To Speak or not to Speak?

“TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU INTEND TO DO, BUT FIRST SHOW IT.”–Napoleon HIll

The seventh principle of TAGR is “Decision” and a common opinion is that you lose steam if you tell people what you are going to do before you do it.   I’m not sure about this, but wanted to explore the thought a bit.   Here are some of the objections:

1) by announcing yourself, you use up some of the emotional energy that would otherwise be invested in actual behaviors.

2) You make yourself vulnerable to jealous people who will try to dissuade or sabotage you.

3) You may inspire others to beat you to the goal.

4) You may be embarrassed into continuing a path that is counter-productive, even if a better path appears.

On the other hand, a public declaration…

1) Can put pressure on you, preventing you from quitting when things get tough.

2) Can attract allies and mastermind partners who can support and cheer you on.

3) Can help you clarify your goals, actions, and intentions.

4)  Can inspire you with your own courage.

I don’t know, I really don’t.   There seem powerful possibilities either way. What has your experience been?

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3 comments

  1. My experience has been that it’s better not to talk about what your doing except in a very general way. For example, to say “I wrote 3000 word today on my cyberpunk novel…” But not “Here’s what my character did and this is the new, cool hacking system I roughed…”

    The reason is that the latter aims to get the praise cookie appropriate to a finished work – without finishing. I’ve found telling people the idea – especially if it’s praised – can rob me of the emotional energy needed to execute the idea.

    Sharing general progress (I wrote 2000 good words today) motivate me, but not for the reason I expected. After sharing progress in words multiple days in a row, the lack of progress to share really sticks out like an emotional sore thumb. I feel my failure of discipline strongly and there is intrinsic pressure to keep making those progress posts.

    It’s not embarrassment that prompts me to continue – that would be a fear based motivation, which I try to avoid – it’s eagerness to maintain progress. Posting progress online, for example, creates a level of mindfulness for me that helps.

    For me, any motivation that might come from commitment to others is as readily achieved by deadlines.

    On the other hand, I’ve found the best way to attract allies and masterminds is to tell allies and masterminds directly what your goals are. That’s different from sharing the _details_ of what you’re doing. “I’m writing post-apocalyptic fantasy based on Incan magic, and I really need to get a better sense for the Incans…” is totally different from “Let me tell you all about my new Incan apocalypse novel…”

    I find needing to ask people for help in a way that doesn’t waste their time gives me the focus and clarity I need.

    Lastly, more than talking about it, doing a thing – just getting started – is the inspiration I need. “I’m doing this! I’m really doing this!” As opposed to “I’m going to do this.”

    That was a round about response. For me the answer is it depends. It depends on what I’m telling and to whom for what reason.

    I think _that_ I’m doing something is important to share, once I’m actually doing it and not just talking about doing it. To share an ongoing practice, a reality, is good. To share an intention — too soon.

    And when you do share the level of detail is important. Generally, no detail. Unless it’s for a specific purpose that supports the project. “Yes I’d love to touch those Incan treasures in the Peruvian museum, Ms. Curator! That will really help me with this novel…”

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    1. Thinking about it, looks like my round-about pondering brought me back to your opening quotation. If you first have something to show, you’re not really telling the world about an “intention” are you?

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      1. Ps forgive the spelling errors. Lots to type and a small window on my phone. I cringed to see a your you’re error!

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