He’s the “Oprah of the Internet.”
Well, according to author Kamal Ravikant, he is. And, truth be told, we’re not exactly sure what that means.
Nonetheless, we admit, it looks impressive on the back of a book.
James Altucher’s brand new book, Reinvent Yourself…
What we can say about the “Oprah of the Internet” is he’s one of the most honest and raw writers in the infosphere.
His name, of course, is James Altucher.
[Taps fork on glass]
Small announcement: Laissez Faire will be working with James on some pretty cool stuff in 2017. So we’re very pleased to be celebrating with him today’s official release of his newest book Reinvent Yourself.
If you follow his work, you know Altucher has been through the fire. He knows how it feels to be snot-covered, crying, banging his fists on a cheap, linoleum floor wanting to die. (Or that scenario’s equivalent, at least.)
OK. Sure. I know what you’re thinking: Who doesn’t?
Well, what makes him unique is he’s very conscious of how precisely he pulled himself out of the archetypal Dark Night of the Soul and set himself on the path doing what he truly loves. And he’s good at conveying that information so anyone can “get it” without feeling like they’re being evangelized into another self-help cult.
Plus, he’s a great teacher.
Just a couple of days ago, to my surprise, James passed along a copy of Reinvent Yourself so I could check it out before the release. (In a moment, I’m going to share with you eight profound insights to personal reinvention I’ve had so far.)
There’s a great quote by Yogi Bhajan: “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”
It seems Altucher is hip to the Bhajan: “I wrote the book,” he said, “to help me figure it out. I spoke to hundreds of peak performers in every area of existence to figure out how they did it.”
What did he learn? “Reinvention is scary. And it’s risky. But it is unavoidable.”
Scary or not, reinvention is absolutely essential. One can only surf the waves of past victories for so long.
As Picasso said (a quote I found in the book): “Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.”
Like all great books, Reinvent Yourself is a rollercoaster of self-discovery. I’m only on page 88 and I could rattle on for the rest of the week about what I’ve written down in my journal.
But, for your sake, I’ll whittle down my insights to a formidable, square-jawed eight.
Since we’re friends, and I value your patronage, I’ll sneak you the secret formula (just don’t you dare tell James)…
PLUS: Who are the people you can learn from? Real mentors, virtual mentors.
EQUAL: Who are the people who can challenge us? We can’t get better unless we are constantly challenged and then get feedback from our mentors.
MINUS: Who are the people we can teach and share with and make an impact on? Without this, one can never truly become a master.
Reinvention can blow. But it’s worth it.
I was almost done with today’s episode. But then I realized it was too shallow. It didn’t do the book justice. As it stood, it was only a suckle of milk for the babes. It needed more meat.
So I trashed it. And then I took Altucher’s advice and reinvented it.
I’m glad I did, too. My understanding of Altucher’s message has consequently massaged itself even deeper into my neurons.
First off, if you’re a longtime patron of LFT, you might already be aware of my opinion on happiness. People give me strange looks when I tell them I have no interest in being happy.
I think it’s overrated and the blind pursuit of it can be counterproductive at best and destructive if unchecked. Having purpose is far more important to me.
[Side note: Once I finally fully embraced this attitude I, paradoxically, became a happier person.]
Well-being, on the other hand, is something entirely different.
While happiness is dependent upon external factors, “You need to find well-being,” Altucher writes, “from within.”
Your well-being, says Altucher, is dependent upon constant reinvention and improvement of these three things:
“Increase those every day,” he says, “and you will find well-being. If all you do is the same thing every day, you will never increase those three things in your life. So reinvention occurs every day.
“It’s not something you wake up every five years and say, ‘OK, today is Reinvention Day.’”
Seriously. Through the mail. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve sent a snail.
Specifically, I wrote four letters to current mentors for purposes of gratitude and three others for mentors I’d like to have for purposes of future growth.
Self-awareness goes a long, long way. I did something recently which I regret. I was reminded of my mistake when I saw this quote on page 60 from comedian Louis C.K.:
“Self-love is a good thing but self-awareness is more important. You need to once in awhile go, ‘Uh, I’m kind of an asshole.’”
Self-love is great. Atoning for your mistakes so more love can infect your life is even better.
In repentance, I’m sending an email to my “victim.”
Hopefully, it is well received.
Imagine, for one moment, the following statement is 100% fact: “Everything you imagine is real.”
With this kind of power, what will (not might, will) you accomplish before you pass on from terra firma? Can you think of seven impossible things?
I wrote down three. I’m thinking deeply about the rest.
What’s weird is, though they seemed impossible at first, my mind has already come up with a couple of ways they could actually work.
Such is the power.
Did you know Jimi Hendrix made about 70 albums before he died… AT THE AGE OF 27???
And Barbara Cortland, whoever that is, wrote 700 novels in her life. 700!
Sure, they were (apparently) all cut from the same formula (and they were ALL romance), but 700 books!
More incredible, Picasso produced nearly 50,000 works of art. Think about that. Even if he painted a large “X” on 50,000 canvases, that would still be an incredible feat of discipline. But art!
And, finally, I learned that James Altucher himself has published 17 books and over 2,000 articles.
(Hear that shrill semi-heroic wailing sound off into the distance? No, that’s not a beached whale. That’s me. Stepping up my game… by taking up advice I discovered on page 77 and furiously copying geniuses.)
Barbara Cortland (I looked her up and know who she is now) wrote 23 books in her 82nd year, for heaven’s sake.
Don’t wait. It’s never too late until, out of nowhere, it is.
So, what I’m trying to tell you is the book is great. The “Internet’s Oprah” has a mind like a diamond. And I consider it essential reading in 2017.
So with that, I have only one remaining question for you today: What are you still doing here?
The Work is waiting. (And good news: The Kindle version of Reinvent Yourself is only two measly U.S. fiats.)
(I humbly recommend you write down your process of reinvention in a journal. Seriously. Future-you will read it in five years and thank me.)
[Ed. note: Altucher couldn’t have picked a better time to publish Reinvent Yourself. I think 2017 is THE YEAR to let go of that which no longer serves you and get in line with who you are and what you stand for. It’s not merely a choice anymore. It’s pivotal. It is necessary. There’s no more time for pussyfooting around or walking on eggshells trying to please those who might disagree with you. There’s no more time for arguing about things which don’t matter. It’s time to reinvent yourself, be unapologetic about who you are, and build your best future. Reinvent Yourself is a great way to begin this work in 2017: Click here to grab your copy.]
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
P.S. Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.
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