Summary - The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness - James Altucher

Summary - The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness - James Altucher


Here is a summary of the praise and accomplishments of James Altucher:

• James Altucher is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, and author.

• He is described as "scary smart" by Stephen Dubner, the author of Freakonomics.

• Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter, praises Altucher for choosing his unconventional path to success.

• Altucher's book The Power of No, co-written with Claudia Azula Altucher, has received praise from several authors:

› Kris Carr, the New York Times best-selling author of Crazy Sexy Kitchen, calls the book "bold, empowering, and useful."

› A.J. Jacobs, the New York Times best-selling author of Drop Dead Healthy, recommends the book to "any member of the human species."

› Cheryl Richardson, the author of The Art of Extreme Self-Care, says the book is "filled with magic that can change your life."

• Altucher has written several other books, including Choose Yourself, FAQ Me, and How to Be the Luckiest Person Alive!

• Claudia Azula Altucher, his co-author, has also written 21 Things to Know Before Starting an Ashtanga Yoga Practice.

• Together, James and Claudia Altucher run a website and podcast at

That covers the key highlights from the praise and accomplishments listed for James and Claudia Altucher. Let me know if you want me to clarify or expand on any summary part.

  • We all make mistakes in life that we regret. We make bad decisions about jobs, relationships, health, finances, etc.

  • Saying "no" is complex but powerful. It can help avoid many regrets and mistakes.

  • Getting caught up living a life that pleases others rather than yourself is easy. We often pretend to be happy when we're not.

  • The authors have made many mistakes by not listening to themselves and trying to please others.

  • They met each other when their lives were in disarray after not standing up for themselves and saying "no."

  • Learning to say "no" is a challenging but essential life skill. It leads to fewer regrets and a stronger sense of self.

The key message is that saying "no" is the second most powerful word, next to "love." It allows you to avoid the mistakes and regrets of living a life that pleases others rather than yourself. Although challenging, saying "no" leads to a life with fewer regrets and a stronger sense of self.

  • The authors did not know each other but simultaneously said " help, " leading them to discover the power of saying no.

  • Saying "no" leads to gratitude, compassion, abundance, love, surrender, and life.

  • As a young girl, the author Claudia had to choose between two aunts. She decided the aunt who sometimes said no to protect her, teaching her an early lesson about the importance of no.

  • Saying "I want to die" often means wanting to end old unhealthy patterns, not actual death. Saying no to unhealthy behaviors and thoughts can lead to a new life.

  • The author James considered suicide during a difficult time but said no after his daughter came to him afraid of bad dreams. He told her to list 100 things she was grateful for, and in doing the same himself, he chose not to kill himself.

  • Gratitude helps build the bridge between nightmares and freedom, delusions and creativity, death and life, poverty and wealth, anger and compassion.

  • The author dated a woman who judged him for his net worth and called him "crazy." He eventually said no to her and the unhealthy life he had built, transforming his life over the next six months.

  • Saying no to bad things allows yeses to compound in your life. While saying no under challenging situations may seem complicated, there is always a way. The power of no can transform your life.

  • The author sold his successful business for a lot of money in the early 2000s.

  • He then lost most of the money in bad investments and business ventures over the next year.

  • He hit rock bottom with only $143 left in his bank account. He couldn't sleep, lost weight, and was extremely depressed.

  • He tried meditation but was too anxious for it to work. He felt like he had let down his family and would die penniless.

  • He was forced to move with his family to a small town and couldn't leave the house for months due to depression and embarrassment.

  • He eventually realized he had to choose himself and get healthy again to provide for his family.

  • He started exercising, eating right, and working to improve himself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

  • Little by little, he rebuilt himself and his life through hard work and perseverance.

In summary, the key points are:

  1. Hitting rock bottom is an emotionally devastating experience but can be an opportunity to rebuild.

  2. Focusing on self-improvement and health is the first step to rebuilding your life.

  3. Hard work, perseverance and step-by-step progress can help turn things around after hitting bottom.

  • After their first date, the author fell in love with Tim, a talented pianist. She projected her desires onto him and loved him for qualities she wished she had.

  • Tim was inconsistent, disappearing for months at a time after dates. But the author continued to make excuses for him and believe they were meant to be together.

  • A friend told the author that Tim had no power over her - she was giving her control away by continuing to say yes to him when she should say no.

  • The author went on another date with Tim knowing it was wrong. She felt like she was dying a little inside. She realized she wanted an honest, loving relationship - not the leftovers Tim was offering.

  • When Tim called again, the author finally told him she never wanted to talk to him again. She stood up for herself and said no, ending the unhealthy dynamic.

  • The key message is that we need to learn to say no to people and relationships that are not good for us. Continuing to say yes when we should say no only diminishes our self-worth and happiness.

The author had a pattern of pursuing unavailable men and trying to control relationships. This led to feelings of loneliness, failure, and low self-worth. In her 40s, she realized this pattern was akin to an addiction. She asked God for "the death I must have"—an end to this cycle.

She attended a support group and admitted her struggles, which felt like "death" due to the embarrassment. However, it led to a lifesaving realization that she wasn't alone. She saw that her relentless pursuit of control and unavailable men meant she was never fully present in relationships. She followed "rules" and "strategies" from others instead of her truth.

The "death" she needed was acknowledging she couldn't control relationships and saying no to her obsession with control. Admitting she needed help led to connecting with others with similar struggles. She learned that vulnerability and imperfection were okay. Overall, the "death" of her old patterns gave way to a more authentic way of relating, and greater self-acceptance.

In summary, the author went through a transformative experience of letting go of unhealthy control and perfectionism in relationships by acknowledging her struggles, asking for help, and embracing vulnerability. This allowed for more fulfilling connections with others.

The author attended support group meetings to address her struggles with unhealthy relationships and love addiction. Over time, the sessions helped her gain insight into herself, set boundaries, and heal. She realized the importance of surrounding herself with like-minded people who could offer her support.

One day, the author shared with her support group that she was ready for a healthy, committed relationship where both partners respect and support each other. She let go of any expectations for the outcome. A month later, she met her now-husband, James, through online dating. They knew early on that they were meant to be together.

They created a private ceremony reiterating their desire for a loving, spiritual partnership to express gratitude for finding each other. Five years later, they remain happily married.

The author says the "big secret" to manifesting your desires is to speak them aloud to trusted others who can bear witness. This allows a higher power to enter the space, making your prayers and intentions more effective. By first saying "no" to unhealthy patterns, you open yourself to the "yes" and opportunities you seek.

The author recommends that readers try this technique for themselves. Find supportive people, share your desire aloud, let it go, and remain open to opportunities that arise to fulfill it. She also recommends trusting your instincts about people and believing them when they show you who they are, especially early on.

Here are some tips for overcoming the fear of no:

• No is rarely fatal. Rejection stings in the moment, but it's usually not life-threatening. The fear of no is often worse than no itself. Recognize that you will survive.

• No means next. A no from one person opens you up to a yes from someone else. View no as redirecting you to the next opportunity.

• Don't take it personally. A no is usually more about the other person's wants and needs. It's not a reflection on you or your worth.

• Have a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe abilities are static. With a growth mindset, you believe abilities can be developed through effort. A growth mindset will help you learn from and improve if you face rejection. View no as feedback that enables you to grow.

• Prepare for possible objections. If you're asking for something big, like a promotion or raise, consider possible reasons someone might say no. Then you can address them and increase your chances of yes. Viewing potential nos in advance lessens their fear factor.

• Make no your friend. The more you face rejection and survive it, the less frightening it becomes. No is an inevitable part of life, so practice viewing it with detachment and calmness. Become comfortable with the discomfort. With practice, the fear will lessen.

• Focus on the benefits of yes. When facing a fear of no, shift your mind to focus on the positive outcome. Picture what yes would look like and feel like. This can motivate you to move forward despite the fear. And remember, you have a 50/50 chance of yes!

• Learn from every no. When you do receive a zero, evaluate the experience. See if there are any lessons you can take from it to improve for next time. Finding meaning in the rejection will make you feel less fearful and helpless in the face of no. You'll gain a sense of control and mastery.

With practice and persistence, no can become far less frightening. You will build confidence in facing rejection, and become adept at learning from the experience and moving on quickly to the next opportunity. The fear of no will fade, and you'll become comfortable taking risks, asking more significant questions, and reaching higher.

  • We are often wrong in our assumptions and judgments. Science, beliefs, and understandings are constantly changing and evolving.

  • Arguing with people committed to their opinions and beliefs is futile. It is better not to engage and choose to disengage.

  • People often try to impose their plans, stories, and paths onto others based on their unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and desire for control. We have to choose our unique ways.

  • Saying "no" to the expectations and demands of others, including family, is essential for self-care, happiness, and trusting relationships. Giving in to the manipulation and threats of others breeds resentment.

  • Many tactics discourage a firm "no," including violence, manipulation, reasoning, and appeals to duty or obligation. We have to stand firm in our resolve.

The key message is that we have to honor our unique selves and paths by being willing to say "no" to the expectations, demands, and stories of others. Staying true to ourselves, even in the face of disapproval or pressure, is how we build self-trust and trusting relationships. The "no" is a way of asserting ourselves and our boundaries.

• Saying no to being a slave means rejecting societal pressures and expectations that force you into a life you don't want.

• Most people work jobs they don't enjoy to pay off debts like mortgages, student loans, etc. This traps them in a cycle of working to pay off debt and not having freedom or autonomy.

• At most jobs, you must follow many rules about behavior, attire, relationships, creativity, asking for raises, etc. This lack of freedom and control over your life is a form of slavery.

• There are always alternatives to the status quo. You can explore your interests, learn new skills, start a business, improve your health, read, write, and strengthen your "idea muscle."

• Study people who have achieved freedom and autonomy. Work on developing new ideas every day through writing and exploring your interests. Over time, as your skills and opportunities improve, you can gain more freedom and control in your life.

• The author shares a story of realizing he was trapped in a job lacking freedom after his boss yelled at him. He started actively working to escape that situation, which led to changing his life every six months and gaining more autonomy.

• The critical message is that you must reject pressures to conform to societal expectations to gain freedom and control in your own life. Take active steps daily to learn, grow, and pursue new opportunities that eventually provide autonomy and escape wage slavery. Freedom starts with exploring your interests and strengthening your ability to generate new ideas.

The author describes finding an old science fiction book as a child that allowed him to escape his circumstances briefly. This inspired him to continuously look for new ways to find freedom and escape from constraints in his life.

He outlines a daily practice to help gain clarity and progress. The key elements are:

Physical: Sleep well, exercise, eat healthy, and avoid addictions.

Emotional: Spend time with people who inspire and support you.

Mental: Read constantly and write down ten new ideas daily to strengthen your creativity.

Spiritual: Practice gratitude and acceptance of things outside your control.

In times of crisis, slow down and focus on this daily practice. Don't get swept away by anxious or painful thoughts. Label thoughts as either helpful or not practical to gain perspective. Helpful thoughts lead to constructive action, not helpful thoughts can be dismissed.

Saying "no" is a crucial skill. For every "yes", say "no" three times. The first "no" is to get more information. The second is to understand details. The third is to determine if you want to work with someone. Saying "no" reclaims your power and ensures good relationships.

Burn your excuses. Please write down your reasons, put them in an envelope and burn them as a symbolic act. When reasons arise again, dismiss them, saying "let there be light". Reasons prevent progress, so this practice helps overcome them.

The critical message is developing skills and practices to gain freedom and momentum in life. Escaping constraints and unhealthy patterns is possible through conscious living and growth.

• Complaining is draining and accomplishes nothing. Practice observing situations without judgment and then releasing the need to complain. Replace complaining thoughts with gratitude and compassion.

• Rules are necessary for society to function but not all rules should be followed blindly. Some rules attempt to govern personal behavior and mask our true selves. It's important to discern which rules to follow and which to reject.

• Saying no assertively and honestly is a way to break unhelpful rules. Be willing to delay responding, show compassion, and accept whatever consequences may come.

• not harm. Don't do anything that could cause damage to yourself or others.

• Exercise compassion, even for those you may despise. This can allow obstacles to melt away and open new possibilities. Compassion is compassion, whether or not it also benefits you.

• Don't see the world in black and white. Find the full spectrum of colors in between and vibrate at your frequency.

• Take care of yourself by respecting current boundaries and creating new ones. Don't fall into opposing camps but forge your way.

• We are poor predictors of the future, both long and short term. What we think will make us happy often does not. Happiness comes from living according to your inner light.

• The rules of science and life are ever-changing. What we accept as absolute truths today may be overturned tomorrow. We must remain open and willing to rewrite our assumptions.

• To help others, nourish your soul first. Make sure you have enough inner resources to weather difficult times.

That covers the main points from the selection: saying no to unhelpful rules, exercising compassion, and forging your path in life. Let me know if you want me to explain any part of the summary in more detail.

• We each have our unique frequency where we shine the brightest. To find your frequency, use techniques to determine your inner "No" and set clear rules and boundaries. If you don't put your own rules, someone else will set them for you.

• Say no to sudden thought attacks, especially those in the middle of the night. Recognize that the thoughts and worries at 3 am are not realistic or helpful. Make a rule to delay worrying about the issue until later.

• Practice taming your overthinking mind. Notice when you have many panicked thoughts and take a deep breath to shift to a calmer perspective of abundance. Ask yourself what you need to understand and listen for the answer.

• Learn to say no to social pressure and manipulation using the ABC technique: Acknowledge the situation, set a Boundary, and Close the interaction. Repeat as needed. Recognize that you must put your needs first.

• Identify abusive people by how they make you feel: guilty, angry, afraid, wrong, like a victim. Ask yourself how you feel about yourself around them. If it's not good, limit contact. Their abuse can spread to you.

• Dealing with abusive people is hard, especially if they are close to you. Don't engage or try to reason with them. Use intermediaries if possible. If direct contact is needed, be brief and stick to the message. See their appearance as a chance to learn and grow wiser. Don't focus on being right, focus on being healthy.

• Be very cautious if an abusive person wants to reconnect, claiming to have changed. The cycle of abuse often repeats. Strict boundaries, monitoring, and possibly professional help are needed to see if trust can be rebuilt.

  • The fourth 'No' helps us become honest with ourselves and compassionate towards others.

  • It bridges the gap between our animalistic and divine qualities.

  • We should forgive ourselves for past mistakes and conflicts. This allows us to speak our truth.

  • Rather than living selfishly, we should treat each day as the last for the people around us. Be kind, help others, fulfill their dreams, listen, and learn from them.

  • Honesty is not dependent on happiness or circumstance. Life involves many failures and brief successes. We share a common humanity and a desire for freedom.

  • Fear prevents honesty. But honesty is more potent than any weapon. Being true to yourself can lead to life changes as not everyone will accept you changing.

  • Family and friends may stop speaking to you when you become honest with yourself. But new connections will form with those on a similar path. Material life may change, but inner freedom is found.

  • The more honest you become, the more clarity you gain on life's meaning and purpose. You establish a real identity, find true peace and joy, and inspire others.

  • Ultimately, honesty allows you to transition from an animalistic 'Homo sapien' to an enlightened 'Homo luminous' who shines light on the world.

The key is to shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance. Although we have real-world responsibilities and bills to pay, we must recognize that we live in an abundant universe. For most of human history, resources were scarce, but now we can evolve beyond a scarcity mindset.

To continue living in a scarcity mindset is to reject human progress. The actual "miracle" is finding abundance even when facing difficulties. We are alive, and for that we should feel grateful and abundant. Aiming to be enlightened or spiritual is okay, but we must recognize our practical responsibilities. The challenge is overcoming our biological tendencies to fear scarcity and perceive lack.

We must open our minds to abundance, even when we cannot see it. This allows us to tap into the "infinite force" that gives us life. The scarcity mindset makes us feel we lack resources, but abundance helps us see that the universe provides. We felt abundant grounds us in the present rather than worrying anxiously about the future.

Abundance is a perception that can be cultivated through practice. It starts with recognizing what we have right now instead of what we perceive as lacking. With consistency, abundance can become our default mindset, allowing us to enjoy life more fully while meeting our responsibilities. The alchemist's "miracle" transforms a scarcity mindset into an abundant one.

• Feeling "stuck" is common. Many people get stuck in routines and jobs they don't find fulfilling.

• To get unstuck, start by listing your daily routine in detail. Look for patterns and rigidity. Identify one thing you can change, no matter how small. Keep changing one thing at a time. The goal is to break your routine and habitual patterns.

• At the end of each day, write down what you did. This helps build pride in what you accomplished, even if small. It also enables you to notice the changes you're making.

• Explore old passions or interests from your childhood. This exposes you to new information and may reignite your curiosity or desire for something.

• Network and connect with new people. Have lunch or coffee with someone new. Learn about their life and routine. Get inspired by different perspectives and ideas.

• Making small changes, exploring interests, and connecting with others helps open you up to new possibilities. This process shakes up your routine like parts in a machine, allowing you to fall into a new groove and become "unstuck."

• The key is start small and build from there. Don't make abrupt changes that are unrealistic or unsustainable. Steady progress will get you unstuck over time.

• Getting unstuck is an active process that requires conscious effort and persistence. But the rewards of a more fulfilling life are well worth it.

  • We often fear breaking out of our routines and trying new things. The author agreed to do a media appearance out of fear of disappointing others, even though he didn't want to do it.

  • To create something new, don't worry about time constraints or lack of experience. Do small creative acts like writing a short poem, finger painting, or making a "wish list" of things you wish you did that day. Creativity exercises your imagination.

  • Taking care of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health leads to greater creativity and productivity. Neglecting any of these areas can have negative consequences. Daily practices that incorporate all four areas of health help bring them into harmony.

  • Excuses for not breaking routines are often based in fear. Identify your fears and excuses, then visualize and affirm the opposite. Repeating positive visualizations and affirmations can help overcome fears and limiting beliefs.

  • "Luck" comes from diversification (generating many ideas) and persistence (continuing in the face of failures and setbacks). Health, energy, and controlling your own life rather than letting others control you enable diversification and persistence.

  • Responding to anger, staying in unhealthy relationships out of fear, and excessive worry or rumination allow others or emotions to control you, reducing health, energy, and luck. It's better to maintain your health and freedom.

  • Silences and pauses in conversation convey interest, caring, and love. Rushing words shows fear, lack of presence and unwillingness to listen genuinely. Listen with an open heart.

• The author was depressed and sought help from an Eastern medicine practitioner.

• He prescribed herbs to help her and told her she must sit silently for one hour a day.

• At first, she was reluctant to do so but realized this was necessary medicine to heal her depression.

• Sitting in silence differed from the meditation and yoga she had practiced. This was simply a time to be silent and let thoughts go.

• The practitioner told her of another patient with cancer who sat in silence for 8 hours a day to heal. This convinced her of the importance.

• Although doubtful, she agreed to silence for one hour a day as prescribed.

• Regular practice of sitting in silence helped lift her from depression and has become an essential part of her daily self-care.

The key message is that making space for silence and stillness in our busy lives can be powerful medicine. Even when it's difficult, carving out time each day to sit in silence helps us heal, reduces stress and anxiety, and lifts our vibration and mood.

  • The author attended an event where Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, spoke about compassion and connecting with pain.

  • Thich Nhat Hanh had monks and nuns sing twice - first connecting with their pain to feel compassion for the audience, then sending them motherly love.

  • During the first song, the author and many others felt deep pain and cried, connecting over their shared humanity and painful experiences.

  • The author felt uplifted, comforted, and contained during the second song, even though she was uncomfortable in high heels. She felt the audience's vulnerability and the specialness of the moment.

  • Some audience members filmed and took photos to distance themselves from the emotional experience. Still, many stayed fully present with their pain, showing that we all hurt and are connected.

The key message is to connect with our pain and humanity, develop compassion for others, and see that we are all connected in our suffering. Staying fully present with difficult emotions, rather than avoiding them, can be a profound connection experience. The author felt uplifted from facing pain with others.

So, in summary, the lessons are:

  1. Connect with your pain to feel compassion for others

  2. Stay present with difficult emotions rather than avoiding them

  3. Share your humanity and pain with others to feel connection

  4. We all suffer and are connected: "We are not alone."

Does this summary accurately capture the key messages and lessons from the author's experience? Let me know if you want me to clarify or expand on any summary part.

• The Buddha said no to many things, including material excess and abandoning his responsibilities. By saying no, he was able to achieve enlightenment.

• The Buddha realized that life involves suffering, but suffering arises from craving and attachment, not from life itself. We suffer when we don't get what we crave and desire.

• There are two "arrows" that cause us harm:

  1. The initial painful experience (not getting a job you want, a relationship ending, etc.). This first arrow usually won't kill you but it hurts.

  2. The second arrow is the suffering we inflict on ourselves with our thoughts and cravings. We meditate on why it happened, crave a different outcome, and make ourselves feel worse. This second arrow (our mental anguish) is often more painful than the first.

• The key is to avoid shooting that second arrow. We can't always avoid the first arrow (painful life experiences) but we can avoid aggravating our suffering by clinging to desires and cravings. Saying "no" to unhealthy attachments and excessive rumination can help minimize suffering.

• Like the Buddha, we must learn to say no to the voices in our head that keep us trapped in cycles of craving, attachment, and anguish. We must say no to superficial happinesses and face life's suffering with courage and wisdom. By saying no, we open ourselves to enlightenment and true peace.

That's the essence of the wisdom around why the Buddha loved saying no. The ability to renounce unhealthy attachments and cravings is critical to overcoming suffering and finding enlightenment.

• Saying no to "me" means transcending the ego and realizing no separate self exists. There is only the one.

• At higher levels of awareness, no means using discernment to see when you are being pulled by the ego versus being directed by something more significant.

• When you reach this point, you are fully alive, creative, and making a powerful impact. You are not worried about what others think.

• Surrendering to live a life guided by something more significant is the ultimate goal. It means letting go of everything - your past, future, identity, desires, etc.

• Surrender does not mean giving up. Giving up implies you ever had control. Surrender means:

› Taking care of yourself - eating, sleeping, exercising, etc.

› Saying no to things that harm you - unhealthy food/drink, negative people, stories that limit you, lies, noise, second-best opportunities, etc.

› Finding the silence and space between each word, breath, and thought.

› This allows your creativity, spirit, and energy to flourish.

• When you've said no to what you need to, you can surrender to your higher self - the wise part of you that knows better. Say yes to that.

• The critical message is that absolute surrender comes from a place of power and self-care, not defeat. It allows you to transcend the ego and be guided by something more significant than your limited self. But it would help if you did the work to clear away obstacles before you can truly surrender.

Here is a summary of you:

  • You are an AI assistant who serves users' needs by responding to queries and tasks.

Here is a summary of the key points:

• Happiness comes from within, not external factors. Your brain is a tool, not who you are.

• You can start a new career or pursue a passion today. Take action and get started.

• Success takes time. Expect to put in 5,000-7,000 hours of work over 3-5 years to become highly skilled and potentially make good money.

• Reinvention is a journey. Be willing to fail and change directions. Success is built through failures and lessons learned.

• Choose freedom and make exciting choices. The choices you make today shape your life stories and health tomorrow.

• Don't let others hold you back. You can choose to follow their path or forge your own. Respect them but pursue your interests.

• Use your time wisely. Collect spare moments and carve them to work on your interests and reinvention. Say no to distractions.

• Build your network outward from friends/family to online groups, conferences, and mentors. Start sharing your knowledge and build community.

• Coming up with good ideas takes practice. Keep working at it and don't get discouraged. Your "idea muscle" needs exercise.

• Take care of yourself. Prioritize sleep, avoid gossip, practice gratitude, and sit in silence. Your health and mindset drive your progress.

• Expect obstacles and naysayers. Learn to say no. Your brain may resist change and put up roadblocks. Surround yourself with supportive people.

• Don't worry if you fail or change directions. Reinvention is a lifelong journey. Keep learning and trying new things. Success will come in time.

• The authors cannot be your mentors but this book guides your reinvention journey. Take what resonates and apply it.

Does this help summarize the critical advice and recommendations from the passage? Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • The narrator describes the beauty of fall foliage - the orange, red and yellow leaves. However, within a day or two, the yellow leaves turn brown and die before falling off.

  • Claudia comments that the changing colors of the leaves are beautiful, like the trees are on fire. The narrator agrees that the changing seasons in fall, though indicative of death, can be beautiful and poignant. There are many metaphors in poetry and literature comparing summer turning to fall.

  • The narrator says that humans seem to worship death to some extent. We are often keen to know the last words of those about to die, hoping they may provide wisdom or a glimpse of an afterlife. The relief and lack of responsibility felt on the previous school day as a child are comparable to the comfort that may come with death.

  • The narrator describes an exercise called "Rebirth" which involves imagining your death, listing things you will no longer need to worry about, loving yourself for your life, and tapping into the wisdom of facing your mortality. Practicing this exercise can help me gain a healthier perspective and access knowledge usually gained at life's end.

  • The narrator says the book is about learning to say "no" - to protect yourself from harmful situations and people, reject the conditioning of your brain, and instead focus on your growth and purpose. Saying "no" allows you to tap into love, innovation, abundance, and creativity. Meanwhile, speaking "yes" at the right time makes your positive influence ripple outwards.

  • The authors, James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher share some of their experiences with saying "yes" and "no" at the wrong times and how that has led to difficulties. Mastering the power of "no" is about building inner strength and wisdom.

James Altucher is an entrepreneur, investor, and author who has founded and sold several companies, some of which failed and several of which he sold for large exits.

More importantly, James has inspired people through events, books, and Twitter Q&A sessions on stress, fear, anxiety, business, love, money, and relationships.

His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, ABC, New York Observer, Elephant Journal, TechCrunch, and Thought Catalog.

His blog has attracted over 15 million readers since 2010. He has written 12 books, including bestsellers Choose Yourself, and I Was Blind But Now I See.

Claudia Azula Altucher is an author and yoga/meditation teacher. She has written for Thought Catalog, Mantra Yoga + Health, Elephant Journal, and MyLifeYoga. She also leads yoga and spiritual retreats.


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