July 9, 2020

Choose yourself by James Altucher

Key takeaways for me include:

  • Do not rely on others to help you with your career or personal life. James Altucher used to run a hedge fund and when you ‘hedge’ a bet, you are trying to limit the downside, similar to how you would not purely invest in a single stock for your portfolio.
  • People think that it is ‘safe’ to work in that stable job because you won’t get fired. Is it safe to leave your career with one or two people that can at any moment say ‘no’ to you and let you go? Instead, James advocates having multiple sources of income: investing, freelancing, side hustles, hobbies, etc. At any moment, if you get fired from your job, you have other sources of income that you can rely on.
  • Every single day, improve yourself by 1%. Think in all four quadrants of mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. This can include:
    • Physical
      • Exercise
      • Sports
      • Gardening
      • Building furniture
    • Mental
      • Doing the crossword
      • Watching TED talks
      • Building lego
      • Solving a jigsaw puzzle
      • Learning a language
      • Reading
      • Develop your idea muscle (see below)
    • Spiritual
      • Meditation
      • Journaling
      • Taking a walk in nature
    • Emotional
      • Hanging out with friends
      • Volunteering
      • Calling your parents
      • Sending a note out to someone you haven’t talked to in a long time
  • Develop your idea muscle. Come up with 10 ideas every single day. Do the ideas have to be good? Not at all. Why ten ideas? Because when you get around seven or eight ideas, your brain starts to ‘sweat’. You run out of all the obvious ideas and you really have to think. Similar to a muscle where you do ten repetitions, you get the most gains from that tenth repetition (except you cannot get there unless you do the other nine).