The Power of Setting Intention
When we are faced with a challenge, we naturally become focused on figuring out what to do. We share advice with one another about what to do and we search for the right action to resolve the problem. Am I right? But none of our action is as effective as it could be if we stop and align our intentions first. Setting a powerful intention creates a more effective result whether you’re lifting weights in the gym or disciplining your child. In today’s blog, I’m going to focus on how to start setting intentions to get better results.
So what is intention? Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action now or an action in the future. Intention involves activities like planning or forethought. Why is setting intention really important? Well, most of the time my friends, we operate on autopilot. Constantly being on autopilot, not thinking or setting intentions just gives us the same old results.
Let me explain with a couple of examples. Lets say you are disciplining your child. What do you do? Do you discipline her on autopilot? As in tell her off, ground her and just take away some of her privileges? How many times have we disciplined our kids just from irritation or annoyance because we have too much on our plates or we are simply juggling life? Now, what I’m inviting you to do is something different. I’m asking you to set intention before taking action.
In one of my blogs called Thinking on Purpose, I wrote about thoughts – how events are neutral, our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings drive our action and actions create our results (positive or negative). If you set the right thought or intention you will get the results you want. Lets take this same example of disciplining your child. Instead of doing that from autopilot I’m asking you to set intention and take action from there. So you can set your intention as – I love my child. Holding her accountable and teaching her is my responsibility. I am a great mum and I’m going to show up like that. See how you act now versus when you come from a place of irritation or autopilot. Do you see what I mean?
I’ll give you another example. How many times have we heard people say, I’m going to the gym but nothing is really happening to my body! Now what if they set intention? What if they said – I am powerful. I am going to take care of myself.I’m going to build a strong upper body in the next 4 weeks. Once they set this specific intention they can work towards that – for instance lift weights specific to the upper body or follow exercises that target the abdominals. If we don’t set intention, we don’t set a focus so our goals and actions turn out to be quite ineffective.
Setting and living our intentions allows us to focus on who we are in the moment. It helps us recognise our values and how to live in alignment with them. Daily intentions can also help with that. They provide a roadmap and reminder for how to live daily and on purpose. Ancient wisdom has told us: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” - Buddha.
So how can you set a daily intention?
Many people who set intentions for their day do so when they wake up, during exercise, meditation, or a daily routine. You can choose to set your intention however you like, but it’s important that you take some time to carefully consider your intention and dedicate a few moments of focus to it. Here are a few steps to help you – Have a routine in the morning to set your intention, set it in the positive, be specific, have accountability and reflect on your intention with gratitude.
With this blog I wanted to offer a tiny taster on the power of setting intentions. So my friends, if you want to learn more on this topic, there are so many resources out there – books, podcasts and classes that you can tap into.
I’ll leave you with this interesting book review by Frederick and Ann Brussat on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Book –The Power of Intention. Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way.
Wayne Dyer is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development and the author of more than 20 books. He begins this one with a quotation from Carlos Castaneda:
"In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link."
Individuals can do amazing things when animated by intention and purpose. Accessing this force field of energy requires connecting with your natural self. It's a four-step process discipline, wisdom, love, and surrender. Dyer elaborates with a description of the seven faces of intention: creativity, kindness, love, beauty, expansion, unlimited abundance, and receptivity. He notes:
"Remember that your ability to activate the power of intention in your life depends on your matching up with the creative Source of all life . . . Fail to match up . . . and the power of intention eludes you."
There are obstacles, which must be dealt with as we try to tap into the powerhouse of intention. They include your inner speech, your level of energy, and your self-importance. Dyer examines "Seven Steps for Overcoming Ego's Hold on You":
• Stop being offended. • Let go of your need to win. • Let go of your need to be right. • Let go of your need to be superior. • Let go of your need to have more. • Let go of identifying yourself on the basis of your achievements. • Let go of your reputation.
The second half of the book contains a step-by-step guide for putting intention to work in your life by respecting yourself, living on purpose, being authentic and peaceful with all relatives, attracting abundance, being less stressed out, attracting ideal people and Divine relationships, healing and being healed, and expressing your genius.
My friends, setting intention daily and living from a place of abundance is really powerful. I invite you to include this in your daily practice and see how it changes your life.