"The smallest of actions is always better than the noblest of intentions." - Robin Sharma
For a while, I was confused because despite of having intentions around my career, different aspects of life, I wasn't being able to actually manifest all that I truly intended. I was wondering if having intentions is at all a good idea or letting default life flow through would be the best one. Over the period, I have realized that whatever you chose to do, you have to embrace one thing for sure and that is taking ACTIONS. Without action, however small it may be, neither you will achieve your goals, nor life will flow through you. Actions are the prerequisites. Let's say, you want to learn a sport. You have a great intention. You back it up with numerous good thoughts about fitness, about nourishment of self, learning tactics that will help you in your work and life in general. Yet, being consistent at it & pursuing it till its completion gets in our way. You procrastinate, you give excuses, you do but don't see any results and the like. We all have been there. Why then despite of having good intentions, we fail to fulfill them? What works under the surface that acts as a deterrent towards fulfillment of our intentions?
Let me quote a small example for you to understand what exactly happens. I am a tea-lover. I hail from a place that is full of tea-gardens. Tea is like a health drink for me(that's what I thought so). I joined kick-boxing along with my son just a couple of weeks back. I picked this up because I want to be on a higher scale on fitness & also inspire my son to adopt fitness in his life. Alongside, we will have our time together as buddies! My fitness Coach from whom we are learning kick-boxing, checked my diet plan and cut out tea from the list. I was so sad! I tried to convince him to at least allow me to drink tea and cut out on other things. But, he explained me the ill-affects of having tea and how it impacts my fitness level. It's a tough job to convince a tea-lover like me! But, I understood his points and made an intention to drop tea. First day, I had severe head-ache. I was unable to bear with the loss of not having tea. My morning cuppa was like my life-line. Had it been other times, I would have given up. But this time I decided to sit on this anxiety and see what comes up. I went through an emotional processing of thoughts process that I learnt from my Coach and found out the reason as to why I wasn't able to do away with tea. I had attached something to tea. Tea was a distraction for me. A way to run away from discomfort. I figured out what that discomfort was and allowed it to leave me. I no longer now need tea to soothe me. I dropped tea from my diet list. I do have healthy green tea once in a while as antioxidant but not for soothing purpose. My intentions to move towards a healthy lifestyle got fulfilled because I decided to take actions, analysed my habits, went to the root cause of the problem and released that which wasn't serving me. I learnt this the hard way. It took me lots of years before this intention of mine got fulfilled. This time I took actions, I uncovered the deeper reasons and stuck to it.
There are immense examples like this including bigger ones. After analyzing the reasons, I have tried to compile a list of reasons because of which our intentions don't get fulfilled. Also, today while I was listening to Master Coach Steve Chandler, I got many insights around this same topic and hence sharing with you all in the form of pointers so that you too can have a look and see why intentions don't get fulfilled:
1. We don't believe deeply in our intentions.
2. We don't seek for right help to get them fulfilled.
3. We mask our weaknesses and fear getting access to them.
4. We aren't aware of our own strengths, hence we don't have the access to wisdom, creativity, innovation.
5. We get affected by external opinions because we lack the depth to lead ourselves.
6. We have no faith in our abilities & innate potential.
7. We lack in courage to stand by our intentions through thick & thin.
8. We don't really want them. We aren't that serious about our intentions.
9. We put the locus of control on others by blaming them rather than taking responsibilities.
10. There is inner conflict around our intentions & commitments.
11. We don't take the actions. We are fearful of outcomes.
12. We are repellent to hard work.
13. We fear change, the process & the results.
14. We resist change & comfort being in comfort zones.
15. We give up on our actions looking at our past records of failure/assumptions based on our rational-brain data.
16. We become immune to change.
17. We have difficulty letting go off habits not contributing to our growth.
18. We lack in patience.
Leaving you with these thoughts: What's your personal inner commitment? What's the inner conflict that is holding you back from fulfilling it? What is the tiniest of the action you commit to take? Make a commitment to self and no one else. If the world is not judging you/you are not judging yourself, what would you be creating for yourself?
May you fulfill all your intentions & realize all your dreams.
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals