James altucher teaches us how to choose ourselves

James Altucher

If you had to choose what would that actually look like?

What does choosing yourself even mean?


Have you ever chosen something other than yourself? James Altucher has. He’s a writer, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, podcaster, poker addict and quite frankly a modern day genius.

He’s amassed great wealth, in the several million range and lost it twice. He’s back in the money now. He plans on keeping it this time. Let’s just say three’s a charm. Three is after all the magic number of the universe.

He still laments at the level of stupidity as he calls it that it takes to be worth upwards of $15 million dollars not once, but twice and come out flat broke. He is still trying to understand that part of himself and working feverishly to ensure he holds on to his newly minted bank account this time around.

His new book titled Choose Yourself teaches us just that. The subtitle, Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream. It’s kind of an out loud stream of consciousness, but he means it. He believes it. It’s possible he says to have everything and be happy and manifest the life of your dreams. All the while still struggling with his own losses and how he allowed that to happen not once, but twice even calling himself stupid for it.

We’ll get the break down to what he refers to as the Power of Stupidity in a moment. The only way out from stupid is up he believes. This means there is more to be learned and something to gain from our own stupidity. Seeing it and acknowledging it is the first step.

And the narrative goes something like this. How do we end up with that dream life? How do we stop working for the man? How do we cut it with the sloppy life mistakes we’ve all made?

James has some ideas. He’s a genius. He’s kicked ass in the world of originality. There is no other James Altucher. He’s a podcaster and his inquisitions bring about great discovery. He takes the time to ask while we might just stay curious, never really ask, but always wonder.

James Altucher

James knows to ask about these things to perhaps to feed our pension for all of the curiosities that lurk within us.

He had the balls to go after his dreams, but in the early days lacked greater awareness. What does it entail to own a company? Is the value there? What are the prospects? How is it run? What’s the macro organization look like? These are all questions he ponders now after losing all his money twice.

Not having the foresight to think it all through James ultimately lost everything. It’s a quandary of sorts. You are your own protagonist. You make your way in the world and your light shines bright and then all goes dark. There is a juxtaposition to your brilliance. You’ve done it, but you overlooked all the fine print. The details were amiss and down you fall. Crashing down. Left with nothing. You fall.

And then you awaken. You reimagine. You reinvigorate the passion.


  1. The Simple Daily Practice: Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health
  2. 1% Daily Improvement: improve micro skills by 1% a day – this does not mean you are improved by 365% percent in a year. It means you’ll be about 36% better by the end of the year if you improve 1%. And this can be improving not only one thing, but multiple things a day.
  3. Plus minus Equal: Find mentors, teach, & talk with peers
  4. The Power of Stupidity: Assume your stupid and learn from everyone around you. “I always make sure I’m the stupidest person in the room so I’m always standing next to someone I can benefit from.” James Altucher
  5. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Mediocre People: Procrastination, Zero-Tasking, Failure, Not original, Poor Networker, Anything to get a yes, Poor judge of people
  6. Idea Sex: Take two ideas and make them have sex (this is my favorite, not because of the sex part, but the metaphor is pretty stimulating)
  7. Well Being: Make your own decisions

This according to James = Freedom.

I think he’s on to something here.

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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.

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