Bold words, but ones I firmly believe.
Intention: the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose
~ Merriam Webster
To create an intention is to clarify what you want. ...What you want to achieve in a yoga class, in a day, in a lifetime.
This act is deceptively simple but deeply powerful.
When you stop to ask- what is the one thing I could achieve today to make it great?- then you instinctively scan your internal ToDo list and weed out things that (turns out!) don't matter, and focus on the 1 or 2 things that will truly bring some measure of happiness.
And at the end of the day, isn't that all we're really looking for in life?
A bit of happiness.
A feeling of accomplishment.
Some barometer to let us know that we've done something worth a self-administered pat on the back?
By creating an intention, we suddenly know how to measure our day.
We connect with the goal behind the goal.
I don't think any of us have the intention to just "work", we really want to achieve a feeling of security, or a monetary reward.
So, connecting with the real goal, bypasses the b-s, and just focuses on our power to make our days more meaningful.
If we don't, then we end up just doing a lot of work without an actual goal in mind!
The result is exhaustion without the payoff. We've spun our wheels because we THINK we're supposed to be doing a whole lot- per our modern society that overvalues "busy-ness."
If we don't stop to ponder what we want to achieve, then our days--our lives!--feel like they just slip away.
Using intuition to prioritize good feelings,
we can get there an instant.
So, what can we do about this?
Whether you want to create an intention around a workout, a conference call, or your day overall, here are 5 easy steps:
- Breathe deeply, in and out 3 times
- While doing so, ask: what would make this day great? Or "How do I want to feel after this workout?" Or "What is the one thing I want to achieve in this meeting?", "Why am I REALLY doing this activity- what does it mean to me?" Use whatever question comes to you naturally.
- Then listen. Listen for the most simple answer. It will be a little voice in your head. Don't dismiss something that sounds too simple. Resist the urge to add on multiple answers. Keep it paired down to 1-2 feelings or goals.
- Check in throughout your day/workout/meeting and connect with that intention. Get yourself back on course if you've started to veer into doing something else for the sake of just doing more. Remember: more isn't better.Feeling good and accomplished is the goal.
With this practice, our days become focused on what matters. Our lives start to revolve on an axis of meaning, and no longer feel like they're spinning out of control.
It's within our power to control, but it's up to you to put into practice.
Cheers to being masters of our own universe.
Why this is like making magic and why it matters to me, so much.
First, the magic.
This is like making magic because by identifying what want, we create the path to achieving it. By knowing what we desire, we're that much closer to making it a reality. And when we begin to live in a reality dictated by things that make us happy, it almost feels like magic.
Why it matters to me.
Because it took being diagnosed with MS to realize how valuable my energy is. A common symptom of multiple sclerosis is exhaustion. Instead of fighting it and trying to work harder, I got smart and chose to work effectively. That means only putting my precious energy toward things that will make a difference in my day. And by anchoring myself with an intention, I can follow a path that leads to a pay off, not worn-out-stressed-out-overwhelm.
There are PLENTY of things beyond my control, but the way in which I choose to assign happiness and accomplishment is within my power.