Thursday, May 2, 2019

Book Summary: Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Main Idea of Choose Yourself by James Altucher:

You need to choose yourself. This means not depending on others to make you wealthy. Don’t expect your job, publishers, or outside corporations to choose you. They probably won’t. We live in an age where we can do it ourselves.


Does One Person Have Control Of Your Life?

•Who controls your life? Who can “make you or break you?” Your boss? Employer? Family member? Someone else?

•Rejections should teach you to not rely on the whims of one all-powerful individual.

“No matter how hard it tries, a ripple that laps onto the shore will never be as powerful as the ocean that created it. The goal is to be the ocean—the central force in our existence that moves mountains creates all life, shakes continents, and is respected by everyone.”

We should only do the things that we enjoy.

“Only think about the people you enjoy. Only read the books you enjoy, that make you happy to be human. Only go to the events that actually make you laugh or fall in love. Only deal with the people who love you back, who are winners and want you to win too.”

“Every time you say yes to something you don’t want, your fires starts to go away. You will get burned out.”

The Daily Practice:

You have four bodies - you have to keep all of these healthy.

•A physical body: This is the body we live in.

Care for this by taking walks, exercise, avoiding alcohol, sleep 7-9 hours a night.

•An emotional body.

Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you. Be a beacon for those around you. Avoid engaging or overly dwelling on people who drain your energy.

“You can’t be beautiful unless you get rid of the ugliness inside. People become crappy people not because of who they are, but because they are crapping inside of you. Stop letting that happen.”

•A mental body.

The mind tries to keep you very busy.
Tame your mind through focused use.
Set goals, 10 ways to make your job better. 10 days to have more time for yourself.
Make your mind an idea machine.

•A spiritual body.

Don’t “time travel.” Time traveling is dwelling on past regrets or future anxieties.

Surrender: “By trusting that you’ve done the right preparation. You’ve done all you can do. All that is within your power, your control. Now, give up the results. The right thing will happen.”

You have to stop relying on others, or being ruled by others.

Altucher believes that bosses and superiors actually “hate us.”

“The Simple Daily Practice is the same. All you really need to do to get off the floor is acknowledge that it’s not your external life that needs to change (you have little control over that), but that external changes flow from the inside.”

There are things we can do each day to make our lives better:

examples: sleep 8 hours, eat 2 meals instead of 3, no tv/junk food/gossip, return a 5 year old e-mail, express thanks to a friend, watch a funny movie, read spiritual text, take up a hobby, surprise someone, think of positive things, forgive someone, write down a list of ideas, take the stairs instead of the elevator, spend time with a friend, read a biography, shower, deep breathing…

Sometimes we are in a crisis, if so, “turn it into a moment where you can reflect on the bounty that is your life.”

Do not attach your happiness to external goals.

We could just try to disappear (a big goal for many), but we have things that are in our head that we can’t really disappear from.

Give up clutter in your mind. Give up on future ambitions that are more trouble or anxiety than they are worth.

How to be an entrepreneur: Make your own hours. Help people. Deal with clients/colleagues you like. Be artistic. Make a lot of money. Come up with ideas. Don’t be at the whim of one decision maker. Be around like-minded people. Be an expert. Understand that the economy is changing.

“Don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time. That will never get you where you want—freedom from financial worry. Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of mankind.” 

How many people can make a major decision that can ruin your life?

“Are your physical needs, your emotional needs, your mental needs, and your spiritual needs being satisfied” at your current job?

Ways to start a successful business:

•Cut out the middle man.
•Pick a boring business.
•Get a customer.
•Build trust while you sleep.
•Blogging is not about money (James Altucher does not use his blog directly for income gain, ie. advertising).
•Say yes!
•Customer service.

There are an insanely large amount of ways to make money. The beauty in this book is in the ideas that James Altucher gives that you can apply.

“People have lots of ideas, but they are mostly bad ones. The way you get good ideas is to do two things: 1) Read two hours a day. 2) Write ten ideas a day. By the end of a year, you will have read for almost one thousand hours and written down 3,600 ideas. One of these ideas will be a home run.”

•Don’t be jealous of those who succeed. Learn from them.

•Negotiation is worthless. Sales are everything.

Become an Idea Machine

“Every day, read/skim chapters from books on at least four different topics.”

“Write down 10 ideas.”

“Activate another part of your brain”

Write each day, take classes, learn new things.

“Collisions” or compare your old ideas with new ideas, etc.

“Don’t pressure yourself.”

Try a different routine.

“List your childhood passions.”

“Surf the Internet.”

Don’t have opinions. (There is a chapter devoted to this)

Opinions are a way of clinging to the past.

People don’t change their minds

People will die.

Creates an “us versus them” mentality and life.

You could be reading a book or improving yourself instead of arguing with other people

Are you really right?

Most people fight because they are lonely.

Getting rid of opinions is a way to declutter.


“Being mediocre doesn’t mean you won’t change the world. It means being honest with yourself and the people around you. And being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.”

Be honest, it will make you more money.

Honesty compounds.

Give credit where credit is due.

Take the blame when needed.

Don’t gossip.

Choose yourself: Want to publish a book or record, do it on your own.

•Pick a social media outlet and master it.
•Be persistent.
•People will say “you can’t.” Don’t listen to them.
•Focus on what you can do for your business/art right now.
•Talk to your big fans.

“No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.”

Learn from those who reject you. You will be rejected a lot in life. Don’t take it personally. There are things you can learn from it.

Source:  Altucher, James. Choose Yourself! Lioncrest Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Link to James Altucher’s Blog:

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