Scott Adams: “I tell you the meaning of life”
Scott Adams believes that he knows the meaning of life, but he doesn’t believe in goals. He explains that when you strive for a goal, you remain in a perpetual state of failure prior to achievement. After you experience the momentary joy of achieving your goal, you seek another goal, and so perpetuate the constant failure state.
To avoid this failure state, Adams’ approach to life revolves around “systems” instead of goals. In his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big,” he describes that this systems approach helps you to reframe your failure altogether.
With a systems approach, success is gauged by your accumulation of skills and experiences. This accumulation, which is unique to everyone, becomes your “talent stack.” The road to success is wrought with occasional failure, but a systems-oriented person will learn how to benefit from these ostensible hindrances.
A talent-stack is an accumulation of skills and personal resources. In the case of Scott Adams, he is moderate to above average as a writer, artist, humorist, and persuader. These skills combined allowed him to be the creator of a lauded, world-class comic strip.
In a profound show of practicing what he preaches, Scott Adams came to new preeminence in the 2016 presidential election. Being a skilled practitioner of hypnotism, he was quick to recognize Donald Trump’s uncanny persuasion abilities. He was among the first public figures to accurately predict Trump’s success in the presidential race.
Despite frequent disclaimers decrying any legitimate political affiliation, his writing about Trump caused a significant blow to his revenue stream. His highly lucrative public speaking engagements all but dried up, reducing his income by as much as 40%. Fans of his increasingly famous blog questioned his reasoning. Why would he risk so much monetary gain for the sake of writing about Trump?
“It’s a system, not a goal,” was his frequent reply. In his system, Scott Adams discovered the most valuable talent of all- influence.
He admits that his ability to take on this risk was helped by the fact that he is already wealthy, and so cushioned from financial precarity. But his apparent love of risk is not the primary driving factor. His desire, ultimately, is to utilize his resources (both in terms of money and influence) to make the world a better (and less-stressful) place.
In the video below, Scott Adams describes his theory for the meaning of life. He explains that humans begin their existence as totally selfish entities. Over time, as we take on more responsibility, we develop our ability to collaborate with and help others.
The further along in life we get, the more we are predisposed to mind the needs of others. He explains that when a person is off track from this age-selfishness ratio, that their meaning in life becomes uncertain. For instance, an adult or teenager who retains the selfishness of a baby would experience their life in a state of stress.
Scott Adams’ own life meaning has been rooted in the impact he has had on the world through his influence and financial resources. To see the rest of Scott’s explanation, watch the short video below.
Having watched the video, I’m curious what you think. What is the meaning of life? Feel free to share in the comments below.