This is the first book I read in 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here are my favorite takeaways:
- We are what we experience every day:
“You are not just the average of the five people around you. You’re the average of the five habits you do, the things you eat, the ideas you have, the content you consume, etc.”
2. Learning never stops.
“Many people die at 25 but are not put in the coffin until 75. The learning stopped for them early.”
3. Quantity might lead to quality:
“Try many things. One thing I realized is that quantity equals quality. People think it’s one or the other but it’s not. When you have a quantity of ideas and things you are trying, you will find quality.”
4. On mentoring:
“Believe it or not, sometimes it’s just as good (often better) to read all of their materials rather than be directly mentored.”
5. On how to be creative:
“People say, “Everything has already been written.” Everything has already been said. But that’s a lie. I think every outline has already been written. But each human has a unique fingerprint. Just putting that fingerprint on an outline makes it yours, different, unique. And through practice and vulnerability, you make that fingerprint something others want to see.”
6. On how to sell:
“If I want to sell an idea, if I want to convince, if I want someone to like to me, I have to figure out how to connect.”
7. On how to find your unique niche:
“It’s hard to be the greatest at any one endeavor, but by combining passions, it’s much easier to be the greatest in the world at the intersections of those passions (because there are billions of things that can intersect, you can find your own place in the “long tail of passion” to be the master of).”
8. Ideas are not enough. Turn them into a product or a service:
“But the only thing that gets results is action. Not a single ounce of greatness in history ended with thoughts. It happened with hands. With actions.”
9. On asking the right question:
“Money is a side effect of trying to help others: of trying to solve problems. So many people ask, “How do I get traffic?” That’s the wrong question. If you ask every day, “How did I help people today?” then you will have more traffic and money than you could have imagined.”
10. On how to diversify our life:
“When people associate the worth of their lives with any one activity, it’s deadly. We have to celebrate what we’re good at. But also celebrate other things in life the love of another person. Our friends. Something funny. I always have to tell myself to diversify my celebrations. Celebrate the small. Not always the big. “Meaning” is not just a victory. Meaning is a way of life.”
11. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice with the clear goal of getting better every day does. Some people say that they have 10 years of experience, but they have actually repeated their first year ten times.
“It’s not about 10,000 hours. It’s about 10,000 hours where you practice with intent.”
You have to constantly come up with new metrics to measure yourself, to compete against yourself, to reach beyond your last plateau.
12. A good story can open many doors:
“For 5,000 years or longer, humanity has driven forward with storytelling. Too many people forget that but the only way to really communicate effectively is through a story.”
13. On how to raise money for your startup:
Too many people say, “I have an idea. Now I need funding.” Don’t do that anymore. Stop it! Say instead, “I’m already doing this. Here are the 10 or 20 things I’ve done so far. Here are the results. Are you in?”
14. There are only two types of decisions in life. Fear of losing and fear of missing out are everywhere in life.
“There are only two types of decisions: decisions made out of fear and decisions made out of growth.”
15. Never let a good loss go to waste
“I still don’t like to lose. I hate it. It’s the worst feeling. But I never let a good loss go to waste. The only way to learn is to study something you never knew before. Losses are the maps that point you to what you never knew before.”
Source – Altucher, James (2017-01-05). Reinvent Yourself. Choose Yourself Media / James Altucher. Kindle Edition.