Julian Farley : About Me

Build An Empire By Building Great Habits

Cultivating good habits is not easy. It takes effort, patience and perseverance.

But success is the result of learned behaviors.

Some of these “learned behaviors” may sound strange. Author and former hedge-fund manager James Altucher wrote some interesting advice in this article: 5 Good Habits One Former Hedge Funder Says Can Be Done In 5 Minutes A Day.

His advice seems a little quirky, I’ll admit. But it’s worth noting that I tried all those tips and they work very well … Except one.

First, here are the ones that worked:

1. “Watch stand-up comedy five minutes a day.” The idea here is that it can make you a better speaker and communicator, plus the obvious benefit being “laughter is good medicine.”

2. “Like people” on social media. Don’t let Facebook dominate your schedule, but make time to “like” the things your friends like. You’ll feel happier as a result.

3. “Use $2 bills as tips.” Get a stack of them at your bank and hand them out liberally. Servers and bartenders and cab drivers will always remember you, and you’ll get better service.

4. “Play every day.” Whether it’s a crossword puzzle or a board game with a friend, scheduling playtime will give your creative mind a chance to come forward. When you return to work, that creativity will improve your business brain, as well.

And which tip did NOT work for me?

Altucher suggests replying to forgotten emails from years ago like nothing happened. Alucher  says “miracles happen when you do this.” You can reconnect with an old friend. You can rekindle a business proposition that got left behind. You can remind someone you love that they still matter.

Well, I tried this and it was exactly what you would expect. People were like, “Dude this is from five years ago??” Needless to say, it was awkward.

So I wouldn’t recommend that one.

One study found that 40 percent of all the decisions that we make are driven by habits. And building good habits mean building systems of daily action. You can’t just flip a switch and reach your destination; you have to incorporate daily practice into your routine, stick with it, and trust that the journey itself is the goal.

What are some of your habits for success? I’m not talking about the little things like “exercise every day,” “drink a glass of water when you wake up,” “Pick tomorrow’s clothes out before you go to bed,” and that kind of thing–although those are great habits as well.

I’m talking about the things you really have to work at, but which yield great results if you make them a part of your daily life. Not all of these are going to be right for you. And I certainly wouldn’t try to start them all this week. Pick one and work on it a little each day. After a month or so, you’ll have a good habit and you can pick another one.


Here are three that I like.

Make time to read books. It’s hard to find the time to do it, but it’s one habit almost all successful people share. Reading gives you the chance to learn from others’ mistakes and think about things in a way you would never have considered.

Donate (Money if you have it, time if you don’t). Successful people allot time to give back to their community by working with charities, volunteering and donating. Tom Corley, author of Wealthy Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, reports that 73% of the wealthy people he studied volunteer at least five hours per month. Think you are too busy to work at a food bank or lend a hand at the homeless shelter? Are you as busy as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg? Because they all donate their time to community charities every month.

Keep a schedule. And stick to it. Most people go through life day by day. If they’re somewhat organized, they may have half-hour and one-hour tasks scheduled on their calendar. However, truly successful people use all 1,440 minutes in the day. Keep a schedule that maps your day out minute by minute (within reason). If you master the minute, you will master your life.

Make time for quiet reflection. Here’s another example of making time to do something that you probably think you don’t have time for. But I promise–if you make a little time every day to sit quietly and reflect on your values, goals, and progress, this quiet time will invigorate you and lead you to make better decisions with the rest of your time. What have your victories been? Where can you improve? As your tasks aligned with your big goals? What can you improve? How can you be of service to others. Just 20 minutes a day to meditate on these things could make all the difference in your life.

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Sanders and Trump: The Beginning of the End of Neoliberalism?

Love them or hate them, you have to admit that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have had an explosive impact on both the Republican and Democratic parties this election cycle.


Yes, Sanders fell short of securing his party’s nomination. And Trump (if the latest polls are to be believed) might also fall short of his goal.




But both men have led campaigns that captured a lot of enthusiasm and support, indicating something much larger going on: a revolutionary response to decades of an economic and social political theory, indeed the overriding philosophy of the second half of the 20th Century.


We’re talking about Neoliberalism.


This discontent isn’t new. Think of the anti-globalization protests of the late 1990s. Think of Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan with their populist, anti-NAFTA insurgencies against the GOP establishment. More recently, think of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.


All of these things, as well as the latest political dramas in the U.S. presidential race, are pushback against Neoliberalism. ”Neoliberalism” itself is a misunderstood term. Many are surprised to learn it is more associated with the Right than with the political Left, although it began as a protest to the traditional liberalism (i.e. “government interference”) of the New Deal and the Great Society.


Neoliberalism calls for a strong federal government that benefits business and the wealthy ruling class. It calls for a strong military and is traditionally against unions of any kind. All these things set it apart from traditional liberalism.


You can read about the origins of Neoliberalism in books like Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste, by Philip Mirowski and A Brief History of Neoliberalism, by David Harvey. Basically, it got started when economist Friedrich Hayek presented his vision against totalitarianism and collectivism in 1947, a vision that sought to replace state control with the “invisible hand of the market.”


Neoliberalism become a dominant force in the 1970′s as a response to “stagflation”—unemployment, high inflation, and stagnant growth. Many thought America’s best chance at a bright future would be free markets and deregulation. A key element of neoliberalism is the openness to global trade and investment though eliminating tariffs and eliminating capital controls.



President Jimmy Carter (yes, a Democrat!) became an aggressive advocate for deregulation, but it was the political rise of Reagan and Thatcher, and their conservative vision of a global free market, that made Neoliberalism a global force to be reckoned with.


Reagan’s administration resulted in three decades of Neoliberal policies at the federal level. From then all the way up through the Obama administration (and the likely third Clinton administration to come), the U.S. became attached to international trade agreements that were drawn up in secrecy, with no input from the workers who would be affected. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are simply the latest example of such secretive back-room deals.


Trump and Sanders are as different as night and day, true, but they are essentially “Yin” and “Yang” of the new anti-Neoliberal revolt. Both are against Neoliberalism’s global elitism, which seeks to to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic workforce. Sanders is against the politico-legal attack on the unions; Trump is against the large-scale immigration that chips away at the bargaining power of the U.S. worker.


At the end of the day,  anti-Neoliberalism’s biggest legacy (and the thing that drive its opponents) has been income inequality. If you don’t think we’re experiencing income inequality, consider this: Historian David Harvey writes that “the median compensation of workers to the salaries of CEOs increased from just over 30 to 1 to nearly 500 to 1” between 1970 and 2000.


And there’s this: Between 1948 and 1972, every section of the American population experienced sizable increases in their standard of living. However, between 1972-2013, the bottom 10 percent  experienced falling real income while the top 10 percent continued to do better and better.


As mentioned, the populist, anti-Neoliberal backlash really got started in the 1990s, but the western financial crisis of 2007-8 ( the worst since 1931) really kicked it into high gear.


Now, as if from nowhere, Donald Trump has risen the tide of anti-globalisation to champion the rights of the American worker. Bernie Sanders, who came surprisingly close to clinching the Democratic nomination, ran on a “worker’s rights” platform that was quickly called “Socialist” (although, technically, the “Democratic Socialism” of Sanders isn’t the same thing at all).


Even if Hillary Clinton wins and Neoliberalism continues to drive U.S. policy for another eight years, the groundswell movement against it is too strong to simply go away. Clinton and her ilk will keep supporting free-market ideology. They may even push for more “laissez-faire” market conditions, letting everything be driven by what the market wants.


But let’s be clear: What “the market wants” means what corporations and their executives want.


Trump and Sanders are opposite sides of the same coin. But it’s a coin that represents opposition to Hillary Clinton—the ultimate establishment, globalist candidate. In the not-distant future, we won’t wonder how oddballs like Trump and Sanders got as far as they did; we’ll wonder why it took them so long to get in power in the first place.





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