At the time of my writing I have at least five projects around the house that I have intended to finish but have given no attention to in weeks for some and ever for others. I have good intentions. In fact, they are great and ambitious intentions that will improve the quality of life for my family and silence the internal nag inside my own head; “You really need to get those things done.” (Sometimes the nag is much more forceful and harsh. Not this morning. My internal mind nag is still asleep. Shhhh. Don’t wake him.)
Incomplete intentions add to your stress. Isolated intentions are virtual failures that never had the chance for success. They are actions without flesh, they are buildings without materials, they are a meal without any food. Intentions alone leave you unsatisfied and hungry for something real.
Within countless conversations with people, they tell me about their intentions. I listen with interest and hope but, while words are powerful for information and motivation (or discouragement), words cannot complete the task. The only thing that will get the medicine cabinet in my bathroom moved 2 inches lower to accomodate the new light fixture that replaced the 1981 style that was there before is intentional action. My good intentions mean nothing without intentional action.
Most of us act as referees for the battle between intentions and intentional just trying to make sure it remains a fair fight and no one gets hit below the belt. Instead, we need to act more like a reconciliation coach and bring this couple back together to live in harmony. Through the power of a harmonious relationship between intentions and intentional, you can complete that project. More importantly, you can make those important life changes (or as I like to call them, life empowerments). You can quit smoking, systematically reduce your anxiety, anger, fear, or hate. You can mend your relationships with your children, your parents, your spouse, or even more essential; yourself.
When people tell me about their intentions, they will usually start the sentence with “I need to . . .” If the house is on fire, you “need” to get out. But, if you just stand there and wait for the fire to magically go out or a big fireman to come drag you out, you are going to get burned. Follow “intentions” (need) with “intentional” (action).