As you get older, you’ll notice how many people lie to you.
And it is FASCINATING.
Once you recognize these lies, you can never go back.
For example, let’s take this interview of a big-name CEO. Someone asked him, “What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?”
His answer: “My number 1 piece of advice to people is to discover their calling.”
Now just step back and think about this advice. It sounds logical, right?
Find your passion, find your calling, do what you love…
…but if you dig deeper, you’ll notice all the things he didn’t say:
- He never watches Netflix and doesn’t even own a TV
- Every Sunday evening, he spends 3 hours in the office planning out his week
- He’s always thinking about work. In the shower, while buying coffee, and yes, while eating with his family
- He works 60+ hours/week
Now, why didn’t he say all of this stuff?
The truth is, most people don’t want to hear about the hours he puts into working every single week. That sounds hard! It’s much easier to drop a soundbyte that people can feel good about — even if it’s not 100% true.
Most people want to hear platitudes about success. They don’t want to hear the truth about what it takes to be successful. (Click to tweet)
When we start listening for these white lies, we hear it all around us, all the time:
- Fit mom of 2 kids: “Oh, I just walk a lot and watch what I eat.”
- The straight-A student: “I barely studied, it’s a miracle I even passed!”
- Friend who’s really good with women: “Just be yourself.”
I’ve seen it myself: People want me to tell them they can make $1 million in 3 months with their stupid cat-petting idea. It’s not true. You have to work your ass off to create a successful business. But when you start talking about the work required, their eyes glaze over.
But winners do.
Winners know it’s crucial to recognize the lies and find out what it really takes to win. Otherwise, we believe everything is supposed to be easy, whether it’s fitness or school or finding a great girlfriend/boyfriend. And when it’s NOT easy, we come up with our OWN lies to rationalize why we failed.
Now, most people won’t even recognize these lies, much less call them out. Like I always say, the world wants you to be vanilla. The world is pushing you to be mediocre, because it’s safe and makes everyone else feel warm and fuzzy. (Click to Tweet)
But not me. Today, your surrogate Asian father is going to call out the 3 biggest lies we tell ourselves.
Lie #1: “I don’t have enough money to start saving”
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This tweet ruffled some feathers because people don’t like to hear that EVERYONE can save money if they try. The natural response is to desperately try to find exceptions.
Here are the responses I got back:
- “People using food banks can save? You know some really are worse off than you think”
- “Sometimes saving is impossible”
- “One thing to consider: people on benefits are penalised for having too much savings”
I had one person who kept badgering me about their inability to save. Finally, I wrote this:
“If you truly believe it’s ‘impossible,’ I will personally help you for 3 months, free. 1 rule: You do every single thing I say.”
You can probably guess if she took me up on the offer or not. Once their excuses are taken away, complainers don’t know how to respond, so they disappear.
Of course, for some people, getting started is tougher. If you’re not making a lot of money, you might not be able to save $500/month, $50/month, even $20/month. But you can start at $5. And we have free material on savings to help you.
Check out this completely different response I got from Marcela:
“Started with 50 cents in a jar and grew from there”
I LOVE this. Marcela started where she could — 50 cents in a jar — and worked her way up.
How much we save is irrelevant: It doesn’t matter if you’re saving a dollar a week or automatically saving 10% of every paycheck. What matters is the mindset we CAN save, then building the habit. You can always “tune” the savings up later.
Lie #2: “I’m an introvert so I’m not good at talking to people”
Here’s a lie I’ve been seeing more of lately:
- “I can’t just walk up and talk to a stranger, that’s weird”
- “She’s a natural, I could never get up in front of a room and give a speech”
- (Sees someone walk into a room and become life of the party) “I wish I could do that”
I call this the Myth of the Introvert: The idea that if we weren’t born naturally charismatic, we can’t ever get good at networking or talking to strangers. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
My friend Susan Cain (who literally wrote the book on introverts) says, “introverts have a preference for quiet environments.” The key word there is preference — it doesn’t mean introverts are so constitutionally bad at talking with others that they have no choice but to stand awkwardly in the corner at parties.
Unfortunately, the word “introvert” has been hijacked as an excuse to avoid slightly uncomfortable situations.
Here’s an example of a video of me working with one of my star students, Chris. Chris is an amazing, accomplished guy — but it’s painfully obvious he hates speaking in front of others. You can practically feel his nervousness through the video.
Now look at his transformation:
It’s obvious Chris worked on a lot of things: His body language, his intonation, his confidence. It didn’t happen overnight — in fact, it tooks YEARS of work. But the transformation speaks for itself.
Lie #3: “I’ve tried everything, but I can’t lose weight”
This is one of the most dangerous lies of all.
As a guy who used to think I was “just born with my body” and I couldn’t change it, I understand how it feels to be stuck. That no matter what diet you try or what training plan you follow, nothing is ever going to change. When you believe the lie, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
However, I also learned that you can change your body. There are no secrets, no tricks. Much of it is psychological.
And while there are occasionally medical conditions, there are things anyone can do to change.
People will protest: “What about people with medical issues?” (Looking for outlier exceptions.)
“They don’t need to lose weight, they need to learn to accept themselves.” (Rationalizing the lack of desire and tools for true change.)
Look, if someone wants to work on accepting themselves, that’s totally up to them. I truly wish them the best.
But there are also people who want MORE. They want to fit back into their favorite pair of jeans, walk up a flight of stairs without losing their breath, or have a six-pack. If you’re one of these people, the good news is changing our bodies is something we control.
In the past, we ran a large number of students through an I Will Teach fitness program. One student, Lang, had struggled with his weight for most of his life. He tried eating better, lifting weights, dance classes… but nothing helped.
As we delved into the program, we showed him many of his challenges were psychological. For example:
- He always needed to “clean his plate.” “My dad’s family was really poor back in Vietnam, so he knew real hunger, and he would always tell me and my siblings to never waste food.”
- If he was with friends, he was eating. “Come to think of it, whenever I’m with friends, it’s always over food or alcohol.”
- He ate for comfort. “One thing that stuck in my mind after the call was the thought of just doing something else rather than eating for comfort. I honestly never had that thought cross my mind.”
The better he understood his barriers, the faster he was able to transform:
Society would have told Lang that some people can’t lose weight. That it’s probably his thyroid, or his metabolism, and he should just accept his body. But Lang was prepared to confront his own psychology — the lies he told himself — and change his body.
The world wants you to be vanilla
We live in a world where mediocrity is celebrated because it makes other people feel good: “It’s okay, some people are just born poor/introverted/overweight. It’s not your fault. Just learn to accept it!”
We’d rather hold onto lies we’ve been telling ourselves — sometimes for years — than face the uncomfortable truth that maybe we’ve been wrong this entire time.
I did this. I was more comfortable accepting that I was just a skinny Indian guy rather than actually learning how to change my eating and training.
But over time, I realized I’d rather confront the truth — painfully at times — than live in the darkness. (Click to Tweet)
This is a tough outlook on life. It means acknowledging that you might have been wrong about things for the last 35 years of life. It also means a lot more work.
I love it. To improve my mind, my body, and my relationships, I want to know how people really do it — not the platitudes that society celebrates. (Click to Tweet)
If you’re here reading this, then I think you’re like that too. I respect that and I’ll keep telling you the truth, no matter what.
Starting an online business isn’t easy. If you want a business that makes you money while you sleep, you’ll work harder than you’ve ever worked. But we’ll show you how, and we’ll always tell you the truth, at GrowthLab.
If you want a top-tier job, we’ll show you how to get it at Find Your Dream Job. It’s hard.
Or if you’re just interested in how top performers behave, we’ll show you how in our Ultimate Guide to Habits — totally free, with my compliments.
Now I have a question for you:
What lies have you noticed that society tells you?
Is it about when you should be married? How many kids you should have? Owning a home? Your career?
Let me know the lies you’ve noticed below. I read every comment.