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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The 3 Pro's and 3 Con's of Keeping Your Dreams to Yourself!

About a year ago, I came across this great and brief TED talk that was discussing goals.


The talk actually got me thinking about a lot of goals that I have made in the last few years. Especially the big goals that some would call "dreams. "

So somewhat ironically or maybe coincidentally, over the past year or so I have made some half-hearted progress towards some big goals. Most of the success I did have occured when I decided I was going to achieve a thing and kept it quiet. Most of the disappointment seemed to come when I told my friends and family about a goal and they kind of shirk at my "great idea" or "big dream".

They would have a tendency to ask me "Are you sure?" or "Haven't you tried that before?" or "Do you know what you're doing?" This had the tendency of zapping my confidence and most of my desire in achieving the dream.

But there's something to be said for sharing your goals with others - maybe in a Mastermind group - to help you figure out more creative ways of achieving the goal. So I took a few minutes to weigh 3 PRO's and 3 CON's of sharing your goals and even your dreams with the unwashed masses:


+1) If you fail no one will know-

If you try and do your best to achieve an unannounced goal you will have less of an ego blow if you end up falling flat on your face. You can keep going on with your life despite your failure without embarrassing yourself in defeat.

+2) If you succeed people will likely notice and compliment you -

If you end up succeeding at an unannounced goal - especially if it's a big one - you will impress people who would have never thought you were capable of great things and it's highly likely they will begin to see you in a different light.

+3) Studies show that you will work longer on your goal -

In the video above, Mr. Stivers mentions a study by Peter Gollwitzer that showed that people who announced their goal aloud decided to give up on working towards their goal almost a third of the time earlier than those who were instructed to keep their goal to themselves who worked the entire time given on the goal. The shocking thing is that those who gave up early, did so because they thought they made a lot of progress, those that kept going knew that had a long way to go so they kept at it.


-1) You'll miss out on the acclaim and fame that comes from proving it -

People used to laugh and laugh at Cassius Clay when he first came out because he would constantly say "I am the greatest!" It was only after he had become Muhammad Ali that people stopped laughing and began believing in the boxing great. Being bold enough to tell the world you're going to do something - that sounds absurd to the critics and then actually doing it - exposes the critics for the cynics they are and validates you for holding on to your dream. Sometimes if you say something enough times aloud it can become truth even if it isn't at the original time you started. (possibly one of the most memorable images in sports is Babe Ruth calling his shot on a home run) - that takes guts! And to go after your dreams - you need guts.  

-2)  Friends who are positive and supportive will not be there to cheer you on -

Everybody has that friend that is that rare, true friend - believes in you and never shows you one iota of doubt. This friend can be the oasis you need as times get tough as you approach your goal. Keeping them out of the loop to fill up your tank may end up with you on empty at the side of the road.

-3) You'll miss out on the opportunity to silence the naysayers - In contrast to those cheerleaders in your life you no doubt likely have an enemy or at least a frenemy that secretly applauds your every stumble. If that person who says "you can never do anything right" and "you'll never be able to achieve that!" is rudely awakened the day you achieve that goal - On that day you have the right to be on cloud nine and announce your achievement to your naysayers over and over and over again  - In my mind at least that's a great visualization. 

Big dreams are never easy - I think it's Woody Hayes - the famed coach from around these parts - that had the saying something to the effect of:

"Show me something that's easy, and I'll show you something that ain't worth a dime!"-Woody Hayes
Moral of the Story - be careful who you share your goals with and even more careful who you share your dreams with but if it's the right kind of people and/or if you're the right type of person... you can.

So what do you think? In your experience have you reached your big goals more easily by keeping the goal a secret or telling everyone you're going to do it? I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below.


The next blogpost will be centered around "10 things that used to be impossible and the 'crazy people' who made them possible"

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