Scott Adams: The Man Behind Dilbert (#106)


“Be useful.” – Scott Adams

Scott Adams (@scottadamssays) is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, which has been published in more than 2,000 newspapers in 57 countries and in 19 languages.

In my conversation with Scott, we cover topics ranging from the rise of Dilbert, to how he uses affirmations to impact stock market decisions, success with women, and building his career. 

We also talk about Scott’s interest in hypnosis and its relationship to his writing process. Plus, we dive into his current fascination with Donald Trump. 

You’ll also find out more about:

  • Goals vs. systems, and how he has used the latter to get what he wants in life
  • His first ever Dilbert paycheck
  • The six dimensions of humor
  • How he got into the best shape of his life at age 58, and much, much more.

It is a really fun conversation. Scott is one hell of a character and a hilarious guy.


#106: Scott Adams: The Man Behind Dilbert

Want to hear a podcast related to creativity? — Listen to my conversation with Ed Catmull, who is President and Co-Founder of Pixar and author of Creativity, Inc. Stream this episode below or right-click here to download:

Ep 22: Ed Catmull, President of Pixar, on Steve Jobs, Stories, and Lessons Learned

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is your biggest struggle with the creative process? Which experts would you like me to interview about their methods? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

Wacom Cintiq monitor | Photoshop

F Minus | Pearls Before Swine

@ScottAdamsSays | | Calendar Tree

Show Notes

  • How Scott started using affirmations [08:45]
  • The beginning stages of Scott’s journey as a cartoonist [20:45]
  • The process Scott uses to create his affirmations and the reasons they work [22:39]
  • How God’s Debris came about [32:01]
  • How Scott incorporates hypnosis into his life [35:25]
  • Scott’s first hypnosis experience and why he started [39:15]
  • Scott’s definition of hypnosis [45:50]
  • How writing has helped his practice of hypnosis [48:41]
  • Hypnosis, NLP, and Donald Trump [51:00]
  • How the way Trump phrases his statements help him in the media [59:43]
  • Scott’s view on goals vs. systems, and why each approach can work [1:02:39]
  • Scott’s practical approach to dieting [1:12:29]
  • The first time Scott was paid for Dilbert, his ‘day job,’ and where his first ideas came from [1:18:27]
  • How he came up with the name Dogbert [1:21:51]
  • The aspects of Dilbert that have changed over time and what the characters mean to Scott [1:23:07]
  • Scott’s techniques to help Dilbert succeed and gain a competitive advantage over other cartoon strips [1:24:31]
  • The tools and routines Scott uses to get in the creative mood [1:30:42]
  • Scott’s morning routine [1:34:09]
  • Scott’s six elements of humor [1:37:26]
  • Other cartoons Scott respects and reads [1:41:26]
  • How Scott got his voice back after identifying he had spasmodic dysphonia [1:42:36]
  • The book Scott would recommend everyone read [1:51:30]
  • When Scott thinks of the word “successful,” who is the first person that comes to mind? [1:58:58]
  • The advice Scott would give his 30-year old self [2:01:54]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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95 Replies to “Scott Adams: The Man Behind Dilbert (#106)”

  1. hi Tim,

    very glad you interviewed Scott. I have been reading his blog and books and especially “How to fail at almost anything…” is one of my favourites, I think it has great concepts that are really pragmatic and at least helped me to gain momentum in several areas, I like for instance his system over goal as applied to going to the gym. I really appreciated his explanation in the podcast, it is an even more streamlined explanation. worth the whole podcast on its own. ( I skipped ahead, will listen to the rest now!)

  2. Hi Tim, I think Dale Carnegie wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, not Cialdini (or did he influence you to think he wrote that one too?). Its great that you interviewed Scott, I have been hoping you would since I heard your podcast with Naval. I then started following Scott, reading all his books and have become a bit obsessed with him. Only 30 minutes into listening so far and its amazing!

    1. Yes, you’re 100% correct. Did I misspeak during the episode, or are the show notes screwy? I’ll check on the notes now. If in the audio… oops!!!

      1. No, you didn’t misspeak Tim, somebody misheard 🙂 Influence is by Cialdini. That’s what you said.

  3. Hi Tim, I think Dale Carnegie wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, not Cialdini (or did he influence you to think he wrote that one too?). Its great that you interviewed Scott, I have been hoping you would since I heard your podcast with Naval. I then started following Scott, reading all his books and have become a bit obsessed with him. Only 30 minutes into listening so far and its amazing!

  4. Can’t wait to hear more about the beginnings of Dilbert. I read “How to Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big” and loved it.

    1. It would be a poor world if we only spoke to people who 100% agreed with our world view, wouldn’t it? I expect you and I don’t agree on a few things but we can respect each other’s right to an alternative viewpoint?

      Looking at what Scott Adams actually said – that men do treat women like children, NOT that they should. I take that to mean he is standing up for women or at least criticising or drawing attention an issue.

      To quote Laura Hudson on the page you link to “women’s concern for pay equity is a petty desire levied by an irrational group of people”

      It’s pretty easy to take things out of context if you go through life getting offended about everything.

      As a Tim Ferriss fan you must be way smarter than that. You don’t like Scott, I happen to love him but I hope we can still be friends?

    2. I acknowledge/respect that you are on your journey towards becoming more rational and objective, as we all are, but please dig a little bit deeper into the context of a statement before posting such an analysis of someone’s character.

      Have you never made a statement through which false conclusions about your beliefs could be made? I’m sure you would wish people to be more vicarious if you were the one being taken out of context. That being said, good day!

  5. Great podcast, and I’m only about 20 minutes in. I noticed a small error in the show notes above: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is by Dale Carnegie, not R. Cialdini. The Amazon link is correct.

  6. I’m about halfway through, and there has been some interesting stuff touched on (Wiseman’s work in particular has been something coming up more often lately).

    The Trump thing though…. even assuming his comments about illegal immigrants were part of some masterful PR wizardry (and they sure don’t look it, Trump lost an estimated 125 million in business deals and alienated a huge voting block)… should we be applauding that? At all, in any way whatsoever? And his ability to deflect questions via a forceful straw man suggestion… Not sure that one is a very praiseworthy technique. In interpersonal relations that sort of thing is rightly considered abusive gas lighting, and that it might be okay in the guise of business or politics says worrisome things about the way we view business or politics.

    1. Tch, meant to say “ad hominem” and not straw man in the last comment.

      The rest of the episode was great though; a lot of Scott’s comments on the creative process were really insightful, and I can’t imagine going through the voice problem.

  7. Dilbert more valuable to read than any management book out there, and I have two graduates degrees in management/psychology.

  8. That was probably one of my favorite episodes, and I’ve listened to every episode thus far. Every time I listen to a podcast with Scott Adams, I come away feeling more optimistic.

    1. Have you ever thought of interviewing Arthur Levinson, the CEO of Calico subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

  9. Hi Tim,

    I’m sorry if this seems like a ill-conceived question. However it struck me that the goals vs systems is a complete contradiction to the affirmation approach.

    When discussing the goals vs systems approach, It seems as though Mr Adams is saying that goals aren’t the best way to achieve the success you desire (especially specific goals). However with the affirmation approach you are literally writing a specific goal down 15 times per day in the hopes of achieving it. Can you please explain to me the nuances of the different approaches that I might have missed.

    I’m not criticizing at all I’m just curious and looking for an explanation.

    Wonderful podcast by the way! Thank you for everything.



    1. Hi Jake, I think a system is something you do daily. Rather than have a goal of losing 10lbs, a system would be going to the gym (or doing some movement) every day may achieve the same outcome but it may also just make you stronger, faster, healthier, happier more confident, make new friends and live longer.

      I sort of see your point about affirmations as an affirmation to have an encounter with a lady at work is more of a goal, than a system (talking to 3 women a day). The system could be the act of doing the affirmations daily that can alter the course of the universe (or re-wire the brain). I think a lot depends on whether your affirmation is a goal (to be CEO) or a system (to be financially free – (from any job/investment/lottery) or to be a master communicator?

      If his book doesn’t answer your question (I read it and I’m not sure) he is very responsive to questions on Twitter. Assuming he might be inundated with questions after Tim’s podcast, he might be more available in a week or two giving you a chance to read his book?

  10. Great content – really enjoyed this conversation Tim! Scott is great at hacking the systems also. Loved how he brokered his strip to newspapers by using testimonials – awesome! Would love to see how he draws his stuff in a youtube.

  11. So we could possibly re-write the saying,

    “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

    to say instead:

    “When the student is filtering, the teacher will be revealed.”

    Meanwhile “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

    Only a half-hour into the podcast, can’t wait to finish the rest!

  12. What a great job to have! Just downloading this episode now and reading through the show notes – looks like another really interesting and inspiring guest.

  13. One of the best. Scott is an original and very Tim-compatible.

    Trump is indeed fascinating and seems to be a part of a recent trend towards ‘straight-talking’ populism that speaks to the many who are weary of sound-bite politics. We’ve had the election of left-wing Jeremy Corbyn here as the leader of the opposition here in the UK. Syriza in Greece and Podomas in Spain are also examples of this reaction. ‘President Trump’ may be unthinkable for many but is it a real possibility?

  14. Hi Tim,

    I found a few slow carb diet apps in the AppStore and I’m wondering if you have any interest in having one developed yourself? The one I’m interested in claimed to not have any affiliation with you but seemed pretty good, as the user himself claimed he uses it & updates it daily. Thoughts?

  15. Scott Adams is so cool! His book is definitely the first on my list!

    By the way, I’ve been also using affirmations and sometimes I’m also shocked how they work when you even don’t expect it, for some really ridiculous situations, when it seemed there were no prerequisites. Thanks for reminding me of them again.

  16. Tim it would be awesome if you could interview John Grinder. Forget the NLP stuff, he is a learning machine. He has a really interesting approach for learning languages, got a red arrows pilot to teach him acrobatic flying, climbed El Capitan a few years ago. I think you would enjoy talking to him.

  17. TimTim –

    There may be people today who will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. I am not one of them!! This podcast ROCKED! Friggin’ excellent and awe-inspiring. I am GRATEFUL. Thank you !!!

  18. About Scott Adams: looking at his picture, his name or his voice on the first seconds of the podcast, I wouldn’t give a penny for him. But now, listening to the podcast, MAN, HE IS A (f-bomb) GENIUS!

    About affirmations: that type of repetitive self-sugestion, it’s self-hipnosis, a conditioning exercise. Like Adams said, it focuses your ‘filters’ to the things that you need to follow or do to get to your goals. It was made famous by psychologist Emile Coué, that stated that a simples phrase repeated every morning on the mirror could change your life: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”.

    Read more on:

    About the luck and opportunities: watch an experiment by illusionist Derren Brown called The Secret of Luck. It 45 minutes long, but it’s worth it!


    About Tony Robbins with Donald Trump: I understand that business is business, and sometimes you need to partner up with other types of people to reach higher goals, but think that Tony Robbins (suposedly a nice, warm, open and altruist person) and Donald Trump (xenophobe, prejudice, arrogant, manipulative and childish) are friends, it makes me disgusted.

    Keep up the good work!

  19. Fantastic episode! Many Thanks Tim!

    I read Scott’s books years ago and this podcast brought everything back again. If you see him again, please ask what he would add to his original book. 🙂

  20. About halfway through the show now. Great stuff. I was thinking about the affirmations, and about how I should do that for a big project I’m working on. This made me realize that deep down, I don’t actually believe this project will be successful, which I’m sure has been causing me to do less than my best work. So, I’m posing an alternative theory about why they might work – that when we tell ourselves that the goal is achievable, we do better work. If deep down we believe we will fail, I think we’re less likely to put everything into it. Also, once I sat down to write the affirmation, it made me get really clear on what success on this project meant. I wonder if defining the goal into a single sentence helps with focus?

  21. Hi Tim

    I’m a music student who sucks at pitching. But what my music teacher and I discovered is that I pitch better in the key of F major and it feels a lot more comfortable. There may just be something special about that key.

    Cool show.

  22. Amazing episode, Scott Adams is brilliant. His thoughts on hypnosis and Donald Trump were so good.


    My biggest creative struggle is finishing something and delivering it to an audience for feedback. It’s a scary proposition and it’s the fear that doesn’t stop me, but slows me down.

  23. Be useful. Those two words are enough, each day.

    Thanks for introducing Scott and Dilbert to the Ferriss-o-sphere. Such a clear-thinker. I wield 5 votes for a Scott-Naval-Tim wine session per episode 1!

  24. Dildog! Haaa! Great stuff! Very much agree with having a repeat show with Scott and Naval.

    Excellent interview and appreciate the lessons on goals vs systems, creative flow, hypnosis, the high ground maneuver,etc. Thank you Scott! You should start your own University! Thanks Tim for allowing your guests to define their ideas/terms before going into explanation. Extremely helpful.

    Random thought but the 6 degrees of separation reference made me wonder if Kevin Bacon would do an interview.

  25. G’day Tim,

    Do you currently have any speaking commitments/functions booked in Australia?

    I’m a long time fan and would love the opportunity if it ever arose.


  26. One of the best interviews I’ve heard in a long while. Smart guy. Good job, Tim.

    4 points:

    There’s probably 30 million, not 11 million invaders.

    The ’rounding up’ scenario is a straw man argument. Just enforce the law. Cut off jobs and welfare type benefits, and the dynamic changes drastically.

    There is legitimate legal argument regarding the interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

    While his analysis of the NLP effect of Trump’s language is insightful (and largely correct), Scott gives it more weight than is justified. He ignores the deep alienation that many of Trump’s supporters feel for the ruling elites, and the effect that haves on Trump’s popularity.

  27. I am surprised that he uses peanuts when hungry. I heard Tim say in a recent Facebook video that despite they are legumes they are a trigger to eat more.

  28. Tim,

    Another great podcast. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have these interviews to listen to. They are always so smart and refreshing, and you always ask the right questions. Also, you let the person speak without interrupting too often, which is much appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! Keep up the fantastic work!

  29. Hey Tim: I believe you asked for some feedback on podcast formats.

    1. Love the long form conversations, but could it run no more than an hourish? Could the talks be edited? Much more user friendly. I actually breathed a sigh of relief when your 30 minute 5 morning habits podcast come up.

    2. What would it be like if, instead of “deconstructing world class performers”, you focused instead on showcasing ordinary listeners and readers who implemented a hack from the 4HWW or adapted something from the podcast or otherwise tried out a gem.

    I’m thinking more than just people who lost weight or added to their dead lift.

    For instance, “More Muses from the Masses” or the results from someone who did 30 floats in 30 days or the lived experience of someone who received the ibogaine treatment or the challenges of making the “living abroad dream” into a reality or the 4 hour work week for young families… challenges, failure, obstacles, work arounds, adaptations etc. etc. etc.. You feel me?

    What if this were a 15 minute feature within the larger podcast of the world class performer? I find it really inspiring to hear how people are applying your tips and tricks and adapting them to their unique contexts. I imagine others would, too. It makes me think “I can do this, too.” I think it would also have the added bonus of pulling your fans even closer to the web of connection and learning you are creating.

    Just a thought.

    Your Friend,

    Alexandra Z.

  30. One thing is bothering me about this discussion that I’m sure somebody smart can help with. I can’t reconcile in my mind his approach to Systems over Goals along with his thoughts on Affirmations. Seems contradictory. The entire affirmation process is about fixating on a specific goal: “I will be a famous cartoonist.” How does that work with not focusing on goals?

  31. Hi Tim/Scott Adams

    This has been one of my favorite episodes so far and I have listened to it few times already and still listening. I usually don’t comment or post online that much. But this one hit too close to home and want to share some of my experiences with the power of affirmation. Four hour work week book also had some things change too – bad for the short term when it happened but it helped me move to the next level.

    I come from southern part of India and live in the US now. As a child growing up in India, I was influenced by power of positive thinking, how to stop worrying and start living and many other personal development books because my father had quite a collection. I went to school that taught in local language and English was one of the subjects. I watched my father speak in English to some missionaries (he was one of the few that could in our village those days) and yearned to learn to speak, which came true in my 20s.

    I went to college for electronics and communication since I was fascinated by technology, radio and TV (this was the 80’s and again I was influenced by my father since he was an ex-army radio technician and we had a collection of all radio parts – TV was yet to arrive in our lives). From there how I ended up working for a major Wall Street company in the US could be described either as a succession of lucky breaks or power of my goals and affirmations.

    I always liked electronics, gadgets, cars, motorcycles (things I could not afford) and had a collage of a Red Daewoo sports car (new in the 90s), A 5 speaker Audio System, A big color TV and other things on the wall (no one told me to do it – but somehow I had the idea to have this collage in front of my eyes all the time). I bought my first Kawasaki motor cycle when I just turned 21 (in India).

    When I first came to US at the end of ‘97, I bought a SONY audio system with 5 speakers exactly like the one in my collage and a bigger and better color TV (and so much spent on electronics since) and a brand new Toyota. Not a sports car since I had a small kids – but now I drive a luxury Red Sports Coupe (which is a lot better than Daewoo!).

    I am not telling this to boast – but I believe things happened because I set a goal and somehow, somewhere things started moving so I could attain my goals one day. Some things happened immediately and some took time. But at the end so far most of the things I really wanted have come true. Thanks to my father for setting my mind on the right path.

    In short

    – Wanted to be a TV engineer (I like media – still do)- ended up in IT when they started coming up big in India. This led me to next stage in my life in US.

    – In ‘93 I was actively trading stocks in India and added a goal of working in Wall St, I didn’t know what qualification one needed and I had no idea how that was going to happen and if it was even going to happen. But it did in ’08.

    – Wanted to find work in Singapore – ended up in USA because of my IT background.

    – Wanted to work for a major telecom company as a full time employee in US – worked there for 10 years. Towards the end I applied 4 hour work week ideas by negotiating with my manager to work remotely for 3 days a week. Later when the economy took a hit I was offered a nice package to leave the company (I believe 4 hour work week was part reason!)- which led me to next stage I am in now.

    – One of my friends recommended me to another friend who was looking for an IT admin for a major firm. Which had its head office, you guessed it – in Wall Street – the goal that started in 1993 came to fruition in 2008 all the time kept alive by my reading about wall st. trading stocks and the boom and bust in the 2000-01 time.

    – I have 2 kids. So few years back looking ahead, I decided to downsize and move closer to work or move some place warm once my kids left for college. This was in 2011. My last kid went to college this fall. At the end of 2013 another company, head quartered in a warmer city in the south, bought our company and relocated most of our team. I was asked to move at the beginning of 2014. My request to move this fall once my last kid left for college was accepted and I was paid to relocate. I could not have planned this better myself. This move will also allow me to pursue some of my other goals and explore south.

    – In 2009, wanted to learn options and make money. Wrote a goal to make 50K in 6 months. Started with 6k and got out early with 20K in 2 months and lost it all when I stopped believing in my own rules being disciplined with trading.

    – When I wanted to lose weight (Dec 2012) I came across intermittent fasting by Dr.Mosley (never heard about this before) and your 4 hour body book (it is next to my pillow nowadays in case I need it). I lost 20+ pounds by summer of 2014 and still maintaining it.

    I am not saying every single thing I wished for came true – still waiting to hit big on mega-millions, but most of them I truly wanted, believed and passionate about came true.

    After listening to this episode, I have rewritten one of my goals and using affirmation again. Will let you know how this one goes.

    If I could recommend one person to interview, that would be Elon Musk. I love his visions and putting his hard work to get there.

    Thanks and keep up your good work.

    (Sorry again for this long post – another goal of mine is to write! – please edit as needed)

    1. Forgot to add.

      There was a lot of hard work (being an immigrant, had to work harder than my others in many cases) to get to where I am today, went through some struggles, many disappointments, doubting if things will happen and sacrificed a lot of sleep (and hair) and leaving family behind.

      That said there is a lot more to add to the list above.

  32. Just a random thought. Teenage girls are notorious for writing and obsessing about their crushes. Writing Mr. and Mrs. Weber or Tim and Sarah forever multiple times a day in school and yet they don’t end up with their crushes. What is the differences between theses types of obsessively goal-oriented people and affirmations? Do they believe it is a wonderful fantasy and he believed it was a possibility or he wasn’t invested in the outcome so he did not drive it away?

    Fun interview!

  33. What a fascinating podcast! I really enjoyed Scott’s view of the world so much and have encouraged everyone I know to listen to it.

    I also purchased “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” and it’s just fantastic! It’s like all the great practical advice you wish your parents and teachers had taught you that you end up getting from a really cool, hip uncle who’s been there and done that 🙂

  34. Tim,

    Thank you for creating podcasts that are “long form.” I so appreciate having the chance to spend 2 hours with someone as insightful as Scott Adams. So much of the world today is trying to condense everything into 10 minutes, which is a shame.

    I enjoyed listening to all of this podcast, particularly the section about affirmations. I’ve since ordered Scott’s book and can’t wait to dive in.

    I hope that this podcast has a very long life. Thank you to Scott, also.

  35. Scott, you are my hero. (sorry Tim 😉

    If you would ever consider writing a hilarious five part trilogy you might have a change of challenging Douglas Adams for first place as Wisest Cleverest Funniest Technologist That I’d Like To Have Beer With.


    (p.s. consider Wellington, NZ for your next holiday destination. Our Februaries rule.)

  36. Hey Tim… I had my whole team and wife try the affirmations…. my wife wrote one to find a lost dog she rescued. She had been looking for 2 months… Yesterday on the first day of the month she received a phone call from a complete stranger and we found the dog! Coincdence maybe but wow!

  37. I listened to the podcast a few days ago and got around to getting God’s Debris today. I’m about 3/4 through but just had to share my joy in it. Especially the chapter, Willpower. As a young and fit student physical therapist, one of the hardest internal struggles is not judging patients who are overweight or unhealthy. It’s usually helpful to remind myself of extraneous circumstances they experience that differ from my own. But this viewpoint on willpower and level of urges differing is very intriguing as well.

    Also, during the podcast Scott mentions his decision to develop the book with fictional characters to express points and allow the reader to put themselves in the position of the delivery man (who is nameless). It reminds me of Conversations with God by Neale Walsh and The Ishmael series by Daniel Quinn. They do name the inquisitive characters receiving the information but it gives the similar effect of putting the reader in the student’s shoes. Anyone else have a similar thought? I wonder if Scott has read these and/or took them into consideration when writing God’s Debris.

  38. Hi Scott, Tim,

    Great podcast! I really enjoyed it!

    Scott, you write down your affirmations and it really worked for you. A few weeks ago I read the article ‘Prime Your Brain for a Permanent Performance Gain’ by Steve Pavlina. He is also a believer in affirmations, but his view on written affirmations is that these a time consuming and he recommends making them visual (pictures, post- its, whiteboards etc) so that you see them continuously for many hours each day.

    What is your view on this? Do you think it is better to write down each day your affirmation or to make it visual where you can see them for many hours a day? More exposure sounds better but I am really interested in your view about this.

    Thanks .

    [Moderator: link removed]

  39. I don’t understand why you let Scott Adams spout NLP bullshit. A basic wikipedia search shows that it’s pseudoscience.

  40. One of the best TF podcasts so far, and that’s saying something with the other amazing guests. I’ve always been a Dilbert fan (at one point I thought Scott had a secret insider at my company during a private equity-imposed reorg/restructure) but the meta-level Adams knowledge is priceless.


    – I really liked that you gave this one all the time it needed and didn’t restrict the length arbitrarily. In fact, this applies to all your podcasts. This is one thing that makes your podcast different to (and better than) regular “syndicated” material, you’re more concerned with optimising the outcome according to the guest, than religiously sticking to a format.

    – I really like that you are asking a lot of the same questions to your guests, as it helps understand similarities and differences between them. The realisation that so many of them use or have used meditation is fascinating, for instance.

  41. What an interesting guy! I did not expect the interview to dive into hypnosis, nor did I expect him to be so entrepreneurial and business-oriented. Delightfully surprising.

    I love this quote, which is worth meditating on: “The product is always yourself.”

  42. Tim,

    great episode! Quick story for the audience, which resulted from listening to this episode:

    Went out and bought God’s Debris (great, thought provoking book).

    After reading about the thought experiment of God’s recreation via connected machine intelligence (paraphrasing) I happened to come across an article title “The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence” the very next day

    The article proceeds to lay out exactly how artificial superintelligence (ASI) is very possible within the next 50 years. In other words, the super intelligent AI is the omnipotent equivalent of God. The article blew my mind and gave me goosebumps after having read through God’s Debris.

    Summary: Scott Adam’s thought experiment has some legs to stand on, and I figured the audience would appreciate a technical article backing it up.

    Thanks for cranking out so much thought provoking content!

  43. This was fantastic. Pleasantly enjoyed listening to this while driving to some mundane errands 🙂

    Just FYI Tim, in the shows notes it says “Other cartoons Scott respects and reads [1:41:26]” but it actually wasn’t. It quickly changed to talking about spasmodic dysphonia.

    Not a biggie, but thought you might like to know.

  44. Tim and Scott,

    This was a great podcast!

    I have a friend with spasmodic dysphonia, he is taking Botox now and is considering surgery. I told him about the three month off from speaking idea and he is interested but can’t find any information. Where could he find more information about this treatment?

    Thanks again for a great podcast!

  45. Whenever I read a new book, you do an interview with it’s author soon after!!! Thank you very much Tim. I realy like how down to earth Scott Adams is. A fascinating man.

  46. I would be pretty interested in knowing what book Scott Adams refers to for the affirmations. He mentions in the podcast when talking about the affirmations, that you have to write them 15 times a day, and that writing is better than just saying them out loud. But he briefly mentions visualizing. Is visualizing more important than the writing? Or will just writing your goal/desire be enough? Or do you really need both? I remember one day at work noticing that I needed packing tape. And when I was driving home, at night, I was also thinking about it. And a few blocks from my house, as I was driving, in the dark, I saw a roll of packing tape right in the middle of the road. I pulled over, got off, and picked it up. And I had an almost full roll of packing tape. Would have I noticed it in the middle of the road if I hadn’t thought about it earlier that day? Why can’t this happen with a big wad of money? Or can it? Maybe it’s because it’s very easy to believe that finding a roll of packing tape is very probable, and that finding a large sum of money is hard or very unlikely. So is belief more important? Anyone know what book he’s referring to?

  47. I got so much out of this podcast and have recommended it to others. I think that Scott’s approach to life is unique, but really sensible. I started with my affirmations after this 🙂

  48. Good interview, but I can’t believe no mention of the Dilberito?! What happened to it, is it going to come back anytime? It was the only FOOD, never mind burrito, I ate in college!!

  49. Hi Tim,

    I’d love to hear you interview Richard Banlder on your podcast. He is the co-founder of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and an amazing human being. He is still doing amazing work in getting many people to be the best they can be 🙂

    His style is awesome and his many stories of modeling successful people that began way back in the 60’s are amazing to say the least.


  50. My biggest challenge with creativity is knowing which ideas to really invest in and which ones are simply distractions from my greater goals.

  51. Hi Scott/Tim,

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed listening to this podcast and the book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.

    In the conversation, you guys were going through some of the explanations for the reason why affirmations work and there’s one good explanation that wasn’t brought up.

    It actually comes from the book Influence which you guys mentioned. The desire for consistency. Once we write something, we feel like we believe it. Once we believe it, there is pressure to bring our self-image in line with what we believe.

    I’m sure the other explanations are important too, but this tendency may play a strong part in guiding our actions to arrive at the stated goal. Anyway, just thought you’d find that interesting. Happy holidays!

  52. For those interested in the idea of using particular language or word choice to “program” the brain for mind control/hypnosis (yank vs. pull example here) check out the book “Lexicon” by Max Barry. Quick and amazing read, highly recommended, and directly relatable to the discussion here.

  53. Based on great interview with Scott Adams, you may enjoy learning more on topic of hypnosis from book partnered by Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Steven Gurgevich: “Heal yourself with Medical Hypnosis”.

  54. Tim: Immensely entertaining interview; thank you. Not surprising how many top performers refer to Robert Cialdini’s brilliant book, “Influence”. I was lucky enough to take his Social Psychology class at ASU in the 90s, and he was easily the best and most memorable professor I ever had. I’ve heard you wrestle with Dr. Cialdini’s name a couple of times: “Cial” starts with the “ch” sound like “chug” and the “ial” part sounds like the name “Al”. Thanks for what you do!

  55. Found the ‘systems thinking’ segment totally fascinating as a life organization tool.

    Does anyone know any good resources/books to delve into that topic more deeply?

    Has it ever been clearly organized and articulated someone more thoroughly?

  56. I’ve been following Scott Adams casually for a while, and recently more and more. This podcast inspired me to go read God’s Debris and re-explore the affirmations technique.

    I decided to start doing affirmations. [Moderator: link removed]

  57. Really fascinated by the affirmations technique and will give it a go for the next 6 months but had a quick question:

    Did Scott just focus on one affirmation at a time until it came into fruition? Or was he writing out multiple affirmations at any given time?

  58. Would love to hear Scott back on the podcast; especially with another election cycle coming up, and his requisite “psychology of influence” take on things.