“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”- Aristotle
It’s natural and healthy to feel enthusiastic about setting goals and deciding to make a meaningful and important change in our lives. Usually, our first instinct is to tell someone since we hope that they will feel as good about the goals as we do. Often, we start telling the people we are closest to, either friends, family or workmates, with little or no consideration given to how enthusiastic they are about us achieving our goals.
After sharing our goals, we often get a positive response, or at least a neutral one, which encourages us, so we continue the practice. A few people will be extremely negative or try to discourage us. However, many will offer a few words of encouragement but inwardly may hold other feelings. Their actions are different from their words; since they will inwardly see no upside for themselves, they are unlikely to help you.
Think about it. If there is nothing in it for them, why would they want you to achieve your goals? In many cases, your achievement of these goals puts these people in a worse situation. Will your work colleagues want to see you get promoted? Do your friends want to see you with a bigger house or traveling to exotic places more often without them? Does your extended family want to see you become very wealthy while they don’t?
Achieving massive goals and making progress results in one thing— change! Change can be good or bad depending on your point of reference. If you are improving, your point of reference shows progress. If someone else is improving and you are not, or you are not progressing as quickly, your point of reference shows regression. For instance, picture an expensive convertible speeding down the street. The driver feels exhilaration, excitement, the wind in her hair and forward momentum. Meanwhile, someone in a slower car sees the convertible passing, its back end disappearing into the distance. One speeding car, two different points of reference.
Be extraordinarily careful with whom you share your goals, dreams and aspirations. Only share them with people in complete alignment with their achievement: usually a spouse, business partner, employee, trusted friend or close family member.
There is no value in telling those close to you when they are not supportive; it can even be detrimental to your own progress. Come from a place of love and say nothing while keeping a warm relationship with those you love. They generally mean no harm; they just want to see you in a way that suits them, not you. The resulting harmony and positive energy will be good for your own life and helpful in keeping good, long-term, warm relationships, while you seek and find those who are in true alignment with the accomplishment of your goals.
Eamonn has a B. Eng. (Electrical) from Lakehead University, MBA (Finance) from University of Toronto, and has completed Executive Education at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He lives in Vancouver, Canada. Follow him on twitter @EamonnPercy.