Optimizing Vs Simplifying

To maximize your energy, you can either be a simplifier or an optimizer:

  • A simplifier chooses the easiest path to a goal
  • The optimizer looks for the very best solution despite the increased complexity.

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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

by Scott Adams

MORE IDEAS FROM THE BOOK

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. .

Selfishness is good especially when you are starting your journey to success. You need to be selfish with your time and money. Being selfish is only bad when you become a burden on society

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SCOTT ADAMS

“Successful people don’t wish for success; they decide to pursue it. And to pursue it effectively, they need a system. Success always has a price, but the reality is that the price is negotiable. If you pick the right system, the price will be a lot nearer what you are willing to pay.”

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Choose Systems Over Goals
  • If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. 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.

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  • Think of your priorities in terms of concentric circles, like an archery target. In the center is your highest priority: you. 
  • The next ring—and your second-biggest priority—is economics. That includes your job, your investments, and even your house. If you don’t get your personal financial engine working right, you place a burden on everyone from your family to the country. 
  • Once you are both healthy and financially sound, it’s time for the third ring: family, friends, and lovers. Good health and sufficient money are necessary for a base level of happiness, but you need to be right with your family, friends, and romantic partners to truly enjoy life. 
  • The next rings are your local community, your country, and the world, in that order. Don’t bother trying to fix the world until you get the inner circles of your priorities under control.

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SCOTT ADAMS

"I’ve come to believe that success at anything has a spillover effect on other things. You can take advantage of that effect by becoming good at things that require nothing but practice. Once you become good at a few unimportant things, such as hobbies or sports, the habit of success stays with you on more important quests. When you’ve tasted success, you want more."

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Passion Is Bullshit
  • It is hard to tell whether passionate people are passionate because they are successful or they are successful because they are passionate.
  • Passion sounds more accessible. If you’re dumb, there’s not much you can do about it, but passion is something we think anyone can generate in the right circumstances.
  • Sometimes passion is simply a byproduct of knowing you will be good at something.

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Scott Adams

"Making comics is a process by which you strip out the unnecessary noise from a situation until all that is left is the absurd-yet-true core. A cartoonist has to accomplish that feat with as few as four short sentences."

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  • Personal experience
  • Experience of people you know 
  • Experts 
  • Scientific studies 
  • Common sense 
  • Pattern recognition.

When seeking truth, your best bet is to look for confirmation on at least two of these dimensions.

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Humans want many things. The only way to achieve all of them is by organizing your priorities. To organize your priorities, focus on one main metric: energy.

How to maximize your energy:

  • Eat right
  • Exercise
  • Avoid unnecessary stress
  • Get enough sleep

When you get your energy metric right, you will be excited to wake up and the quality of your work will be better. You will also be able to complete your work faster.

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SCOTT ADAMS

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

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Success Isn’t Magic

The Success Formula: every skill that you acquire doubles your odds of success. The more concepts you learn, the easier it is to acquire new ones. 

Skills which every adult should develop at least a working knowledge:

  • Public speaking
  • Psychology
  • Business writing
  • Accounting
  • Design
  • Overcoming shyness
  • Second language
  • Golf
  • Proper grammar
  • Persuasion
  • Technology
  • Proper voice technique.

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Your attitude affects everything you do in your quest for success and happiness. A positive attitude is an important tool. It’s important to get it right.

The way to manage your attitude is to understand that the brain can be programmed for success. 

  • Increase your ratio of happy thoughts compared to negative thoughts. If your life doesn’t have much to offer in the form of happy thoughts, then try daydreaming.
  • Smile often. Smiling will make you feel better even if your smile is fake. Also, act confidently. If you act confidently, you will feel confident.

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Quitting might conflict with the advice you’ve heard all your life— that sticking with something, no matter the obstacles, is important to success. 

It's true, overcoming obstacles is normally an unavoidable part of the process. But you also need to know when to quit. Persistence is useful, but there’s no point in being an idiot about it.

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  • Lack of fear. A lack of fear of embarrassment is what allows one to be proactive. It’s
  • what makes a person take on challenges that others write off as too risky
  • Education (the right kind). Generally speaking, the people who have the right kind of education have almost no risk of unemployment
  • Exercise. Good health is a baseline requirement for success. It's about the extra energy and vitality that good health brings.

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SCOTT ADAMS

"Most failures involve bad luck, ignorance, and sometimes ordinary stupidity."

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Happiness

The only reasonable goal in life is maximizing your total lifetime experience of something called happiness. That might sound selfish, but it’s not.

If you need, imagine better things, a grander future for you to be happy. The happiness formula:

  • Eat right
  • Exercise
  • Get enough sleep
  • Imagine an incredible future (even if you don’t believe it)
  • Work toward a flexible schedule
  • Do things you can steadily improve at
  • Help others (if you’ve already helped yourself)
  • Reduce daily decisions to routine

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