My Notes on Choose Yourself by James Altucher


I’ve been listening to James Altucher podcast lately, and because he is such an interesting human being, I decided to read one his books: “Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream”.

Choose Yourself in Tough Times

This book covers some important moments of his life. He talks a lot about the way he messed up everything in his life for more than 3 times.

Those were dark and difficult moments, he lost everything he had. He lost his wife. He lost millions. He lost friends. He lost his job.

I really admire the author for having the courage to tell us his story. His human story. Because just like all of us, he made a ton of mistakes. 

I’m glad I read this book, because sometimes we think about really successful people as some sort of “perfect heroes”. Heroes that know exactly how to be successful without much effort. Heroes who were simply lucky in life. Heroes that make no mistakes at all.

That’s not true, of course.

And I’m really happy that James wrote his authentic story, full of tough moments. That end the illusion of thinking about successful people as “perfect”.

Daily Practise:

Despite all the dark moments, James learnt (the hard way) how he could be successful by implementing tiny and healthy habits in his life (“daily practise”).

Here are some of the things you should do, than can definitely change

-Writing 10 ideas every day, in order to become an “idea-machine” (I’m doing this everyday, and I’m loving the experience);

-Sleep! (Yes, it is really important in order to be healthy);

-Think of 5 people you are grateful in your life everyday (I write in my journal, 5 things I’m grateful for);

-Exercise!!! (I do it 2 times a week… yes, I need to improve on this one).


Do What you Love:

If there’s one thing I’m good at is: doing what I love.

Of course there are times that you need to do things you really don’t want to. That’s acceptable sometimes.

But honestly, most of the times I just refuse to do things that I do not want to. Because: “if it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a no”.

Life is so short to waste doing meaningless actions.

When your think about it, it is just stupid. Why the hell are you doing things you hate? Why are you saying yes to things you do not want to do?

You are the one who can decide which things you want to do, and which ones you don’t. You are in control of your own life!


Finding your Purpose:

“Forget purpose. It’s okay to be happy without one. The quest for a single purpose has ruined many lives.”

I have no idea what my purpose is. But I’m not freaking out about it right now (like I did before).

Because I noticed that most people have no idea either. It’s totally ok!

Try different things, work in your side-hustle, master some skills, give your best in everything you do! Those are ways to find your purpose.

I just keep doing the things I love in order to find it!

Oh, I just found my purpose!!!


Doing what I love is my purpose! 

Who said that you can only find one thing that you love to do, and consider it your purpose?


Help Others:

Helping the other is really important for me, and for my friend James! Contributing positively for other people’s lives’ is something I grew up with, because of my family example.

James’ suggests having a goal of helping 1 person per day. Simple things can change someone’s day or life. Connect two people who can help each other!

Here are some ideas I come up with to help others:

-Give ideas to create a business in their area;

-Give/borrow a book that could change lives;

-Give advice;

-Make other’s smile;

-Give your ideas for free;

-Leave a funny/lovely/personal letter in a public space;

-Give your time;

-Talk with somebody who is sad;

-Give flowers or books to strangers;

-Offer your knowledge.


James is a spectacular interesting person! I definitely recommend this book!

Some people say the order of the content is disorganised and confusing. I think it’s authentically organised!

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