Friday, January 20, 2017

Book: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams, is about trying different things, failing often, learning as much as possible from each failure and be ready when luck finds you. Highly recommended...

My highlights:
[p.22] …since timing is often hard to get right unless you are psychic, it makes sense to try different things until you get the timing right by luck.

[p.32] 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 every time they apply their system. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.

[p.33] …running a marathon in under four hours is a goal, but exercising daily is a system.

[p.91] If the first commercial version of your work excites no one to action, it’s time to move on to something different. Don’t be fooled by the opinions of friends and family. They’re all liars.

[p.98] If you think extraordinary talent and a maniacal pursuit of excellence are necessary for success, I say that’s just one approach, and probably the hardest. When it comes to skills, quantity often beats quality.

[p.99] None of my skills are world-class, but when my mediocre skills are combined, they become a powerful market force.

[p.160] The success of Dilbert is mostly a story of luck. But I did make it easier for luck to find me, and I was thoroughly prepared when it did. Luck won’t give you a strategy or a system— you have to do that part yourself.

[p.166 ] Dealing with experts is always tricky. Are they honest? Are they competent? How often are they right? My observation and best guess is that experts are right about 98 percent of the time on the easy stuff but only right 50 percent of the time on anything that is unusually complicated, mysterious, or even new.

[p.175] The feeling of progress stimulates your body to create the chemicals that make you feel happy. When you choose a career, consider whether it will lead to a lifetime of ever-improved performance, a plateau, or a steady decline in your skills.

[p.175] If you can imagine the future being brighter, it lifts your energy and gooses the chemistry in your body that produces a sensation of happiness. If you can’t even imagine an improved future, you won’t be happy no matter how well your life is going right now. I find it useful to daydream that the future will be better than today,

[p.175] Being happy raises your energy level and makes it easier to pursue the steps toward real-world happiness. This is another case in which your imagination can influence the real world. Don’t let reality control your imagination. Let your imagination be the user interface to steer your reality.

[p.176] …the primary culprit in your bad moods is a deficit in one of the big five: flexible schedule, imagination, sleep, diet, and exercise.

[p.178] I never waste a brain cell in the morning trying to figure out what to do when. Compare that with some people you know who spend two hours planning and deciding for every task that takes one hour to complete. I’m happier than those people.

[pp. 188-9] If for several months you give yourself permission to eat as much as you want of the foods that don’t include addictive simple carbs, you’ll discover several things. For starters, you’ll have more energy without the simple carbs. And that will translate into keeping you more active, which in turn burns calories. Another change you’ll notice after a few months without simple carbs is that your cravings will start to diminish.

[p.189] …after a few months of eating as much as I wanted of healthier food, I lost the craving for Snickers bars.

[p.195] Nuts and cheese have lots of calories, but you’ll find that suppressing your appetite at the expense of some extra calories is still a net gain if the alternative is to eat until everything in your kitchen is gone.

[p.197] The key to enjoying salt without worrying about a heart attack is that you need to have a healthy diet in general, exercise regularly, and have a healthy body-fat composition.

[p.197] If butter helps you eat more vegetables, and your weight is under control, butter is probably an acceptable risk.

[p.197] When you change what you know about adding flavor to food, it will change your behavior.

[p.201] Coffee literally makes me enjoy work. No willpower needed.

[p.202] Eating right depends a great deal on your nonfood alternatives.

[p.206] Once exercise becomes habitual, you won’t need willpower to keep going because your body and brain will simply prefer it to being a couch spud.

[p.214] When you change how you think, it eventually changes how you behave.

[p.220] …the first part of my system involves managing my mental and physical states so I can do more things with the right kind of energy. Another big part of my system involves generating lots of opportunities for luck to find me and taking the sort of risks that will allow me to come out ahead even if the project fails.

[p.226] …optimists tend to notice opportunities that pessimists miss.

[p.226] …writing affirmations is probably good training— so that you get the same benefits as natural optimists when it comes to noticing opportunities.

[p.231] …failure is your friend. It is the raw material of success. Invite it in. Learn from it. And don’t let it leave until you pick its pocket. That’s a system.

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