NOTE: Whenever I read a nonfiction book, I like to summarize the ‘meat’ of it, the parts that really had value to me (I copied the idea from Derek Sivers). So, fair warning: this is less a book summary and more a ‘points I liked in a book’ summary.
I don’t always agree with Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame), but it’s hard for me to disagree with most of what he says here. The meat:
In order of priority:
- Look after yourself first. This involves eating right, exercising, avoiding unnecessary stress and getting enough sleep.
- Look after your economics. That includes your job, your investments, and even your house.
- Look after all the other things. Your family, community, country and the world.
- Focus on energy, not time. “I make choices that maximize my personal energy because that makes it easier to manage all of the other priorities.”
- Have a system, not a goal. “Set process goals rather than outcome goals. Stop telling yourself you’re going to write the great American novel, and tell yourself you’re going to do 500 words a day”
- Success Creates Passion More Than Passion Creates Success
- Fake it until you make it. Acting powerful can make you feel powerful.
- Choose positive stories over negative ones. Stories we tell ourselves are powerful, and we voluntarily choose them.
- Be selfish. Take care of your own needs first.
- Manage your attitude.
- Use affirmations.
- Don’t assume people are rational or make rational decisions. Mostly, they aren’t and don’t.
Chapter 21: The Math of Success
- See the world as math, not magic.
- You need to figure out the odds. Are you clear about the odds in your life?
- ‘You can’t directly control luck, but you can move from a game with low odds of success to a game with better odds.’ Scott Adams
- Learn to find the blind spots in your life
- When you fail, there is usually some pattern that caused it. Learn to figure out what is that pattern
- Learn to be positive
- Learn about psychology and cognitive traps
- Learn to know what you are vulnerable against
- Make psychology your lifelong study
- Knowledge is power. But knowledge of psychology is the purest form of that power.
- Learn to fake social confidence
- Look for something in common
- Ask questions and don’t complain too much
- Let others talk and change topic when you get stuck
- Make the other party feel good
- Smile and keep your body language open
- Be a master of short stories
- Find out who are the thing people and the people people (which interests them)
- People respond to your energy levels. It is contagious.
Chapter 22: Pattern Recognition
- Continually look for patterns in life
- Measure your chances of success
- Learn to imitate the successful people
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People are rather good: Be Proactive; Begin with the end in mind; Put first things first; Think win-win; Seek first to understand then be understood; Synergize; Sharpen the saw by learning.
- Good health is a baseline requirement for success. Sick people can’t get much don
- Success is a learnable skill