Do NOT advertise your plans... Let Accomplishment Tell The Story.
12 Things NOT TO DO...
Do NOT advertise your plans... Let Accomplishment Tell The Story.
One of the most difficult things for humans to do is NOT TALK, lol. We talk about everything, especially ourselves. It's our favorite topic. I was recently listening to a speaker who challenged the audience to focus for a month on "listing to understand, not to respond." That hit me like a ton of bricks. We all do this don't we? While listening to someone we are always formulating our response, how to link in our own story relating to theirs, almost as if to say, "well that is interesting, but let me tell you something even more interesting about me."
"Focus on listening to understand, not to respond."
Books and training on people skills will teach you to avidly listen to what someone tells you, then condense it and repeat it back to them saying, "What I hear you saying is....". The purpose of this is twofold. First to make sure you are getting the point they are trying to make, and second to let them know you are "hearing" them. When you tell people about a "dream" you are definitely making the conversation all about you. There is a time for this, and a time when it may be too early for this. You need to learn the difference in order to save yourself a lot of headaches. One of the most important methods for a dreamer or entrepreneur to stay positive and focused. Do NOT advertise your plans. Rather, keep your efforts to yourself and let your end results, or accomplishment tell the story. Why is this so important? Let's dig into it.
We have discussed the proper way to come up with and idea and create a plan to actually implement it. We have discussed how to stay focused and organized while in pursuit of your goal or dream. We have discussed taking tasks one at a time and embracing the process of failure. Now it is time to hit some tips, tricks, or "life-hacks". The number 1 reason for individuals not achieving goals is NOT because the idea failed. It is because the individual quit. Quitting is the most destructive force in the world to dreams and goals. Not money, not circumstance, not race, not economy, timing, or natural disasters. Quitting stops more achievement than all the other negative forces in life combined.
The good news is there are a host of things you can do to keep the dream-killer of quitting from destroying your plans. We have discussed some of them in our previous issues, as part of the "hot-to". But they are also applicable in the "help-against-quitting" category. Things like a well thought out plan, planning finances for the goal, organizing your schedule, and staying focused on others will all help keep you motivated. These things make it more likely that you will stay the course and keep moving toward your goal. But there is one little known key to keeping your head on straight. It involves not inviting in the burden of peer pressure.
We are taught about peer pressure in grade school. The concept of caring so much about fitting in, that we wrap up our entire self-image and our actions around it, is a very real and serious issue. Many teens make bad decisions due to this phenomenon. They change their clothes, their hair, their speech, their behavior, all to be accepted. This can lead to bad grades, depression, even jail and suicide. We all know this and try to teach kids the best we can. But one thing we don't talk much about is how this peer pressure affects adults. Pressure from family, friends, and co-workers is even more serious than the teens in high school. As adults we are responsible for bills, debts, children, and society. Bad decisions as adults harm even more people than when we are kids. And the pressure is larger than ever.
"One thing we don't talk much about is how this peer pressure affects adults."
Think about how devastating it can be for a spouse or significant other to say they you embarrass them, or that they think you are stupid. Think how you would feel if your family said your life was headed in the wrong direction. Think about your boss and co-workers looking at you funny because of something you do that they all find silly, strange, or negative. Think about the members of your club, group, or social circle not wanting to hang out with you anymore. These things all sound very harsh, but these things happen to almost every person with an outside the box size dream or goal. ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE. I have personally never met an entrepreneur, or a dreamer that did not face at least some social opposition.
IT'S LONLEY AT THE TOP
You may have heard the phrase, "It's lonely at the top." This referres to the people that after years of work, belief, and struggle made it to their goal, but along the way lost most or all of their relationships. Most people attribute this as the fault of the dreamer. They assume the level of hard work to have been so all consuming they did not care about relationships anymore, and therefore chose selfishly to value success, money, or thier personal goal, over the people in thier lives. I have found this to be a HUGE falsehood. Most of the dreamers I know care immensely about people. They are some of the most generous and thoughtful people I've ever met. If anything their success makes them feel even more responsible to bless those around them. So where does the phrase really come from?
It comes from ridicule. It comes from teasing. It comes from ignorance. Let me explain.
When people see an individual rise above the norm and pursue a dream, it forces them to look at themselves, and they see that they're unwilling to make the time, effort, and financial sacrifices to do what the dreamer is doing. This causes them to feel inadequate or "less-than". But instead of dealing with themselves, the society go-to is to take it out on others. To tease them for doing something different. To tear down their idea, their dream, their goals, as if to say, "Your just dreaming of doing something different, bigger, or better than what the rest of us to make us look bad, and we hope you fail miserably." Unfortunately our society's instinct is to be negative toward anyone trying to do more, so that the light is not shown on them for not using all the ability they have. If one person dreams to rise above the rest, or pursue a different or larger goal, they are seen as "bucking the system" and people consider it an insult. As if the dreamer is saying, "You are all stupid for not wanting more so I am better than you because I am pursuing it." Therefore society ridicules the dreamer.
" Unfortunately our society's instinct is to be negative toward anyone trying to do more, so that the light is not shown on them for not using all the ability they have"
PURSUE GOALS QUIETLY
This brings me to the point of this issue and a LifeLesson I had to learn the hard way. This is the key to working toward your goal, staying focused and balanced, and maintaining your friendships along the way. Keep your plans, your dream, your future goal to yourself, until such a time as it becomes a reality. Why?
Consider this. If you met Tiger Woods today would you tell him he's an idiot for not being involved in high school and college clubs and going to movies, and just having fun to play golf all the time, or would you may be get some tips on success from him? If you met Morgan Freeman would you tell him dreaming of being an actor is a pipe dream and he should get a real job, or would you maybe congratulate him on earning over a Billion dollars in his career and get a few life tips? If you were to meet Tom Brady, would you tell him to plan on a backup career, or would you ask him what it takes to still be the best quarterback in the NFL even though he is twice the age of the others? Well those answers are obvious. You would not tell any of these people things like that today. They are already successful and have proven thier decisions worked. But guess what? Every one of them had people say those very things on the way up. What if they would have listened?.... Where do you suppose those people are today? Not in the lives of these success stories.
So let's look at your dreams and goals. Maybe you want to start the next Amazon or Google. Maybe you want to play professional sports, or music. Perhaps you just want to work remote and travel the world, or simply achieve your goal of a trip to Europe or become a better parent. Whatever your goal, you have two choices. You can develop and implement your plan quietly, or you can shout it to the world. There are pros and cons to both. If you shout it to the world, you may get some accountability, and possibly even some support. But more likely is that you will get ridicule and negative from people who feel less-than because you are out there chasing something they are not willing to work for.
The other option is for you to live your life, but all the while, build your dream in the
background. Work your plan, day after day, week after week, month after month, even year after year until BAM! You paid off your house, or opened your company, or got that scholarship etc... Do you realize that the amount of people congratulating you at that point will be huge. They'll ask "how id you do that? I didn't even know you were pursuing that. Great job!" They will not be telling you you're going to fail, when you just succeeded, they will be looking straight at the results and congratulating you.
This small thing is HUGE. Not having negative pour into your brain is vital and a game changer to your self confidence and motivation while pursuing a goal. It is 100 times more difficult to do work that is already above and beyond the norm, if you have constant negative going into your brain. And the crazy part is YOU are in control of this. You can choose to not toot your own horn to early, not to count your chickens before they are hatched, not to tell "non-dreamers" about your dreams. It's your choice. It's great to get excited about a new idea, or a dream. But consider who to share this with carefully. Make it a small group of supportive and "valuable-to-the-goal" individuals. For a business idea perhaps a lawyer, an accountant, and a seasoned business person or two. These people will help keep you on the path, but also stay positive and supportive given their experience in the same area. It's kind of like what I tell my 12 year old son. Not EVERYONE wants to hear about Star Wars, lol. Talk about it with other Star Wars lovers, and leave it out of conversation with others. He has applied this and his non SW friends are much happier. Apply that same thinking to your peers and you will find it much easier to focus on and make it through to achieving your goals.
There is certainly a time to share you dreams. There is a time to "go-public" and share the excitement you have about your goal. But you will find that there is a season for everything. A season to work and a season to reap. If you do the work quietly and consistently, you will have a lot more fun sharing the reaping of achievement with those around you.
Join us in the next issue of 12 Things NOT To Do... to discuss simplifying your life, so that you can accomplish things that really matter.