He lost millions of dollars…for the third time. But at what point did James Altucher finally decide to take control over his life?
Directed by Emmy award-winning director, Nick Nanton, “Choose Yourself” shares the true story about Altucher, a well-known hedge-fund manager, author, podcaster, and entrepreneur about the power ‘four bodies’ can have on not just his life, but our own.
Altucher is the author of at least 16 different books, including his 2013 personal-empowerment manifesto, “Choose Yourself,” in which this documentary is based on, in addition to playing host to his weekly podcasts, “The James Altucher Show” and “Question of the Day”, which are downloaded about 2 million times a month.
Back in 2016, The New York Times featured Altucher after the self-empowerment guru made the choice to become a “minimalist” for himself and his children.
“If I were to die, my kids get this bag,” Mr. Altucher said sardonically as he packed away his laptop, iPad, three sets of chinos, three T-shirts and a Ziploc bag filled with $4,000 worth of $2 bills (“People always remember you if you tip with $2 bills,” he said), and departed a friend’s loft on East 20th Street.
The Times article described his jump to minimalism as such:
…[he] let his lease expire on his Cold Spring, NY apartment and dumped or donated virtually everything he owned, more than 40 garbage bags of sheets, dishes, clothes, books, his college diploma, even childhood photo albums.”
But Business Insider jumped in to correct us all that Altucher does not consider himself to be a “minimalist” at all, rather, he doesn’t ascribe to any labels at all:
“I don’t like to think about a lot of things. Labels are things. We are the average of the five people we spend time with. But we are also the average of the five labels we assign ourselves,” he said. “I like to keep that list open. I am not an ‘entrepreneur.’ Or a ‘writer.’ Or a ‘minimalist.’ I like to wander around.”
Altucher has preached the “new” American Dream, describing the material items we hold so dearly (why we still care about that gold-embossed college diploma I’ll never know) as a “sham.”
And why does it seem like a sham?
“In the past 25 years, income has gone down for the 18-to-35-year-olds, student loan debt is at an all-time high,” Mr. Altucher said over a lunch of zucchini pancakes at a Russian restaurant in the Flatiron district. “We had $3 trillion in bailout money, and income inequality got higher than ever. People feel like they were scammed.”
It’s not too late, according to the entrepreneur, to change your life, because we all have something new we can learn:
“…pretend everyone was sent to this planet to teach you,” Altucher shared in an interview. “Famous people, dead people, your neighbors, your relatives, your co-workers. This will give you a strong feeling of humility. And guess what, you will learn from people, you will appreciate them more, and they will actually appreciate you more. Because everyone loves to teach.”
Helping to share Altucher’s story is DNA Films, which in partnership with Studio Movie Grill, released a special edition of the documentary back on July 10 for a limited time. But have no fear, for those who missed it, the series is coming to Amazon Prime.
Making its debut in August, Altucher’s story is being turned into an eight-part series available on Prime Video, which will share his full story, offering viewers a deeper dive into Altucher’s personal story, while sharing ways you can implement the “Choose Yourself” mentality to find happiness in your own life, whatever that means to you.