Human curiosities: Why we avoid our #1 priority

I love areas of life where everyone nods along, saying “Yeah! Duh, that’s so obvious”…but then doesn’t actually do it.

I gotta admit, I’ve talked a big game about things being important to me…but I didn’t actually DO ANYTHING about it. For example, I used to talk about wanting to stop being so skinny, but I didn’t actually work out.

I used to talk about growing my business, but I did everything EXCEPT the one thing that would help me really grow it: learn how to manage people.

It was almost as if talking about it was all I needed to do. “I want it…isn’t that enough?”

“No, dumbass.” I wish someone had said that to me. (Tweet this) Follow me on Twitter for more business advice

In fact, once I started working out, I thought I was done. Where are my muscles? I didn’t actually change my diet — FOR YEARS. God, I hate myself. Follow me on Instagram

I’ve been thinking about how most of us have ONE AREA OF LIFE that we desperately want to improve.

Just one. You know what it is for you.

Maybe it’s your job, or your relationship. Maybe it’s being overweight. Or going bald.

We know it. We think about it every single day of our lives. Yet few of us take the steps to do anything about it. Is it too scary to start?

For example, one of my friends is a woman in her mid-30s who wants a serious relationship. So I set her up with a great guy I know. They both liked each other’s photos and were texting all week. Boom! Ramit the Matchmaker! The guy planned dinner for Saturday night with her.

She flaked 3 hours before dinner!!!!!

Hey, maybe something came up. Whatever. The date doesn’t matter…but if this happens 2 or 3 times — if you cancel, or you’re “too busy” — what does that say about how serious you really are?

In fact, if you’re really serious about being in a relationship, shouldn’t it be one of your top priorities?

To take it even further, if your #1 goal is to be in a serious relationship, how much time should you be spending each week? 2 hours? 5 hours? 20 hours?

This makes people really uncomfortable because a lot of us have been raised to want things to “just happen” — not to do the work to get them.

This isn’t just about relationships. It’s about the thing you find yourself talking about, complaining about, but you can’t seem to make real progress towards.

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Here’s my take on what making something a TOP PRIORITY looks like:

  • You’re spending 5 hours/week (minimum) on it. For top performers, up to 50+ hours/week.
  • You’re making progress every week. You might not be getting RESULTS every week, but you’re moving forward.
  • You’re actively turning down other opportunities so you can focus on this. (For example, I spoke to a group of guys in a high-level mastermind. They plan their vacations around their bi-monthly calls so they never miss one.)

Watch the 1:19:20 video on psychology, time management, and life

You can tell if something’s a priority by looking at your CALENDAR and your SPENDING. (Tweet this)

If you’re spending TIME and (optionally) MONEY on something, it just might be a priority. If you’re not, forget about it.

Let me show you 2 examples from my life:

Example 1: I want more opportunities for I Will Teach to be in the press, so I schedule at least 2 coffee meetings with journalists, every week.How I manage my calendar to prioritize meeting with journalists - self improvement

Example 2: I made the strategic decision to focus on IWT, our new site on launching and growing your business. To do this, we closed one of my favorite programs, Ramit’s Brain Trust. This decision cost us millions of dollars, but it was the right thing to do.Simplifying and prioritizing allows you to focus on what’s most important to you - self improvement

(Btw, here’s my in-depth look at the decision to close this million-dollar product.)

Notice the resistance that instantly flares up in our mind. “Well Ramit, just because I don’t have 50 hours a week, or millions of dollars to throw away, doesn’t mean I’m not serious! It’s easy for you — you have a successful business!”

Nobody’s saying you have to spend 100 hours/week on some priority.

The real psychology here is that MOST OF US WANT RESULTS TO “JUST HAPPEN” to us.

Some dude wants a 6-pack in theory, but doesn’t actually want to change his workouts/diets to achieve it.

People want a great relationship to just fall out of the sky. Multiple generations have been raised on Disney movies to expect the love of their life to simply “find them” instead of putting in the work to improve themselves. It doesn’t feel as “natural” if you had to work for it — putting time on your calendar or actively going out to meet people. Better to just wait until the right person comes along!

Real talk: You have one area in life that needs your full attention.

Maybe it’s saving/investing money, maybe it’s finding a job, maybe it’s losing 50lbs, or starting a business, or finding a girlfriend/boyfriend, or learning to be more socially skilled.

Let’s all get honest about what that one thing is. Let’s acknowledge it’s going to take work and put time on our calendars.

Spend the time and money to solve it. If you make it a priority, you can achieve magical results in less than one year.

My question for you: What are you making a priority this year? How are you spending time and money to make it happen?

Tell me in the comments below.

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