I was teaching at a camp in 1984, giving a “mativational” talk to a group of wrestlers. At the and I asked for questions:
“What are your goals?” one of the boys shouted from the pack.
“None of your business. Next.”
The crowd laughed.
A year later, after giving an updated talk at the same camp of nearly 300, I began yet another Q n A segment.
“What are your goals?” a boy asked.
“You were here last year, weren’t you?” I replied.
The boy nodded.
“And you asked the same question last year, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I did,” the boy sheepishly grunted.
“Well then, what was my answer a year ago?
He remembered: “You said it was none of my business.”
“Very good,” I smiled. “You have an excellent memory.”
The laughed that year, too, as I proceeded to the next question.
The above brings me to an explanation of yet another motivational self-help myth – and that is the idea that you MUST “announce your goals publicly.”
The idea that making your goals public will help you is almost always false.
Most of the time it’s a sorry will power manipulation methodology and forced “show how much you’re committed” scheme, whereby, in order to avoid embarrassment, you feel forced to take “massive action” to accomplish your goal.
Once again, this strategy works for some people, so I’m not against it, (even though I do delight in poking fun of it).
What I am FOR, however, is elevating the 95% or so of the people for whom this tactic does NOT work.
There are many valid reasons that the will-power manipulation scheme of announcing your goals, doesn’t work.
Here are a few:
1. The announcement of the goal applies pressure to the individual – and often times this pressure amalgamates the brain –
causing a fight or flight response. This fear response then causes the person to be paralyzed with fear. Instead of now being compelled to take action, the person takes minimal or no action – and feels as though he or she is a failure.
2. Oftentimes, when a person announces a goal, especially to a crowd, it results in phony applause and contrived congratulations. or just as bad, an amalgamation of doubters who unintentionally hurl disbelieving energy at you.
If you feel good with the applause, your brain can interpret this as sufficient. There is no need to achieve the goal – after all,
you’ve already gotten the praise you so desired from the announcement alone.
Unwittingly, this trains the brain to announce goals, not to accomplish them – because the love and appreciation come from coughing up ideas, not from making the ideas become reality.
Conversely, if you haven’t yet established a solid foundation of confidence, and you announce your goal, which is followed by upturned sideways lips and doubting glares, you have just been energetically assaulted by what might just as well be a cadre of professional doubting Thomases.
In order to be unaffected or empowered by doubting Thomases or glad-hand congratulators – a high degree of proven performance and mental momentum must be established. Otherwise, the fawning praise, the “thank you for sharing” reflex-responders and the nasty naysayers will cause all your hard won enthusiasm to be diffused.
You’ll take a seat and wonder why all the positivity you felt before you made your announcemnet is now nowhere to be found.
In most cases, the only person you are wise to announce your goal to is a coach who has your best interests at heart – who has
experienced success in many arenas (not just writing a book about it) – and who will flat out tell you if your cart is before
Many of the goals people set are not “user-friendly” to their brain and nervous system.
Which is even more reason I place the idea of announcing your goals publicly to be just as unhelpful as the other self-help myths I’ve been writing about.
P.S. If you’re looking for a coach to guide you through the maze of misinformation, go here and tell me more. Yes, there will be a question about your goals – but you’re neither announcing it to the world – or going to hear false praise or “thank you for sharing” from me.