Are You Fooling *Yourself* On April 1st?

"spaghetti April fool"April 1st, the day when we all play a jolly jape on everyone and gleefully shout ‘APRIL FOOL!’ However, it’s also worth considering if you are fooling yourself in key areas of your life…


The origins of April Fools seems hard to pin down, hundreds of years certainly, but here’s a classic example from the BBC back in the 1957 about spaghetti trees. Many people contacted the BBC to ask about growing their own spaghetti, and they were told to put a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best!


I have written for many years about goal achievement, self improvement, personal development. A key driver in these subjects is people wanting to be happier, to change things in their life to give them a contentment which they currently don’t have.


When looking at this, and goal achievement is the result that drives the rest, there are 2 points at which we often fool ourselves, not just on April 1st, but every other day of the year too –


1. Are your goals actually *your* goals, or are you fooling yourself?
2. Are you taking action towards your goals, or are you fooling yourself?


1. Are your goals actually your goals? Many people, if they look hard at themselves, will realise they are on a path that they didn’t choose. They may have dreams or ambitions in one field, but find themselves in a totally different field. I know it’s happened to me before.


This is because other people tell us the kind of goal, or indeed the specific goal we should go for, because these other people seem to know what’s good for us. It may be our parents, it may be our peer group, but it can be a powerful force, and before we know it we are way down the road towards a goal we don’t actually want ourselves!


It can be difficult to get out of this situation – firstly we have to extricate ourselves from the current goal path we are on, and then we have to make a new start down the path of our own choosing. Both of those things can be done, people do it all the time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean either will be easy. In fact, this difficulty can be an underlying factor behind the second way we fool ourselves…


2. Are you taking action? Many people teaching goal achievement, and I include myself in this, teach that you have to put in some serious thinking at the early stages. This thinking includes defining your goal, and working out the steps to take in order to get there.


All well and good, but the next step is probably the most important – taking action.
Without action, all the thinking in the world won’t achieve your goal, and it could be argued that taking action can be done without the thinking part, as the results of that action can help define the next steps and the ultimate result.


I’d still argue that planning is always preferable, but action is *essential*. So many people think that working out their goal and the path to it is enough, that they can then sit back and wait for the goal to happen. Well, that’s going to lead to a lot of waiting, and it’s fooling yourself.


I call ‘action’ one of the 4 magic words. It may sound obvious that action needs to happen in order for things to change, but so many people simply don’t act. It may be that they are scared by the difficulties ahead as I mentioned earlier, that it’s easier to keep the dream as just a dream, to not rock the boat which action will invariably do.


It’s fooling yourself though, and April Fool’s Day is as good a time as any to take a look at your life. Are you fooling yourself? Are you following someone else’s goal rather than your own? Have you fallen into the trap of thinking that a goal will be achieved without action? If you find that you’ve been fooling yourself, what are you going to do to change it?


Do let me know, I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. I write about taking action in my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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  • Good question. I know I stumbled along a path that others pointed out to me for many years. Along the way, I learned many lessons, most of them tough and painful. But now I’ve reached the final path to happy retirement and I cherish the hard knocks. They shaped me into the person I am now. Life might not be about achieving what you desire, but about learning and growing. Just a thought.

    • Hi Francene,
      Yes, the knocks do come, whether we push down our own path or let life happen to us. They can be easier to take sometimes if we are on a path we chose.
      Hope all well with you!

  • I thought I had my life all neatly planned, all goals set etc until the Universe gently reminded me that it has a plan all of it’s own. Now I go with the flow. Thought provoking post though.

    • Hi Suzy,
      Yours is also a thought provoking comment indeed! Gets me curious as to what happened to make you think the universe hd a plan that trumped yours? Also, what happens if going with the flow steers you in a totally unwanted direction?
      Cheers, Gordon

    • Hi Nick,
      I think I only get fooled if I forget what the date is!
      I think the BBC one is so remembered because it was maybe the first time such a big institution had played such a trick in such a serious way, it was only a few years after the ‘masses’ even *had* TVs!
      Cheers, Gordon

  • i used to believe you could always plan your life out but things happen you can not help and sometims its hard to move forwar rom those events, we can only try to move forward and trust our choices are the best ones

    • Hi Lisa,
      You’re right things do happen that we cannot help, but they will happen whether we make plans or not. It can be hard indeed to move forward from them, as I know from personal experience!
      Thanks for stopping by,
      cheers, Gordon

  • Great questions Gordon. It can make all the difference to see denial for what it really is and get honest with ourselves, and often it’s not as painful as we might imagine!

    • Yes H, it can sometimes be remarkably simple to challenge ourselves with these questions, and refreshing to make changes based on the answers!
      Cheers, Gordon