James Altucher ConfidentialI finally ‘subscribed’ to someone on facebook.  I’ve avoided doing so until now because I thought it was super lame. Now, James Altucher has won over my heart – and my facebook subscriber virginity – with his Woody Allen like neuroses (neurosci?), something which makes me wonder just what the heck is up with New York.

After an endless scroll past emo status updates and photos of inebriated partiers I stumbled upon him, deep within my news feed. Alas his new update instantly reminded me of why I like his writing so much. Simple, direct and full of wit – the teaser read ‘‎”I Want to Die” is still the most popular search term to get people to my blog.’

I’m not even really sure what James Altucher is known for – he’s been a successful entrepreneur at some point but his writing generally seems to only reference that in passing. He appears to have parlayed that into a successful writing career in which he would rather spend time talking about his own shortcomings than his strengths. As he puts it in his twitter profile, “I’ve turned myself inside out and all my guts have spilled onto my blog.” I think it is that willingness to show weakness which creates vulnerability – something you do not typically expect from successful people.

Art Is Our Only Salvation From the Horror of ExistenceSo you are probably wondering why I want you to read this blog specifically. As entrepreneurs and filmmakers in particular the competition is so stiff, the challenges never ending, and the disappointments all too common. I can only imagine how many times each of you reading this have become discouraged at different points in your career or life. In those times it can be easy to look at others with jealousy – as if their successes were not earned or their challenges not as steep. Giving up must feel so much easier. James Altucher’s blog reads like the words from a man who has been there and come out the other side, stronger, smarter and funnier for it.

His post this weekend – and many of the comments that followed – about death is ripe with themes of having a dream, or at the very least something to live for, something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Several comments that followed struck me, but this one in particular did especially…

I have read dozens of articles on this site.  They have started to change my life over the last two months.  Interestingly, what James reported as being the most popular search term that brought people to his site…is exactly what I Googled to bring me here.  This is the first time I felt compelled to comment, even though I have probably read hundreds of comments from all you, fellow followers of this blog, and I must admit that the comments are often as enlightening and inspiring as James’ original post.  I don’t know how he attracted such an incredible group, but I feel thankful, because you have all given me hope.  Thank you, and please keep the articles and comments coming; whether you know it or not, you are all out there quietly and unknowingly saving lives.  I’m still here…

I would love to one day get that kind of feedback from a reader. This theme runs through a lot of his blog, and after reading yesterdays post I felt compelled to share it with you. The reason you all work so hard is something so much greater than money, or even fame. You work so hard because it makes you feel alive, it gives you a reason to get up in the morning, a reason for your entire existence in the first place. So when you are really struggling, and thinking about giving up listen to your heart because your head will tell you how to keep yourself alive, but your heart will give you a reason to. So keep creating, and while you are at it, check out James Altucher’s blog.