I read a book this week on the power of intention.
The author says that the mere act of forming an intention is a powerful thing indeed.
The simple act of forming an intention is an essential precursor to all success in life, she said.
The moment we form an intention we are firmly on our way to success.
A quick Amazon search of books with the word intention in the title revealed more than 2,900 results.
Those gurus tell us that until and unless we form a strong intention of what we wish to achieve we have no chance of ever getting there.
Frankly, like many things in life, I don’t get it.
I don’t get how intentions can produce anything.
Here is what I believe to be true.
I believe that we judge ourselves by our intentions.
And we judge others by their actions.
I also believe that results in our lives are produced by our actions or inactions, not our intentions.
Please allow me to explain.
Most of us have had the joyful experience of being cut off in traffic by another driver.
Many of us become enraged each time this happens.
The question is this; did the driver who did this to us do so intentionally?
Of course we will never know the answer to this question, nor do we stop to question his or her attention because our reaction to this event is determined by what he or she did and not by what he or she intended to do.
We don’t care if he/she did this intentionally.
They did it and that’s enough for us.
Another question; have you ever cut off another driver in traffic?
If you drive a vehicle the answer to this question is yes.
Did you do so intentionally?
Let’s assume the answer is no.
Now let’s assume that right after this occurrence you glance in your rear-view mirror and notice that the driver of the car is saluting you with his or her middle finger.
Now if it was truly never your intention to cut off that car, why then why is that driver saluting you?
Simple. The driver of that car does not give a darn about your intention, he/she is reacting solely to your actions.
We have an annual ritual of intention setting that serves to illustrate this point handily. It annually reminds us that intentions do not equal results.
We call this ritual New Year’s resolutions.
This is the time of year when many of us establish intentions regarding powerful and lasting changes we intend to implement into our lives the moment the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve.
“I’m quitting smoking the New Year’s Eve.”
Sure you are. And you are starting again at 12:03 AM on January 1st.
“My New Year’s resolution is to lose 40 pounds.”
Sure it is. Let me know if that lasts beyond January 10th.
“My New Year’s resolution is to work out at the gym three times per week.”
Sure it is. New gym memberships surge every year in the month of January. By the beginning of March attendance is back to where it was.
This may all sound terribly negative and that is not my intention.
I believe that intentions produce nothing. If we want to accomplish something we need to do something.
Results in our lives come from action from what we do or from what we don’t do.
There is no other way to produce results. So creating intention is, to me, simply a way of creating temporary good feelings by deluding ourselves.
So from now on let’s pledge to ourselves that when we want to accomplish something, we will determine the course of action necessary to get us there, and then we will simply do it.`
Let’s pledge to fully engage ourselves in the process of doing it.
Let’s pledge to convert the challenges that present themselves into learnng opportunities for growth and development.
And let’s pledge commit ourselves to staying with it UNTIL …
Me? I’m really going to do this.
I intend to start January 1, 2012.
Till we read again.
P.S. Earlier this week I received a very favourable review of my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours, written by Andy Budgell of Actionable Books. This is the first ever review of my book. Please click here and check it out.
Mike at Self Connection is still selling the book for $9.95 – a 60% discount and he tells me it is selling very well. If you would like your own copy please click here and Self Connection will ship your order right away or visit their stores at Willow Park or #125, 4611 Bowness Road, NW.
If you prefer to “try before you buy” please click here and enjoy a complimentary chapter.