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


Scott Adams, the creator of ‘Dilbert’, has written this semi-self-help semi-autobiographical book. Unlike most books in this genre, I found pragmatic advice to better one’s life.

Scott Adams is self-aware. He warns us (the readers) to take advice from experts, the internet and even himself with a pinch of salt. He recognizes that everyone is different and that what works for him might not work for others. He tells us to go with our gut – if something in the book feels off kilter, then this is not going to work in our context.

Like other self-help books, this works only if you want to better yourself. It will not transform you unless you put in the effort. Most of the advice in the book is common sense, but this book works due to its messaging. The advice is quite Indian in its nature, compared to the Western orientation of such books.

This book is also quite detailed in its advice in what has to be done. In a sense, this is very structured and takes us step by step into his system of improvement.

In short, I found this book to be inspirational and would recommend this for reading by all.



  • Goals are for losers and Systems are for winners
  • The model for success is
    • Diet, followed by
    • Exercise, followed by
    • Improved Energy which leads to
    • Better productiveness, creativity, positivity etc.
  • Luck is important but you can move from strategies with poor odds to strategies with good odds.
  • Learning multiple skills increases your chance of success dramatically than becoming a master in one (unless you are a Michael Jordan, Bill Gates etc.)
  • Control your ego
  • Avoid career traps, which teach you nothing
  • Happiness is the only useful goal in life
  • This requires good health, resources and a flexible schedule
  • Some skills are more important than others
    • Public speaking
    • business writing
    • understanding of persuasion
    • Social skills
    • Proper voice technique
    • Good grammar
  • Simplify
  • Learn to make small talk with strangers
  • Don’t be an asshole
  • We control our behaviour
  • Look for patterns in life
  • Failure is your friend. Learn from it.



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