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Choose Yourself! by James Altucher
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Choose Yourself! (edition 2013)

by James Altucher (Author), Dick Costolo (Foreword)

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213578,254 (3.86)None
Member:madharasan
Title:Choose Yourself!
Authors:James Altucher (Author)
Other authors:Dick Costolo (Foreword)
Info:(2013), 276 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, To Read This Year
Rating:
Tags:Self Improvement, Kindle

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Choose Yourself! by James Altucher

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Showing 5 of 5
I wanted to love this book.

I want James Altucher to be my friend.

James Altucher is a chess-playing, marketing genius and idiot savant with silly hair. The type of person you'd want to have a drink with. His story is fascinating. He made and lost millions in business and investing several times over before making it as a writer.

I am of course none of these things. But both of us are called James so clearly we'd have a lot in common.

The message of the book is simple: The world has gone to hell. If you want to succeed then you have to choose yourself. That means taking care of your physical, mental and spiritual health. It also means putting yourself first in business and having the courage to pursue your dreams.

Basically all the usual self-help crap that you saw on Oprah or read in a Tony Robbins book but were too lazy to put into action.

He summarises the daily practice as follows:

“For now, the Simple Daily Practice means doing ONE thing every day. Try any one of these things each day: A) Sleep eight hours. B) Eat two meals instead of three. C) No TV. D) No junk food. E) No complaining for one whole day. F) No gossip. G) Return an e-mail from five years ago. H) Express thanks to a friend. I) Watch a funny movie or a stand-up comic. J) Write down a list of ideas. The ideas can be about anything. K) Read a spiritual text. Any one that is inspirational to you. The Bible, The Tao te Ching, anything you want. L) Say to yourself when you wake up, “I’m going to save a life today.” Keep an eye out for that life you can save. M) Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time. Learn the piano. Take chess lessons. Do stand-up comedy. Write a novel. Do something that takes you out of your current rhythm. N) Write down your entire schedule. The schedule you do every day. Cross out one item and don’t do that anymore. O) Surprise someone. P) Think of ten people you are grateful for. Q) Forgive someone. You don’t have to tell them. Just write it down on a piece of paper and burn the paper. It turns out this has the same effect in terms of releasing oxytocin in the brain as actually forgiving them in person. R) Take the stairs instead of the elevator. S) I’m going to steal this next one from the 1970s pop psychology book Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No: when you find yourself thinking of that special someone who is causing you grief, think very quietly, “No.” If you think of him and (or?) her again, think loudly, “No!” Again? Whisper, “No!” Again, say it. Louder. Yell it. Louder. And so on. T) Tell someone every day that you love them. U) Don’t have sex with someone you don’t love. V) Shower. Scrub. Clean the toxins off your body. W) Read a chapter in a biography about someone who is an inspiration to you. X) Make plans to spend time with a friend. Y) If you think, “Everything would be better off if I were dead,” then think, “That’s really cool. Now I can do anything I want and I can postpone this thought for a while, maybe even a few months.” Because what does it matter now? The planet might not even be around in a few months. Who knows what could happen with all these solar flares. You know the ones I’m talking about. Z) Deep breathing. When the vagus nerve is inflamed, your breathing becomes shallower. Your breath becomes quick. It’s fight-or-flight time! You are panicking. Stop it! Breathe deep. Let me tell you something: most people think “yoga” is all those exercises where people are standing upside down and doing weird things. In the Yoga Sutras, written in 300 B.C., there are 196 lines divided into four chapters. In all those lines, ONLY THREE OF THEM refer to physical exercise. It basically reads, “Be able to sit up straight.” That’s it. That’s the only reference in the Yoga Sutras to physical exercise. Claudia always tells me that yogis measure their lives in breaths, not years. Deep breathing is what keeps those breaths going.”

Don't worry if you didn't get all that the first time. He repeats it repeatedly throughout the book.
Repeated repetitive repetition? Sorry, my head hurts.

Anyway, you get the idea.

James Altucher's honesty is compelling and that's what kept me reading. It's why I signed up to his mailing list, listened to his podcast, and downloaded as many of his books as I could get my grubby little hands on.

Like I said, I wanted to love this book. But I came away disappointed. The basic idea of a daily practice, taking better care of yourself and the people around you, and pursuing your creative dreams is perfectly sound. But you could write it on a postage stamp. That's a stupid analogy. Who would do that? Ok, you could write it on a post-it note. Let's go with that.

This is the worst kind of 'effortless prose.' Lazy, repetitive and sloppily written. Riddled with grammar, spelling and punctuation errors that make it look like you're reading an unedited first draft.

At one point he even gets bored and announces his word count.

In case you haven't guessed yet I'm trying to put as little effort into this review as James Altucher put into this book.

I guess it's harder than it looks.

( )
  graffiti.living | Oct 25, 2017 |
Have your ever read/skimmed a book so puerile that you are ashamed to post it to your feed? Like this one maybe? I am unchecking the FaceBook box as well. Some lapses of judgment are better not shared.
  Mary_Overton | Jan 10, 2017 |
If you suffer from depression, this book is dead on. Simple, easy to read, and practical. The book in a nutshell: follow the Daily Practice, approach the world from a place of humility and love, and you'll come out okay. ( )
  sferrari17 | Jan 15, 2016 |
For some reason, I really enjoyed this book. I would hesitate to recommend it to everyone, but it really hit home with me on a number of levels. I don't really have much more to say on it just now, but I suspect I'll be recommending this to people in some very specific cases -- hopefully when I do, I can update this with more thoughts on why I have done so. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
I'll admit, this was an impulse buy after reading one of James Altucher's posts on Lifehacker. I popped over to Amazon and downloaded it for 99 cents, which seems to be the permanent price. I'm not big on self-help books generally, but I do think it's a good idea to remind ourselves sometimes about ways we can focus on the positive, good things in our lives. And sometimes it's just nice to have a little boost.

Altucher writes in a very conversational manner, and the book feels as if you're reading his blog. He's not a grammarian, so readers who don't appreciate writers taking liberties with grammar and punctuation may wish to pass. Altucher's main premise is that in modern society, the middle class continues to shrink; corporations feel no loyalty to the worker; we're doomed unless we "choose ourselves."

What does choosing yourself mean? In his context, it's believing in your idea, your talent, your product, invention, etc., and putting in the time and effort necessary to achieve your goals. He gives examples of people down on their luck who were able to turn things around by taking care of themselves, eating better, sleeping more, having a schedule, and daring to fail.

I did receive some inspiration and a few laughs.

Choose yourself! You're much more awesome than you realize. (Probably.) :D

( )
  mclesh | Sep 2, 2014 |
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"The world is changing. Markets have crashed. Jobs have disappeared. Industries have been disrupted and are being remade before our eyes. Everything we aspired to for "security," everything we thought was "safe," no longer is: College. Employment. Retirement. Government. It's all crumbling down. In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It's on you to make the most important decision in your life: Choose Yourself." -- Cover.… (more)

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