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Intention Works

‘Intention works’, it was on the page before I knew it and then I had an urge to qualify it. I don’t believe you can win the lottery or find a partner, or get healthy, just by having an intention, nor do I believe that when a misfortune befalls you it is because you – probably unconsciously but still – intended it to happen.

And yet I believe we create our own reality and I have experienced myself this year a few times where I had an intention and it happened. I had an intention to start working again in January 2013, having taken 3 months off after I left my previous company, and the 5th of January the phone rang. Towards the end of summer when I was just thinking it would be great to have a client closer to home, an email came into my inbox overnight, and a week later I was doing work for a client closer to home. Coincidence? I don’t quite believe it.

Pondering this on my drive home one night I realised there was something else about intention I needed to explore. All of a sudden I was reminded of a session with a horse in the ring. I had been trying to see if he wanted to be a coach in a workshop, after I thought we were finished, I wanted to take him back to the stable, but he wouldn’t come near me again. I’d been warned he could be very scared of people, and I could simply have walked out and asked someone else to get him. Instead, for half an hour I tried to work with him, tried to actually fake an intention, saying I just want to let you out, when really I just wanted ‘not to look stupid’. In the end I laughed at myself and did find someone else, the horse definitely responded to my intention, it’s just that I was oblivious in that moment of my real intention. If my real intention was to show myself, then I did a really good job of showing my stubbornness and unwillingness to ask for help.

I recalled a meeting in an organisation. One participant kept working on his computer during the meeting. When a colleague brought this up the participant stormed out. Afterwards we explored what happened, and my colleague discovered, that though he said he wanted to discuss it and be open to the other person, really, what he wanted was for the man to close the computer and put it away, and in the process he would have liked him to have some remorse too. The participant responded to his ‘real’ intention.

Come to think of it, intentions seem to have discernment, they tend to ‘work’ when they apply to changing oneself, or doing something for the greater good, while when they are meant to change another they are likely to backfire.

In one of the programmes I used to run there was a quote that “we judge ourselves by our intention, and others judge us by our behaviour”. I learned last year to rewrite that sentence to “we judges ourselves by our stated intention, others judge us by our unspoken intention”. The challenge is that we may not be aware of our unspoken intentions, the gift is that we can discover them by observing the responses from those we interact with.

This is nr 2 in a series of 13 about my insights from 2013 which i took into 2014 ... These have been published on my earlier website and I am reposting them here because they still feel relevant.

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