Lions don’t make noise when attacking their prey, they execute their attacks quietly.

They make decisions silently, and they attack so much spend and determination. They are focused, calculating, and determined. There are no bells and whistles about them, no grand entrance or announcement when they pounce, no noise, just quiet, focused and calculating.

They hide, lay low before executing their plans, their prey can’t see them coming until its late.

When animals make noise before attacking, their prey can react quickly and run away.

Maybe keeping quiet about your plans and laying low so that your competitors don’t see you coming is a way to ambush them.

When you are busy executing your plan, do it silently, focused, and disciplined. Let your success, your catch, do the talking.

Shouldn’t you announce your goals, so friends can support you?

Is it not good networking to tell people about your upcoming projects?

Doesn’t the “law of attraction” mean you should state your intention, and visualise the goal as already yours?

Not really.

Tests done since 1933 show that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen.

Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you are less motivated to do the hard work needed.

In 1933, W. Mahler found that if a person announced the solution to a problem, and was acknowledged by others, it was now in the brain as a “social reality”, even if the solution had not actually been achieved.

A psychology professor Peter Gollwitzer has been studying this since his 1982 book “Symbolic Self-Completion” – and published results of new tests in a research article, “When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap?

Four different tests of 63 people found that:

Those who kept their intentions private were more likely to achieve them than those who made them public and were acknowledged by others.

Once you have told people of your intentions, it gives you a “premature sense of completeness.”

You have “identity symbols” in your brain that make your self-image. Since both actions and talk create symbols in your brain, talking satisfies the brain enough that it “neglects the pursuit of further symbols.”

A related test found that success on one sub-goal [eating healthy meals] reduced efforts on other important sub-goals [going to the gym] for the same reason.

It may seem unnatural to keep your intentions and plans private, but try it. If you do tell a friend, make sure not to say it as a satisfaction mode [“I have joined a gym and bought running shoes. I’m going to do it!”], but as dissatisfaction mode [“I want to lose 20 pounds, so kick my ass if I don’t, OK?”]

Lions don’t announce their intentions to attack, they just attack. Less talk, more action.


2 thoughts on “It’s a Jungle Out There: Keep Your Intentions Silent

  1. Kolobe,

    I read your blogs each time I receive them and I’m always inspired and instructed. But this one in particular has just confirmed something that I have been telling my business partners. Jack Ma, the founder and Chairman of Alibaba.com uses the same strategy. Thank you for the blogs Sir, they go a long way.

    Sent from Samsung tablet

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