Getting into a flow state requires you first to know where you wish to go. While it is easy enough to make a choice by listening to your heart, taking that first step requires another degree of awareness. Too many people seem to think that all it takes is making a choice and then life starts guiding you in the direction you need to go.
After making a choice, you need to start taking action by implementing the steps you need to take. Without this, there is no achieving your goal of choice. Doing is the most crucial step of the entire process.
Have you ever noticed a key quality in people who seem to keep spinning their wheels in life? These people always seem to have the qualities necessary to succeed — they have brilliant ideas and the energy to carry things out, but for one reason or another, they always remain in place, perpetually devising new ideas to move forward.
Such people often have it worse than those who fail outright because they have the illusion of success. Their ego convinces them that they’re doing the right thing. They’re masters of retrofitting events to justify how the world is against them, and all that takes place is coated with a veneer of positivity.
Well, the common characteristic these people share is the quality of being able to come up with brilliant ideas. They’re always full of them. They have the ability to debate an idea’s merits and faults to the ends of the earth and know seemingly everything about everything. Anything that you say will be met with a response that makes perfect, logical sense.
Except for the small fact that these people have no idea what it is they’re talking about. They have not actually done anything and are simply talking out of theoretical knowledge and are more concerned with placating their ego’s need to be seen as someone superior. Their intention is to satisfy their ego, and that’s it. They end up carrying this out with due purpose.
Intention is what focuses your mind like an arrow towards its target. It is your reason for doing something. While this sounds a lot like what a goal is, in reality, intentions are like the impetus while goals are the destination. Intention is what pushes you forward, relentlessly.
As such, they are extremely powerful and make no mistake, you will carry out and do whatever your intention is. This is why it is extremely important to set it up for action and not for thinking. If you were to observe the most successful people in our world, be it in terms of financial wealth or happiness, you’ll notice that their intention is completely focused on doing, not talking.
While they may spend time talking about what they do, the majority of their time is spent carrying out what they preach. Thinking about doing something ultimately costs you more energy than actually doing the thing. There are many reasons as to why people refuse to do and are content with sitting there dreaming up different ideas and to do lists.
A big reason is the ego. Your ego needs constant external validation and unfortunately, the nature of our society provides more exposure to people who talk about doing than those who actually do. The internet is full of self- proclaimed gurus who know nothing about what they’re saying and only know how to manipulate their viewers’ egos.
By using the promise of an idea to improve one’s life, people are lured into thinking about them incessantly while providing the ego the short term boost it requires through validation of its intelligence, further driving people to seek this. Here’s the thing: Thinking is easy. Doing is the tough bit. It requires you to face problems and figure out solutions.
It requires you to make yourself vulnerable and be brave by opening yourself to feedback. People who never figure out their purpose in life tend to cower behind their egos, afraid of what sort of feedback they will receive. The way past this fear is to simply define your intention.
What is your intention in life? Is it to placate your ego, or is it actually to live the best life you can? Define your intention, and you’ll automatically find yourself propelled into action.
Positive Intentions in Everyday Life
At its core, setting intentions is all about recruiting energy to help propel us towards our goals. While you’d figure that your purpose alone should provide this, as we discussed before, the reality is that your purpose and goals are destinations to shoot for. In the day to day grind of things, your focus will be entirely on executing the tasks on hand to reach that goal.
Actions carried out with positive intentions have far greater power than those simply carried out for the sake of it. Intention will propel you to full awareness because this is your ‘why.’ When fully aware of why you’re doing something, the results you produce will reflect this awareness and will move you that much closer to where you want to be.
Given their power to inform your actions, your intentions are ultimately what determines your reality. It is your intentions that determine how focused your thoughts are and how well you carry out your actions. If your intentions come from a place of positivity and in line with the nature of reality, then you will find your life turns harmonious. If it comes from a negative place, such as pleasing the ego, then you’ll find your life full of unnecessary drama.
By setting your intentions in a positive manner, all sorts of hurdles disappear, and you can focus your energy much better. This is because your decision making becomes far more streamlined. For example, if you know that you intend to go west in order to achieve your goals, why would you even consider going east or north?
Without that intention to set the tone, as you begin your journey, you will need to spend time trying to figure out which direction it is you need to go. Without the framework that
intention-setting provides for your thoughts, you might even go in the wrong direction for a while before realizing your mistake and then double back, which is frustrating to say the least.
Intentions help you take responsibility for your happiness and help place control right in your hands, and with this, you can live a life by design, instead of one created by habit and conditioning. It’s not just in your personal life where you will see the effects of positive intentions. Look around the workplace or in any professional setting — the best leaders are those who provide their teams with a clearly defined goal.
However, beyond just setting the goal, they also make it very clear that the goal is an objective and that it must be met within certain boundaries. This is nothing but providing the team an intention to meet their day to day tasks in pursuit of that goal. This ensures everyone is pointed in the same direction and that no energy is wasted going after things that are not in line with what needs to be achieved.
Positive intention also will work wonders for your interpersonal relationships. This much is true. We tend to see the world as a reflection of ourselves. By assuming a positive viewpoint of things in your life, you’ll project the same attitude onto someone else. By simply assuming positive intent from your team member, your spouse or partner, your family, and so on, you’ll eliminate a lot of conflicts.
None of us are mind readers, and misinterpreting intent is one of the primary causes of conflict. We get defensive and retreat into a shell when we hear things we don’t like. Well, we don’t like them in the first place because we frame these things as being against our goals. By assuming that the person you’re speaking to intends their comments in a positive, helpful manner, you’ll be surprised at how much more open and receptive you become to feedback from life.
This has the added benefit of opening yourself up to your heart and receiving negative feedback from the infinite knowledge. Always assume positive intent from everyone you interact with, including your heart. Assume everything is set up so as to help you improve and live life with greater joy and peace. You’ll find that this turns into a reality.
Set Intentions Too, Not Just Goals
Goal setting is just one half of achieving your objectives. The other half is all about setting your intentions. One of the things you must understand about intentions is that they are more of an energy than a particular statement. For example, you can define in words your intention to live your day in a particular manner.
You could wake up every day and tell yourself, “I will live today in a state of happiness and spread as much positivity to those I come in contact with.” When setting goals though, your intention is usually implicit in the goal itself. If you need to inject your career with a flush of energy, defining where you wish to be is a good starting point.
A statement such as “I am a senior xxx for company xxx” or “I own and run my business xxx which is in such and such field,” will help you keep your intent focused and purposeful. These statements are goal statements but have the energy of intention within them. By reminding yourself and visualizing these as a reality, you’ll inject yourself with the purpose to go out and achieve them.
By repeating such statements or statements of intentions to yourself what you’re doing is activating energies within you. These energies place you in the current moment and increase your focus. Thus, a side effect of these statements is that your ego is deactivated and sidelined. When the energy level of these statements is high enough, it opens up your channel to your heart fully and gives you full access to the infinite knowledge that awaits you as you carry out your tasks.
Setting your intention is one thing, but carrying them out is another. At first, just like with meditation, your mind will wander and you will need to bring it back to the present moment and focus on your intention. This becomes easier with repeated practice, so it is a good idea to take some time every day to write down and repeat your intention statements.
Visualizing these statements as reality will charge them positively and will bring great changes into your life. Remember, your intentions have the ability to greatly influence those around you. In fact, scientific research has proven that positive human intention has the ability to influence water, which happens to be what we’re mostly made up of, physically speaking.
Your intentions and the energy they transmit will interact with other people’s electromagnetic fields and you will find yourself getting out of your own head more and more. Daily positive intentions have the power to get you to focus on things greater than yourself and completely minimize the ego’s contribution in your life.
The more you travel outside of yourself, the more present you will be and the greater your connection to your heart will be.
Technique #12: Setting Intentions to Water
The power of intention can be used to improve your daily life through some very simple practices. The first of these practices may cause a lot of controversies, but it has its share of believers. This is the practice of setting positive intention to water. The method was conceived by Masaru Emoto, who is referred to as either a scientist or a pseudoscientist depending on which point of view you adopt.
Through experiments he conducted on setting positive intentions to water, Emoto claimed to find that the crystals of water which were formed by imparting positive emotion were of a more beautiful structure than those that were imparted with a negative energy.
Thus, he postulated that the energy transmitted through our intentions has a real impact on the molecular structure of water. Given that our bodies are almost entirely made of water, this is quite significant. There are multiple ways of transferring positive energy into the water we drink. The first is to hold a glass of water in our hands and to repeat our intention either out loud or in our minds. Our intention could be either a short term focused, daily one or something connected to our long term goals, it doesn’t matter. As long as the emotion is positive and loving, you’re on the right track.
A good way to further energize the water is to visualize yourself carrying out your intention and doing things in the manner you wish to. By doing this, you’ll be recruiting the power of both your intention as well as visualization. Intention statements are not the only thing you can visualize and repeat.
If nothing particular strikes your mind, simply affirming a message of love and gratitude is enough to energize the water. Other things that offer you positive vibes, whether it is prayer or music, can also be used to energize the water. Consume this water intermittently throughout the day and repeat this practice before you go to bed at night.
For added effect, you could also use crystals to capture the positive energy and add this to your water prior to drinking it. In this manner, you’ll build the positive energy within the water and also change the molecular structure of the water within you.
Technique #13: Setting Intentions to Statements
A far more palatable exercise for some might be the process of writing intention statements. These statements are affirmations that you can use to govern how you intend on living your life and what it is you would like to change. There are a couple of characteristics of these statements you should incorporate at all times, such as writing them in first person, using present tense.
In other words, the subject of these statements should always be you and not someone else. This would simply be you trying to control someone else’s actions, and that isn’t in line with the way nature works. Instead, focus on controlling your own actions and reactions to triggers.
The present tense is used to reinforce the fact that what you want in your life is real and that you have full faith that the universe will provide it for you. This is a step where quite a few people stumble. You see, you’ll have faith in the realization of things that you believe possible. However, the point of setting goals and intentions is to push your limits and to achieve something that is outside your comfort zone.
Some people have confidence in themselves, but others struggle with this. For such people, writing statements they don’t believe in will only reinforce their inadequacy. Thus, if you feel a negative push or have thoughts that seem to tell you that this is impossible, modify the statement.
Adding phrases such as “I am willing” or “My intention is” makes the sentence more believable and affirms to yourself that while the goal is outside your comfort zone, you’re still willing to work for it and you will achieve it. This is a point of view that your brain and self-image will accept easily. So use these in place of strong statements such as “I am rich” or “I am surrounded by people who love me” and so on.
One thing to avoid is the use of words such as: try, but, and or. Your statements need to be as specific as possible. Specificity can be in the form of a quantifiable thing or in terms of emotion. What I’m saying is that you need to know if the goal or intention is met. So you can define reaching a goal in terms of feeling an emotion or in terms of something quantifiable.
A quantifiable goal is “I am a billionaire.” A goal based on feeling is “I am in a loving and mutually healthy relationship.” In both cases, you’ll know when you get there. If you add doubt into the mix or indecision, you’re scrambling your energy and conveying that this intention isn’t really all that important to you and that it’s okay not to follow it.
Monitor your self-talk constantly since this is just another form of stating your intention. If you detect negative talk, reframe it to positive by using the phrases mentioned previously. Always reframe negative talk and don’t let it pass by without questioning and challenging it. Do this, and over time you’ll find that your brain will get the message automatically correct itself.
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