In my last post I wrote about what happens to me when I choose others more often than I choose myself. It’s not pretty.
I got so busy being busy with my job and home life that I pushed the things that feed me out of most days. I was tired, cranky and not feeling well physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
It took a few months of this before I realized that I needed to choose myself.
When the Student Is Ready…
I have precious little time to sit and read but have 3+ hours of commuting a day to listen to great podcasts and audiobooks. One of my favorite podcasts is Chris Brogan’s Human Business Way. Over the past few months Chris interviewed James Altucher three times. I loved all of these interviews and resonated with what they discussed.
James is an investor, entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, chess master and writer. He has succeeded big and failed even bigger numerous times. He knows what it’s like to be on top of the world and to lose everything (money, family, friends, health and happiness).
It’s from these experiences (what some may call failures) that he has learned the importance of choosing yourself first and foremost.
When he chose himself each day, he succeeded at whatever he was working on. When he forgot this practice, everything fell apart. The most effective way he put the pieces back together each time was by choosing himself.
When James talked about his latest book, Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream, I had to get it. I listened to it twice during my commutes recently.
It’s the message I needed to hear and I’m guessing that you could benefit from it too.
The premise of the book is (quoted from the book):
This is about a new phase in history where art, science, business and spirit will join together, both externally and internally, in the pursuit of true wealth. It’s a phase where ideas are more important than people and everyone will have to choose themselves for happiness. They will have to build the foundation internally for that choice to manifest. And from that internal health the rest will come, whether it’s a business, art, health, success.
The systems we’ve relied on to keep us safe are changing quickly and can no longer be relied on. There’s no such thing as a “safe and secure” job. A college education doesn’t guarantee you any kind of job. Governments don’t support the average citizen but are at the beck and call of giant corporations with questionable motives. The banking systems have been showing their cracks for years. Healthcare is about profit, not healing or wellness.
It’s not all bad news. It’s simply change.
It’s time for us to be, do and have differently. It’s time for us to choose ourselves and take responsibility for our own lives and happiness. If we don’t, no one else will.
The Daily Practice
How do you choose yourself? Two things:
Only do things you enjoy.
This doesn’t have to mean ditch everything in your life that you don’t like. It could, but it doesn’t have to. We still have to work and pay the bills.
I’m not just talking about those “only pursue a career you enjoy” platitudes. I mean it down to your very thoughts. Only think about the people you enjoy. Only read the books you enjoy, that make you happy to be human. Only go to the events that actually make you laugh or fall in love. Only deal with the people who love you back, who are winners and want you to win too.
This is a daily practice.
Stop saying “yes” to things to please other people. Every time you do, you’re selling your time, your life energy, your soul.
The Daily Practice
The Daily Practice involves feeding your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Doing this makes you holistically healthy and happy enough to choose yourself and create your own amazing life.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Drink lots of water.
- Move your body (walking is perfect).
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you and avoid everyone else.
- Speak less and listen more.
- Express gratitude.
- Write down ten new ideas every day on any topic.
- Move your thinking out of the past and future (worries, regrets, anxiety, anger, fears) and into the present where everything is much more peaceful.
James offers a list of specific things you can do every day to make this daily practice simple.
Make your intention to choose yourself and take a little action on that intention every day.
Your Outer World Is a Reflection of Your Inner World
People build up a life, it becomes unsatisfactory, and they want to figure out how to change it like an outfit on a doll.
But you can’t change life from the outside. We all know this now. In the Choose Yourself era, it is only possible to give up the normal contraptions of externalized identity and live a life more free than you can imagine if you start from the inside out. Where every day is an adventure. And every time you look in the mirror, a new person is there.
If you want to change your life, YOU have to change from the inside out.
It’s you – your thoughts, your moment-to-moment choices, your beliefs, your attitude – that create the life you’re living.
The second half of Choose Yourself is a treasure trove of stories of real people who have experienced many types of success by choosing themselves.
Rather than just giving you a tactical “how to” on the steps these people took to get to where they are (although he does include some of this), more importantly, James looks into their ways of thinking and being. He highlights the lessons we can learn and implement in our daily lives to express and live our own amazing lives.
What kind of person chooses themselves? How do they do that? How does that lead to success?
- Be you. Be real.
- Show up.
- Learn to ride the waves that will always come.
- Find time for stillness.
- Take care of yourself via the Daily Practice.
- Find ways to help others and do those things.
- Keep the ideas flowing and have “idea sex.”
- Promote yourself and your ideas because no one else will.
- Fail often and learn from those experiences.
- Know that only about 30% of the people out there will like you. Don’t worry about the other 70%.
The more of the book I read, the better I felt about myself and all my quirks. I also felt more confidence about the greatness I have to share with others.
And ultimately, a happy you will be the greatest contribution you can make toward a happy society. [Tweet this!]
A Gift for You
In his interview with Chris Brogan, James said that he didn’t care if he made any money on Choose Yourself. He just wanted people to read it and implement the Daily Practice and other ideas in their daily life to make the world a better place.
After listening to the book, I completely agree with him. This message is critically important to our personal happiness and the happiness of the world.
I emailed James and asked him if he would send me three copies of his book to share with my readers. He replied almost instantly and said that he was sending ten. They were at my house two days later. Wow!
If you would like me to send you one of these copies, leave a comment below describing how you think this book will help you. I can’t wait to read your ideas!
You can learn more about James at www.JamesAltucher.com.
P.S. – I’m writing this on my flight home from Portland, OR where I attended the World Domination Summit. Attending an event like this is the ultimate form of choosing yourself.
I was surrounded by 2,800 of the most amazing people who are out to save/change the world by expressing their gifts in their own unique ways.
It’s the biggest gathering of positive, inspiring, uplifting, motivational and awesome people I could imagine.
After reading Choose Yourself again to write this review and attending WDS, I’m inspired all over again to choose myself and my happiness so that I can help you to do the same.
Thank you so much for being a part of the Simple Mindfulness community!
Enter your name and email below to receive The Mindful Living Guide and the latest from the blog. You know your life will be better for it.
Having trouble focusing? Here are my secrets and those of 36 other very smart and focused people: 99 Smart Ideas: How to Focus: 37 Experts Reveal Their Best Tips.
Hear the story of my life on the Join Up Dots podcast! http://bit.ly/jud-465
David and I discuss what was going on in my head when I left a great job in Boston to venture west and into the unknown to create the life of my dreams. We also discuss my approach to life that anyone can adopt that keeps me happy. Check it out HERE!
Living intentionally means being present to the moment, living your values and ending up where you intended to be, living how you intended to live.
But there's no way to really do that unless you have thought about where you want to end up and how you want to live. It's the "how" part that we all seem to forget about.
In this list of 100 Things To Do Before You Die, you'll be challenged because you won't just be thinking about your adventures. You'll also be thinking about the ways you want to grow, learn and give. This gets you focused on the "how."
Go ahead and dive into this list, and if you want the full 100 Things, get them here at Wishing Well Coach, a blog for people who want to have more fun and do what they care about at work.
Find out how to easily (and happily) manage your weight with mindfulness using the Mindful Body Program.