Nothing gets done by itself.
One of the things that I've learned over time is that if I want something to happen, I have to do something about it. If I want to get a result, I have to do something. Even though I write a lot about setting an intention, and letting our intention guide the things that we do, I also recognize that intentions aren't enough.
As the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” A good intention is something that we intend to do, want to do, and try to do, but something that we never actually get around to doing.
We can struggle with wanting good things for our lives, wanting things to be better, wanting to achieve and hit new goals, but the intention by itself isn't enough. Yes, a good intention can drive a particular result, but the action has to come with it.
That's why I've come up with the phrase “deliberately intentional,” because we have to decide that we want something, we have to decide that the thing we give our intention to is the thing that we want more than anything else. We have to be deliberate about going about it.
It's not enough just for us to yearn for something or to want things to be different, but we really have to push. We have to decide if it's what we really want and if it is, then we have to be willing to go all in on it.
I remember deciding whether or not to take coach training. The missions organization that I was partnering with offered a coach training certification. It was something that I found interesting and thought would be helpful not only in ministry, but also as something that I could do on the side where I could run a business that helped other ministers and Christian leaders with questions that they might have that I could bring my coaching skills to bear with.
I thought long and hard about whether or not to go through with the training. I thought about the pros of it and I thought about the cons of it. I recognized that it would give me a certification that I could use to hang my metaphorical shingle out and call attention to myself that I was in business for myself.
But I also recognized that the course was a long way away. It was in Texas and I lived in Michigan at the time, and the program cost money. I was going to have to ante up the money and put my money where my mouth was, so to speak, in order to do it.
Because of the principle of deliberate intention, I decided to go ahead with it. It was something I really wanted to do. I was ready for it. I knew it would help and I wanted to do it. So I thought creatively about it and was able to blend time going to the course in Texas with a visit down to see family in Arkansas. I was able to leave my wife and children with the family in Arkansas while I peeled off for three days to go to Texas, take the course, and come back to finish our trip with family.
I'm glad I did it. In addition to the things that I had considered to be pros, I also had something very powerful happen to me because of the coach training. In this training, we were taught to create a framework that helped the client think through the particular questions they have by recognizing that the client is their own best authority. In other words, the coach himself or herself didn't need to solve the problems the client was bringing. The coach simply needed to guide the client to find their own solutions.
Through this realization, I was strengthened in my own resolve to become more assertive. I didn't expect that to happen. And frankly, I was a little surprised that it did happen. But a byproduct for me of this training was that I came back equipped to be more assertive about my own needs, wants, and desires in my role as a minister. It helped me to become more healthy, both spiritually and emotionally.
This came about for me because of the principle of deliberate intention. If I had only decided that the coach training was something I wanted to do, but I didn't actually follow through on that, I never would have achieved some of the goals that I had set for myself around the training. I wouldn't have been able to go into business for myself. And I wouldn't have learned, at least at that time, how to be more assertive and a better advocate for myself.
Deliberate intention is something that you can practice with yourself right now. You don't have to wait for something big or important to happen in your life. You don't have to wait for something significant to happen. You just set your intention right now and then deliberately go about achieving whatever it is that you set your mind to, whether it's a work goal, a family goal, a habit, or some other kind of a goal.
Decide what it is that you really want, and having set that intention, be deliberate in how you go about it. Ask yourself questions like: How will I accomplish this? What happens if I don't accomplish it? What if a roadblock gets in the way of me accomplishing this? What are the steps or phases that are involved in me accomplishing this?
Work your way through questions such as this and then make a plan. Be deliberate about your intention. When you're deliberately intentional about what you want to do, I believe that you will find success with it.
How was this article helpful for you? What questions do you have? Let me know. I'd love to help you.