You can’t read Choose Yourself and try to analyze the book without dissecting James Altucher in the process. The honestly that precipitates through his writing catches you off guard. I won’t spoil any surprises but the first time that I read his quest for love/sex in a homeless shelter I had to stop and re-read. Who the hell is this guy and why did I pay 12 bucks to read his book?
Everyone is weird. Weird is interesting. All of my cool friends are weird. BUT weird is relative. Some people get dealt the really weird cards and they end up running naked in BART. Others get dealt the cool weird cards and get named Thom Yorke. James is weird. BUT weird is relative and his quarky personality is embedded with honest touch.
His dramatic stories, his personal “sit down son and let me drop some knowledge” on you writing style, his ways of over-coming struggles, and his daily practice all get the message across: The times of relying on others are over; if you want to live a free life you need to choose yourself.
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:
“It’s one thing to know "The Secret” or take whatever life-affirming steps you’ve read about in order to bring positivity into your life, but it’s something else altogether to actually create opportunities for yourself. You’re definitely not going to find them reading a book.“
Way to many people catch the "self help” book syndrome and think that if they keep reading that they will become successful (guilty). But the answer you’re looking for isn’t going to come in a book. Its going to be out there in the world. It’s going to be on the other side of failure and persistence.
“Every second I am manipulated and coerced and beaten down it’s because I’ve allowed it.”
You’re the master of your life. You need to understand that first before you’re going to be happy.
“The ethic of the Choose Yourself era is to not depend on those stifling trends that are defeating you. Instead, build your own platform, have faith and confidence in yourself instead of a jury-rigged system, and define success by your own terms.”
Weird is relative. Success is relative.
“This is about a new phase in history where art, science, business, and spirit will join together, both externally and internally, in the pursuit of true wealth. It’s a phase where ideas are more important than people and everyone will have to choose themselves for happiness. They will have to build the foundation internally for that choose to manifest.”
Way to much knowledge being dropped here. You’re going to be successful and you’re going to do it your way. Barriers to entry to your passion are coming down.
“I hate to sound like a weirdo Buddhist, but the only things that really matter in this world are the relationships you have with the people you love, and the meaningful things that you do. Haters don’t fit anywhere in that”
This quote is technically signed Tucker Max but its still very relevant. There are plenty of “meaning of life” theories out there but I have been going with something along these lines for a long time. Spread happiness and love with those you love and love you. Maximize yourself and maximize the happiness you glow.
“As we move toward the employee-less society, where ideas become currency and innovation gets rewarded more than manual or managerial services, you will have the opportunity to live a life you want to."
Ideas and action become currency.What does a world like that look like? Is that what they are going to be teaching in school?
"People spend what people make”
How much money do you really need? You’ll still find a way to be pressed for cash. Money to buy cool things? Do you really need them? I went through a new car phase for a long time. After a while I thought, “why would I switch cars now? Mine is perfectly fine and the car loan would only be another financial shackle on me.” Needless to say I got over it and I’m still rolling in the ‘94 Saturn.
“The idea muscle is no different than the writing muscle.”
I have read this type of thing plenty of times. Write down your ideas and flex your mental muscle. New goal: Write down 10 ideas and the next step that you would take to get those ideas into action. I’m going to start off with “10 ways to get people from SFO/SJC to LAS for cheap,” and “10 ways to A/B test your life.” Worst case scenario you day dream for 20 minutes and have fun.
“Robots are the new middle class. And everyone else will either be an entrepreneur or a temp staffer.”
Self-service, aisle 6, now open.
“If you want to get rich, sell your company, have time for your hobbies, raise a halfway decent family (with mediocre children, etc.) and on occasion enjoy the sunset with your wife, here are some of my highly effective recommendations.”
I mean what more does a man want than that? If you ask for any more than that then you are just getting greedy. Everyone has a happy place. Where are you hanging out with your SO?
“If you think back to all of your best moments in life, were they moments when there were tons of thoughts happening in your head? Or moments when there were fewer thoughts, i.e., when you were calm and contemplative?”
Never really thought about this one before but it makes complete sense. Your best moments in life are when you sit back, clear your head, and enjoy everyone second of what you are doing at that moment.
“I suck. I can’t do this. I give up.” “They are stupid. I’m going to keep pushing forward.” “Hmm, what can I do differently? What can I learn from this rejection.”
Next times things don’t work out. What kind of response are you going to have?
“I was six when I got together one of those rockets that you fill up with water and then it shoots into the air, spraying water everywhere. It goes up a hundred feet. "Will it go into space?” I asked my dad. “Maybe,” he said. And why not? I was six , and anything could happen.“
Who the hell says that your dreams can’t happen? Who cares if you’re too naive to know that your goals are wild. At least you know what you want.
I’ve officially turned into a James Altucher fan. This is a very inspiring read for those who haven’t figured it out yet. Whats that 'it’ that you need to figure out? If you have to ask then I think you should go talk to his sexy woman, Dashama. Be yourself and be weird.