To share our goals or not (and with whom)
That’s a tricky dilemma. But we’ll tackle it from either side to find out the upsides as well as the potential downsides. It’s good to know details like how to do it, to what degree and who would be the right person to talk to. We hope it will help you make a well-informed decision about what would work best for you.
“What is your dream?”
It was a question a friend of ours asked a lady at a motivational event he was holding. She was taken by surprise at first. But then she replied that she had one indeed – a drop-shipping business of her own.
Without saying a word he walked her across the hall and introduced her to one of the most successful experts in the field. “There you go!”, he turned to her. “Ask him anything and he will help you.”
Was it a coincidence? We don’t think so…
Can you imagine how many times you didn’t tell anyone about an issue or a new project! You simply went on trying to figure it out all by yourself while the solution might have been right there under your nose.
Unfortunately, we get to see that happen all the time.
The “Who” strategy
We have already told you the story of how employing this approach spared Niki lots of time and effort when he explored the opportunity of mining cryptocurrencies. It was as simple as meeting the right person who turned out to be extremely helpful. He explained the minutia that mattered most and then he outlined some of the more common difficulties.
Thus, a 3-month project for researching the subject was finalized in just a couple of hours.
With a little bit of help from a friend
There are many examples right out of our daily life that we can point at. It might be a post in a social media looking for a babysitter or a contractor for home renovation. Each time we get helpful advice or even a ready-made solution.
We might end up with at least a dozen recommendations for a babysitter. And the contractor will recommend a retailer with a big discount on the materials.
Sharing is always for good
It is our own experience that the more we share, the easier things are going for us. We can’t recollect a single case when asking for advice made things worse.
Sharing can make achieving your objectives easier at any stages of the process – from steps to visions.
Isn’t it strange that most of us tend more often than not to forgo sharing?
Understanding the nature of it
In fact, there is little agreement on how or to what extent to share our objectives. Some leading experts in personal development feel strongly that we should not. And others recommend just the opposite – we should let our dreams out in the open for the world to see.
We classify the spectrum of opinions into 4 “levels”. Doing so we hope you can find the one that fits you best.
“I’d rather keep it a secret. I don’t want others to know so they don’t steal my idea or stop me from realizing it. Plus, sharing doesn’t help me much since it is such a waste of time to just talk.”
There are a couple of interesting aspects in this line of thinking.
Don’t worry about your idea being appropriated!
This is a quite common concern. Mostly with those who are young and enthusiastic. They think they have this brilliant new way how to change the world in a spectacular way. But they are afraid that someone with the means and the resources would take over and thus claim all the credit as well as the spoils.
We know some extreme cases when a startup would aggressively pitch an idea for financing and yet they wouldn’t reveal to the investor any details of the innovation behind it.
There are more than enough ideas floating around
The new things and inventions are the norm in today’s fast-changing world.
Does nothing come to mind? Surf the internet for just a few minutes and there will be a long list of new and exciting to your imagination concepts.
You can even develop the skill to generate novelties. James Altucher , is a proof of that. Every morning he comes up with 10 new ideas. And it doesn’t matter if these are stupid or crazy. After a few months, you could be an expert too.
Plus, nobody makes it their top priority to steal your ideas
There is little justification for being so paranoid. Just think about it! Would you do it yourself? Usually, people are way too busy with their own plans and projects. In other words, they go on with their own lives as best as they can.
Let’s draw a bottom line:
The problem isn’t the idea, but the implementation of it
The really hard part is not so much to come up something new but to bring it to a successful end. So maybe it’s better if you look around for those who can help you?
Let’s address now the other issue at this level that makes people less than talkative about their aspirations.
One shouldn’t care if their ideas get run down or belittled!
Perhaps you went through something like this. You just got on a new diet but then a dinner invitation from your in-laws comes in. Of course, there are several courses and they keep offering you this and that, including cheesecake and ice-cream. Of course, none of that makes it easier for you!
The fear of being made light or even fun of will stop you from revealing the reason you are less than enthusiastic about the available “culinary abundance”. Situations like these are especially hard to deal with.
“Why” is the question
The right approach is to stick to your vision. No disparaging comment will affect you much if you already have a very good answer to the “Why” question. Being able to withstand moments like these are a real test to our inner strength. If you are open but firm then everything will be just fine.
There is yet another unexpected upside:
A true goal is always worth it
If you feel that people’s attitude can take you off course then this is yet another reason to assert your idea publicly.
Otherwise, you are simply not as fully committed to your goal as you think.
Our advice is to talk about it. You will get feedback and perhaps be able to foresee any weak links in your plan along the way.
This is the best time to answer the “Why” question.
Being on the fence
There is one very good way to fight off any doubt. You have to find out if your objective is worth the effort. And if a discussion only reinforces your confidence, then the goal is for real.
Don’t be intimidated or discouraged but instead welcome the challenge to defend your decision. Then, regardless of the outcome, it will be a positive experience for you.
Let’s now move on to the next level.
Level # 2
“I rarely share, and when I do that, it’s usually not planned and while I am having a nice conversation with a friend. Sometimes I do it because I hope it might be helpful to get advice and learn more on the topic.”
Sharing during a casual conversation
We know many who tend to practice this. They feel comfortable only when they are in a nice and pleasant company of close friends. They don’t realize how good for them this sharing could be. In fact, this attitude is a good beginning to finding a Goal Buddy.
The problem here is that it is driven by chance.
Keywords: “rarely” and “not planned”
It is simply not sustainable to rely on chance moments like that. Not until it has been formalized in a regular process there will be no lasting results.
Ideally, you should be able to gradually turn these moments into something better, i.e. a routine.
Level # 3
“I don’t share publicly. Instead, I may trust in this only someone close. I am skeptical of doing it with just anyone.”
You might already have a Goal Buddy and enjoy the positives of this. The task at hand is to broaden the types of goals that you are capable of publicly discussing.
Making it public
American motivational writer Rachel Hollis is a very good illustration. She announced an objective of hers on social media where she has millions of followers. It was a high bar in fact – getting on the New York Times bestsellers list. But it didn’t happen. She was, of course, crushed and felt ashamed because the failure was so public.
Ultimately, she managed to learn her lesson. If you want to motivate and encourage people in their aspirations, you should be able to follow your own advice.
That’s exactly what the writer did. She eventually made it to the coveted list. But there was yet another prize for her – the many fans of hers happily cheering for her.
The “inconvenient” goals
These are the ones that you need most to discuss with friends.
The fact is that some things are difficult to be addressed. It’s definitely not an easy feat to reveal to even a close friend what your health and fitness objectives are. Or what your salary and plans for financial security might be.
But that’s exactly the point here – when you get it out of yourself it becomes a part of your life. You would know now where you are and where you want to go. And that’s not a small first step.
Sharing your goal is the very first step toward achieving it.
If you can’t even say it, what else you might do? Voicing your most intimate aspirations gives them the legitimacy of being real. It also reaffirms your commitment to engage with them. You have to prove to yourself that you are dead serious about start working on them.
Once you overcome a problem like that, you will find yourself at the doorsteps of the last level.
Level # 4
“I think it’s good to have someone close to confide and talk with, including the very uncomfortable topics. I do share my thoughts and it greatly helps me in more than one way.”
And now about how we view the meaning of sharing.
We both have been perfecting the process of sharing for years now. And it always has been a reliable source of courage and support.
It’s equally important for us to reveal our biggest aspirations with you – our listeners and readers.
But to what degree one should share!
Of course, being 100% open is nothing like a rule to be followed in full and under any circumstances. Rather, the strategy is to have a discussion in our podcasts and articles like this one. It only helps us to get a better understanding of our objectives and get some feedback from you.
You do that too and your comfort zone will start gradually grow. Today we can explore things we have never thought we would be capable of before. The result is that we assembled a team of professionals who not only support us but also believe in our cause.
Anything of value is meant to be shared
We often refer to our mission to help as many people as possible live a happy life and reach all of their objectives. We are convinced that we made the right choice.
First, we put our trust in the vision. True goals are the greatest way to contribute to the well-being of those around us.
And second, we like sharing, i.e. giving. It becomes a good and worthy endeavor when it is an example, strength, and means to reach our dreams.
 James Altucher is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, bestselling author, venture capitalist, and podcaster.