How to Create Positive Changes in Your Life With Author James Altucher

James Altucher, guest on The Verywell Mind Podcast

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet James Altucher

James Altucher is an entrepreneur, author, and host of the popular podcast, "The James Altucher Show." He's also a stand-up comedian. And while he’s successful by most people’s standards, his path to the top has been winding. There have been several times in his life where he’s gone broke and lost almost everything—including his home and his marriage. 

In 2016, Forbes called James “the most interesting man in the world.” At the time, he didn’t have a permanent place to live. He moved from Airbnb to Airbnb with just his laptop and a handful of possessions.

Why James Altucher Is Mentally Strong

One of the things that makes James so interesting is his willingness to talk openly about his mental health. He’s struggled with depression and anxiety. He was even suicidal at times. 

He sees a therapist—which he talks about quite often. And he also developed what he calls “the daily practice”—a set of strategies that he says saved his life. He continues learning more strategies for improving his life and he takes his readers and listeners along with him for the ride. He shares what’s working and what isn’t in his blog posts, podcast, and books.

James’ willingness to be vulnerable is one of the things that makes him a mentally strong person. He acknowledges that while he doesn’t have all the answers for what will help everyone, he shares what works for him. 

What You'll Hear on the Show

  • How to stop ‘going with the flow’ in life
  • Why he’s been wearing pajamas 44 days in a row (and what you can learn from his experience)
  • How to get good at something without putting in 10,000 hours of practice
  • How to perform experiments that could change your life
  • The one daily habit that will help you get good at generating new ideas
  • How to win at Monopoly
  • Why being vulnerable can lead to freedom
  • How to own your mistakes (even when they’re embarrassing)
  • How to keep media headlines in perspective even though media outlets want you to experience anxiety

What You'll Learn About Creating Positive Change and Mental Strength

Behavioral experiments are often a big part of therapy. This is because many of the things you think probably aren’t true.

Experiments can help you test your self-limiting beliefs and negative predictions. This might help you discover that you’re stronger, more capable, and more competent than your brain gives you credit for.

Quotes From James

James Altucher

Most of the time when I want to try something new, I start off with experiments. There’s little to no downside in terms of money or time and huge, huge, huge potential upside.

— James Altucher
  • "You only have so much mental real estate. But if 99% of your brain is out already to the people you hate and who hate you, you’re not going to really achieve much in the world."
  • "You have to exercise and strengthen that idea muscle."
  • "It almost turns you into an angrier person by reading the news."
  • “The world is changing. I’m calling it ‘The Great Reset.’ The ‘old normal’ wasn’t really that great. We were just used to it. So everybody wants to go back to the ‘old normal’ and calls it the ‘new normal’ with just some small changes."

More About the Podcast

The Verywell Mind Podcast is available across all streaming platforms. If you like the show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Links and Resources

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.