Keep Your Mouth Shut

The theme of our last meeting was ‘Finish What You Start’, a concept that is often easier said than done. In her toast, Monique questioned the reasons why we often don’t finish the goals we set out to achieve. She asked us to remember our New Year’s Resolutions and consider how close we were to achieving them. This was a reminder to most of us that we are a long way from the finish line!

Why is this? Monique touched on the idea of procrastination and how easy it is to delay unpleasant tasks until a later time. Often this ‘later time’ is pushed so far into the future that we begin to forget the goals we set out to achieve in the first place. Of course, procrastination is only one part of the problem. According to Derek Sivers, a professional musician and entrepreneur, the greater issue is that goals are literally ‘easier said than done.’

In a talk delivered at TEDGlobal 2010, he argued that by telling your goal to someone else, you are less likely to realise that goal. This is because your brain mistakes the talking for the doing – in other words, the instant gratification you receive from the social acknowledgment of your goal can trick your brain into feeling that it has already been accomplished. Through a variety of studies, psychologists have found that the satisfaction you experience in telling someone your goal removes the motivation to actually accomplish it.

This idea helps to explain why many of us find it difficult to finish what we start. If goals were easy to accomplish, wouldn’t we all be marathon-running multi-millionaires? The solution, it seems, is to keep our mouths shut. Although this notion could be difficult for many talk-loving Toastmasters, it may be the key to improving motivation and finally being able to finish the goals we set out to achieve.

About the author:

Clare is a Visual Arts teacher and one of the newest members of Parramatta Toastmasters.


About melaniesuzannewilson

Melanie Suzanne Wilson is a communications consultant and content creator. She manages blogs and web sites about fashion news, public relations, journalism, marketing, social media and graphic design. Melanie's Web Sites: Complete biographical web site. Shake Up Your Style: Creative fashion style and maintenance advice. What Mel Knows: Communications industry techniques and insight. What Mel Wants - personal blog about family and life.
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