How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Paruretic Book Reviews
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DaveA
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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by DaveA » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:42 am

This book is (in my opinion) a must-read for anybody age 20-29.
Beyond that age range, I regard it as a must-read for almost everybody.
If you're under the age of 20, you may not have enough life experience to fully grasp the key concepts. But if you can...damn are you going to be ahead of the curve as you enter your twenties.

A common Amazon comment on the book, by older people like myself is, "Damn I wish I'd read this book when I was 20".

If you're paruretic...I'd say it's a must-read at any age.

The books concept is simple...like graduated exposure is simple.
The books concept is extraordinarily complex...like graduated exposure is extraordinarily complex.

The phrase "graduated exposure" is self-defining.
You'd THINK that everything you need to know and understand about it...is contained in the phrase itself.

Time after time, paruretic after paruretic, I see confirmation that almost nobody fully grasps HOW to correctly apply graduated exposure...simply by knowing the phrase. A much deeper understanding is required in order for it to be effective.

If you've followed my posted thoughts here and over on the IPA board, you've heard me express that opinion with comments like...
:?: And THAT seems "gradual" to you? That's flooding, a proven way to further traumatize yourself.
:?: If you can't use a stall, either standing or sitting...why are you standing at urinals as your recovery starting point?

Scott's book isn't about paruresis.
It's a detailed explanation of why "systems" are better than "goals".

The concept of "systems" over "goals" is extremely relevant to recovery from paruresis.

Scott Adams (Author):
Systems are something you do on a regular basis to improve the odds of a good outcome, but you might not know exactly what the outcome will be. That gives you the most ways to win. A goal gives you exactly ONE way to win - the goal itself - and that's not always the smart way to go when the environment is complicated and unpredictable.
I should add that the author (my brother) is also a recovered paruretic.
Here's a link to the book on Amazon...
http://www.amazon.com/How-Fail-Almost-E ... 690&sr=1-1
You can't successfully tease a person about something they don't feel embarrassed about.
I can pee...because it's okay if I can't.
The problem is embarrassment, paruresis is rooted in your embarrassment.

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Bunnayiswild
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Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by Bunnayiswild » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:13 am

Just ordered it Dave!
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
-Richard Feynman

"It's Zen-like that I CAN pee...because it's okay if I can't."
-Dave Adams

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DaveA
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Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by DaveA » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:29 am

Just FYI...he wrote the book to be potentially life-changing for everyone. But your specific demographic (college age people) was one of his target groups for the potential of his approach to life and success benefiting you.

This book has actually become a somewhat common high school and college graduation gift.

A common review comment is that the gift buyer wishes they had read the book when they were in their 20s and just getting out into the world.
You can't successfully tease a person about something they don't feel embarrassed about.
I can pee...because it's okay if I can't.
The problem is embarrassment, paruresis is rooted in your embarrassment.

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Bunnayiswild
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Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by Bunnayiswild » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:12 am

Right. Eager to read it!
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
-Richard Feynman

"It's Zen-like that I CAN pee...because it's okay if I can't."
-Dave Adams

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DaveA
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Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by DaveA » Thu May 11, 2017 10:50 am

William raised a question (in another thread) about "goals".
Here's his thought and mine....
I like the thread..but I have problems with the title of this thread... maybe Dave can explain my mind..
I usually have AN explanation, but whether or not it's valid or beneficial for the person I offer it to...I have no idea.

A "systems" approach is a much healthier cognitive way to go.
Regardless of what happens...you win in the long-run with a systems approach.

A goal is a specific objective.
You achieve it and you're "successful".
You don't achieve it and you've "failed".

A goal places a LOT of emphasis and importance on a singular event that may or may not ever be repeated. It also may or may not ever be achieved...and THAT is depressing as shit.

My approach to recovery was systems based.
I wasn't trying to "learn to pee", with the goal of peeing and nobody ever realizing I once was paruretic.

From MANY different avenues of approach, I was learning to live openly as a guy with a hesitant bladder.

I was learning to be okay with the possibility I'd have difficulty urinating, and being okay with people knowing. I have a medical condition...so what?

THAT was the focus of my desensitization efforts, in addition to the in-vivo repetition that helped transform peeing around other people...into a state of "normal".

:arrow: Refusing to ever again "keep the secret" was a MAJOR benefit to my COGNITIVE recovery.
:arrow: Perpetual pondering and posting of my thoughts, frustrations and processes was a MAJOR benefit to my COGNITIVE recovery.
:arrow: DAILY FORMAL in-vivo desensitization was a MAJOR benefit to BOTH my COGNITIVE and CONDITIONED RESPONSES.
:arrow: Even days when I didn't have the time and opportunity to do hours long formal sessions...I'd do a single formal empty-out in a challenge situation.
:arrow: I READ about every fucking thing ever written about paruresis in particular...and phobic Psychology in general.



Ref. Notes:
Original thread: viewtopic.php?f=40&p=6406&sid=f594de0dc ... 7a63#p6406
You can't successfully tease a person about something they don't feel embarrassed about.
I can pee...because it's okay if I can't.
The problem is embarrassment, paruresis is rooted in your embarrassment.

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DaveA
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:59 am
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by DaveA » Thu May 11, 2017 11:19 am

My brother points out that...

:arrow: His drawing talent is weak.
:arrow: His writing talent is weak.
:arrow: His business savvy was weak (during his first business attempts).
His actual list is much longer, but you get the idea.

Added TOGETHER, as what he calls a "talent stack"...is what has given him the ability to excel.

His WIDE skill set (talent stack) of mediocre skills and talent, added together have produced a successful popular person.

He accumulated a collection of RELATED, complimentary skills and experience that made him more and more noteworthy.

In my own work life, I survived approximately 200 significant employee purges at various companies where I've worked.

Why?
Because I was the guy who could handle your financials, fix your computer, write EDI code to communicate with business partners and clean your toilet...WITHOUT complaining.

The people who could only do one of those things...were less desirable employees than me.

Ironically, I took over a LOT of responsibilities after purges...but I was rarely as talented and experienced as the person that was let go.

The folks who were "specialists" ALWAYS got laid off first.
They had a narrow range of expertise they could or would do...and when that was no longer needed, they were let go.

Example:
I was doing the books one day at a part time job where I was paid $5 per hour.
Even in those days...it wasn't much pay.

The owner and his right-hand man were in a panic because the warehouse guy quit and there was no way to pull and fill tomorrow's delivery orders.

I looked up and injected myself into the conversation by telling them that I had grown up driving tractors and large farm equipment since the age of 9 (yes, literally). After moving to the "big city" I worked for about 4 years as an expert forklift driver on several lift styles...and had taught about 100 people to be safe, efficient forklift drivers.

They were so shocked, they paused in disbelief.
I told them I could fill the orders easily after or before I finished the books.

That was the day I became a Teamster and quadrupled my pay. :mrgreen:

Note for William and Cotal: My reply to William's question is BEFORE this one.
These were just additional thoughts that popped out of me while writing that.
You can't successfully tease a person about something they don't feel embarrassed about.
I can pee...because it's okay if I can't.
The problem is embarrassment, paruresis is rooted in your embarrassment.

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william
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Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by william » Thu May 11, 2017 11:26 am

exactly.... unless your playing hockey or basketball...the term goal may conjure up
the old performance anxiety.... awaken the phobia from its stupor..

I'm afraid in some cases...the phobic voice may become excited at the performance implications of having a " goal.."

paruretic recovery is measured by not giving a crap about anything..except emptying the bladder... regardless how it's done..

so the term goal ..eventhough I see that the context maybe different..is like a small sip of wine for an alcoholic..

a little too tempting ...
peeing is easy
performing to expectations is hard

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william
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Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by william » Thu May 11, 2017 11:33 am

what about terms like recovery......

work...strategy...schedule... therapy..
that won't get the paruretic voice all excited ??
peeing is easy
performing to expectations is hard

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DaveA
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Re: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

Post by DaveA » Thu May 11, 2017 11:40 am

paruretic recovery is measured by not giving a crap about anything..except emptying the bladder... regardless how it's done..
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I feel that way...and I recovered.
You feel that way...and you recovered.
Hmm...possible pattern :mrgreen:
You can't successfully tease a person about something they don't feel embarrassed about.
I can pee...because it's okay if I can't.
The problem is embarrassment, paruresis is rooted in your embarrassment.

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