Monday 1 July 2024

BOOK NOTE - How to fail at almost everything and still win big - Scott Adams

I have admired Scott Adams’s Dilbert comic strip for a long time. While the drawings are simple, the humor is punchy and, as an office worker, it connects with me immediately. In 2019, I came across Scott’s conversation with Tim Ferriss on his podcast, and I really enjoyed Scott’s clarity of thought and his message about how to be successful. I particularly connected with the idea of using affirmations to condition your mind for success. Since then, I have followed Scott’s work and his conversations with others.

Scott's book is a field manual for people who want systems for success. Written not in any one narrow domain (e.g., success as a cartoonist), it is a great primer for succeeding in life. It provides systems and ideas that can be adapted to various contexts. It aligns well with and reinforces my beliefs and learning about ways to succeed in life.

Here are some key messages:

  1. Choose systems instead of goals, as systems help create the infrastructure for success.
  2. Ensure you are maximizing energy; it's more important than time management. Match your mental state with the activity.
  3. Be open to failure. Accept rejection and learn from it.
  4. When you learn from failure, you gain knowledge that gives you an advantage.
  5. Generous people take care of their needs first, so they can give to others.
  6. The best systems are simple. Simplify your life.
  7. Imagination is the interface to your attitude. Pessimism is a failure of imagination.
  8. Don’t just be optimistic; be super optimistic—what do you have to lose?
  9. Choose things that you can practice easily to get better.
  10. Happiness is being able to control your schedule.

I have used affirmations in my life, and they work. They put you in a positive state of mind, which makes all the difference.

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