Everyone, please think of your biggest personal goal. Okay? For real—you can take a second. You gotta feel this to learn it. Take a few seconds and think of your personal biggest goal, okay?
Imagine deciding right now that you're going to do it. Imagine telling someone that you meet today what you're going to do. Imagine their congratulations and their high image of you. Doesn't it feel good to say it out loud? Don't you feel one step closer already, like it's already becoming part of your identity? Well, bad news: You should've kept your mouth shut, because that good feeling now will make you less likely to do it.
The repeated psychology tests have proven that telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen. Anytime you have a goal, there are some steps that need to be done, some work that needs to be done, in order to achieve it. Ideally, you would not be satisfied until you'd actually done the work. But when you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it's called a "social reality." The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it's already done. And then, because you felt that satisfaction, you're less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary. So this goes against the conventional wisdom that we should tell our friends our goals—right?—so they hold us to it. So, let's look at the proof.
1926: Kurt Lewin, founder of social psychology, called this "substitution." 1933: Wera Mahler found when it was acknowledged by others, it felt real in the mind. 1982: Peter Gollwitzer wrote a whole book about this, and in 2009, he did some new tests that were published.
1926 年：Kurt Lewin，社會心理學的創始人，稱之「替代」。1933 年：Wera Mahler 發現當目標被其他人認可時，心理感覺就像成真了。1982 年：Peter Gollwitzer 就此寫了一整本書，而在 2009 年，他做了些新實驗並被發表於世。
It goes like this: 163 people across four separate tests, everyone wrote down their personal goal; then half of them announced their commitment to this goal to the room, and half didn't. And then everyone was given 45 minutes of work that would directly lead them towards their goal, but they were told that they could stop at any time. Now, those who kept their mouths shut worked the entire 45 minutes, on average, and when asked afterwards, said that they felt that they had a long way to go still to achieve their goal. But those who had announced it quit after only 33 minutes, on average, and when asked afterwards, said that they felt much closer to achieving their goal.
那實驗是像這樣：四個不同實驗的 163 人，每人寫下他們的個人目標；接著其中半數人向屋內的人宣布他們對此目標的決心，而半數人則未。接著所有人被分配 45 分鐘的作業，那會直接將他們導向自己的目標，不過實驗對象被告知能隨時停止。現在，那些沒說出目標的人平均上都工作了整整 45 分鐘，之後被詢問時，他們說覺得自己離達成目標還有很長一段路。不過那些已經宣告的人平均來說僅過 33 分鐘就不幹了，而在事後被詢問時，他們說覺得離達成目標靠近許多。
So, if this is true, what can we do? Well, you could resist the temptation to announce your goal. You can delay the gratification that the social acknowledgment brings. And you can understand that your mind mistakes the talking for the doing. But if you do need to talk about something, you can state it in a way that gives you no satisfaction, such as, "I really wanna run this marathon, so I need to train five times a week. And kick my ass if I don't, okay?"
So, audience, next time you're tempted to tell someone your goal, what will you say? Exactly! Well done.
- 「想出、思考」- Think Of
Everyone, please think of your biggest personal goal.
- 「認真的、真正的」- For Real
For real—you can take a second.
- 「現在、此刻」- Right Now
Imagine deciding right now that you're going to do it.
- 「保持沉默」- Keep One's Mouth Shut
Well, bad news: You should've kept your mouth shut...
- 「要求某人履行某事」- Hold One To Something
So this goes against the conventional wisdom that we should tell our friends our goals—right?—so they hold us to it.
- 「狠狠教訓某人」- Kick One's Ass
And kick my ass if I don't, okay?