I’ve seen this book mentioned a few different times by Mike Cernovich. I got interested in it after reading the author, Scott Adams’, blog. You may not know Scott Adams, but you know are his famous comic strip, Dilbert.
Scott Adams delivers exactly what he promises in the title of How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: a series of strategies that help him win big in his personal life despite encountering numerous failures and obstacles.
Adams gives detailed accounts of how his approach has made him a success. He tries, fails, and applies what he learns to his next endeavor. In chapter 4, “Some of My Many Failures in Summary Form” lists his many failures. In Chapter 5, “My Absolute Favorite Spectacular Failure,” Adams discusses his greatest failure and how it set him up for his greatest success.
These chapters are early for good reason. Once he’ established that he’s a failure who’s become successful, you believe that you can do it too.
Adams focuses on managing your energy levels. His belief is that your energy is the most important metric to track and he discusses the methods for doing so. He also discusses his strategy for setting goals.
He thinks setting goals is for losers. Instead, he recommends systems. Many lessons he teaches detail how to build these systems. A natural part of the building systems is acquiring skills. Adams explains how each additional skill increases your chance of success.
He doesn’t simply tell you that adding skills is important; the Scott Adams devotes a 43 page chapter to the specific skills to learn. Scott Adams tells you how each skill gets you closer to the your dreams.
He also discusses the proper mindset to have. The right mindset helps you get more out of the world. Adams tells you how to properly view and manage luck. He tells you whether you should optimize or simplify a task. The discussion on the use of affirmations will make you believe in their power.
Two ideas that I immediately used in my own life were his ideas on pattern recognition, odds of success, and practice. Adams gives examples of times when he was doing poorly. Then he says how he used those concepts to improve. He then tells you how you can do the same.
I’ll summarize the summary that Adams provides in the final chapter.
Reading this book, you will learn how to manage your personal energy levels. With these energy levels optimized, you’ll then need to manage your luck. A lot of that work will come down to recognizing and optimizing patterns. You’ll be in a much better position to exploit patterns as you learn different skills. To facilitate all of this, you’ll need to learn how to use affirmations. When it’s all said and done, you will have set aside your goals in favor of employing a system that will run on autopilot and carry you closer to the life you desire to live.
And remember this: “Failure is your friend. It is the raw material of success.”