Reddit Reddit reviews How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

We found 30 Reddit comments about How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
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30 Reddit comments about How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life:

u/guzey · 19 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Good self-help books are underappreciated. They can provide the push needed to us in critical moments of our lives, e.g. to overcome short-term pain / excessive risk-aversion when making an important decision, and let us change the fundamental frames / instill useful mantras into our lives, changing our trajectories significantly. These two self-help books definitely changed my life, providing both motivation and timeless advice:

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odd by David Goggins

I recommend these to all my friends and everybody who read them so far loved them (note that for max effect probably best to space them out and to first read Adams and then Goggins a few months later).

u/EnigmaticPM · 10 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Scott Adams calls this the 'Moist Robot Hypothesis'. Like a dog being trained, he views people as machines (or moist robots) responding to stimuli. Instead of fruitlessly trying to motivate yourself he advocates changing your environment to reinforce the behaviors you desire. I think this is the basic idea that Perry is advocating. And they both recognise that you act as the 'owner' setting the incentives and the 'dog' being trained.

A related idea that both Perry and Adams touch on is that it's more effective to be systems driven not goals driven. Don't focus on "I'm going to run a marathon", focus on incentivising yourself to go running four times a week. Focus on "I'll write blog posts every Tuesday and Thursday" over "I'm going to make Scott Alexander look like an amateur." Perry describes this as the difference between “getting things done” from “doing things.”

The practical implications will be different for everyone however it means acting as the owner to understand the reactions to stimuli (diet, incentives, sleep routine, emotional states, etc) and then setting up processes / systems that reinforce the positive behaviours and disincentivise the negative. The general idea Adams words:

> Take a volunteer and ask him all of his favorite sensations. This could range from the taste of his favorite food, to foot massages, to sexual stimulation, to warm baths, to his favorite song. Then spend a few weeks showing the volunteer a particular and not-too-common object whenever the positive sensations are applied. For example, you might pick a sock monkey as your object because you don’t see them often, and they don’t carry with them any sort of special association beyond generic fun. After two weeks of intensely associating sock monkeys with favorite sensations, the volunteer’s brain would make a permanent connection. Thereafter, any time he wanted to turn a bad mood into a good mood, he would look at his sock monkey and his brain would execute its happiness subroutine. It’s safer and quicker than pharmaceuticals. The only risk is that the volunteer might fall in love with his sock monkey. But I’m not judging.

This has high cross over with the ideas of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which is considered pseudo-scientific by many. NLP practitioners call this 'anchoring'.

If you're interested Adams goes into some detail on what this practically means in his book 'How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big'.

u/Vivificient · 10 pointsr/slatestarcodex

> is because my ability to focus for non-trivial stuff has been completely shot by years of doing nothing but surf the web (literally), I'm having a hard time getting anything systematically done, even basic reading.

Here's a method that doesn't work very well:

  • Visuallize long-term goal for your life

  • Think of how much smarter you need to be to fulfill the goal

  • Collect large stack of books (or websites) with information you think should be in your head

  • Try to read and memorize all the books

  • Lament your lack of willpower

    Here's a better method:

  • Visuallize long-term goal for your life

  • Figure out specific short-term goals (not abstract self-improvement goals like "read a book", but specific accomplishments like "write a program to do x")

  • Aggressively search books (and websites) for the specific information you need for each step of the short-term goal, ignoring everything else

  • If you get curious about something else from your stack of books, go ahead and read it only until your curiosity is satisfied, then go back to your goals

    > rationalism is appealing both by virtue of the people I've been meeting and the practical effects it has been having for me on the occasions that I've managed to use it. But I'm more than a little intimidated by the SSC backlog: there's so much there! And that's just SSC. I have no idea where to begin.

    It is likely a mistake to think that rationality will be a philosophy that will change your entire life by virtue of reading things. There is a lot of very interesting material to read in the "rationalsphere", but most of it is not self-help material and you may be disappointed if you expect it will all be highly applicable to your daily life.

    What you will find is a lot of material that can help clarify your thinking and give you more knowledge about many intriguing domains. The "Sequences" (long series of blog posts collected into an E-book) by Yudkowsky are the standard resource that much of this community has read (or pretends to have read). If you have not studied science, probability, psychology, and philosophy, then it is pretty eye-opening stuff! Like taking a seminar course from a brilliant but highly eccentric professor. That said, some of it is boring or hard to read, so just skip around and follow the hyperlinks to the parts that interest you.

    If the main thing you have done for the past two years is to browse websites, then you must already know that reading good material is compulsive and so I am not sure what is stopping you from spending all your spare time reading the entire archives of LessWrong and Slate Star Codex. Either you are enjoying it and you keep reading, or you are not enjoying it and you stop.

    HOWEVER, if you are trying to force yourself to read through the annals of Rationality because you think it will fix your flaws as a person, or make you a genius, you will probably be disappointed.

    If you are really looking more for a self-help book of how to change your life with logic and rational behaviour, a decent one is How To Fail At Almost Everything by Scott Adams.
u/whiskydinner · 7 pointsr/infj

hey OP, when i was around your age, i felt/acted quite similarly. it took me years, but now people often express complete surprise when i reveal that i am actually an introvert. so, alongside all the good advice already in this thread...

social skills can be learned. many times us INFJs don't want to make any moves until we feel that we understand the landscape. so, go learn the landscape. pick up some self-help books on conversational skills (and just about living a better life), and then put that learning to use. one of my favorites is How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. that one is not about conversation, per se, but it's written by an ENTP and i found it wonderful.

the other side of the coin is that, when you talk more freely, you will end up saying things that come out wrong, or stupid, or whatever. that's just life. you will never be perfect. you will never put out the perfect words all the time. mistakes happen, so teach yourself through mindfulness to accept them. sure, you'll cringe for hours when trying to fall asleep one night about something you said and what if the person you said it to thinks you're a total moron now? in those moments, do some breathing exercises, distract yourself, don't wallow in it, and i promise you, you will get over it. and not only that, you'd be repeatedly proving to yourself that life goes on and not to stress the minutia so much, and you will eventually lead a freer life that revolves around who you are as a human and not the opinions of others.

there's nothing inherently wrong with you. growing into yourself is a process, so try to be cognizant of that. do your best and don't be so hard on yourself, and try to teach yourself the skills you will need to get to where you want to be. the thing that turned my social anxiety upside down was working customer service jobs. it's awful, but it's basically akin to exposure therapy. just my two.

u/Cant_Tell_Me_Nothin · 6 pointsr/TheRedPill

The best advice I can give you about not knowing what to do with your life is changing the way you look at your future, at least for now.

In his book:

Scott talks about how he found success, not by being a goal-oriented person, but by being a systems oriented person. Even though having goal is a good thing, setting up specific goals for yourself can be very limiting. If you live your life by using systems, you give yourself more avenues and opportunities to become more successful.

A great example of this is instead of setting a goal for yourself to "lose x amount of pounds in x amount of time" you instead focus on setting up a system of continuous exercise, good diet, and good lifestyle habits. Eventually success will come to you because you instead focused on the system, not the goal. Good coaches don't focus on winning the title at the end of the season. Good coaches focus on winning each game at a time.

Focus on good mental and physical habits. Form good habits with your money. At your age it is hard trying to figure out exactly where you want to be in 10 years. It is much easier to figure out how to be the best you can be at this moment in time. Eventually you will have built up yourself to a point where you will be prepared for the opportunities that might come your way in the future. Focus on the process not the outcome.

u/MrInternetDetective · 6 pointsr/The_Donald


u/___--__-_-__--___ · 3 pointsr/murderhomelesspeople

Get comfortable, I wrote you a book.

tl;dr: You want to make a quick buck and you are letting that desire cloud your thinking. You - and you alone - are responsible for yourself and for the consequences of your decisions. Do whatever you want, but recognize that your decisions now are setting up your future. Your decisions. You came here and posted this question and you got good advice. You can reject it if you want to, but own your choices. No one is impressed by "I wasn't really thinking about it." You are just starting life. Who do you admire? Who don't you want to be like? What do you want in life? How can you maximize your chances of making that happen? What do you have to do? Be sure of yourself. Then do it.


I agree with the majority of what has been written. I also wonder if your mind is made up on this. It shouldn't be, but either way:

You would be doing yourself an incredibly good service by taking your motivation and sense of entrepreneurship and putting it toward something that isn't likely to ruin much of your life while simultaneously closing most of the doors which are currently open to you. (Yes, that means doing something legal. Particularly now.).

From what I'm reading, I suspect that it's important you choose something challenging. Something you think is challenging and which you actively decide to do. Put yourself on the line and work your ass off. Be responsible for your own success and be proud of it. Own your life, because - surprise - you already do. Importantly, put your work in toward something where when you fail you can talk proudly about it with anyone; you can put it on your resume, even use it to show people - yourself - that you are capable. And hell, you might succeed. You will succeed if you learn from your mistakes and keep trying. That's how entrepreneurship works -- through failure. (Reference Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything And Still Win Big. Or here, for free

I'll be straight with you: You seem to have a lot of drive and focus for things that you want to do, but your attitude surrounding that is shit. You also don't seem to have learned from your mistakes. You made some quick money with drugs and you now have none of it. (Also, you're comfortable selling drugs but not comfortable collecting a Government benefit which you would be 100% entitled to? One which probably exists for people in exactly your situation, among others? Accept yourself.)

It seems like you think you know what you want to do so you are seeing everything else as pointing you toward that decision. That's normal. But look at what people wrote here. You may think of yourself as restricted, bound, or labeled because of a charge on your record. A charge from when you were a kid, which is probably going to disappear at some point rather soon. You obviously know that school is important but you are blaming cigarettes for your absences? Dude: You control yourself and you are responsible for yourself. You smoke. There are consequences. They aren't the fault of nicotine. No one but you can change things, and that will never happen through defeatism or shifting responsibility. (I have my own addictions, btw.) I get that you don't like school. Pretty much no one loves it. But have you actually tried? Have you worked hard at something you don't like and done well? When was the last time? Have you even talked to people at your school about what you want and what you dislike? What your challenges are? Do you know what you want?

Figure that shit out, man. It's important. Take responsibility for yourself, because everyone else is going to expect that from you if they don't already. You dictate your future. View that as a huge opportunity rather than something negative and you are on the right track.

It seems like you probably know all these things. You are clearly thinking, which is a good sign and is also more than many other people your age are doing. I suggest bringing people in on your thought processes (beyond Reddit), such as a school guidance counselor or someone who you look up to because of what they have accomplished for themselves. You don't have to listen to what they say.

>I feel like I could do better applying my skills somewhere else - >namely, selling narcotics as well as keeping a job.

"Namely"? Those don't follow. It's also telling that you wrote "selling narcotics" and "keeping a job" as separate things. You are looking to make quick cash. My take - a random person on the Internet who has been successful in business and who also likes drugs (too much): the risks FAR outweigh the rewards. That's why the potential return is higher than the pay for flipping burgers. Not because it's harder, but because you don't go to jail and likely ruin the rest of your life's opportunities for flipping burgers. It's too easy to only see the rewards from where you are standing. Remember how the money you made is poof gone? There are a lot more ways in which that same story is likely to replay itself if you keep following the world it came out of.

You know that growing and selling weed is not your only option. You want to grow things? I bet you could make a solid amount of money growing and selling niche plants. Legal ones. I even know someone who does that, though I'm obviously not saying you should do that specific thing. (And be smart, if you don't know a business don't start it. Plants? Get a job at a plant nursery or something.) I honestly agree with the people who are saying "Get yourself a job." Do that. And take heed to the warnings about girlfriend. I'm sure she's great. Don't think with your dick, and don't get her pregnant any time soon.

There's something else I don't know if you see: There are a lot of ways you can improve your situation in life and improve yourself. Things which you can do to separate yourself from your personal history of rocky family stuff, smoking at a young age, drugs, shaky school, iffy decisions, etc. You can also tie yourself to your personal history - very tightly. That's an ACTIVE CHOICE and it's one you are making pretty much right now. The whole "get a legitimate job and try at life" thing? That is a strong way in which you could show yourself and everyone else that you are capable of running your life. Anything which involves intelligently trying to improve your situation is awesome and people will notice it. Get a job, learn from your mistakes, work hard, be entrepreneurial, be smarter than many people and realize that mental health and fitness is important and deserves serious time and attention, figure out school - whatever that means for you, and don't let yourself be convinced by the thought processes you wrote about here and about which no one else seems to be as convinced as you.

Most of all, accept that you are in control of yourself and your future. Fuck it up because you don't try? That's on you. No one looks down on people who try, though. You came on Reddit and posted this question and you got a lot of good advice. Consider it. Reject it if you want, but if you do that you better do it actively. Own it. Don't pretend this page of solicited advice never existed. Today, tomorrow, always - you are making decisions about yourself, your life, and your future. You are in the driver's seat. What do you value? Who do you want to be? Who don't you value? What kind of person don't you want to be? How do people get where and what you want? How can you maximize your chances of getting there? Talk to people about that and think some more. Reread this if you want to. Go.

(Or don't. Your choice.)

u/chernann · 3 pointsr/singapore

What is it you want to study at university? I did bio, chem, physics and math and I hated every single subject. They ultimately didn't matter when I went to study law. However, I'm pretty sure I would have hated literature, history and geography too.

My point is, it's two years. If you haven't already decided what you want your career to be, I'd say suck it up and go with the subjects (which are simply a glorified way of filtering academically inclined students) which give you the most options later. Your parents are right in that A level humanities aren't as useful as sciences in terms of options, but it doesn't matter if you already want to do law and are 100% sure you won't change your mind, for example.

That said, I had no idea wtf I wanted to do at that age, so I kept my options open. It's a systems building outlook for success - you make sure you are able to exploit opportunities that come along by acquiring as many skills/options as possible. Scott Adams has written quite a good book about it.

u/acp_rdit · 3 pointsr/asktrp

this is a pretty good book about a guy who started out average in pretty much every way and made it great:

the basic idea is you can never stop grinding, fail fast, fail forward, and eventually something will stick

u/sangnasty · 2 pointsr/AskMenOver30

How to Fail at Everything and still Win Big

Love this book. Really helped me gain some perspective and approach challenges in a different way.

u/WhatDoesTaiLopezDO · 2 pointsr/Entrepreneur

One of my favorite books makes great arguments for a lot of your points. He loves the idea of systems (over goals) but also dabbles in a lot of different things. I highly recommend reading it.

u/hjras · 2 pointsr/financialindependence

This book by Scott Adams (Dilbert Cartoonist) had a lot of these revelations and is surprisingly broad. For most people I think what stands out is to think of yourself as a moist programmable robot that can change even what you think you want through relatively simple actions

u/SameerPaul · 2 pointsr/LifeProTips

The thing you have to realize is, even if you fail at something, which everyone does, they provide invaluable learning opportunities. Your life will go on, even if it might not be the ideal field of study, and you will have gained something in the process. If you want this idea fleshed out some more, I highly recommend Scott Adams (the Dilbert guy) book on this very subject, it will definitely change you view on this matter.

u/MindBodyDisconnect · 2 pointsr/StopGaming

Yes that one sorry I did not clarify further.

I've found similarities between successful and those still trying about them using a system rather than goals. My friend decided to be good at sales and uses that system to teach others in his brokerage and has made millions. Look at the franchise model vs opening 1 really good restaurant. Usually the prior will succeed (obviously with proper processes aka systems in place)

u/SpecialKOriginal · 2 pointsr/OkCupid

Any books you'd recommend?

If you're taking suggestions I'd look at this one

u/rainaramsay · 1 pointr/HowToLifePodcast

Goals vs Habits

Both Steve Pavlina and Scott Adams recommend skipping the whole goal-setting thing, and instead setting habits.

u/getbangedchatshit · 1 pointr/The_Donald

This guy is a great writer. I am reading this and it is an incredible read.

He was the first guy who brought Mr.Trump to my attention and since then I have been on the train. And I am still not sick of winning.

u/AkivaAvraham · 1 pointr/samharris

> Both of Sam's fundamental moral values and his criticism of Trump.

Sams Morals are freely chosen and arbitrary utilitarian constructs. You can not derive an Ought from an Is.

> Sam believes that Trump was never as successful as he pretended. This is a pretty big deal, since that was one of the major selling points of Trump.

That is demonstrably false.

Some estimates are up to 90%. Thus, without placing a brick or spending a single dollar, through sheer persuasion, he has decreased illegal immigration by a massive margin. If I remember correctly, Sam ignored this when this was pointed out on the podcast.

The topic of failure is interesting for a persuader, and there is a deeper conversation to have here. Remember, Scott's big book is literally,

> "How to fail at everything, and still win big".

He even jokes in the video here, that he will call his religion, "Failology". Basically the two summarized points are,

  • Trump sets up his failures to benefit him, or at worst, not hurt him.
  • Trump engages in a lot of A B testing, which by design will lead to many failures before reaching a success.

    > In the podcast there were some more examples brought up, but now maybe you will have a chance to teach me something, because I don't remember Scott asking Sam about why it's bad to lie or why Trump's lies are bad, and I definitely don't remember him refusing to answer. Could you point me to that part?

    I will consider it, as that will require me to listen to the podcast again, and mark the timestamps. Definitely a fair request. I will save the thread and get back to you if I do. Feel free to hang your hat up until then.
u/Leslie_The_Human_Ad · 1 pointr/askgaybros

This book is very useful in terms of finding the right mindset to deal with failure.

u/rustymonolith · 1 pointr/Calgary

He offers plenty of interesting thoughts in his book. I've read it twice now and find his thinking to be very practical and actionable.

u/cronsy66 · 1 pointr/indonesia

Don't rely on motivation, cause when you rely on it, you're gonna need it forever.

Create a system to study them on a basis, that way you won't need motivation and will actually do it without hesitation. (reference)

u/JugaadAnimation · 1 pointr/Entrepreneur

This book actually taught me the emotional impulse.

u/Leonidas3000 · 1 pointr/Advice

Hi I recommend reading "how to fail at everything and still win big"

You are still young so you have plenty of time to suceed and you will see that what looks like failure can be useful down the road. Practice the law of attraction
enjoy :)

u/the_flying_almond_ · 1 pointr/howto

I read a book recently by Scott Adams called "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big", and the slightly unorthodox tip he has is "goals are for losers, systems are for winners".

For example, instead of setting a goal of losing ten pounds, get into a daily system of healthy activities, there is no end point, so you have no reason to stop.

The book goes into it more, I recommend you read it!

u/hasapoint · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

You might enjoy the writings of Scott Adams.