Persistence + Love + Health = Abundance

Flickr / Rookuzz
Flickr / Rookuzz

I asked Claudia if she would still love me in 40 years. I don’t know why I asked. Maybe because she was making me coffee.

If every morning someone asks you to make coffee, how can you love him?

Maybe she would get tired of it. To be blunt: I would not like making her coffee every day for 40 years.

She turned to me and there was the pause that comes between two lines of poetry.

I just looked it up. There’s a word for that pause. A caesura. Claudia spoke first a silent caesura.

A search for the right words so everything can click.

I should speak with more caesuras.

“I don’t know,” she said. “Forty years is forever.”

And it’s true. I look back at the last five years of my life. Even the last year of my life. Even yesterday.

Who could’ve predicted? Questions are clothes with no bodies inside of them. Tomorrow is just a question.

When I got puked out of the education system and stood on a corner of New York City near Chinatown I was waiting for the traffic light to turn. green This was 21 years ago.

And so many people were coming at me. Beautiful people. Interesting people. All people I wanted to talk to and to touch.

I was lovesick for everyone who passed. Talk to me!

And then I remembered being a kid and my parents loved me and suddenly I felt home sick. I feel home sick right now writing this.

Imagine for a second being homesick. Where do you feel it in the body?

I feel it a little in my stomach and chest and my eyes. Not a bad feeling. A homesick feeling.

And then, right when I first moved to NYC, I remembered my girlfriend, 1000 miles away, and I felt sick for her. Why did I leave so fast?

And I felt sick for everyone before her because I never thought of them anymore. Yet they were people who I had once confessed love to.

And years later, after I had lost the last dollar that would pay my next month’s expenses, I felt money-sick. A deep pit of hopelessness. The bottomless nothing.

And I felt bad for my two babies that I had to support. And I felt bad for myself that I had gotten lucky and now the luck had run out.

I feel bad now that at one point I thought it was luck and now I know it was only part luck. Part disease. Part skill. Part chemistry equation.

This is the equation. This is the entire post: Persistence + Love + Health = Abundance.

No professor ever wrote that on the board for me. How come?

Every morning, before my first job, I would sit at train station at 5am with all the other sleepy people.

I’m sorry now we all waited together and yet nobody spoke. The sun would soon overwhelm us, a lover for the day.

People say to me, “My life can really begin once I find my passion.”

Maybe so. Maybe so.

But passion often comes long after persistence explores every part of the maze.

Creativity and gratitude and helping others, step by step, is what gets us through the maze. Those are the only things today that moves me one step forward in the maze.

Standing on that corner in NYC 21 years ago. I had no passion. I was afraid to speak or to touch.

I was lonely and hungry and nothing and I couldn’t cross the street. I couldn’t move at all.

And I loved the sea of people moving around me, getting to their expectations as quickly as possible, and I was sick with all the possibility, and happy to be free of not wanting any one thing specific.

I was in the desert and I had no water to give it.

Nothing was predictable. I’m glad now nothing was predictable.

And nothing has changed. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated.

Keep up with James on Twitter and

More From Thought Catalog