Home > Ideas > Shout it out … Softly?

Shout it out … Softly?

A friend wrote on his Facebook Wall last evening:  

– Stating my goal to anyone is the best way of ensuring it won’t happen!

A few of his other friends ‘Like’d it and wrote comments such as “”we so agree with it!” – you get the drift.

It set me thinking – is that true? And why would it be so? How can sharing one’s goals or dreams reduce the chance of success – it seemed as if the voicing of such a dear wish unleashed negative forces that would guarantee its demise.

Extending the same argument I wondered “Can we then have negative forces that will guarantee success?” …. I only need to say that “My dream is ‘Not to be the Most Influential Blogger in the world'” … and Voilà!

If only life were as easy as that.

I thought the opposite was true – declaring our goal boldly to the world meant the following:

– We are setting a challenge for ourselves.

– We are committed to work on it.

– Proves our level of confidence.

– Increases chances of receiving support from others.

Then I Googled for some help on the subject and found suppporters for both sides of the argument – some said it’s best to be tight-lipped about our goals because sharing them reduces commitment while others claimed that making it public increases our resolve!

There are a lot of the Motivational and Self-help Gurus who propounded the “Declare it” Theory and a bunch of psychologists who insisted “Say it and you kill it!”

And I thought one of the best ways of achieving ones dreams was to boldly state what it is, maybe even create a smart poster or wallpaper of that statement and remind oneself about it all the time. But I guess reminding self about the goal is different from telling the world about it.

The contrarians believe that by saying it the following happens:

– You become less committed to achieving the goal.

– The mind fantasises that just by stating you have taken a huge step.

– You talk more about it and do less than required.

I still have not made up my mind because there are some great examples of the opposite being true:

– “I have a dream”, that speech and the accompanying agitation/movement launched by Martin Luther King was symbolic of the African American community’s commitment to fight for equality. They have come a long way, haven’t they? Barrack Obama can answer that one for you.

– Most listed companies state their revenue and expansion goals routinely – they are expected to do so!

– Sportsmen often declare their dream of winning an Olympic Medal or the top honour in their sport and do it too.

I still am swayed towards stating my goals than hiding it. What do you think?

  1. May 27, 2012 at 7:54 am

    i believe in stating my goals rather than hiding it….i guess a lot of people hide it because of the negativity around them,be it friends,be it family or just about anyone else.I have experienced it myself many times;the moment you blurt out your plans some of them say…thats a nice idea but to do something at this age would be risky….the majority try n push negativity into your mind and the things which you thought of doing would go into the dustbin by the next day….like you said a lot of people have talked about it n achieved it…but negativty is what we see all the time…there are others who are scared we would overtake them and discourage us to keep their place safe….it all depends on how much we are determined to achieve what we want turning a deaf ear to all the negativity….

    • JayadevM
      May 27, 2012 at 8:32 am


      That is a well articulated point-of-view .. and close to my line of thinking!

  2. jeevan johny
    May 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Sharing of Goals should never have a negative effect on achievement….
    In fact it would only support one to achieve it…
    And it shows how self confident one is…

    • JayadevM
      May 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      Thank you for reading and for leaving your comment. My thoughts are in line with yours, Jeevan.

  3. Thomas Philip
    May 28, 2012 at 3:49 am

    It also depends on the kind of people you surround yourself with. My few good friends have always been supportive and offer constructive criticism. But overall, people in general tend to be negative. The question is, should you listen to them or your own inner voice? Succesful people are those that are willing to go against the tide.

    • JayadevM
      May 28, 2012 at 5:17 am


      That is right – finding someone who would just listen with a kindly ear would be good enough. Some people mess it up for you by ripping the idea to shreds. And what you said about Successful People .. Spot on! They create their own road.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

    • JayadevM
      May 28, 2012 at 7:07 am

      Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for adding your views.

  4. Jamy
    May 28, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Only a person who is superstitious would think that sharing a clear, precise and realistic goal or objective is negative in manner and shall not materialise.

    • JayadevM
      May 28, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Hi Jamy,

      Interesting thought!

  5. vitrag
    May 28, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I agree the following
    We are setting a challenge for ourselves.

    – We are committed to work on it.

    – Proves our level of confidence.

    – Increases chances of receiving support from others.

    • JayadevM
      May 28, 2012 at 7:06 am

      Hi Vitrag,

      Thank you reading and supporting the thoughts expressed.

  6. Cherish
    May 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Sir,
    A great topic to discuss- Just wanted to share with you a certain passage from ” The manual of the warrior of light ” by Paulo coelho. the book as many know comprises of his view point in short philisophical passages. One of the passage touches on the topic you have discussed . The passage goes :
    “The warrior of light hears comments like: ‘There are certain things I’d rather
    not talk about because people are so envious.’
    When he hears this, the warrior laughs. Envy cannot harm you, if you don’t let
    it. Envy is part of life and everyone should learn to deal with it.
    However, he rarely discusses his plans. And sometimes people believe this is
    because he is afraid of envy.
    But he knows that whenever he talks about a dream, he uses a little bit of the
    energy from that dream in order to do so. And by talking, he runs the risk of spending
    all the energy he needs to put the dream into action.
    A warrior of light knows the power of words”.

    • JayadevM
      May 29, 2012 at 8:57 am


      Thank you for sharing that message from Coelho! So it appears that Coelho is in favour of keeping goals a secret while we work on it.

      But in Alchemist his hero shares his dream with others, doesn’t he? Must recheck.

      Do stop by again to share your thoughts.

  1. June 19, 2012 at 9:40 am

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