May 17, 2022

Intentionality

Intentional and Accidental directions. Opposite traffic sign.

Intention (noun):

  1. the fact or quality of being done on purpose or with intent: The author’s choice here may not have been intentionally racially charged, but discrimination and prejudice are often not rooted in
  2. an attitude of purposefulness, with a commitment to deliberate action: “Active hope” is a practice that does not require optimism; instead, it requires intentionality.

I believe that “intention” and all its derivatives are grounded in our Learner/Researcher selves.

Although myriad synonyms can be found in the Knower/Judger (e.g., aim or hope), I see intentionality connected only to our Learners/Researchers.

Just as satisfaction is part and parcel of the K/J and happiness co-supports the L/R, intentionality behind my actions is what gets me what I really want. Intentionality does not arise from my or others’ adopted life-scripts (e.g., Drive the BMW, get the corner office, make partner, be the star of the ball game); instead it comes from MY more pure and less measurable desires (e.g., to love my self and others). In other words, my intentionality gets me to my desired outcome (e.g., love and calm) faster than from hearing the K/J shoulds borne from trying to meet others’ or even my own expectations.

I can aim or plan to get a sale. Or hope the Cardinals win the World Series. I can propose to raise $10,000 for Ukraine. These plans may pay off my K/J “trained” life script, and they either make me feel good or bad (if I fall short), regardless of what others or my ego thinks. Along the satisfaction-to-happiness continuum, these plans land me at satisfaction.

When I’m intentional, though, I am more fueled (i.e., motivated) toward my goal or end point. And according to kaizen (Google it!), the more of a stretch our goal is, the more intention is required. We can accomplish some short-term goals almost in our sleep—the K/J life-script things we’ve been trained to do.

But what of the BHAG (big hairy-assed goal)? The idea of running a half-marathon or entering a rally with your own car? Learning to play the xylophone? Getting out of a toxic relationship? Traveling around the world? Running your own life (as opposed to coloring between the lines established for you by your K/J)?

Because these end points are probably not in my comfort zone, I likely can’t simply decide to reach them. I will call them “unreachable” and settle for what my “script” has in store. Or I can look in the mirror and realize the truth about the goal. In other words, I can do what I’ve always done and “settle,” avoiding another quantum leap in my life. Or I can make an intentional decision.

What’s the difference? I believe intentionality comes when I’ve decided I want to run a half-marathon for me. Not to appease some other’s—or even my own— “rule of life” I’ve been operating under, but just for me. Not to show off to friends, significant other, or Mom, Dad or siblings. Just me. Reaching my desired end point is reached by this this intentionality.

It’s funny. As I write this, I recall many false starts, where I started doing what I thought I wanted to do and then ran out of steam (sometimes very quickly). In retrospect, I see that I made those goals more for others than for me. The for-just-me part is key to achieving my inspired, life-giving and affirming accomplishments. It directs me away from what I’ve been pre-programmed to do. These decisions are not for my boss or to better my title or income; they’re for creating my best me: fearless and trusting.

I recall quite vividly when I was fueled by intentionality. Today I’m what and where I am by both adhering to my K/J “rules of life” that work for me and modifying those that took me off track… intentionally.

Wishing you intentionality… if you want it.

 

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