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Derek Sivers: Keep Your Goals To Yourself

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Rickson9

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" 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."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHopJHSlVo4
 

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FDJustin

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Hmm... Does it trick you into thinking the reward for the goal was achieved, or does it just give you a reward for setting (and explaining) a goal; which turns you into a serial planner? There's a distinction, even if the result winds up the same! If the praise turns you into a planner, and doesn't trick you into thinking you've already gotten the feel good for the success itself, the same process could be used to train you into an action taker.

Most of the time when I'm explaining my goals or otherwise to someone else, I'm doing it to actually create them in the first place. It also keeps them better in mind. I have hundreds, if not thousands of little notes and memoes created, deleted, and spread all around my laptop for every goal under the sun. The only ones that ever see an attempt are the ones I explain to people.

Actually, a lot of the stuff I write is directed at someone in MSN. Sometimes as live conversation, sometimes it's just someone who is idle or offline that I write at, then cut and paste into Jarte. I even added myself so I can do that without bothering someone / accidentally sending information, but it doesn't work as well. I know I'm talking to myself. Since I'm talking to myself, and I know what I'm saying, there's no motivation to really do it. It feels like looking at someone who's sweating and panting in the sun and saying "Did you know it's hot out today?"
 

rocknrollkid

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Whatever happened to fake it until you make it?

The more I tell people my goals, the more I feel like I need to get them done so I do not look like I'm talking alot of shit but not doing much about it.
 

rocknrollkid

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I have more to add,

When I tell people my goals they are always so huge I get no praise lol.
People tell me to get real, or something to that effect. They think i'm crazy and it can't happen.

I am then filled with the fuel I need to get it done, and then some.

If nobody doubts your goals, you are not dreaming high enough.
 

IceCreamKid

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I formerly would tell people my goals, but after a while I learned that most will either think I'm insane and straightforwardly show it or praise me while secretly hating me.

The few exceptions to this experience have been when I tell my goals to other entrepreneurs.
 
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Rickson9

Rickson9

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I don't tell people my goals because, what's the point? I don't mind talking about what I have done, but it seems pointless (to me) to speak of things that I am going to do.

So speaking for myself, If I haven't done something I don't feel the need to talk about it.
 

mon_fi

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Bringing back to life this very very very old thread, I wanted to write about it but thought someone had already posted it and indeed, there it is.

In this post, I'll share why I went to talk about my goals to everyone to stop and do the opposite: help people with their goals instead. Then I'll talk about how to trick yourself into not quitting at the early stage of an initiative.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First time I've watched Sivers' very short TED talk about "don't tell your goals", I got confirmation of something I had noticed about myself (apologies for the "me, me, me"): the more I talked about something and imagined everything, the more I felt I had already done it and hence became less "interested" in actually doing it. Even though I watched this vid some years ago (3 or 4), it's only recently that I decided to stop telling people my plans and goals for several reasons (and yes, writing this thread is paradoxical, but I hope it can help someone):
- I'd get less motivated after, as we've just spoken,and frankly, quite empty and like an impostor for talking about something I had not achieved yet.
- People get jealous: they don't like it when one seems to have other plans than they have and when others deviate from the norm, from the script. And I must be honest, I don't like it when people tell me they want to build a business either, I get reminded of my own mediocrity, that I'm nowhere in life and that I should work much harder. I still genuinely offer my help though, as I'm learning "value giving" currently and the idea of being associated to people's projects decreases jealousy.
- I prefer solving people's problems than talking about my own: with helping someone, there is this feeling of bondage and achievement. Talking about your own problems first of all is rude and uninteresting, and second, only makes them worse.
- It prevents unwanted emotional investment: working on a project because one is excited is unsustainable: you'll quit when you'll lose the excitement. Now, working on a project when one is commited is sustainable, because commitment is about discipline, not emotions, and relying on discipline is much stronger than relying on emotions. Leave emotions at the door. In fact, I like to make my own work not fun at all because if I get too much dopamine out of it, I'll get addicted and discourage when the work won't be fun. I also want to struggle so that I can feel that I deserve whatever I have. It's some sort of "I'm happy when I'm unhappy" type of thing.

Now, since I'm here, I want to give a trick about how to avoid quitting in the early stages of an enterprise. It works for me, hopefully, it will work for you too: make it too costly to quit.

What?

I started a blog in January and within two weeks, had written 20 articles because I knew I had to trap myself into making it too costly to quit. After two weeks, I was no longer in a position to stop because I had spent a lot of time figuring out how to create a website, how to use wordpress, how to write content, had spent money on server rental and had written...20 articles. This effort, I must say (and I'm kinda breaking my own rule) was fueled by excitement in the short-term...but sustained by discipline based on making it too costly to quit in the long-run. Quitting would mean I would have done all the work for nothing (I know it's a bit exaggerated to say nothing because I learnt stuff, but I always dramatize the consequences of quitting so that I don't), I see quitting as being priced at all the efforts you've made to get where you are. The more efforts, the higher the price. It's the endowment effect, very powerful.

The bottom line:

- Don't talk about your goals, it will make you less likely to achieve them. I'm always distrustfull of the threads written about what people will do instead of what they have done. In the meantime, I understand these threads help keep people accountable.
- Make it too costly to quit by investing soooo much at the beginning that quitting would be a giant waste of time and money and that keeping it going would be the clear best choice.

Hope it can help someone,

M.

PS: the vid:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHopJHSlVo4
 

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