Choose Yourself! - by James Altucher ====================================
Date read: 2014-04-10
How strongly I recommend it: 7/10
(See my list of 200+ books, for more.) Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.
Anyone who likes my writing will probably LOVE his writing. We've got a very similar style and approach. I was smiling most of the way through, reading things I could have (and wish I would have) written myself. His vulnerability is so endearing.
“The American Dream” comes from a marketing campaign developed by Fannie Mae to convince Americans to start taking mortgages.
I never blame anyone but myself. Every second I am manipulated and coerced and beaten down it’s because I’ve allowed it.
Build the house where your freedom resides.
Success comes from continually expanding your frontiers in every direction—creatively, financially, spiritually, and physically. Always ask yourself, what can I improve? Who else can I talk to? Where else can I look?
“All I want is freedom,” a lot of people say. But freedom from what? Who is enslaving you that you can’t get away from?
The past and future don’t exist. They are memories and speculation.
Take up a hobby that takes you out of your current rhythm.
A minimalist lifestyle is bullshit unless you can do it across every sheath in the daily practice: not just physical, but also emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Give up on the ambitions for the future that are more trouble and anxiety than they are worth.
De-clutter your brain.
##### Silence is the only place your creative ideas will come from.
Build trust while you sleep. Honesty compounds over years and decades. More people trust your word and spread the news that you are a person to be sought out, sought after, given opportunity, given help, or given money.
The way you get good ideas is to do two things:
By the end of a year, you will have read for almost one thousand hours and written down 3,600 ideas.
STEPHEN KING: All it took was a few weeks out of action to throw him completely off his game. An accident he once had that prevented him from writing for several weeks. When he started to write again he could feel the difference. He said how the words just weren’t connecting right.
The idea muscle must be exercised every day.
> To become an idea machine takes about six to twelve months of daily practice.
Richard Branson: When Virgin Records was making him a tidy profit of about $15 million a year, he decided there should be a more comfortable transatlantic airline. What the hell did he know about making an airline? Nothing. Note the important thing: the day he came up with the idea, he also called Boeing and got a plane from them. Not only did he identify the next step, but he took it.
Every day, read/skim chapters from books on at least four different topics. This morning I read from a biography of Mick Jagger; I read a chapter from Regenesis, a book on advances in genetic engineering, a topic I know nothing about. I read a chapter in Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
Write down ten ideas. About anything. It doesn’t matter if they are business ideas, book ideas, ideas for surprising your spouse in bed, ideas for what you should do if you are arrested for shoplifting, ideas for how to make a better tennis racquet, anything you want. The key is that it has to be ten or more.
List ten ideas that are “too big for me” and what the next steps might be.
Ideas mate with other ideas to produce idea children. Read other ideas. Compare your new ideas with your old ideas.
The best ideas come from collisions between newer and older ideas.
I have a very strict routine every day. I wake up, read, write, exercise, eat, attend meetings (phone or live), then reverse the process: eat, write, read, and sleep.
When struggling for idea topics, search Twitter for phrases like:
Nobody is ever going to change their mind. For instance, if I say something like “kids shouldn’t go to college,” everyone either already agrees with me or disagrees with me. Very few minds will be changed.
> *Every time I have a judgment about something, I change the punctuation at the end of the judgment from an exclamation point to a question mark. Walk around bewildered all day. It’s much more peaceful. “That guy shouldn’t shove me!” becomes “That guy shouldn’t shove me?”*
Procrastination is your body telling you that you need to back off a bit and think more about what you are doing. It could also mean you are doing work that is not your forte and that you are better off delegating. I find that many entrepreneurs are trying to do everything when it would be cheaper and more time-efficient to delegate
An entrepreneur learns two things from failure: First he learns directly how to overcome that particular failure. He’s highly motivated to not repeat the same mistakes. Second, he learns how to deal with the psychology of failure.
Many people network too much. It’s tough to make money. It's not a party.
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?
I lose at least 20 percent of my intelligence when I am resentful. Maybe 30 percent if I throw feelings of revenge on top of it.
Brene Brown has written an excellent book called The Gift of Imperfection.
If you are the source of ideas, then you are ALWAYS the source.
Every day think of at least two people to introduce to each other who will help each other.
Pick your social media outlet, master it.
Twitter Q&As (held every Thursday between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Eastern),
Woody Allen: “If you work only three to five hours a day you become very productive. It’s the steadiness of it that counts. Getting to the typewriter every day is what makes productivity.”
And he doesn’t waste time with distractions (going to parties, staying out late). Do you know where Allen was sitting when he won an Oscar for Annie Hall? In Michael’s Pub in Manhattan, playing his weekly jazz clarinet gig. Why get on a plane (eight hours, door to door), and go to a party where he would feel uncomfortable, to win an award he probably didn’t care much about. Then he went home, and took the phone off the hook.
Avoid outside stimulus.
“How do you get past this?” Diversification is everything. You get past “this” by having lots of “that”s.