Keep your big goals Secret, Think like a Gardener, Work like a Carpenter
Keeping your Goal Secret to yourself:
While it’s natural and oh so tempting to want to announce big goals, it’s smarter to keep them to yourself. In a 2009 experiment at New York University, 163 subjects were given a difficult work project and forty-five minutes to spend on it. Half the subjects were told to announce their goals, while half were told to keep quiet. The subjects who announced their goals quit after only an average of thirty-three minutes, and reported feeling satisfied with their work. Those who kept their mouths shut, however, worked the entire forty-five minutes, and remained strongly motivated. (in fact, when the experiment ended, they wanted to keep working.)
Telling others about your big goals makes them less likely to happen, because it creates an unconscious payoff – tricking your brains into thinking we’ve already accomplished the goal. Keeping your big goals to ourselves is one of the smartest goals we can set.
Think like a Gardener, Work like a Carpenter:
We all want to improve our skills quickly --- today, if not sooner. But the truth is, talent grows slowly. You would not criticize a seedling because it was not yet a tall oak tree; nor should you get upset because your skill circuitry is in the growth stage. Instead, build it with daily deep practice.
To do this, it helps to ‘think like a gardener and work like a carpenter.’ I heard this saying at Spartak Moscow on my visit last year to Russia. ‘Think patiently, without judgment. Work steadily, strategically, knowing that each piece connects to a larger whole.