The Power of Intention
What is an intention? It’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot lately. But what is it really? Intention is defined as having something in mind such as a plan, purpose, or an action to take, and intentions can be very powerful. Intentions should be focused and connected to something you are doing or some overarching goal you want or need.
When setting intentions, leave any fears you have behind and hold yourself accountable for your planned intention. These are not like goals, they are simply used to help you change your mindset and switch from negative thinking to positive. You can also use them as food for your brain — good food! If you set your focus on being intentional, your brain will filter through all the other clutter at the moment and help you focus and achieve the intentions you’ve set! That’s why setting intentions are so powerful. Remember, your brain is always searching and filtering, and you’re giving it a good filter to help stay focused and motivated.
How are you using intentions in your life and career? Do you set an intention with a connection that you're trying to make? Are you setting an intention for the meeting that you're going into? If not, you should really think about being intentional as you go about your daily life. I think you'll be surprised at how much it will actually impact you and impact the success that you're working so hard to achieve.
For me, I have an intention of daily learning. It’s something that's really important to me and I do things to make sure that I'm learning daily. From reading a good book, to listening to a podcast or watching a video, I fuel my brain with knowledge every day. It’s something that’s important to me. What’s important to you?
My learning intention is directly tied to my intention to grow. It's by design, by choice that I'm growing and developing as an individual both personally and professionally. So at the end of each day, I ask myself what I learned, and I journal about it so I can keep track and reflect back.
Recently as I was really honing in on my personal growth, I came across something called “The Rule of Five” by John Maxwell. If you follow John and his methods, you may have heard of this — but for me, it was completely new and powerful enough that I wanted to share it with you.
The Rule of Five is focused on setting an intention for things you want to ensure you do them every day. Five things! Think of them as verbs, action items, and to-do list items that you can do every day to be sure that you're living your life intentionally.
Let me give you an example. My 5 things I choose intentionally each day are: Connect, Impact, Coach, Learn, and Grow. Connect is about making meaningful connections with people, new people as well as people I haven't seen or talked to in some time. This is different from networking, where you just gather information for future use. For example, I get LinkedIn connection requests every day, most of them without a note (which drives me crazy — but more on that later). If I see this person is in our industry or related industry, has a mutual connection or two, then I’ll respond to their request with a note and start a conversation. I’m making a conscious connection, finding common ground, and building a relationship with someone.
If you aren’t doing this, you need to start connecting and networking with intention today! You will be amazed at how conversations develop and lead to opportunities to support each other and even find customers, all because you reached out and made a connection.
Impact is another thing that’s really important to me. We all have the ability to impact those around us, but it takes effort to ensure that the impact is positive. So each and every day, I set an intention to have a positive impact in someone's life — or really just in the lives of each person I encounter along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments, just like you and my impact is negative from time to time. When that happens, I ask myself why I responded that way and what did I learn from it. But what’s really important is that I put on the lens to intentionally help and strengthen and encourage (a.k.a. impact) those around me every step of my day.
Since coaching is at the core of what I do, it’s fitting that coach would be one of my Rule of 5. Every day, I work to perfect this skill and increase my knowledge of coaching strategies and practices, and one of the ways I do that is by helping and coaching anyone that reaches out to me — whether or not they are a client. If you reach out to me and have an issue you need help with, I’m going to answer the call to coach you. I’m going to help you, no questions asked and with no expectation of anything in return. It is an intention of mine to consciously help people — and by using my coaching abilities, I can help people think through problems and process things in a whole new way sometimes.
My number 4 — learn. As I mentioned earlier, I make sure that I learn every day. It contributes to my growth. So I'm growing every day.
Connect, Impact, Coach, Learn, and Grow.
Do you see how each of my 5 intentions build on one another to set me up for success as the person I want to be? As I connect with more people, I broaden my impact, and as I channel my impact to help more people, I coach along the way! And learning and growing happen naturally as a result.
Embracing the Rule of 5 can help you set intentions and help you focus your efforts to become the person you want to be in every aspect of your life! So, now that you know my 5 intentions and have a few examples, it’s time for you to set yours. Now that you know how to live with intention based on your overall values and goals in life, you can choose to make conscious choices every day that get you closer to your goals (seriously, even washing the dishes feels like it has a bigger purpose when your goal is to be a helpful, impactful person for your family!). Be sure to write down your intentions, keep them close so you see them every day. I have mine on a sticky note on my computer to keep them top of mind day to day.
Be sure to reach out and let me know what your five intentions are within your Rule of Five that are helping you live intentionally every day. It’s your choice, but I hope you will join me and join the conversation at www.sidmeadows.com/blog