In the world of personal development, there’s a concept called the “Magic Bullet.”
Marketers spend thousands of dollars to learn how to master the concept, but I’m going to teach you how it works right here.
A Magic Bullet is the ONE THING that people believe will help them achieve their goals. Although we “know” that success is really about a complex, nuanced interaction of many elements, most people look for the single thing they believe will help them finally change.
Weight loss: “What diet are you on?” (As if the diet alone will change everything)
Money: “Who are you investing through?” (You’ll hear this as you get older. People in their 40s use this as their money Magic Bullet, as if knowing some amazing investor will ensure they get amazing investment returns….uh no)
Career: (Pop quiz: Can you guess the Magic Bullet people use for their careers? It goes like this: To get a better job, I need to ____ ____ ____ )
Once you truly understand the MB concept, you’ll see it everywhere, because unscrupulous marketers know how powerful it can be. Hence the millions of websites shouting taglines like, “THE ONE SUPERFOOD YOU MUST EAT!!!”
Do you want me to feed you a line of bullshit about how if you do JUST THIS ONE THING, you can be successful? Or would you rather I tell you the truth about how hard success is — then show you the exact roadmaps to get there?
By the end of this email, you’ll be able to recognize the Magic Bullet you’ve been chasing. We all have one, because I’ve been a Magic Bullet-chaser, too!
When I was in high school, I wanted to know how to get into Stanford, so I asked a few Stanford students, “What’d you get on your SAT score? What do I need to get??” (So annoying.) They told me, it’s more than just a score, you have to be well-rounded, really good in certain areas, blah blah…but all I wanted to know was the numeric score.
As if a score alone would solve all my problems.
Years later, as a stupid annoying 20-something, I asked a famous speaker how I could get more speaking gigs.
I even emailed Guy Kawasaki, a famous Silicon Valley personality, and asked him how to get more speaking gigs. He replied and basically laid down the law by telling me (paraphrased), “You want to know how to get more speaking gigs? Then do something meaningful. Once you do, you’ll have more speaking invitations than you know what to do with. But right now, you haven’t done anything notable.”
It stung to hear that. Like a 14-year-old girl, I thought to myself, “he just doesn’t understand me.” But later I realized he was right.
CAN YOU PLEASE JUST KILL THE YOUNGER VERSION OF ME?? I was so irritating. I wanted a Magic Bullet, some pill or advice that would make everything “make sense.” Instead, Guy’s advice was so straightforward it was almost boring: “Do something meaningful.”
The difference is some people stop here. They can’t figure out why other people make it and they can’t, so they just get confused and sad. Hence you see our entire GENERATION asking questions like this:
“What am I doing wrong? What is the ‘magical secret’ everyone else seems to have figured out but passes over my head?”
OR, you get some people picking out super-unrealistic goals (usually these are stupid internet marketers) and picking insane goals that are virtually impossible to hit. As my friend Neville wrote,
“I’ve met a ridiculous amount of people who’ve said to me, “I just want to have a business on autopilot where I don’t have to do any work, and it spits out a lot of money.” Those people never go anywhere. I’ve never seen one of them succeed. They’re dweebs who want SOMETHING for NOTHING. They want the world to give them something, without giving the world something back first.”
I’m now on the other side of the table, and I can’t even tell you how many questions I get every week saying, “Ramit, what’s the ONE THING you did to grow your business??”
These questions aren’t stupid. But just like Guy opened my eyes, I’ve now made it a pledge to be brutally honest with my students.
It’s not just one thing. Top performers don’t want to know the one thing — they want to know EVERYTHING!!
It doesn’t matter if I’m teaching you the specific system to start a side business, or the word-for-word scripts to use in negotiating your salary. Once you do it, you realize there are no “secrets” — but rather, the systematic hard work of becoming a top performer.
Now, notice that in all IWT material, I address the Magic Bullets — but I also show you how that’s not enough. To be the best, you have to go much further.
All right, let’s pause for a second. What have we covered so far?
We all use the “Magic Bullet” concept to try to look for the easy way out. Ask yourself: What’s the biggest area of your life you’ve been trying to improve? And what’s your Magic Bullet? (“If I just got ____, I’d be able to ____”)
Some of us get stuck on the MB concept. Others realize, hey, that’s important, but there’s probably other stuff that matters, too. Like Guy taught me, get really good at something, then people will want you to speak
So…how do you become a top performer? What if you didn’t start thinking about this stuff at age 21…or go to Harvard…or start a multi-million-dollar company?
Let’s go deeper into the world of becoming a top performer, because being the best get disproportionate results. Someone’s who’s 10x better doesn’t just get 10x the results — they get 100x or even 1,000x the results. (I learned this when I interned with Seth Godin.) They get the BEST opportunities…the BEST job offers…they even get access to the best people to date and marry! Insane but true.
Top performers know we all start the race at different places. Some people have rich parents. Some people went to a better school. But top performers know they are in control of their destiny, no matter where they start, and they strive to understand the game being played around them.
But what exactly is a top performer? What do top performers have that others don’t?
To answer questions like this, a lot of times I want to get out of my own head and hear how other top performers think about success, so I sit down with my close friends and mentors to get their inside expertise.
I recently sat down with one of my friends, Pam Slim, the author of Escape From Cubicle Nation. Pam has been a Master Instructor in a couple of my flagship courses, and she’s an expert in helping people choose where they can make the BIGGEST impact.
For some people, that means starting their own company.
But for others, it means being the best at their job! (Not everyone should be an entrepreneur.)
I like talking to her because she brings a totally different perspective to the idea of success: She knows that not everyone wants to be a hard-charging CEO. She also knows we all measure success differently. Basically, she’s a lot nicer than I am, so I wanted to demonstrate how you can be successful…in your own way.
And after interviewing her, I put together a short, free sneak peek into the entire interview.
Want to know what every single top performer I’ve interviewed in Brain Trust (including CEOs, athletes, and best-selling authors) ALL have in common? Simple. It’s habits. Successful people don’t just catch a lucky break and coast — they systematically identify and integrate winning habits into their lives, day in and day out, for years.
Ramit’s Brain Trust is now closed indefinitely. But before we closed the program, we extracted all the juiciest success habits from our guests and packaged them into a 7-part Ultimate Guide to Habits that you can read anytime, anywhere — absolutely free.
Includes HD videos, action plans, and lessons from the world’s leading experts on behavioral change.
Imagine 30 days from today, jumping out of bed early with tons of energy. You actually LOOK FORWARD to the day — no more feeling frazzled — because of the new “peak performance” tools you’re using now.
Maybe you want to start eating healthier, or cook a meal once a week. Maybe you want to start a business, or even just read one book a month.
No problem. Start small. Pick 1 or 2 things to use these powerful techniques on, and watch what happens.
Just sign up below and I’ll send you a free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Habits right away.