I have a friend who occasionally requests blog posts, and her ideas are always so good. It’s actually quite a talent to come up with good topic ideas. I know because sometimes I’m completely stumped, and I ask someone what I should write about, and they can never come up with anything good either. So obviously from now on I should ask Danielle.
This time she asked me to write about intention. (See what I mean? That is exactly the kind of thing I write about.)
Intention can be one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. It’s good for change, for achievement, for opening ourselves up to possibility. It’s a way of resetting old beliefs, world views, and limiting thoughts that might or might not have had a good reason to exist in the past but are definitely holding us back now.
Of course, in order to work, intention has to be an active process. Take my intention at the beginning of last year: I wanted to have more friends, so I set the intention to be open to new friendships. From that intention, I decided on concrete priorities and actions. If I told myself, “It would be nice to have more friends” and then proceeded to sit on my couch every night and not talk to anybody, then nothing would have happened. Instead, I accepted invitations, I invited people to do stuff, I traveled to various events, I texted and wrote emails, I sometimes went out even when I didn’t exactly feel like it, I practiced healthy boundary setting. In short, I put in a lot of effort.
I find that when I set an intention, it helps me better focus on what I need to do next. In the case of socializing, it means I’m paying attention and making or inviting that overture of friendship. Maybe it was there all along, but I’m much more likely to notice it and make that little extra effort required. In the case of writing, it means I keep plugging away, even if that means only doing a little work each day. I remember that I want to live a literary life and it informs the choices I make on a daily basis.
Our intentions join together to form our vision, both of who we want to be and what we want our lives to look like. Vision is an interesting thing because I think we have to believe completely in our vision for ourselves at the same time as we doubt and question it. It’s like reading a novel, being completely immersed in the world of these characters and events while simultaneously knowing that it’s fiction.
I believe completely in my vision for myself. I also think it might not happen. But I do believe it could happen, and perhaps that’s the important distinction–the belief in what’s possible and the willingness to commit ourselves to finding out.
What intention(s) have you set for yourself recently?