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Telling others about your goals forces you to accomplish your goals.

Telling your support system like your family and friends about your personal goals will inspire someone to complete their goal. Having the support system set up is a motivating tool to succeed. For instance, a person wants to quit smoking so said person tells family and friends that quitting is a goal with a set date. The support system that was informed of the goal will most likely remind that person that quitting is a goal whenever they see that person smoking. Without telling anyone about the goal it would be very easy to just forget it and not feel any guilt for failing. With the support system in place that person will feel a greater satisfaction for completing it by a receiving appraise from them.

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    Feb 12 2013: That technique has never worked for me. In fact, many have a subtle way of undermining me - without being obvious and while appearing to be caring. When I keep my goals to myself, and answer to myself, I can achieve anything.
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    Feb 11 2013: An alternative view:

    I recently read that the act of accomplishing a goal causes positive, uplifting chemical reactions in the brain. Sort of like a runner's high, if you will. Ironically, telling others about goals before actually accomplishing them can cause the brain to experience similar, if smaller, amounts of this positive feedback. The result: it's possible you're less likely to do things you talk about simply because you've already gotten the positive feedback your brain was craving.

    I stopped talking about goals and ambitions, and it hasn't diminished my desire to accomplish them. In fact, if anything, I've accomplished more now that I keep them to myself.
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      Feb 11 2013: This was also the Derek Sivers argument that James links.

      I too prefer not to announce my goals. I think people often spend more time announcing and discussing plans than executing.

      One can avoid forgeting about plans by posting them visibly in a space one cannot miss them.
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    Feb 14 2013: Getting support from peers is a great strategy that can help in achieving goals. However, sometimes, there are certain goals that you don't want to talk about until they are realized. It's all personal preferences. For general goals that NEED support from others, it is definitely a good idea to share. That's probably the idea behind AA - one of the most successful anti-addiction associations!
  • Ross G

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    Feb 14 2013: I've personally had contrary results; to such an extent that I don't say a word to anyone until my goals have been fully realized.
  • Feb 14 2013: Yes James you are right I have read it some where that if you share your goal or ambition with 500 people you can get it, sharing in the sense not announcing that in a public forum you should share it with a passion and zeal . And the above example it not only works in the way you mentioned but it works the other wat around like if you share your goal of stopping smoking you will feel bad to smoke again because you already said them that you gonna stop smoking and if you still repeat it then it doesn't make any sense right...!!
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    Feb 12 2013: let's see how it works

    goal 1: finish my economics class programme for children of age 8-10-12? i need assistance.

    goal 2: finish my procedurally generated universe project. more precisely start it. i need to find assistance for that too.

    goal 3: research my "alien fruit" project, and launch it or not based on the information i find

    goal 4: find people to cooperate with in promoting anarcho-capitalism and proper economics in hungary

    if none of these advances significantly in the upcoming months, i will blame you, James! :)
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      Feb 12 2013: What is your "alien fruit project?"

      Is the procedurally generated universe project related to the sort of thing that Wolfram talked about in his TED talk? If not, what is it?
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        Feb 14 2013: alien fruit project is secret

        proc gen univ is an explorable universe with galaxies and stars, comparable in size, appearance and complexity to our own observable universe.
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    Feb 11 2013: My personal experience is that when you tell those closest to you about a goal, that they aren't always as supportive as you would like. I have learned to use this reaction as my secret weapon. Every time I hear, 'you can't' I use it as fuel! I failed a semester in university due to illness and everyone around me was so worried about my health and if I would drop out or not. So what did I do? I decided to start up a company that gives medical knowledge to all for free and to pass my next semester with the top grade in my year. No one thought I could do it and I didn't have much support. But it was the lack of belief and expectation that drove me to succeed! I hope that this story inspires others to reach their goals because that's why I joined TED. You can find my work at
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    Feb 11 2013: For those who have not heard the Sivers talk, he makes the unconventional assertion that telling others our goals makes us less likely to accomplish them. This position goes against the common wisdom that announcing our goals helps us achieve them.
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    Feb 11 2013: Agreed with one exception. Replace the word "accomplish" with "pursue".