Don’t Confuse Intention with Action

Goals and Dreams, Simplicity

couch_potatoWith all things in life, it is important to not confuse a desire to change with actual change.
Thinking about decluttering or talking about decluttering won’t result in any positive benefits. These benefits can only be experienced when the excess clutter has been removed.
It’s easy to think that intention is indeed a powerful force.
After all, unless you intend to lose weight, get fit, eat healthily, run a marathon, improve your marriage – then it’s unlikely to happen.
Nobody accidentally finds themselves signed up to a gym and on a treadmill or enrolled in an online marriage help course.
Intention is required to make changes because they are highly unlikely to happen organically. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the intent is all that important, it only starts the process moving.
Intention really isn’t all that powerful.
In fact, there is plenty of proof to suggest that intention plays a very small role in making beneficial change.
Think about it for a moment.
How many people do you know who are overweight, who intend to drop a few pounds?
How many people do you know who intend to quit smoking or get fit?
How many married people do you know who intend to improve their relationship?
And how many people do you know who have set news years resolutions that have given up on them before the calendar has turned over to February?
Of course you need to intend to change if you are to do so, and as such intentions are the starting point, but that’s it.
The real power of change isn’t in the intention, there is no real power of intention any more than there is a power in day dreaming about a better life or marriage – it’s yet another self development myth.
Anyone can have positive intentions when it comes to improving the quality of their lives and most people do – but few come to fruition.

Real Power

Eckhart Tolle states that ‘now’ is the most powerful moment in your life, and it always will be because it’s all you have.
Intention has little effect on the overall outcome.
It may be dispiriting to know this.
It’s easy to believe that intention is important, but you are misleading yourself if you believe that just because you intend to make something happen – it will.
It probably won’t.
So what can you do?
If you know your intention is merely a first very easy step on the path to whatever it is that you want to achieve, then plan accordingly.
Remind yourself that intending to write a best seller means absolutely nothing (millions of people have that aspiration), until you take action.
Intending to spend more time with family and friends when/if you get more time, is just an idle thought designed to stop you feeling guilty and taking action. So acknowledge it as such.
Intending to finally seek help for marriage struggles or ways to improve your sex life will not make your struggles go away. You have to DO SOMETHING about it – like joining Married Life 911 or Sex Like You’re On Vacation.
And intending to get in shape this year is all well and good, but the reality is, that nothing magical happens at midnight on December 31st, 2014, unless you take action.
The path to disappointment and failure is littered with good intentions.
Whereas the path to success has an intention at the beginning to get the ball rolling, and then comes lot’s of commitment, tenacity, determination, belief and planning to maintain that initial intent.
So what have you been intending to do, that you just haven’t got around to yet?
And more importantly, what are you going to do about it this year?

*Adapted from Tim Brownson of A Daring Adventure