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Stop wasting time on things that don’t matter

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Here’s a classic email I recently got:

My response:
The result?

It would be easy to make fun of Scott, but I actually love that he had a hypothesis of what mattered (his beard), tested it (by emailing me), corrected himself, and then dominated.

It’s hilariously perplexing how many of us devise crackpot theories of what really matters, only to never test them. Invisible scripts guide our lives. We waste years of our lives pursuing the wrong strategies because we never sent one email to find out if our assumptions are true or not. For example…

  • MONEY ASSUMPTION #434: “I need to cut back on lattes.” Have they ever actually tracked how effective this is? Do they understand that negotiating their salary or automating their finances would be 1000x more effective? No. They’ve bought the assumption without ever questioning it.
  • LIFESTYLE ASSUMPTION #287: “I need to buy a house.” I cover why buying a house is often a poor financial decision in exhaustive detail.
  • INTERNET WEIRDO ASSUMPTION #998: “I need a high PageRank.” A guy came to one of my talks and raised his hand to ask about my SEO strategy. I responded that I have no idea and there are a lot smarter SEO people out there than I am. This answer evidently didn’t satisfy him (as anyone could see by his manic eye movements and oddly cocked neck) so I asked, “Why? What are you trying to do?” He told the room how he “needs” to improve his PageRank to make more money off his site. Again, I asked, “Why?” He stopped, realizing he had never examined his assumptions that PR is important. When I told him my PageRank sucks and I make more than most of my competitors combined, he did not know how to respond. His only response: “But…but…PageRank….” STOP ASSUMING

Question for you today:

Today, let’s pause and check some of our assumptions.

Tell me, what assumptions have you challenged in the last 1 year? (Example: “I’m not the kind of guy that can lose 40lbs” or “I could never make $75,000” or “I didn’t think I could take a 3-month vacation to Asia/Europe, but I did XYZ and I was able to…”).

Share yours in the comments below.

If you haven’t tested any, pick one and share how you’re going to test it.

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GKV
GKV
4 years 1 month ago

I tested my assumption that successful people are too busy to give me career advice, but I emailed several people using Ramit’s natural networking scripts and 80% of them were glad to give me advice.

Brian
Brian
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: I need to focus on significantly increasing my primary source of income, rather than looking for ways to supplement it with side income.

Rachel
Rachel
4 years 1 month ago

In the coming year I am going to challenge my assumption that the only place I can find a high-paying job is in New York or a similarly large, expensive city.

Alan
Alan
4 years 1 month ago
Rachel, This is a great idea. Here’s a little story to keep you motivated (yes, story, not carefully controlled and tested experiment). A family member of mine is a doctor and makes between 200-250/yr. They lived in NY, and now in VA. A friend of theirs lives in New Orleans (on the edge), but works in a nothing town about 45minutes outside of N.O. and makes over 300k (around 320 I believe). They have the same profession – and I believe similar specialties, meaning they’re the same “kind” of doctor. Point is, because the friend works in a not major… Read more »
Debora
Debora
4 years 1 month ago

I’ve been needing to lose weight for a very long time, but always resisted keeping track of my calorie intake and calories burned by exercise. I was convinced that it was too much bother and shouldn’t be necessary. But I never lost any weight.
A few weeks ago I decided to test my assumption and started keeping track of everything. And now I’m finally and actually losing weight.

Angie
Angie
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: I could never do a triathlon even if its a sprint distance. A friend of mine has been triathlons for a couple of years now and had been pushing me to do it. I had been running, but that was about it. I really didn’t think I could do it. Nor did I have the time that it would take to train. That was last year. This spring I jumped in head first. Result: I completed 2 triathlons this summer. One June 3 and the second on August 5. The second I took 5 and half minutes off of… Read more »
Stephanie @ Empowered Dollar
4 years 1 month ago

I did something risky and challenged my assumptions that my digestive issues required a constant high dosage of medicine to control. My doctor always told me not to “rock the boat,” and if a handful of pills kept my issues at bay, I should stick with it. So I tried lowering the dose on my own and experimenting with my diet to see if I could cure myself naturally. Guess what? I’ve never felt healthier.

Is going against your doctor’s orders slightly dangerous? Maybe. But it’s worth challenging your (and his) assumptions.

Sally
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: I would need an expensive professional certification to get my ideal job, since all the online listings I saw listed it as a requirement.

I tested this by passing my resume to a friend in a great company that didn’t even have openings for my ideal position. Two months later, I am working there, in my ideal position, and they’ve already paid for my certification course.

Jennifer
4 years 1 month ago

I never had the balls to ask for more money in an interview, but I just had one last week. I liked the people I met, and I almost felt guilty asking for a higher salary than they were offering. All in all though, I deserve it, and this blog totally popped into my head,

Jury’s still out, but I feel good about my decision.
Thanks Ramit!

Lain
4 years 1 month ago

Probably the biggest assumption I challenge over and over is that I have to work harder or more hours to make more income.

I’m revising my processes and outsourcing non-essential tasks in order to make more money (or the same amount) by working less. This feels like “cheating,” but I love it!

Michael E
4 years 1 month ago

The most important one for me was that I would never find an intelligent, beautiful woman to marry.

16 years with Lily have proven that one totally wrong.

andrew
andrew
4 years 1 month ago

Before heading to Argentina this summer, I thought that learning a new language was impossible for me since I had been studying Spanish all throughout high school and college. After spending 2 months there I had a good grasp of the language and could have conversations with people who couldnt speak english which was one of my goals.

Sarah
Sarah
4 years 1 month ago
I thought I could never lose any significant weight. I thought that I would just stay whatever size I was (aka slowly gain more and more) and that trying to control my body was pointless. I thought about my physical health the way I think a lot of people think about their financial health. But two years ago, I took control. I figured out that what I really needed for my *current* physical health was to actually exercise regularly, and that in order to do that I needed someone else to be in charge. For me, that was my girlfriend.… Read more »
david
4 years 1 month ago

Before really engaging myself in career searches, I had thought it would like weeks to secure an interview at a company in which I could grow over decades. Using the briefcase technique, within one week, I have had three companies call me. Thank you Ramit.

Dallas
4 years 1 month ago

I’m hoping to test my assumption that I will struggle financially next year because it will be the first year I no longer have the safety net of a full-time job to support me as I start my photography business. Here’s to hoping (and planning, and testing) that I’m wrong!

Tanuja
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: I never ever thought I would be allowed to work from home full-time at my current job. I have been wanting to work from home ever since I read The Four-Hour Work Week a couple of years ago. Test: I floated it out there to my boss that that I was considering a move to be closer to my family and wanted to know what my options were with respect to maintaining my role at the company. Result: To my great surprise, he said it would be totally fine. I had a backup argument in case he said it… Read more »
Caleb
Caleb
4 years 1 month ago
One thing I had always thought was that I couldn’t do public speaking (I get quite nervous). A last-minute chance came up via work to fill in as a guest lecturer at the local college for one class, and I made myself take it. (I was almost sick to my stomach when I sent the email agreeing to it.) I don’t think I hit it out of the park, but I didn’t fail either. The best part is, I found out after that every student in the class was supposed to submit 1/2 page paper of what they got out… Read more »
SarahS
SarahS
4 years 1 month ago

I tested my assumption that making more money would make me more happy, and that taking a lower-paying job would mean I was inherently worth less. I switched careers, I make 50% less money than I used to, and I am happier than I have ever been before.

Justaperson
Justaperson
4 years 1 month ago

Cool! Which career made you happier?

Melissa
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: I can’t live a financially stable life without my husband.

It’s been a very challenging year as my husband and I decided to end our marriage. He is the breadwinner by a landslide. I am currently in the middle of testing my assumption. I am getting new ideas all the time to blow this lame assumption out of the water.

Ben
Ben
4 years 1 month ago

I could never lose weight as I need to speak every waking hour of the day working to keep up with my job in IT, a little over a year later I’ve lost 40 lbs and am more effective in my role than ever. I train twice a day six days a week often during work hours but thanks to automating and organising my boss couldn’t be happier with my performance.

Mark
Mark
4 years 1 month ago
A friend started to go to the gym 6 days a week to look better. He doesn’t believe when I say results can be obtained much easier (as I read from a book by Timothy Ferriss). He challenged me to prove it. Assumption: The courses offered by the commercial gym are not as effective as the methods described by Timothy Ferriss when trying to build Six Pack Abs. Action steps: I slightly changed my diet towards the Slow-Carb diet Timothy promotes (only partly, so it’s just a small step) and twice a week I do two exercises described in a… Read more »
Sequoia
Sequoia
4 years 1 month ago
I have assumed for the past THREE years (huge waste of time) that I need a very expensive specialized degree to get my dream job or start my own business in the same field. Finally I read the ciricculm of this oh do fancy degree and I can do 90% of it already and the other 10% I can learn for way less than 70k and way faster than 3 more years. But here’s my question: If I’m already much more qualified to do the job than a graduate of this particular program, why do I still feel like they’ll… Read more »
Shana
Shana
4 years 1 month ago

Sequoia I can answer that question because I’ve done it and I am doing it now. Contact the person who would be your bosses boss. For me, that means contacting the CEO, Pres or VP of OPs.

Brandon
Brandon
4 years 1 month ago
I tested the assumption that you had to live and work in a large city to earn a good living or do the type of work that I do. I have now lived in a small town about 1.5 hrs away from any major city. I work as an engineer and make a good living. With the connectivity we have today it is not that difficult to be highly productive in a remote setting. I would not have thought it possible a few years ago, but it has been a real blessing and I am glad that I pursued this… Read more »
Tamara
Tamara
4 years 1 month ago

“I could never make money being a fine artist.” Truth is, I am a decent portrait artist, and could probably sell that skill to moms at my kids’ school. If I asked a few moms I know for images to work from, I might even sell the portraits I do from them, and if nothing else, use them as portfolio pieces.

J. Delancy
4 years 1 month ago
I assumed that I’d never be able to go diving with sharks off the coast of Nassau because I didn’t have the time to get SCUBA certification. I called Stuart Cove’s and lo and behold they had a snorkeling trip that included a shark feeding station. Viola! after three years of trying I’m in the water with these beautiful fish. How is this relevant? Put something impossible on your bucket list, get it done and then see how your levels of confidence change. Lots of time wasting tactics are based on the FEAR of doing that which is vitally important.
N
N
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: I can never afford to just quit my job and go travel long term.
By following Ramit’s simple automation techniques, I managed to debunk that assumption and save a chunk of money. I’m happy to say my last day of work is at the end of this month! Then I’m off to travel in Australia for 8 months!

Melisss
Melisss
4 years 1 month ago

I often test/ disprove assumptions, such as: I could never live without dairy. I’m now 6 months vegan and surprised to say I don’t miss it at all. Example 2: my vet said my cat would never recover from kidney failure & should be euthanized. I did my own research, found a new vet, and 6 years later his kidney function is in a normal range.
An assumption I’m dealing with now: I’ll never make much money working in non profit. I’m not sure if I should try to make more where I am or move to the for profit sector.

Monica
Monica
4 years 1 month ago

My vet said the same thing to me. I ignored her advice, and ten years later my cat is alive and well!

Marcus
Marcus
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: I’ve noticed some pan-handlers down here in San Antonio trying to get money by making signs that say, “Need money for beer and smokes”. I’m ASSUMING they are trying to get money by being honest or telling people what they think the people think they will really use the money for. My test is to make a sign that says, “Need money to buy a power washer to start my own car wash company” and then not actually take the peoples money (I have a job) but just ask them how much they would be willing to give me… Read more »
Lance
Lance
4 years 1 month ago
Thanks to Ramit, I tested the assumption that I couldn’t lower my cholesterol without using statins. They are terrible on the body, and studies have shown that they don’t reduce heart attacks. In fact, they reduce CoQ10, which muscles need to stay healthy, and there is one muscle in particular that needs it for us to stay alive, the HEART! Come to find out, if I had just stopped eating the amount of fructose that I had been consuming, my liver would reduce the amount of cholesterol production. And, with the help of supplements, I used the cholesterol production of… Read more »
L
L
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: I’m not (and never will be) able to run more than very short distances. Background: I am one of those people who never ran at all – always failed the running part of the physical fitness test as a kid. Never was fat, just not able to run without wheezing. Test: Joined a gym around Feb 1 and started working out 30 minutes on a treadmill 2-4 times per week. When I started, I was doing 90% walking with a few one minute “sprints” (slow jogs) thrown in there. I slowly started increasing the jog time. Now I am… Read more »
Jeff Callahan
4 years 1 month ago
1. Went from having to endure minimum savings balances and general dickishness from my local bank to automating my saving with ING Direct. (using your methods) 2. Using your negotiating techniques while interviewing for my current job I was able to overcome my limiting beliefs and represent myself well, turning a lowball offer into making more money than I ever had before. 3. Was always nervous about reaching out to people I admired for advice, but after having a few big wins in other areas of my life (Mostly using your stuff) I’ve reached out and talked to a few… Read more »
Phillip G
Phillip G
4 years 1 month ago

A year ago I would have never guessed that I could lose 40 lbs by eating Paleo and hardly exercising, but here I am, 40 lbs lighter, loving my high-fat foods and rarely exercising. Can’t wait to show my doctor in a few weeks all my progress.

SE
SE
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption:
“I could never make money investing since I am not savvy enough about how to invest. I would need to take a class before doing so.”

The truth is I am afraid of making a mistake and losing money. Anybody can invest. Still fear keeps me form jumping in. Lame. I know.

Stephanie
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: I could never make 6 figures off my art but many many others have.

I’m going to look at the many ways there are to market my art, stage shows etc. to get back to where I was before. I’ve done it before and still didn’t believe. Now it’s time to use my full power and take back control of my life.

Bonnie
4 years 1 month ago
1. I always assumed that I couldn’t stay home with my kids. As an engineer, I made more than my husband. Then I got laid off 2 yrs ago. I didn’t want to find another job. So I sat down and looked at the numbers. Turns out, I could stay home. 2. I assumed I couldn’t afford to start a business. Especially after losing my job and deciding to stay home with the kids. My friend and current business partner pushed me to really look into it. With great advice (from my CPA and SCORE) and a lot of planning,… Read more »
Mel
Mel
4 years 1 month ago

Assumed that because I’m a SAHM I could “do it all” myself and couldn’t justify the expense of hiring outside help. Decided to bite the bullet and hire someone anyway, and discovered that while we paid her $400/mo, it was only taking about $250/mo out of our budget because I was doing less retail therapy or buying expensive food. Plus, the sanity I maintained (and lack of resentment towards husband) was well worth the money.

Christina shields
4 years 1 month ago

I can’t become a desirable fashion photographer because I don’t live in NYC or LA.

Susan
Susan
4 years 1 month ago

These comments are so inspiring. I have heart disease with genetically programmed high cholesterol. I can’t tolerate statins, so the doctor just threw his hands up and has watched me go through 3 heart attacks. Reading Lance’s comment, I am going to try non-prescription alternatives to lower my cholesterol. I’m already taking CoQ10 and eating lots of natural fiber, but will work harder on eliminating all sugars from my diet. I hope this works for me and thank you Ramit and Lance for the suggestion about fructose!

Eleanor
Eleanor
4 years 1 month ago
1) I never thought I could afford private horseback riding lessons regularly, but I just started to and am enjoying it more and learning faster. After spending hours doing various Excel comparisons, I finally went for private lessons as I felt stymied in group ones. The new instructor even proposed that I share the cost of a horse (renting it) with another student & get to ride 4x/week instead of 2! How can I afford this? I got better at managing time & money: immediate investment became a passion, and got a side job (earn 1k) that keeps me on… Read more »
Martha
Martha
4 years 1 month ago

I tested my assumtion that, although I have marketable skills, I wasn’t really “expert” enough to freelance, and besides, how would I get a client. Got a lead through one of my networks, responded, was chosen out of many that responded. I believe in my abilities more now, and need to expand my network.

Mary
4 years 1 month ago
5 years ago, I assumed I was too old to travel & spent time in my back yard, rather than travel. All that changed when I met people on youtube who inspired me. I started travelling, first to Manhattan, then to India; I have been all over the world & to India 3 times ! Egypt twice and glad I did (before the revolution), NYC Manhattan often, California, Mexico. Also, I assumed I had no will power to lose weight, so I didnt take responsibility to do it. I found out you don’t need will power to lose weight. just… Read more »
Su S.
Su S.
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: Because business is still bad for the company I primarily consult for, I can’t do anything to improve my pay there.

Testing: I submitted my last invoice with a 20% increase in my hourly rate, pointing out that my consulting rate (for them) had not increased in 4 years.

Result: Everybody said “No problem with your rate increase.” It will take a little while to collect it all (they owe some back pay) but they know they need me and not to undervalue my services.

Thanks for the continued assertive support and techniques, Ramit!!

Mike Evans
Mike Evans
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: I am a year graduated out of college with a music performance degree, and I am also deeply interested in marketing and psychology. My assumption was that no one would hire me for entry level marketing positions since I do not have the ‘textbook’ qualifications.

Test: I networked to find creative, marketing folks that understand my position. I found a great entry level job, and a little added charm and some of Ramit’s negotiating tactics, I started on the high end of the pay scale.

Mihir
Mihir
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: “I don’t have time for or can handle after-work activities since I have a family/kids at home”. Tested: I joined a local Toastmasters Club (the city’s first, and in downtown, away from my work and home) to brush up my public speaking skills. It’s twice a month and I just have to set aside an hour or two extra per week to write and practice a speech. I just informed my spouse of the timings so our family schedule isn’t disrupted (e.g., no karate or piano lesson schedule those nights). Assumption disproven. Takeaway: I took the attitude of “let’s… Read more »
Jonathan Vaudreuil
Jonathan Vaudreuil
4 years 1 month ago

I assumed that everyone believed in the magic of Pareto and 80/20.

While that might sound odd, that’s how I determine what to do at work. We lived by it at my previous employer. When you’re a small Direct Marketing firm with limited resources and grand expectations, how do you maximize results? 80/20.

I’m finding many people believe that lots of things matter. They love the 80% that get 20% of the results. Don’t know why they do – but having to deal with that is frustrating.

Michael
4 years 1 month ago

I assumed I could never go vegetarian for a full month without eating meat because I’ve been a carnivore all my life. This was 2 years ago.

I tested my assumption by stating on Facebook to all my close friends that I would be going meatless for a full month. Some of my friends were very supportive about my decision. Now I’m starting my second “meatless for a month” journey and I have to tell you I’ve never been happier!

Sue Menon
Sue Menon
4 years 1 month ago
Yay, I’m doing this right 🙂 You have to be ready to go w/ whatever momentum comes your way. Awhile back, the firm I was working at partnered w/ Habitat for Humanity and offered employees a chance to go to South Africa to build homes for people with HIV there. It would have been easy to say, I don’t want to get the shots to go there, I don’t want to take the time off work, it’s scary to go so far away. Or just, I’m not the kind of person that builds homes in South Africa. (And I’m a… Read more »
Roberto Lebron
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: “I could never do an extreme physical fitness program like P90X. It’s too tough.”

Reality: I’m on my 11th week, working out 7 days a week, I haven’t missed a day, even though I was sick for a week, and the benefits are in plain view. Not only am I more fit, I’m also in a better mood, and more productive. Once again, Ramit is Right!

DK
DK
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: I’ll never be great at windsurfing because that honor belongs to my brother. I’m mediocre and should be happy that way since I was never athletic. Results: Just got back from my windsurfing vacation. Not only was I whizzing by with top speed and control, but I was also enjoying myself immensely more. How did I do it? I finally told myself, “I’m tired of this – I want to get really good,” took a private lesson for the first time in years, paid attention and bam, in less than 2 hours, I was practically chasing motor boats going… Read more »
Scott
Scott
4 years 1 month ago

I assumed I wouldn’t be able to make $45k more when this job offer came along. (I honestly thought they’d only offer me $5k or $10k more.) Turns out I was pretty wrong.

Ralu
Ralu
4 years 1 month ago

I assume I won’t be able to get a raise at my current job since my boss already gave me a bonus and probably expects me to shut up for a year.

Going to challenge that in 2 weeks when he will be coming over to the local office.

Elaine
Elaine
4 years 1 month ago

I assumed I could never have a cut/athletic body since I was always a little “soft” growing up. My boyfriend had a similar situation growing up, but in the last few months he has completely changed his physic (dropping 30 lbs, now has six-pack). We were living in different cities last year, but now that we’re living together again, I’m testing my assumptions by completely following his diet and work-out plan.

Matt
4 years 1 month ago
I’m testing my assumption that can’t get a payrise where I work now. All the ‘normal’ signs say ‘no way’: Budgets are cut, the whole company is in the process of being rearranged, my own boss left 2 months ago,passing me on to a manager who doesn’t understand my role……But…..Ramit says Play Poker with em and pull out the briefcase, so that’s what I am doing. I have a 1:1 with my new boss in September and I am running a side project which will prick her ears up. Question: The 1:1 is a normal scheduled occurance (I only see… Read more »
Ellen
Ellen
4 years 1 month ago

This year I challenged my assumptions about getting a job and began a year-long online course in healthcare. I never had a science class in my life and this is diffficult. But it is a fabulously engaging effort, and I believe I can complete the course and therefore be employable in a whole new field.

Annika S
4 years 1 month ago

Hi Ramit,
The assumption I’m testing & struggling with is: “I need to have formal qualifications to make money.” I just launched my exercise and diet coaching site yesterday, so we’ll see whether it’ll turn out to be true.

Noel
Noel
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: That I can never loose my belly fat and run a marathon. Its taken a whole year and after starting out only doing 2km runs, I am now running 20km every weekend and have entered a marathon at the end of Oct. The belly fat is slowly dripping away….

Joy
Joy
4 years 1 month ago

I assumed that I just wasn’t good at sports and I’d always be unfit. I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to afford to travel overseas until I retire. I assumed that everybody would laugh at me if I told them my crazy aspirations.

Three months ago I ran my first marathon. On the Great Wall of China. And nobody laughed.

Lindsay
Lindsay
4 years 1 month ago

I tested the assumption that there was only one way to restrict calories and discovered other methods such as intermittent fasting, and got better weight loss results.

R.Singh
R.Singh
4 years 1 month ago

Same here – a calorie is definately NOT a calorie.

steve ward
steve ward
4 years 1 month ago
assumptions i have tested: 1) that it is impossible to reach people who are suppose to be unreachable: This assumption is interesting it not wrong in some ways. See it how you approach the person that counts after that it was easy to approach most people a little hard to approach all people. 2) that i can loose 30 pounds in 6 months: While this was a little tricky my mind thought it was impossible, yet by just changing my food a little i dropped those pounds fast. 3) that it would take a year to write a book (you… Read more »
R.Singh
R.Singh
4 years 1 month ago
Ramit, the barrage of emails you send out are terrible. There are some key things you’re doing, that are preventing you from getting to the next level: 1. Emails are too frequent 2. Email look unprofessional (font, layout, everything) 3. You don’t provide any FREE PROVEN material that works – example, I purchased Tim Ferriss’ “4 Hour Body” because I used the Free Slow-Carb diet on his blog, which worked. I figured if that worked, the book must be great. I purchased your book, which was awesome – but, have had no inclination to be upsold on anything else that… Read more »
Aaron
Aaron
4 years 1 month ago

No free material? Not proven? How long have you been reading this blog, dude?

Agota
Agota
4 years 1 month ago

This is hilarious.. 😀

James
James
4 years 1 month ago

I haven’t challenged any assumptions, which is probably part of the problem. I think it’s time to start challenging some assumptions …

Harsh
Harsh
4 years 1 month ago

I always assume that I can start my own business instead of wasting my time on 9 to 5 job where most the time wasted in chit chats and other stuff than actual work to do.But always I got stuck at where to start and who can help me in this and then answer always came is go back to job.

Aaron
Aaron
4 years 1 month ago

My assumption was that I needed to finish my Master’s degree to get a great job. I forced myself to apply anyway, got the job, and have now stopped worrying about the degree.

ZSN
ZSN
4 years 1 month ago

I have testing my idea on money. For years and years and years, learning from my parents, I always thought 36-45k job was a decent job. Value is different from person to person. I saw this as a big value. I decided to switch my mindset and saw this as a low value, and put a value of 75-90k (double) as the same value. I was just transferred to the sales team of our company, Base salary + Commissions. Base is already within my new new value. Assumptions = destroyed.

Anca
Anca
4 years 1 month ago
With the Dream Job course I first had to test the assumption that a stranger would never positively reply to a request to meet for coffee to talk about their work. But I met with several college alumni in my industry, and talked on the phone with someone who was basically a 3rd connection (introduced via repeated closer connections). Another alum offered to introduce me to a VIP via email because coffee wasn’t very convenient. The second assumption I had to test was after I didn’t get a reply from that VIP after several days (5 incl weekend). I was… Read more »
Matt Ortolani
4 years 1 month ago
Love the Lifestyle Assumption… I spent most of my life trying to understand why a massive debt that is “supposed” to allow you to build equity but could bottom out (like any other investment) was the best logical step for a young person, or any person for that matter… Buying a home is a MYTH… and I get constantly slammed by people who are of the old school style of thinking and cannot get out it and into the creative stages of seeing the future… I now just reference this blog and a few other resources and let them do… Read more »
Doug_Holes
Doug_Holes
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: My depression could not be fought, because my situation makes it impossible for me to fix any aspect of my life. My debt will ruin me and I will lose my job because I cannot focus on work. How I challenged it: My illness was causing me to think irrationally about money and work. I asked a *very* good friend to take my bank card and manage my account with me. (this removed the money management worries (not necessarily the automation Ramit speaks about, but what I needed at the time) and allowed me to focus on work) I… Read more »
Greg Campbell
Greg Campbell
4 years 1 month ago

I used to say that I’m not the kind of guy who could win Ramit’s $1001 contest. I am testing my assumption by posting this response and hoping he reads it and proves me wrong! I really could use the money.

Motivated
4 years 1 month ago

I want to challenge the feeling which I had for the last years that I reached carreer and money wise already my full potential. I have been the last 2-3 years keeping busy staying at the same level which is much more that I ever expected … this was wrong.

Busy now being part of a really challenging start up (leaving a big, incumbent, good paying company) and staring up an own business on the side

Brent
Brent
4 years 1 month ago

I dealt with my invisible script that “Not having a car means I cannot go out and have fun.” I started planning things, and then my friends with cars would offer to drive. Another script I am working to overcome is “I didn’t introduce myself and now it is too late and would be too awkward to do so.” I’m starting to realize that the other person is just as scared of the awkwardness as I am, and so when I introduce myself, things as just nicer all around.

Marc
4 years 1 month ago

Assumption: I couldn’t do Intermittent Fasting while building strength and getting into the best shape of my life.

I’m 5 months in and already seeing better results than I did with P90X.

Lucy Ra
4 years 1 month ago

Was assuming my portfolio art sells only at a specific price range. Just got a buyer who is paying 6 times my asking price. Glad it went that way and not the other 🙂

Ornella @ Moneylicious
4 years 1 month ago
I assumed I couldn’t write a book because I don’t know the first thing about writing. I had the idea that I wanted to write a great fantastic personal finance book for Gen Y, but thought I had to be superb at writing. After awhile, I was upset with myself for thinking that I couldn’t do something because of my poor assumption. So I started to write, took my time, and introduced my manuscript to an editor. And then my world changed! I love how editors can keep the tone, my personality, and humor while adding on or adjusting the… Read more »
Micah
Micah
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: I would never have a European vacation at my age, in my middle 30s, since everyone else had already done it. After years of being jealous of everyone taking long trips to Europe after college or in their 20s, I finally did what it took for me to see the major European countries including the trifecta of London, Paris and Rome. It wasn’t cheap and it was definitely tiring but I’m sitting here in England writing near the end of my 3 month journey across the continent satisfied at my results! So how did I do it? Lots of… Read more »
Still_floating
Still_floating
4 years 1 month ago

I assumed that I could buy a boat to live on with my girlfriend, I tested it. Now I’m single but I have a boat..

Jon
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: You have to wait for the perfect suitors before you will have a healthy relationship. Related Assumption: You have to either be lucky or have a lot of money to have women or to get laid. Tested: I slowly began to challenge many of the beliefs that I picked up along the way. I saw my parents with the messy divorce, and other examples of grown ups in ‘failed’ or drama relationships and I always had a fear of being ‘trapped’ by having kids with the wrong partner, or being in a marriage contract where I am locked in… Read more »
Justaperson
Justaperson
4 years 1 month ago

I tested an embarrassing, specific, unjustified fear (which counts as an assumption!) that’s been keeping me back by forcing myself to gradually confront it within the framework of a 30 day trial.

Ly-ann
4 years 1 month ago
Over the last 12 months I decided to challenge my own assumption that I did not have the mental wherewithal to run anything more than 3K. I worked on it slowly, not trying to give myself too big a goal. 3 months through, I realized I probably had more mental tenacity (and physical endurance) than I gave myself credit for. I signed up for the 21K and 12 months later am considering if that just simply should be an annual thing I do. There’s a ton of other stuff I’ve challenged myself to try – get paid gig to write.… Read more »
Erin
Erin
4 years 1 month ago

I tested my assumption that running was not a form of exercise that I would ever like or do voluntarily. A few months ago I started running with my boyfriend, and it was tough at first. But I rewarded myself with a piece of chocolate after every run and started improving week by week. Now I don’t need to have a chocolate afterward, but I usually do to keep the positive reinforcement going, and I even run when my boyfriend isn’t here to make me go.

Patricia
Patricia
4 years 1 month ago

I’m going to test whether a fat girl, weighing over 230 lbs., can run a marathon, never having run more than a mile before in her life.

– I am creating an training plan based off of a book called “Non-runner’s Marathon Guide”

N.
N.
4 years 1 month ago
Assumption: The interview process is a just like being “under the microscope”, where prospective employers test, evaluate and measure your worthiness over another candidate. Test: First, change your attitude to one of confidence – you have what they want, not the other way around. Second, prepare a Briefcase Presentation on each company you interview with… showing you’ve done your research but also filling it with questions. You are interviewing them too… do they measure up to your worth? Result: Immediate spike in freelance work and then, weeks later, after repeated meetings with a choice company in my area – a… Read more »
Jerry
Jerry
4 years 1 month ago

I didn’t think I could squat 250 lbs, let alone 400, but I’ve already done 255, and I’m well on my way to beating 400 by the end of the year.

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