Attention that is firmly directed in the present is a result of conscious intent. Intent is conviction and precedes commitment. Intent is also a predecessor to purpose in that it can tell one much about who they are at the core.
Intent begins as a need.
I will never forget my experience with writing my personal mission statement at the age of forty-one. I was carefully studying Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I took three months to work my way through Covey’s book and firmly directed my attention on the section about creating a personal mission statement.
This mission statement exercise was a difficult one requiring me to mentally traverse back through the years. I was astounded by how much of my attention was placed on the person I was at age seventeen. As I remembered that seventeen year old, I saw a young man for whom a lot had come together. There was a level of confidence that had not been exhibited to that point. There was a sense of self that was present with this young man. He was happy with who he was. As part of the mission statement exercise I set a goal to be more like that seventeen year old.
Three things stood out about this seventeen year old work-in-progress. One was that I seemed to be present with what was occurring in my life. Next, I was positive about the future, and finally, I had begun to honor intrinsic need. This young man began to become conscious of how much he needed love and understanding. At the same time he desperately desired to find his place of service in this life.
I sat there at my desk with the completed mission statement typed and framed. I held in my hands the tangible product of some exhausting, introspective work. As I sat there and read my completed mission manuscript, the pride slowly turned to a bit of panic as I seemed to realize for the first time how many times I used the word ‘Listen.’
Being alone in my office didn’t stop me from blurting out, “I suck at listening.” At that moment intent was formed because of need. An obligation was created by my need to make the act of listening a cornerstone of my conscious mission.
Right then I dedicated all my study for growth and development in the direction of becoming a great listener. In this specific instance I didn’t just want to be a listener, I had the desire to be a great listener. The desire was formed as I authentically spoke my personal mission.
Intent is conviction and precedes commitment. How far we are able to reach out into the world is in direct proportion to how deeply we are able to reach within ourselves. Intent is our internal reach and commitment is our external reach.
While other individuals and specific events may inspire us, we are each solely accountable for our motivation. As an individual, you must open to intrinsic need – where your desire to address this need is not dependent on external circumstances or on others approval.
Open to your own intent so you may have will enough to act; to free desire in finding a form in which it can be spoken authentically.
Awareness is encouraged by acts of intent. As you open to the internal reach of intent you are now free to learn powerful and positive things about yourself. You have opened to the flow. You have stepped into the stream.