Here’s what this famous cartoonist can teach you about success (spoiler: it has nothing to do with passion)

A couple of days ago, I read one of the book of Scott Adams “How to fail at almost everything and still win big”. He’s the famous cartoonist of Dilbert (although 1 week ago I had never heard about it). 

If you’re working in a corporate job, I suggest you to have a look on his website dilbert.com. I’m sure you’ll relate to one of his comic strips 🙂

Anyway, back to the book!

I loved his book because he’s giving feedback about how he got famous with Dilbert after many failures.

Was it because he had an incredible talent? A passion? A goal?

Well, none of them actually.

The answer as surprising as it might be is…


Had he not been born in the US, things would’ve been different.

I, for example, am forever grateful for my parents leaving the Philippines in their 20s.

Just imagine… if I were born in the Philippines, do you think I would’ve:

  • Graduated from an engineering school in Paris?
  • Earned 40k working for a big company in Paris?
  • Traveled to more than 30 countries before my 30’s?
  • Quitted my job to travel 4 months in South America?
  • Started a business on my own?

Chances are little to none. I’m not saying that it would’ve been impossible. Instead, it would’ve been waaaay harder.

Looking back to what my parents did to have a better future for themselves and for their future family, I’m feeling lucky.

My mom knew no one when she arrived in Paris. She didn’t know a single word in French. My dad had at least his older sister there. Now, they’re living in the suburbs of Paris and they’ll finally finish their mortgage in a couple of years. And they speak French.

I remember when I moved to my first apartment, I invited them and the first thing that my dad said was:

Wow all your furniture is new!

And I said proudly:

Yeah, it’s from IKEA.

Then he told me that the first mattress he had with my mom is one that they found in the street and they used it for yyyears until they could afford one on their own.

I didn’t know this story and when he revealed it to me, I felt proud of them. Life had not been easy but they made it. That why…

…my parents are my inspiration

They took risks when they were younger because they believed in a better future.

And I, Shyrwyn, believe in a better future too because that’s the legacy I’d like to leave behind.

I quitted my corporate job not because it was a whim, I quitted because it wasn’t fulfilling.

I felt like I was a robot designed to earn money then spend it unreasonably to expensive things that my friends would envy and then just die.

The truth is, it’s not who I am, and I’m sure it’s not who you are too.

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been part of the minorities. I know what it’s like to feel:

  • Rejected
  • Like you’re not good enough
  • Misunderstood
  • Lonely
  • Ashamed

I know how hard it is to take the leap. You have no hint of how to turn what you’re doing into a success story. No one can predict it to you.

But you know what? Sometimes, you just have to trust your guts that somehow things will turn out just fine and that luck will strike you in an unexpected way. Remember this:

Life is a daring adventure or nothing.

Shyrwyn Clemente on FacebookShyrwyn Clemente on GoogleShyrwyn Clemente on InstagramShyrwyn Clemente on Pinterest
Storyteller on the road. Read Shyrwyn’s articles on her travel blog and on Medium.

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