Over the last several months, I have learned a lot by reading my guest bloggers’ postings on intention and how they have used it. So here, a summary – everything you ever wanted to know about intention. And links to the blog posts. Nothing left to do but set that intention!
The Rules of Intention, in a Nutshell
#1 – Set your intention.
Things just go better if you step in with a clear intention as opposed to when you just step in and take what you get.
Intention is not a plan – it is a decision made ahead of time; and it is a commitment to fulfill that intention.
Intention is a determination that says “this is how it’s going to be because I said this is how it’s going to be.”
#2 – Intend your way of being.
You can set an intention not only to achieve a particular result, but also to have a certain internal experience or state of being. It can help you achieve your outcome when you intend a particular state of being. Imagine how it would change things if your state of being was productive, confident, collaborative or clear. It is often the state of being that affects what we produce anyway. For example, you may intend to get seven things on your list done today, but if your state is “tired” or “distracted,” this will affect how efficient you are. What if you could set an intention to be focused? What might happen then with your list?
#3 – It doesn’t have to be “hard” to manifest intention (It’s Not that Hard).
Sometimes you can visualize a result you are intending, set your intention, let go, and manifest.
Intention does not require a lot of effort. Certainly it helps to take action in the direction of your dreams, but intention is an internal decision, a full orientation toward a result that you commit to attaining. It is a way of getting yourself in alignment with what you truly want.
#4 – Sometimes it takes longer than you think it “should.” Stay committed (However Long it Takes).
Manifesting your intention may not look how you think it should look. It may take longer than you think it should take. When you set an intention and when you commit to an intention, you stay committed, you stay in it. You will create it ultimately, but it may not look like your plan. Stay open to what creating your intention will look like.
#5 – Follow intention-setting with bold, committed action (An Intention or a Wish?).
Being bold enough to set an intention is not the end of the story. You have much more chance to achieve it if you truly commit to it. In fact, if you “set an intention” and do not commit to it through action, it is probably not really your intention. (It may be more a wish.) It is not enough to say, “I’ve decided to lose weight” or “I want to make more money this year” if you don’t follow through with committed action – not just any action, but action showing commitment to getting what you say you want.
#6 – Allow your intention to come through in magical ways (The Magic that is Intention).
The results of a clear intention combined with committed action are remarkable. Of course it doesn’t always work. But it is so much more effective than the alternative – not setting an intention, not taking committed action, wishing, hoping, and taking what comes. But sometimes there is an almost magical element to intention-setting, like when all the traffic lights turn in your favor. Or you say, “I intend to bring in one more client today” and someone shows up seemingly “out of the blue.”
#7 – Learn from your results (Based on Results You Have What you Intended).
After you set your intention and after you get a result, it is useful to look back at your result and everything that went before and ask yourself, “Based on the results I generated, what did I really intend?” Also abundantly useful is to ask, “What can I learn from this?” – whether you achieved the result you wanted or not.
Here is my recommendation. (1) Set intention. It is so important to learn if you can meet your intention regularly. Whether you do or whether you don’t, there will be much for you to learn. If you don’t set intention, there will be little to learn. If you regularly set intention, you will get better and better at manifesting what you say you want. (2) Have your intention be a “stretch” for you. If you set easy intention there will be no challenge and little to be learned. (3) Always look at your result and back at what you truly intended in order to learn about yourself. In this way, you will not only learn about yourself, but get much better at manifesting that which you say that you want.
#8 – It’s not over til it’s over (Taking Ownership and Being Intentional).
There are many ways to achieve your outcome. If you are intentional and take ownership for getting it, you will continue to look for more and different ways until you get what you say you want. Even if you keep hearing “no.” Even if it takes longer than you think it “should.” That is commitment. That is intention. (“Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”)
#9 – Create a fully formed intention – outcome + experience (What’s Your True Intention?).
“Sometimes it takes a while for me to understand what my true intention is and sometimes I realize it after the fact.”
Setting intention is the most powerful step. Your intention may be realized in a different way from how you thought it would be. You can let go of trying to control how it plays out. But don’t give up.
A fully formed intention may need to include not only “what do I want?” but also “what is the experience I want to have in getting it?” This goes along with the adage “be careful what you wish for.” As Suzi pointed out in her post, you may intend to show up at a meeting on time, and you may show up – but tired, harried, and having irritated all the people in your family. It is useful to say instead, “I intend to show up on time, relaxed and with harmony in my family.”
#10 – If you intend it, you will get it (Intention and Being).
In Keri’s blog post, she makes the assertion to Tom, “If that was your intention, you would have done it.” Most people do not want to hear this, but it is true. This definition of intention is not the strict dictionary definition which sees intention as a “plan”. A plan is worth very little. An intention is a commitment; no other conversation; I am saying I will and I will.
#11 – Forget the accursed “how”.
When we decide we want to do something and at first we don’t succeed, often we put up these “barriers” in our minds. Then we focus on HOW we will I get it. But if you can shift from “I want to” (desire) to “I will” (intention) and from “how do I?” to “I will,” then you can let go of the accursed “how’s.”
Imagine the possibilities when you live this way — there is always another way. Don’t focus on the how. Focus on the outcome — set an intention and commit to it. Your intention combined with your commitment will amaze you.