What I learnt from Scott Adams

Scott Adam’s How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, is a quick read for the busy bees with life hacks that should go viral.

While this book did not convince me of his writing skills, and he admits his mediocrity himself, I am a fan of the life hacks, some of which I have already put into practice, and reaped returns on. So here is the list –

  1. Energy is the best success metric for life. At all times, strive to maximize your personal energy. Be it through – interactions with people who energize you, focussing on activities that boost your energy, or even eating foods that power you. Lastly, to maximize energy, match your mental state to the activity. As I learnt, emails are meant to be responded to in late afternoon 😉
  2. Institute systems, don’t just chase goals. Goals are short term; systems are long term. I recently recasted the portfolio of programs I manage into sustainable systems, instead of obsessing over the program milestones themselves.
  3. Best system are simple. [Sidebar – There are two types of people – Simplifiers and Optimizers. They usually end up marrying each other. I am an optimizer married to a simplifier] Simplicity leads to initial success, and optimization leads to creating value once you are successful. Case in point – Diets. Simpler the better.
  4. Selfishness is an illusion. Women fall into this trap quite often. I do. You have to take care of yourself first. Especially if you aspire to take care of the world some day. Be selfish, and if you are successful, your focus will turn outward.
  5. Every skill that you acquire doubles your odds of success. Be a life long learner. Pick up skills that interest you. I picked up details about how ML works, and over time I have applied it my work and designed solutions that blend my knowledge of an industry, the technology, and the economics behind it.

While the book is gold, there are just two things where I don’t agree with Scott –

  1. Passion is bullshit. If passion can be framed as skills, I think Scott and I will start to see eye to eye.
  2. See the world as math, not magic. As much as I agree about the programmability of the world. I don’t think it is fool proof. The world today, with wars, floods, inflation, and uncertainty is a program gone rogue.

Enjoy the book. And if you have #lifehacks to share, please do.

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