Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oh goody, we learned something


An alarming thing that I learned at some point on the internet was that people who overtalk about their goals and plans tend not to accomplish those goals, because discussing them at length gives them a sort of premature satisfaction in their future accomplishments, which causes them to spend less time, you know...trying.  I can't remember where I learned this.  But it seems legit.

At some point, I stopped articulating my plans.  Rather than plot them out in exhaustive detail or try to mentally counter potential obstacles in advance, I just leave them in a sort amorphous, ambiguous state once I am aware of them.  I leave them there because 1. you can ditch them as soon as you change your mind without having some inquisitive bastard asking when you're moving to Cuba and 2. it's easier to sneak up on them when they're asleep in space, unaware of their own existence.

I guess I do my best thinking when I'm not trying to think.  It's like having strokes of genius in the shower.

I set some "goals" for myself months ago, if you could even call them goals.  I envisioned a timeline and sequence of events that would suit me, and checked back on them every couple of months, mostly just to make sure that I still cared.  Very casual and vague.  "I'll probably do this sometime."  One afternoon I sat back and said, "Yanno what?  Now."  I spent a couple of minutes prepping, asked for a meeting, and emerged with the result that I had noncommittally decided would be best 6 months ago.  A result that I later learned was unlikely to happen, policy-wise.  I think this worked out because I didn't overthink it.  It didn't strike me as strategy at the time, but some post-conversations I had with the boss made me realize it was.  I turned the impatient and controlling part of my brain off, the part that has to make an announcement the second it has a feeling, and allowed a subtler, more perceptive element to take control.

This sounds like a slightly self-aggrandizing story about getting promoted (it is), but I believe in this method of self-direction.  Negotiations with other people are so delicate and layered, and I'm generally not interested in engaging with that at all for non-personal relationships.  I don't want to, which is why I have to turn my external brain off in order to be able to navigate situations.  Sometimes.  Other times, I just leave the outer brain on because it's always outraged and talking shit and that makes me laugh.

1 comment:

allison_bt said...

yes. i kinda totally hate inspirational quotes but i wrote this one down and posted it above my computer a few months back: 'don't be a sayer, be a doer'. and you know, it's something i've really taken to heart. something about my impatient nature, but if i keep my plans a secret, i can't help wanting to tell people so i actually take action to make things happen so then i can say 'guess what i DID??' as opposed to 'someday i plan on ...'. but yes also to not rushing it and letting it ruminate and then pouncing when the time is right. yes.