Total read time: 10 minutes
Some people tell me that they hate surprises. When I lived like an open book, I found the opposite to be true. Many people don’t enjoy hearing the truth. I made it a personal policy to tell it anyway. I’m learning to choose better words so I can walk them through something without stepping on their feet.
I later observed that people don’t like to be surprised with catastrophes but enjoy being pleasantly surprised.
I recently read about keeping goals a secret by Derek Sivers; which is inspired this post here.
Letting other people know your goals lets you be accountable to them and so on but doing so, often times, drains you of your willpower to work on your goal because being acknowledged by how noble your goals are gives you a significant amount of satisfaction (often as if you have achieved your goal). For the longest time, I hated my mom and dad for never acknowledging my improvements or my plans and so on. I also hated my two best friends for not letting me talk to them about my goals anymore. One of them stopped talking to me and the other one avoided me or changed topic when he knew I was about to talk about my goals. Somehow, talking about my goals often (even to people close to me) makes me sound like a complete jackass. When I understood about keeping goals a secret, I realized they were doing me a big favor. Maybe they knew about this from before.
When I was younger, I didn’t discuss goals that much and I accomplished far more because I just went to work and did them. When I wanted to learn martial arts, I didn’t say I wanted to kick ass like a ninja I just did. When I worked in sales I just needed to learn how customers benefited from what I was selling and I could set up and close deals.
I worked mostly in sales and for some reason I find it alienating when my boss does a goal setting session or a how many clients can you commit buying from you this month? I feel alienated in goal setting sessions because we spend time discussing things that hasn’t happened yet or in other words, daydreaming out loud rather than using the time for work that matters.
To get the salespeople excited, we talk about our goals and how many products we need to sell to achieve them and how many calls or meetings we need to set to get to a sale and so on. Along these lines, we’ve been told about the secret law of attraction which is actually bullshit in my opinion by the way. The next advice is to build dream boards and tell everyone about your goal as you put in the work.
Its not the how. Focus on the why. I shared my goals a lot of times. I talked about it every single day as I put in the work. Often I get acknowledged by people I respect and looked up to. I feel good and I run out fighting spirit or willpower to carry out the task.
Here’s me being ineffective at sales:
Me: Boss I will sell x amount this month. Me Boss I will meet x amount of clients. Me Boss I will do so and so. Boss: great.
Reality: I get almost none of that done. If by any chance we work together and I promise you so and so number of sales. That’s so not happening. Please call me on my bullshit. If I do happen to tell you the accounts I’m working on with next steps then that’s me actually working.
My more effective bosses taught me this strategy: Ask yourself “why are you working?” you don’t have to answer. What is the most important thing that needed to be done today? What is the next most important thing that needed to be done? Would you need help with this? Get back to work.
I think to a certain extent knowing and defining what you want gives you a direction and identifiers of where you want to go. Nothing more. Do it once and forget about it as you get back to work as situations change.
Here’s how I really accomplish things: I set a target and write it down if it’s small I just set a reminder and get it done. If it is a big goal or one that requires multiple steps, I define the rules I forget the specifics of the target I work. I look for points of improvement I keep working
I told myself I’ll start saving. I told everyone I’ll sell enough to get x amount of money.
Come to think about it all the villains in all the TV shows and movies I liked kept their goals secret and accomplished them. The hero always has to talk about his/her goal it’s as if it was a conspiracy to minimize competition.
I achieved my goals when I kept them secret.
Here’s a better secret. Keep your goals secret and act.
Fuck the law of attraction. You can’t turn God into an inanimate object and call Him “the Universe” and turn him into a waiter at your beck and call. Your logic is as retarded as someone who believes in fortune telling and horoscope. The stars have nothing to do with your fate. You just want someone to tell you what to do. If that’s the case then. Use your brain and get to work! You schmuck.
You don’t tell a pretty girl you just met lets make babies. Although that might eventually be your goal no girl in the right mind will date you for that matter.
Keep it secret.
How does this apply to team play or team work? Other people don’t care about your goals because they are busy with theirs. People don’t care if you achieve your goal or not especially if your goal doesn’t benefit them. If your goal does benefit them then their more important question is why haven’t you finished it yet? Today, I only tell other people about my goal if I know that they are capable of helping me and I’m about to ask for help. I would rather spend my time working on it than discussing it.
If you absolutely have to tell them just share the direction and explain that you are swamped with things to do and tell them that you’d rather work than spend a lot of time discussing it. Let them know that the execution might change so on and so forth but in principle that’s what you want to achieve. Or even better, tell them I want to (phrase it in a way that it would also benefit them) and I need your help by doing X and X.
Shut up and get to work.
Shut up and just do it.
But Kevin, I need a way to track my progress. I use an app called iDoneThis and I use it to track what accomplishments I have done everyday. I like seeing what I did on a regular basis. It gives me an excuse to do something awesome. They have a web app and an iPhone app.
Don’t leave a comment to tell me how you’ll work or even better what did you accomplish by keeping your mouth shut?
Thank you for reading.
If you have a question or would like to say anything tweet or send me an email.