How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big Kind of the Story of My Life By Scott Adams (Part 3)

Humor. People who enjoy humor are more attractive than those who do not. A good sense of humor can compensate for a lot. Humor raises your energy. It transports your mind away from your daily troubles. Humor directly influences your energy levels. It affects every part of your life. Humor is free and easily accessible. You can choose funny books. Choose the happy movies. There are tricks and mechanics for writing humor. You can steer the conversation to fun topics to add humor. Your attitude and effort count for a lot. Avoid the following traps: 1) Over-complaining is never funny; 2) Don’t overdo the self-deprecation; 3) Don’t mock people; 4) Avoid puns and wordplay. Don’t do gripe-based humor. Humor is a violation of straight-line thinking. Tailor your humor. Tailor it to your audience. Adapt to what others want to hear. Jim’s Colonoscopy Story. Engineered humor is one that includes unlikely or surprising solution to a problem. Men and female appreciate different kind of humor.

Humor makes average-looking people look cute and uninteresting people seem entertaining. – Scott Adams

Humor raises your energy, and that can reverberate into everything you do at school, at work, or in your personal life. The boost of energy will even make you more willing to exercise, and that will raise your overall energy even more. – Scott Adams

Affirmations. Imagine the outcome you want. He doesn’t believe in magic. Affirmations are useful. ‘I, Scott Adams, will become a great cartoonist.’ There is no magic involved. How It Started. Scott bought two good stocks after the declared that he wanted to be rich. He next approached a girl far out of his league. Your selective memory could be behind your perceptions. He tried affirmations again. Set your sights higher. He used affirmations in its rarest, most desirable job I have ever imagined.

Affirmations are simply the practice of repeating to yourself what you want to achieve while imagining the outcome you want. – Scott Adams

Timing is Luck Too. Luck is timing. If your timing is off, your hard work or talent doesn’t matter. He tried a lot of different ventures. Dilbert was lucky because he was born in the era where newspapers existed and comics mattered. It was difficult convincing any newspaper to pick it up. The good timing was relentless. Dilbert was a hapless office worker. Soon, it moved to all the top magazines in the world. Newspapers snapped up his comics like candy. He drew the comics using some computer software. It is a story of luck. You need to stay in the game long enough.

I find it helpful to see the world as a slot machine that doesn’t ask you to put money in. All it asks is your time, focus, and energy to pull the handle over and over. – Scott Adams

A Few Times Affirmations Worked. He wrote an article called ‘The Dilbert Principle’. It received a great response from readers. ‘I, Scott Adams, will be a number one best-selling author’. Affirmation caused a few successes. Not using them doomed yourself to failure. However, affirmations do not work all the time. Affirmations will work if you have a 100% unambiguous desire for success.

Voice Update. There was no cure to spasmodic dysphonia. He couldn’t speak on the phone or order food in restaurants etc. Blogging kept him alive. The inability to speak was debilitating. He created a spreadsheet to identify the pattern. No pattern emerged. He googled it and searched for any one with similar conditions. He hoped that someone would find the cure for the condition. The odds were not good. ‘I, Scott Adams, will speak perfectly.’

Experts. He had a lump on his neck and went to see the specialists. It could have been cancer. The X rays were not clean. He was scheduled for a biopsy. The needle was full of clear fluid and he did not have cancer. However, he did not trust the experts this time.

Association Programming. He had a friend who wanted to live with the rich until he could be associated with them. You become like the people around you. Alcoholics Anonymous works terribly well because the bad influences are kept away from you. Who you associate with makes a big difference. Hanging around with overweight people can make you fat as well. Anyone can write a published article and make money from it. Humans are social creatures. It is easier to exercise when others are exercising. It is easier to work when others are working too. Spend them with good people and their good habits will rub off on you eventually.

To change yourself, part of the solution might involve spending more time with the people who represent the change you seek.  -Scott Adams

Happiness. It is not selfish to think that way. Learn to treat others well. Happiness is a Science. Start by defining what happiness is. It is when there are pleasant sensations in your mind. Happiness isn’t all dependent on your circumstances as well. Circumstances only play one factor. Happiness is largely the control of your lifestyle and the forming of positive thoughts. Alcohol has its risks. The timing is very important. If you nap just before bedtime, it does little good. Work towards having control of your schedule. Flexibility is very important. Learn to maximize your freedom in the long term. We feel good when things are moving in the right direction. It is good to find a hobby where you can keep improving and not stagnant. Slow and steady improvement will be good. For a career, also choose a lifetime of ever-improved performance. If your skills are improving, you will feel many. The next aspect of happiness is your imagination. If you are optimistic, it produces a sense of energy and happiness. Imagination is very important. Don’t let reality control your imagination. Happiness is the natural state when people are healthy, have flexible schedules, and expect the future to be good. If you are always in a bad mood: It is due to one of the following: flexible schedule, imagination, sleep, diet and exercise. Exercise occupies your mind and your muscles. It also helps you sleep better. Take care of yourself and leverage on that for other aspects of your life. Once your purpose or objective has been met, find a new one. Read ‘The Paradox of Choice’ by Barry Schwartz. Routine àPeople become unhappy if they have too many options in life. Set a routine and you will prevent yourself choosing from other alternatives. Reduce daily decisions to routines.

The only reasonable goal in life is maximizing your total lifetime experience of something called happiness. – Scott Adams

If you want to boost your happiness, it helps to understand what happiness is and how it works. – Scott Adams

For starters, the single biggest trick for manipulating your happiness chemistry is being able to do what you want, when you want. – Scott Adams

You need to control the order and timing of things to be happy. It’s important to look at happiness in terms of timing because timing is easier to control than resources. – Scott Adams

By any definition, what I’m doing is work, but because I can control the timing of it on this particular day, it doesn’t feel like work. I’ve transformed work into pleasure simply by having control over when I do it. – Scott Adams

Happiness has more to do with where you’re heading than where you are. – Scott Adams

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. – Scott Adams

I find it useful to daydream that the future will be better than today, by far. I like to imagine a future that is spectacular and breathtaking. Simply imagining a better future hacks your brain chemistry and provides you with the sensation of happiness today. – Scott Adams

Diet. This book should not be seen as advice. The author eats whatever he wants. Eat the right kids of food for enjoyment. Then you won’t crave for anything else. Bad food tastes good when you are hungry. Well prepared food can taste good. Learn to change your food preferences so that you will only want healthy food. Change your cravings. They can be manipulated. Most healthy food is bland. Look at things differently. Overeating makes you bloated. Our mood changes depending on what food we consume. Look for the pattern. If you eat right, you will start feeling more optimistic. Food helps to contribute to your mood. Ask yourself how you feel after a meal. If you have too much carbs, you will feel sleepy at 2pm. Carbohydrates make you feel sleepy during the day. Eat those foods which make you more energetic. Figure out what works for you. Peanuts can help as well. Humans have a limited supply of willpower. The diet system shouldn’t rely on willpower. The Food-Exercise Connection. Food is the fuel that makes exercise possible. Get your diet right before you will feel motivated to exercise. Learn to eat stuff other than simple carbs. Break your addiction with simple carbs. Simple carbs include white and potatoes. He has also consumed too much diet coke. He replaced diet coke with coffee. Nutrition is largely bullshit. Eat the following: Bananas, Protein Bars, Peanuts, Mixed Nuts, Cheese, Whole wheat pasta, Edamame, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, fish, lettuce, tomatoes, apples, pears, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, quinoa, brown rice and berries. Keep willpower out of the equation. Know what you’re eating. If you keep feeling hungry, perhaps you did not sleep enough. Try eating peanuts and mixed nuts. Go for food with the lowest calories. Use some seasoning to make healthy food taste good. Salt is not good for the body. You need to exercise regularly. Avoid having overweight friends as well. Coffee makes you alert, happier and more productive. Coffee can make you more likely to exercise. It can make you happier and enjoy work. Don’t become addicted to it though. For celebrities, fitness has a huge upside.

You’ll be surprised at how often a bad night of sleep leads to nonstop eating. – Scott Adams

Once you start on a vegetarian diet, the inconvenience is more than paid for by the way your body feels after a meal and the holier-than-thou sensation that comes with doing something that looks hard to others. – Scott Adams

But if success is your dream and operating at peak mental performance is something you want, coffee is a good bet. – Scott Adams

The happier you are in one area of your life, the less effort you’ll put into searching for happiness elsewhere. – Scott Adams

Fitness. Sports was his life in the past. Scott didn’t like jogging and he preferred chasing something. Tennis was his outlet. Be Active Every Day. Being active is a good thing. Simplification is the key. If something is complicated, you will require the use of willpower and that is not ideal. Exercise may not be your priorities later on in life. Be active every day and thus you won’t need to use any willpower for exercise. If you require willpower to exercise, it is going to be unsustainable. It mustn’t feel like work. You need to feel good after exercising. Make fitness a daily habit. No one needs willpower to do the things they enjoy. Just be active everyday. Always exercise at the same time everyday. Join an organized team. Choose a team sport with a set schedule. Have an exercise system in place. Have a predictable exercise system. You should never exercise so much that you don’t feel like exercising tomorrow. Light exercise gives an energy boost and reduces stress. This is the reward. It is easier to be active everyday than only to be active on certain days. Reward yourself with a good snack after exercise etc. To exercise on lazy, set a cue. If you feel super tired, just wear your exercise gear and immediately you are in the mood to exercise. Wearing the exercise gear is your cue to exercise. Interviewers prefer healthy candidates as well.

Exercise is hard work in every imaginable sense. When you add marriage and kids to the mix, exercise can become completely impractical for many people. – Scott Adams

When you are active every day and your body feels good about it, it will become easier to increase your exercise level than it would be to stop it. – Scott Adams

In the long run, any system that depends on your willpower will fail. Or worse, some other part of your life will suffer as you focus your limited stockpile of willpower on fitness. – Scott Adams

To put that another way, the right amount of exercise today is whatever amount makes me look forward to being active tomorrow. – Scott Adams

Voice Update 2. He still could not speak properly after so long. The future looked bleak. There was a surgeon in Japan who had a ‘cure’. Scott wanted to follow all leads, no matter how unlikely they seemed. Surgery had an 85% success rate. Many of the patients went through it successfully. Scott decided to proceed with the surgery.

Luck. Success is a lot a matter of luck. ‘Books change us automatically, just as any experience does’. If you can improve yourself after reading this book, it would have meant that the book has helped you.

CalendarTree Start-up. This website is good for event organizing etc. Generate a lot of opportunities so that luck can find you. Learn to take risks and be great. Add new skills and new contacts and see your market value increase substantially.

Voice Update 3. He had the surgery and the recovery period was awful. 3 and a half months later, Scott finally managed to speak. It was a breath of fresh air. The vocal cords and his brain were connected now. Over time, his voice gradually improved. Fluency returned and Scott was elated.

A Final Note about Affirmations. Affirmations appear to have more power than positive thinking. Selective memory comes into play. False memory is another reason. Optimists tend to notice opportunities that pessimists miss. Train yourself to act like an optimist. Writing affirmations is a good form of training. Optimists make themselves an easy target for luck to find them. Affirmations might work for perfectly logical reasons. Affirmations are more a system than a goal actually. To him, they are like small miracles.

Summary. Learn multiple skills. Learn to control your ego and pick skills where others fear embarrassment. Stay in the game long enough and luck will find you. Look for an opportunity to give you a flexible schedule in the future. Some skills are more important than others. Goals are for losers and systems are for winners. Failure is your friend.

Focus on your diet first and get that right so you have enough energy to want to exercise. Exercise will further improve your energy, and that in turn will make you more productive, more creative, more positive, more socially desirable, and more able to handle life’s little bumps. – Scott Adams

And 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. That’s a system. – Scott Adams

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