Someone on twitter suggested this book to me. Well, not to me personally but to everyone that follows them. That was a few weeks ago and I don’t recall who it was. I’m sorry I can’t tell them, “hey I followed your twitter suggestion, got the book and then read it.” I think lots of people on twitter would be surprised that anyone really paid attention to their tweet much less took action. But there you have it.
This one time I did.
James Altucher has a storied past. By that I mean that he’s done lots of things professionally and been through quite a bit personally. He’s made and losts millions. He worked for HBO, managed a hedge fund, built websites and more. This book is a bit of a memoir in that he shares what he’s been through and it’s part self-help too. As in don’t do what I did. Do it this way.
The premise is that in this cold, hard world no one is going to do it for you. So pick yourself and go for it. I agree with this – unless you want to be a doctor or highly skilled professional. Then I want you to do it the old fashioned way and go to school and get trained and educated. Because lives are at stake.
This made me think about publishing and music industries, and even business to an extent. Do people want you to suffer first before you achieve success? Is working for the man the price you pay? Or is paying your dues how you become great at something? Is anyone on top of their game if they’ve just started? Like lots of things in the book, there’s truth behind what he’s saying but for me it wasn’t always the whole truth.
The idea that we need to “pay our dues” is a lie told to us by people who wanted our efforts and labor on the cheap.
My biggest takeaways were in the form of the many suggestions he offers. The one I like the best and that I’ve implemented is writing down 10 ideas per day. I don’t always stick to that number but I do like what happens when I’m open to ideas about all sorts of things. There’s a flow of “what if I did this” or “I wonder if anyone has ever ..” that I can’t stop and research in the moment but that I’d like to capture.
It’s my idea zone where they can live until and/or if I feel like taking action. Sometimes the flow of ideas has helped with current project or a new perspective to an old problem. For me, Choose Yourself was an interesting read. I like his insights and his humor about the crazy things that he’s done in his life. While the topics are sometimes serious, James doesn’t take himself too seriously and I for me that made the message more compelling.