What is the most badass life hack? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Mira Zaslove, Fortune 500 manager, on Quora:

The most badass life hack I know is: Anchor high, and don't give up. The more you ask for, the more you get. It's as simple as that.

I've seen people get badass salaries, girlfriends, and lives by believing they deserve it. What you get in life isn't really what you deserve, but what you think you deserve. If you look at people who are successful they start by aiming high and by not accepting a low offer.

People generally aren't going to give you more than what you ask for. So when people ask what you want, aim high. Very high. Project high standards for yourself and the way you deserve to be treated.

So, if you want to make $100k, don't settle for less than $100k. When recruiters ask you how much you want to make start by saying $130-$150k, and negotiate from there. Don't even consider or apply for a job that doesn't offer $100k. They say the job will only pay $80k, then walk. Don't accept less than you want.

Similarly, if you are looking to purchase a car or a house, start by aiming low. Throw out an initial offer less than the one you want to pay. Yes, you want to leave room for negotiation, but you also want to anchor the value low.

Have conviction, project confidence, and anchor to your advantage.

An excellent example of anchoring is given in Thinking, Fast and Slow by: Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize. He showed the power of random anchors in some pretty unusual ways.

For example:

German judges with an average of more than fifteen years of experience on the bench first read a description of a woman who had been caught shoplifting, then rolled a pair of dice that were loaded so every roll resulted in either a 3 or a 9.
As soon as the dice came to a stop, the judges were asked whether they would sentence the woman to a term in prison greater or lesser, in months, than the number showing on the dice.
Finally, the judges were instructed to specify the exact prison sentence they would give to the shoplifter.
On average, those who had rolled a 9 said they would sentence her to 8 months; those who rolled a 3 said they would sentence her to 5 months; the anchoring effect was 50%.


Crazy thing about this outcome of the die roll? It had absolutely no relationship to how the fake shoplifter should be sentenced. Similar studies have been done across many disciples and people, and the results are amazing.

The initial numbers mentioned in discussions-- even if they are not relevant to the discussion at hand!-- are powerful, so use this badass power to your advantage.

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Published on: Aug 1, 2016