if i had to describe james altucher, i’d say he’s one of the most evolved humans on the planet.  through his majestic successes to fantastic failures, he’s reflected and learned during the journey.  best of all, he’s the epitome of honest in how he’s grown and how you can do the same.

i read pretty much everything that james writes, from his blog to his books (the title of this post being a mashup of two of my favorites: ‘i was blind, but now i see’ and ‘choose yourself’).  right when i think i’m numb to the ideas or that his thoughts start to repeat, james not only takes the idea to the next level, but he does so with a refreshing writing style that will make you smile and tweet along the way.  

you may have noticed i quote james in my about page and various bios around the web, but the truth is his ideas impact my daily life, and his latest book is no different.  the book started with some familiar themes around education, diet, and career -- littered, of course, with crazy ideas:

"in 1992 i wanted to move into a homeless shelter because i thought that girls who were homeless would be more likely to go out with me..."

but if you’re new to his writing, nothing to worry about in regards to repetition.  even for those who religiously subscribe to his newsletters and favorite his tweets, this book has a mix of great lessons, humor, and practical exercises to make it a must read.  

i’ve already recommended the book to a number of people that talk about being trapped or stuck or lacking the ability to choose yourself.  upon reading ‘choose yourself’, amazing how many times you will start to notice people not choosing themselves and how they voice this frustration.  as james says, if you don’t choose yourself, no one else will, and he shows you the way.  in actuality, it’s not that hard when framed correctly, just as the *flossing* anecdote in the book illustrates.


as the saying goes, always better to show than tell.  so rather than tell you all the ways that this book is amazing or the earth shattering / dead simple ideas you can take away from this book, all you really need to know about james’ genius is to see how he marketed (for lack of a better word) this book.

1) he made the book available for pre-sale via bitcoin.  brilliant, though hardly practical (likely james’ portfolio weighting in bitcoin was a bit light and this was a simple, cheap way to up the allocation).

2) dick costolo, the fucking ceo of twitter, wrote the foreword.  hard to imagine a better way to claw further into the mainstream (at least the mainstream of tech).  regardless, a huge testament to not only the book, but also the larger philosophy of #chooseyourself.  

3) he’s offered to refund everyone who buys the book if they demonstrate they read it (by posting a pic, writing a review, etc).  now james says he isn’t doing this for the money, and i have no reason to question him.  hell, james is more honest in his blog to the world than i am with myself.  but as i tweeted, this is pure genius, and i truly doubt that this refund “promotion” results in him making zero on this book.  if anything, i bet (and hope) he makes a lot more.

so while i’m following through and putting in for my refund (where james will send the money to women for women international - his charity of choice if you don't want the money back), my real hope (ask) is to one day meet this brilliant man.  perhaps take a chess lesson, or talk stocks.

in the meantime, i’ll be working on choosing myself.

Authorjonathan hegranes