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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2013
Cracking read. In face I would go as far as saying the best book I have read on making the most of this short time on this small planet of ours.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2014
This book is something that shouldn't work: part autobiography, part self help, and part Inception style thought-planter. Yet work it does, and it is all due to Scott Adams' skill: at writing, understanding of human psychology, and in other areas. In fact, this book works because of all the 'fails' that he describes here, and how they've made him the man he is.

If you read this book and don't find at least 5 good ideas you haven't yet thought of which strike a meaningful chord with you, I'll be very surprised. It'll give you a better understanding of how to make the most of your life, and will give you optimism that you too can make changes in your life that will lead to increased happiness.
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on 19 December 2014
I have always liked Scott Adams, and I recall his very amusing and perceptive nine-to-five workday mini-biographies like The Dilbert Principle. In how to fail at almost anything Scott again shines a light on his career but this time thrugh the list of failures he went through before he succeeded in becoming one of the worlds best known cartoonists. There is some really good and sensible advice in this book. Scott makes it plain at the start he is no guru and his anecdotal advice is there to be used or binned at the reader's discretion.

Compered to a lot of the expensive and flamboyant proponents of the self-help industry Scott is subdued and practical. I did find it seemed to drone on a bit after a while and wondered if he could have made it punchier. But all in all it was a worthwhile read.
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on 16 June 2015
This book is more about gentle self-effacing self-help lessons than autobiographical detail, and that's likely for the best. Adams's life is likely no more interesting than the average person's, except for his zeal for diligent experimentation at improving his life. In this book he's really candid about his many failed ventures and the faith he puts in cultivating behavioural routines that will ensure (eventual) success (after inevitable blunders).

Cynics may point out that such teaching has already been done by Stephen Covey and Tony Robbins, but I'd contend that Adams manages to impart his wisdom much more accessibly with his absence of chest-beating and evangelism. You don't get sermons with Adams, but you do get practical examples and a lot of modest sincerity.
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on 1 February 2015
This book probably doesn't need any further selling to those already familiar with Scott's work and way of thinking. To those not in that category already I'd say that this book is an easy and entertaining read that delivers some thought provoking insights and observations. The main premise is that systems are for winners and goals are for losers, and presents an engaging and everyday approach to telling the reader what worked for him. It's not a self-help book and makes no promises, rather it's your mate telling you what worked for them. This is one for those who want to think about their own issues using reliable and reasoned sources. It's a very different book, but one I enjoyed in the same way as Gerd Gigerenzer's Risk Savvy.
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on 10 February 2015
Very clear, concise advice written in Adams' own style. Some interesting insights which will resonate with many people and perhaps point a way forward to success without being too prescriptive. The thing that struck me was the lack of 'filler' which is found in many advice books. I have read some which spend a third of the book telling you how great the advice is, a third telling you what it is and then the rest is wind-down. This isn't like that and since reading it I've become head of Microsoft in a week. Next week I have an appointment with the prime minister to advise on monetary policy and the week after, I take over the U.N. It's that good.
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on 16 March 2015
Though admittedly most of this book is page filling common sense anecdotes, it does have some very interesting and perhaps enlightening points to make for those seeking "success", a conveniently vague term so that anyone can theoretically apply its tenets. Adams writes with a good dash of honesty and an even greater amount of cynicism so that you never feel like you've been conned into buying another fluff-filled self-help book. There are some nuggets of wisdom to be gleaned from this book, you just have to find them among a good helping of humour.
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on 30 January 2015
OK, but not as interesting as his cartoons... Basically the autobiography of someone that kept trying business ideas until he was successful- and then carried on trying! Probably lost much of what he has earned. My guess is that he is bored with what he does, and looks for excitement/uncertainty to put interest into his life. Only real lesson is not to emulate- if you succeed at something, stick to that. As Scott says, it is all about luck. But then I hear lottery winners still buy tickets...
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on 21 February 2014
I don't usually go for autobiography, but this is something a bit different. Anyone who knows dilbert will recognise the style. Young people may learn a lot. Older folks will either realise where they went wrong in life or be reassured somewhat that they are not alone. You still have time to change.
Funny many times, almost tense at others, definitely a page turner. Bonus is a few dilbert strips you may have missed.
In summary - get a system! (See - I did read it)
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on 16 July 2015
There are no magic formulas to making a success in your life, and Scott Adams writes about this in a language and style that all can relate to.
Some really good tips and reality checks. The diet section is an eye opener and I have stopped eating potatoes and white bread at lunch time. But I wonder why he didn't mention Dilbert's favourite food Doughnuts. Maybe I should still eat those. Great read & good advice.
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The Dilbert Principle (A Dilbert Book)
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