How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

This is a really interesting book by Scott Adams, who is mostly known for being the creator of Dilbert.  I’m a big fan of the Dilbert comics, and I’ve read several of Adams non-fiction books before, and this one was a lot of fun.  I think that Adams style of writing is very entertaining, humorous without always going for the easiest jokes, and very informative.  I’m not going to talk about everything that he writes about in the book, but I am going to give some of my general thoughts.

Book StatsHow to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

231 pages

Non-Fiction, Psychology


This book is one part humor, one part biography, and one part self-help book.  If that makes it sound like something fairly boring, well, you’re probably not familiar with Adams work, because I read this book in about 2 days and loved every minute of it.  I was familiar with some of the topics that he discussed in this book from reading one of his previous books – Stick to Drawing Comics Monkey Brain! – but it was still interesting to read them again.

Adams has had an interesting life, one that went from being a kid growing up in the semi-rural northeastern part of the country, to failing in multiple jobs out in California, to being a well known cartoonist, author, and public speaker.  He’s also overcome some potentially debilitating things throughout his life, most notably Spasmodic Dysphonia, and if you’ve never heard of that condition, don’t be too worried, you could probably ask everyone you know about the condition and nobody else will have heard of it either.

Throughout the entirety of the book Adams discusses a process that he has used throughout his life to try and find success.  The basic idea is that instead of trying to set a goal for what you want, set up a system that will help you reach a goal.  It’s a subtle difference, but it is there.  He also describes how it can be used for anything from trying to lose weight, to becoming successful in a new job, to being more popular with other people.

There are a couple of things in my life I want to change, and what reading this book has done is giving me a couple of different ideas for how to go about creating those changes.  Thinking about it in hindsight, I had already started to do a couple of those things, but I’m going to continue to work on more in the future, and maybe in 6 or 8 months I’ll do a post updating what I was thinking about doing and seeing how well the results work out.

I already said that I’m a big fan of Adams work, so it shouldn’t com as any surprise that I enjoyed this book.  If you’re looking to try and improve anything in your life, this book might give you a few ideas for what you can change, and at the very least, it’ll give you a few hours of entertainment.

Overall Grade

An interesting book that provides a very different way of looking at life, I really enjoyed it.


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  1. Thanks, sounds like a must read to me.


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