Sunday, April 01, 2007

Curious about Intention and Intentions: Do You Use Them to Replace Goals? Do They Work Like Goals for You?

Definitions of Intention:
1. A stretching or bending of the mind toward of the mind toward an object; closeness of application; fixedness of attention; earnestness.
2. A determination to act in a certain way or to do a certain thing; purpose; design; as, an intention to go to New York.
3. The object toward which the thoughts are directed; end; aim.

I picked Intention(s) for this week’s theme, because for longer than a year I have noticed that many involved in the motivational movement have replaced the word “goal” or “goals” with the word “intention” or “intentions.” Is this because they feel that intentions are stronger, or that goals have somehow fallen out of favor?

Personally, I feel that it all boils down to whether or not we start by setting and writing down our goals/intentions and then take action. And, yes, the planning and writing down of the action steps is incredibly important. But, if we don’t follow through on them, it doesn’t matter if they are needed to reach a goal or an intention.

In addition, we need to honestly ask ourselves why or why not we are following through? Have we set the wrong goal(s) or intention(s) for us? Over the years I have realized that so many of us set goal(s) or intention(s) that we feel the others in our lives want us to rather than the ones we desire in our core.

How do some of the experts feel about intention and/or intentions:
  • Our intention creates our reality.” - Wayne Dyer, American psychologist
  • Intentions count in your actions.” - Abu Bakr, Saudi Arabian statesman
  • A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.” - Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman statesman
  • It's amazing how much you can learn if your intentions are truly earnest.” - Chuck Berry, American musician
  • I've never seen someone fail or miss out who wasn't kind of pushing ahead with the best of intentions and with the belief in themselves.” - Shawn Colvin, American artist
  • A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” - Liberty Hyde Bailey, American Scientist

A few more with some twists:

  • There's always been the intention to just have fun. I don't understand why some people are taking everything so damn serious.” - Donnie Wahlberg, American actor
  • Life is short and if you're looking for extension, you had best do well. 'Cause there's good deeds and then there's good intentions. They are as far apart as Heaven and Hell.” - Ben Harper, American musician
  • Our intentions may be very good, but, because the intelligence is limited, the action may turn out to be a mistake - a mistake, but not necessarily a sin, for sin comes out of a wrong intention.” - E. Stanley Jones, American theologian
  • The first principle of ethical power is Purpose. By purpose, I don't mean your objective or intention - something toward which you are always striving. Purpose is something bigger. It is the picture you have of yourself - the kind of person you want to be or the kind of life you want to lead.” - Ken Blanchard, American businessman
  • So confident am I in the intentions, as well as wisdom, of the government, that I shall always be satisfied that what is not done, either cannot, or ought not to be done.” - Thomas Jefferson, American president

For you and me to consider and take action upon this coming week - and even longer:

  • I'm delirious with joy. It proves that if you confront the universe with good intentions in your heart, it will reflect that and reward your intent. Usually. It just doesn't always do it in the way you expect.” -J. Michael Straczynski, American producer
  • When we set a goal we are using the power of intention. When we take action we are using the power of attention. When we use both we move toward the achievement of our goals.” - Kevin MacDonald, American clarity expert
  • The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.” - Roger Nash Baldwin, American activist

So, have you set meaningful - to YOU - intentions? And, how much action have you or are you taking? Let me know about your progress!