I read an article not long ago which said that one of the secrets of successful people was that they never talked about their dreams until after they were realised. Apparently, talking about it makes you feel as if you’ve already done it, so you don’t actually do the real thing.
Now, I’m just not convinced by this theory at all. One of the ways I realised most of my dreams was by sharing them with other people, many of whom signed up for helping me realise them, or pointed me to things that helped. There is no way I could have done any of it if I’d kept my plans secret.
Another handy thing about sharing your plans is that you create an outside expectation. For instance, when I went travelling I told loads of people I was going. A few weeks before I went, I majorly wanted to back out, but I couldn’t without losing the respect of a lot of people, so I went anyway (and it was, you know, worth it!).
So, for the most part I’d say that sharing your aspirations, plans and dreams is to be highly recommended.
Except for some situations where it may not be such a good idea:-
1) With a person who has a history of putting you down.
These folks can often be family, old friends or even partners – perhaps motivated by the mistaken desire to ‘keep your feet on the ground’ or ‘be realistic’ to save you from hurt. These motives may sound noble but they’re not helpful when you’re preparing to grab hold of life and squeeze all the sweet juice out of it.
Face it – some people just push your buttons and rain on your parade, and have been doing so for years. Make a rule right now, to only let people be in your life who accept you for who you are and who encourage you to fulfill your highest potential. The rest, hold at arms length, and don’t give them the opportunity to drag you down when you’re about to take off!
2) With the world in general
Here’s my business head for a second. Be very careful about plastering fledgling ideas all over cyberspace, or talking about them in a public forum in any detail. There are people out there who will pinch your ideas and use them as their own. You don’t have to be super-scary-secretive or paranoid, but have an awareness about this issue and think carefully about what you share publicly, and when.
3) With people who have already done a similar thing – i.e. your heroes
Unless they are a close friend, inspiration, teacher or mentor, you may not always get the best reaction. Writers often say that everyone they meet tells them they are writing a book. If you get the inevitable eye-rolling response from somebody you admire, this may give your plans a knock back you don’t need. Rather than waxing lyrical about your plans, take the chance to ask for simple advice from those who are already where you want to be – and be ready for them to say they can’t!
4) With somebody who doesn’t seem interested
Obvious, mais oui?
5) When you’re talking the talk rather than walking the walk
This is what the article was on about, and it is certainly a danger to those on the realising-the-dream-life path. If you are sharing your dream, make sure it’s for the right reasons – which are: to get help and advice; to hear encouragement; to create a situation where somebody else is expecting you to act. If you’re talking about your dreams instead of acting on them, it’s time to stop talking!
“You can’t plough a field simply by turning it over in your mind.”