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“Ten years from now, when I look back at this decade of my life, am I going to be impressed with how I spent it?”

I never ask these questions.

But my friend Amy Morin does. She’s a psychotherapist and the author of the international bestseller, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”

She’s a regular on my podcast. Because she asks a lot of big questions. It lets me look back. Instead of look forward.

I don’t drive. But I know that I need a rearview mirror to reduce anxiety.

So I had Amy on. She helped me see out the rearview mirror, reflect and then refocus. What lane am I in? Do I like here? How do you switch? Or go faster? Or slow down?

What do I need?

I like all of these questions. I don’t have answers. But that’s not the point.

The point is to connect with your internal compass just a little bit each day.

Just 1%.

Then that compounds. And your relationship with yourself grows. So that by the time you get to 2030 or tomorrow or the end of your life or wherever… your answer to Amy’s question…

“Ten years from now, when I look back at this decade of my life, am I going to be impressed with how I spent it?”

…is what you want it to be.

Here’s a list of what we talk about:

  • 0:00 | Intro
  • 7:40 | How to need less validation. AND why I always focus on process. NOT outcome.
  • 12:40 | “When you’re at the starting line, you don’t know what’s going to happen 10 feet later”
  • 15:33 | How to know when to quit something
  • 16:12 | When to not make a decision
  • 21:45 | You can’t think your way out of a problem. You have to DO. Amy and I talk about how to apply what you’re learning to your life. 
  • 22:46 | “Don’t wish your life was easier, wish you were stronger” – Amy Morin
  • 24:54 | We all need validation. But we sometimes act like we don’t. But Amy says it’s important to accept the parts about us that we don’t want to. Hear her explain why.
  • 25:50 | I outsource my validation to the people around me. But that’s exhausting. So I ask Amy, “How do we let go of that? And make time for things that matter?” 
  • 35:54 | What causes obsessive thinking
  • 42:11 | How to manage disappointment and grief
  • 46:54 | How to deal with frustration. So you can focus on what matters to you
  • 48:03 | Amy gave me this advice in the past: Change “I have to” to “I get to.” I tell her how this has helped me.
  • 52:10 | How to handle our most uncomfortable emotions
  • 58:48 | Outro


Links & Resources


Quotes from this episode:

  • “Focus on what you can control: your own behavior. You can control how much time, how much energy, how much effort you put in, and you can’t necessarily control how people respond to that.” -Amy Morin
  • “Instead of picturing the finish line, picture the different obstacles that could come during the process” -James Altucher
  • “Optimal decision making is when you can base your decision on some logic and some emotion.” -Amy Morin
  • “Just reading a book isn’t going to make your life different unless you DO something.” -Amy Morin
  • “Instead of viewing the person as my problem, I abstract away from the person and say this obstacle is my problem and what are the ways around this obstacle.” -James
  • “Have negative emotions. And accept it instead of pushing it away or solving it like a puzzle” -James