The Only Two Rules You Need To Know To Be Successful In Work And Life

Staying focused on the right things can make all the difference.


Here’s how it works:

1. Physical: An improvement in physical health could mean anything from better eating, sleeping, or exercising habits. According to Altucher, your body is the average of the five things that you eat. If you’re eating junk food, your body is made of junk. If your unhealthy habits are making you ill or keeping you weak, you’re not going to have the energy to be successful anyway.

2. Emotional: An improvement on emotional health means making an effort to only be around people who support you. Another one of Altucher’s rules is that you’re the average of the five people around you, so if you’re not around people who aren’t supporting and inspiring you, then you’re wasting your time.

“If you’re around people who are emotionally dragging you down, you’re not going to have good ideas,” he says, which means choose your friends wisely because they really impact your success.

3. Mental: For Altucher, an improvement in mental health means writing 10 ideas down every day “to keep the idea muscle as sharp as possible.” We know our brains are inherently lazy and will basically choose the same pathway over and over again if we let it. To keep your brain agile, you basically have to keep exercising it.

When writing his ideas, Altucher usually picks a theme or a topic to start.

“The first three are easy because I’m probably already thinking about them in the back of my mind, but then around number five or six, it starts getting physical and you feel like you’re exercising,” says Altucher. “It feels like it hurts your brain a little bit. And you make sure you keep coming up with good ideas and by the 10th, you feel like your idea muscle has been exercised.”

Afterward, he usually throws the ideas away. Sometimes, if he’s writing ideas for a company, he might send it to the company along with a note that says, “hey, I love your company so much, here are some ideas for you. I would actually spend more money from you if you implement any of these ideas.” Sometimes they respond and you find yourself with more financial opportunities. But that’s not the point of the mental practice.

“The whole idea is, if you exercise the idea muscle for three to six months, you’ll really feel it in your brain,” explains Altucher. “You’ll become an ideas machine. And the goal is to be in a constant idea machine state.”