Book summary: Choose Yourself

Between 1998 and 2008, James Altucher struck rock bottom regularly. He established roughly eighteen enterprises and failed in about eighteen of them. He changed jobs five or six times and was laid off from many positions. He felt discouraged, hopeless, and worried.

Then he knew he had to make a decision for himself.

You're trapped in the same pattern. You want more wealth, faster vehicles, and bigger mansions, and you're chasing the American Dream. Your life, though, is slipping away from you, and you aren't completely content.

You can't afford to rely on others or make the same mistakes you've made in the past. To be successful, you must choose yourself.

If you choose yourself and look after the "four selves," you will discover genuine happiness in life and eventually make a living doing something you enjoy.

How to Choose Yourself

Everybody wants to be free. And there are two key elements to achieving that freedom. There are no justifications for not completing them—they're both free and simple.

In the Choose Yourself age, you will prosper if you can harness freedom.

Only Do Things You Enjoy

A female writing a book as she enjoys the art of writing.

The first rule is to do just what you like. It may seem self-evident to you, but it isn't to others.

Only accept invitations to activities that you like. You will dislike people, perform a poor job, have less energy for the things you were doing well, make less money, and squander important times in your life if you agree to something you don't want to do.

The only true fire to develop is the one that burns within you. The flame can't be fed by outside sources; you must provide your own gasoline. People will want it more if you have a strong internal fire. They'll try to use your fire to light up their own dark tunnels.

Your fire begins to fade every time you say yes to something you don't desire. If you keep doing this, the flame will eventually go out.

"I'd love to do what I adore, but I have to pay the bills!" you may be thinking. That's reasonable. You have mouths to feed, duties to fulfill, a retirement to plan for, and a slew of other considerations that prevent you from saying "no" to everything. Don't be concerned about it just yet.

The second fundamental will clarify everything, allowing you to determine if your "yes" or "no" stems from a place of profound, inside happiness.

The Daily Practice

The second fundamental is daily practice. We spend our entire lives fearing nothingness. We spend all of our time and energy trying to fill our emptiness with love, money, pleasures, or anything else that would make it go away. But nothing will ever be able to fill the void.

The greatest approach to filling that void is to spark the internal fire that will never go out rather than filling it with external impulses.

Consider that you have three other bodies in addition to your physical body: an emotional body, a mental body, and a spiritual body. Imagine a life force flowing between and between them, similar to how blood runs through your body.

Consider a central core responsible for ensuring that everything is in good working order, just like your heart is responsible for keeping your physical body healthy.

All four of these bodies must be kept healthy and exercised regularly. This is what the Daily Practice entails. You can't pick yourself unless you have a healthy foundation in all four bodies.

The Physical Body

A female putting a 10 minutes walk while walking her dog as well.

Our physical bodies are the shells in which we must take care to survive. Taking care of it is simple in theory but difficult in practice. We frequently make excuses and put off taking care of our bodies until it is "easier." But that isn't how it works.

You don't need a six-pack or to look like a bombshell to be successful. All you have to do is stay healthy.

Consume no junk food. A good night's sleep is seven to nine hours. Excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided. Workout.

Running five kilometers every morning isn't required for exercise. It may be a stroll. After ninety minutes of sitting:

  • Go for a ten-minute walk.
  • Instead of taking the elevator, take the steps.
  • Practice yoga for 10 minutes.
  • Take a walk every time you take a little break.

There is no such thing as too much exercise, and no one has ever complained about walking too much.

Don't overindulge. Only consume two meals every day if possible. Nobody has ever died of hunger as a result of missing supper.

If you eat late in the day, your body will have difficulty digesting it later in the evening. This has an impact on your sleep and metabolism in the morning.

The Emotional Body

A male manager motivating his staff and encouraging her by giving her a cup of coffee and snacks.

Make an effort to surround yourself with only good individuals who encourage you. Take in as much information as you can from them. And make an effort to be a lighthouse for people around you.

It's critical to stay away from folks that pull you down. You don't have to be mean about it, but spending time with individuals who sap your energy is something you should avoid at all costs.

Cut someone out of your life if they are a pain. Bring someone closer to you if they pull you up.

If you can't avoid someone, admit that they're driving you insane. They will have less power over your emotions if you are observed. And the less you interact with them, the less of an impact they have on you.

Find strategies to avoid engaging. Set a daily limit for how much you may grumble or be irritated about that individual. Don't allow yourself to go over that.

There is an experiment that can help you lessen the impact of other people. Try to be silent as much as possible. If you restrict your speech, you will pick what you say and who you tell it to more carefully.

Taking care of your mental body will make you appear more attractive on the exterior as well. Stop allowing the horror of others around you to fill your insides, and you will be free of your own horror.

The Mental Body

A brain image showing that we must master our own mind or it will turn us into a slave.

Your mind cries out to be in charge of you. It requires you to be extremely busy to accomplish the things it excels at: obsessing, worrying, depression, forward-thinking, backward thinking, and continuous thinking until you are exhausted.

You must master your mind, or it will master you and turn you into a slave. It can be tamed with careful application. Make it a mission to come up with 10 methods to free up extra time for yourself.

Alternatively, think of 10 ways to make your job simpler. Alternatively, 10 business concepts. Think hard and make your mind sweat until it's exhausted enough to call it a day.

So that your mind can't rule you, exhaust it. Make a list of 10 possibilities. Then come up with 10 more. Attempt to come up with so many ideas that it pains your brain to think of more.

If you don't exercise your "idea" muscle sufficiently, it will atrophy. You must work out the muscle. Once it atrophies, it takes around 3-6 months to rebuild. That's something you don't want to happen.

The Spiritual Body

A female doing meditation yoga as a way to improve her spiritual body.

You may do numerous things to assist your spiritual body that have nothing to do with God or religion.

Take some time to express your gratitude for the things you have in your life. Exercising forgiveness is a good thing to do. Consider the people who have wronged you and visualize appreciation for them.

Meditate. It's tough to stay motionless for more than a few minutes, but take a few moments to sit quietly and observe your breathing. It's all OK if you get sidetracked. Simply return your attention to your breathing. Give it a five-minute try. Then try it for six minutes.

Many people stress on regrets from the past or fears for the future. Because the past and future do not exist, this is a waste of time. You have no control over either of them since they are recollections and suppositions.

Don't waste your time ruminating on the past or anticipating the future. Now is the time to live.

It's easy to become engrossed in worry. However, none of your concerns are valid. It's simply your imagination. You don't have any influence over the past or the future. Now is all there is.

Burnout is not a given. Accept and surrender to the peaceful quiet that surrounds you. Give up all memories of the past, as well as all fears and anxiety about the future. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people. Keep your thoughts in check and healthy. You will be free if you do these things.

You may be confident that you've done your homework; you've done everything you can. Now it's time to accept the outcome. The proper course of action will be taken.

Consider the issues that you are concerned about. Almost every time you reflect on a particular fear, you realize how pointless it was to be worried about it.

This isn't to say you'll never have a terrible day. It implies you'll be able to recognize when you're in a poor mood and go back to work.

Dedicating yourself to Daily Practice will help you achieve amazing results in your life, even if you only see little changes at first. They'll get stronger. They'll also rekindle the fire within you so it can't be extinguished. You will shine brightly in the galaxy and in the lives of others around you.

Simple Daily Practice

A teenager hugging her grandfather as a sign of gratitude for his help.

It's fine if you're feeling overwhelmed by the Daily Practice. Take each step one at a time. First, you must recognize that it is not your exterior life that needs changing, but rather that outward changes result from inside changes.

For the time being, do ONE thing every day that improves your physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual well being.

Every day, try one thing from the following list:

  • Sleep for at least eight hours.
  • Instead of three meals, eat two.
  • Do not watch television.
  • Consume no junk food.
  • Do not moan for the rest of the day.
  • Do not spread rumors.
  • Reply to a five-year-old email.
  • Thank a buddy for their help.
  • Watch a comedy film or a stand-up comedian.
  • Make a list of potential ideas. The topics for these might be anything.
  • Read a spiritual text or anything else that inspires you.
  • "I'm going to save a life today," tell yourself when you wake up. Keep your eyes peeled for that life.
  • Take up a new pastime. Do something that disrupts your present routine.
  • Make a list of everything you do daily.
  • Remove one item from the list, and don't do it again.
  • Someone will be surprised.
  • Make a list of ten persons for whom you are thankful.

Gradually, you may begin to make good choices for your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies daily. You can pick yourself and live a happy and successful life.

When you depend on work, a marriage, a relationship, or anything else to bring you happiness, it's simple to become dissatisfied. This dependence on others is no longer necessary.

Rather, choose yourself, and you will find genuine happiness in life, as well as a way to make a living doing something you enjoy.

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