Saturday review: How to Fail at Almost Everything …

how to fail… and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Scott Adams (the author of this book) is the creator of Dilbert, and I am an avid fan. So I started reading this book positively predisposed to it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s a combination of how-to succeed, improve your productivity, enjoy your life, with aspects of Adams life story woven through. It’s an easy, informative read – with a generous pinch of Dilbert-esque humour thrown in. In a number of ways I felt a personal rapport with Adams as I was reading, but I’ll save the details of that for future blog entries.

For me, the outstanding aspect of this book is that Adams doesn’t take himself too seriously. This is demonstrated early on when he provides his own bullshit filter, and encourages the reader to adopt it from the outset.

… allow me to stipulate that if you think I’m full of crap on any particular idea or another, there’s a healthy chance you’re right. But being 100 percent right isn’t my goal. I’m presenting some new ways to think about the process of finding happiness and success.

You get a sense of the content from the book tease in the introduction:

  1. Goals are for losers.
  2. Your mind isn’t magic. It’s a moist computer you can program.
  3. The most important metric to track is your personal energy.
  4. Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.
  5. Happiness is health plus freedom.
  6. Luck can be managed, sort of.
  7. Conquer shyness by being a huge phony (in a good way).
  8. Fitness is the lever that moves the world.
  9. Simplicity transforms ordinary into amazing.

And, since I’m fundamentally lazy, I’m not going to write much more – except to say, that behind the humour there are lots of valuable lessons in this book. It’s well worth a read, and probably worth a re-read too.

4 stars

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