Any book that starts out by offering you your money back or the option to have its cost donated to charity simply for proving you bought and read it within three months of its publication date is sure to get some attention. I know it got mine. And so did the first sentence of its introduction. After all, “I was going to die” is also pretty compelling.
So I dove in, all the while figuring what have I got to lose?
Turns out nothing, because James Altucher’s new book, Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream, is a really fun romp and not just a little inspiring, so much so that I bought another copy for a friend.
Whether you’re a worker bee, an entrepreneur, hugely successful or feeling like a flop, this book has some sterling nugget of wisdom that you need to hear. In fact, it’s probably one of the most enlightening, engaging and self-deprecating informal treatises on why so many of us—no matter who we are or what we do—need to alter our current mindset that I’ve ever read.
Altucher’s basic premise? That our reliance and dependence on others for our security and sense of self must come to an end. Those days, he says, are over, and he’s laid out the economic history of what he calls the “Choose Yourself Era” and the argument for change to prove it.
Told entirely from the perspective of a man who has experienced not only other-worldly levels of success but also incredible failure, this book takes readers on a journey toward personal and professional fulfillment that is all encompassing, both literally and figuratively. And it all starts from within. True and long-lasting success in life and business only comes as a result of building a “positive base: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” he says, “a so-called “foundation for the house you want to live in.” It’s all about unlearning the trappings of the past and training ourselves to think differently.
But where to begin?
Breaking ground for construction, according to Altucher, starts with the simple daily practice of putting ourselves first, or choosing yourself so to speak, and he outlines action steps we all can take to begin that process one day at a time. Secondly, it requires us to become conscious of two key things: 1. Our learned and firmly entrenched tendency to rely on others for defining us and how we feel about ourselves, and 2. Our misplaced focus on external influences and circumstances that then dictate our happiness or lack of it.
All too often, he writes, we make the mistake of attaching our happiness to external factors and goals, such as financial success or relationship success, which can all be fleeting. “When those goals break, the external pain immediately gets reflected into our internal bodies,” Altucher warns, and that in turn leads to our downfall and a wicked vicious cycle. “In the Choose Yourself era, it is only possible to give up the normal contraptions of externalized identity and live a life more free than you can imagine if you start from the inside out.”
As for manifesting what we want in our own lives when it comes to earning a living or even a fortune, Altucher will concede that not everyone can live “off the grid” and do just what they want when they want. At the same time, he also believes that our individual happiness and satisfaction on this front, much like any other, is largely of our own making. And he’s not too tolerant of excuses.
“Everyone,” he asserts, “is an entrepreneur. The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure.” Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but for a more nuanced take on the subject you’ll just need to read Choose Yourself yourself.
Here’s the good news! Given that it was published in late May, you still have a month or so to order and read Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream and get your money back or have it donated to Althucher’s select charity, WomenForWomen International, making it a win-win proposition all around.
Simply visit your local bookstore or click here on either of these fine retailers to purchase your own copy today: Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.
As for me, I enjoyed the book so much that I don’t mind paying for it…twice. So I think I’ll take the charity route!
Tell us what you think… After you read Altucher’s book, we’d love to get your feedback. Did you enjoy it? Any good takeaways you’d like to share?