Keep your focus only on you

Take a few moments to think about your most important goal/aim in life.

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Imagine coming to the realization right now that you will be able to make it happen. Imagine telling someone you'll be meeting today about the item you have planned to accomplish. Imagine receiving their congratulations and seeing yourself in a positive light when they do so. Saying what's on your mind without hesitating makes you feel a lot better, doesn't it? Do you not have the impression that you are becoming closer to it right now, as if it is starting to become more significant to who you are as a person?


The bad news is that you should have kept your lips shut since the good feeling you are experiencing right now will make you less likely to carry out the action you need to take in order to achieve your goal. Tests in cognitive neuroscience that have been done repeatedly have shown that disclosing the nature of one's goal to another person makes it more difficult to achieve that goal.


Whenever you have a goal, there is a path that needs be followed and some effort that should be done in order to achieve that goal. In the same way that you wouldn't feel satisfied until you'd really finished the task, social reality is defined as the phenomenon that occurs when you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it as such. The mind is already tricked into the feeling that it is already done, and subsequently, because you've had that satisfaction, you're less motivated to complete the truly arduous work that is necessary. The mind is already deceived into the feeling that it is already done.


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This is counter to the conventional way of thinking, which holds that we need to communicate our aims to others with whom we share our lives, right?


Now that we have that out of the way, let's have a look at the evidence that supports the theory presented above.

  • The pioneer in the field of social brain research, Kurt Lewin (1926), refers to this phenomenon as "replacement."

  • Wera Mahler(1933): It didn't feel like it was in the brain until it was found and acknowledged by other people.

  • Peter Gollwitzer (1982) wrote a whole book on the subject, and in 2009, he conducted a few fresh experiments, the results of which were published.


163 participants participated in four distinct examinations, and each person noted their own aim. The other half of them, however, did not acknowledge their responsibility toward achieving this aim in front of the group at that time. Then, at that moment, each person was given forty-five minutes to work on anything that would get them closer to their aim; however, they were told that they might stop working whenever they wanted.


At this time, the individuals who kept their lips quiet worked for the whole of the allotted 45 minutes, and when questioned afterward, they said that they believe they still have a significant distance to go before reaching their goal. However, the majority of those who have reported stopping it after 33 minutes have claimed that they felt like they were much closer to achieving their goal when they were later questioned about how they felt about the situation.


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In the end, assuming that this is true, is there anything that can really be done about it? You have one option, which is to fight against your need to disclose your aim. This is all you can do. You may also postpone the pleasure that comes from receiving social validation, and you can come to the realization that your mind conflates talking about something with really doing it.


Nevertheless, supposing that you truly really want to talk about anything, you might phrase it in a way that prevents you from experiencing any satisfaction, for instance. I really want to have an athletic physique, so I'm going to make it a point to go to the gym six days a week and have a consistent eating pattern. If I don't do any of those things, I'm going to be quite hard on myself. Alright?


What should you say the next time you feel compelled to enlighten someone else on the purpose or significance of what you are doing?


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