I had seen quite a few recommendations about Choose Yourself by James Altucher floating around, but I hesitated to grab a copy for myself. I had pegged the book as one of those cliché ‘self-help’ titles. I’m not a fan of these types of books as I find most of them generic and lacking in substance. And with a name like “Choose Yourself” I figured it was cut from the same cloth.
A couple weeks ago however, I came across a review of the book at Freedom & Fulfillment. He had positive things to say about it, so I thought I’d look into it a little more myself. I then found that the book was only $0.99 on Kindle! There was no way I could resist.
What’s It All About?
I agree with an Amazon Review of this book that said, “This book reads like a long, rambling, stream-of-consciousness blog post that never ends.” This was 1-star review, but this is actually what I love about it. I feel like when people write in that style in has so much more meaning, even if it’s not as polished as a book normally would be.
And guess what?
It doesn’t need to be published because Altucher self-published this book (right?). In fact, that’s the premise of the book: Choose Yourself!
Instead of fighting tooth and nail to find someone to bend over backwards for, Mr. Altucher recommends taking matters into your own hands whether it be publishing a book or starting a business of your own. Not only is working for yourself more gratifying, but when you work for someone else you’re totally dependent on them for your well-being.
What I Enjoyed
I didn’t much care for the first few dozen pages. I was starting to think that this book was just like other self-help ones because he just kept repeating the same ideas, but when I continued reading I had clearly judged this book by its cover.
While the book isn’t as cohesive as most books in this genre, it is definitely more valuable. James fills this book to the brim with ways to boost creativity, grow a business, be more productive and to ultimately convince you to ‘Choose Yourself’.
The Daily Practice
I’m a big proponent of having building discipline and creating habits. It helps us to get more out of life, and to keep us moving even when things may be down.
The idea behind the daily practice is to pick a few activities to do each and every day. These activities cover a broad spectrum including mental, physical spiritual and emotional well-being. Here’s a blog post of his that gives you a better idea.
10 Ideas a Day
Another cool practice Altucher discusses is the idea of coming up with 10 ideas a day. While you’re not going to come up with 3000+ brilliant inventions a year, the very act of thinking up ideas helps to build hat creativity muscle. Here’s a blog post that discusses this concept.
Gee, he seems like a lot of the content in his book is on his blog.
While I haven’t known about his blog for very long, that seems to be the case. Although the content in the book, while not entirely uniform, is put together better than a blog. In addition to that, there is definitely some unique content found in this book that makes it worth a read.
James is an interesting guy. As an avid chess player myself, the fact that he became a chess master piqued my interest. The dedication, not to mention intellect, required to play at that level of chess is quite impressive and is the mark of a man who clearly knows his shit.
He is also candid about his many failures in his past, whether it be with businesses or relationships. His honesty is not only appreciated, but failure is the best way to learn how to succeed and grow stronger.
He also drops a lot of knowledge on a wide variety of subjects such as becoming successful in the business world. Here are a few choice quotes:
To succeed at something:
- Know every product in the industry
- Know every patent
- Try out all the products
- Understand how the products are made
- Make a product that YOU would use every single day. You can’t sell it if you personally don’t LOVE it
Cultivating a sense of surrender to the present moment as opposed to time traveling to your regrets from the past and your fears of the future.
In other words: master the form you want to operate in, get experience, be willing to be imperfect, and then develop the confidence to play within that form, to develop your own style.
You have to find the buyers. Tey don’t show up at your door. You show up at their door.
Choose Yourself is definitely in a class of its own. Everything from it’s fundamental message, to the golden nuggets found throughout make this book worth a read. And if you can get it for 99 cents on Kindle, well hell… it sells itself.
Click here to purchase a copy of Choose Yourself from Amazon.