Keep it to yourself

Keep it to yourself

Keep it to yourself might seem like anti advice.

You’re repeatedly told that you should always be speaking out and up about things that matter. Don’t keep things bottled up. Let it all come out.

You know what I mean?

keep it to yourself

You’re probably a bit like me, somewhere in between. While bottling everything up is not good. On the other hand, neither is broadcasting everything to the world.

Now don’t get me wrong; it’s healthy to share your thoughts with those around you. It’s good for the mental state of mind, and it can strengthen the bond with loved ones.

What is the point of this post then? I hear you ask.

Let me tell you.

While sharing is caring, there are times when it feels less than helpful.

What I’m talking about are all those times that you said you were going to do something by a specific date. When the time came you had nothing.

If you struggle to cash the cheques that your mouth has written this post may provide guidance.

Let me tell you about how I concluded that sometimes not broadcasting all your plans can be a great help.

I used to tell everyone everything

What are you like when it comes to announcing your plans, your goals or your dreams? Do you go on and on about it? Or do you modestly propose it then do what you need to?

Let me tell you what I’m like.

I love telling people what I’m going to do.

My long term plans, short term strategies, you name it, and I’ll tell you what I’m my innermost thoughts. I’ll even tell you when it’s going to happen.

Now I can’t speak for you, but when I tell you what I’m doing, I genuinely honest to God think that I’m going to do it.

I’m blessed because I’m surrounded by the most supportive group of people you’ll ever meet.

My friend groups and work colleagues, whether they have felt it or not haven’t expressed any doubt. They have always believed in me, and for that, I am genuinely thankful.

You also have to hear about my two most prominent supporters.

My parents.

You might have a different relationship with your parents. Mine have always been there, every performance, every bit of writing, everything.

You know how some people blame everything on their parents? I’m the complete opposite of that. If you ever hear me complain about my parents know that I am a coward, hypocrite and a liar.

Call me out on it if you ever hear me complaining.

My parents never said, “Time to hang it up”, “Think about going for stability” or “‘Don’t you think ‘it’s time to get a real job”. Nothing like that.

My parents gave me power over my life.

Now, my problems are mine and mine alone.

One of my biggest problems is lack of follow-through.

You can keep it to yourself but I can’t. I have to tell you what my plans are at all times and you have to be slightly intimidated by my ambition, got it?


Then I realised that this was not always the best way to do things

One of the secrets that you need to understand about people is that they value what you discard.

What you say in passing, a throw-away line here or there is a precious jewel.

One thing learned over thirty-three years is people strip qualifying words from memory. Words like maybe, should and could get erased by memory. The benefit is that people think you’re more decisive, but it comes with its drawbacks.

“You said we’d go to Morocco.”

“I said we could go to Morocco.”

“Why would you say that if you had no intention of going?”

“I didn’t realise you wanted to.”

“I didn’t; you were going to surprise me.”

Do you see what I mean?

I have had projects that I completely forgot about cast up to me, and then people look at me like I’m a loon. Part of my problem is that I lose interest in a project. I have no issues with dropping something when I don’t need any longer.

“Hey Kieran, how’s the acting getting on?”

“Acting? Nah that was last week now I’m a super cool rockstar.”

“I see,” she says, slowly backing away while maintaining eye contact.

I’m not mad. Of course, you think that only an insane person would come right out and say that they’re not crazy but hear me out.

I have so many ideas.

So many ideas. I’m not bragging or anything; it’s just how it is. I would say it’s a curse. I have so many ideas, and I can’t discriminate. It’s not that they’re all brilliant’ it’s a case of which one to choose?

One of the hardest things for me to realise is that not every sperm will become a baby.

I’m not that capable either. Over the years, I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by some hard-working people. In particular, Alex. Without him, the lyrics to all of Mental Deficiency’s song would go unsung. Not just because he can put together a tune, but he has got a real business savvy and all the work he does behind the scenes. Deadville would have been words on a page if not for him.

What I’m trying to say is that the best kind of enablers surround me. I would tell them all about my ideas and projects. They would smile and say that they can’t wait to see more of it at some point. Then I would go off and feel safe and secure that I have their approval, and I would proceed to do nothing.

Talking the ideas feel like I’ve completed the project so I’d sit back on my laurels and not do anything. A few weeks later, these people would come and ask me what was happening with the project. I would look at them confused and tell them I’ve moved onto something else and the cycle would start anew.

Does this sound like you?

Talking up your plans all the time will sap the energy from you and the project.

You might want to keep it to yourself.

Are you a person who needs that social pressure?

Do you think that you might need to keep it to yourself?

If you don’t and can handle getting it out there, then you have my respect. I can’t put up with it anymore — that constant look of confusion on people’s faces.

The strategy that I’m going to incorporate is one of “keep it to yourself”. You might think it cowardly, but I’m going to get on with doing the work, and maybe I’ll be able to get something achieved.

Who knows, maybe I won’t.

Only time will tell.

As always, this is something that you’ll find that I will repeat over and over:

I’m not saying that this works, but this might work for me. It might not.

Don’t read anything on as dogma.

Take what you need, discard the rest.

You know what is most important?

Keep it to yourself.


Do you find yourself in a position where you always talk about what you might do? Rather than getting on and doing it?

In that case, welcome to my world.

As someone who has talked the talk then said I don’t have appropriate footwear when it comes to the walking part, let me tell you something.

If you are in a position where people keep saying to you “Hey, whatever happened to the thing you were going to do?”

Instead of telling them you might want to…

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