I listened to Choose Yourself!: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream by James Altucher in December. It was a great book. The premise is that to be successful in life, you need to work on yourself and the rest will fall into place.

In my experience, this is very true. My life has really expanded during the times that I was focused on improving myself mentally and physically. James brakes it down this way. You have four versions of You that are separate but have a common energy that flow through them. They are distinct entities, yet very connected. You must work on all of them daily if you want to be happy and prosper in this world. The areas are:

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional

Mental Fitness includes a really fun practice. He recommends coming up with 10 ideas everyday. It doesn’t really matter what your ideas are, but you must work you mind out everyday to tame it, otherwise it will tame you. He also recommends reading, and I think writing in a journal is a great mental exercise.

Physical Fitness, this is pretty obvious, but I like the areas that he broke this down into.

  • Food, you need to put good things in your system. Drop junk food, and things that are not good for you.
  • Exercise, you need to move your body at least 20 minutes everyday. It doesn’t matter what you do, but you need to get your heart rate up, and should break a little sweat.
  • Sleep, he recommends that you get a lot of sleep, 8+ hours. He also recommends that you wake up at 4:30 or 5:00 everyday to work on the areas outlined herein.

Spiritual Fitness he breaks this area down to one key point. He recommends that you practice being present or mindful. He says that you shouldn’t time travel, worry about the past or the future. If you’re washing your hands, you should just wash your hands. He mentions meditation, but doesn’t really focus on it. I think prayer and scripture reading fall into this area too, but it all starts with mindfulness

Emotional Fitness James insists that you remove negativity from your life. He recommends:

  • Less talking
  • More listening
  • No gossip
  • Surround yourself with people who make you happy
  • Reduce your exposure to negative people
  • Identify your emotions as they arise, and let them pass

The biggest point he makes here, in my opinion, is that you need to focus your day on Gratitude. This is something Tony Robbins talks about a lot, and I couldn’t agree more. Be thankful for everything, find ways to be grateful for the people, situations, and stuff in your life, and you’ll find yourself very satisfied.

The Daily Practice

Just knowing about the areas of yourself is only part of the solution. James proposes that you must work on improving in each of these areas every single day. He points out that each of his great successes have come after a few months of inner work.

In my life I have similar results. When I focus on taming my mind, improving my body, connecting with God, and living in a state of gratitude, I find that i’m firing on all cylinders. I get more done and I enjoy doing it. My relationships get strong, my finances improve, and in general I’m happy :)

Taken from my journal 12/23/2014