The Importance of Intention
“Nature abhors a vacuum” I was taught in one of my first science classes. Whether you’re talking about air rushing in to fill the empty space, or how other people’s goals and intentions can fill up the space in our lives, it’s true.
Nothing gets done without there first being an intention. My big indulgence in life is spending time with friends and family, often away from home because I like to travel too. People often say to me, “Oh, you’re off again,” or “You’re great to organise that.” But it doesn’t happen by accident.
I realised in the months after I left my last employment that while going to work each day in that job had meant I was always surrounded by people, my new life as a trainee therapist, (and my future as a self-employed therapist) was going to be very different. If it was going to happen, I had to take responsibility for it, and couldn’t sit home waiting for others to come to me. I was also getting older, and becoming aware that I was running out of time to do some of things I wanted to do, or go some of the places I wanted to go.
So I set an intention, to make a priority of spending more of my time and money on people and things I loved. My initial strategy was to put things in the diary, whether they were coffee or lunch dates, weekends away or booking shows or activities. And I found that others shared my desire, and they joined me in my intention, so yes, sometimes I organise it, but more often it’s a joint effort.
This is just one example of the importance of having an intention, and then putting it into place. I’m sure you could give me thousands of them from your own life. But much of what happens in our lives happens by default. As I said at the start of this piece, nature abhors a vacuum, and our lives are busy. So busy, that if we don’t make space for the things we want, that there just won’t be space for them.
Steven Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) says, “How many people on their death bed wish they had spent more time at the office?” The late Jerry Hicks said, “If we don’t have goals of our own, we will become part of other people’s goals.” The message is clear, we need to give time and space to deciding what we want to give time and space to, set an intention, and then follow that through.
Many people have never really given sustained thought to what they’d like, and how they’ll achieve it. Often, before our intentions see the light of day we smother them in problems and complications, and all the reasons why we can’t achieve what we want. The fragile fruit of our desires gets trampled under the overwhelming weight of our objections.
In his book, You Were Born Rich, Bob Proctor tells a story about how the staff of a radio station raised $3m in three hours for the victims of a tornado in Canada some years ago. The details of their fund raising are not important, but the essential message of the story is that they set an intention to raise the money, and then they shifted their focus from all the reasons why they couldn’t do it, all the obstacles and problems, all the fears and blocks, to focus instead on how they could do it. In other words, they set the intention first and then focused on the strategy to achieve it. And they did, they raised $3m in three hours, three days after formulating their plan.
Perhaps you were one of the forty five percent of respondents to the 2013 IACP survey of members who said that “Recession / Personal Finance / Getting Clients” was a significant problem for them. If you were, perhaps it’s time to look at what you’d like instead, to set an intention for your practice to get the clients and the income you’d like. Perhaps it’s time too, to set in train a strategy to achieve what you want, by focusing on possibilities and options, rather than on problems and obstacles. After all, if you’re not part of the solution, maybe you’re part of the problem!
If you’d like help getting started with this, I’d love to help you. Please contact me here, for a free 20 minute consultation or to make an appointment.