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

byScott Adams
Rating 7.5 /10 Readability
Read Time 7 hrs Readible On
Published: 2013Read: October 14, 2015Pages: 248
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by Juvoni Beckford@juvoni

I felt there was some awesome life impacting gems of wisdom, hidden between random thoughts and rambles. Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, popular comic strip known for its satirical office humor about a white-collar, micromanaged office. I was still in elementary school during the comic's peak so I couldn't relate to the corporate life humor. The book was an entertaining read, and I found myself laughing aloud, while reading on a plane. Some of the big ideas in the book are creating systems as opposed to goals because it inherently puts you in a state of deliberate effort and iteration over time; you did your job when you execute on the process. He talks about the concept of the "Moist Robot", in that we come with old hardware and mind and habits are programmable. Over time, we can build habits that don't require much willpower and we can save energy to do more. Scott had a high emphasis on skill building, as a means to increase our luck in life, similar to Cal Newport's Craftsman Mindset. We can also be more efficient at our work, by matching the task with our mental state.

Motivations to Read

I've come across Dilbert comics before and was curious about learning about the man behind them. I have seen this book quoted in a number of productivity and business people I follow. I was hooked by his systems over goals thinking as that's a mindset shift I have been working on.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Move from simply focusing on goals, to having a system mindset for consistent progress.

  • Great stories of success and failure from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert.

  • Learn to be more open to failure, and realizing you can learn from it.

Notable Quotes

  • "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. [..] Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction." Scott Adams

  • "One of the most important tricks for maximizing your productivity involves matching your mental state to the task." Scott Adams

"The Success Formula: Every Skill You Acquire Doubles Your Odds of Success" Scott Adams

Notes for this book are still being transcribed.
Follow @juvoni for more info. Send me your hidden gem book recommendations.
posted June 16, 2016

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