When it comes to big goals, like quitting smoking or writing a book, author Euny Hong recommends you zip your lips. “The declaration of intention paradoxically reveals the lack of intention,” she writes. If you’re working on a project, Euny suggests a vow of silence until you’ve seen it through.
Read snippets of her piece at Quartz:
Why does talking about a big goal, such as writing a book or quitting smoking, sabotage your ability to complete it? Because every time you talk about an unfinished project with someone, you are tricking your brain into thinking you’ve done some of the work. Talking about writing a book gives you the same mental fatigue and satisfaction that you’d get from actually writing for an hour. It’s demotivating.
One of the biggest mistakes people make in life is assuming that intangibles are in greater supply than money. All resources are finite — all of them — including the three traits that separate people who finish books from people who don’t: ambition, stamina, and your ability not to tire of hearing your own ideas. (Note that I did not include “writing ability” as an essential trait. Talent is a nice thing to have, but is literally not even tertiary in importance.) All three of these resources get depleted every single time you talk about your book.
Do you agree or disagree? And in this world of blogging, social media updates, and constant sharing and documentation, is staying silent still possible? Share your take in the comments.