How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, by Scott Adams

“Failure always brings something valuable with it. I don’t let it leave until I extract that value.”

As many of you know, and if you don’t, Scott Adams is the creator of the comic strip, Dilbert. I’ve never considered myself a huge fan of Dilbert, but working in and around the high tech industry, the comic strip is impossible to ignore. This is relevant because I wouldn’t have known who Scott Adams was when i was thinking about buying his book. So knowing who he is makes the title of his book somewhat ironic. As far as comic strips go, Dilbert was hugely successful.

To some of Adam’s hardcore fans, they found the title a little miss leading, in that they thought they were buying a book on humor and not one that was meant to inspire and motivate. Is it humorous? It is, but it is hugely motivational. The beauty of this book is that it delivers practical insights and simple strategies to success.

“One of the most important tricks for maximizing your productivity involves matching your mental state to the task.”

For instance, his views on goals is spot on, though some will misunderstand and consider his views an affront to setting goals. It isn’t that setting goals is a bad thing, its just that many of us don’t have a plan or system in place to meet the goals we set. If we consider that goals are merely ideas, dreams and/or destinations, it makes sense that you need a process or system to reach them. Otherwise, we are just wishing and hoping we will somehow reach the destination.

Adams believes that systems are the vehicles to bring goals to reality. Think about it, we’ve all set goals for this year. Some want to read more books, others want to lose weight, some want to get fit and others want to blog more. These are all good goals. Without dreams to achieve, what’s the point of life? Yet, how many of us have set systems in place to achieve these life improving goals?

Losing weight or getting fit, isn’t just a matter of deciding to eat better or be more active. Sure, shear willpower and resolve might power us thru for a while, but what happens when our willpower fails us because our day didn’t go as planned? Thought through systems can provide strong defenses against the gravity or unpredictability of life.

Another great advantage to having systems at the ready, is that they can be implemented for a variety of goals. Once we have the system in place and implemented, we’ll notice that our goals will be easier to reach. Habits will begin to form. Our system will become automatic like a routine. And in the case of losing weight, we will reach our desired weight and be able to maintain that weight, all because we setup a system.

“A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don’t sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system.”

Adams books isn’t just about goals and systems, he has tons of practical and profound tidbits on winning in life. Practical tidbits like, embracing failure, simplifiers vs optimizers, being decisive and more. Obviously, as the book title spells out, failure is a huge point of this book. And for good reason, most of us are scared of failure. We have a generation of parents who have tried to protect their children from failure, which in turn created an entire generation of young people who are terrified of failure. So terrified, they are paralyzed by it.

In truth, failure is an incredible teacher. It teaches character, resolve, gratitude and the importance of systems. See what I did there?

I highly recommend How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. But after reading it, put his advice to practice. Tinker. Assess. Recalculate. Achieve.


How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, by Scott Adams

Originally published: 2014

Genres: Motivation

Purchase: Amazon Books


Goodreads

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One thought on “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

  1. Pingback: Goodreads | Chase The Kangaroo

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