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161 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone
I was fortunate enough to read this wonderful new book by the author James Altucher (I first read his work by following him on twitter @jaltucher and reading posts on his website jamesaltucher.com).

It is one of the most enjoyable and informative books I've ever read, and I highly recommend folks take some time to check it out. It's not that long but, wow, is...
Published 18 months ago by Jonathan M. Prober

versus
230 of 277 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A bloated self-help blog book emaciated of any substance
The basic take-home message of Choose Yourself:

1a. There are never enough lists. List everything.

1b. You are royally screwed if you plan on banking on a traditional career path through corporate America.

2. Right when you wake up read for two hours after counting all the things you are grateful for (probably the best advice in the...
Published 17 months ago by A Serious Reviewer


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161 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone, June 3, 2013
By 
Jonathan M. Prober (Voorhees, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
I was fortunate enough to read this wonderful new book by the author James Altucher (I first read his work by following him on twitter @jaltucher and reading posts on his website jamesaltucher.com).

It is one of the most enjoyable and informative books I've ever read, and I highly recommend folks take some time to check it out. It's not that long but, wow, is it packed with powerfully-good information.

I could write about it for a while but, rather than doing so, it is probably more efficient to just mention a few of my favorite tidbits from the book in hopes that you'll give it a read.

My personal favorite aspect of the book is its unique ability to be both practical and idealistic.

Some quick examples:

First, his impressive intertwining of the importance of mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional harmony. Here are one of his recommendations from each of these four pieces:

Mental: "Read two hours a day."

Spiritual: "Do this every day: wake up and think of five people you are grateful for in your life right now."

Physical: "Am I sleeping enough?"

Emotional: "Am I expressing gratitude to the people who are good to me?"

Lastly, a few short snippets:

I really enjoyed his insight into an alternative way of creating value (which I personally feel is an important key to cultivating capitalism optimally):

"The only way to create value for yourself is to create value for others. Exercise: think of two people in your network who don't know each other but you think can add value to each other's lives. Introduce them. Do this every day. Get better and better at it. The more value you bring to the people in your network, even if it doesn't directly bring value to you (in an immediate way), the greater the value of your network. And then the greater value you will have."

I also liked his advice on how to learn from others:

"Don't be a hater! Ninety-nine percent of people are haters. Bless that which you want.

If you want to be successful, you need to study success, not hate it or be envious of it. If you are envious, then you will distance yourself from success and make it that much harder to get there. Never be jealous. Never think someone is 'lucky.' Luck is created by the prepared."

I highly recommend taking some time to read this wonderful author's intriguing ideas.
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192 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ IF YOU STRIVE TO BE A BETTER YOU, June 5, 2013
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
Length:: 1:25 Mins

I've read a lot of James Altucher's work including I Was Blind But Now I See. I find him insightful, unconventional, thought-provoking. This time he's brilliant. He's tightened his style and delivered his message like a bullet. No pussyfooting around here.

This book is for those of us who have found ourselves lying on the floor, barely able to lift our heads, not sure where to turn, just as James did once (twice, three times?). It's for those who are stuck. For those who are successful but want to take it to the next level.

If you strive to be a better version of you, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

James doesn't ask you to believe him. He just asks that you try the Daily Practice, which is practical, doable, possible for all of us. He asks that you don't ignore the only fire worth cultivating, the one inside of you. After all, he says, you are the only one capable of cultivating it.

I'm taking that to heart. I have my own daily practice. But I'm going to put it into high gear. Because last night, when I finished the book, I felt like I could be extraordinary.
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120 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake from the Nightmare: The New Textbook for the American Dream, June 3, 2013
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
"That's when it clicked...if I was going to thrive, survive, I had to choose myself...We can no longer afford to rely on others and repeat the same mistakes from our past...every second, you have to choose yourself to succeed."

James Altucher's latest work, "Choose Yourself" is the new textbook for the American Dream. James starts with a healthy dose of American history, discussing how what we thought was the American Dream is, in fact, the American nightmare--a dissolving middle-class with replaceable workers; a consumer-based society giving us just enough to be happy and not rebel. "Your bosses hate you," James says to those of us working hard to achieve this "dream." James states that as workers create more and more wealth, jobs go overseas, job security decreases, and we're all lucky to have jobs. He has the graphs to prove it.

We're all suffering from "postsocietal traumatic stress disorder." Society's changing. The global economy has shifted. We need to be able to make that shift to succeed.

What does this mean? It means, James says, that the "Choose Yourself" era is here. In our parents' time, people worked for The Man and retired with a pension. Today, we will be controlled by layoffs, shifts, restructuring, and be at the whim of the economy and corporations--unless we choose ourselves.

"We are taught from an early age we are not good enough." This book argues otherwise. We are good enough--we have to use our creativity and entrepreneurship muscles. This stuff works. I know. We are all artists and entrepreneurs. Time to "unlearn the imprisonment," as James says. "Every time you say 'yes' to something you don't want, your fire goes away."

"Choose Yourself" is easy to read, and gets right to the heart of the things we need to consider about ourselves but don't often do. Get rid of negativity. Generate ideas. Recreate yourself. Every person is an artist and an entrepreneur, James insists. As someone who spent a considerable amount of time avoiding the "e" word, I know James is right. Prophetic even. Every potential entrepreneur must read this book.

But it goes further. I teach. I demand students consider these issues in class. James has now written the text. I will use this book in my classes. Students must live these things--"Choose Yourself" is the followup to James' book 40 Alternatives to College I've been waiting for--I'm grateful. This is truly an education book.

"Choose Yourself" teaches on so many levels--it reminds me about fundamentals of creativity, entrepreneurship, and balance. It will teach my students how to be successful, avoiding the pitfalls of permanent low-paying jobs, carrying massive debt, and being replaceable. It will help you regain the balance and confidence you need to "Choose Yourself," choose your destiny, and conquer the world, despite the challenges the 21st century brings.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change your life., June 3, 2013
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
First of all, it's free. But in a very clever and useful way. If you prove to James that you read this book - and he gives you plenty of easy options on how to - he'll refund your cost or donate the amount to a great charity: Women for Women International.

I don't think I've ever seen that done before. I like it. He's so confident in the value of his message - a message that made him wealthy - that he's willing to forgo any money. All he wants to do is make sure that you read it. He chose himself to succeed and he wants to make sure that you choose yourself as well.

Even if I hadn't followed his amazing blog for years, I'd still read it just for that.

Another important thing: He's honest. Painfully honest. Tells you about how he made money, lost it all and hit rock bottom, and how he raised himself through it to become a major figure in media on the internet. And he did it all by going outside the box. Everything he did, he did himself. No middlemen. No one choosing him. He chose himself.

And that's what the rest of the book is about. Working for old corporate, the nine to five, the 401k, the dream of owning a house (or it owning you), all that society taught us gives us happiness - that's a big lie. James shows how to create real wealth and happiness, how to create your own destiny.

Talking about when he hit rock bottom, he says, "That's when it clicked. When everything changed. When I realized that nobody else was going to do it for me. If I was going to thrive, to survive, I had to choose myself. In every way. The stakes have risen too high not to."

That nails what the book is about. Not only does he give hope, he inspires and shows exactly how he did it, the details, and how we can do that ourselves. And it's really well-written and lots of fun to read. Of all the books available to read, this is one that shines.
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231 of 278 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A bloated self-help blog book emaciated of any substance, June 25, 2013
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Paperback)
The basic take-home message of Choose Yourself:

1a. There are never enough lists. List everything.

1b. You are royally screwed if you plan on banking on a traditional career path through corporate America.

2. Right when you wake up read for two hours after counting all the things you are grateful for (probably the best advice in the book).

3. Spend another two hours writing. *cough* ripping *cough* off *cough* "The Artist's Way" *cough*

(It is now 9:00 AM if you wake at 5:00 AM, just keep track)

4. Write a list of 10 new ideas to exercise your "idea muscle". They can be logical or complete nonsense. I'm not making this up. James gives some outrageous examples. Even Bill Gates couldn't capitalize on them like sending an array of solar panels into space to power the world. Have fun pitching that!

5. Somehow get to work on time because, even though corporate America is screwing you over, you want to make your bosses look good.

6. Go above and beyond your duties at work including researching everything about the company going back to its inception. Hope you don't work for Coca-cola or GM! Always do more. Just enough isn't enough. You once again have to make your bosses, who BTW are trying to screw you over, look good.

7. Now after going beyond the call and hopefully out-performing your competition don't try to negotiate a raise because negotiating is useless.

8. Spend your afternoon/night or whatever working on your own business which originated from exercising your "idea muscle".

9. Go on a 5 minute walk to stay healthy (rolls eyes).

10. Don't each junk food (how original).

11. Spend time with all your loved ones (also original).

12. Don't watch TV unless you work for a TV company and you are doing "company research".

13. Get in your time machine (also a product of your "idea muscle") and travel back a few hours so you can actually get adequate sleep (7 - 9 hours).

14. Also never purchase any real estate or cars. Rent all your rooms on day to day basis (your family will love this). Rely on zipcar.

15. Get a galaxy note because you don't need a computer.

Choose yourself is a mish mash of blog inspired ideas. And like a blog it doesn't consider it's composition as a whole and is instead formulated piece meal without any thought to how each post relates to the other. I would truly give James a pass on this if he actually gave examples of people he helped using these ideas (he does offer workshops so surely there's someone). Instead we get tons of "I knew this guy" and "this one person I helped" or "this big shot i talked to". It's no wonder he uses fibber extraordinaire Tucker Max as validation. He cherry picks his other examples like Sara Blake and Richard Branson. He helped neither. There is some poor humor involved using the most banal forms or irony (if you're into that sort of thing). No howlers here. IMO it's horrible taste to mix self-help with irony because it sends a mixed message to the reader.

There are some tidbits worth a read. Mainly from the first 20% of the Kindle Edition. Like this quote:

"The learned man aims for more. But the wise man decreases. And then decreases again."

Too bad James doesn't follow this advice.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Baffled by positive reviews, October 20, 2013
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
This book reads like a long, rambling, stream-of-consciousness blog post that never ends.

Here is a direct quote from the book which exemplifies the author's style.

"This book will help you build the house where your freedom resides. Just know that the house does not exist in the past. It cannot be built where you are standing right now. It is out there."

Altucher, James (2013-06-03). Choose Yourself! (p. 31) . Kindle Edition.

Your reaction to the above quote will likely give you a sense of how you will react to the book. The quote will either be awe-inspiring to you, or ring hollow like an empty platitude. If your reaction is the latter, you may wish to skip this one.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disorganized rant, February 28, 2014
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
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. Altucher wrote it all down then published it. One of the suggestions he gives is to write down 10 ideas a day to make your brain work. The book is written as though he simply expanded on his various lists of ideas -- there are lists of ideas for starting a new business, why your opinion won't change the opinion of anyone else, how to self-publish a book, what he learned from Woody Allen, etc. This book was all over the place. And, some of his opinions I just couldn't agree with -- that businesses should only use robots instead of people; uneducation is preferable; there is no more middle class; etc. He is an entrepreneur that loves to take risks. Not all of us are. While we may all have a bit of an entrepreneur in us, we aren't all made to be out there on our own starting new businesses. But, I am of the belief that we can glean something from everything in life. So, what did I learn from this book? I don't know about 'learn' but there were some ideas he presented that I do like and think are valuable: we won't get anywhere without giving something back to others (in so many words); I actually liked the idea of coming up with 10 ideas a day - I might give it a try; the idea of keeping the four bodies healthy (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual). But, none of these are new ideas.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rewrite of "The Secret". Sleep, exercise, eat healthy and you'll be FABULOUS!, April 2, 2014
By 
Diverse "bobh" (Glendale, WI, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
Ugh, what a useless book. The author tells us how he started multiple million dollar companies, bought lots of stuff, gambled everything away, then his wife left him, and now he's become self-reflective because he needs to provide for his children. So what is his answer? Sleep 9 hours a day, exercise 20 minutes a day, eat healthy, see a doctor.
He opens the book with an "email from a reader" who said he was 'worried because he had no money and couldn't pay the rent'. The author wrote back "I feel sorry about your hardships. But see a doctor, and get some sleep'. Then, a month later, the same reader emailed back "I paid the rent, all is good." Our author says he 'didn't ask for details'. Altucher is just rehashing "The Power of Positive Thinking", but without the writing skills.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Choose Yourself" is a Game Changer, June 3, 2013
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
Altucher nailed it. Choose Yourself is a game-changer. Since the 2008 crash, people now understand nothing is safe anymore. Not your job, your pension, your investments. Nothing. Relationships are different. Outlooks have changed. People are still scared.

But in this book, James teaches us that by choosing ourselves and focusing on our own happiness, there is no limit to what we can accomplish. Don't focus on a job with no security, a degree that will saddle you with debt and limited opportunity, or a house with a white picket fence that you will struggle to maintain. In this book, Altucher encourages us to find our passion, but more importantly explains how to cultivate it and reap a lifetime of benefits from it. Everyone who wants the most out of a job, a relationship, or really the most out of LIFE, must read this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must choose your future, but choose wisely..., June 4, 2013
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This review is from: Choose Yourself! (Kindle Edition)
I have read so much of James Altucher lately that this book is like the cherry on top of the shake.

I suppose that I am biased but that is what a good author does: they persuade you.

They persuade you to agree with their views. Or at least to consider them.

I was lucky enough to have "chose myself" about two years ago. Since then I have never looked back. I am grateful for what I have learned on my journey.

I find myself nodding in agreement through this entire book, but I also gained a few key insights.

James has a few core concepts and some of them overlap quite nicely. For example, the idea that the middle class is dying combines nicely with his dislike of college. So far I have not used my Bachelor's degree from college but because I chose myself I have banked six figures twice over (as a side project no less, not from a day job!).

This guy is an idea machine and he outlines a very practical method for turning yourself into one if you so desire. I know it works because I essentially follow a variation of his daily practice myself, and have been doing so for at least two years now.

I hate to be such a fan boy of this dude but he is just so darn smart, prophetic, and helpful. Oh and in addition he happens to be a really nice guy as well.

But don't get his book because he is nice. Get it because you cannot afford to miss out on these ideas.
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Choose Yourself!
Choose Yourself! by James Altucher (Paperback - June 3, 2013)
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