This statistic usually shocks people!
What do you mean the top 1% of students gets into the top 10% of schools.
It is true! There are people out there that get into the best schools around the world, and they do it without fail time after time.
I use to be like many of you – in disbelief and frustrated.
The reality is though, you can do it too.
You know how I know? I was once in your shoes.
I figured out what it took to get into the school of dreams, although I started at community college, I learned to master the application process and get into the school of my dreams.
In the next few years, I will finish my 7th academic degree. Two bachelor degrees and the rest are graduate or professional degrees.
THE SEINFELD SOLUTION
The method is simple, It is called the “Seinfeld Solution”
For most people productivity sucks. How long did it take you to write that last essay you had?
It is hard to be productive. Every time you sit down at the computer or open a notebook to work on your personal statement or study for the SAT/ACT/GRE/MCAT, you find yourself getting distracted and getting nothing done! I use to do this. At first, I thought it was just me. I thought that something was wrong with me and I couldn’t focus on anything but facebook or twitter.
Admit it, you do it too.
The worst part is I didn’t even want to be on facebook when this happened. I wanted to get work done.
A few years ago I wanted to figure out if this was a common problem. I asked some of my friends and some of the students I have helped before.
-“Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about things, I never work on them”
-“I spend so much time getting things done that are physically easy to do, like clean my room, or make food, that I forget to do the things I need to do. The funny part is I do not even need food at those times nor do I need to clean my room!”
-“I am always trying to start a new essay or application, but I find myself stopping and starting so I never get real traction.”
Do any of these sound familiar?
I too use to have this problem! I thought I was the weird one, but it turned out I wasn’t so I know you are not either!
Not being able to follow through on the things you have to do will be your biggest obstacle.
You need to take a hard look at your habits and interactions with people. Are you doing things on a daily basis to get to where you want to be.
You can not “will” yourself to be more productive. To be honest, I don’t think people know what “willpower” is. I definitely don’t have what most people would call “willpower”.
If I had to use willpower to be productive, I’d never get anything done.
But therein lies most problems. For most people, we only want to do things that excite and inspire us. We know that in order to have the ability to do what we want financially, we have to make some serious moves towards those goals. Moves that require extreme productivity.
The Seinfeld Solution
An excerpt from Daniel Dipiazza
In 1998, Jerry Seinfeld made $267 million dollars from the 9th and final season of his hit show Seinfeld. Yes, thats a quarter billion dollars.
No, that’s not a typo. NBC begged him to do a 10th season to the tune of $5M per episode for 22 episodes (WTF?!). He declined. Needless to say, it was a great decade for him.
But the 2000’s have been quite good to him as well – deals from syndication of his now classic show bring in a steady paycheck of about $85 million per year. Not bad, Jerry. Not bad at all.
But let’s take it back. Back, before he was a borderline billionaire comedian. Back before he was even a household name.
How does one amass the talent, skill and productivity to write joke after joke, show after show, year after year at such a high level?
Here’s how Brad describes the conversation:
He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
Take note here. You’ll notice Jerry didn’t mention anything about having good jokes. He didn’t even mention how long the activity had to last. The task is very simple: write something every day, put an X on the calendar and don’t break the chain.
Using your brain’s programming against itself
It is so simple it is counterintuitive. Lets think about this. There are some very sophisticated processes going on. This theory is a fool proof model to force you to become more productive:
“The act of doing something every day programs you to make it a default behavior. Most of us don’t have to force ourselves to brush our teeth in the morning. There’s no mental strain or cognitive dissonance with brushing your teeth. You just do it…because that’s who you are. You are a person who likes clean teeth and fresh breath. Seinfeld managed to integrate writing jokes into his daily routine day after day. Over time, he associated his identity with the writing and from there, it’s much easier to follow through.
Default behaviors, repeated day in and day out become habits. Habitual pursuits almost ALWAYS improve because of sheer frequency. In Jerry’s case, writing every day ensures that he’s bound to stumble on some funny material. 365 days of straight writing guarantees some nuggets of wisdom just by the sheer volume of material he’ll have created over time.
In effect, you’re using your own human tendency for habit creation to work AGAINST your natural tendency to procrastinate, stall and be otherwise unproductive. Rather than setting nebulous goals and hoping that you have the power to push through, you are actively installing new software (aka habit) in your brain’s computer to ensure that the program (aka goal) gets run. With enough consistency over time, the new software WILL get installed. You literally will not have a choice but to complete the habit every day. From there, success is on cruise control.”
The only thing you have to do is not give up. You have to not break the chain. If you struggle with studying for standardized tests or writing personal statements, use this method!
How this method worked for me
I have had a lot of success with adding new habits into my daily rituals. Every time I add a new habit, it is amazing how after a few weeks it is no longer a new habit. I have trained myself to be consistent and make small changes after just a few days/weeks. The change and process is not easy though.
Some of my habits:
Exercise (had a 380 day streak before traveling for a month straight)
Meditating (was at 90+ days before I lost track)
Reading (I think I am at a few years now?)
but there is a catch…
Not every day is easy. I do not always have the time to get in all of my habits.
Some days I couldn’t make it to the gym, so instead I would do pushups, squats, situps in my apartment.
Sometimes my meditation was worthless or disturbed.
Often I only read a few pages if I have a lot of clinical responsibilities.
But none of that matters though, I made sure I did it every single day. Consistency. And I haven’t stopped.
This may not seem ground breaking, but I guarantee it can make the difference between the perfect MCAT score vs. the sub par SAT score.
This is the secret sauce. This is how the top 1% of all students get into the top 10% of schools. They are dedicated to the dream and are true to the journey. They do not take days off. They study and prep for their tests and applications day-in and day-out.
Did you know Michael Phelps before winning the most gold medals in history, was on a 10+ year hot streak of not missing a single planned day of training/practice. Sure, some of the days his training was terrible. But he still showed up. It’s that simple.
Don’t break the chain.
Look at a young girl named Karen, who taught herself to dance in one year using this same solution: She committed to practicing everyday of the year.
Karen proves that even over a year’s time, you can make remarkable progress in things that at first seemed near impossible to tackle. If you put in the time in little bite-sized chunks without skipping a beat, you can accelerate to advanced levels quickly.
Your only task in getting into the school of your dreams is…you guessed it…don’t break the chain.
Consistency is the only road to mastery.
Do you want to have the best Personal Statement? Do you want to have the top scores in the country?
Follow the Seinfeld solution!
Leave me a comment below and Let me know!