The Personal Development Dilemma Part 2: Publicly Announce Your Big Dreams or Keep Them To Yourself?

By Seamus Anthony

(Here’s the first in this series)

By Seamus Anthony

Do you secretly go for gold while publicly keeping your stated intentions down-to-Earth? And does this have any effect on your outcomes?

Here’s a scenario: you’re helping out an old friend or relative that you haven’t seen for a while, somebody who (thinks) they know you backwards when out comes the inevitable question:

“So … what are you up to these days then?”

I don’t know about you but I have long grown tired of being honest with those closest to me about these questions. And why? Because (God love ’em) most of my family and at least some of my best mates are unfortunately, mired down in the bog of life due to a lack of self-confidence. And while I don’t think they do it intentionally, they tend to try and drag everybody else down into the quicksand with them.

It was a bit different when I was younger, I used to let ’em have it: POW! Right between the eyes – here’s what I am going to do! How do you like them apples?

And I used to cop some flack too, but A) I was young and, frankly, full of myself so I didn’t care what they thought and B) they were still prepared to give me some benefit of the doubt.

But time has passed and at my age (35) men are supposed to be ‘sensible’ and ‘reliable’ and basically just bring home the bacon already and otherwise shut the hell up.

Yeah right… Believe me if I COULD be that normal and uncomplicated I would be but I is an entirely different beast. I am unconventional, problematic and basically a creatively-inspired fuck-up so let’s just forget about all this Mr. Steadfast palaver right here and now.

… Forgive me; I’m rambling … My point is…


These days I find it is better to keep my public announcements on the down-low. I prefer to let people in on my outrageous plans bit-by-bit so that they don’t freak out on me. This also allows me to change my strategy as I see fit, without having to wear the Doubting Legion’s accusations of inconsistency and megalomania. (Both of which I may well be guilty of … but that doesn’t mean I need my face rubbed in it!)

BUT sometimes I wonder if I should be a little more forthright, like I was in my early twenties. Time has taught me restraint and to be suspicious of letting too much information out into the light. I tend to play my cards close to my chest and this approach has served me well enough – but maybe it is also good to just stand up and state what you want so that others can help you get it.

In fact I know that this is the case. I certainly need to be more forthright about what I want in order to allow those I mix with to assist me – but frankly my goals are so ludicrous that I am still being cautious about it.

What I have decided to do, and I’d be interested to know your opinion on this strategy, is to publicly announce my plans very soon, not because I expect many people to give a shit but because I think it could be a good idea (on a personal level) for me to do so

I mentioned doing this in Part One of this series and I haven’t forgotten but to be honest, I am stalling on doing this out of fear of publicly failing. I’ve done that more than once and it’s not much fun, but still, I reckon that happened because I previously spent way too much time running off down side-alleys instead of remaining true to my deepest burning desires. I’ve come a long way to get back to the point where I have no intention of chasing anything other than my one Chief Definite Aim, my One Thing, and I feel it is time to share that with the world. I need to do so not out of ego but simply to free up the energy that has stagnated around my Dream and allow things to happen without the hindrances of fear and doubt.

But What About You?

Do you need speak up and let the world know what you REALLY want to do with your life?

Do you already freely and regularly enthrall the world with your big audacious plans?

Or do you keep your outrageous dreams stifled up inside like dirty little secret?

Feel free to come out of the closet in the comments section below; it might give me confidence to do the same!

Photo by a4gpa

Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

11 comments Write a comment

  1. I know what you mean about not wanting to share dreams that aren’t “sensible”, Seamus. After a certain age most of us are expected to tow the line and live our lives like everyone else.

    That’s why I get so much value in finding like minded people both online and in real life. Even when you can’t tell your mom what you’re up to, it’s great to be able to tell others.

  2. Honestly, I just faced this issue today with a family member and I am still feeling a little off-balanced by it.

    I don’t if it’s better to tell or not to tell. I think the most important thing is to keep moving forward regardless of what people think.

    Props by the way for having “ludicrous goals”, they are the only kind really worth having.

  3. On the one hand, I like to keep my goals to myself.
    But when pondering topics such as the secret, I wonder if making goals public will actually be helpful. If “the universe” is aware of what I’m going for, perhaps it will help make them happen.

  4. @Maria – yup I totally know what you mean. Sometimes it’s like I am living a double life: come-what-may-man at BBQs and obsessive careerist visionary in my own (on and offline) time. I am fairly sure that it’s been a good thing for me to do that for a while while I got clear but I am crystal again now and have been for a good three years so I am slowly but surely closing this gap.
    @feedback secrets – It’s funny, my first response to you is to tell you just to tell what you are going to do and that they can like it or lump it. Easier advice to dole out than to practice though eh? (By the way – What’s your name Mr Feedback? You’ve got the photo on your blog, but your name is elusive!)
    @Christopher – I don’t reckon the Universe needs you tell your dreams to somebody else to be aware of what you want. Having said that, my advice is still as above but again, easier said than done.

  5. I’ve mostly talked to others about my plans. And ever since school I’ve been regarded as a bit weird.

    Meeting incomprehension or disinterest helps clarify who I am doing it for. If it’s for me then I persevere.

    Now being older I do let others know what my dreams and plans are. I’ll be fifty in a few months. As I’ve got older I’ve got freer of the opinions of others.

    Talking about things I usually finds helps me get more clarity and insight too.

  6. Hi Seamus

    I’ve thought about this question for years (that’s how long I’ve had plans for, heheh). I remember someone saying once that if you tell people about the things you are intending to do, it sort of takes away the necessity to do them.

    Also, my plans have tended to be a bit hard for the people around me to understand (except for Frank, now we have got together).

    So all up, I make a point of not telling people about my plans – they can find out about them when I actually do them!

    Cheers – Robin

  7. i think it’s important to consider a) why you’re not telling others about your plans, and b) why you are telling – if you’re telling. lately i’ve been feeling especially protective of my aspirations. maybe they’re still incubating, so i don’t want to expose them to the elements for fear it would change their DNA makeup. in plain speak, i try not to volunteer the information if i sense it will only leave me feeling deflated. but to seek out like-minded dreamers, it’s worth it to take a risk sometimes.

  8. I got the advice “to keep it under the hat”. But I wanted to share my plan. And sharing got me good connections to people that already did something similar. So with my current plan, it was worth it.

    I only share a plan that is definite and where I know that I do it, no doubt and nobody can discourage me.

    There aresome people thinking I am crazy, I am just laughing at them. Maybe it really has something to do with the age ( I am 27), with the facts you mention above (security has I higher value etc.)?

    I guess everybody has to ask himself:
    – What happens to my reputation when the plan fails?
    – Are I am comfortable with all the nonbelievers?
    – Will the critisism strengthen me or weaken me?
    – What happens if I change my plan midway?

  9. @Evan – Yes I find talking things out helps to clarify ideas and feelings etc too, and not to put too much credence of sexual stereotypes but the ladies in my life found it funny when I announced this as a revelation but a couple of years back. Of course they knew this all along! But to me it WAS a revelation even though I had heard the theory before as it had never really struck home until one day I started *gulp* expressing myself and wow! Suddenly I KNEW how what was bothering me rather than just knowing I was bothered. anyway I have gone off topic.
    @Robin – I do feel that talking about your plans can rob them of their power sometimes that’s for sure. It depends whose listening I think.
    @Aurora – as above!
    @Dave – you have a very systematic mind, something I have long given up on trying to acquire! Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out to me – more than I did at 27.

  10. As an investment, personal development programs have the goal of increasing human capital or improving productivity, innovation or quality. Proponents see such programs not as a cost but as an investment with results linked to the company’s strategic development goals. Access to these programs is by selection according to the value and future potential of the employee, usually defined in a talent management architecture including populations such as new hires, high potential employees, key employees, sales staff, research staff and future leaders.

Leave a Reply