How to Move From Failure to Success

Yesterday, Bernice Napach of The Daily Ticker posted an article entitled, “Dilbert’s Creator is Proof That Failure Can Lead to Success.”  This article accompanied a video interview with Scott Adams, who is the creator of the Dilbert cartoon strip.

Napach summarized the video interview by specifying the five main points that Mr. Adams discussed.   He also wrote about them in his recent book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big:  Kind of the Story of My Life.”  These points are listed below, along with possible underlying reasons why they are important:

1.  “Passion is overrated.”

Mr. Adams believes that passion is not necessary to succeed in a job or career.  He uses the example of a dry cleaning store owner who expands to 50 stores, then sells them “for a billion dollars”.  This store owner probably did not start out with a passion for cleaning clothes, but rather simply “had a good idea.”  While passion for a job or career may not be necessary for success, it seems that the PASSION TO SUCCEED (i.e., the desire and drive to succeed) would be very important to achieve consistent success.

2.  “Goals are for losers.”

According to Mr. Adams, having goals without a system is worthless.  His example is a person who has the goal “to lose 10 pounds”, and actually reaches that goal  —  but then is unable to keep the weight off.   According to Mr. Adams, an appropriate system for maintaining weight loss would be to keep learning throughout life about food choices and nutrition, which will help maintain the weight loss.  Essentially, the concept of just setting goals is not enough to achieve long-term success.  Rather, it is having the MINDSET to continue building on each success (both large and small), that will lead to ongoing success.

3.  “Stay fit.  It reduces stress, boosts energy.”

Mr. Adams holds the philosophy that maintaining health and fitness gives us more stamina to devote to activities that result in success.  For instance, Mr. Adams states, “You’re competing against people who are putting in 100%.  If your 100% is a little more energetic – [say] you work an extra hour…all those little advantages are going to make a big difference.”  Ultimately, if we TAKE CARE OF OUR HEALTH, we will feel our best.  This will enable us to do our best —  and thus maximize our chances for success.

4.  “Stay in the game so luck can find you.”

“You can’t make yourself more lucky, but you can certainly move yourself from a game that has bad odds to one that has good odds,” says Mr. Adams.  He illustrates this point by talking about his decision to move from his small hometown in upstate New York to the San Francisco Bay Area, since he “knew the odds there were just going to be better.”  Additionally, he decided try several things that were “high risk but possibly high reward” until he got lucky with one of them.  Apparently, PERSEVERANCE IN TAKING CALCULATED RISKS gives us the ability to continually attract the good luck that leads to success.

5.  “Don’t take career advice from a cartoonist (or health advice or finance advice, for that matter.”)

After making the above four points, Mr. Adams fittingly ends his interview with this fifth and last point.   Ever the comedian, Mr. Adams STAYS TRUE TO HIMSELF, whether he is writing his Dilbert cartoon strips, writing his books, or doing interviews.  Therein lies the foundation of true success  —  the kind that leads to deep personal fulfillment and lasting happiness.

The bottom line is, when we know who we are and what our life purpose is, we will keep making the choices that will lead to our success  —  and we will then be able to help others find their own success as well.

There may be times when you are trying to figure out who you are, and what you really want for your life.  That is when it may be helpful to speak with a licensed family counselor, who can help you go through the process of finding (or re-inventing) yourself, in order to find the success you seek.

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