Ideas I found most valuable in Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher
Confirmation that reading a lot of books is crucial for success
Well, that depends on how you define success. The big takeaway that I got out of the book is that in order to really know the field of work you want to be in and become an expert in, you need to read 200 - 500 books on that topic. You have to put in the work and really know the people and ideas that shaped your specialty. You can't just have heard about these people and ideas, you need to have read their books, taken notes and pursued details by searching for the answers to your questions. After you've put in that work so that you know your craft, you will probably be in the top 100 people in the world in your specialty. Then you will probably be able to make significant money in that area of expertise.
This really resonates with me. 200 - 500 books.
I have not read that many books about business, but I'm on my way towards that. I've already learned a lot from the books I've read and re-read recently that I've been able to apply in my own business and the new project that I'm working on.
The last chapter and the appendix
I think that the last chapter on "What I learned from Chess" was my favorite. He probably closed the book with that chapter because of how strong it was. The lessons James learned from chess over many years and the advantages that being a chess player gave him in other areas of life were noteworthy. For instance, he talks about the cultural myth that Chess players are exceptionally intelligent. He says that they aren't necessarily that smart, but that perception gives chess plays an advantage and preferential treatment... even if they don't necessarily deserve it. James wrote about how he benefited from this many times throughout different stages of his life.
The appendix is a kind of step by step "how to" for reinventing yourself. It's both practical and humorous. I really like it and highly recommend getting this book if only for the last chapter on chess and this appendix. Excellent writing and many practical lessons.
Have you read this book?
Let me know if you've already read this book. Have you read any of James Altucher's other books? I think I may put his "Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth" on my reading list.
Don't hesitate to recommend your favorite business and personal development books in the comments. I'd appreciate it and I'm sure others would, too.
Until next time,