Sep, 2016

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

The Big Idea: Losers have goals.  Winners have systems.

  • Losers have goals.  Winners have systems.
  • Your mind isn’t magic.  It’s a moist computer you can program.
  • The most important metric to track is your personal energy.
  • Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.
  • Happiness is health plus freedom.
  • Luck can be managed, sort of.
  • Conquer shyness by being a huge phony (in a good way).
  • Fitness is the lever that moves the world.
  • Simplicity transforms ordinary into amazing.
  • A smart friend can save you loads of time.
  • Forget about passion.  Be successful first and passion will follow.
  • The market rewards execution, not ideas.
  • Positive affirmations really work.
  • Simple systems are probably the best way to achieve success.
  • Simplification frees up time and energy, which makes other things possible and easier.
  • Exercise, sleep, and food should be your first priority in maintaining good energy.
  • Working on a big, world-changing project (on the side) can be very energizing.
  • Smiling makes you feel better.
  • Success at one activity can spill over to other activities.
  • A clue to an innate talent: willing to embarrass yourself in something.
  • Be persistent if something doesn’t work out perfectly.  However, know that most big successes started out successful in some small, important way.
  • Try to be good at several complementary things instead of excellent at only one.  (Eg. good engineer + good marketer > great engineer.)
  • Key skills for success: public speaking, psychology, business writing, accounting, design, conversation, conversation, overcoming shyness, foreign language, golf, grammar, persuasion, technology, voice control
  • Be familiar with most common cognitive biases.
  • Successful people tend to follow this pattern: lack of fear of embarrassment, they love learning, they exercise regularly.
  • Luck can be engineered by consistently being in the right place at the right time.
  • Experts are right about 98% of the time on easy stuff, but only 50% of the time on complicated stuff.
  • Happiness should be your primary goal in life.
  • If you’re not happy, look at your environment and fix what’s wrong.
  • The flexibility in your schedule to take naps, all else equal, will make you much happier.
  • Simply imagining a better future hacks your brain chemistry and makes you happier.
  • People become unhappy if they have too many options in life.
  • No two humans are alike, but eating too many simple carbs is probably depleting your energy.
  • Think of food as the fuel that makes exercise possible.
  • Vegetarianism is probably healthy and beneficial, but be wary of the science quoted because vegetarians have an agenda beyond nutrition.  (Not a malicious agenda, however.)
  • Coffee makes you more likely to exercise and has cancer-protective antioxidants.
  • Any form of exercise that requires willpower is probably unsustainable for most.
  • Make exercise fun, or at least, make exercise a non-negotiable habit.
  • After exercise, always reward yourself with reading, healthy snack, or coffee.

Step 18: Man-On-The-Moon Contrast and Keeping Easy Things Easy

The Big Idea: Break down complex things into simple things, but keep simple things simple.

  • Ask yourself: is what you’re trying to do harder than putting man on the moon?
  • We put a man on the moon by breaking up the problem into smaller steps.
  • There are two types of men in the world: those who conquer fear and those who suffer from it. —Alexander the Great
  • Conquer fear by breaking it down.
  • You make the same amount of money as the average of your 5 closest friends. — Jim Rohn
  • Follow and learn about the billionaires, inventors, great men in history and you’ll start to think like them.
  • If you’re going to learn something, only learn from the best (billionaires, inventors, professional coaches).
  • Keep simple things simple.
  • Complex things should be broken down to simpler steps, so don’t oversimplify.
  • Simple is not the same as easy.
  • Everyone says they’re busy, even the people who aren’t accomplishing anything.
  • Being busy is not the same as getting things done.
  • Achievers are great at automating/ignoring/delegating simple things to focus on the hard things.
  • Audit the time consuming parts of your life.
  • Example of audit:  commuting is a huge waste of time so always live close to where you work
  • Books: Born to Run
  • Examples: Arnold Schwarzenegger, 4 minute mile, Tarahumara tribe, Sam Walton, Elon Musk, Richard Branson
Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur, investor, and blogger who runs an awesome online book club. 67 Steps is a lecture series teaching how to be successful in health, wealth, love, and happiness.  I’m a big fan.

Step 17: Elon Musk‘s 14-Hour Workday vs. The 4-Hour Work Week

The Big Idea: The most successful men work 14 hour days, not 4 hour work weeks.

  • Learn to love the grind. — John Calipari
  • In fifty years, you will wish you had the energy to work hard.
  • Life is grind.  Hate the grind and you will hate life.
  • If you love the grind, it’s not really work.  And you’re not a workaholic.
  • Great men (Gandhi, Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates) don’t outsource their greatest accomplishments.
  • Charlie Munger invested in a company because the partners committed to working 16 hour days if they ever got behind on bills.
  • If long hours scare you, you’re probably doing the wrong work.
  • Don’t be seduced by smooth-talkers who promise wealth without hard work.
  • Trying to work a 4 hour day is like being happy about only having to spend 10 hours a month with the woman you’re about to marry.  If that’s the case, you’re marrying the wrong woman.

Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur, investor, and blogger who runs an awesome online book club. 67 Steps is a lecture series teaching how to be successful in health, wealth, love, and happiness.  I’m a big fan.

Step 16: Rousseau, The Renaissance Man, & Iron Sharpening Iron

The Big Idea: The most successful people are generally renaissance people, who know a lot about a lot.

  • Our brains are simulation machines.
  • Jet pilots do not start learning by doing, they start in a simulator.
  • Learn by reading, not by trial and error.
  • Today, it is not very rewarding to be a renaissance person.
  • People in the past used to look up to renaissance people.
  • Top business people are generally renaissance people.
  • George Lucas used to read everything he could about a wide variety of subjects.
  • George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
  • Be eclectic in your interests.
  • Don’t read every book, only read the best books in each category.
  • Rousseau read over 200 books before writing his first book.
  • Learn how to play an instrument.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Know your history.
  • Know some art/literature/architecture.
  • Being able to discuss many subjects lets you connect with more people.
  • Being a renaissance, well-rounded man is not the same as being a jack of all trades.
  • The world is too competitive to be good at only one thing.
  • The middle of a forest is bare compared to the edge of the forest.
  • The most innovation comes at the convergence of different disciplines.

Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur, investor, and blogger who runs an awesome online book club. 67 Steps is a lecture series teaching how to be successful in health, wealth, love, and happiness.  I’m a big fan.