The Most Important Career Advice I Ever Got

Unsplash / Tim Gouw
Unsplash / Tim Gouw

Originally I was going to make this a post about habits I’ve developed.

You know, “habits to be the amazing, successful person that I am.”

But I realized I don’t really have that many good habits. And I’m not sure I’m worth emulating.

There is only one super important habit that stands above all the rest:

But first I’m going to leave you with this cliffhanger…..

The most important thing you can do is find someone good to spend your life with.

This is the only career advice.

And if you can’t find one person, then only spend time with people you can learn from. A person who inspires you to be a better person.

I ask myself when I am with someone, “Does this person inspire me to be a better person.”

Some people might be good, but just not good for you. So it’s a relative thing.

Whenever I follow this rule, my life gets exponentially better very quickly.

Whenever I don’t follow it, I know one of two things will happen: 

I will end up dead or I will end up in jail.

I have ended up trying to kill myself. And I have ended up being picked up by police. So I know this much to be true.

If I am not with one person but “looking” then I try to learn at least one thing from each person I am around. The one takeaway.

If you can’t get one takeaway then you wasted one night of your life.

Which is not really so horrible either. I don’t want to judge.

Forget business jargon. Forget habits. Forget 10x thinking. Forget goals and minimum viable businesses. Forget “goal-stacking.”

Forget: “jump starting” and “e-myths” and “learn this.”

Dream of the right person to be with. Be with that person. Be good to them. Stay as long as it’s worth it.

Much later: die happy. 

Martin Luther King did not say, “I have a mission statement.” 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.

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