Scott Adams quotes 1 to 25

Quotes are extracted from ‘How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big’

  1. Beware of advice about successful people and their methods. For starters, no two situations are alike. Your dreams of creating a dry-cleaning empire won’t be helped by knowing that Thomas Edison liked to take naps. Secondly, biographers never have access to the internal thoughts of successful people.
  2. When I was a commercial loan officer for a large bank, my boss taught us that you should never make a loan to someone who is following his passion. For example, you don’t want to give money to a sports enthusiast who is starting a sports store to pursue his passion for all things sporty. That guy is a bad bet, passion and all. He’s in business for the wrong reason.
  3. My boss, who had been a commercial lender for over 30 years, said that the best loan customer is someone who has no passion whatsoever, just a desire to work hard at something that looks good on a spreadsheet.
  4. For most people, it’s easy to be passionate about things that are working out, and that distorts our impression of the importance of passion… The ones that didn’t work out—and that would be most of them—slowly drained my passion as they failed. The few that worked became more exciting as they succeeded.
  5. In hindsight, it looks as if the projects that I was most passionate about were also the ones that worked. But objectively, my passion level moved with my success. Success caused passion more than passion caused success. So forget about passion. And while you’re at it, forget about goals, too.
  6. A CEO of a company that made screws offered me some career advice. He said that every time he got a new job, he immediately started looking for a better one. For him, job seeking was not something one did when necessary. It was a continuing process.
  7. This makes perfect sense if you do the math. Chances are that the best job for you won’t become available at precisely the time you declare yourself ready. Your best bet, he explained, was to always be looking for a better deal. The better deal has its own schedule. I believe the way he explained it is that your job is not your job; your job is to find a better job. This was my first exposure to the idea that one should have a system instead of a goal. The system was to continually look for better options.
  8. As for my own system, when I graduated from college, I outlined my entrepreneurial plan. The idea was to create something that had value and—this next part is the key—I wanted the product to be something that was easy to reproduce in unlimited quantities. I didn’t want to sell my time, at least not directly, because that model has an upward limit. And I didn’t want to build my own automobile factory, for example, because cars are not easy to reproduce. I wanted to create, invent, write, or otherwise concoct something widely desired that would be easy to reproduce.
  9. If you drill down on any success story, you always discover that luck was a huge part of it. You can’t control luck, but you can move from a game with bad odds to one with better odds. You can make it easier for luck to find you. The most useful thing you can do is stay in the game. If your current get-rich project fails, take what you learned and try something else. Keep repeating until something lucky happens.
  10. I do want my failures to make me stronger, of course, but I also want to become smarter, more talented, better networked, healthier and more energized…Failure is a resource that can be managed.
  11. Good ideas have no value because the world already has too many of them. The market rewards execution, not ideas. From that point on, I concentrated on ideas that I could execute. I was already failing toward success, but I didn’t yet know it.
  12. Humans are like sponges. Put any two humans together and each starts absorbing the traits of the other, including biases, fashion sense, work ethic, morality, preferences, conversation style, knowledge, aspirations, and – according to recent studies – even weight. We don’t do most of this intentionally. It just happens.
  13. If you want to be more fit, spend time with friends who make it look easy. If you want more ambition, find some friends who already have it. If you want to avoid being a pessimistic sink hole, avoid the people who give off that vibe. And if you can’t find the right kind of people locally, consider moving.
  14. For most of my adult life I’ve had at least one change-the-world type of project percolating in my spare time no matter what else I’m doing. It could be as simple as a new business model I’m concocting in my mind or an invention I’m tinkering with.
  15. 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 have tasted success, you want more.
  16. 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.
  17. If success were easy, everyone would do it. It takes effort. That fact works to your advantage because it keeps lazy people out of the game.
  18. I’ve come to believe that success at anything has a spill-over effect on other things. You can take advantage of that effect by becoming good at things that require nothing but practice.
  19. If you don’t like to practice, don’t waste on a strategy that requires it. You simply need to pick a life strategy that rewards novelty seeking more than mindless repetition.
  20. We humans tend to enjoy doing things we are good at, while not enjoying the things we suck at. We’re also fairly good at predicting what we might be good at before we try.
  21. Another huge advantage of learning as much as you can in different fields is that the more concepts you understand, the easier it is to learn new ones.
  22. I believe exercise makes people smarter, psychologically braver, more creative, more energetic, and more influential.
  23. If you are lucky enough to have career options, and only one of them affords a path of continual improvement, choose that one, all else being equal.
  24. Always remember that 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.
  25. Life is messy and you’re going to be right only sometimes. You’ll do everyone in your life a favour by acting decisively, though, even if you have doubts on the inside.


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