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Loserthink

How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America

By Scott Adams
10-minute read
Audio available
Loserthink by Scott Adams

Loserthink (2019) looks at the various ways in which we fall victim to unproductive thinking habits. Drawing upon history, psychology, global affairs, and business to reveal the pitfalls of such habits, these blinks will sharpen your thinking in an increasingly irrational world.

  • Entrepreneurs seeking motivation
  • Frustrated political debaters or Twitter fanatics
  • Dilbert fans

Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. He is the author of several nonfiction best sellers, including How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big (2013), The Dilbert Principle (1996), and Win Bigly (2017), and co-founder of the online platform WhenHub.

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Loserthink

How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America

By Scott Adams
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Loserthink by Scott Adams
Synopsis

Loserthink (2019) looks at the various ways in which we fall victim to unproductive thinking habits. Drawing upon history, psychology, global affairs, and business to reveal the pitfalls of such habits, these blinks will sharpen your thinking in an increasingly irrational world.

Key idea 1 of 6

Think of your ego as a tool rather than your identity.

At some point in your life, you’ve probably found yourself in a room full of seemingly capable people and felt intimidated. But have you ever considered that, in these sorts of situations, everyone is putting on a performance. Sure, some people’s performances are close to their true selves. But it’s still more than likely that they’re amping up their egos for the sake of the public and hoping that the other people in the room will buy it.

In other words, even if confidence doesn’t come naturally to you, you can learn to fake it. All it takes is thinking of your ego as a tool rather than an aspect of your identity.

In situations in which an ego will work in your favor, you should dial your ego up a few notches; thinking of yourself as more valuable than your achievements alone might indicate can improve your romantic, professional, athletic, and social performance – and that’s not all. Confidence can help you get hired, since you’ll be more likely to test well under stress. That’s just one of many reasons why confident people tend to be more successful, and vice versa.

One way to project a stronger ego is through your body language. If you have good posture, maintain eye contact and take up a lot of space in a room, people will see you as confident. When they perceive you that way, they’ll treat you better, fueling your confidence further.

But not every situation benefits from you turning your ego up; sometimes it might be in your best interests to dial it down. If you let your ego run wild, you’ll probably be perceived as arrogant. In fact, letting your ego influence your decisions is a form of loserthink that could cost you your career. 

When the author, Scott Adams, started the Dilbert comic strip in 1989, he funneled funny ideas from every aspect of his life into the project. But soon, fans were writing to him and telling him that they enjoyed his office comics the most. Had he let his ego get in the way, he would have ignored his fans and continued to build the comic around what he personally found humorous. Instead, he reshaped Dilbert as a workplace comic strip. By letting go of his ego, he made the comic strip a national sensation, paving the way for his lucrative career as a cartoonist and entrepreneur.

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