Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is James Miller and my vision of maximizing fulfillment through the application of humanities most timeless wisdom is so important to me that I’ve quit my job and dedicated my life to sharing it with the world.
I don’t know what struggles you face or the pain you’ve felt and I have no idea how harrowing your darkest moments have been. I don’t understand all the bull shit that you’ve had to deal with. But, I do know what it feels like to suffer.
I know what it’s like to question whether or not anything really matters and I know how hard it can be to find fulfillment. I also have a pretty damn good idea of just how bleak your thoughts can be.
At several points in my life, I’ve been on the verge of ending it. Several times I’ve felt as though killing myself was the best way to end my pain. Something always stopped me however, and that something was always an idea. Ideas are the most powerful thing we control and it is ideas that truly change your life and the world. During my darkest hours and deepest despair it was always an idea that turned the tide. I can say without any hesitation that ideas truly saved my life.
I want to share with you the ideas that helped me create a life of meaning, purpose, passion, and fulfillment. I want to share the wisdom I’ve discovered with everyone I possibly can. I want to die knowing that I left the world a little finer place than I found it.
But most of all…..I want you to know how good it can feel to be alive! I want you to know what a miracle your existence truly is…
I want you to feel the joy of being!!!
A Better Ten Commandments: A Guide To Living Life With, And On Purpose is my first book and a integral part of how I found fulfillment in life. I hope that it can help you on journey as well.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
A Better Ten Commandments: A Guide To Living Life With, And On Purpose.
So … why did I quit my job? Why did I write A Better Ten Commandments? Why would I walk away 150k a year career? What is my big why? The short answer is freedom. A longer one is that I want to be able to live my life on my terms. I want to do what I want, where I want, when I want, with whom I want. I wish to share my ideas with the world. I wish to have a positive impact on people’s lives and in the world. I want to spend more time with my family. I want to proud of my legacy. Last, and certainly not least, I want to lead a life with zero regrets.
For those that don’t know me, writing a book, building a website, and starting a blog may sound a bit trite … as if anyone and everyone does it … but my situation is slightly different. Over the past eleven years I’ve been an Alaskan bush/medevac pilot which has been an incredible experience. I’ve piloted scores of old worn out aircraft in the most treacherous of terrain and flown in weather that most people wouldn’t consider driving in, let alone land an aircraft on a bumpy, narrow and poorly maintained dirt strip 100 miles from the nearest semblance of “civilization”. Along the way I’ve lost a few friends to the dangers inherent with Alaskan Aviation, but over the past decade I built what many would consider an envious life.
For the last five years I only worked six month of the year. During those six months I only “worked” 150hrs. That’s a paltry 12.5 hours per month. With the money I was earning I was able to pay off all my school debts and began to invest in real estate. For the last five years I was making 150K a year. So why in the hell would I leave?
I left because I wasn’t happy. I left because I knew that there was more to life than a good job and a decent wage. I left because I never wanted another boss for the rest of my life. I also wanted to help make the world a better place. Somehow, I knew that I could live a more meaningful and purpose filled life than the one I was.
My journey to this place was a long and intermittently sordid one, and I have fought many a battle on this rough road. I have struggled with depression, I have battled with and hated parts of who I was, I have wondered who I wanted to become. I was argumentative, I was selfish, and at times I was an insensitive ass. But through that process of failure and practice my path became clear. Life had forged and tempered my body and mind and through that process I redeemed myslef and found fulfillment.
Out of all my agonies came the finest of ecstasies, out of all my despair I discovered my bliss. The pain I’ve endured has mostly been my own, as externally my life has been a breeze. Growing up I wanted for nothing but as John Milton said, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” From 13 – 38 I was stuck in a prison of negative thoughts and an over active mind. For 25 years I suffered quietly. For 25 years my caged bird wanted to sing.
I’ve found my path to freedom and I want to share that path with the world. It helped me save myself from myself and I know it can help someone out there do the same. A Better Ten Commandments was my path to freedom and I can only hope that it may be yours as well. A Better Ten Commandments is my song, and I will sing it from the roof tops … I will sing it proud and I will sing it loudly.
The world will hear my song!
That … is my big why.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write in my journal 3 different ways … starting from either end and in the middle until the four sections meet.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Sam Harris has had the biggest influence on my life, I also love Dawkins and of course Hitch. I love A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I enjoy Steven Pinker, Malcom Galdwell, David Foster Wallace, Alan Watts is a genius, Sedaris is hilarious. Coyne, Shermer, Grayling, Paul Bloom, Jonathan Haidt Will and Ariel Durant Epictetus and of course … Aurelius.
What are you working on now?
Going from starving Artist to paid author
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Always word of mouth
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just keep writing and do it because you love it!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Leave it better than you found it
What are you reading now?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Principles by Ray Dalio
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Plato at the Googleplex by Rebecca Goldstein
APE by Shawn Welch and Guy Kawasaki
What’s next for you as a writer?
A Better Ten Series including a kids version
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Pali Canon
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bryson
Meditations by Aurelius
The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant