How to Fail at Almost Anything and Still Win Big

Scott Adams


  • If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it. It sounds trivial and obvious, but if you unpack the idea it has extraordinary power.
  • The most important form of selfishness involves spending time on your fitness, eating right, pursuing your career, and still spending quality time with your family and friends.
  • The way I approach the problem of multiple priorities is by focusing on just one main metric: my energy. I make choices that maximize my personal energy because that makes it easier to manage all of the other priorities.
  • The easiest way to manage your attitude is to consume as much feel-good entertainment as you can.
  • A great strategy for success in life is to become good at something, anything, and let that feeling propel you to new and better victories. Success can be habit-forming.
  • One helpful rule of thumb for knowing where you might have a little extra talent is to consider what you were obsessively doing before you were ten years old. There’s a strong connection between what interests you and what you’re good at. People are naturally drawn to the things they feel comfortable doing, and comfort is a marker for talent.
  • The Knowledge Formula: The More You Know, the More You Can Know
  • Don’t think of the news as information. Think of it as a source of energy.
  • I made a list of the skills in which I think every adult should gain a working knowledge. I wouldn’t expect you to become a master of any, but mastery isn’t necessary. Luck has a good chance of finding you if you become merely good in most of these areas. I’ll make a case for each one, but here’s the preview list. Public speaking, Psychology, Business writing, Accounting, Design (the basics), Conversation, Overcoming shyness, Second language, Golf, Proper grammar, Persuasion, Technology (hobby level), Proper voice technique
  • When you understand the power of honest praise (as opposed to bullshitting, flattery, and sucking up), you realize that withholding it borders on immoral.
  • If you believe people use reason for the important decisions in life, you will go through life feeling confused and frustrated that others seem to have bad reasoning skills. The reality is that reason is just one of the drivers of our decisions, and often the smallest one.
  • I credit one of my college friends with teaching me the secret of overcoming shyness by imagining you are acting instead of interacting. And by that I mean literally acting.
  • Step one in your search for happiness is to continually work toward having control of your schedule.
  • Happiness is the natural state for most people whenever they feel healthy, have flexible schedules, and expect the future to be good.
  • the primary culprit in your bad moods is a deficit in one of the big five: flexible schedule, imagination, sleep, diet, and exercise.
  • Another possible reason that affirmations appear to work is that optimists tend to notice opportunities that pessimists miss.

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