even enjoyed watching the games for the first time.
The rest of my senior year was fantastic. I actually enjoyed it. By quitting basketball I was able to salvage my high school experience. If I would not have quit I probably would be very bitter about high school, because up to that point school really sucked.
Quitting things you hate will be one your wise decisions.
I decided to go to UW-Platteville for college. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering which is the field I make my living to this day. I had some good friends during college that I had a lot of fun with. I enjoyed my lifting at that time. It was a great experience being away from home. I also met one of my best friends there and we still are great friends after all these years.
Your choice of college and your major will be one of your wise decisions. You can get into some field that you hate or get so hopelessly in student loan debt that you just cannot get ahead.
I had another one of my wise
decisions during my second semester of my freshmen year in college. A
military recruiter had contacted me and asked that I meet with him to
talk about ROTC. Two of my friends from high school were in ROTC and
from what they told me, it sounded good. Lots of money for not that much
I liked the thought of the money. I didn’t have much and hated being such a burden on my parents.
The day came when I was to meet with the recruiter.
One my roommates was in one of the dorm rooms drinking beer with
some of his hometown drinking buddies. They invited me in for one. I
said I had this meeting with an army recruiter in an hour and wanted a
clear head. They said well one beer won’t hurt you.
One beer led to 2 and then to 3 and 4. I thought about not going to the meeting but I had told the guy I would meet him. I was a little buzzed but met with him anyway. What he said sounded so good to me. All this free money without a lot of time and effort.
But I told him I’d have to think about it even though he wanted me to sign right then.
Maybe it was the beer that made me be able to say no to the guy and walk away. At that time in my young life I was kind of a pushover to people who were convincing. And he was one of the most persuasive, convincing people I had ever met.
But I just left the meeting and never even considered joining anymore. I just buckled down with my engineering studies, got by with whatever money I had, took student loans and money from my parents.
Looking back it was a fateful day and one of my wise decisions that has made my life better to this day. Being in the military was not me. I wanted to be free. I did not understand at that time exactly why military service was so harmful to people, but I just had a feeling that it would not work out for me.
From James Altucher
After reading James blog and many of his books, it seems apparent that my wise decisions were based on choosing myself. I did the best things for my life based on my choice.
I recommend that everyone put
together a list of your wise decisions. It helps me to remember what
I’ve overcome. It helps me to see that at least some of my life has been
good. When you go through the effort of writing down your wise
decisions it adds to your self awareness and your appreciation for your
life. It helps you to remember what is important to you.
Listing out my wise decisions helped to guide me all these years. The same things I am thankful then, I am still thankful now. This list can be your guide for the future.