It’s on ongoing debate in the productivity space as to whether goals (and missions in life) should be kept a secret or loudly broadcast for everyone to hear. Almost every week I read a new article backed by another study or a behavioural science analysis that says that yes, we should tell everyone, or no, we should keep quiet about our goals to improve our chances of achieving them. So which is it?
The Simple Answer
The simple answer, is this: it depends.
A shortcut we’ve found to work quite well is if you are an introvert, you should generally keep quiet about your goals. If you are an extrovert, tell everyone about your goals – multiple times and loudly.
The reasons why are straightforward.
If you are an introvert, when you’re on the receiving end of social pressure from the people around you to pursue your goal, you’re likely to retreat inside of yourself and not go after the goal until people stop reminding you about it.
If you are an extrovert, when you get the same social pressure, you’re more likely to come out swinging and push yourself to reach your goals.
A More Complex Answer
In reality, we’re actually all introvert/extrovert combinations to one degree or another.
For example, I see myself as mostly an introvert with a few developed extrovert characteristics. And in line with what we just discussed above, I generally do not discuss my goals except with maybe a couple of really close friends – you most definitely won’t find my goals broadcast loudly on my Facebook Timeline. What I am happy to publicly broadcast though is our mission here at Asian Efficiency, which is to make the world a more productive place, one person at a time.
The important thing here is not so much who you tell or how many people you tell about your goals, but to know what your preference is and which one makes you work better. And of course, to remember to keep pursuing your goal no matter what.
Another distinguishing question that you can ask yourself is this:
- Do I get more satisfaction when people cheer me along and then celebrate with me when I reach my goal?
- Or, do I get more satisfaction when I’ve completed a goal “in secret” and then choose to celebrate its completion with a few close friends?
And… that is the short and simple version of whether or not you should share your goals with others.
What do you do? Let us know in the comments!
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