So should you talk about your goals or not? In this video I’ll explain why it could be better if you avoided it.
We have Tommy and John. They both have goals they want to accomplish but they take different routes in discussing their goals with other people.
Tommy is pumped up and let’s everybody around him know about his goals. He’s doing a full public display of his intentions and no one around Tommy is wandering around not knowing about his fantastic goal. Whenever someone asks Tommy about his progress, he tends to ensure people that he sure is doing great and that’s he’s come a long way, not realizing that reality suggest different.
John on the other hand decides not to talk about his goal, but instead works behind the scenes. He’s silently trying to achieve his new identity which is what accomplishing his goal will bring, and rather than announcing his goal to the world, he wants the results of his actions do the talking. John writes his goal down every night on yellow post it note to make sure it never really leaves his mind, but he has yet to share it with anyone.
Telling people about your goal creates a false sense of accomplishment. It might sound logical that the best way to ensure success of a goal would be to announce it to the world, however research suggest that it’s not that great of an idea. When Tommy shares his goal, or the identity of the person he’s trying to become, it will most likely backfire because that announcement will have people already thinking of him as that identity. This alone will make Tommy less likely to work as hard to actually achieve that new identity. It gives him a strong sense of accomplishment and that sense is based completely around talking rather than doing. John’s refrain from telling people his goals is a much more powerful approach as it makes him work harder to achieve it, knowing that the only way to become the identity he’s working towards, is through the results of his hard work and eventually the people around him will notice it.
Tommy also thinks that the people around him will applaud him and throw apples to him to fuel his energy to keep him going. He believes that having everyone know about his goals and intentions will motivate him to work harder.
John doesn’t need to get fuel from other people and tries to stay away from relying on others to motivate him to work harder. He also knows that everyone around him will not really cheer him on, but a lot of people tend to give their opinions of how difficult it will be and continues to explain reasons why it’s not gonna work.
The truth is that people don’t really care about Tommy and his goals unless it benefit themselves somehow, because they are too busy worrying about their own lives. It’s nice to think that everyone will cheer him on and support him in his fantastic quest to accomplish his goals, but that rarely is the case. People generally don’t like when Tommy’s getting closer to his goals because it showcases their own laziness. The competitive nature will naturally come out and instead of them stepping up their game and work harder to match his efforts, it’s much easier and more comfortable to sit back to judge and wish for Tommy to slow down to not make themselves look bad.
If they don’t know your goals, they can’t shoot them down, ain’t that right J. Cole!
Another thing worth mentioning here is that the 3rd respectively the 4th law in Robert Green’s book 48 laws of power is to “conceal your intentions” and “always say less than necessary”. Although this book is a bit grim in nature and these laws are better suited a warlord, they still apply to everyday situations and certainly when it comes to making progress in pursuing a goal.
Now not talking about your goals might not be optimal in all situations as it will have larger or lesser impact depending on what your goal actually is. And telling people you know will have your back and actually support you can be a good idea, but be careful with sharing it with just about anybody.
Say your goal is to lose some weight. Having someone know about it that actually makes sure you stay on track and wants to help you can be super helpful, cause you’re not stepping on their toes or holding them back.
Now say your goal is getting a promotion at work. You can’t really expect people you’re working with to cheer you on and just roll over letting you snatch that promotion in front of their noses, but having them knowing your intentions will surely make that path more slippery than before.
However these examples kind of goes outside of the premise of this video, which is that you’re more likely to work harder to achieve your new identity when people haven’t recognized you for it yet. So if you usually talk about your goals and find yourself having trouble achieving them, try to do the work in silent and let the results of that work do the talking.
I’ve certainly had more success in keeping my own goals to myself! Let me know in the comments what you make of not telling people your goals and leave a like if you agree with!