When Staying Quiet Is Your Best Way Forward

Social media loathes a vacuum, which means we're often incentivized to share every little bit of our lives with everyone we do and don't know. When we're looking to nab a job or just keep the one we have, popular wisdom suggests curation rather than shutting it all down. There is something to be said for keeping quiet when it comes to the big things in your life, though — particularly when you're thinking about your future.

Entrepreneur Aytekin Tank recently shared an editorial on the virtues of circumspection when you're plotting your career trajectory. "There's nothing wrong with setting and sharing our goals per se," he writes; "the danger lies in receiving approval just for setting the bar high." He's got some research to back this up: Sharing your intentions with friends or colleagues can make you less likely to achieve that goal.

Writers have long noted this. As Harry Potter mastermind and serial over-sharer J.K. Rowling once said, "I find that discussing an idea out loud is often the way to kill it stone dead." There is something to the idea that we get a lot of satisfaction from imagining a path taken, with less effort than actually putting in the work. But more importantly, as Tank points out, talking about goal-setting can become a vector for praise. "When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, there's a 'social reality' that tricks our minds into believing we've reached the finish line," he writes. In other words, it's easy to talk, but it pays to do.