Jiddu Krishnamurti spent years giving spiritual talks. He became more candid as he got older. In one famous talk, he asked the audience if they’d like to know his secret.

He whispered, “You see, I don’t mind what happens.”

Some people are born into families that encourage education; others are against it. Some are born into flourishing economies encouraging of entrepreneurship; others are born into war and destitution. I want you to be successful, and I want you to earn it. But realize that not all success is due to hard work, and not all poverty is due to laziness. Keep this in mind when judging people, including yourself.

And behaviour is hard to teach, even to really smart people. You can’t sum up behaviour with formulas to memorize or spreadsheet models to follow. Behaviour is inborn, varies by person, is hard to measure, changes over time, and people are prone to deny its existence, especially when describing themselves.

She saw something others didn’t. Anna looked at the soul of New York and recognized that if you distract people with shiny objects, with large wads of cash, with the indicia of wealth, if you show them the money, they will be virtually unable to see anything else. And the thing was: It was so easy.

“Money, like, there’s an unlimited amount of capital in the world, you know?” Anna said to me at one point. “But there’s limited amounts of people who are talented.”

In a place like New York City, we are all faking it. We all perform our identities; we all create our own personae. We all participate in the meaningless rites of accruing “social capital” — whether it’s posting selfies on Instagram or checking into a high-end room at 11 Howard or getting that svelte, ageless, Oprah-approved body. And we all suffer from imposter syndrome: the sneaking suspicion that, one day, everybody will find out who we truly are. The irony is, of course, they won’t — they’re too busy worrying we’ll do the same to them.

“I honestly think that if someone were to put a pill in front of someone and be like, ‘Hey! You can take this pill, and it will make you completely healthy and well,’ everyone would jump on board with it, because they’re getting all these benefits without having to put in the work that we as a society know we need to do.”