I started reading Choose Yourself by James Altucher after hearing about it in a YouTube video I was watching. In the video they mentioned “idea sex” and that sounded interesting!
It’s hard to explain what this book is about… it’s about choosing yourself – but not in a selfish, “me first” sort of way. It’s more about not waiting around for someone to choose you for something, rather choosing yourself for it. For example, rather than waiting for a publisher to choose your book for publishing, you choose yourself and self publish. Rather than waiting for someone to come along and hire you, you set up your own business.
This book is so much more than just that though, and contains loads of ideas and advice. It also puts forward an interesting hypothesis: the idea that the world is changing; work is changing. The jobs many of us used to do just don’t exist any more. The answer? Come up with an awesome idea, and start your own business. Rather than looking for the ideal job, create the ideal job!
The ideas in this book really appealed to me. I went out on my own because as a single parent, I wanted hours that would fit around my time with S. What I’ve ended up with is hours that fit around S and work that I enjoy and am more motivated to do than any other job I’ve ever had.
And now, the idea sex! The basic premise is that you can have lots of mediocre ideas but if you combine two of them, you might come up with an absolutely outstanding one. The example used in the book is Facebook: it combines stalking and the internet. And Twitter: combine the Internet with the old SMS character limit. Neither sounds brilliant on paper, do they? And yet…
This book has loads of lists. A list of ideas, a list of reasons to do something, a list of examples, a list of habits. That makes it really easy to read because the text is essentially split into short paragraphs. The style and language also make it an easy read. No unnecessarily complicated sentences or showy long words. It’s written in the same way Altucher speaks in his podcast – which you should definitely check out, if you’ve not heard it before.
Like last week’s book, this one is great for anyone who feels a bit stuck or lost in their life, as if they’re not sure where to go next. I would recommend it to anyone as it has the potential to be life changing.