Win Bigly by Scott Adams

Some of the stuff I feel like it’s telling the story afterward, like saying Trump’s slogan was great, and none of Hilary Clinton’s stuck with the voters. There is probably a good amount of truth in this, but it feels over-analyzed.

I wanted to read this book because I really liked Scott Adams and his other book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, however, I did not enjoy the read. I still summarized the persuasion tips below and think many of them are helpful.

  • Persuasion tip #1: When you identify as part of a group, your opinions tend to be biased toward the group consensus.
  • #2: Humans are hardwired to reciprocate favors. If you want someone’s cooperation in the future, do something for that person today.
  • #3: Persuasion is effective even when the subject recognizes the technique.
  • #4: The things that you think about the most will irrationally rise in importance in your mind.
  • #5: An intentional “error” in the details of your message will attract criticism. The attention will make your message rise in importance – at least in people’s minds- simply because everyone is talking about it.
  • #6: If you are not a Master Persuader running for president, find the sweet spot between apologizing too much, which signals a lack of confidence, and never apologizing for anything, which makes you look like a sociopath.
  • #7: It is easy to fit completely different explanations to the observed facts. Don’t trust any interpretation of reality that isn’t able to predict.
  • #8: People are more influenced by the direction of things than the current state of things.
  • #9: Display confidence [either real or faked] to improve your persuasiveness. You have to believe yourself, or at least appear as if you do, in order to get anyone else to believe.
  • #10: Persuasion is strongest when the messenger is credible.
  • #11: Guess what people are thinking-at the very moment they think it-and call it out. If you are right, the subject bonds to you for being like-minded.
  • #12: If you want the audience to embrace your content, leave out any detail that is both unimportant and would give people a reason to think, That’s not me. Design into your content enough blank spaces so people can fill them in with whatever makes them happiest.
  • #13: Use the High-Ground Maneuver to frame yourself as the wise adult in the room. It forces others to join you or be framed as the small thinkers.
    • Pundit 1: your side didn’t do enough to end street violence.
    • Pundit 2: I agree. Luckily we have learned a lot since then. A number of cities experimented with different approaches and some worked better than others. Let’s try to find the best practices and see if we can spread them to other cities.
  • #14: When you attack a person’s belief, the person under attack is more likely to harden his belief than to abandon it, even if your argument is airtight.
  • #15: Studies say humans more easily get addicted to unpredictable rewards than they do predictable rewards.
  • #20: People are more persuaded by contrast than by facts or reason. Choose your contrasts wisely.
  • #21: When you associate any two ideas or images, people’s emotional reaction to them will start to merge over time.
    • if you want to make a good impression, don’t jokingly complain about the traffic on the way over. Try to work into the initial conversation with some positive thoughts and images. If your positivity has some visual imagery, that’s even better.
    • Another easy way to influence yourself by association is to decorate your living space in a way that you find emotionally pleasing.
  • #22: People automatically get used to minor annoyances over time.
  • #23: What you say is important, but it is never as important as what people think you are thinking.
  • The things that you think about the most will irrationally rise in importance in your mind.
  • Humans think they are rational, and they think they understand their reality. But they are wrong on both counts.
  • The McGurk Effect.
  • Confirmation Bias: People don’t change opinions about emotional topics just because some information proved their opinion to be nonsense. Confirmation bias is one of the many reasons you should not solely rely on past experience to predict the future.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

Scott Adams’ book about how to win at life is pretty hilarious. Maybe it is because he is the creator of Dilbert and have mastered sarcasm. It was a page-turner. He had a lot of lessons learned through his life and career. 

Three things that really stuck out for me:

1. Goals vs. Systems

He explained that one should not just have goals, but we should have systems to repeatedly able to do something. It almost seems like he’s saying having a goal makes a glass ceiling for you, that you will stop once this “goal” was achieved. Instead, we should have a system where we are working towards this goal, and stick to this “system” which will be foolproof. This made me think about my friend Daniel’s Youtube Channel “goal.” His goal was to be able to document interesting people’s lives around him. He should also have a “system” which prevents him from procrastinating and sending the video out immediately after he shoots it.

2. Deciding vs. Wanting

If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it. Deciding to succeed is so much different than just “wanting” to succeed. This makes me think of all the bad times and bad moods I have. Deciding to be happy is different than “wanting” to be happy.

3. Pick a delusion that works 

“My main point about perception is that you shouldn’t hesitate to modify your perceptions to whatever makes you happy, because you are probably wrong about the underlying nature of reality anyway.”

“Free yourself from the shackles of an oppressive reality. What’s real to you is what you imagine and what you feel. If you manage your illusions wisely, you might get what you want, but you won’t necessarily understand why it worked.”

Some book notes:

  • Good + Good > excellent : you are better off being good at two complementary skills than being excellent at one.
  • Wow, that was brave. Dale Carnegie class
  • Psychological and cognitive biases
  • Cut out unnecessary words for business writing
  • Rule of three for designing
  • The point of a conversation is to make the other person feel good
  • Imagine a specific confident person you know, and do bad impression of him/her to overcome shyness
  • Research shows that people will automatically label you a friend if you share a secret
  • Use affirmation
  • Experts are 50% right on anything that is unusually complicated, mysterious, or even new
  • Association programming – simply find the people who most represent what you would like to become and spend as much time with them as you can without trespassing, kidnapping, or stalking.
  • Happiness formula: eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, imagine an incredible future, work towards flexible schedule, do things you can steadily improve at, help others, reduce daily decisions to routine.
  • Pay attention to your energy level after eating certain foods; find your pattern