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

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.