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Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  9,264 Ratings  ·  702 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published June 3rd 2013 (first published May 31st 2013)
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Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish book (finished through ch 12, just do it, pg 202 of 493 in the ebook).

Got his six line summary from a reddit AMA q&a and that was enough to make the book redundant.

In short, do his daily practice of:
"I eat well, i dont eat junk food
i sleep well (8 hours/day). I used to never sleep. Sleeping is the key to ALL health
i dont drink. Drinking is a depressant and has a lot of sugar.
i only engage with positive people. ELIMINATE all negative people from your life.
NEVER gossip
i read ev
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book. I ordered it from amazon and couldn't wait for it to arrive. Once it did, I read it in a manner of days. A lot of this voracious reading was partially hoping that the next chapter would contain some mind-blowing thought that would help me move forward with my self-employment. It never really came.

While there are a few decent nuggets of ideas to help you on the path to "Choose Yourself" I thought that overall, the book was sparse on really thought-provoking idea
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Altucher is an incredible salesman, and I hate pushy salesmen. I didn't hate Altucher's book. He is rather brutal in his assessment of our changing business climate. The middle class is dead, technology and temps have replaced you, and your boss hates you. He won my approval with that last one because from my experience, that is true. I was pretty sure he was looking in my former cubicle, asking whether one should "stay at a job where the boss is trying to keep you down, will eventually replace ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm a total sucker for self-help books. I know I should be ashamed, because who really takes these seriously? The whole genre is a bunch of rich old people telling you anecdotal evidence about how to "make it," right?

Well, right. For the most part.

Choose Yourself! came recommended by some well-regarded people. Altucher is brutally honest about his success - and his failures - and doesn't posit his advice as infallible or, really, anything more than common sense. Most of *Choose Yourself!* revolv
Karan Bajaj
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
His sense of humor and refreshingly honest voice really resonates with me. I'm a big fan of his blog, and this book encouraged me to "open the kimono" in my writing and my life. While the advice in the book is pretty solid, I took the journey of reading this more because I get a kick out of James' writing. I would recommend reading some blog posts first before buying this book to see if you feel the same.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
Aaron Wolfson
Drawing on the work of Seth Godin and others on how the Internet, the decline in real wages, rising income equality, and tons of other economic trends are ushering out the old industrial-corporate system in favor of a new connection economy, Altucher comprehensively explores what it means to choose oneself for financial and psychological success this new kind of world, using copious and vivid examples from his own riches-to-rags-to-riches story.

Getting a job is dead. The middle class is dead. In
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't typically read this sort of book. In fact, I'm positive that I would have never picked it off a shelf had it not been for a glorious recommendation by someone I admire and the vast positive reviews for it.

This book is worthy of the glowing reviews, though not because of its excellent prose or earth shattering revelations. Altucher has a way of understanding the vicissitudes of life while also giving a well charged pep-talk.

The gist of the "how to" content in this book centers around day
Ben Iverson
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
By nature, Altucher is much more of a risk-taker than I am, and hence he has had both more successes and failures than I have had (or ever hope to have, really). But, it makes him a very interesting person to listen to, even if I disagree with much of what he says. The main things I like in this book were his ideas on not getting stuck in a mental rut. I definitely need more creativity and spontaneity in my life, so I've tried his suggestion of coming up with 10 new ideas every day, and I think ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
There are some nice ideas in 'Choose Yourself', and Altucher's overriding principles are smart and praiseworthy, but the writing is just terrible. At thimes this reads like an over-enthusiastic 'What I Did On My Vacation' essay by a 7 year old - arguments aren't followed through, his focus is all over the place... It certainly could do with a good editor.

Most of the ideas in here are better explained and more rationally argued by Seth Godin (in 'Linchpin' and elsewhere) and Steven Pressfield (i
Feb 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Reading the comments, this books seems to have helped many. But, it just didn't do anything for me. Perhaps it was because I have been lucky enough to have never been in a place where I needed to be scraped off the floor because things were so bad, as the author has. But, there are other reasons. The book is really one long rant that isn't even very well organized. Some people put all their frustrations in an e-mail and delete it before sending or write it all down in a journal no one sees. Mr. ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: formative-books
Reasons for reading this book
- Thought provoking
- Practical advice
- Funny
- The authors PAYS YOU for reading his book

Let me elaborate on that last point. If you read his book, you can send the receipt plus some sort of proof to James Altucher who will then pay you back the money for the book. Since Amazon takes a cut, this means that if everyone does this, he will LOSE money. Think about that for a second. Not just the deal I mean, also what it implies. This author literally doesn't care about th
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I know this is cliche, but I can't think of a better way to describe how I feel about this book: It really is one of the books I wish I'd written. James Atulcher's writing style is approachable and so good it makes you feel he's in your brain, vocalizing exactly what you've been thinking, and helping you get past those mental blocks.

I recommend this to everyone and anyone who needs that extra push when it comes to creating a happier daily existence, to a lifetime realization of something of whi
Richard Newton
Oh dear. How do I rate this book? A book I both found incredibly infuriating and at times useful and insightful. I read the book after advice from a publishing agent who I know well that this was a good book to read to learn something from. That's probably true, although I have not quite worked out what yet.

Let's start with the negatives. Firstly, some of the writing is awful, and reminiscent of thoughts as a drunken teenager: "The most dreadful thing in life is not dying. It's being born. Once
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Finished reading this morning.

On my mind is an idea from the end. "If you want to get over this, have more that's."

The book reinforced ideas I had about gratitude, finding positive influences, Ghandi, and Woody Allen.

I don't share his pessimism about college and home ownership. I do agree with most of the rational he uses to hate those ideas. Living a full and effective life requires self education and life long learning. College rarely does a good job of helping people answer unanswerable quest
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
The title ‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher is quite appealing. However there is nothing exceptional in this book. Some of the sections (Simple Daily Practice, Ten ideas to start you off, Interesting stories on Gandhi) were motivating and helpful while some of the sections seemed as add-ons. There is no proper flow of contents; too random. Some sections start off well; end up with an unrelated issue. The book was just ok; could have been better.
Andrew Lee
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
A meandering stream of consciousness punctuated by moments of lucidity.
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Howard by: Rick
Great book recommendation from son Rick. This book was so compelling it t caused me to start hacking out a short book review before I was halfway through the book. I have now finished the book and the review, but it's worth noting that at the time I started my comments I was about 40% of the way through and had already found value that met and exceeded my expectations of this book. It is one of the most practical personal and business books I've ever read. While the audience might be for persons ...more
Chung Chin
Jul 05, 2013 rated it liked it
The message of this book is great! Choose yourself. Every single time. Are you being rejected by companies when submitting resumes? Choose yourself. Are you being turn out by women when asking them out for dates? Choose yourself.
In this book, James Altucher shares with you a simple message of choosing yourself every single time, in every situation. Not only that, he shares with you ideas on how you can do that.

However, despite the really good content, the writing is in my opinion, a discredit to
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
A chaotic book, seasoned with Eastern mysticism, and embarrassing self-revelation, James Altucher's latest still manages to grip. It's encouraging to read about how such a hot mess of a man could least for the moment. And it's funny. After learning that almost all of his businesses eventually (or rapidly) failed, one assumes that he'd better get this book out there quickly while his current business is still afloat. Altucher apparently lacks an internal filter, which makes for enter ...more
Radek Grabarek
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book is written carelessly but the content itself is really great.
Ian Datz
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Pretty good book. A little all over the place though.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cara by: Mike Hrostoski (required reading for his men's conference)
Shelves: kindle, life
Just finished this today, and I already kind of feel like I don't remember what it was about or how much I liked it. I interrupted myself in the middle of reading this to pursue several shinier objects, so I'm probably rating it unfairly. By the time I got back to it, I was pretty much over it. But he does have a lot of really good things to say.

This is the book that tells the story of the Beatles' last performance, on the roof when they took a break from hating each other and trying to record L
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
میخواستم چند صفحهای از کتاب رو بخونم ببینم چطوره؛ چی نوشته. یک روزه تمومش کردم. کم پیش میاد چنین کاری بکنم. برام جذاب بود. احساس همنوایی خاصی با نویسنده کتاب داشتم. خیلی از تجربههایی که تعریف میکنه، چیزهایی هستن که توی زندگی روزمره برای خیلی از ما اتفاق میافته که یا بهشون توجه نمیکنیم و یا زود ازشون رد میشیم. چیزی که من فهمیدم اینه که کسایی که بتونن این حالات روحی و روانی تجربههای زندگی رو به خوبی بازگو کنن، برای همراه کردن ما با خودشون خیلی موفقتر از بقیه نویسندهها هستن. خصوصا احساسات منفی، ترس ...more
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this a 3.5---somewhere between 3 and 4. I love James Altucher. He is a true original and he is absolutely himself no matter what he does. I really like his willingness to discuss his screwups, his flaws, and his vulnerabilities. He's a breath of fresh air in the usually phony and superficial world of business. Occasionally he over shares but that's better that than the plastic business writers who reveal nothing. He's a lot more entertaining and humorous than the average writer of boring ...more
Debbi Mack
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, which was the problem. I kept reading, even though it really didn't offer much in the way of solid advice, other than (frankly) platitudes.

I finally made it to the end, primarily by skipping past his laundry list at the end of bad decisions (most of which made me wonder, "What on earth did you expect?" or words to that effect).

Forgive me, but it's hard to muster up a lot of empathy for someone who quite obviously takes good health as a given. Not all of us are
Mark Speed
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Just short of five stars, and I'm not quite sure why. James Altucher is one of these people you've never heard of who suddenly seems to be everywhere. He's made millions, then gone bust, then made it again. He presents an interesting perspective on what it takes - and will take - to get on in the world and become successful. He's not original in saying this, but he says it in a fairly compelling way. You might think he's a bit of a mess in some respects when you read the book. Maybe he is. But h ...more
Rosie Nguyễn
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's just like every book comes to me in a certain period of my life, to help me in a certain way. I'm currently reading this book and The fountainhead, both are about individualism, with its most positive meaning.

So I am on the verge of taking steps to be independent, about to do something significant for my life and helpful for my community, about to set myself free. So I found this book inspiring and encouraging. Choose myself. To overcome the uncertainty when breaking the circles of my old b
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
A rich person who's failed a lot thinks you should become comfortable with failing a lot (also eating good food, not drinking too much, getting enough sleep, and other conventional wisdoms) so that you can be wildly successful in the forthcoming economy where we all wind up screwed by capitalism.

Fun, but... c'mon.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hands down my favorite book of the year. I love the mix of business tips with health fundamentals, and James' honest, raw look at his own epic failures and recoveries. MUST READ. Same goes for his blog!
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James Altucher is a writer, successful entrepreneur, chess master, and investor.

He has founded over 20 companies and sold some of them for large exits. He has also run venture capital funds, hedge funds, angel funds, and currently sits on the boards of many companies.

He has written and been profiled in most major national media publications like the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, CNBC,
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“no matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.” 59 likes
“Every time you say yes to something you don’t want to do, this will happen: you will resent people, you will do a bad job, you will have less energy for the things you were doing a good job on, you will make less money, and yet another small percentage of your life will be used up, burned up, a smoke signal to the future saying, “I did it again.” 37 likes
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