Q: “What’d you do last weekend?"

A: “Not much"

Introducing the new antidote to boring...

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Ramit Sethi

Hi, I'm Ramit Sethi, the New York Times best-selling author and CEO of I Will Teach You To Be Rich and GrowthLab.

A few years ago, my friend and I were grabbing drinks in the East Village. “What have you been up to?” he asked as I pulled up a stool. I’d just come back from a museum tour after breakfast with some CEO friends.

He drank his beer. “You remind me of me when I was single.”

“Yeah?” I asked. I wasn’t sure what he meant.

“I used to do a bunch of interesting things around the city...but once you get in a relationship, it kinda changes.”

At the time, it felt good to hear. Yeah, I knew all the cool NYC things to do!

But a few years later, I found myself in exactly the same situation as my friend:

  • Same bars
  • Same conversations
  • Same weekend plans

In fact, when someone asked me “What’d you do this weekend?” my response was... “Nothing really.”

Or: “Same old.”

Or even worse: “Just worked.”

Oh god. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so cool. I was starting to realize how people get stuck in a rut.

(Also, how easy it is to bury yourself in work as an excuse, a shield against trying new things. “Sorry, I can’t go out tonight...I’m working.”)

I started wondering, “Is this it? Is this what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life?” Already knowing exactly what I was going to do every weekend. Going out to beers once every couple weekends. Ho hum.

And it wasn’t just me. How many of us seem to “freeze” at 25 and stop trying anything new?

I remember something that comedian Aziz Ansari said in an interview with GQ:

Btw, this isn't me.
(photo by David Shankbone)

Btw, this isn't me.
(photo by David Shankbone)

“I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. We both have more money than we ever imagined. And I was like, can you imagine if someone called us a few years ago and said, ‘All right, you’re going to have this much money when you’re this age. What are you gonna do with it?’

You would say all sorts of fantastical things, right? No one would say, ‘Oh, I would figure out how to make more money and keep working all the time.’”

—Aziz Ansari

At 21, I never wanted to be one of those “boring” adults who is all work and no play. But at 27, that’s exactly what I had become.

Which is when I took my head out of my ass and started looking around. I wanted to make NEW and INTERESTING a regular part of my life.

Only…I didn’t know how.

What do you do — Google “what hobbies should I do?”

Ask a friend? “Hey dude, I want to do something fun…any ideas?”

“Uhh…”

So there I was — ready to get out of my rut and ready to do something different. I just didn’t know how.

Damn, this 75-year-old lady is cool

You know the best way to figure out how to do something new?

Ask people who’ve already done it.

For example, one of my favorite things in the world is seeing an old person working out HARD. Like the 75-year-old woman who works out at my gym in NYC every week.

I LOVE IT!

I always wondered — what makes this woman come to the gym, hire a trainer, and learn how to squat…at 75 years old? What’s different about her vs. the 75-year-old who’s sitting at home watching Matlock?

And then I wondered:

Will I be cool enough to try new things 40 years from now?

It’s not just time. It’s not just money. When you’re in a rut, day by day, your world gets a little smaller. It’s very easy for your rut today to become your rut tomorrow… to become your rut 40 years from now.

But the people who keep doing cool stuff all the time — how do they do that? I wanted to find out, so I started asking…

  • People with super-interesting lives. The people who have good jobs by day…and fly planes on the weekend, or compete in dance contests, or take up oil painting in the evenings.
  • CEOs who have to learn tons of new skills fast. I knew CEOs who were running multimillion-dollar businesses…but who were also marathon runners or played in a band. How did they find the time? What did they know that I didn’t?
  • Older people who are still active. My favorite. I love seeing older people taking cooking classes, learning how to use Instagram, or practicing new skills with their grandkids. Man, if they can do it, I can do it too.

Like I said, if you want to know how to do something, the best thing to do is to ask people who already do it.

So I did.

I talked to CEOs and a bunch of parents who always seemed to have time to learn new skills even when they were incredibly busy. How’d they do it?

I knew it wasn't that they just had more free time. They actually had less time than most people. In some cases, almost no free time. And yet they still were able to try tons of new and interesting things every year and constantly add new skills and hobbies to their lives.

I also knew it wasn't that they were just more motivated. Millions of people are very motivated to learn new things every New Year, but most people give up by March. I know I’ve done that in the past. These people I was talking to knew something else.

I kept asking questions and started to collect pieces of something deeper — a game being played that I hadn't seen before. It was like they had “accidentally experimented” themselves into a life of learning more — and having more fun — in a month than most people have in a year.

When I probed, the most common answer they gave me was, “I’m just naturally curious! I like to try new things!” But I found out it goes deeper.

They’d built a “flywheel of interest” where they tried lots of things once. And if they didn’t like it, they felt perfectly fine moving on and trying something new. No guilt, no pressure.

They didn't worry about becoming masters of everything. Being "good enough" was much more important.

In other words, they were playing an entirely different game than I had even known existed. And they were loving it!

They didn't just focus on a single skill or hobby. Their success wasn't just about taking a class on scuba diving or painting or any one random skill. They built fun and experimentation right into their lives. They had learned how to learn.

I started to apply these principles to my life. Look what happened.

I LOVE IT!!

That's when I realized that trying new things didn't need to be a chore. It didn't need to be hard or scary or take up all my time.

When I decided to learn how to learn, I started having a lot more FUN.

And learning new things got easier every time. And faster.

I realized I had concocted a bunch of hollow reasons about not wanting to try new things — like needing to be perfect, wondering if I would even like it, or just plain being embarrassed of trying something new (like this):

Pls update my bio to include trapeze star

A post shared by Ramit Sethi (@ramit) on

But all those rationales fell apart when I started learning.

I saw I had never taken the time to really focus on the process of learning. I hadn't thought about how I learned new skills or how I could try lots of things and not worry about becoming an “expert” at everything.

Now that I knew how to learn fast, it opened up all kinds of doors. I could decide the kind of person I wanted to be.

Not many people talk about the process of learning how to learn. But I think it’s one of the most important skills we can master. It completely changed my life.

Here’s what I learned.

6 reasons why you should be learning at least 5 new skills a year

6. Learning how to learn is a superpower that accelerates everything you do

Once you master the game of learning new skills, you'll discover you can add new skills and talents to your life faster than you thought possible.

Instead of…

  • Learning a lot in school and then never learning anything else (what most people do)
  • Or learning one new skill every couple of years (what "ambitious" people do)
  • You can learn new skills and try new things every month, even every week (what the top learners are doing)

Every accomplishment in our lives is built on the skills we develop. The faster you can add new skills, the more you can accomplish.

5. What’s your answer to “What’d you do this weekend?”

Other people: “Nothing” or “Hung out, mostly.”

You: Instead of the usual boring response, you'll always have something fun and interesting to share:

  • "I learned how to juggle."
  • "I figured out how to edit movies on my iPhone."
  • "I took a Brazilian jiu-jitsu class."

(Side note: Does that sound exhausting? It did when I first heard people saying it. But when I learned how to learn from people who were already doing it, I understood how it wasn’t a burden — it was fun.)

4. We’re not just talking about learning from boring lectures

Learning today isn’t just about a boring classroom. It can be amazingly fun. Here's just a few of the ways I've learned new skills:

Enrolled in a defensive driving class taught by former Secret Service driving instructor

Took a Disney class on leadership

Wine tasting, which I promptly forgot the next day

Took a Columbia University class on corporate finance (even though I have accountants who work for me)

Traveled to Japan and learned about a traditional tea ceremony

Bouldering in SF

3. For 99% of skills, you don't have to be a master

It’s surprisingly easy to get "good enough.”

Let’s take cooking. Sure, it takes years to become a master chef, but you can learn how to cook an amazing omelet in an hour. Is it a Michelin-starred omelet? No, of course not. But you can learn how to make a pretty damn good omelet in just a few hours — and use that for the rest of your life.

"Good enough" will change your life.

2. Fast-track your career

It's shocking how closely people's career paths follow their learning:

The people who advance the fastest in their careers are the ones who can quickly and easily add new skills that complement the talents they already have. Think about…

  • The copywriter who improves her public speaking and marketing analytics know-how… so people start to pay more attention to her recommendations
  • The engineer who learns how to communicate better with non-engineers… and helps cut scope creep in half
  • The CEO who adds accounting chops as the complexity of the business grows… and can invest more profit into continued growth

By the way, when you talk to your boss about raises, be sure to mention all the new skills you’ve been learning — inside and outside of work. It shows the kind of employee you are.

1. And most important, learning new skills just makes life more FUN

Stop doing the same boring things over and over again. Fill your time with new and exciting interests. Meet new people who share your interests and try new things together.

When you do, you realize that what your life looks like today doesn't need to define what it could look like tomorrow.

That freedom is the ultimate gift.

All you need to unlock it is one simple skill: learning how to learn.

Introducing…

TYA logo

Discover how the world's greatest learners get “good enough” at any skill in less than 30 days, even if…

You’re busy with work or family obligations

You’ve struggled “sticking with it”

Even if you don’t know what you want to learn yet!

If you’ve tried to pick up new skills in the past but got frustrated with the vague, messy process…

If you’ve taken classes that didn’t measure up…or you didn’t stick with it…

If you’ve struggled to find the time to practice…

Or if you want a new hobby and just don’t know where to start…

Then Teach Yourself Anything will finally give you the precise, actionable system to explore and build any new skill into your everyday life — without adding commitments to your already busy life.

(We’ll even give you a list of cool things to do this weekend.)

I’m not going to ask you what you’re trying to learn this year. I’m going to ask you another question:

What did you learn last year?

What if you’d learned 5 amazing new skills last year? Then this year, and next year…

Where would you be? What kind of life would you have?

Teach Yourself Anything gives you the master key for radically speeding up how you learn ANY skill.

Not only will you learn my favorite learning strategies, I'll introduce you to many of the experts who influenced how I approach learning.

In the course, you’ll learn...

Pick your format

Every lesson in Teach Yourself Anything comes in video, audio, and transcript formats

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Lifetime access

The best strategies for learning more — at your fingertips for the rest of your life.

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Truth and lies about what it takes to learn fast

What does it really take to learn a skill fast? How much do you need to practice? What’s essential and what's a waste of time?

Teach Yourself Anything is an inside look at…

  • How to dominate difficult learning curves by leveraging your own hidden psychological triggers
  • One simple tweak that can overwrite 20 years of programming and install a brand new skill in less than 20 hours (with very minimal practice)
  • Why we’re lazy — and how to work around our inherent laziness
  • 4 simple questions that will break apart the successes of other people and isolate winning tactics you can use in your own life
  • How to get quick, easy wins from otherwise big, intimidating goals — like learning to be funny, speaking Italian, or becoming a great public speaker
  • The Personality Quiz: A simple, 10-minute exercise that can rapidly accelerate your ability to learn any skill
  • My "one hour" rule that helps me learn 2x faster — I spent SIX MONTHS trying to learn the drums before I started using this
  • How to identify amazing teachers…and skip the not-so-amazing ones
  • The Drinking Game strategy for learning new languages fast
  • Why it gets easier to talk yourself out of learning new skills as you get older — and why starting from scratch actually gives you a huge advantage
  • The 4-word phrase I use to turn embarrassment into a strength
  • How I distill new subjects down to their core principles — without reading thousands of books
  • 3 ways to get brutally honest feedback so you can accelerate your progress in any skill
  • The pre-persuasion elements you can embed in your environment to persuade yourself to stay focused
  • The Stacking Technique: Use this to add 10 hours of learning time per month without changing up your daily routine

And that’s just a sample of the insights packed into this course.

A new approach to learning skills fast

There are countless frameworks and theories about learning out there.

But in my years of speaking to successful friends, building my own multimillion-dollar company, and expanding my life to be full of exciting new skills and experiences, I learned a few simple rules of thumb.

They are practical, easy to apply, and extremely powerful.

Best of all, they are FUN.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE learning. I have a feeling that if you’ve read this far, you want to learn more, too.

I see it as a privilege that we get to learn anything we want.

In this course, I've collected the very best tools and frameworks for learning, along with specific stories about how I accelerated how quickly I can learn any new skill. You can apply these instantly to your work, your personal life, and your business.

These tools will help take you from zero to “good enough” — and help you learn skills fast. Aim for at least 5 per year. Even one of these lessons can speed up how quickly you pick up new skills.

Put them together and you have a complete roadmap for picking up and accelerating your progress in any skill. One you'll be able to use for the rest of your life.

Questions & Answers

“Does this course teach me a specific skill?”

Teach Yourself Anything will not specifically teach you how to code, speak Italian, or dance the tango. It will teach you a more universal skill — the skill of HOW to learn new skills fast.

For example, if I told you right now, “Take 30 days and learn to play the piano," would you know what to do? Sure, you might look up some videos on YouTube or take an introductory class on piano, but are you sure that’s the fastest, most effective way?

Teach Yourself Anything gives you a step-by-step system you can use to pick up any new skill that interests you.

“How can one course help me learn cooking and Spanish and how to play guitar and copywriting?”

Even though most skills seem different on the surface, when you break them down there’s actually a repeatable sequence of steps you need to take in order to learn anything you want — fast. When you learn how to learn, you can apply that to any new skill you want to pick up.

You might need to use your fingers to play the piano and your legs to ski, but the process of learning how to do each one is the same.

“How much overlap is there among Teach Yourself Anything and other IWT courses?”

While all IWT courses deal with the inner psychology of that topic, Teach Yourself Anything is the only one that deals with the meta-process of learning HOW to learn. Because of this, all the lessons included in the course are brand new.

However, to illustrate key lessons in the course, we've included exclusive content from interviews with rapid learning experts like Michael Ellsberg, Scott Young, and Josh Kaufman. These interviews were initially shot for Ramit's Brain Trust, which is no longer available. If you were a member of Ramit’s Brain Trust you may recognize these interviews. But in Teach Yourself Anything they now come with brand new action steps and commentary from Ramit designed to help you execute on lessons you may have missed before.

“Why not just go on YouTube or read a book to learn it?”

You could do that, in fact we even recommend reading books, hiring teachers, and watching videos to help with your learning process. But if learning was as easy as just watching a video or reading a book, everyone would be experts at everything.

Accelerated learning goes deeper: Which books or videos should you use? How often should you practice? How do you fit it into your busy life? How do you get feedback?

“What if the skill requires some innate talent like size or athletic ability?”

The human brain is an amazing thing. We’re actually capable of learning a lot more than we think. For example, in Teach Yourself Anything you’ll hear from our friend Scott Young, who was never good at language…but taught himself 4 languages in less than a year.

Look, we may not be able to teach you how to dunk like Michael Jordan or sing like Beyonce, but we will show you how you can get good enough to have fun playing a game of pick-up or tearing up the dance floor at your cousin’s wedding.

“What if the skill requires a lot of money to practice?”

The great thing about Teach Yourself Anything is once you learn HOW to learn things fast, you can apply the system to any skill. So if practicing a certain skill is more than you want to invest, pick a new one. There’s so much to choose from! In Teach Yourself Anything, we’ll help you find new and interesting skills to learn for any budget, from solving a Rubik’s cube to flying a plane.

If you’re ready, you can learn the secret to learning any skill fast so you can impress your friends, get (and stay) ahead at work, and just have more FUN. And from now on, whenever you're feeling stuck in a rut, need a jolt, or want to learn something new, you'll have an ally with you for the rest of your life.

AN UNBEATABLE GUARANTEE: TRY TEACH YOURSELF ANYTHING FOR A FULL 60 DAYS, 100% RISK-FREE

60 Day Money Back Guarantee

We've packed a lot into Teach Yourself Anything, and I want to make sure that you not only get all that content before you fully commit to this — I want to give you 60 days to let it digest, integrate it into your daily life, and make sure this is really working for you.

Try the entire course. 60 days is enough time to take the course twice and then decide. If you don't LOVE it, I insist that you get 100% of your money back. I'll even eat the credit card processing fees.

It's simple: Join the program and try it for yourself. If the powerful mental exercises and scripts don't help improve your life in 60 days, I want you to email me. Show me you did the exercises, and I'll give you all your money back.

This guarantee lasts 60 days, which completely covers the course. That means you can try the ENTIRE course and then decide if it's right for you.

Start learning now for just

4 Monthly Payments of $57

Join Teach Yourself Anything Now

Pay in full now and save $51
If you have any questions or concerns about the course, call or email us. We're happy to help
1-888-933-2761
support@iwt.com

What was the last cool new skill you learned? The answers from 8 people.

While building this course, I asked my team what cool new skills they've learned recently. Look how awesome these answers are.

And perhaps my favorite answer:

It's not rocket science: What makes people interesting? They do interesting things.

If you want to be more interesting, learn new and interesting things.

If you want to have more fun, learn how to do fun things.

If you want to be more successful, build the skills that make people successful.

The "secret" to making all of this fast, effective, and enjoyable is to start by learning how to learn. Learning is a skill. That means there are tools and best practices you can model. There are strategies you can practice and improve at.

It might seem like some people can just learn faster — that they naturally lead interesting lives, with lots of hobbies and interests, and can do anything. But very few people talk about how to learn.

You can learn this ONE skill — how to teach yourself anything fast — and that will impact everything you ever do in the future.

Skills that might otherwise take months or years to learn, you’ll know how to pick up in a fraction of the time. And the skill of learning becomes incredibly fun.

But it won't happen unless you're ready to make a change.

A year from now, you're going to be a year older. What do you want to learn?

Start learning now for just

4 Monthly Payments of $57

Join Teach Yourself Anything Now

Pay in full now and save $51
If you have any questions or concerns about the course, call or email us. We're happy to help
1-888-933-2761
support@iwt.com

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