How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life (Anglais) Broché – 31 octobre 2013
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This is not an advice book. If you’re ever taken advice from a cartoonist, there’s a good chance it didn’t end well. For starters, it’s hard to know when a cartoonist is being serious and when he or she is constructing an elaborate practical joke. I’ve crafted pranks that spanned years, sometimes when no one was in on the joke but me.
On top of that, I’m getting paid to write this book, and we all know that money distorts truth like a hippo in a thong. And let’s not forget I’m a stranger to most of you. It’s never a good idea to trust strangers.
I’m also not an expert at anything, including my own job. I draw like an inebriated howler monkey and my writing style falls somewhere between baffling and sophomoric. It’s an ongoing mystery to me why I keep getting paid.
Most advice-like books take the view that the author is an omnipotent source of knowledge and the reader is an empty vessel of dysfunction. I approach this book with a more realistic humility. For starters, anyone who reads this sort of book is likely to be brighter than the average citizen, and, in far too many cases, brighter than me. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Revue de presse
“Scott Adams has drawn nearly 9,000 Dilbert cartoons since the strip began, in 1989, and his cynical take on management ideas, the effectiveness of bosses, and cubicle life has affected the worldview of millions. But he built his successful career mainly through trial and error—a whole lot of error, to be exact.
—Harvard Business Review --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
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I would say any book that holds my interest like that deserves a 5-start rating, though there are a few things that I'd tweak to get it closer to perfection. My official score, being a tough grader, is a 4.6/5.0 and I wouldn't resell it for twice what I paid ... especially now that it's fully highlighted and sticky-noted throughout (which makes the book more valuable to me now because I've identified the portions that spoke directly to me and my own experiences).
I really enjoyed Scott's independent thinking and challenges of conventional wisdom throughout this book, especially as it contrasts with other self-help, goal-setting or business advice books. For instance, choosing an opportunity for which one has some sort of inherent advantage rather than blindly prescribing "you can do whatever you want" appeals to my pragmatic mind. I have wrestled with this exact conclusion within the past year as I work through my own list of new ideas and opportunities, so I enjoyed that perspective as it resonates with my own thinking.
I really enjoyed the thinking on pg. 40, which is fully highlighted, less perhaps a couple sentences. This is where Scott talks about his mental model of not wanting to sell his time due to limited upside and finding a product that is infinitely scalable. I appreciated this candidness, which allows the reader to better understand the later "luck" and apparent rapid success of Dilbert. It's clear to me, Scott's success was a lifetime in the making, the product of continued experimentation and the tenacity to stay at it. This whole book was helpful to me, as my model is exactly the same and the road to success is anything but certain when you're placing bets on what the public wants. Having a system that embraces and anticipates failure, in particular, is an essential tool to avoid letting temporary results bleed over into derailing what could be a highly successful longer-term career choice.
Pg. 88, talking about when to quit and how successful ventures often have SOME element of success early-on also resonated with me, and is another page that is more yellow than white after reading this book. These comments also directly resonated with some false-starts I've had, where I correctly pulled the plug after minimal investment of time because things just did not feel right almost from the get-go. I felt poorly about pulling the red handle so early while I was ejecting, but now looking back I know I was practicing the exact type of discipline one needs to practice when trying totally new things. Plan on a good chunk of your initial tests, ideas and hypotheses being off the mark and blindly plowing time and effort at soft-starts is a recipe for disaster. One of my favorite quotes in the book is "Persistence is useful, but there's no point in being an idiot about it." That got a "lol!"
I also appreciated Scott's thoughts on useful core skills, especially psychology. This topic has become more and more interesting to me after sluffing through Pscych 202 in college, when it seems like a diversion from more useful topics. I now see how important that is, and also how little I know in this universe of knowledge. The terms page of psychological topics is a lifetime of potential study in itself, so the book leads you to new domains of study if you so choose.
Scott urges the reader to not accept anything at face value, and my personal model embraces a good chunk of this body of wisdom with a few of my own twists. Any book that holds your interest and gives you new things to think about is worth owning and reading, in my opinion. This book satisfies that criteria with ease. Thank you for writing it and good luck with the book.
His key ideas are easy to follow because he keeps it simple and Scott Adams writes in a clear and witty manner
For example the chapter on applying a system vs setting goals and trying to follow them was worth the price of the book many times over for me (and this is reinforced through the book). In his own words goals are a reach-it-and-be-done situation (where you are often waiting to achieve it someday in the future) whereas a system is something you do on a regular or daily basis with a reasonable expectation that doing so will get you to a better place in life. Wanting better health or wanting to lose 10 kg are goals. Being active everyday is a system. One is tied to another - but goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn and the systems people are feeling good every-time they apply their system.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone smart and weary of reading tired cliches in the self-help genre. The book is a breath of fresh air!
Adams is at his best when he writes about figuring out how things work and what is important. Readers of his popular blog will recognize such topics as the moist robot, the single most important metric to measure, the five most important factors for happiness, how to thrive without using freewill, and other such topics.
One of his key principles is to distinguish goals from systems. Generally, it's better to pursue a system to get what you want rather than to pursue a goal. Goals are generally bad things as they focus you on what you have not accomplished and therefore feel negative. Unfortunately his discussion of the difference between goals and systems is confused and unclear. He seems to be saying that the reader's goal should be to come with a system that works.
I do appreciate that Adams consistently urges the reader to experiment, to be open minded, and not to follow the advice of cartoonists. The focus should be on what works for you. His humility is a welcome relief from much of the Success literature.
Some parts of the book, especially in the middle chapters, read like annotated lists constructed quickly from Internet searches. Other parts of the book are much better and many of Adams's insights are interesting, captivating, and even brilliant. The tone of this book is quite serious - there are even research footnotes - and it is clear that Adams believes he has something important to share with the reader. Fortunately much of the book is entertaining and includes humorous examples to lighten the occasionally sententious tone of some pronouncements.
Overall this is a useful and interesting book. I look forward to testing some of his suggestions and seeing if they improve my life.
(Note: The Kindle edition is satisfactory, though navigation to the footnotes and back to the text works inconsistently.)
Tongue in cheek title but quite a fresh, enlightening book that actually is more aptly described as 'How to Think towards and about Success'. This is a book of opinions. That make good sense. Nothing earth shattering but rarely is anything that is simultaneously difficult and easy to do novel or original. Jim Rohn used to explain that behaviors that are conducive to the path toward success are easy to do but also easy not to do. The value in Adam's thoughts come in the form of offering his experiences and methods in his own life on making it easier to do the right behaviors, and thus making it easier for him and us to choose the successful habits. Adam's book offers his macro view of what allows for success, what greases the wheels for success. And how not to get hung up on popular concepts like "passion". Great short chapter on the fallacy behind being fed advice to "follow your passion" which Adams reasons can be detrimentally misleading. In short, readers will be better off simply reading this single chapter and understanding Adam's explanation that success is more a factor in causing passion than passion is in causing success and that energy is good but the concept of passion can be bullcrap, as Adams says.
I don't mind reading opinionated thoughts because I am sufficiently confident that I can ferret out what I need and want from them without getting hung up on them. (There are some weird opinions on hypnosis and notion of humans as holograms in a computer software program that were wasted on me...but it's all good; I still like the book....) I very much liked Adam's "How to Fail at Almost Everything" precisely because he didn't strain over proving his logic or overwhelm us with justifications for his methods. He shares with us his thoughts: he shares a simplified extract of his personal thought processes and offers them as an example of how such might facilitate our own path toward our ideas of success. Adams offers patterns he's observed in his life that can prove useful and ways to think of concepts that are more practical over popular alternatives that tend to weigh us down with intricate methodical scientifically proven plans that may not be easy to sustain in the long-run.
There are some core, foundational aspects in our lives that Adams lays out that need attention in order for us to find our success. Adams believes that you need to tend to the groundwork for success by tending to your mind and body so as to allow yourself and your own set of talents and strengths to surface and flourish. Success is not easy but it's achievable...for anyone. Adams provides a set of skills and areas of knowledge towards which he thinks we should all vow a lifetime commitment to honing, learning and mastering. These make up a manageable and sensible list that will help in dealing with life and other people.
There are a lot of great thoughts packed into this book, little nuggets here and there that you really must extract for yourself because your nuggets will undoubtedly differ from mine. My personal favorite system-based concepts include the following, all of which cannot be adequately expressed through such a list without reading Adam's presentation of them:
1. "If you believe people use reason for the important decisions in life, you will go through life feeling confused and frustrated that others seem to have bad reasoning skills." So damn true, Mr. Adams.
2. Success/Passion fallacy of thinking. It's all comes down to your personal energy.
3. Simplify your systems, thus simplifying your life.
4. Good ideas have no value - it's all about execution, Baby.
5. Always be looking for your next better job options as soon as you get your current job.
6. Appearance matters (don't shrug...common sense yet not common)
7. Systems are ongoing; it doesn't matter if you can't tell their components are moving you towards the right direction on a daily basis.
8. Wishing is for losers. Decide to pay the price and then pay it.
9. Manage your illusions wisely and you might get what you want even if you don't understand why or how it worked.
10. Careful who you surround yourself with.
11. Everyone "is a basket case on the inside."
12. "If you do selfishness right, you automatically become a net benefit to society."