After hitting on a brilliant new life plan, our first instinct is to tell someone — but Derek Sivers says it’s better to keep goals secret. He presents research stretching as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them. Check out this interesting video below:

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13 Comments

  1. I believe that there are two sides to this. As the video demonstrates, telling your goal to someone can dramatically reduce the likelihood of it becoming reality.

    The other side, and the one I’m more likely to believe is that if the goal is a goal that will alleviate a tremendous amount of pain from the goal setter, then telling it to someone else has zero to little affect on its outcome.

    The motivation of releasing oneself from tremendous pain is often, not always but often enough to propel a goal to some level of completion. It is up to the setter to decide if that pain is worth alleviating.

    The question is, how much pain are they in and what are they willing to do to alleviate it?

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  2. I never tell my goals to anybody because if I do so then some fear comes into my mind that what will happen If I didn’t complete it. This is also a kind of self motivation for me to give others surprise…

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  3. I can’t believe every commenter here so far ~ did not hear or digest what the lecturer said:

    Research proves if you share your goals, your brain gets tricked and thinks its already accomplished. So you lose all your momentum to accomplish it!!!

    Julia Cameron, author of The Artists Way (great book for creatives who need inspiration),
    says: “Mums” the word if you want to accomplish a goal. Once you share it with another person, it loses it “power”. You are then lost and floundering and back to your old life instead of taking your goal/dream and beginning it step by step.

    I was told by a dear woman Lynette Hanover, that all you have to do is one thing every day towards your dream. Just one, and before you know it, it snowballs and its a reality. She is right! Goethe has been misquoted saying: there is power and magic in action ~ so begin it now etc. (please look up this great quote) basically the Universe moves in when we take the first step and then ~ Bingo Bango!! you are living your real life.
    May you all be motivated to create the life that is really meant for you!

    Always maintain only a joyful mind, (Pema Chodrun)
    Nell

    Sharing my Dream: This happened to me, I shared a special Dream I had been working on, with my sister and she totally shot it down from the getgo. Needing encouragement not total negativity from her, I was shocked and hurt. I began to seriously doubt myself and my ability to do my Dream. Luckily, my Dream was a “part” of me and kept on coming back into my psyche of its own accord,
    even when I shelved it temporarily. Dreams like that, that don’t die and take on a life of their own ~ I believe are meant to be pursued until they are born into reality.

    So, journal your goals and dreams and begin work on them and don’t share any of it with others and you will see their development going from step one to fruition.

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  4. A very good point. It is an instinct to tell our close friends our new ideas. Its always good to bounce ideas off peoples heads. But, ideas are like a seed, before they can bare fruit, we have to plant them, tend to them, and wait until they take root.

    Now if you have a team, or a mastermind group, you can share and or get their input on helping you plant this idea..

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  5. I agree with Rich men. Some goals are much better shared with others. If I want to quit smoking and I tell everyone, I’m going to feel more pressured to accomplish it. However, for big goals, important ones, ones that are “far out,” it’s much better to keep them to yourself. Michael Phelps didn’t and doesn’t share his goals with other people because people will hate. People will tell you that you can’t do it, their jealously will make you believe you can’t achieve it.

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  6. I think some goals should be spread around, like quit smoking, loose weight etc. Just because your friends, family can help you achieving those. But if you commit to stop smoking and don’ t tell it to anyone, you can smoke any time again, without feeling embarrassed, and we people really don’ t want others to laugh at us.

    More business oriented goals, or the ones, where you want to accomplish something, should only be told to people, who can help you or give some advice.

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  7. i dont have a goal!!im too insecure and hurt to have one!!

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  8. I keep my goals to myself but discuss them with the right persons like my husband and my family. It’s good to share your goals with your family and loved ones, because they’re also part of your success.

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  9. Personally, I try to keep all of my goals to myself. One of the reasons that I do that (which I’m sure might be addressed in the video) is that often times, there are people who you tell that will say something like “Oh, there is no way you will be able to do that.”

    Also, people who try desperately to dig your goals out of you are very annoying.

    Person: What are your goals?
    Me: I don’t want to tell you right now?
    Person: Come on tell me,
    Me: No, mind your own business.

    The sad thing is people who discourage you seem to seek you out. No matter how secretive your goals are, there will be people who approach you with the sole purpose of derailing you.

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  10. I personally didn’t do that, I used to do tell my friends
    about my goals so they can hold on to it ”. Thinking about it, it’s
    true. Don’t we always say that those who talk a lot don’t really
    achieve what they say? and those who are quiet most probably work
    harder.

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  11. Personally I keep my goals to myself and I hadn’t really thought much about that tendency until just now. I guess a part of me agrees with keeping them private from the purely personal preference standpoint. However, I’m not sure sharing or not sharing really matters.

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  12. I would feel to tell all your hopes dreams and ideas and ideals to the rightful persons, those of whom you know share the same wishes and do so try and carry them out to fruition. Otherwise most persons and that includes your relatives, closest friends and neighbors and coworkers may be too close to u and therefore subject u to critiicism because of their own brand of past and present and then future failures. If they have failed in the past they will most likely fail in the future. Only share your hopes with those who can make you a success by passing their own to u.

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  13. sounds reasonable…but I’m still not convinced

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