The study indicated that when people announce a goal, they receive immediate satisfaction for simply having the goal that actually achieving it is no longer necessary.
I’ve seen this in action in my own life and in the lives of people over the last few months. When my mom was sick and then soon after she died people from all over offered to do “anything” to help. I am a person who likes to do things myself but there has been a couple of things that I simply cannot do on my own. Each time I’ve called on someone to help, I realized that people have varying views of what “anything” meant in terms of actually helping. I can say confidently that I’ve not received any help that I’ve asked for. Pretty interesting huh?
Now given what I know about this study, me expecting any actual help is my failing, not theirs. I should’ve known that people who offered were simply being nice. There’s nothing wrong with this either. At a low point in my life, people giving me nice gestures was a positive thing. Things only went badly when my expectations of their gesture were more literal and less symbolic.
So I’ve thought about a few questions that beg to be asked:
- Is there any use in talking about what you want to do at all?
- Why not simply meet a need that is in your ability without fanfare?
- Would you do what needs to be done if nobody ever knew about it?
I’ve been excited to talk about a few things I’ve been working on over the last year but I do not dare. Either people won’t care and that will discourage me or people will pretend to care and my brain will put up the Mission Accomplished banner on my project and I’ll start fitting myself for a flight suit.