Think about the goals that you’ve set. Which ones are still sitting around waiting for that first try? Ones that haven’t seen an ounce of quality effort.
Let me put it this way: What did you intend to do? You might respond “Well, in intended to lose X pounds, make X money, feel X way about Y part of my life.”
One could argue that you never intended on doing any of it. Had you? It wouldn’t have come to mind.
Shadows only become more apparent on the brightest days, do they not? We are always obstructing sunlight to some degree, but it isn’t until the most beautiful sunny days that we become aware of our close, dark companion. It follows us and begs us to accept it. On dark days it seems that the shadow can creep inside of us, and awaits the warm sun to conjure it back out. My point? Many of us have some major work to do. Problems that need dealt with right now. Work we’d much rather delay, procrastinate, or entirely ignore.
This is the start of reevaluating what we want and what we will tolerate. Some might argue you need pain to feel the urge to change, feel ashamed to start the work. But what if you can just want it and make it happen?
The Buddha once said, “The two human tragedies are when we don’t get what we want and when we do”. Further, that “Our thoughts determine our reality.” Can we even begin to understand what any of that means?
Well, it starts with thoughts. Thoughts become our beliefs which then determine our intention and intention is the most powerful force. Intention leads to action.
If motivation is a one lane dirt road to living the life we want to, intention is the paved runway for our deluxe private jet. Motivation comes and goes, it could you there at some point if you can keep it. Intention, on the other hand, assumes success. Intention annihilates apathy, breeds brilliance, corrupts confusion, destroys doubt, and engenders a new enthusiasm that can last forever.
Once we master our own intentions, we can begin to do a lot of good for ourselves, others, and do a lot of focused work in our corner of the world. First, we have to accept one bitter truth: We always do what we want. Yes. We always either do things or avoid doing things for a reason we choose. We act for a reason we have clearly laid out for ourselves at some level. Whether we actually articulate “I hate doing ______” OR “I love doing ______” or if we just silently corresponded back and forth inside our own heads with the slightest hint of doubt or bit of courage, we are laying down a fertile foundation. We are always crafting stories, hypotheticals, and other false beliefs about our capabilities. Worst of all, we go on to take our own misguided advice.
For better or worse, we tend to get exactly what we believe we want.
The address to which we can send our thank you notes for these beliefs is somewhere in our past. Deep into our psychology lay millions of small details and outdated stories that have kept us from progressing. We concrete these beliefs and steer our lives. There is a strategy we can use to regain control in our lives though, we make the choice to create new beliefs.
I see it this way: We all have beliefs that influence our intention, and we do exactly what we intend to do. We are what we do, but we are all originally what we say we are to do. Understanding this wisdom is the first step in regaining the control we have lost in our lives. Putting ourselves back in the driver’s seat of our brain, the belief factory, is absolutely crucial to begin our ascent to wherever we intend on going.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson