Think Bigger

The lies of uber-successful people

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.

Bonus: The $400,000 Week: We break down the exact email sequence we used to make $400,000 is 5 days. This 5-part funnel could triple the profits from your next launch. Click here to get it for free.

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.

People don’t want to see how the sausage is made.

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”

Screen Shot 2017 02 14 at 7.05.19 AM
Follow me on Twitter

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:

Screen Shot 2017 02 24 at 9.36.08 AM
“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:

Screen Shot 2017 02 22 at 8.38.11 AM
“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”

Screen Shot 2017 02 22 at 8.40.22 AM

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.

In fact, you can become more fun at parties, tell amazing stories, and learn how to build an incredible network in a non-sleazy way.

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.

Me working with Chris on his monotone voice

Now look at his transformation:

Chris’s transformation a few years later

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.

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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:

l transformation

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.

DOWNLOAD THIS GUIDE FOR 30 SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS IDEAS YOU CAN START TODAY.

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There Are 185 Comments

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The lie that I hear a lot is that they don’t need to learn about finances because they are doing ok or their spouse takes care of that. I was teaching a finance class and that is what people would tell me is the reason that they weren’t in the class.

As a woman who previously worked in a male dominated industry, in a state where the dominate culture is extremely male dominated, it was always hard to be heard. Oh, they were very good at listening, because being polite is a dominate trait, but I was hardly ever heard. I wasn’t supposed to be there. Now, I am my own boss. And my voice will be heard.

‘Society’ tells me that as an unmarried 35 year old woman with no kids, I am not successful. Having a man and children are somehow two key measures of a woman’s life. 😏

Stephanie

I am (finally) married at 30, and now everything asks when I’m going to have kids. For some reason getting my Ph.D doesn’t count as one of my accomplishments. (And, yes, I do use my Ph.D for my job.)

That it’s very expensive to raise kids. I’ve heard it costs upwards of 200-300k and everyone makes it sound like you’re going to be poor forever. We have 3 kids ages 8, 4 and 2 and on one salary of $140k we raise them and still save 40-45k/year…

In a world of repetitives, your posts are always novel and interesting – thanks!
I think there are a lot of lies to be found in relationships: people who remarry always fail, women are b…s, cheating was the cause (not a symptom of the cause)…
Thanks for sharing and for asking!
Sam

Interesting… I hear a lot that “I cannot be more than just a mom” :-) either way, I think there is often a big guilt behind any mom, if she wants to work more and she doesn’t have the time or if she choses not to.

As a younger person, I have always been told that attending college was a necessity for future success. While 4 year university is a common path taken by people, it isn’t the only way through life. It also isn’t right for everybody.

Indeed. I spent way more than 4 years in college, all the way up to PhD level. Then I decided to become an entrepreneur instead, working alongside many of my colleagues who have no college education and make more money than most people I know!

Nathan Romrell

The lie that I hear the most is “You should just be happy with what you have.” When I hear this it is usually given as an excuse not to push yourself. Being happy and grateful for the things you have is not mutually exclusive from wanting to be more and have a richer life for yourself and those around you.

Kenneth CHU

Yes, That’s a piece of JUNK. Butter makes people fat while Bitter things makes people great. Because I want to be a great, EVEN POWERFUL. So I take the Bitter way.

The lie was about my weight: that I wasn’t heavy and that I was “just fine”. However, I knew it wasn’t true, and besides that, who wants to be “just fine”. I’d rather be exceptional! I don’t want to carry an extra 20 pounds, even if that keeps in the “slightly overweight” category. That’s still overweight, and I should lose it. Women tell their friends all the time that they’re just fine, I think because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. Being honest with yourself is difficult but necessary.

“I could never be/succeed in sales because I am not a pushy person. It’s too sleazy” – No it might actually be a craft you have to work at.

LAURA WINFREE

Ugh, yes, this is me too, Josh. I’ve always told myself I’m just terrible at sales, which has held me back from selling myself as a brand to my full potential. My goal is to push past that BS during Zero To Launch this year.

I always believed my dad’s words: “Young people are idiots! They know nothing! You have to struggle and work 80 hours/week for xx years before you can become successful.”

While I agree that you must work ridiculously hard to become successful, I no longer believe that as a young person you must initially struggle. In fact, I’ve found that when I work hard while believing in abundance, I thrive.

Thanks for all you do, Ramit! :-)

Andrea Decker

You’re too “old” to…. start over, live your dream, switch careers or any number of things that people connect with certain age-related numbers.

“It’s weird that you’re friends with your ex-husband.”

It’s not weird. We were great friends who weren’t compatible as spouses. Now we’re just great friends. You’re weird for thinking I have to succumb to societal and media stereotypes of what divorce looks like.

Fun fact: we celebrate our divorceversary every year. We have themes. We celebrated our 8th divorceversary this weekend (Theme was immigrant-owned restaurant, and we went to Zen Box Izakaya. FU, Trump.).

The biggest lie i have been told by society is that business people are born different. That not everyone can be successful in business.
This lie tells us that we should be comfortable with whatever is handed to us and i am tired of hearing this

Society tells us that in order to live a comfortable life you must go to college. After you go to college you will get a job and live a very comfortable life and be happy. That is a lie. College (although it certainly helps) is not a guarantee that you will live happily ever after. People think after i graduate from college ill be happy because ill have a job. After they get a job, they think “oh this sucks, i hate my job” if i had another job i would be happy. What society doesn’t tell you is that doesn’t matter how much wealth you have, material possessions you have, you’ll always want more or you’ll want something different. Its not until you value what you have and give value to others that you become truly successful… my two cents. :)

“Just work harder and you’ll get ahead.” We even see it in Veronica’s comment of February 27th. “You must work ridiculously hard to become successful.”

I disagree. You must work *smart,* in a targeted way. It may or may not involve working many hours. It will almost certainly require a tremendous amount of mental attention and focus, but not necessarily in an effortful or stressful way.

I totally agree with you, right? Work should be ‘smart’. Why work 12hrs a day if you’re not going to enjoy your life? I believe in working ‘smart’ and enjoying your life at the same time. I’m a super fan of Gary Vaynerchuck, but I don’t quite agree with his philosophy of hustling and working 24/7, I like Tim Ferris hack philosophy better!

The lie that you have to be an extrovert, not introvert or anything in between, to be a leader. I have been noticing more and more often recently that great leaders, managers or bosses are the ones who take the time to listen, analyze and process what is happening, before making decisions. Being extrovert is seldom confused with being confident, while by the same logic, being an introvert could be confused with lack of confidence.

Claudia monterr

I was always raised with the expectations of “hispanics work hard” and that’s the only thing to do.

Not to answer the question, but “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.” was beautiful :)

Some lies I’ve been told:
– put in your dues, the paycheck is all that’s important (spoken by a partner at my firm)
– you need to have kids for your parents. really. Really.
– you need to have kids to know what it means to be human. I’ll resign to just being sub-human then.
– you need to stay at your job at least 3 years – my dad
– you’re going to hate your scars from playing so hard later on. – this was told to me when I was in elementary school but I think it still applies to my adult life. Such bullshit. I look back and only remember the wildness and freedom I felt roaming the apartment complex, riding bikes, and playing games with the boys – and the scars remind me of the recklessness and fullness of life lol.
– you need to be an adult. – This one is more implied, something I realized has been ingrained over time. What the hell does that even mean? Why?! Why can’t I do and pursue what I think is good for me, even if it doesn’t make sense to other “adults”?

Anyway – thanks for reading. You are awesome Ramit. Love hearing from my other Asian father lol!

Happy Monday!

One that I hear from a co-worker that drives me crazy is that once you have kids, your diet automatically changes, you eat more fast food, and that you don’t have time to exercise. Sure, kids take priority, but is it really that much of a life change that you can’t create an hour in the day (or less) to work out? I don’t buy it.

Generally kids are really active so who needs a gym?! Play with the kids for an hour I’m sure it’ll br more demanding than bashing the gym equipment 😛

Haha, I just had a baby and only until recently do I have the time and relatively more energy to do a few sit-ups, etc and stop eating mcdonalds. I have no doubt I’ll lose the weight but is it hard? Yes. Does it take work and effort? Yes. It’s really a matter of how bad you want it. Like the BJ Fogg interview, my few sit-ups is better than none. I find ways to get groceries into my home and cook. I look for healthier snacks meaning I’ll eat oatmeal with hot chocolate ( dark cocoa powder and milk only) everyday instead of a bag of cookies, if I have to, which I do. But am I exhausted everyday? Yes! Im going at a snail’s pace but so far in the past 2-3 months(?) I’ve lost 2 pounds! I can feel the drive I have for losing weight, now I just need to figure out what other lies I tell myself regarding other things Hahahaha.

Lies by exclusion of information are the best. They’re all around because they’re PC, both for people making excuses and the people who know what it takes to succeed.

Of the ones who make excuses, the one that drives me crazy is when they tell me how “busy” they are.

Of the ones who have had success in a given area, the one that I laugh at most is celebrity endorsements of products, because they have so many hidden things going for them already (think a movie star advertising a lotion. Like, you are very famous and have to look good on TV; I doubt you only use that product to make your skin look how it does).

why do you invest in retirement when you still have student loans?
Pay them off first then start saving! Or not even – why retirement. You don’t own house yet, you still rent……
I could go on and on.

Lies that society has taught me, that pursuing success is selfish and that one must be humble. It feels like a conflicting message. You go to school to be successful, but when you are you can sometimes feel the discomfort from peers or you may feel discomfort at how much more successful they are. Instead of competing, I wished society taught us how to be. How to live in the moment and do work that is really play.

Hey, I think the greatest lie is: I dont have time for this. I noticed it a lot of times on other people, but also I use it a lot. When someone asks me to do something with him and I dont want to, its so easy to say: Sorry I dont have time on Saturday. It is the easy way because you dont want to hurt their fealings. But you can lie to yourself, too. I dont have time is a often said excuse in my head, when I am scared of doing something. So you sometimes bury your dreams because it is intimidating or you feel overwhelmed.

The imbalanced self-motivation video/poster wave is being used as an excuse to do nothing and prevent one from confronting his issues and correcting them. The society says “that’s just who you are and you should love yourself”. Yeah, that is what you are and you should love yourself and if you really do, you will not be satisfied until that issue is dealt with and “you” is not the same “you” anymore.

Another problem caused by that is that people believe that one needs constant motivation to achieve something greater, which is a complete nonsense. Motivation gets you going but it is a short-term engine, afterwards you must do the work whether you feel like it or not.

To be happy you need to be married, own a home, and have kids.

You have to go to college to be successful.

Play it safe. Never take chances. If your wrong you could ruin your life.

“You should stay at least 2-3 years in one job before leaving or else it will look bad in your resume”

This huge lie ties down so many people to a job they hate. If you’re not growing in a company, go find another one right away! Why waste time? People are aware of bad work places and you shouldn’t tolerate it for the sake of a pretty resume. My employers never questioned me leaving past jobs after just 2-6 months. My portfolio showed good work and they hired me for that.

Saturn james

That education and school will show you what you need to know about the world. Also, that time doesn’t move fast and you can wait until later to make things happen (too young for this, not ready for that, wait until you get older– create some bad habits around urgency)

For years, my family and my teachers told me that I was smart. At the time, I thought it was a great compliment. The more I spent time with top performers and studied and implemented Ramit’s material the more I realized that being labeled as smart handicapped me. Being called smart instilled in me the belief that everything should be easy.

Now, I’m learning the truth that being smart is okay, but having a strong and consistent work ethic is far better.

I totally agree with that – I don’t like being called smart because I think everybody is smart in their own ways, and the label doesn’t really do anything helpful to push us more

For a lot of people their favorite party to go to is a “pity party”. When something goes wrong in someones life, they go through a break up or are rejected by a job their interviewing for or someone they’ve been pursuing for a while. They don’t do anything about it.
They reflect on it for days and come up with all of these excuses as to why it should have worked or wondering what they could have done better.
Instead, you should get up, brush yourself off, learn something, and move on. Sitting and trying to validate your feelings to yourself doesn’t help you with anything. You’re just lying to yourself.

To find your soulmate, just be yourself.

But we may need to improve ourselves or at least change the way we present ourselves if we want to attract the best person for us.

“How old are you? Oh, you’re “JUST A BABY”, you’ve got plenty of time!”
Meanwhile, this is still being told to me, at 37, and sometimes by others who are just a couple of years older, as if they’ve been around for decades longer than me. U know what? If thats the case, then everybody who isnt 120 yrs old is “still a baby”. Ive heard 90+ yr olds telling that same line – jokingly, AS WELL AS BEING SERIOUS – to a bunch of 80+ yr olds. Geez…

Great email. This is my first ever response to your emails, but I DO love them. Biggest lie: Listen to your heart/Don’t care about what other people say. NO! You should care when people you respect have something to say. You do need to assess the value of other people’s opinions. Don’t blindly accept or pander, but listen to the arguments of others who usually make sense.

There are a lot of lies I hear as “advice”
-owning a home is a good investment
-you need to have kids to be an adult
-just work hard and the rest will come
-you are a special snowflake and people will realize this on their own

then, I hear a lot of lies from other people to try and change my course of action:
-you/we work really hard, why can’t we just watch netflix for a bit (which turns into hours)
-that a singing competition/ audition is fixed, its not worth your time (while the audition/ competition itself might be fixed, it is still an opportunity for me to practice auditioning/ competing which is a very different skill than just singing. Going into something that I know I won’t get any way due to politics gives me a low-stakes opportunity to try new audition techniques, so that when it really maters I have these skills mastered)

Then there are lies I hear other people saying that drive me crazy:
– I can’t possibly save any money, I spend every cent of my paycheck!
– My mom was overweight and I am too, I can’t do anything about it (while eating a candy bar)
– I just don’t have any time!! (but then spends hours messing around on the web or watching netflix)

Things that people have said that I have complete respect for:
– I know I should lose weight, but its not my priority right now.
– I am saving a bit now, but I’m focusing on getting out of credit card debt first
– I am happy to do abc after I finish xyz.

A big lie I’ve noticed: I “should” suck it up living in the SF Bay Area – continue living here and accept the high cost of living so I can have plentiful job options, and buy a home here, even though I want to live elsewhere.

When trying to help my wife get ready for an interview, she responded with “I’m just not good at interviewing like you…” Little does she realize I studied and prepped for days/weeks and have steadily honed my responses to questions based on how I perceive they are received over the course of years! I’ve also more recently taken Ramit’s advice and read books on how to become better in social situations. She doesn’t want to hear any of it and just gets upset if I try to explain (so I stopped of course).

One lie I noticed is that society – esp. a free & equal society like in the US – seems to expects people who have fundamentally opposing views (religious, political, social, whatever) to be able to discuss their views openly & honestly without impacting relationships. In reality, peoples’ views become so ingrained and substantive that they (the views) shape those peoples’ personalities, outlooks and perceptions. Maybe we like to think it only happens to others, esp. if we consider ourselves “too smart” to be swayed. But then we talk to someone with profoundly different views and it subconsciously changes how we see them. Society expects us to just compartmentalize those conversations and hold the other person in same regard. It’s human nature for people & relationships to change, and that’s the true danger in divisive religion, politics, social stances, etc. Society, however, spins the divisiveness as “healthy debate” and expects us to stay the same throughout.

Wow, what a great comment! It’s particularly relevant given the current political and other divides.

Myths I’ve noticed (all in my opinion):

– You should go back to school if you want to change jobs or careers. Sometimes you do, such as law school, but often it’s not really necessary to get a master’s. And often it’s a way to procrastinate.

– The president holds all the power in the world. At least in the U.S., the president only has plenary power (i.e., limited power that has been granted), and much of his job is to be a figurehead who assumes the constituents’ hopes and fears, rather than be a micromanager of a country.

– You should listen to your parents. This is one that’s hard to break out of, especially in an Asian culture like mine. I struggled with this and finally decided that I can forge my own path. Sure, they’re supposed to be your “role models” for the first 20 or so years of your life. But then you realize there are other people who have achieved things that YOU want to do. With the power the Internet, you can now learn from not just your nuclear family but everyone else. Times have changed, and I believe the role of parents have also changed. If you stay in the same mindset as you were growing up, you will stay stagnant and limited. If you want to grow and surpass your parents, you must consider lessons from others who are where you want to be.

A lie I hear too often is that if I’m “patient”, “wait my turn” and “put my time in” that things will work out in the long run. I’ve found that putting together a bullet-proof strategy and working my tail off works a lot better.

Whenever I crack jokes and randomly go off on trivia that hasn’t really got anything to do with anything, my friends tell me I’m wise, intelligent, and smart. When I actually have something important to say about something that matters and know a bit what I’m talking about, those very same people look at me like I’m off my rocker and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m “too young.” Bull.

You have to ‘do your time’ or ‘pay your dues’ at work. If you are being given boring stuff to do at work that you are not learning from, either challenge your boss for something else or leave.

However, is important to keep in mind that tasks you do to learn a skill aren’t always very interesting and require some grit to get through but if mastering something was easy everyone would do it. There is some skill in distinguishing between tasks that you get little out of and you’re not enjoying and tasks that you’re not enjoying but are ultimately going to give you a skill set you want or need.

As a child, I believed school would teach me everything I needed to become a professional adult. While some careers do require (and are driven by) extensive education, I’ve noticed that many “professionals” are just regular people figuring things out as they go, learning from mentors and gaining knowledge from their own experiences. Most folks I know don’t have all the answers when they take a job or start their own businesses… it’s a learning process. So perhaps the lie is the idea that you must be an expert before you can begin to accomplish your goals. I still struggle with this idea, but I try my best to keep moving.

Hey Adopted Asian Father,

One lie that has been perpetuated in society (more towards myself) is that I have to make sure that everyone else around me is happy before I can be happy.

‘Follow your Passion!’ I’m so sick of this advice. Most useless advice ever for twenty somethings.

‘Go to business school.’ Business school is the absolute worst for future entrepreneurs. They don’t say hey this is the challenge, come up with an idea and go raise x amount of money by next week…..call us if you need advice.

Instead we sit in classrooms and talk business….on and on and on. We learn to become business analysts.

The whopper of lies:
“You must vote for candidate A because if not candidate B will ruin the country!” This one came up during the recent election. I’m no fan of Trump, but I observed how I was “gotten” by the media playing into my fears. I could’ve cast a third party vote as my state was already decided for a candidate by a big landslide, but I voted for a primary candidate because I was told to be afraid by the news.

I fell for the (what I now consider it to be) American propaganda and at 24 finally went back to school and got a degree. Now I’m out, working as a “software engineer” and am completely miserable. I make more money but I’m heavily in debt. I’m cooped up all day long in a cubicle. Commuting to the city takes up hours of my day. And I’m one of the lucky ones. I got a tech degree which (salary wise) pays off after college a lot of the time. There are not many degrees that a worth something. School debt is getting ridiculous, and trades are becoming just as high in demand as a lot of “degree required” positions, for a fraction of the cost! I feel like I was tricked and I feel like the current generation is being lied to about what exactly college is, and what it does for you.

DaniELA vAZQUEZ

Lies Society Tells you: As a recent college graduate, (starting out in a Fortune 500 company), you will need years of experience to move up in your company. An adult once told me at a professional development event, “Everyone needs to do their time, it doesn’t matter how smart or prepared you are, you do your time to move up.” Completely disagree. Lies.

Ronnell Armbrister

The lie I’ve heard a lot, especially coming from a smaller country like The Bahamas, is that “women should only be so successful, because it intimidated men, which is why successful and college educated women are less likely to be married”

“If it’s meant to be it’ll just happen.” I was always told this growing up so when something got too hard I thought “Oh, it wasn’t meant to be so I am just forcing it.” If I could go back and tell myself instead that everything worth anything takes hard work or something to that effect things would have been a lot different with my life earlier on.

That being a good colleague and a true professional means always doing more and “giving” more to colleagues, clients, or students until it hurts. I got this from Wharton business prof Adam Grant, author of “Givers and Takers.” His research found that “givers”–those who put others first, are over-represented at both the bottom and top of the performance curve. The ones at the top learn how to be strategic and productive with their generosity, while the ones at the bottom never get to their own priorities.

You see this in many careers. As a professor, I have colleagues who are always advocating (from the moral high ground) that we need to do ever more one-on-one work with struggling students. As it happens, Grant studied teachers, and found that the ones who went “all-in” with sacrificial one-on-one work with students in a failing school suffered from burnout. They became less effective in the classroom, and student scores went *down*.

The lesson? Yes, be a giver, but give effectively.

I am sick and tired of hearing that FU Trump. As if it matters what they think of Trump. Lots of us hated Bush. Lots of us hated Obama. Lots of us hated Nixon. Lots of us hated Reagan. Lots of us hated Bill Clinton. I really hated LBJ because of Vietnam and hated Jimmy Carter. Guess what? In one hundred years it won’t make any difference what you think. He got elected. Online comments are just wasted force of electrons going to ground.

I am sick and tired of hearing about global warming and that I should do something about it. I research paleoclimate. I know how uncertain the science really is because it is my field of study. Don’t give me this bull that buying a hybrid car or riding my bicycle will save the world. Solar power is not going to save us. Nor will wind. Neither will recycling. Nor will the EPA. In reality most people don’t pay enough attention to climate or weather to even know what a change would be. None of them will live long enough to see climate change and because of forces like precession it will change anyway. No matter what we do or do not do.

I am tired of people who say you must go to college when you are young. I went at age 35 after several other good careers in commercial diving, wholesale produce importing, and commercial real estate finance. I finished with an advanced degree at 45. I earn more than it cost me for that education now every year and I went to Ivy League schools that I paid for entirely by myself. I will still have student loans when I am 75. I hope to die before they are paid off. The interest rates were so low that I can invest in Exxon and earn more on my money than paying off the loans. Oh, but I shouldn’t invest in Exxon, right? That would be hurting the world. Never mind that that industry probably saved the world by making it possible to win WW2, saving whales from extinction, and making our day to day lifestyle possible. And never mind that over one billion people on this planet still have no electricity and fossil fuels are probably the only answer to bringing them into the developed world. I have lived in Africa. There is a whole world out there most people don’t know anything about where people live in grass huts, herd goats, and don’t bother wearing clothes above the waist, no matter what sex they are or what religion they practice. Yes, some Muslim women go naked above the waist all the time. The world is more different than you think.

Basically, I am tired of people who think being politically correct, is politically correct. It isn’t. It is as rude as you can possibly be to lie to people (and yourself) about what you actually think (or don’t dare think because you have restrained yourself to be so politically correct).

That artists can’t make a sustainable living, and if you need a mortgage as a creative freelancer, pray for help.

This thinking has kept me from spending as much of my free time as possible to make art, since it would mean failing at my current responsibilities if I switch career. It is a mindset I am trying to change as I know that it’s not true!

One lie that is there isn’t enough time in a day. This is ridiculous, because most people don’t even know what they are spending their time on. A lot time is wasted on non-essentials and complaining ironically instead of completing tasks.

There are SO MANY that I’m confronting with a mental health professional: women are supposed to put their desires second, that people don’t want to see the real me, that I’m selfish and stuck up and entitled to want a good, fulfilling career. I don’t even know how many I’m working on right now because I adopted them without even questioning, and I’m finally starting to see how they undermined me. I gave up grad school for my ex’s dreams even. So I’m rebuilding my life front the ground up

As an author, I am always listening to interviews from successful novelists. Many of them, especially the JK Rowlings, speak as if the success just happened to them. As if readers started magically buying their books and suddenly they’re selling as well as the Bible. I know that, despite a handful of lottery winners, bestselling books don’t happen on accident.

Lie I’ve been handed a lot: “Guys won’t like you if you aren’t accommodating/demure” implying that *it’s a good reason to change your personality*
Turns out I like being outgoing, standing up for others, negotiating my contracts, and building a career/life that I’m proud of. And even if that did make me undateable (which it hasn’t), it’s nowhere near a good enough reason to change my attitude or behavior.

“You only need to work hard and things will happen for you” about business. Working hard and non stop only creates great results if you have the right system and pointers, otherwise you can work hard on achieving nothing.

Kushagra Taneja

I am from India. Friends and relatives tell me that if you do not marry till 33-34, you will not find a good partner ever.

Society tells me – You don’t have a business background. So don’t think about it. You should stick with the job forever.

There is a line in this article “We live in a world where mediocrity is celebrated because it makes other people feel good” . It resonates so much with me. It makes complete sense.

Thank you for this article.

The lie that positive thinking will bring success. I agree that pessimism and negative self-talk probably interfere with reaching goals and making the most of opportunities. But the lie implies that as long as you’re thinking positive thoughts, your work is done.

The lie that hard work and effort will be rewarded. Skips over the nuance that in order for our efforts to be valued, they have to focus on the right things, e.g. the things that matter to our boss, our industry, our family, etc. For example, I may expend a lot of time and effort on one aspect of my job, when a different aspect is more important for getting promoted. Or, my husband may get annoyed that he slaved over a labor-intensive meal, when what I’d really rather have is a simpler meal and more time with him in the evening.

That it’s ok and normal not to be my own boss, everyone has to work for the man (at least at some point). I should be grateful, they say. :(

Jonathan Vaudreuil

– Belief in talents over execution, strategy, and results. I’ve hired so many talented people who didn’t put in the work and got creamed by their colleagues. This is similar to being so smart. Talents and intelligence are worthless without action, adjustment, and thoughtful introspection. One of my best performers barely understood the software he had to use to do his job and drove his colleagues crazy asking questions about it, but crushed everyone once he picked up the phone. I hired him because he interviewed and then asked me for a job every week for 6 weeks. I knew he’d put in the work, I just didn’t have an opening for nearly 2 months and I’m glad he was still looking when I had a spot open up.

– Follow your passion. I specifically hate that Gary V says this, too, with the size of his audience. Gary V is passionate about DEALMAKING so yeah, it works great for him! I love that some people are making a living following their passion. Most people fail miserably because it takes a lot more than passion and talent to be successful. Cal Newport and Simon Sinek both came to a similar conclusion, that you develop a passion by learning about something and getting really good at it, not because you know what you’re passionate about from the start. You don’t follow your passion, you find your passion. Huge difference.

– We’re all going to be online millionaires. I know a ton of people who have all the right ingredients to build a killer six figure or seven figure online business around topics people would love to learn from, and they’ll never do it. Never. Lack of business acumen, lack of interest in learning the craft, no desire to market and promote their ideas… they don’t want to do it and won’t, period. Then I see a ton of people with crazy ideas thinking that because they know how to knit sweaters for fire hydrants that everyone is going to buy their online course to do the same. Building an online business is still building a business, and it takes certain skills to do it successfully.

Lie: My kids would never *eat/do* that.
Uhh…….BS. YOU are teaching your kids they don’t have to eat/do that. Yes, it’s not easy dealing with whining and pushback, but if you work hard at it and stay CONSISTENT, your kids will understand they don’t have an option. They might even appreciate and realize later that you were right all along!

People love to have quick advice on how to make a marriage work. or what to avoid. I’m *very* newly married and I realized the bottom line a few weeks ago: it takes work. it takes communication, forgiveness, letting go of your ego, and loving someone even when it’s hard to. in fact, it takes work because most of the time, you aren’t working to change the other person; you have to take a long hard look at *yourself* and see how *you* can be better in the relationship and improve *yourself* first (irrespective of how the other person is acting). it’s easy to point the finger at your partner, much harder to look within yourself to see how you can contribute to the happiness of your relationship.

Lie: Black people don’t tip.
Lie: I can’t dance, I’m too white.
Lie: I just wasn’t gifted with the natural talent to (speak in front of others, sing, play an instrument).
and on and on.

I just started graduate school in a field I’m passionate about at (almost) 30 years old. My coworkers at my day job are constantly “concerned” with what I’m doing. I come in and get 90 minutes of my graduate school work done before “work” and the comments are non-stop. “How are you doing this?” “You’re getting up HOW early?” “You’re going to burn yourself out, mark my words.” “You look exhausted.” “I could NEVER do that.”

The major lie that relates to this is that you can’t work full time and do graduate school.

My coworkers are also very concerned with the status of my empty uterus. “Aren’t you worried about having kids?” “Don’t wait too late now!” “Isn’t it kind of selfish to not have kids?” I’m not saying that I never want a child. But the fact that I’m married and now approaching 30 doesn’t mean that I need to run out and get pregnant right this minute! That’s definitely another lie that I’m constantly being told.

You’re too young or you’re too old.

Unless your brain hasn’t yet formed, or has melted into slush, it still has the ability to reprogram itself through the acquisition of new ideas. You can change your life at any age – but only if you decide to own it and do it.

Great post Ramit.

I think a huge lie is denying the role that things like luck, genetics and timing play. While I agree to an extent w/ the statement “luck is the intersection of opportunity and hard work” this is repeated ad nauseum.

Some people truly get lucky or luck plays a big part of their success, but they won’t ever say that.

Sure people don’t want to know how the sausage is made but there’s also this obsession w/ success that breeds work martyrs and phonies.

You don’t really see 5’2 basketball players – hard work won’t over come the short gene. According to Wiki Roger Bannister, the 1st person to run a sub 4 minute mile, never put on spikes till 17, trained lightly yet some of his first mile runs were timed at 4:24 – society thinks this is his greatest achievement, he feels differently as he thinks his legacy is in the procedures developed in 40 years spent in neurology.

And timing. Like you’re “lazy” for working to get timing to work in your favor. I’m not saying wait for the perfect time to start, but avoid starting a venture only to realize you’re too early to market – the latter requires good, smart work.

I’ve noticed a number of successful people, sure they may not watch much TV or netflix but many can get by fine on 4-5 hours of sleep and they also love to have a good time.

Great comments! So true, all of them! And such a great article in the first place. For me I’ve heard a lot of lies I tell myself. I’m planning a major change to my life and I think everyone around me is going to be in shock because it will make me different (I know what’s coming) and I’m hearing the lies they tell themselves to keep from making more of themselves. I may need to end some friendships (is that a lie? I don’t know yet). I need to be around like minded people, I think I’ve found a good place to hang around for the coming months.

Could you please tell me the place if you can. I mean if it’s not something like an exact location or so. Or maybe you meant IWT. Late last year I tried meetup.com and found interesting meetups. I’ve been to 2 different ones (One being meditation and the other one presentation & leading skills improvement) on the meditation one at times the people think they’re positive and the society’s not but then they start whining about Trump or so. I’d really like to find more like minded people so if you have a good place for that then plese let me know
-Thanks
Pasi

The lie that “If I just had a little more _____________”, or “When I get a little more _____________”. Fill in the blank with whatever there: money, time, skills, knowledge, looks, personality, etc. If you never start, you never get anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely something I struggled with, and continue to struggle with, but it’s a lie.

The lie that “I’m too busy”. We all have the same 24 hours. You don’t have a time problem, you have a priority problem.

The lie that “My genetics won’t allow me to get healthy”. In some cases, people really do have serious issues, but most do not. You can control 2/3 of the health equations (genetics + diet/nutrition + exercise). We don’t all start at the same point with our genetics, but we can all work on the 2 things.

And on the flip side “All I do is drink this shake, and I’m a fitness model”. You may drink a shake, but there is a lot more that goes into it.

The lie that “I was destined be ___________”. Guess what? You control your destiny. Own it. Yes, many people come from environments that train-track a particular path (good or bad), but that doesn’t mean you can’t break the mold. Take that first step.

The lie that “If I had grown up like so-and-so, I also would be rich/famous/successful.” Where you start out does NOT have to control where you finish. Maybe some do have an advantageous start, but NOBODY gets where they are with putting in the right kind of work.

The lie that “Working at [large company X] is so much SAFER than being an entrepreneur”. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. I’ve been in corp America for 25 years. There is NOTHING safer than owning your own destiny. If you are on this page, then you know that 😉

To reiterate one from the post: “I was just being myself”, or equally “I was just living my life”. Obviously that’s not all there is to the story. What exactly about you, or what exactly were you doing “living your life” that was compelling (to make the sale, find the relationship, have the success, etc)?

The lie that “All I did was maximize my own talents”. On the whole, maybe that’s true, but for sure you figured out ways to plug the weakness holes. I actually think this really means, “I figured out how to plug my weakness holes so I could focus on and maximize my talents.”

So — a lie I grew up hearing was about my artistic abilities. This is a tricky one and I didn’t realize how much it had influenced every aspect of my ability to change until I was 37 and read a book called “mindsets”. I was and am naturally talented at art. But I SUCKED at conversation and speaking… (I’m talking about putting words together verbally to form a complete sentence in a way that was rational and understandable… oh and loud enough to be heard in the first place!). From a young age, I grew up with the idea that some people were just good at talking (not me) and some were gifted other ways (me with art.) It got to the point where I was stuck due to the anxiety I felt I would never overcome. When I went back to school at 37 for vascular ultrasound, I changed. I felt intense anxiety every morning before school. I wanted to quit and almost did because of it, but I knew this was my chance to change. I accepted making mistakes as a natural process of learning. I forced my mind to think differently, and I have learned how to speak to people (despite the overwhelming social anxiety I felt.). There were times it did defeat me (throat closing off before I could approach someone, had to retreat from social events), and I had to just try again the next day. Over time, I have learned how to be a more social person, more accepting of myself, and more knowledgeable about myself. I’ll never be “the most social” because yeah it is exhausting for me (and that is a true introvert trait.) But I have been able to change my abilities due to developing more of my left-brain traits, such as language. This will only strengthen my artistic abilities when I have time to return to them. I’m still learning after three years… I still kinda suck at it… but I keep trying because I have evidence that my early life programming was not entirely true.

Hello Ramit

The Great American Lie that I think was more than told but just demonstrated to me is that there was only one way to success and that was through education and choosing one career and grinding away at it your whole life. I agree that does work for some, but unlike my family who grew up in the Fire Service, and retired from it, I had other paths that I wanted to explore. I always remind my children, that high school isn’t where they want to peak. Yes grades are great, I encourage them to put their effort into the assignment in front of them, but should that not be their specialty or what they are good at, there are many other paths to success. And paths aren’t always straight they have ups and downs some veer to the right or left, they may even loop around on themselves, but keep your focus and set your goal and you can and will attain it.

Zita Puskás

As a woman I have to be nice and kind. If I say something objectively and straight to the point, which is a male quality, I’d be just not nice or rude. I felt that I had to fit into some kind of standard or otherwise I will be not liked. It was a stifling experience and I started to look for a new environment with like-minded people and care less about other people’s approval. If I say something straight to the point and I will be not liked that’s okay. It is better than fake an alien personality.

A lie I hear: you should only learn things that you have been proven ‘worthy’ of. If you don’t take to a new subject like a fish to water in the first three hours, then you just don’t have an aptitude and should stick to things that you can learn effortlessly, because those are the only ones that you will ever become good enough at to be worth the trouble.

This is so false. Every single thing that I’m especially good at now, I started off being the worst at among my peers (reading, writing, math, art). Your first week working at something is a very poor indicator of future performance, and yet so many people I know think they are doomed to fail in some areas because other kids could draw better rectangles than they could in kindergarten.

The amount of improvement that happens in the first stages of learning is completely dwarfed by what happens in the next few stages. The initial rates of improvement among people are just noise in that equation.

Ramit: There are many lies being told to successful people about stress, mostly by people who think they are stress experts. Here are just a few:
1) Human beings frequently suffer from stress (No they don’t…they suffer from very specific problems in their lives);
2) The best way to deal with stress is to manage it (Hogwash…most stress management techniques deal with just the SYMPTOMS of our stress. They don’t really help us identify or nullify the underlying causes of our stressful problems in life;
3) There are two types of stress…good stress and bad stress. (More hogwash. If you understand that stress is just a word we use to stand for problems in our life that we’d rather not have, there is no need to invent this FAKE NEWS that good stress actually exists.
4) You need to have some stress in your life to be motivated and successful. Not true at all. Just because people tend to use stress as a motivator doesn’t mean they can’t be productive without it.
5) The true causes of stress are obvious to most people. Not true. While external events do contribute to our stress, internal causes are always involved and these are very difficult for us to recognize because they occur inside us. NOTE: You obviously know this well from all the internal “scripts” you frequently write about and point out.
6) Stress is just an inevitable part of modern life today…there’s no escaping it. Again, not true. Once you learn to identify and then master the internal causes of stress, you’d be amazed how little stress you need to experience even in today’s high-paced often chaotic world.
Thanks for the opportunity to shed light on these very common lies. Mort

I like your attitude Ramit. No excuses. Just like in this video I watched of you getting into a helicopter and flying it, despite there being a man eating dinosaur on the loose. And then you crashed your helicopter and had your multi-billion dollar business wiped out over night. Most people would have lied to themselves and said theres no way you could come back from something like that. But here you are today teaching us about entrepreneurship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOBuKmhurLw

Looking back retrospectively, I see that I’ve allowed myself to believe a lot of lies or “escape routes” as I like to call them. While I do consider myself an introvert, that does not mean it’s a sort of “social disorder.” I’m still just as human as everyone else and I have the need and the ability to communicate with others. And just because I like spending time alone does not mean that I hate society or am extremely antisocial as people would like to believe. I just need a lot of quiet time to myself, especially at this point in my life when I’m attempting to figure out exactly the type of person I want to be. I understand now that the life I want isn’t going to just happen. I have to build it, and I have to prepare myself to become the person I want to be. I don’t want to go drinking three or four times a week, or chasing after women just for the sake of chasing after women because it’s just a distraction and a waste of precious energy to me. I don’t want to be on Facebook or Twitter or gossiping about someone else’s life because I already have a life that I need to work on and that life requires my full attention, especially if I want to live the life I want to live. People think that success just falls from the sky for some people, but they never see the groundwork that has to be laid down to build that success, and I used to believe that lie.

One of the lies my boyfriend and I hear over and over again is that you have to go to college to “make it” or be “worth it” or to “accomplish anything.” We both think this is a HUGE lie that society keeps telling young people. There are so many more ways to educate yourself, live a rich life, and be worth it than getting a four year degree that is going to leave you with huge amounts of debt.

Barbie steele

Longevity is the marker of a successful marriage. It’s what people say. “I’ve been married for XX years!”

Yes, but how many of them were HAPPY?

You’ve seen them, the wife who is afraid of telling her husband what she purchased because she knew he would have said no if she had tried to discuss it with him. Or the wife who blatantly berates her husband in front of others constantly, but because of some rule of some faith he just takes it, and never says a word…

Relationships, like life, are in a constant state of flux. Many times one wants to continue to grow, while the other one reaches a point where they are done dreaming. If your success marker is that you have led a rich life, then staying with someone whose goals have become different than yours just for society’s sake is not the way to go, but leaving in the most mature way possible lets your remember and hold dear the memories and lessons learned for the next chapter of your life.

I recently heard this from someone in a low paying job: I’m just not very good at learning new things. But that person spends about 39 seconds trying to understand any new idea before shrugging it off as ‘too hard.’

I think a lie of our culture is that we’re not a victim of our past: truth is, we don’t have to be a victim of our past; but, until the past is acknowledged as pain or trauma, grieved, and left there, in the past, it will always be with us in the present.

Thanks for the content your write – it inspires me to believe the truth that I am new in Christ, not a victim of the past, and can make new choices in the present about what my future will look like.

Well Ramit, finally remembered what I was going to write. Lately, I’ve been a little pissed off about “you’re too young to bulk”. Heard it from people who didn’t even tried it

Everyone says monogamy is natural.
It doesn’t seem that way, from what I have observed.

Society teaches that the only way to succeed in life is if you have your degree. However, I have a family member with two masters degrees and is thinking about getting a third so he can move up in his company.

Little does he know that he needs to know how to relate with people better if he wants to keep “moving up”. The trouble is he’s removed or pushed away everyone in his life that’s tried to tell him the truth. He refuses to listen, which is unfortunate because he is so gifted.

Society has my wife convinced that we need to own a home. We need to enslave ourselves to a 15, 30, or 45 year mortgage so we can say we “own” our home vs. renting.

I think it’s one of the best marketing scams of all time.

The lie from society: do the ‘safe’ thing and get a job. Don’t flip houses for profit with no startup money. You’ll always have a car payment (I hate this one!)

I have heard a lot that divorce is very bad for kids. The reality is that kids absolutely don’t care about the papers behind relationships. What really matters are the actual relationships and how people behave to each other.

99.5% of “how to create money making websites online” schemes are scams.

– Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder (i think for the most part, beauty is not subjective. It’s a lie told to make people feel good about themselves and for “beautiful” people to feel less guilty about being beautiful)

– Something would work out. Just have faith. (I say this as a religious person: God doesn’t help you unless you help yourself. Yet people give their friends this useless advice because it’s easy and they feel uncomfortable about their friend’s “bad situation”.

– All the good guys are taken. (This is often said to take the onus of responsibility away from single women who couldn’t find a partner. It’s so much easier to believe this than to work on your own personality, physique and habits)

Gender pay inequality. When you compare people in the same positions, there is NO gender pay inequality yet this narrative is everywhere and I think it’s incredibly damaging. It’s one more page in the victim narrative, it’s pitting people (groups) against each other and it isn’t even true! Even people who push it will do it with the caveat it’s not. I hate it.

My wife and I get asked sometimes by relatives when we are going to have kids. I don’t say much, but we have some financial goals we want to hit before going down that road. I’ve had a number of them tell me that we can’t control those types of things. I *think* they are talking about the money side (who knows). Either way it’s nonsense.

“Work hard and everything will fall into place.”

Working hard is of course the foundation, but this naively misses how there’s so much more to the many games that are being played around you.

I grew up surrounded by adults who were miserable behind their ‘church faces’, that showed up as this box of rules and expectations to others and hid what they enjoyed and who they were behind closed doors. I still recall my 40-something dad hiding his cigarettes and media because people were coming over. There was very much an obvious lie that everyone should happily choose to be this narrow ideal and no one was doing it, and who was punished for not doing so taught me a few lessons as well.

I had thought for a long time that growing up with that, that I had shaken off the need to fit an ideal. While I certainly wasn’t in that Bible Belt box, I very much had lies in my head that I told myself on how I needed to be this certain way to be an ideal person, ideal partner, ideal parent. A lot of it fit the old tune of ‘you should be more than happy with just X’, it was just a different X than before. There are a lot of isolating social messages that we should do everything solo and be happy with just one role, all our needs met by one person or it’s us that has a problem.

During my recovery from a sudden hospitalization, I was told a lot to hold off until after I was well again to do…anything. I was sold a lie that if I did recovery well enough, I would wake up one day just as I was before and then I could move on. I eventually figured out that I’m not going to magically wake up one day without any of the problems and I don’t need to, just being open about where I am at in the moment works far better and finding better people to work with gets things moving far better even if it is really hard at times.

One lie I heard over and over was “you’re going to be struggling (financially) for a few years!”

My husband and I married when I was 19, he was 20. We chose to get married. We chose to have a baby. And we chose for me to stay home with our kids.

And people flat out told us how poor we’re going to be because of our decisions.

But I didn’t accept that. I found IWT shortly after getting married. I implemented an automated conscious spending plan, and even though we were living well below the Australian poverty line, we were saving a little into our retirement accounts every week, and our bills were always paid.

My husband almost doubled his income in two years, and we’re working hard using ZTL to build an online business that we’ll eventually transition into being our full time income.

Oh, and we were able to save enough to invest in ourselves with two premium IWT courses… all while people were telling us how poor we’re going to be!

I’m 23 now and just had our second baby :)

Larry Michael Lynch

Hi everyone, like Angela and others above, I agree that you start hearing “lies” about being “too old” to do new things when you are passing into your 50s and beyond – sometimes even before that. At almost 70, I’m still growing and developing myself and my interests despite being almost constantly bombarded with the “you’re too old” drabble about most of my (Ramit training) current activities. I just got certified as an Open Water SCUBA diver last month – you should see the jaw-dropping that got. Now I´m going for advanced training … Just keep going and doing … growing and developing, no matter what “lies” you may hear in contrast to it … Older can often be better … Thanks Ramit

The biggest “crock” for me is the one that says. Creativity, artistic skills and even Genius is something mysteriously bestowed upon a select few when it’s actually a condition dormant in all of us and just needs to be “woken up” This can happen in many ways, through hard work, constant searching, meditation, trauma even, (the ways are endless)
Don’t accept that it’s not already in you, why not you?

Oh Ramit, I’m such a liar. I’m a writer. I know many writers who’d rather talk about writing, agonize about writing, than sit on their big duffs and sweat out that next gnarly paragraph, and the next, and the one after that, until they finish the great American novel/short story/epic poem/what-have-you. When a certain would-be writer buddy shares his latest Work in Progress (code for the thing that’ll never get finished or published), I always say how GOOD it is.

I lie–as a kindness, or because I’m too scared or lazy to say what he claims to want: my opinion. I’ll tell you one thing, though. I no longer lie to myself. Writing comes hard to me. So I get up at 5 a.m. every day and write for hours before I start my paying work. If it’s magically good out of the gate, hurray! If not, I rewrite it, edit it, wrestle with it, weep over it (yeah), pound it into submission, and when it’s halfway decent go back in and duke it out some more. Eventually it improves. It always feels like a victory.

Will my writer pal will ever learn the truth? Or will he be content to post his bad verse on Facebook and get a few “likes”? Am I a terrible excuse for a friend? What do you think?

Shannon E Agens

Hey Joe, you’re statement resonated with me. I too have a friend that’s trying to write a book. We talked together about the right ways to approach the book and how to speak to her audience. After months went by, she finally sent me her first draft. It was painfully bad. She hadn’t done any of the things she said she was going to do back in our first discussions. I told her a couple good things about it and then mentioned many many things to correct and improve. I felt terrible, and she was quick to get off the phone with me. She didn’t seem happy either. But 2 months went by of her not talking to me very much, and then she sent me her new copy. It was infinitely better! She made those corrections that I suggested and had even newer, better material in there. I finally saw it has draft worth reading and I benefited from its read too! She’s still working on it, but if I’d told her it was good before……who knows how much longer it’d take her deliver a good product.

Hey Ramit,
I read your emails from top to bottom, no skipping. I do this because much of what u mention is in my head. The lies society tells us are in abundance with many to list but even tougher are the lies we tell ourselves.
If we desire to find ‘success’ with a certain life skill and have spent yrs with marginal success in different fields , do we listen to others and walk away? or continue to believe in ourselves/ lie to ourselves?knowing that our desire to have that certain life skill is there or its simply not? I have wrestled with this and due to my stubborness or perseverance, I have not quit.
Is it not being able to see the forest through the trees? Self doubt is an ass kicker!! And I believe all answers are within ourselves, just at times I’m not sure if I’m lying to myself or what? I have much to say but perhaps another time.
Cheers,
Joe.

1. Facebook is a complete lie – people promote themselves as billionaires partying like a pimp but the reality is these people are having super low self confidence and they only stay home alone. They don’t like parties at all. They never post anything about getting bored at home eating chips and watching Netflix. They only post things that make them look good, feel good, as if they have personally achieved something in life. Funny but I find 90% of people are doing that.

2. Chinese parents lie – you have to get married before 35, have a kid the same year, and buy an apartment, or else you don’t achieve anything. Seriously? I am approaching 35, I don’t have any of these. My bf is a lot older than me and he doesn’t own an apartment even though he could buy one with cash. We won’t die from not owning anything! We enjoy renting apartments and moving here and there to try out different spaces without holding up millions of dollars for mortgage – it’s so much more fun when we are flexible, no?

“Don’t waste money on travel when you can get your own studio and buy your own couches! And then a house. Most people don’t travel until they’re 40. Just keep saving. Even if you have money, save it for things that matter.” Yeah, needless to say I don’t ask for advice a lot. She meant well, but how we approached our lives differed.

I’m Nigerian so the most annoying lie I hear all the time: you have to be a lawyer, doctor, nurse or engineer to be successful. At the very minimum you should have a 9-5 job. Lies told by every Nigerian person I know.

Zhengping Lu

Two things – (1) that you MUST splurge on your wedding, house and car, or others will look down on you, and (2) that you’ve just as many hours in the day as (insert famous/overachieving person here).

Both of these are told by well-intentioned people, but have the unfortunate side effect of creating guilt and removing the incentive to do the work of creating a system for yourself and sticking to it.

I have a good friend who told me years ago about saving, bills and splurging. His insight: “You have the money…you choose to spend it on other things.” Then he would attack my cable bill, eating out, etc. That took me a while to own, but now that I do, I see how money is my tool, and not my albatross

if u dun have secured 9-5 job u won be able to survive. My generation never succeeded in any business they started. it was said the same fate is going to be mine if i tried do own business.

It’s better to fit in at work than stand out. Doing things differently (e.g., testing, automating) is weird and makes others uncomfortable. It’s better to do things the way everyone else does them, so no one feels dumb or inadequate.

I have to accept full responsibility for the lies that i tell myself. I create my own obstacles. I have never really cared for the cultural norms, and have dedicated my life to living outside the norms. The #1 lie I tell myself, As much as I want money in my life, I am afraid of it. I am afraid that I will not make sound investments with it, I will spend it foolishly, and that I don’t deserve it. I am afraid that once I have wealth into my life, I will become some cold hearted SOB. So I might as well Geek out on some Really Great Anime, Just be grateful for a little, and feel guilty for asking for the kingdom.

There are two main lies you hear constantly from the media over here and they are linked. The first is that ‘it’s all about the weekend’ and ‘merely surviving the week ‘ just to get to Friday; the second is that this sacred weekend should be celebrated by going out on the town with your mates and drinking alcohol. This lie is increased massively for any celebration event, pseudo or otherwise; e.g. Christmas, a nice summer’s evening or absolutely anyone’s bitthday!

Hello,
People always lie doing business is hard. We made for doing job not business. Our society lies suppress people. This is sad. I am dealt with lies and i broke all mental block and starting own digital marketing agency. Thanks Ramit Sir for share awesome post. I follow your every advise. Its help me so much.

I think the subtle lie that you have to be an expert about something to be helpful can. become very self-limiting. That is a horrible trap. But this is no lie…Ramit makes me laugh out loud! How funny is this???…”People want me to tell them they can make $1 million in 3 months with their stupid cat-petting idea.”

– Working for yourself is not a real job, as in “When are you getting a real job?”
– By 30 you should be settled down, with a house
– Money should be used for practical things
– If you are female, you partner should be making more than you
(Family counts as society, right?)

That you cannot do anything differently than the society you live in and your family has done before. Lie#1 Studying will guarantee a job, it doesn’t. Through hard work and hustling it does get you an interview but even then it’s an upward battle. Lie#2 As a woman I cannot travel without a male guardian. I said #%*! you, left for an amazing trekking trip to Nepal 2015 and then again to Mauritius in Feb 2017 with amazing friends on both occasions. I bought your “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” book and have used your methods to save for these amazing places and Consciously making an effort to save money and having no debt. Thanks for your help.

You need to be under a certain age to change careers – it takes too much energy to invest in the education to become an “x.” Starting in an entirely different field after age 50 won’t pay off. These are lies.

“They can start their own business thanks to dad’s money” I used to believe this lie too, that you had to have rich parents to be able to start a business. Obviously a HUGE lie.

I am disabled therefore I am inspirational. I know this to be a lie. Yes, people may feel inspired when they watch me do the simplist of things but that is their belief. I know how far I still have to go.

I’m sorry you feel this way – I can empathize slightly. I hate when posts show up on social media like “Performer sings to disabled girl”. Why isn’t it just “Performer sings to girl”? I do, however, feel that when people are inspired its usually in a more “I should be grateful for what I have” and probably not meant maliciously. The segregation of people – racially, capabilities, gender, size, etc etc etc just bugs me.

I don’t like the lie about how success should look like. Success is measured with economic standards. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include success that can be measured, but might be extremely worthwhile for the person or the society.

I want to applaud and thank you for this post. These lies and excuses are part of the victim mentality being promoted and running rampant in society today. I think it’s laziness, jealousy and the hatred of those who shine and do good. (And those who fit this category will virtual signal on anyone who points it out.) We need a good de-programming.
Big lie: I’m too old to do that… Never!!

I was told that there was no money about, and I should learn to be proud to be poor. Having money would make it difficult for me to get to Heaven, some rubbish about camels going through the eyes of needles.
I was told I shouldn’t travel abroad, and that the world outside what my family know was a dangerous place.
I was lied to about diet, suffered terribly, because “I should be eating what my grandparents ate”.

I was told that many people around me:
– People gain weight after settling down especially from 30’s (It is not true, I lost weight and I am way fitter).
– A woman should focus on her marriage and family instead of being ambitious and be happy with a 9-5 full time job in a company she can work until retirement (all people I know who followed this advice are unhappy and mediocre).
– A woman should not become an aerospace engineer and have a easier and lighter job instead which would give her enough room to raise kids and take care of the house and also not bother her partner husband with her way ahead career… (This still annoys me by the way! People have the guts to say this! Anyway, I am an aerospace engineer with a PhD and I am continuously working for my career development, working to find my dream job. I have no kids yet but a great house and social life besides my nerd career. And my husband is proud of my development).
Don’t listen to people trying to stop you to improve yourself, your personality, eating habits, relation ships, career development, LIFE! Thanks for this amazing article Ramit!

“Just be yourself” they say. But when they discover that – I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do clubbing, I eat healthy, I cook my own food every day, I run, I do yoga, I hike, I meditate, I travel a lot, I go to rock concerts, I read a book a week, I take the stairs instead of the elevator, I don’t have a TV, I’m not married, I don’t have a child, etc.- they say “you’re no fun, you should loosen up, a child/marriage is the biggest accomplishment, grow up and have responsibilities like all adults, you NEED a TV, you’re took skinny, you’re too happy, don’t be weird, you won’t fit in”. Conclusion “just be yourself, but please be a bit more like the others”.

So true, I’m in almost the exact same position. No drink, no smoke, no TV, and so on. I’d be a whole lot more “popular and interesting” if I was an overweight alcoholic racist, living off his parents, and talking a big job.

I’ve got to accept the fact that people hate/envy those who do/are what they are not and I can’t change that. I mind my own business.

People are always talking about how they don’t have enough time. They are too busy to make any changes or improvements in their life. As a mother of two small children working full time while also freelance writing, running a small craft business and starting an online business I know its hard – but there is always a way to make more time.

Lie : You stammer so you will never have a good life

What happened : I have a great life.

Lie : You can never have a flat tummy after you have a baby.

What happened : I worked on getting my tummy back within hours of giving birth with help from the resident physiotherapist.

Lie : As s Mom it’s ok to look frumpy as you have no time for yourself

What happened : I make sure I look good and have time to work on my business in spite of cooking meals from scratch everyday

Shannon E Agens

For some reason I thought that all men where taught by their fathers how to fight. I used to ask my past boyfriends to teach me for self-defense. Every single one would say I didn’t need to know how to fight because I had them. Didn’t matter that I’d say that I should know how to take care of myself when no one is around. They wouldn’t teach me, or they’d teach very very little. Then I decided to take martial classes. That’s when I learned that MOST men don’t know how to fight. As I learned, I quickly realized that my ex’s didn’t know how to fight at all. The lie they told me was that I didn’t need to know, because they didn’t know. By me learning, it would’ve brought light to how they didn’t know. My fiance loves that I take martial classes. He says that he doesn’t have to worry about me when he’s not around and that it takes pressure off of him. It’s important to have people comfortable with themselves to see you grow.

You have to have a degree to be successful. I was smart in grade school – really smart. I went to college, but I worked so much I barely made it to class. I still got good grades, and I took insane amounts of credits to move it along faster but it just wasn’t working out for me to continue digging into debt and aimlessly trying to get a degree when I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I dropped out (with every intention of going back because I was good at school so I belonged there, right?). I moved away. I started over. I worked service industry while I “figured it out”. I used that money as a safety net to try new things – worked at magazines, worked for ad agencies, did random marketing and project management jobs. Worked my way up, started asking for more and now I have built a network of security so that I can have a family (daycare is expensive!), have a career, have a life I love and live where I love, and also CHOOSE where I work. I’m still growing, but I have done it comfortably and never once was not finishing my degree a question or problem because I’ve earned the experience and training in a way that wasn’t status quo.

1. People lie all the time about what they do to stay fit/thin, often because they don’t want you be as fit or skinny as they are (or fitter/skinnier) – they want to be that little bit better than you. I starting getting active after a (thankfully) small health crisis 10 years ago. I’ve met many people over the years and I’ve picked up on so many lies about fitness, losing weight and/or staying thin (some verbal, some non-verbal). One woman I run with, operates a couple of fitness franchises with her husband and is pretty muscular (not riped) but tiny. She claims that she “can’t run long distances” (because she always has to go to the bathroom). Turns out, she runs. A lot. She also claims that she loves to eat, but then I started to pick up on the fact that she hardly does. I once heard her say, “I’m so busy, I only ate a protein bar today.” Another time, at a restaurant, she said she was starving but then only got a side salad. Yet another time, at a potluck for a football game, she brought a salad to share but then ate it all herself (no, she didn’t share) and didn’t touch a single thing anyone else brought. I get that she has an image to maintain to sell/promote her business, but why lie? Especially when your business is to promote a fit/healthy lifestyle?

2. People consistently lie about their wealth/investment practices. I’ve got friends who definitely spend beyond their means and are in debt but pretend they’re flush. Then there are the ones who are super cheap (not thrifty, but cheap) and find clever ways to save a buck at their friend’s expense. E.g. My ex used to always mooch rides to sports games with teammates. Never offered gas money or to buy drinks afterwards. His friends didn’t know, but at the time (he was 28) he had $130,000 in investments/savings in the bank. He could damn well afford to cab/bus or own a car, but kept mooching rides to save more money for himself. He made it seem like he wasn’t rolling in dough, but he was. His friends will never reap the benefits of those savings.

High performer lie: I got lucky. “Luck is often little more than raw talent, combined with the ability to make the most of opportunities” – my 2001 yearbook quote stolen from author Timothy Zhan. I think the biggest lie people tell are that they can’t do something before they’ve exhausted every opportunity they could. Opportunities can be created with thought and effort, things are rarely black and white.

Lie: Eating right is WAY over priced and it’s all a lie to get you to pay more. Truth: Yes it is expensive and hard to find the right ingredients, be it organic or sound mind because you arent supporting a feed lot. And if you did your research right (hence it is hard to find the right ingredients) you are actually getting what you pay for, and it is all an investment in your health and you will pay far less in the future for medical bills and have ano excellent quality of life. Plus organic food tastes amazing!

Karen Evertse

As a woman in her late thirties my society tells me to be a mother and maintain a loving family/home AND that I should have a successful job or my own growing business. And at the same time, they tell me I can’t have both. I am kinda hoping it’s a lie…

I was always told am to young to start a business and that i should be having fun at my age … i need to finish college then get a job and be happy with a husband….. am to young to know what i want in life

The lie I notice and hear often is this, I’m just looking for a good job. They are looking for much more or much less than that, depending on the person. I just became a real estate agent. Is it a good job? I couldn’ tell you. Will I work hard in the right areas to hit my goals for the first year? You betcha.

That one of the pinnacles of success is that you must own your own house . In the area I live in, this attitude is ridiculously prevalent. You will be glanced at strangely if you don’t own one, viewed as a less-than in some instances. I’m not against home ownership but I’m against the lie. One of the most recent articles I read was about a successful young man who gave up home ownership and all his possessions in order to grow his travel business. He’s now at a point that he lives completely out of hotels. Sure it’s extreme and of course it’s not for everyone but the level of financial success he has achieved with his business proves exactly how much home ownership and success are unrelated.

LIE: If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in our life.

LOL! I love what I do, but that is so not true!!! Answering/sending emails, creating content, working with the unsatisfied/complaining client, up late getting a start up off the ground, missing parties and dates because i’m focused on growing my passion into profit… its awesome to love what I do, and… It. Is. Still. Work.

One lie I’ve noticed is “pay your dues and you’ll get what you deserve.” Reality is that you get what you negotiate, which then needs to be backed up by results.

Angelique

YES! One I get quite often, because yay hippies, is: “Live in accordance with your Highest Self and the rest will fall into place.” No it won’t. You have to make it happen. I mean, that’s like that “you’ll get your big lucky break” belief (hope and wishful thinking, rather). We are so quick to give up responsibility of our own lives and behaviours.

Angelique

Quite a few, actually… Here are two:

“You’re too young to break into ____ industry.” I’m 22 and by 30 I want to say I have years of experience. Reality: just start somewhere.

“We don’t have money to be healthy.” And then they spend hundreds on unhealthy things that they swore they’d never eat again (which also give them severe digestive pain, by the way). This one scares me. In one breath we can sigh and question their priorities, but… This is a form of self-destruction just like cutting your own wrists would be. Most of the lies we tell ourselves are exactly that. When we consider what is at stake, can we really afford not to take action against these mental habits?

The lie I hear a lot of top marketers use in their copywriting is:

“it’s not your fault”

Even if bad circumstances greatly contributed to the current situation, you can only progress by going beyond “feel good” excuses, to tackle the situation with 100% resolve and responsibility.

Whenever that phrase is used as an excuse, it will only hinder progress. Because it allows you to continue to wallow in self pity and excuses. Winners do the opposite.

The only way “it’s not your fault” could possibly help, is if emotionally speaking, you are simply using the phrase to immediately throw away unproductive, negative, past experiences. You don’t want to become emotionally weighed down by the past. So if it is used to quickly move into positive territory, that would be the only way I could see it helps. But I always see Marketers using it to convey the resonsibility lies outside oneself.

Two of the biggest lies I’m hearing more and more are;
1. How much work people are claiming to do when it evident how little they’re actually doing, followed by the justification of
2. “We’re all tired”

A lie that is particularly irksome to me that is deeply connected with many religious belief systems in the south (I’m from the Bible belt . . .) is that a woman’s biggest priority should be a relationship and motherhood. I work with college students and see many young women succumb to this indoctrination. I also think it can be used as an “out” from the intimidation and hard work that come along with launching a career. A career “counselor” once told me that it’s my place to follow my husband. (No, I didn’t punch her, but I DID wonder momentarily if I was being punked. I wasn’t.) I’m married with kids, so I’m not anti-family, but I have my own identity, too, just like my husband – who never had to think twice about being a father, husband, AND entrepreneur. But, being one who typically rejects southern “wisdom,” I’ve been busy making plans to launch my own business, and every piece of advice I’ve come across through Growth Lab or IWT has been helpful. Also, just fyi, the line, “Today, your surrogate Asian father is going to call out the 3 biggest lies we tell ourselves” might be my favorite line from Ramit ever.

George ziogas

Align yourself with the Universe and the Universe will provide for you accordingly. This bubblegum psychology really curdles my guts and makes me cringe everytime I hear it. Baloney 101 !!

Stephanie

“You can always look it up nowadays, so there’s no reason to learn traditional topics like history and science.”
While there are some things that you don’t need to have memorized verbatim, if you don’t have some background knowledge off the top of your head, how can you problem solve? Besides, we are still inventing things! The lightest solar panel, the cure for the common cold — these aren’t on the internet.

James Catane

This is my lie. I know it’s a lie because I know I am bigger than this lie. I have a lot of lies in my life but right now this is the a lie that greatly affect most of my difficulties. I try to distract my mind by believing

The biggest source of these lies has been office talk at one of the places where I’ve worked. The most annoying one? ‘When you work a 9-5 job, the time that you have outside feels really special and important. If I wouldn’t have this job, I wouldn’t prioritize.’ But these people would go home and spend their weekends sleeping or watching tv. This kind of sedation of office workers has always freaked me out.

LIE: “I’m skinny, so I can eat everything”

TRUE: Turned out that eating “everything”, including sugar and a lot of potatos, pasta, rice, bread, are strongly impacting my mood and shape.
Now I’ve limited sugar and carbohydrates plus eat more proteins and I’ve never looked and felt better in my entire life (I’m 35) – long way ahead though….

Every Western society has a set of mores like you should be married at least by your mid-30s, you should have children, own a house, be a great mother and possibly have a great job / run your own company (although the last not that much in my country where mothers generally are also quite a lot at home).
Of course, then there are the ‘stories’ or rather assumptions that when you work hard, you will be rewarded or that you will be loved for who you are, not quite, you have to be clear about certain goals on the workfloor and make some sort of agreement about this up front, not something they teach you at university.

Not sure these are ‘lies’ but rather a way for any society to stick together which is understandable. Now whether you want to be part of that story or create your own, is up to you of course but it’s never easy to go against the flow.

1) that following physical attraction is a fallacy and that you are supposed to find a partner who has all the traits in order to be happy. I have found happiness in a relationship based in tenderness, kindness and physical pleasure, and I find intellectual stimulation with friends, colleagues, and on your website😀.
2) that being a successful artist is a function of making money off of it. Not true and when I came to terms with this my hands were really untied: I found stability/money as well as a ton of creativity and inspiration in teaching, like u do, and am now more free to push the envelope in my artistic practice. The more you control the money, I.e. the less you r willing to take away or the more u r willing to invest, the more artistic control u will have.

This isn’t a lie society told me, it’s a lie I’ve noticed searching for careers. This whole new 9-5 thing? No body who does anything important works 9-5. And those people who leave the office at half four are probably checking their email all the time, etc. It just strikes me as odd. Personally I’d rather stay in the office till eight and get all my work done there, than go home and still be obsessing over it. But then, if you stay late people hate you for it!

That everything needs to be 100% ready for you to roll out your dream job. At the end of the day, I believe, you have to back your words by action and learn from experience.

The LIE I’ve been brainwashed since college majoring in Sales Mgmt, followed by countless variations of this LIE in sales trainings from supposed top shelf sales training companies throughout my career that “you need or must take of your customer always, first.” Today, Ramit, I now say bullshit! I am going to take care of myself and my needs first and what I really want to do for making money to provide for my family and everything else. Only after I do that first, will I be able to actually help someone else.

1. “Do what you love and the money will follow.” I did, but it didn’t.
2. “Save your money and you’ll have a good retirement.” I’ve had a bank account since I was 5, an IRA since I was 21, two 401k accounts. My (paid off) house is worth more than all the others combined. Which brings me to…
3. “Buying a house is not a good investment.” It’s the best one I ever made. I had a $500 house payment while rents had gone twice that high. Now I have no payment at all, and a property worth $325,000, which I purchased for $61,500. I have never made even $50k/yr with my stupid art degree.

I’ve been told that “If you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life.” It sounds like a recited phrase that a lot of broke people use. You have to get good first, by putting in the hard work (failures will happen) and show proof that you are a top performer.

Regarding your “lie #2”, I could not agree more. I have been EXTREMELY introverted my whole life. Few friends, terrified of public speaking, prefer solitude on a Friday night. However, I’ve always known I want to run my own business and work for myself. Recently I opened up my own gym – A ton of human interaction! It took an incredible amount of work (and still takes an exorbitant amount of energy) to get in front of people, let alone coach them on their lifestyle habits. I spend more energy and work on how style my interactions than I do on the business itself. But it is possible! It takes work and, like my clients, progress one step at a time.

Secondly, the single biggest lie I see in my daily life is people lying to themselves. As an introverted personal trainer, one thing my clients consistently tell me is, “you’re a great listener!” Well, being a great listener enables me to pick up on bullshit. An example is a client who sees no results, even after 3 months. While not the same as becoming financially successful, the premise is the same. If you lie to yourself, if you cheat yourself, you will never be successful in any facet of life.

That’s my 2 cents! Thank you for reading,

Eric

I’ve noticed for quite a while now that society is really f’ked up.

People will always tell you that you should be honest and speak your mind, but whenever you do, critics overwhelm you saying things like:
– “How can you think X thing? Are you crazy?”
– “You are such a hipocrite.”
– “You are a horrible person for saying such a thing.”
– Etc, etc.

Bottom line is that society wants you to be honest, only to then stab you in the back. This must be why nobody wants to speak their minds: fear of retribution.

Well…my husband of 14 years just told me a few months ago that he was “pretending” for years and that he was going to move out. He told me he can “do better.” Boom! Take a walk on the blindside. Now, I’m 50, divorced and raising a child on my own. And yes…he was cheating on me. What the hell do I do with that? Although this guy is a POS…his treatment and comments have been devastating to my self-confidence, self-esteem and self-image. It’s hard not to believe his truth…or are they lies? That being said, how can I project a successful image when I feel like such a failure? How can I re-build my life when I’m not quite sure how to do that? The lies I hate include, “You’re stronger than you think you are, ” followed by, “Everything happens for a good reason.” Um…no I’m not and no it doesn’t. Please never say these things to anyone of any age at any time.

The lie that I notice is that if you are good at something, like talented, you should do it for life. For example, if your good at math you should probably be an engineer. And you are probably bad at arts and should never try to do something different from being and engineer or something related with your gift, even if you try really hard. And the lies keep going with the opposite version, if you’re good at arts, you’re probably bad at math and should never try to go against your “nature”. I absolutely disagree with it. Because even if you are good in math or arts, or history, etc, any single job you will ever do in your life will need hard work. And if you are lazy, doesn’t matter that you are talented, someone that works hard will surpass you anyway.

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