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Reframe Your Brain Summary and Book Review by Scott Adams

Welcome to my Reframe Your Brain review and SparkNotes!

One-Sentence-Summary: Providing options to reframe your current situation into one more advantageous to your future self.

booboo book rating: ★★★★★

Favorite line: “On most days, I’m 5’8″ and 157 pounds of wise-cracking sex appeal. If a bully encountered me, he’d be tempted to give me the wedgie I appear to deserve.” It made me LOL.

Did you know I’m an author? I wrote four books on real estate investing, travel, and language learning.

What Is A Reframe?

In case you don’t know what Adams means when he uses the word frame, I shall explain: basically (ha ha!), your whole life is acted out through frames. A frame can be good or bad or serious or funny or insulting. But your behavior is dictated by your frame, sometimes done unconsciously (bad bad bad!). Think of the last time someone you somewhat knew didn’t say hello to you.

Did you wonder why that person was so rude like most of us?

Or, did you assume they didn’t see you or recognize you? Maybe you intimidate them. Or, maybe they’re having a bad day, and you held nothing against them for not saying hello to you. Maybe even went up to them to say hello?

Those two frames are optional. You decide. I think we’d all agree that one leads, more likely, to success.

I’ll be recording a video book review soon! Subscribe to my dannybooboo YouTube channel.

The Best from Reframe Your Brain by Scott Adams

You’ll have to read yourself to find out which of the hundred reframes works for you, but I’ll put a few of my favorites here:

Usual Frame: Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Reframe: Citizens are innocent until proven guilty. Corporations and governments are presumed guilty until proven innocent.

booboo note: This is towards the end of the book, but I judge it as the most important.

Usual Frame: Don’t give something for nothing.

Reframe: Giving triggers reciprocity (on average).

Usual Frame: Success depends on who you know.

Reframe: Success depends on how many people you know.

Usual Frame: The universe is acting against me.

Reframe: The universe owes me.

booboo note: This reminds me of a quote by legendary poker player Phil Helmuth: “I expect great things to happen to me.” The interesting thing is that great things did happen for Mr. Helmuth rather consistently. Was it because of his frame? Kinda. A frame manifests itself in subtle and not-so-subtle ways through your body language, choice of words, and micro-expressions, all picked up by the people around you.

Usual Frame: Everyone is thinking about me.

Reframe: You are only a bit player in their movie.

booboo note: this one speaks to me. I always think everyone is looking at me. I think this is mostly true. However, I’m not playing a lead role in their movie. I’ll soon be forgotten. However, another fame you could put on this is: It would be cool to get a more prominent role in their movie. So if you can do something extraordinary, then they will definitely notice you, will definitely think about you a little longer today, and may even talk about you to their friends, and this sends energy to you. I often think of this as the afterlife: you are alive after death every moment someone thinks about you. From the 9/11 hijackers, Kobe Bryant, Hitler, President Nixon, the Unabomber all living dead if at least one living person is thinking about them.

Usual Frame: Social media is a form of entertainment.

Reframe: Social media is an addiction.

Usual Frame: Germs will harm me.

Reframe: Germs make me stronger.

booboo note: interesting! this has been a natural reframe for me. I heard that children who grow up with pets have a stronger immune system because of all the germs they bring inside. As a healthy adult, I often think back to my childhood with dogs and cats which fostered the same attitude today that germs, indeed, make me stronger, even though they may make me sick in the short term.

Apologies, I don’t mean to take the limelight from Mr. Adams, but may I indulge myself in sharing my most used reframe with you? I created it for myself years ago after getting denied by females and can be applied to many of life’s difficult situations.

Usual Frame: I’m sad because I really wanted that and didn’t get it.

Reframe: I don’t know the future and not getting that could have been the better outcome.

You missed the train, and it crashed without you on it. What seems to be a negative could actually be a positive. There’s a fable where a farmer’s boy, who’s been super productive on the farm (positive) gets a broken leg (negative) which allows him to stay home when the army came looking for military-aged able soldiers (positive).

For the fellas, so she said no to your date idea? If she said yes, maybe that turned into marriage, then she ruined your life through divorce, took your cash, took your house, made your kids hate you, and ruined your reputation, all for a date, and sex for a year.

You are reading my Reframe Your Brain review and summary. Be sure to check out my digital bookshelf for 100+ book summaries.

About Scott Adams

I started watching Scott Adams YouTube political commentary in 2020 based on a friend’s recommendation that Adams is me from the future. The uncanny similarities are, well, uncanny from both of our neverending confusion in how to pronounce ‘niche’ to thinking ‘be yourself’ is bad advice to planning decades into the future. Adams also has trouble with dates and calendars. Similar to me, I’ll miss meetings even with reminders.

Per usual for Scott Adams, he’s quite confident in his abilities. Within the first few chapters, he claims to have cured alcoholism, anxiety, procrastination, and sneezing. I find the amount of times he reminds readers that he’s a hypnotist in all of his books and on his live stream to be overboard. Maybe he’s really proud of it?

How to Spot a Winner

This section was interesting regarding Bitcoin and its being very hard to use (still!), yet people are still using it. Similar to mobile phones (I remember trying to get on Facebook in 2008 in the middle of the desert while driving to Vegas; it took five minutes for one page to load, but it seemed worth it).

Reframe Your Brain Review: Overall Thoughts

I like how the book is broken down into small pieces making it an easier read while waiting in line or doing some other activity with downtown.

I wish he had given the reframe first, then explained it. Personally, I don’t think the explanations do much, and they might serve to dampen their effects. A reframe will work for someone if it clicks based on where they’re at in their life at the moment, which is why I suggest reading this book yearly if the first time around proved useful.

You won’t be able to get through this book without feeling, an actual physical feeling, of your life changing. Some new perspective, some deep insight (hand motion) results in a physical change that you feel in your body. For me, it was in the Past Traumas section. Your section might be different and I encourage you to bu the book and read this section. I’ll leave you with a tiny portion from page 134:

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

If you are anxious, youlive in the future.

But if you are at peace, you are in the present.

How To Reset Your Brain

Do something that takes up full mental processing power to relax or reset.

Adams gives playing the drums as an example. For me, playing basketball or a social event. When I used to play online poker, occasionally, I’d experience a bad beat (when statistically, you’re overwhelmingly the favorite but lose), which pissed the living crap out of me. I went into my weight room and pushed out as many reps as possible, which totally zapped all pissed-off-ness from my system. This is almost like a flush to your system. For me, I can be too productive. From reading and studying on my computer to watching documentaries on my TV to listening to podcasts while I cook and get exhausted from it eventually. I need to go do something outside, go meet strangers, play a sport for a total reset.

Important Note On Fear

The following is from page 224: Fear is the strongest anti-motivator for humans. We will do nearly anything to escape it. That’s why you should be on guard for manipulators who use fear to control you. And it’s why you should use fear to persuidae when it’s ethical to do so.

You are reading my Reframe Your Brain review and summary. Be sure to check out my digital bookshelf for 100+ book summaries.

Tid Bits and Bobs

The section on not committing suicide seemed quite profound, maybe because Adams has been through at least one of these tradegies. I’ve never been in this situation, nor do I think someone in this situation would read this book, nevertheless, it did strike me as particularly good insight and advice.

The strangest section is definitely ‘Deciding Where To Eat’, where he lays out an even stranger reframe. This is followed up by one of the strongest sections: Humor. In it, he tells you how to be funny or at least moves you a little bit closer to that realm. Humor and how to improve your writing make this book worthy.

If you’re struggling with weight loss, Chapter 5: Physical Health Reframe is useful.

There are two paragraphs towards the end of the book in Chapter 7: The Operating System for Your Mind which may be overlooked if you’re not focused at the moment you read it, but I found to be profound. Adams lays out the four operating systems used by brains/people: selfishness, revenge, victim, and reciprocity. I found it to be succinct, accurate, and powerful.

I wish he went into marriage a bit more. He’s been divorced twice. I don’t see marriage as a viable option for me.

Adams mentioned Dr. Huberman twice. Though I’m neutral on the guy, over the years, he seems to prefer fame over fact, doing things for clicks and views.

Adams gives a nice tip to improve your presentation, or at least the retention of it by your audience: “Pattern violation is laos one of the top recommendations for making memorable presentations. If you have a theme for your slides, violate the theme on the slide that is the one you most want you audience to remember. Pattern violations – like a stain on a white tablecloth – capture your attention, and that’s exactly what you need to create memories and have impact.” (p. 166)

How To Improve Your Writing

Adams lists four rules that anyone can apply easily to improve their writing. The following is from page 71.

#1: Is it a direct sentence?

It is better to say the boy hit the ball than the ball was hit by the boy. Brins process direct sentences faster .Tell me who is doing the thing before telling me the thing.

#2: Too many adjectives?

Don’t say it was very hot. Say it was hot. Neither sentence is specific, but one uses too many words. Brains like fewer words.

#3: Nuke the adverbs

There might never be a right time to use an adverb.

#4: Write at a Sixth Grade Level.

The next page teaches you how to write funny with a single rule (ie change one word to a funnier alternate.)

Giving Advice

“A method I use that does not involve giving advice is asking questions about a person’s thought process and priorities. If I can prompt you to describe how your plans make sense and you struggle, you will likely self-correct without my annoying advice. The gaps in your logic will be apparent to you as you discover you can’t describe your idea coherently.” (p. 154)

Thank you for reading my Reframe Your Brain review and summary. Be sure to check out my digital bookshelf for 100+ book summaries.

Employee Management

Usual Frame: Tell people what they did wrong so they avoid it next time.

Reframe: Tell people what they did well so they are motivated to continue improving.

A really interesting parallel with another book I’m reading right now Alex Hormozi’s “$100M Leads” regarding how you frame your employees and your management.

Reframe: If you want it done right, get someone to spend all their time doing it.

Reframe: If I can do it, someone else can do it better.

Reframe: Everyone is replaceable, especially me.

You are reading my Reframe Your Brain review and summary. Be sure to check out my digital bookshelf for 100+ book summaries.

Reframes For Introverts

As a born-introvert, this speaks to me. I’ve decided that I need to learn how to be extroverted in as many situations in life as possible. Being an introvert, especially if you’re male, is a disadvantageous place to be stuck. Ain’t no one coming to save you, even if you’re an awesome person.

“When you’re bored with life and directionaless, the fastest way out is to ramp up your risk of embarrassment.” (p. 27)

Usual Frame: Your ego is “you”, and it must be protected.

Reframe: Your ego is your enemy.

booboo note: this reframe is about embarrassment, and something I read in the paragraph from the book spoke to me more. Reframe: the feeling of embarrassment doesn’t last long. Life really starts at the same place as embarrassment begins. This one is a rather big one for me because I’m a born introvert and very easily slip into the comfort zone, so I like the next reframe on a similar topic:

Usual Frame: I worry something will go wrong.

Reframe: I’m curious what will happen.

In Social Event Anxiety, he touches on something that hits me stronger as a reframe. The only reason you feel awkward in a social event is because the social rules are not well defined in how you interact with others. Think of a social situation where you don’t feel awkward. Work? That’s because the rules of engagement for that social interaction are well-defined. You know exactly what you can and can’t do.

Usual Frame: Social events give me anxiety.

Reframe: Not well-defined social interactions give me anxiety.

Surprisingly, or not so much after you read this section, “Discovering Your Sex Appeal,” I found to be strong.

Usual Frame: No one seems to find me attractive.

Reframe: I haven’t met enough people.

The premise is that if 10% of the general public likes you, that’s fantastic and no different than dating. Only 10% of the general public likes the most popular musical events. If 10% of the public likes you/wants to buy from you, you’ve done well. This section has another reframe, but I suggest you read the entire thing as I found it helpful. But, in a similar vein, I’d like to add my own reframe for masturbation:

Usual Frame: I have to masturbate to relieve myself.

Reframe: What is my alternative?

This reframe works because I understand that masturbation is a time suck. Adds no value and only takes time for very temporary stimulation. If I have anything else going on, I could take my mind off the current state by focusing on the alternative, or going somewhere public prevents me from relieving myself that way.

“I only need to succeed 10% of the time.”

This will help me in dating with rejection, and it’s so true. Interestingly, the very next reframe wanting vs deciding rang true for this, too. Even more interesting, I started reframing this already in my own life! I realized that I was looking for reasons not to approach (she’s not thin enough, she’s not cute, she’s too young, she’s walking too fast, she might be a prostitute or a trans, she looks busy, etc. x 100) instead of looking for reasons to approach.

Reframes For Parenting

Usual Frame: I’m talking to you, teen, and this is between us.

Reframe: I must answer to your future self, not your current self.

As a childless adult, I suppose I can’t get behind this too strongly. Nevertheless, I feel this reframe for raising children is a strong one. This reframe makes it two against one. As the adult, you are not only thinking of current teen, but also future teen, which maybe current teen can’t yet imagine, but the adult can. The future adult version of this teen will hold the parent accountable, so the parent is making decisions in that frame. Interestingly, Adams says this is his weakest reframe in the book. He ends with how to answer the teen question, “I don’t understand why…” with “That’s exactly my point. If you could understand this situation in full, it would mean you were ready to make decisions without me. I love you. Do….” (p. 173)

Usual Frame: Judge people by their mistakes.

Reframe: Judge people by how they respond to their mistakes.

Usual Frame: I can’t get to sleep.

Reframe: I didn’t work hard enough.

Usual Frame: People are rational 90 percent of the time.

Reframe: People are rational 10 percent of the time, if that.

booboo note: makes you wonder about economics where humans are assumed to be rational beings!

Usual Frame: One of us is right and one is wrong.

Reframe: We are watching two different movies on one screen

booboo note: Adams means that our perspectives and realities are different and subjective. It’s not that you’re wrong; it’s just that the other people are quite literally in a different reality. Adams gives an example of you witnessing someone pick up something off the ground. That’s your reality. The person who was picking something up was actually petting a cat. Both are accurate realities for each person. Watch Vantage Point if this interests you.

Usual Frame: The best worldview is the true one.

Reframe: The best worldview is the one that predicts the best.

booboo note: It’s become quite clear to me that the most successful people are the best at predicting the future. When I was younger, I decided to work for Airbnb, seeing a certain future that turned out to be true. At the time, people saw strangers sleeping on couches. I saw a global phenomenon. Others see a product or service need, fill that in society, and become wealthy.

Usual Frame: You are the product of your experiences and genes.

Reframe: You are the author of your experience.

booboo note: This reminds me a lot of the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, which essentially says that you can create your own future, and to a surprisingly freaky extent.

Here’s a frame:

Frame One: We’re connecting the world and setting up our factories in China.

Frame Two: We’re setting up our factories in Mexico because to do otherwise would contribute to global warming.

I’m not sure how clear of a reframe that is (outside of my brain), but I’m referring to creating the majority of goods and trinkets we buy in America, over in China, which requires a container ship to travel halfway around the world when there’s an obvious and alternative decision.

Elon Musk once said something about big words. If you’re smart, you use big words, right? You could also be seen as snobby if you use those big words. Musk said that a large vocabulary, including big words, which usually have a lot of meaning wrapped up in them, allows you to process more data. Small words, less data. Big word, more data, thus being more efficient with your energy.

Managing Versus Reacting

This one does need a little introduction. When Adams says managing, he is broadly referring to anything from work to your personal life. Just because you are making decisions doesn’t mean you are managing. If you are managing, you are measuring, whether that’s in your personal life (fitness goal), at work (revenue goal), or anywhere else.

Usual Frame: Whatever managers do is managing.

Reframe: If you are not measuring, you are not managing.

booboo note: so true, and something I need to improve in my own business.

“Are you trying to maintain or lose weight? Weigh yourself every day at the same time. (Ignore the ‘experts’ who tell you otherwise. If you aren’t measuring, you are not managing anything.)” (p. 66)

Related: On Lifting Weights (this blog will help you achieve your fitness goals)

Enjoyed that and looking for more? I recommend my Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself book summary.

Best Quotes from Reframe Your Brain

  • “Doing what you are told gets you a paycheck. Doing what you are NOT told (but is useful) gets you promoted.” (p. 47)
  • “Freedom is a good tiebreaker for decisions with unpredictable outcomes.” (p. 24)
  • “Life rewards action over inaction.” (p. 27)
  • “It should ease your mind to realize that once you get to know others well, their problems are ones you wouldn’t want.” (p. 180)
  • “Being good at selecting words is the difference between being persuasive and being annoying.” (p. 189)

Reframe Your Brain Summary and Conclusion

I think the greatest benefit of this book is allowing yourself the mindset to create your own frames, that work for you, in your current circumstances. Essentially, a frame helps you rebalance the odds. They help you tip the scale in your favor by changing your mindset. Your reality is created in your mind.

I feel like I know his editors contributions and they consistented of adding in qualified, maybe for liability protection. For example, in the Mental Health chapter he leads with “It isn’t sciene. But it also isn’t dangerous.” It’s maybe the 6th qualifier of the sort so far. “I should note that social media ‘addiction’ is not equivalent to drug, alcohol, or cigarette addiction.” (p. 84)…”I don’t recommend using this reframe to talk yourselfin to doing something dangerous.” (p. 107) And, so on.

Thanks for visiting and thanks to Scott Adams for writing Reframe Your Brain!

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