10 ways I choose myself

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you probably know I am not someone to shy away from a challenging goal. I have been a fan of British entrepreneur Richard Branson for a long time. His story, his lifestyle and his attitude are a great inspiration to me. When I added “Meet Richard Branson” to my bucket list of 100 goals many people suggested that this would be impossible to achieve.

You can read about my efforts to meet Sir Richard in my original blog posts:

So now I’ve set myself a new goal. I have been reading a book by a guy called James Altucher called “Choose Yourself”. James and I seem to share a few similar thoughts on life. In his book he talks about the choices we make and how they impact the life we live.

Become an “idea machine”

I particularly like his ideas about the “idea muscle”, which suggests that our brain is in many ways just like our muscles. We need to train it and use it regularly if it is to remain in peak working condition. James goes on to say that we need to become an “idea machine”, and suggests that we do this by coming up with ten new ideas every day. It doesn’t matter if they are good ideas or terrible ones – the goal is simply to make the brain work hard, as we do with our muscles when we go to the gym.

James also hosts an inspirational podcast in which he often interviews people who have, in his words, “transformed their life and created the life they wanted. I want my guests’ stories to help my listeners.”

Well, if you know my story I’m sure you’d agree I have transformed my life immeasurably. From the emails I receive I also know that many people are very inspired by what I have done and continue to choose to do. I would suggest I am a perfect fit for the “Choose Yourself” ideology.

A new goal

So I have set myself the goal of talking to James Altucher, and hopefully have him consider me worthy of appearing as a guest on his podcast.

Maybe you could help me achieve my goal? I’d be very grateful if you could send James a message asking him when he is going to interview Ian Usher.

You could even direct him to this post:

Here’s where you can contact him:

I began following James’s suggestion of exercising my idea muscle, and yesterday came up with ten ideas to solve the issue of people stealing others’ lunches from the workplace fridge – lunchboxes with a build-in fingerprint scanner was my favourite. This is one of the “initiative” questions in an English lesson I taught yesterday.

Ten ways I “choose myself”

Today I have been working on a list of ten ways I have chosen myself in the past, and continue to choose myself now. Here they are:

  1. In 2001 I chose myself when my wife and I sold pretty-much everything we had in England and moved to Australia to start a new life.
  2. When my wife and I separated I chose myself by not diving into a bottle of whiskey for comfort and solace.
  3. I chose myself when I retrained as a truck driver and drove out to a desert mining town, quickly securing a job as a highly paid dump truck operator in a gold mine.
  4. When it was time to move on from the sad reminders of the past I chose myself when I came up with the idea to list my “entire life” for sale on eBay.
  5. What would I do when I sold everything I owned? I chose myself by writing a bucket list of 100 goals, and setting out on a two-year adventure, tackling as many of my lifetime ambitions as I could.
  6. I chose myself when I couldn’t find a publisher for my book about my big adventure, by creating my own publishing company and figuring out how to publish the book myself.
  7. I chose myself when dealing with Walt Disney Pictures, who were interested in buying the movie rights to my story. I didn’t simply grab desperately for their initial offer, which meant I eventually secured a great deal.
  8. I followed my dreams by investing Disney’s money in something I knew would give me a lot of fun, pleasure, excitement and challenge. I didn’t simply invest in stocks and shares, or return to Australia and buy a property. I chose myself to become a Caribbean island owner.
  9. I chose myself again by deciding to self-publish my second book, Paradise Delayed. Who needs publishers in this wonderful modern world of connectivity and opportunity?
  10. Meeting my partner Vanessa meant we both made the decision to choose ourselves. We lived on the island for a year or so together, where we were chosen by someone else to be featured in a TV documentary. This is of course a pretty direct result of all of the choices I have made in my own favour.
  11. We chose ourselves again when we picked a new adventure, travelling for six months around South-western USA in an RV. This could truly be described as the trip of a lifetime.
  12. When the time came for a top-up of travelling funds we chose ourselves once more by deciding to live in a new country, experience a new culture, and work in a job that would be a lot of fun – we are currently working for about a year as English teachers in China.
  13. And we continue to choose ourselves on a regular basis by not owning any property (I’m in the process of selling the island), by never having any debt, and by picking the life we want to live. Australia next, where we will be house sitting a beautiful property in the Alpine mountains of Victoria.
  14. Finally, I choose myself to chat to James Altucher – over to you James!!
  15. Oh, and I choose myself to over-deliver, by coming up with a list of fourteen ways I have chosen myself.

Life is all about the choices we make. How do you “choose yourself”?

Leave a Reply 5 comments

Jerald - August 16, 2015 Reply

Ian, I can’t wait to hear you on the podcast. We miss you in Austin.

    Ian Usher - August 16, 2015 Reply

    Fingers crossed Jerald. Thanks for the intro. Still waiting to hear from James!

Socorro - August 25, 2015 Reply

Sorry we missed each other in Abu Dhabi. Sending my email to James.

    Ian Usher - August 25, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Socorro. Hopefully we’ll catch up next time.

Glen Heuschkel - September 3, 2015 Reply

I talked to a man from the Huffington post at the BEA and he asked the same question. When I set out to market and promote myself and my books, the first thing I decided to do was be positive, be honest and try everything at least once.

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