My failed corporate career became the fodder for the 'Dilbert' comic. Once it became clear I would not be climbing any higher on the corporate ladder, it freed me to mock managers without worrying that it would stall my career. Most failures create some sort of unplanned freedom. I took full advantage of mine.
The most important thing when you study hypnosis is that you learn that humans are irrational. Until you understand that, hypnosis is hard to do... For me, it was this great awakening to understand that humans are deeply irrational, and it's probably the greatest influence on me in terms of my writing.
I think if you talk to anybody who ever went from not having much to having enough to buy what they wanted, they're always happier. Now I get that whole '$75,000 a year is some kind of magic number,' but my experience is 'more is better, up to a point.' Then there's a point where it doesn't make any difference.
Before 'Dilbert,' I tried to become a computer programmer. In the early days of computing, I bought this big, heavy, portable computer for my house. I spent two years nights and weekends trying to write games that I thought I would sell. Turns out I'm not that good a programmer, so that was two years that didn't work out.
For most people, it's easy to be passionate about things that are working out, and that distorts our impression of the importance of passion. I've been involved in several dozen business ventures over the course of my life, and each one made me excited at the start. You might even call it passion.