I’m usually pretty good at identifying how I feel and think about situations and then determining a course of action that lines up with my goals. There are exceptions, though. I really like snacking, especially on salty treats and sometimes skip exercise, although I want to be healthy. I want to have enough money for retirement (however much that should be) but I also like driving a BMW and taking winter trips to warm and sunny destinations. Making choices based on intentions is not always easy. These are small examples of choices that don’t necessarily align with intentions, but what about more significant ones?
Take Tim for example. He really wants to have the respect of his fellow co-workers and provide excellent service to his clients. However, Tim often finds himself annoyed at people for a variety of reasons and ends up getting frustrated with them. His clients and co-workers can see that Tim is letting his anger get the better of him. They wish he could control his frustration better and not have it impact his work, or even worse, their bottom line.
The good news is that with some coaching, Tim learned to identify when he was beginning to feel frustrated and the thoughts that came at the same time. He learned to take some time to pause, and to calm himself down. Once he was more calm and feeling more ‘grounded,’ he was able to respond to situations thoughtfully and with a clear intention, rather than react out of frustration.
Identifying your intention in any situation or area of life; physical, emotional, relational, financial or spiritual is like having a compass and map tell you where you are and where you want to go. Once facing the right direction, you will get closer to your goal with every step.
If you’re not sure of where you are going, ie: it feels murky and confusing, take a pause and make sure you are very clear about what your intention is in the situation. It can bring a lot of clarity to next steps and you will be able to plot the course a lot easier.