“Choose Yourself”

James Altucher is one of my favorite people on the internet.

I love his writing style. He uses a simple language and writes in a raw, honest way.

I love what he writes as well. The tagline for his site summarizes what he writes very well: ideas for a world out of balance.

He presents these ideas based on his own experiences. He made and lost more than a million dollars. He hit the rock bottom and came back from there.

From what I can read, I see he is so much happier now than before.

Some people perceive his ideas to be outrageous, but he usually gives reasons why he believes what he believes, and that means he’s not simply making seemingly-outrageous claims out of nowhere.

He published a new book called “Choose Yourself” recently. If you are new to James Altucher’s works, this book will be a great starting point for learning from his ideas.

In this book, James talks about why choosing yourself is important and how to practice choosing yourself by practicing what he calls the daily practice. You can read more about the daily practice here. It’s a bunch of commonsense ideas that will keep you happy both physically and mentally.

I practice a version of the daily practice as well, though it’s not structured well. I’m not necessarily pumped up 24 hours a day (in fact, it hardly happens). But, more importantly, I don’t feel unhappy at all.

I’ve been choosing myself for as long as I’ve lived, more or less. And now, I feel a bigger urge to choose myself more and more.

(By the way, I sometimes wonder if what I write sounds more heroic and grand than what it actually is. I hope it doesn’t, because there’s nothing heroic or grand about it. But, I guess that’s an unnecessary worry.)

Are you choosing yourself? Or do you tend to follow a path given to you? The path that many other people seem to follow whether they like it or not?

When I talk with people and ask what they want to do… I often sense that they do want to choose themselves, but don’t know what to do about it, or simply give up, assuming this is the way it’s supposed to be.

Actually, it’s entirely up to you to choose yourself and to follow your own path. I can’t force you to do it. I’ve been choosing my own path, and that’s leading me to sleeping on the floor and things like that sometimes, except it’s not that bad and there are people who do sleep on the floor out of necessity. (You have a bed? That’s something you can be grateful for!)

I like what I do, but it’s definitely not all flowery or something I’d recommend to everyone. I do recommend everyone to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, though.

If you are interested in choosing yourself and have courage to take a little step, I recommend you to read James’s book and start doing the daily practice.

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From Thailand To…

All I know is that it happened somewhere between Krabi and Bangkok. I don’t know when exactly it happened. I mean, I know it happened some time between 10am on 31 May and 10am on 1 June. Anything more than that, I don’t know.

I left Krabi on 31 May. I caught a local bus to Krabi’s bus terminal. Then I waited for the bus for Surat Thani. The bus left the terminal at 12:30pm. When I got to Surat Thani, it was about 5pm.

I caught another bus to Surat Thani Station. I went there to catch a night train. I could only get a 2nd class normal seat. No sleepers. This is what happens when you don’t book in advance. But this is not what I’m talking about when I say it happened.

I suppose most trains in Thailand don’t run on time. I had thought I would arrive in Bangkok around 8am rather than 6am, which was the expected arrival time. On the contrary to my low expectation, I did arrive in Bangkok around 6am.

I was planning to go to Bangkok BJJ’s lunch time open mat session. I killed some time at Hualumpoon Station by doing my regular copywriting exercise as well as some other writing exercises.

I was glad to be back in Bangkok and looking forward to seeing my friends there.

I caught a subway to get to another part of the city and went to a favorite cafe of mine in Bangkok.

There, I did some more writing.

And there, I noticed something.

It was just before 10am. I decided to leave the cafe and took out my wallet. It’s actually a small coin purse with a money clipper. I keep my cards–a credit card and a debit card–in the pocket of the purse.

There was only one card in the pocket. My debit card was missing. It was the only means for me to withdraw cash from ATM. And I lost it.

Lesson: Always have a backup plan. (I actually did have two cards before, but I cancelled one of them when I got spiked and got my money stolen from the account linked with that card in the Philippines last year. I didn’t get a replacement card for that account. The bank seems to have forgotten and I couldn’t be bothered too much. Big mistake.)

I’m not upset or anything, but this changed my plan.

After spending a few days in Bangkok… now I’m back in Japan.

In a sense, Japan is another destination, even though it’s my home country. So, I actually don’t see this move as the end of my travel at all, but I will be there until… I leave there again. It might be soon. It might be more than a couple of months.

I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot these days. Those who let me stay at their places. Those who buy me food. Those who do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with me. Those who inspire me. Those who support me. Those who read what I write. I feel grateful for all of you.

I feel like I haven’t given back enough. I even feel I haven’t given back at all.

I hope I’ve become more compassionate than who I was before, because I know what it’s like to be in trouble and to be helped by kind people everywhere.

All these experiences are pushing me into the path of a sharer and giver, and make me want to have power to create something valuable so I can share it with others.

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