Tell No One*

There’s the aspect of  accountability that is a big motivator. I’m not sure I would be nearly as motivated to finish things if I didn’t have thousands of people checking in on me every week.

There’s an element of voyeurism. People like to see what other people are trying to do. It’s part of our natural instinct.

I think there’s an element of pride in there as well. There’s something powerful about speaking your goals into existence and then setting out and making them happen. It feels good (and it should!) – look at what you accomplished! It’s a nice bonus to the feeling of accomplishment you’ve done for yourself.

But, we lose something every time we tell someone about our accomplishments. Every time we do, we give a little piece of that accomplishment away. We trade a little of the accomplishment for a little bit of recognition, a few accolades and a little bit of approval from whoever we tell it to.

This is a pretty easy trap to fall into:

  1. You start by doing impossible things because you want to. It feels good to challenge yourself.
  2. People notice, and congratulate you for your efforts. You feel good that other people approve.
  3. You appreciate the recognition and begin to do more impossible things that feel good to accomplish but also bring more recognition that feels good.
  4. But, if you’re not careful, you start focusing on accolades instead of doing things for yourself, you realize you’re doing it for others.

So , ask yourself, “If no one was watching, would I still do this?” If the answer is no, you might need to step back and ask yourself why you’re doing all of this in the first place.

I’m all for helping others and being generous, but if you begin to do stuff because of what other people will think/do/say, you’re quickly back to square one of having your life simply being manipulated by your ego and having your actions determined by what you think other people will approve of.

I love accomplishing things. I love doing impossible stuff. I love checking things off my impossible list and I’m not going to stop. But, if I’m not careful, it gets very easy to get caught up in doing more & more things “just because”, instead of doing them because I’m genuinely excited about doing them.

Tell No One*

Go pick something on your list. Anything.

Go do it.

Struggle through,  get past any obstacles in your way and do it.

Don’t tweet about it. Don’t blog about it. Don’t write about it all over facebook.

Don’t tell your boyfriend, your mom, your boss, your brother. Anyone.

Resist the urge to tell somebody about it and gain some ancillary approval. You don’t need it.

Do it for yourself.

If you’re in the same place, you should try it. There’s something incredibly motivating about having a few mysteries that you keep all to yourself..


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