9 Lessons from “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher

9 Lessons from “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher

9 Lessons from “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher

I recently finished James Altucher’s latest book “Choose Yourself”. It’s one of my favorite books of all time (now).

I’d been following him on Facebook for quite some time but just bought his first book at the beginning of January. After reading it, I’m about ready to buy everything he’s ever written. He’s THAT good.

The subtitle to his book is “Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream.”

Sounds cheesy, right? The truth is, it might be. It might very well be cheesy.

But what’s great about Altucher is that he doesn’t tell you to trust him. He tells you to test him. And that’s a hugely important theme with anything we publish on this site. Whether it’s written by us or one of our partners, we want you to go out and test what we’ve written.

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You’ll never accomplish anything you’ve never tried to do. That’s why it’s so important to test everything. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, great. You’ve now figured out one more thing that either does or doesn’t work for you.

This offer isn’t good anymore. But when he first published “Choose Yourself” he wrote on the very first page:

“I don’t need to make a dime off this book. The ideas in this book have already made me wealthy in many ways. What I really care about is that as many people as possible read this book and understand this message, even if it puts my own personal investment at risk.

Here’s how I’m going to try and create a situation where as many people as possible get this message:

I know nobody values books–or anything–that are given away for free. So, I’m not going to do that. This isn’t one of those ineffectual self-help books designed to look good on your shelf. You either read the book and use these ideas, or you shouldn’t bother. That’s why you have to front the purchase price. But, if you can prove to me that you have actually read the book, I will give you your money back. It’s an investment that’s all upside on your part.”

Talk about a guarantee.

Without further ado…

Top 9 Lessons from “Choose Yourself”


UniverseMaybe you’ve heard this advice in a different form before. But the sentiment remains: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. How does this apply to you? Think about your job search. Don’t rely on a single employer to make or break your future career. Do the work. And do your best to get in with several different opportunities. You’ll never be at your optimal functioning by acting from a place of desperation.



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“You wanted that ONE job, that ONE scholarship…” Altucher writes in a chapter called “What to Do When You Are Rejected”. This isn’t the time to feel bad for yourself. Everyone fails. It’s part of living. Did you stop trying to walk when you fell over the first time as a child? Neither did anyone else. It’s time to improve. Didn’t get a job? That’s great. Now you can learn what you get to be better at next time. Didn’t get the scholarship? Maybe you screwed up on your essay. Now you can be a better writer for the future. I repeat. This isn’t the time to feel bad for yourself. Don’t play victim. Play winner.



151997736We like to see success an overnight result. It’s not. It never will be. Everything amazing that has ever been done has taken many steps. You have to appreciate the process. Appreciate the grind. Fall in love with it. Celebrate the mini-milestones. And when you finally have reached your destination, celebrate the process. Readjust the way you view accomplishment. It’ll change your world.



selfmeditationYou have 4 bodies at play: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. How are you taking care of each?

Physical: Are you eating well? Are you exercising?

Emotional: Are you surrounding yourself with people who love you? Are you not engaging with people who put you down?

Mental: Are you writing down your ideas? Are you reading? Are you making your brain sweat? When was the last time you learned something new?

Spiritual: Do you time travel to the past? Are you constantly thinking about what happened before? Who hurt your feelings? That time you failed? When was the last time you thought about the things you’re grateful for?


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I was playing a trivia game with some friends several months ago. It may have even been a couple years ago. I don’t remember. But the question was: how many people have lived on this planet? Do you have any idea? I didn’t. I WAY underestimated. 100 billion. Approximately. If you’re reading this, you’re lucky. You have time on your hands. Are you going to sit and complain about your circumstances? Or are you going to rejoice that you’re alive and that you can change your circumstances?



downloadAltucher writes, “I don’t like the word purpose. It simples that somewhere in the future I will find something that will make me happy, and that until then, I will be unhappy.” I agree completely. We often fool ourselves into thinking that our unhappiness will earn us happiness. That if we spend so many days unhappy, we’ll eventually get to be happy. And that’s a really depressing way to live. Use the tools at your disposal now to be happy.



choose-your-college-degree-then-take-massive-actionI love making excuses. I get to disregard responsibility and accountability. It’s great. But here’s the thing: nothing gets done. People get mad at you. Then you have to suck up your pride and apologize. It’s painful. And I hate hurting people. It’s time to start making things happen. If you’re unhappy where you are now, change your circumstances. Your life will never get better with you just sitting on the couch being afraid to do anything. You have to take action. You have to stumble. You have to learn. It’s time to just freaking do it already.


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“No matter how hard it tries, a ripple that laps onto the shore will never be as powerful as the ocean that created it. The goal is to be the ocean–the central force in our existence that moves mountains, creates all life, shakes contingents, and is respected by everyone.”


things that make you happyIs this obvious? I think so too. But I constantly see people doing things they don’t absolutely LOVE doing. I see people in relationships with people they aren’t head over heels in love with. So, maybe this is idealistic. But it’s worth a try. It’s worked for me.

There are a hundred lessons in Altucher’s book. But you’ll never learn anymore than these 9 if you don’t pick up a copy for yourself.

Enjoy it. And when you’re finished, shoot me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Don’t trust it. Test it.

If you want to read more, check out the book. We highly encourage you to!


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Samuel is in charge of products & content for Undergrad Success. Most days he’s figuring out how to spend less time working than he already is. When he’s not on the beach in Oceanside,CA, he lives online at http://hershberger.co/ where he coaches young men and women looking to get unstuck in their lives.

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