What do you usually do when you want to achieve something?

You have probably heard that telling people about your goals is going to keep you accountable. Which means you will have more chances of achieving them.

Maybe you have also heard that talking about your goals, make them less likely to happen. Due something called “Social Reality”

If you are really into this topic, you have probably heard that you must talk about your goals with the right people.

Isn’t this confusing? I had a huge mix in my mind that I just clarified few minutes ago. I am going to talk and summarize these three ideas and tell you my last thoughts.

This is going to get exciting…

Do people we talk to about our goals really care if we achieve them or not? Do WE really care if they care?

Couple things happen here. First of all, when we have a goal, we feel that desire of telling everyone about it. We really want to let the world know about our work out 5 times per week. Or, maybe that we are going to start waking up at 7am every day. And about the diet we will start tomorrow, sorry, on Monday. And we might do this for different reasons:

  • We might need attention/support
  • Maybe we are really excited and we want them to feel excited too
  • seeking approval
  • Accountability
  • We want to show off (about what?)
  • Proclaim your ambitions

The truth is that most of them don’t really care, they have their own life. They are probably busy and worried about their goals and dreams, not yours. And, to be honest, some of them don’t even want you to succeed. It will make them work harder to be like you, and of course they don’t want that. People don’t want to be less than anybody.

Don’t waste your time telling everyone about your dreams, be selective.

I will come back to this idea at the end of this post. Let’s go for the next one.

Talking about your dreams make them less likely to happen?

When you tell people about your goals, they will most likely say things like: OH! nice, congratulations!, that is awesome, keep up with the hard work. When reality is that you have done NOTHING. What happens here is very strange and confusing.

When you have a goal, in order to achieve that goal, you must put action. There are steps you need to go through in order to achieve your goal. YOU NEED TO WORK TOWARDS IT. Once you start working on it and getting things done, you feel satisfaction and pride. However, when you talk about it and people acknowledge it, something called “Social Reality” start affecting you. When people acknowledge it, your brain get tricked into a feeling that it’s already done. You feel the satisfaction of achievement when in reality you haven’t done anything yet!. which turns out into less motivation and lack of hard work, therefore you don’t achieve anything. It creates a fake sense of accomplishment and the mind mistakes the talking with the doing.

Here it is a short 3 minutes video of a TED TALK that went viral about this topic. By Derek Sivers.

What do you think about this? should we share our goals or not?

This takes us to the last part.

Talk about your goals with the right people

As we already talked about on the first part. Don’t waste your time talking to people don’t care about you and your goals. Don’t seek approval or respect from the wrong people. Most of them don’t care. And maybe, YOU don’t care about them either.

A new research out of The Ohio State University shows that people who shared their goals with someone they see as “higher status”, or whose opinions they respect were more committed to their goals.

“If you don’t care about the opinion of whom you tell, it doesn’t affect your desire to persist — which is really what goal commitment is all about” – Howard Klein, lead author

When we respect people’s opinions, we tend to stick to our goals because we don’t want them to see less of us. We want to be dedicated, we want to surprise/impress them, because we want to be up there with them. This is something that make sense to me, but there is an empty area that I would like to fill.

Last thoughts

Don’t tell your goals to people you don’t care about. Share it with people you admire, respect, and you want to be like. Now, even though you might admire and respect them, the most important person is YOU. If you are trying to impress people, for sure it will work when you are with them. What really matters is what you do when nobody is watching.

Do you do the work when that person is not there? What do you do when you are alone in your room?. This is what will make the difference between being ok and being extraordinary. at the end, the main point here is to achieve the goal, right?. Talk to people about your goals might give you an extra push but it’s not required. Don’t seek approval by telling everyone about your goals. You must be your best fan. Love and respect yourself above everything else.



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