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I Was Blind But Now I See: Time to Be Happy Paperback – 16 Sep 2011

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace (16 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466347953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466347953
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 926,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
"I Was Blind But Now I See" is Altucher's second venture into the self-help genre. It's full of many anecdotes from his life experience, punctuated by the occasional useful instruction and many over-the-top viewpoints (e.g. "I'd rather shoot myself in the head than own a home"). The book very easy and entertaining to read, with even the odd laugh-out-loud moment.

However, for someone such as myself, who reads all of his blog posts, it was disappointing at the lack of new content in the book. Most of its content is rehashed from blog posts, with few new concepts or ideas. So great if you've read one or two of his posts and want to know more. Not so great if you've already read his previous book and been following him for a while; you won't gain nearly as much.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Funny, witty and full of challenging thoughts. Brilliant book for those who feel trapped in their own paradigms and know deep down there is a better way to find happiness. This will kick your arse!. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's refreshingly honest. It is simple in its tone and content. It's a self-help book and a bit `new-agey' but has gravitas because the guy has failed. A lot of success manuals are by people that have either not achieved anything themselves - apart from writing self-help books! Or they don't talk about their failures. This book feels real. I like the fact that he's willing to constantly re-invent himself. I'd like to be that brave. I like the fact that he doesn't own a house (ignoring all the financial reasons he states) to keep himself mobile, fluid. I can see how owning a house can be limiting but it's not just about the mortgage. I, like a lot of other people, are tied to where they live by family, jobs other family members may have, where your kids are at school and college etc.

There are the occasional beautiful nuggets in the form of perfectly formed sentences - simple one-liners that you can store for use later. These are the lines, or quotes, that we all come out with when someone asks for advice. I'm sure they've been said before but time will probably attribute them to JA. He's no Steven Covey or Antony Robbins and that's a good thing. There's none of their fluffy positive thinking, just honesty. The guy looks like a geek so I can relate to that ;)

I have a small problem with the Spirituality component of The Daily Practice because I'm an atheist. There's a small amount of text mentioning God but not too much. He's pretty clear that Spirituality doesn't have to be about religion so I suppose I'll have to explore how I find my spirituality - an interesting intellectual challenge if nothing else. Research has shown that Praying does no good for the person you're praying for but it does do good for the person doing the praying...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f602d20) out of 5 stars 116 reviews
128 of 131 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa04c1db0) out of 5 stars Honest review from a twitter follower 30 Dec. 2011
By NotoriousDIK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For perspective, I started following James Altucher on twitter and his blog after someone I knew sent me a link to his blog. I felt we thought the same way about a lot of things, and I feel it reassuring and motivating to follow his writing. It's not for everyone, but it works for me, so I continue to do so... because of this, I decided to purchase his book thinking it might expand a bit on his blog. Unfortunately it really doesn't... but that being said I could recommend buying the book or not buying based on the following:

DON'T buy the book if:
1. You're strapped for cash - really everything is already on his blog for free.
2. Critical of poor editing or typos - Unfortunately since a lot of this is cut and pasted from the blog it has some glaring references to links etc that could have been cleaned up prior to printing. Also quite a few typos.**
3. If you haven't read his blog first. Read the blog first and decide if you want to buy the book based on the below.
4. You're hoping for him to expand on the blog... for the most part he doesn't do this much.

BUY this book if:
1. You like the blog and would like to try to capture a good bit of it all in one place without clicking around, or if you'd like to read somewhere without internet. i.e. most airplanes, camping, etc. I got it mostly for this reason (and the thought it might expand on the topics)
2. You like James' writing and want him to keep doing it. I felt good buying the book and basically throwing a few $$ to him. Also, I really think he's sincere in loving what he does. I appreciate it and want him to keep doing it, no better way to say that then buying the book.
3. You like the blog and want to genuinely share it with someone. e-mailing the blog hardly works, we're overloaded with the information in the internet as it is, but buying the book for someone shows conviction and commitment, and the person you want to read it probably will at least start it. (yes I realize I starting reading from a link, got lucky I guess)

Hope this helps!

**Note to James: Try sending a copy of your next book to some of your followers for free to proof read. I'm sure they'd be happy to get an early copy of some of your writing, and you get some free editing! Win-Win!
172 of 182 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9eafb06c) out of 5 stars Like a box of chocolates 23 Sept. 2011
By Gary North - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book reminds me of Forest Gump's mother's description of a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get. As with any book you read, you will forget 90% within a week; 98% within a month. So, you want to know what you should concentrate on.

If you are in the corporate world, go to page 83: "What You Need to do if You Were Hired Today." Read to page 89. Then read it again. Then read it again. He offers 10 rules. All of them are good. If you systematically implement all of them, you will stand out as a contender. But Pareto's 20-80 law holds true here as elsewhere. You won't implement all of them. So, implement 20% of them. That means two. Which two? #4 and #10. (Buy the book to find out the 10 rules.)

If your marriage is in trouble, go to page 101: "25 Dates Until I Met Claudia." Read to page 106. There, he describes the post-divorce singles scene. I can think of nothing I have read recently that is more likely to motivate you to work on your marriage.

What about college? He says not to go. He explains why from page 37 to 48. I also say not to go. I earned a Ph.D. But I have a variation: earn a degree; just don't go. If you want my strategy, search for "college," $11," and "YouTube."

His section on keeping your mouth shut at dinner parties except for asking an occasional question is good advice. It begins on page 155 and goes to 158. This may be the most difficult advice to follow in the book.

If you want to write a book, read his section on self-publishing. It will save you a lot of grief. It will also get you published. It starts on page 91 and goes to page 96. His stories on how little money successful authors make by letting a conventional publisher publish the book should be required reading in every school of journalism and every course on creative writing. It begins on page 96 and goes to 101.

Cherry pick this book. Chocolate-covered, of course.
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e991918) out of 5 stars James & the Amazing Technicolor Stories. 1 Oct. 2011
By Richard M. Rosso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James Altucher is real. His writing is real. You wince a bit. His candid, raw style will make you laugh, get you to ponder, you'll get angry at what shades the truth from us. He pulls you into his personal trials. He takes you along through the good and bad of his life. He's an open book. He's there to teach. All along the way you're thinking and questioning all the dogma you've been force fed your entire life. Your mind is awake. You may never feel the same again. You may not agree with some of his thoughts but it doesn't matter. There's something in this book you will learn. You'll be happier, or healthier, or smarter.

James has an amazing ability to rattle and get readers to re-think the American "religions" like owning a home (no) or going to college (why?). James has gone through more highs and lows than most living things on the planet. He has an incredible gift to not only recall the experiences, but examine them in an objective, self-reflective manner and in some way, he is all of us at different times in our own lives. His lessons are strong, built on life stories. And as a muse and teacher he shares his worst and best of times with readers so they ultimately may be better. And happy.

Some of the the most thought-provoking elements of the book: "Be a Human" beginning on page 167. Why are we angry? James is correct that we are in a depressive cycle as we've been battered by a pretty tough decade. How do you rise above? How did he? "Success is a Sexually Contagious Disease," starting on page 107, hit home for me. I've battled all the challenges he raises like sadness, forgetting who you are, anxiety, thinking that "if I get this I'll be happy." But what is true happiness? James lays it out.

Recently, I had a chance to walk NY streets with James Altucher and I shared with him my own weaknesses, my challenges because through his writings he provides insights into what makes us human, what connects us as people and also what the hell is wrong with us, too. You want to share with him you just hope you don't wind up a story in his blog! He filters lessons through his own life prism which makes the entire read entertaining as well as enlightening.

I'm carrying this book with me at all times. Readers should sign up to follow James on Twitter and sign up for his popular blog: [...]. Believe me, you won't regret it.
42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea8e348) out of 5 stars Simplistic solutions, obvious advice 20 Dec. 2011
By Derek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Short review:
This book has no direction, no structure, is riddled with typos (open the book to a random page and I guarantee you will find at least one typo), offers incredibly simplistic and impractical solutions to complex problems, and hands down advice that any high school graduate should already know (don't hang around "crappy people" and be honest). I don't normally write negative reviews, but I only bought this book when I stumbled on these glowing Amazon reviews. I wish someone had written what I wrote here and kept me from purchasing this book.

Long review:
This just might be the most pointless book I have ever read. I don't want to be mean, but Altucher's outlook on the world is incredibly simplistic and his recommended solutions to the world's greatest problems usually involve nothing more than "don't do it" or "abolish it." The entire book is basically an angry rant.

The first half of this book was so frustrating to read, I almost stopped. Here are just a few examples of his recommendations.

Problem: Academia burdens students with a massive debt. Many new students go into college with no idea what they want to do for a career. I agree.

Solution: Don't go to college. Altucher's lawyer only prints off legal forms for the author to fill out. The author asks if that isn't something he could have learned on the job. (This is chock full of problems. Just off the top of my head: 1) His experience with his lawyer does not reflect the breadth of his lawyer's capabilities or knowledge. 2) Nearly all professions require some previous knowledge that can't be learned on the spot. I, for one, wouldn't want to be admitted to a hospital only to find my life depends on a doctor who is getting on-the-job training, but has been too busy thus far to study any medical texts -- doctors don't have loads of free time when at the hospital.)

Problem: U.S. Presidents have been largely incompetent. Their ability to affect change is extremely limited, being largely confined to making recommendations to the U.S. Congress and trying to shape the legislative agenda. (The author fails to mention that the President is in charge of the managing the entire federal bureaucracy and appoints his own cabinet, which is then approved by Congress.) The President and Congress are ineffective. I agree.

Solution: Abolish the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch. Instead we will have an internet voting system to pass every single bill. (This is just plain absurd. Who will write the bill? Who will suggest the bills? How will Americans have time to sit and read these bills, especially considering that most bills are hundreds of pages long and require legal opinions? Who is ultimately responsible for the federal government?)

Problem: Unemployment is crippling the country. I agree.

Solution: "Rather than taxing the middle class... why don't we figure out incentives for the 6 million private businesses to simply hire one more person each." (So... his solution to solving unemployment is to employ people. Does he think this isn't obvious? I can't believe I bought a book that acts like this is a novel suggestion.)

The second half of the book is designed to give the reader practical advice. This section is WAY too long because Altucher often takes the opportunity to go on long-winded angry rants and use unnecessarily graphic language (oozing pus). Essentially, his advice is:
Try and be happy;
Get rid of things that make you unhappy;
Try to make your day as smooth as possible (I completely disagree with this attempt to make things comfortable and easy);
Cut "crappy people" out of your life;
Be honest;
Wake up early;
And stop being so angry.

So the secret to being happy is to wake up early, don't hang around "crappy people," and just be happy. This isn't exactly mind-blowing information.

Now Altucher does make two decent suggestions. He recommends renting instead of buying a house because the housing market is wildly unpredictable and not worth the risk of going underwater. He also has some great advice for people who have been fired, such as establishing a network of past business contacts, cutting daily expenses, and keep a daily routine to stay busy. Despite these being kind of obvious, I agree, but these 5 or so pages do not make up for the 160+ I had hit on something relatively insightful. Altucher is in dire need of an editor/proofreader.

Oh, and he also says that people who criticize his works must have been molested or otherwise had a terrible childhood. That's certainly not the case with me, and I'm shocked a self-help author would be so dismissive and wildly inappropriate.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea1e624) out of 5 stars Not For Everyone 2 Oct. 2011
By PrinceNYC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spent the past 2 hours reading James Altucher latest book. I enjoyed it and would recommend it. It's not for everyone (but nothing is). If your goal in life is to make as much money as possible or to be famous then I think you should move on to a different book. If all you really want is to be happy then this might be perfect for you. James gives very specific tips (down to what time you should wake up every morning!) on what you should do if you want to be happy. I couldn't put it down and felt I learned some things. You can't ask for more than that.
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