How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big


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

Systems are more important than having goals. Goal-orientated people exist in a state of continuous failure and lose purpose once the goal is achieved. Systems people succeed everyday they apply the system. Making your systems simple increases the odds that you follow them.
  1. Energy
    • Selfish – Taking care of yourself before attending to your family, tribe, country or the world will allow you to be more generous in the long-term
    • Fitness – Be active everyday. Allow leakage in system, you can back out anytime.
    • Diet – You can retrain brain to like healthy food. Pay attention to energy levels after eating things. Eat as much healthy food as you want. Learn to season food.
    • Matching – Match your energy levels with your activity. Do creative work in morning, mechanical/mundane at night.
    • Follow Rules or Formulas – You can use rules that guide behavior even if they’re not 100% correct or even if you don’t understand how they work
      • In a resume, imagine you get $100 for each unnecessary word you remove
      • Each new skill doubles your odds of success
      • Think about how your project will change the world, how we see the world will impact how you act
      • All my affirmations worked out e.g. “I, Scott Clark, will become a famous cartoonist”
  2. Success
    • Failures are the ingredients of success, make sure you learn from them
    • Don’t wish for success, figure out the price and pay it
    • Luck is a major factor. World is a slot machine that asks for focus, time, and energy. Keep pulling to increase your odds.
    • Best way to discern best path for success is trying a lot of stuff
    • Know when to quit, things that work usually start out well
    • See what people do with your product, not say
    • Patterns I noticed in successful people: Not fearing embarrassment, right kind of education and exercise.
  3. Most Useful Skills
    • Public Speaking – Took Dale Carnegie course. Magical power of positive reinforecement.
    • Psychology
    • Business Writing – Simple and active voice. Makes you seem smarter and more persuasive.
    • Accounting – Basic understanding. Need to be able to check work in meaningful way.
    • Design – It is rules-based. Learn a few tricks.
    • Conversation
      • Ask questions and try to find point of mutual interest
      • Don’t talk about boring stuff
      • Don’t dominate conversation
      • Keep moving to other topics
      • Learn to tell a story: setup, previous pattern, foreshadow, characters, relatability, twist
    • Overcome Shyness – Understand most people feel awkward. Act like someone more confident.
    • Persuasion – Because, would you mind, I’m not interested, I don’t do that, I have a rule, let me clarify, is there anything you can do for me, this is just between you and me
    • Technology – Hobby level
    • Proper Voice
      • Serious voice should be deeper
      • Breathe from bottom of lungs
      • Higher pitch if a lot of background noise
      • Posture is important
    • Humor
      • Makes you more attractive and raises energy
      • Effort and attitude count a lot
      • Don’t complain, overdo self-deprecating, mock, puns
      • Tailor humor to crowd
      • Men prefer engineer humor (unlikely or surprising solutions)
  4. Summary
    • Optimize personal energy
    • Learn multiple skills
    • Avoid career traps that trade time for money
    • We are programmable moist robots, control your inputs
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