07/13/2012 07:47 am ET Updated Sep 12, 2012

Guide to Finding Your Intention

We often hear calls and initiatives for self-growth, but what I have come to realize is that we cannot truly understand what self-growth means until we understand separately what self means and what growth means. And I believe that before we can even consider these questions, we must understand what our intention is and begin to prepare ourselves for that conversation.

A conversation with one's self is a rather inexpensive exercise. You just need time, space and the right questions for an invaluable conversation to occur. By asking yourself the right questions and being ready to listen, you can engage with your intention and better understand why you do what you do. Then, by understanding your intention and what drives you, you will have the clarity to accomplish your intended purpose. It doesn't matter what that is -- from being a/the leader of your household, or a great employee or a CEO -- in the end it is all the same; it is about the mindset.

Questions for discovering intention behind what you do:

Without thinking about your next year's goal, think only about your next hour.

1. Why are you about to do what you are about to do?

  • For payment?
  • For growth?
  • For enjoyment?
  • For ego?
  • For practicality?
  • Because you feel no one else can or will?
  • To alleviate your anxiety?
  • Other?

2. What interests you about it?

3. What would you rather be doing?
  • Why?

4. Do you have to do this?
5. Who are you doing this for?
6. Even if it is yourself, what have you promised to deliver?
7. Do you understand you're deliverable fully?
8. What makes you think you understand?
9. Why did you promise to deliver? Job? Moral obligation? Ego? Other?

Discovering how you first spend your time will aide you enormously through how you do or don't naturally tap into yourself. By taking this first step, you will be ready to realize your intention. Is your intention to feel better? Is it to do better? Only you can discover your intention, and there is not one right answer. Just remember: Once you find the way to check in/tap in to ask yourself why you are about to do what you are about to do, and begin to make this your hourly/daily mantra, stick to it and carry it through everything that you do.

Next blog we will discuss how to measure your progress once you've begun to use this process. Personally, I've found it remarkable. And believe me, I still find my old habits of just "doing" often present and have to remind myself to walk my talk. It isn't easy to be awake. It certainly isn't easy to not be distracted. Enjoy your process.

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