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Secret Scents of Success

Ramit Sethi

Why do so many Indian people dominate spelling bees — including me?

After all, I was #9 in Northern California.

So how’d I do it?

(Probably the real question my parents want to know is: “Why weren’t you #1?”)

Here’s the politically correct answer: Oh, I was just fortunate to be blessed with spelling ability…I’m not good at a lot of stuff, but I lucked out on this one.

Here’s the actual truth: When I came home from 6th grade, I would grab a snack, then my mom and I would open up a spelling book — literally, a book with thousands of words — and we would start practicing. For about 2 hours a day.

On weekends? 3 hours a day.

These are the habits that nobody successful tells you about — in spelling bees, creating a $10 million business, getting a 6-pack, or being incredibly successful in dating.

In fact, successful people openly LIE about what it takes! They’ll use words like “Just find your passion!” (while obscuring the endless amount of time they spent perfecting their craft). In dating, they’ll say “Don’t ever settle!” while skipping over the amount of time they put into looking better, improving their attitude, and the countless nights they went out to meet new people.

Why doesn’t anyone tell the truth about what it takes to be successful?

2 very simple reasons.

  1. Everyone would hate you. America loves to celebrate “effortless” success, so if you talk about the exact way you’re successful — whether it’s in dating, money, or fitness — the backlash comes quickly.
  2. These secret habits are so unconscious, you don’t even realize you do them.

I want to show you exactly what I mean. Let’s take one of the most contentious topics of all: women’s fitness.

Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 10.49.45 AM1
Twitter.com/ramit

According to this magazine article on secret diets…

womensmag1

…celebrities get killer bodies because they:

  • “Discover their purpose”
  • “Add extra carbs to lunch” (yes, really)
  • “Bacteria”

God, I see these kinds of lies every week and it’s starting to drive me nuts.

Like when you turn on some talk show and the host is complimenting the celebrity guest.

Host: “Wow, you look amazing. How do you do it?”

Her: “Oh, thank you (giggles, blushes). I just try to watch what I eat!”

Audience: (Claps)

I FUCKING KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO LOOK LIKE THAT. WHY DON’T YOU TELL THE TRUTH?

What if these celebrities told you how they look amazing?

They would tell you…

  • “I count calories” (usually less than 1,200 calories/day)
  • “I work out 5-10 times/week” (yes, sometimes twice a day)
  • “I have rules of thumb I use when I eat out, like: ‘No bread. Only a teaspoon of dessert.’”

The unsurprising truth is that most people would hate them and accuse them of eating disorders, barrage them with “must-be-nice” criticism of their trainers/chefs, and rationalize how “I’d rather be happy than live like that.”

And here’s where it gets really interesting: A small group — just a select few — would lean in and want to learn more.

And best of all, they’d ask without judgement, “What are those secret rules of thumb you use to be successful?”

Which group are you?

The secret habits of successful people

Every successful person has invisible habits they use, often unconsciously. These habits are very different than what “normal” people use, often radically different.

The habits are “invisible” because either (1) they’ve been doing them so long, they’re unaware of even using them, or (2) they don’t want to share them because of how people will react.

I call these the “Secret Scents of Success” — unglamourous habits that people have that can shape their entire attitude, setting them up for success.

It’s like when you walk into a high-end store and a combination of subtle things you might not even notice lets you know you’re somewhere that’s about to offer a luxury experience. It’s the attentiveness of the clerks, the use of negative space in the shelving, and the smell of the store.

STORE LOCATOR NYSTORE MENS1
Tom Ford in NYC. You can almost smell it.

Importantly, most people do not want to learn about these Secret Scents of Success, because they’re hard and unsexy. But, like anything, they become a habit — and unlike bacteria and fucking adding carbs, they actually work.

My first experience with this was with my super-ripped friend, who used to tell me, “All you need to do is work out 3 times a week.” What a fun and easy-to-implement tip worthy of a magazine! So imagine my surprise when I spotted him doing some light cardio at the gym one Saturday. “Hey dude,” I said, “don’t you normally work out Mon/Wed/Fri?”

“Yeah,” he admitted. “This is my off day.”

BOOM. It blew my mind that he was still at the gym on his “off” day.

Some other examples I’ve noticed:

Secret Scents of Success1

Notice how detailed, how “micro” these habits are. They’re never going to be in a magazine. And “normal” people would say these border on being OCD.

That’s why nobody talks about these habits: they’re not as sexy as saying “We bought this magic pill to help me lose 50lbs” or “I use this app to stay productive.”

But they work. Although subtle, and though they might pay off after YEARS, they work.

And the few people who seek them out can get amazing results, too.

Example: Here’s a friend of mine who used to play baseball. Guess what he just posted on Instagram?

A video of his daughter playing teeball in their apartment!

My lil Slugger !!! 😀😀😀 #womensfitness #baseball #softball #soccer #fitness #gains #fitgirl #daddysgirl

A post shared by Mike Pierre (@trainermikep) on

My parents would have never dreamed of doing this. First of all, they would have never thought to buy us a teeball set. And they never would have wanted us to play inside.

But here’s Mike, who loves baseball and obviously wants his daughter to learn it, encouraging her to hit the ball over and over.

10 years from now, it’s entirely possible that people will look at his daughter and say, “Wow, what a natural athlete.”

Sure. What they don’t see is the thousands of hours of practicing hitting a ball — and being encouraged by her dad.

It’s like our luxury store: a subtle, unglamourous thing that makes all the difference. Most times, we can’t see our own Scents of Success, but once you know where to look you can notice it in your friends.  

What Scents of Success did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

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96 Comments

 
  1. Deborah Rosen

    I honestly don't want to be rich. I want everybody to have the basics. And after that we will advance together.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Deborah, what does "rich" mean to you?

    • Carmen

      What do you mean by rich and basics?

      I'm gonna need you to really think about this.

      Don't just say money and paid bills.

    • Carmen

      Answer me!

  2. GawkFace

    It takes many years to be an overnight success (some ad said this)

    • Jolyte

      Quite so. The only area where they do not hide the truth is in learning to play a musical instrument: practice, practice, practice.

  3. Sakke

    I started counting my macros and calories and using myfitnesspal over a year ago and ever since lost over 15kgs. Couldn't agree more with the fact that it's easier to just tell my friends I watch what I eat than all the actual work I put on a daily basis to keep my diet in check. I've told about counting a couple of times but no one cares and they don't even know what macros are. Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Yes, I'm familiar with that eyes-glazed-over look when someone asks "How do I do it??" and you tell them the truth!

  4. Mike

    Love the truth smack-down on fitness here and what it REALLY takes to be fit. Everyone wants that flat and lean stomach, but no one wants to work for it. Craziest shit is, it isn't even the flat leaner stomach that's the grand prize, but instead who we become in the process of getting that flat lean stomach that's the REAL success – but then again, no one wants to hear that either.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Absolutely. And honestly, if someone had told me about the inner changes I'd experience when I started working out / growing my business / mastering my craft, I wouldn't have understood it.

  5. Mer

    I meal prep religiously – don't eat anything that isn't in my lunch box and plan when I go out. I also met with a nutritionist, made a training plan with my trainer who I see 4 times a week and run on my "off" days. My facebook feed is full of real people running groups and nutrition pages so I am forced to think about exercise and nutrition even when I'm relaxing.

    As for "work" I get up an hour early to work on my side gig, then go to work at my office job, then come home and work on my side gig. I have calendar reminders and blocks of time that are set aside for specific tasks and I get reminders on my phone and laptop so I have no excuses. I also joined a mastermind group that meets twice a month to learn and help keep each other accountable.

    • Steve

      This is awesome! I need to look into the meal prep/planning thing. Right now my diet is a little out of control. I'm not overweight but could shed some fat and replace with muscle.

      I do the early-to-rise thing for my side gig as well. I've found the key to success there is forcing myself to go to bed at an early-enough time to allow me to feel okay waking up early. I get SO MUCH more done that way. It's probably 5 times faster than normal "after work" efforts. After work I'm spent and want to relax. My most valuable brain time is right after sleeping so I choose to give that time to myself — my employer can have the leftovers, thank you very much.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Steve: I want you to be mindful of the language you use. "I need to…" = "I'm not going to."

      Why not instead say: "Tonight at 5pm, I'm going to spend an hour researching meal prepping. I'll come back tonight and leave a comment with what I've learned."

      Which one is more likely to actually happen?

  6. Michelle

    Tests are easy if you make a study guide and review the material a few times, concentrating on weak spots. Most people DON'T DO THIS and just cram haphazardly. It makes a huge difference and yet for someone that made this a habit and finds it sensible and helpful and not worth thinking about, everyone else acts like there's a secret genius bullet somewhere. Grades are easy if you practice via homework. But it's easier for people to assume that intelligence is just something you're born with and grades are easy. Fine. It's easier to leave it at that – let's just assume I'm a genius and you're out of luck.

    Parenting. Usually kids who are well-behaved have tested boundaries and parents have stuck to those boundaries. And pampering is as abusive as neglect so kids who are selfish and demanding have parents who have neglected to do their job of teaching the kids how to get out of the nest over time and how to consider others. I do think some kids' personalities are wired so the parenting job might be easier, but well behaved children (especially multiple siblings) aren't just simple luck – it's work on the parents' end that we don't see the holding of boundaries over and over. We don't see how often they pull over and wait for a kid to get back in the seatbelt, grocery carts left full in the store because of a tantrum, playdates cancelled because a child isn't behaving appropriately for social interaction, how many times a kid is put back in their bed over and over without a word, how many tears a shed because a parents follows through with a boundary and doesn't budge even over waterworks and outbursts, how many times a parent has empathized and listened and built a rapport of trust and understanding in order for a kid to tell the truth and reach out instead of hiding because a parent is reactive and punishing, how many kids appreciate the money they have because a parent was conscientious of needs vs wants and taught a child how to manage money, oh and how many times a kid was allowed to FAIL in order to let them feel the consequences of their actions.

    • Lou

      Where's your book, Michelle? Not kidding, not snarking. You seem to have a pretty good handle on setting firm, loving and appropriate boundaries, a topic that many
      might want to know more about.

    • Bob

      I second Lou on that. You just described why my kids get compliments while other's kids get complaints. Sticking to boundaries and discipline…

    • Anayra

      Wow- blew me away.
      You have a gift to share with many parents Michelle.

    • Steve

      I second (or fourth?) all these other replies. I was raised by incredible parents and in my unprofessional opinion, parenting skills are becoming fewer and farther between nowadays. You really should write a book.

    • American Parent

      ^^^^^ Great answer on parenting, Michelle. As a parent of 5 under 8yoa, I see that.

      This is one of the rare areas where I think parents are always giving variable attention, you are trying to hit the mark on average. Sometimes over strict, sometimes over lenient. With 5 kids, somebody is crying. Parents have to be honest about what they need to perform their best as a parent, because if you are stressed, you will blow up at your kid over something that should have been handled a different way.

      Talking to my trainer today. His 6 year old boy is in baseball league and they are in Tournaments every weekend that go Friday-Sunday. Their family is exhausted.

      We have nothing scheduled. We intentionally under-schedule to make sure day to day we have enough margin to take care of all the little things.

      At the same time, for little kids, routine is EVERYTHING. When you do the same things day after day after day, the kids know what to expect and don't freak because they have a sense of loss of control because they are getting jetted from place to place.

      Finally, I am absolutely ruthless with the discipline my kids get, because we have to keep a tight ship or it will be a crime scene. In April, my kids were giving their mother all kinds of problems, 2 hours to do 5 minutes worth of chores. I was working out of my home office. I came out and calmly took the top two outside to discuss why they were giving mom so much trouble. At first my 7 year old replied, "I don't know." Then after a few minutes she let me know, "I think it's because I want my own way."

      I lost it. I literally went and threw all her toys and her 5 year old brother's toys in the garbage. They didn't come back. They were taken to the street and picked up. I let them know that if they want all the privileges of being in this family, they have just a few things they have to do. But if they want to do things their way, they will sleep on the floor. I will throw their bed out. They will dress in burlap sacks. (Their mother sews). They have no rights.

      To this day, my now 6 year old son asks, "Do you know why I do my chores the first time?" "Why?" "Because I want to keep my toys (He had a birthday and grandparents were generous)." "Good idea."

      Didn't pick up your toys around the house? No problem, Dad will. Only problem is, he puts them in the garbage. If you don't care enough about your stuff to put it away, I don't care to look at it, store it, or pick it up.

      7 year old daughter: "What I love about mom is she doesn't yell at us everyday." "Why do I yell at you?" "Because we don't do what you ask first time." "What do you need to do not to be yelled at?" "Do what I'm asked first time."

      Cue the comments about how abusive and strict I am as a parent.

    • Katie

      Not a parent, but as a person in the world I applaud these answers. I get that kids have tantrums sometimes and I can ignore some bad behavior, but parents who scream in a store or restaurant really get to me. Please, please set boundaries & routines so that your kid can function in society. For the awesome parents in this thread, thank you for your hard work! It's brutal and I can't fully understand what you put in, but I sincerely admire and appreciate the effort it takes to produce awesome children.
      As to the original question, the "secret" is to decide every single day what's important. For me it's health, and I have radically changed how I eat and my daily routine. How did I give up ice cream? Dairy makes me miserable for days, finding alternatives beats the heck out of feeling hellacious. It's not even a question at this point.

  7. John Orian

    You put it well Ramit. Thanks.

    I've been wondering how to get the participants in my program "Your Venture, Your Game!" to do the work it requires. I'll share your email with them.

    The lesson: Make it a daily habit.

    Which leads to the next question: How do I make it a daily habit? << I'll have to think about this and find a tiny first step they can take to begin building the habit. Then expand to the next tiny step, and the next, and the next.

    • Ania

      I suggest the book "The power of habit" by Charles Duhigg. Basically you have to consciously work your ass off the exchange a bad habit for a good one, but there are a few pointers on how to make it easier 🙂

      Cheers!

  8. Annie

    1. Healthy Skin "Secrets" – Same fitness/beauty mags who tout using an exfoliation face wash, drinking a lot of water, using a good moisturizer, and eliminate stress..

    **Reality – people with money/celebs: go to derma for biweekly extractions, get Fraxel lasers, lights, and peels, eat a low glycemic diet, take specific vitamins, and perform daily regimen that costs ~ $500 every couple months

    2. Women's Style – Celebrities say: I picked this out and immediately loved it! It was so cute..

    **Reality – Stylist picked out 5 outfits, they were vetted by the client, then tried on to be tailored to fit perfectly. High quality and usually expensive clothes were the only options.

    3. "Become a Millionaire" Tips – Financial gurus say to max out 401K, reduce frivolous spending, and pay off loans on time

    **Reality – most millionaires spend money to invest in wardrobe, post-grad learning, and events to connect with other top performers who can help provide new career/business opportunities. Living in a life of skimping/scarcity only prevents those money earning opps.

  9. Drew

    Ramit – Loved the dating example. I'm getting married in two weeks. I hear, "You're so lucky to have found a wife ten years younger, fit, and that has a career she is happy with."

    Yea dude, total luck.

    What I want to say is "I went out on hundreds of first dates and swiped on thousands of women on dating apps. I worked on my self esteem going to a psychologist every week for five years. I broke up with two women that I loved because I knew I wouldn't be happy marrying them."

    But yea dude, it was just luck. "Hey, when you know you know right? You'll find someone when you least expect it."

    Such BS. I worked my ass of to be the type of person that would be ready to marry the type of person she is…and you know what? We are still working.

    We go to couples therapy every other week. So someday people will say, "Wow you guys have such a great marriage. You're so lucky!"

    Well, we have worked on our communication with a professional coach, a therapist. But if we said that people would be like "must be nice to have that type of money" or "Well things must be bad and you just put on a show since you go to a therapist."

    Great article and examples!

    • Naisha

      This is awesome and very true. When I started "working" on myself and hired a life coach, better dates showed up.

    • Chelsea O'Brien

      Awesome share! So true.

  10. yosef ferdinand

    Hello Ramit,

    I think repetition and neverending improvement is the key of success

  11. Maia

    Heavy coffee drinker here (black, pour-over at home), so yellowing teeth is an issue. My secret to white teeth without going to dentist: whitening strips twice per month, whitening toothpaste. Basically regular maintenance to prevent yellow tinge.

  12. Mario

    I'm an elite guitar player and exceled since really young. Everybody told me It was a natural "gift" but completely ignored the fact that while other seven year olds were outside playing soccer I was locked in my room obsessively practicing a little piece multiple hours a day until It was perfect.

  13. Celeste Bonnet

    Ramit,
    What struck the most for me with your post is the 'hidden' daily commitments that go into achieving 'success'.

    When I get complimented on being 'smart' or 'resourceful' with helping them solve a problem, I thank the person, yet in my mind I will usually write off my contribution as just 'common sense'.

    Yet my 'common sense' is likely a result of reading non-fiction books on principles, practical activities and inspiration by the ……………………hundreds……. every year……for decades….

    I forget (discount) that part.

    Thank you for another post motivating us to keep taking actions towards the results we want.

  14. Kevin

    This advices applies to internal states as well, that is "happiness".

    I used to believe, people are just happier than others as if you cannot change your own worldviews on life. This started to shift around age 16 when I read "Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill" The idea that I could change my mind by choosing different thinking patterns, blew my mind.

    This involved meditation, therapy, books, seminars, improving mindsets around what people thought of me, finding environments and people where I thrived, and more. Of course this runs contrary to the thought that happiness is just supposed to happen magically somehow and that anxiety and depression cannot be severely lessened with effort.

  15. Ania

    Oh my gosh Ramit, I can't believe how true this is. All the extra credit stuff that nobody mentions because it seems normal to the people that excel in the field. Regarding fitness, it was a shock to me to discover that "training days" mean "hardcore gym workout with weights" but everyday cardio does not count as a training. Therefore fit people (now me, yay!) actually work out every day of the week (or 5-6x, not just Mon-Tue-Fri)… Same with food, the lenghts that I go to in order to buy the right kind of foods would amaze my friends.

    Obviously, this must be the same in other aspects of life.

    OCD type behaviors are apparently the only way to actually be good at something!

    Cheers!

  16. Sarah

    As a relatively new parent, I see so much truth in this. People are amazed that my toddler (who is not even 3) knows every single instrument in the orchestra (by sight and usually by sound). It's not a god-given talent! We've been brainwashing him for years! We started playing Peter and the Wolf for him at a very early age (in multiple languages), and have continued to support the interest with various books and other music. I don't know if he'll go on to become a classical musician, but if he does have a talent for music, it will be because he's been in training since almost day 1.

    Actually, I think one of my tips for new parents would be: Focus on brainwashing (ahem, "teaching") your kids the extracurricular stuff. My son still can't get all of the letters in the alphabet straight, but he loves books anyway. I know he'll get the alphabet eventually at daycare/preschool. What isn't a guarantee is a love of books (or an exposure to the kinds of books/topics I think are important), knowledge of classical music, etc.

  17. LizzyI

    I once lost 25 lbs in 7 weeks.

    I woke up early 6 mornings a week to take a brisk 3 mile walk.
    I returned home, and took my Shepherd for a 1.5 mile walk.
    Then I took the other two dogs on a 1.5 mile walk.
    If I had time later in the day I walked an additional 2 miles.
    I went to Pilates at my gym 3 evenings a week and every
    Sat morning.
    I counted every single calorie.
    I only ate in restaurants twice during that period.

    • Gabrielle

      That's amazing! You sound like a seriously disciplined person. Kudos for being so determined to achieve what you wanted.

  18. Amanda

    Hi Ramit,
    For transparency, I teach the DeRose Method, so I am involved professionally with all aspects of students improvement, physical, mental and emotional. Every point that you make is rock solid. Training, training training and the more you do, the better you get. I know that I have a long way to go personally to reach my goals, but there is no question about the path to success and there is no quick fix.

    I consciously stopped reading women's magazines several years ago, as I noticed that I always felt inadequate when I finished one. They always promise so much and deliver so little, both in the fitness and fashion field. They create a sense of inadequacy, by setting impossible standards for most people, with unrealistic ways of achieving those ends – as you so rightly stated. Its important, as I am sure you are aware, to be careful about what you feed your mind, just as it is important to watch what you feed your body and these magazines do not inspire.

    Although I don’t “work hard” at my diet and exercise, I regularly practice and teach, and I follow a particular nutritional life style, which is delicious and which I enjoy, so to me, its not dieting. I don’t count calories but I am careful not to eat when I am not hungry and I watch my portion sizes. I do not eat any sort of meat and I don’t drink alcohol or take drugs. People say to me “you look amazing, how can you be 51? You look 35… what’s your secret?” Of course, when you tell them, “The DeRose Method… and I don’t do any of the things above, the majority don’t want to hear about it. I am not on a quest for the elixir of looking eternally young. It is merely a byproduct of my lifestyle. A happy “plus”. For me, there is no deprivation at all. I wake up every day feeling great and I feel very lucky for this. But its not entirely by accident. It didn't just happen. I practice a combination of respiratory and internal cleansing techniques, a physical practice, together with techniques for focus, concentration and meditation. every day. This has a profound impact on inner cleanliness, metabolism and energy. I do it every day! If I have very little time, I can do it in 10 mins but I practice every day, no matter what. it is only through daily practice that one yields results. The effects are cumulative. and there are no quick fixes. Or not any that I have found anyway, either in this aspect or any other aspect of life.

  19. Frank

    Another Scent of Success that I would add:

    1. The ability to constantly course correct in the "how do they really do it" table in your post.

    Either they have an A-team that helps keep them on track, and/or they consciously track how they're doing using real-life KPIs (waist looks flabbier today…let's try XY instead of Z and see what happens in the next two weeks). Their habits are micro and so are their iteration loops.

  20. Brett

    Hi Ramit,

    This is one of your best posts yet. Thank you for acknowledging that "magic" abilities take a serious amount of focused work (and often thinking outside of the box).

  21. Lindsay

    Hi Ramit,

    I have been on your I Will Teach You To Be Rich email list for a while now. I want to thank you for adding so much value through your emails and blog. I'm in the process of automating my finances using some of your tips and it feels great to be gaining control over something that has caused me a lot of anxiety in the past. I have also started a business recently and your content is a great supplement to all of the personal development reading and listening I have been doing.

    No need to respond. I simply want to say thank you.

  22. Rich

    Thx Ramit. This is not just a prob w high profile people in the media but in almost every book and podcast i listen to.

    It seems that the peeps who've "made it" are either too caught up in their current success or have unconsciously locked up the hard things it took to get there…so when being interviewed we go from "well, i was born in Po-Dunk, NE got a paper route bc my parents made me and i turned that into XYZ billion dollar company" way-wuh? These people tell their stories at surface level and most interviewers dont get super micro re the day to day, min by min over the decade it took to build their "thing".

    The stories are told in fragments with crucial chunks of acts 1,2 and 3 left out. The starving listeners/readers hunting for bread only get a slice and not the whole loaf.

    I'm hungry, screw it…"waiter! bring me some bread and a double helping of dessert."

    • Tracy

      For a good podcast check out Martin Rooney's "Into the Roar". He really gets deep and calls those things out for listeners: The motivation, dedication, and support it took for his guests to become successful.

  23. Radan

    I love coding and software development. I've spent countless hours of my free time writing millions of lines of code because I found it fun. I've been doing that since I was about 10. Sometimes, in college, I would skip going out to code, I just sometimes found it more interesting than going out. I would read software development books before going to bed because I found them interesting. I am now a highly paid software development consultant and I've started simply ignoring recruiters with job offers.

    The thing is, this is true for pretty much every great software developer I know personally. For the ones I don't know I can extrapolate that the same is true.

    If someone wanted to to get to my level they'd need at least 10 very dedicated years of mastering this craft.

    • Emilio J. Torres-Requena

      Hey Ramit

      Another blog brought a smile to my face. I'm a hardcore sailor. People ask me how long have I've been doing this, I answer longer than you've been alive and I still study, read, if it's raining and shitty weather I go out. If it's February and snowing I go out. And I'm happy!!!. Like your trainer at the gym, like my brother a musician, time off he's practicing his craft.
      I key part is if you have this love and dedication to your craft, share the knowledge. Share the love. No hacks putting the time is half the fun. But don't go full throttle then you burn out, and it's just a fad.

  24. Gee

    The ultimate reason people buy into believing "achievement = natural talent and/or luck" — other than the sad fact that our culture TEACHES it — is it excuses the observer from having to recognize and admit, "No, I don't want that enough to do what it takes to get there."
    Also, adding to the comment that this belief doesn't hold in music: probably true for many, but my son and his fellow music majors considered it much cooler to show up and rip through a new piece without (admitting) practice than to work on it over time, even if the end result was better.
    The belief in effortless perfection dies hard. (Sigh)

  25. Paul Deveaux

    Thanks for this. One of things that was hinted at but not explicit in the email was the value of feedback and/or a coach or mentor. I'm guessing that your Mom drilled you pretty hard on those spelling words and kept you progressing to tougher words. There's a reason elite athletes have coaches.

    As always, thanks for bringing truth and reality to the conversation.

  26. Naisha

    Totally agree with you, Ramit! I guess they have to lie to women because if we really knew that it took skipping dessert and giving up alcohol, we wouldn't dare try. Because it seems "too hard."

    Even Beyonce started performing when she was 9 and had her dad as both a manager and a mentor.

  27. Gabrielle

    Hmmm, I think some other unseen "scents of success" could also be:

    -going to bed early
    -packing gym clothes in advance
    -walking an hour per day
    -drinking only coffee & water
    -limiting how much content you consume on the internet
    -regularly grading your own performance, even if you are self-employed
    -challenging yourself to do new things often, so you're rarely afraid of anything

  28. Alden

    One other piece is that often people aren't even aware of these secret scents. So they misattribute their success to luck/chance.

    I read a book once talking about tennis stars trying to teach others. They apparently were actively telling people things they didn't even do, but they thought they did.

    I wonder how often this happens. A lot of people aren't really as introspective/self aware and it's possible they actually do just don't realize their tendencies.

  29. Pri

    Amazing post and so true!

    I know a friend ("Influencer") who has about 100K followers on Instagram. She's into fashion and travel blogging. You'll see her posting pics of huge yogurt cups , other food etc from time to time.

    And then she posted a quick snippet of her workout on Instastory the other day. Not only is she ripped, but her few seconds of hardcore workout showed the "real" reality behind her success. But average people might be too caught up in the yogurt and other pretty clothes to even notice how much hard work goes into it.

    Also every time I've asked her how she grew to 100K followers she refuses to say anything outside of 'Oh, I just engaged with my readers and kept doing it long enough'. I know there's more to the truth that what she is willing to say out loud to me.

    But I can tell that there has been a lot of hard work behind her success till now.

    Awesome post Ramit!

  30. Erin

    my best friend found her boyfriend after going on 52 tinder dates. she was exhausted. they were together for 2 years and broke up last week.

    back to the grind my little tinderella.

    anything you wanna become good at requires obsession, for sure. my last boyfriend wanted to learn to surf, but couldn't stand up on the board after 3-4 sessions.. so he hasn't gotten back on the board and still says he wants to be kickass at surfing.

    meanwhile, i kept at it and it wasn't long before i graduated to the big boy waves.

    he and i aren't dating anymore. shocker

  31. Al Grimsley

    People only see the "highlight reel" of the successful person and not the daily grind of hours of practice. My company does utility work (specifically water and sewer) and people see us before or after the work is complete (or with a new truck or piece of equipment) and tell us how we have it made but you can bet your ass they wouldn't jump in and earn a few extra bucks keeping their city or town services up and running.

    "The road to easy street goes through the sewer" John Madden (how fortunate for those of us that already work there)

  32. Lisa Braithwaite

    I'm not great about fitness and diet, but I can definitely attest to those times when I was actively tracking my food and steps, that there are a lot of people who think it's weird and obsessive.

    As a public speaking coach, I see MANY people who don't want to do the work to build skills as a speaker.

    They don't want to practice, and they especially don't want to practice out loud. They don't want to research their audiences in advance, or create structured outlines, or come up with creative engagement tools. They don't want to rethink the way they make their PowerPoints, and they don't want to learn the "micro" (love that word) nerdy tricks – like developing analogies, activating emotions, studying persuasion, etc.

    I want to be honest with prospects and audiences about the work required to become an outstanding speaker, and at the same time, I know they don't want to hear it, because they don't want to do it.

  33. Mimie

    I loved this post because it is SO TRUE. I see these “lies” everywhere as well. Admittedly, I have done it myself. For instance:

    Friends and family often comment on how well my husband and I get along. I would often say “Thanks – yes we’re pretty good together."

    We’ve been married almost 11 years. Some of the Scents of Success they don’t see that keep this marriage thriving and strong are the compromises, patience, and forethought involved.

    Some examples:

    Compromise -> Golf is not my favorite thing to do, but it is my husband’s sport of choice. So, at 35, I took golf lessons so that I can be good enough to play with him. Now, we play together all the time.

    Patience -> Too many examples here! In general, I would say take a moment and a deep breath before speaking. I have learned that it’s always wise to practice patience, especially in times when you need patience most.

    Forethought -> To keep things alive, plan big things (like get-away trips) AND little things (like date nights).

  34. Jason

    You know how I got good at programming? I sat in front of a computer, taking everything away from a program that didn't work, until I had a few lines that worked. Then I would add things back. I did this over and over and over. I didn't go outside until I had the damn thing working. I remember looking out the window in college on the first glorious spring day catching a glimpse of these other people bouncing around chasing frisbees, drinking beer, and blaring music. But this f'ing computer program wouldn't work. So I fixed it. Four hours later, I went outside. It was colder and the bouncing babes had their clothes back on. I still found a beer and I earned an A+ in the course.

  35. Maria

    This is the second time in as many days I've seen the 'find your passion' myth being rubbished. There has to be something in that. Well, thanks for the wake up call, Ramit. Indian minds are the best in the world, I firmly believe that. My husband has one. So have my kids.

  36. Eevi

    Learning a language!!! Evweyone is always so impressed when you can speak multiple languages fluently. Yet, when you tell them how long it took you and how much work and effort was involved to learn it, people are not interested anymore. Most just always "wish" they could pick up languages as "easily" as others but are not willing to put in the required work.

  37. Zac

    Passing a coding interview (and getting a job) at Google, Facebook, Amazon.

    What people say:

    "People who work at Google are geniuses". Notice the complete erasure of hard work. I know this because I used to say this too. I had an interview for Google internship in college and totally blew it.

    What the truth is:

    Engineers who work at Google, Facebook, and Amazon study really hard for their interviews. They buy a whiteboard for their apartment wall. They know that even the smartest engineers will fail the interviews if they don't practice. How do I know this? I studied 2 hours every single morning on week days and 3-5 hours every day on weekends, for 3 weeks straight, for a single interview. I made it to the final stage of both Google and Amazon interviews and ended up accepting an offer at Amazon. Once I got there, I asked a few other engineers how much they studied. One said he studied for 6+ months while working at another software job because he wanted to switch from storage engineering to backend service development. Over 6 months. And he was already an experienced software engineer.

    What people say when I tell them the truth:

    "That's ridiculous. I haven't studied that hard since college!"

    Conclusion:

    People want to work at top companies, but put zero work in because they believe studying ended in college.

  38. Ella

    One thing I've started paying attention to is dating — all my friends complain about it, and yet I seem to have managed to evade it altogether. I'm in a relationship with my dream human that started 11 months ago, and we're talking seriously about getting married. This came immediately on the heels of leaving a 4-year relationship with someone who's perfectly nice, but we weren't helping each other grow. Neither relationship involved dating. When I tell the story of meeting my current partner I often do make it sound like magic, because it felt that way. But I know there's something else going on. So I started asking, "What am I doing differently?" Here's what I've come up with so far:

    a. I place myself in environments where I'm likely to meet people I'd be attracted to. In my case it's staffing outdoorsy/crunchy Jewish summer camps, but could easily also be retreats/conferences that are geared to "off the beaten path" Jews. (Yes, these exist!) This is what allows things to feel like magic: the specific situation isn't engineered, but I've somewhat consciously made the odds of "magic" occurring very high.

    b. I'm really fucking direct with men in a way that most women — and many men! — aren't comfortable with. Sure, the way I started dating my current dude is that we kissed and the stars aligned, but 20 minutes before that I said, "It feels to me like there's something here and I'm interested in exploring it. Are you?" I don't know a whole lot of people who would say those words. This is something I learned to do. It wasn't my default programming. I used to be whiney and not understand why men were so dense. I blamed men for not understanding my obvious overtures, when in fact I was communicating in a very subtle way that I just thought was clear. And then my college roommate's boyfriend coached me through a sticky boy situation and told me exactly what to say, and my whole world changed. Not overnight — I still had a lot of learning to do to integrate the new stuff — but 5 years out from that lesson, my approach is a complete 180 from what it was.

    c. I've put a lot of work into learning to be a more emotionally competent person. I attribute much of it to environmental absorption through living with a social worker for two years.

    d. I haven't examined this one too deeply, but I think I never really imagined meeting the love of my life on a date. I.e. my subconscious scripts don't involve dating.

    e. I'm not afraid of commitment (at least in this area of life). When I'm in, I'm IN. You talk about this a lot, and it's so true.

    f. My parents are still together, and I've only ever dated people whose parents are also still together. Not on purpose, but I don't think it's a coincidence either. I've been blessed to be immersed from birth in an environment that models what it takes to make a relationship work, and so has everyone I've been with.

    That's what I've got so far. I'm doing my best to learn how to apply all of the above to my career and earning capacity.

    • Anna

      I love this Ella! I'm trying to apply similar tactics (increasing chances of success by putting myself in places where I'd like for my future partner to be, lol).
      And I totally afree that having parents who are together is amazing and shapes your outlook on life.
      Lots of happiness to you!

  39. Katy

    One thing I'd add is doing the things that actually make a difference.

    For example, a person can tell themselves that eating X food is going to make them healthier, lose weight, whatever…but those things might be a total waste of time and energy.

    Or you could have spent those hours every night hanging upside down while singing nursery rhymes, but that wouldn't actually help you win the spelling bee. Practicing spelling is what did it.

    We need to make informed and strategic decisions about the habits we choose to form.

  40. Arpi

    The bit about the baseball guy and his daughter reminded me of Judit Polgár:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judit_Polg%C3%A1r

    (read the "early life" section)

  41. Julian

    Same thing goes for programmers . There is this myth that people are just either natural nerds and or robots. False, I've learned these people spend hours every day reading about some new framework and building apps that will never see the light of day.

    And the great thing about this is that it gives one hope that if you are at least decently smart you can strategize and hustle you are bound to stumble into some useful skills and opportunities

  42. Peter

    Until I got to the end of that article, I thought you were going to talk about how to market those secrets scents of success. I am working on material for the health market, and what I see is everyone selling snake oil and magical potions. People spend billions of dollars on empty promises and bullshit supplements. So how do I take something that is a difficult process, but market the real process to success? Do I just give the public what they want? I certainly don't want to just sell bullshit and make millions. I suppose this is an issue of positioning and marketing? I thought you were going to discuss how you do that. That would be a good follow up blog post. And now as I write this, I'm guessing the answer is all in the Zero to Launch program I'm working through…

  43. Bonnie

    Great post, Ramit.

    I'm a health coach. And though I consider myself relaxed in my approach to food, my clients often look at me in awe when I tell them how I expect them to eat.

    To me, cooking is natural, simply because I grew up in France with a mother who loved cooking, so I started cutting vegetables and following her to the farmer's market at a tender age. Before I came to America I didn't even know you could NOT cook "from scratch".

    I don't love cooking, but I still spend about 2-3 hours each day cooking, plus 6-8 hours a week buying fresh ingredients.

    Yes, it's a whole lotta time and sometimes I'd rather spend it elsewhere. But I do it anyway because I just know that's the price to pay to put a good, natural, balanced meal on the table for my family every day.

  44. Scott

    Networking is a big one for me. I work for a big multinational, and talk to people at SVP level about the approach they take to their careers. They usually say that they've been lucky (UK based, so this fits culturally) and that they've done a reasonable job, and been in the right place at the right time…
    I then see them in the coffee shop at work with someone either at their level or above in a different business unit (so likely no 'work' reason to meet), laughing and joking. "Oh, I've known Jessica for years…"
    Yep, that's networking.

  45. Cholena

    Completely agree. Very few people want to hear what it takes, and even fewer want to put in the time and effort. "You can't handle the truth!"

    But the ones who do, want every single detail and they are worth the time and effort you put into them.

  46. Tom

    Great article!! Right on target!!

  47. Jonathan

    I've managed inside sales reps for nearly a decade and one day in a team meeting I showed them one thing, just one thing, I did to advance my career.

    I told them I read books, took notes, and applied the material I learned as I went.

    Their reaction… I should have expected it. "That's what like 10% of people do, people like you. I'm not gonna do that!" The thoughts of 20 young reps summarized by a peer in 2 sentences.

    Today I use down time to work on my side business. Early morning, I'll find time in my train commute and at my desk before the team is in. I dig into it during lunch breaks multiple times per week. Then an hour or two 3-4 weeknights. Then a good 2-3 hour session Sunday. Some Saturdays, depending on if I need a break or not.

    My team wants to go to the bar. They have a weekly poker night. I rarely see them in early or staying late. And this team? I never told them what I do, nor will I. They don't care.

  48. Rich M.

    Another great post, Ramit. I was laughing when I read it. Several years ago, just before hitting 50, I decided to get committed to losing weight and getting in shape. I lost 50 lbs. and have kept it off. My friends and family members think that I can just "go on a diet" and quickly lose weight. And you're right, nobody wants to hear about going to the gym every morning at 5:00am (the only time I have available), or weighing food and logging EVERYTHING into MFP. People think I'm crazy when I talk about intermittent-fasting. Just yesterday, I wanted to have pizza and beer at my sons birthday party, so I did. People see me do that and say "you're so lucky you have such a great metabolism". They don't see that it's now almost 24 hours later and all I've consumed is a few cups of coffee and a ton of water!

    Since I'm now 52, I've really gotten into aging-well. But what I do is work and it really does take commitment. I've found that people really just want the results, they don't want to put in the work to make it happen.

  49. Kevin Macdonald

    Version of a question I get all the time. "Why do you read all that self development junk, that stuff is all nonsense or just common sense?" True..but, as Tim says common sense does not equal common action. Or as Derek Sivers puts it "if information was the answer we'd all be billionaires with perfect abs". While this may seem to be an argument for the side of my interrogators, its not. Its simply that you need to hear the information and combine it with action. But to get there you have hear the information over and over and over, and over again…and then act, and fail in epic fashion, then act again, fail slightly less fantastically and so on. And half the books and article you read, you completely forget what they said. Until that moment when your wife or friend or you need that info, and it all comes flooding back. No one knows or appreciates that you were able to come up with the correct answer after reading 6 different books, 20 articles and pulling from a handful of podcasts you listened to 4 months ago. But its ok, I appreciate the shit outa me. Especially when I read an article like this one

    https://journal.thriveglobal.com/this-morning-routine-will-save-you-20-hours-per-week-4ee620a3b135#utm_source=Thrive&utm_medium=Facebook

    on thrive Global's site by a guy I've never heard of but he references ideas from Tim Ferriss, Cal Newport and a dozen other household names. And while everyone else has to click on each link or google the ideas to get the details, I breeze through the article already knowing exactly what hes talking about. (It's the little things).

    The subsequent question to why do you read all that junk is inevitably, "Well you read all that self help stuff, why haven't you started your company, finished your product, recorded your album, written your blog?" Basically, I read about self development a lot…so why haven't I realized all my earthly dreams and wildest fantasies. BECAUSE ITS FUCKING HARD YOU ASSMONKEY!!! It takes about 2000x more work for each of those goals and all of their sub tasks than anyone thinks. So while I am quietly making progress on all of them people berate me for trying. If you haven't achieved it all yet (I'm 27) you might as well give up. Well fuck them. Real hard.Twice. With a wrench. Anyway, yeah, everything and I mean everything in life takes longer and requires more work than people on the outside looking in NOT ACTING, will ever know. Rant complete. Have a lovely day.

  50. Kim

    Hey Ramit,

    I find this blog to be spot on. I guess after reading all of these comments, I never really thought about how I actually do make outlines of things that I am reading/studying about. I do it because I enjoy it and I want to be knowledgeable about the subject matter. I want to be a credible source about things that I am passionate about. It's really cool to read about people like me who spend hours of their time slowly becoming experts in their passion.

    One thing I might add is that I also pay attention to what people say and do. As well as what they don't say and what they don't do.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Good insight. Many top performers don't even recognize their own behaviors that led them to success. This is why they're called "secret" — often even from successful people themselves.

  51. Ryan

    I greatly enjoyed this blog and the dialogue that followed. I began a weight loss journey 8 years ago and have lost over 80 pounds (though I'll admit that I've found 5-10 back at times). People tell me I look great and congratulate me. I get asked "how" and I explain it's a permanent lifestyle change. For some it's a turn off though occassionally some listen.

    I tell them that it's about the courage to change behaviors. I started somewhere until it no longer worked. I read, tried, read some more, tried again, and have a system in place that works for me and in time I'll change it again. I get asked about foods I've significantly reduced or eliminated and get the "moderation" lecture. I get asked why I exercise so much as most don't understand that I enjoy it and feel incomplete without a good daily walk and weight training 2 to 4 days a week.

  52. Tim

    The only reason I'm in the position I am in is because I watched both my parents work 80 hours a week and still coach my soccer team and get my sister to swim practice.

    I've never been the smartest but it's difficult to outwork me. It's so simple but that's what it takes for me

    • Ramit Sethi

      I love this.

      It's possible to do all of this. I know many people who do it. Great to have a space where people can share this without being worried about coming across as arrogant.

  53. Jen

    Here's one: being the person who DOES "go to a professional if you are struggling with this!" If someone is serious, they're probably opting in to the professionals they can afford. For example, one of Ramit's emails about asking for help got me to go to a therapist AND a nutritionist because I struggle with my weight and eating healthy not because I don't know what to do, but because I knew I had serious mental stuff around eating. My nutritionist is my non-judgmental tactics person who is like, "well, you are here, can you start by eating X breakfasts and having a balanced snack?" I did that, and instantly, lost five pounds. (And I *do* have thyroid problems). On the other side, I have my therapist because friend, who doesn't know eating a greek yogurt + berries + nuts is going to help you lose weight compared to a Starbucks croissant? I talk to her and I figure out why I love eating the same shitty lunch at Chik-Fil-A. It's a soothing self-care ritual because I don't have to think. Instead I say 'number 1 combo, unsweetened ice tea, two honey mustards' and it appears, with no thought. I sit down and get to be alone for 20 minutes to read a little or screw around on Facebook and not have to DO anything for anyone except me.

    Likewise, I had been out of the job market for about 8 years when I got laid off. I floundered for a few weeks, then I got a professional resume rewrite because I had no idea what were the best ways to market myself after being off the market so long. A week later? Interviews and an offer. $500 well spent! Meanwhile, I'm so good at what I do professionally that another division of my old company reached out to me recently about my availability because instead of trying to do everything, I outsource much of the crapwork and do what I do best and give myself enough brain space and time to tackle self-improvement.

    So that scent of success is someone who answers the question of "what's your secret" with, "If I'm struggling, I pay people who know what they're doing to help me" which also includes my Crossfit gym where I get great coaching.

  54. Rohan Bhardwaj

    Dropping in to see if Ramit replies me.

    I watched Marquese Scott video in which he talks about practicing for more than 8 hours.

    Now he doesn't choreograph his routines and people are awed but they probably don't know about those hours of practice in initial years.

    Stay blessed.

  55. David

    I had my own experiences of realizing the truth in the 'Asian Parent' stereotype.
    I'm a Brit and my Wife is Japanese.
    Our 7 yr. old came home and had got 8 out of 10 on the spelling test that week. I was like 'Hey well done, that's good'.
    My Wife was in panic mode, 'Only 8 out of 10! Oh, we should have made her practice more, which ones did she get wrong!, We need to practice every day for next week!'
    I'm still not convinced on the right approach, my parents never really pushed me but my Dad was a role model to me and had a very successful career.I was inspired by that and always pushed myself when I needed to to get good grades. This made me self reliant, I think, but I did have a tendency to coast a bit, as academics came easily to me so although I'm doing well now, I have wondered recently if I was pushed more as a kid maybe I would have done even better.
    Then again, I don't like to be forced into things so if my parents had been pushy it might have put me off academic work entirely.

    I'm leaning towards my Wife's side at the moment though.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Your wife is right

  56. Ben

    I guess my scent of success would be my morning routine. I can always tell how productive my day will be if I'm able to complete my morning routine. I wake you at 5:30 to make breakfast, drink about 30oz of water, pack my gym bag, yeah… Mindlessly browse on my phone, glamour up, and head out the door.

    Another scent of success I have is getting to the gym at least 4 days a week even on those days that I absolutely do not want to. Those are the most important days to me.

    • Carmen

      From my experience, your morning routine makes a HUGE difference in how your day will go.

      My days waking up at just 8:30 am are WAY BETTER than waking up at 2 PM, 12 PM, or even 10 AM.

      Of course, I don't have to work nights so that's a plus.

  57. Dave

    I have a friend who always amazed me because he had some witty bit of information when we went to gatherings. One day before leaving I heard him mention casually, "Now to find something interesting for today…" as he went to an encyclopedia and turned to a random page and started reading. Literally 5 mins prep with a HUGE ROI! I learned more that day than in years of school.

    • Francisco Escobar

      Excellent tip LOL

  58. JoAnne

    Definitely the morning routine and waking up early. People make fun of me for going to sleep early so I can wake up at 5:30 and go to the gym before work. My co-workers always say how healthy I am, but then say they could never do it and they'd rather be happy/fat instead of give up X. There are also often tons of unhealthy sweets and snacks circulating in the office. I always decline them because they don't fit into my health goals. Small things like that add up to make a big difference. People ask me how I do it, when I tell them, they say they couldn't do it or they don't have the discipline. Then they constantly complain about how unhealthy they are.

    Also, investing the time to set up systems that work. I love learning languages which is another of those things that people lie about how they learn and others think it'd be impossible to learn to speak another language (or a third or fourth) as an adult. But I invest a lot of time in reading how to effectively and smartly teach yourself, then on the weekend I spend time creating flashcards and I pay a tutor for lessons. It's all an investment of time but it's worth it to me because it creates a rich life. People see it as a sacrifice and say they could never do it but to me it's just second nature.

  59. Charles

    Definitely this. When people ask me how I got my six-pack, I'd tell them the truth: weight training, 16-hr fasting, and of course, calorie counting. 5-6 days a week.

    They observe a moment of silence, as if to mourn for the loss of a poor soul, then say: "Oh, I'd never be able to do that. I love my food too much."

    I'm a ZTL student and I will make sure to use my training to help the select few to lean in, learn the truth, and get a six pack.

  60. Carmen

    What you talked about in this article is pretty much what is called the process. As I read in another book, people are in love with the EVENT (50lbs skinnier, $10,000 richer, 3x the dates, etc;) but they aren't in love with the PROCESS.

    A lot of people believe that the process requires a lot of stress inducing, time wasting work; it doesn't. Just eliminating one wasteful thing in your day and adding in one productive , results oriented habit can make a difference within itself.

    Then again, no one wants to hear that either, lol.

  61. Emma

    See also: the women who say "my mom has great skin too, I guess I'm just lucky" vs actually they have never smoked, always wear sunscreen and never tan, spend a lot of time researching skincare, and spend a lot of money at the dermatologist/importing Asian skincare products.

    Less aggressively behavioral as fitness/career/dating but still interesting.

  62. ruben

    I love this post; The parenting comments are gold!

  63. Justin

    Public speaking ("just take a breathe & relax," "imagine everyone in their underwear," "some people are just naturally charasmatic!"). But in reality it's lengthy preparation, time in front of a mirror, watching yourself on video, murderboards and listening to people politely say what you did wrong.

    • Carla

      "Murderboards!" LOL

  64. Monika

    This was a really good article, Ramit. This year I began the process of introducing new habits into my life, one by one over a few weeks. It's truly changing not only my personal life, but also my productivity. I'm also learning a lot about myself. For example, I really enjoy a good book, however I'm a slow reader. So in order to meet my desired book quota, I allow myself to read in the morning on the way to work, however by the end of the day, my eyes are tired and that's when I listen to audio books. My hour-long evening commute allows me to consume about two extra books per week.

    Thank you for years of great advice!

  65. Jack

    When I was around 5 I was a very active child. If my father had me in, say, a doctor's waiting area or a restaurant he would ask for a pen and pad and have me do repetitive addition. 2+2, then 4+4, 8+8, etc. Ever since math has come "easily" to me, and I tell people this story whenever the opportunity presents as some people who ask have children. I have yet to meet any friend-parent who has tried to do the same.

    As for spelling, I went three rounds into my district in 5th grade. To this day my father is quick to admit he hates reading. Great article Ramit!

  66. Andy

    This completely breaks Ramit's point about how unsexy the real work is, but this is one of those that falls into both the sexy and true categories: It's as simple as Never Give Up. The more elaborate version is something along the lines of Life is Tough, Factors XYZ will happen and you'll want to do something else, but no matter what Life Throws at you, you suck it up and Don't Give In

  67. CarlossoakY

    Focus your editing in case you are jogging out of time. If you're really pressed for time, then probably the best beneficial things it is easy to do to improve your essay are to make a reverse outline and to revise your introduction. [17]
    A reverse outline can be a perfect, quick strategy to check the logic of your essay’s structure. [18] To do this, you construct an outline from your completed draft, jotting down the main ideas of your essay paragraph by paragraph. The result will glimpse a lot of like an outline you would form before creating an essay, but you could potentially use it to double-check your concluded product.
    Editing your introduction can clarify your thesis and make your essay stronger. Despite the fact that you made your outline and began producing your essay which has a certain idea of what your thesis or "point" was, that idea probably changed at least slightly as you wrote the essay itself. Go again to the intro after you have concluded a draft belonging to the essay and make any changes to the wording of your thesis dependant upon what the rest belonging to the essay says (the reverse outline will help figure this out).

  68. Francisco Escobar

    If you want to know why Brazil kids are so good for soccer… they play all day long at the beach!!! Why jewish are so good for doing business? Because parents teach them money matters since they are kids! You name it. In my case I want my 4-year-old daughter to learn how money works right now and to be economically independent before entering university. Habits. Routine. Discipline.

  69. Mark

    Additional things I have come to realize are routine and getting up fifteen minutes earlier.

    Grouping certain tasks together, doing them at the same time every day, and arranging things around the house to make those more efficient have saved me large amounts of time over the long term. I am also a believer in the idea that critical-thinking and decision-making capacities are finite, and so removing the thinking from more of life's repetitive tasks has freed up cycles to think about other things. Routine and planning don't come naturally to me and I resented the routines until I started seeing blocks of time freeing up during the day. Those gains have kept me at it. When I'm making breakfast and helping two young children get ready for school those extra chunks of time I used to spend scrambling for socks, checking packed lunches, or realizing I needed to iron a shirt come in handy and keep the stress level lower for everyone.

    I also just wake up fifteen minutes earlier than I think I "need to." This sounds trivial when I type it but it has ripple effects for me throughout the day. My mornings aren't as reactive as they were before and I feel more in control of my schedule. If I get to work just as my first meeting starts I have no time beforehand to scan email, validate my calendar, sync up with someone on a topic key for the day, etc.