17 Amazing Quotes From Scott Adams: Learn From Creator of Dilbert About How to Win

Scott Adams is the creator, writer and artist for the famous Dilbert comic strip.  He also wrote a book called “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” and it’s one of the best self-improvement books.  His core idea of getting success is to value daily tasks and habits over goals.  Let’s learn about his philosophy from his following amazing quotes.


“If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it. It sounds trivial and obvious, but if you unpack the idea it has extraordinary power.” - Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

A large part of success is about making tradeoffs.  Since we all have 24 hours a day, In order to get something, you have to give up something.  In order to read a book for one hour, you have to give up one hour of surfing the internet.  Knowing what you want in life is important.  Once you know it, find out what you need to do to achieve your goal.  Then you either choose to fulfill your goal by paying the price.  If you are not paying the price, it’s not surprising that you would never reach that goal.  


“You can change only what people know, not what they do.” - Scott Adams, God's Debris: A Thought Experiment

It’s really difficult to change the behavior of someone.  Let’s say you meet people that eat really unhealthily, and then you tell them ten very good reasons to start eating healthy.  It’s likely that they would agree on the information you gave them, but they are not going to change their behavior.  It takes more than knowledge to change someone’s behavior.  


“If you spend all your time arguing with people who are nuts, you'll be exhausted and the nuts will still be nuts.” - Scott Adams, Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel

Don’t try to argue with people who don’t think independently or who don’t think rationally.  They would make you exhausted and then they would think they have won the argument.  Just stop wasting time.  


“The source of all unhappiness is other people. As soon as you learn to think of other people as noisy furniture, the sooner you will be happy. - Wally's Keynote Speech” - Scott Adams

The above quote is a bit exaggerating so that it can be really funny.  At the same time, there’s a lot of truth in it.  The people around us and also the media that we consume can bring us a lot of negative emotion if we treat everything seriously.  Be aware of that and focus on bringing yourself inner peace by blocking out those noises.  


“Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple effect with no logical end.” - Scott Adams

Be kind to people and those people would be kind to other people.  The next time that you hesitate about doing something kind because you think it’s way too small to make a difference, don’t hesitate and just do it.  


“There is no idea so bad that it cannot be made to look brilliant with the proper application of fonts and color.” - Scott Adams, Dilbert's Guide to the Rest of Your Life: Dispatches from Cubicleland

Be aware of the advertising and marketing that is surrounding you.  Don’t believe in them.  There are professional people that can dumb ideas look brilliant.  


“Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge.” - Scott Adams

If someone did something bad to you, you don’t want to do the same thing back to that someone.  You want to forgive because of three reasons.  One, it would make you feel much better.  Two, it would save you energy.  Three, it would make that someone feel disappointed because of no one fighting bad.  


“You don't have to be a person of influence to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me.” - Scott Adams

By trying to be useful and trying to be the best version of yourself, you are going to influence people positively along the way.  You don’t have to be intentional about influencing people.  It’s kind of like a side product of you reaching meaningful goals.  


“Your best work involves timing. If someone wrote the best hip hop song of all time in the Middle Ages, he had bad timing.” - Scott Adams

Life is filled with randomness.  You don’t want to judge yourself by simply looking at the final result.  Even if you give your best effort, there are different factors such as timing and luck that could alter the final result.  The good thing to know is that, as long as you give your best effort everything, good results would eventually come.  


“Reality is always controlled by the people who are the most insane.” - Scott Adams

The amazing inventions around us such as light bulbs, computers, smartphones are all created by people who were insane enough to try things that look impossible.  There are different ways to live.  Some people just love to shoot at the moon and we all need to thank those people.  


“Happiness has more to do with where you are heading than where you are.” - Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

We want to live in the present moment.  At the same time, it’s important that you are actually working on something that is meaningful in the long run.  Every big and meaningful goal is achieved one step at a time.  


“The most important form of selfishness involves spending time on your fitness, eating right, pursuing your career, and still spending quality time with your family and friends.” - Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Being selfish is not always a bad thing.  You can even say that taking good care of your body and spending time with your closest people is selfish, in a good way.  


“Avoid career traps such as pursuing jobs that require you to sell your limited supply of time while preparing you for nothing better.” - Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

We all have limited time on this planet.  We don’t want to exchange our time for something that doesn’t make us better.  


“Losers have goals. Winners have systems.” - Scott Adams

In the above quote, what Scott Adams means by “systems” is to know exactly what you do everyday and turn these tasks into habits.  Big goals without knowing the actual daily tasks to do or without using the power of habits could hardly be achieved.  


“Failure always brings something valuable with it. I don’t let it leave until I extract that value.” - Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

Failing is just part of the learning process if you choose to make it so.  If you decide to view failures as simply failures without extracting lessons from them, then they are really just failures.  


“The ability to work hard and make sacrifices comes naturally to those who know exactly what they want.” - Scott Adams, God's Debris: A Thought Experiment

If you know exactly what you want, then your plan, motivation, and hard work are going to be there naturally.  


“The surest way to identify those who won’t succeed at weight loss is that they tend to say things like “My goal is to lose ten pounds.” Weight targets often work in the short run. But if you need willpower to keep the weight off, you’re doomed in the long run. The only way to succeed in the long run is by using a system that bypasses your need for willpower.” - Scott Adams, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

The best way to achieve a big goal is to turn the goal into daily tasks.  Do these tasks daily and they will then be habits.  This is the power of system that Scott Adams talked about in his book.  

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