17 Sep Focus On Your Intentions
Underlying every meaningful action is an intention. Dictionary.com defines intention as “determining mentally upon some action or result” or “purpose/attitude towards the effect of one’s actions or conduct.” Before we do things that may significantly impact ourselves or others, we must be aware of what our intentions are. We need to take some time to examine our hearts and minds and focus on our intentions.
How do you focus on your intentions? Ask yourself these questions…
- Who are you really doing it for? When evaluating our true intentions behind an action it is important to determine who we are really doing it for? For example, if you start a charitable organization are you doing it for the people who will benefit from it or are you doing it to raise your profile and to bring attention to yourself?
- What are you doing this for? Honestly, this question may have multiple responses, but you have to weigh the most important driver behind your actions. For example, if you write a nonfiction book, your intention could be to share your expertise and to encourage others, but it could also be to gain income. Both intentions are perfectly reasonable, but what is your ultimate driver? If it is mainly money, you may write it with the purpose of maximizing sales. You may leave out hard truths that your audience may find offensive or exaggerate the truth to make your story more appealing. On the other hand, if it is to encourage others you may choose to be more transparent about your own challenges and to honestly coach your readers towards their goals even if it may not be as comfortable for you or your audience.
- When are you choosing to do it? Believe it or not, even the timing of our choices is all about intention. For instance, if you know you are called to do something do you respond immediately or does it take a year, 2 years, 5 years to do it? Delaying could be due to an abundance of caution, but may also be due to pride or stubbornness.
- Where are you doing it? Matt 6:5 says “when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.” Don’t let this be you! Platforms such as YouTube, podcasts, social media are potential areas to consider for this question. Being on these platforms are great venues to grow your audience and to share your message, but evaluate your intent. Is it simply a popularity, most likes/followers/views contest for you or is it truly to reach as many people as you can with the message you have been given to share?
- Why are you doing it? Intention is all about your purpose behind your action. Do your actions align with your purpose? This applies to both your higher purpose as well as your purpose for the specific action itself. For instance, if you know your purpose is to empower women and you have been led to write a Bible study for women, follow your purpose. Don’t write the book geared towards men and women because you don’t want to limit your audience or you think it will offend your male followers. Maybe they are following you because they are sharing your message with the women in their lives. When in doubt, always align with your purpose.