"Our intention creates our reality" -- Douglas Adams
I honestly think that there is a little bit more to this than "just" having the right intention, but it nevertheless holds a fundamental truth.
In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of having "rituals" in our lives if we want to aim at a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, family life, work environment or society; and in my opinion, the first ritual to implement in our life has everything to do with consciously determining our intentions. Every single day.
It is very easy to do and it doesn't require a lot of time. Just take a piece of paper during breakfast or during your staff meeting and think about your intention for that day.
It could be anything: from "being confident," "don't yell when I feel angry," "persuading my client" (or my boss, for that matter), "having joy in what I do," "make sustainable choices," "being patient with that one particular colleague or family member," "sending kind messages to my loved ones," "making my colleagues laugh" to "doing all the things that are on my to-do list."
Writing down our intentions plants a seed in our mind that increases the likelihood to act on it. Making it a ritual to do so increases the likelihood we become the way we want to be. Every single day.
I truly believe that in our hearts we want to be healthy, and we want our planet to live on for future generations, but reality shows that it's not that simple to achieve. Our daily struggles to fight for our work, life, health, mental state and financial situation make it sometimes difficult to focus on what is really important and good. In my opinion, we miss a solid framework that helps us to be who we really want to be, and we thus get swept away by the reality of our day.
If we think about it, we have a "framework" for most of the things we do in our lives. We have a (moral) framework at our work: a guide on how to operate, on how to deal with customers, on how to communicate internally and externally and on who runs which business. We have a framework that makes our "household" running the way it should, like: he does the dishes, I walk the dog, we say hello and goodbye, we eat at this time and we wake up at that time.
But do we have a framework that guides us in living our true values and that focuses our attention and actions on doing good? Do we do what we intend to do? At our work, in our family, with our company and even with the lives of our children?
Writing down our (personal) intentions can be the start of a framework that we are missing and that can lead us to a healthier and more sustainable life.
It's indeed like how we determine our "company values" and write it down in a mission statement, which does help our company and us to act upon them. But like you probably have experienced, writing it down only once doesn't really make us live up to these values. That can only be established when we are consistently reminded of them and make time to consistently reflect on them.
Writing down our intentions as a daily ritual is, in my opinion, the start of living the life we want to live; it makes it easier to follow our intentions and it opens us to a world of possibilities. Possibilities that are there, but not yet manifested in our daily lives -- it helps us to create the reality we want.
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