Creating a Better You: The Power of Intent and intention
By: John McGrail, Ph.D.
The whole concept of becoming better than before implies change of some sort; moving in some way from where we are to where we want to be. The change can be physical, emotional or spiritual. And in truth all change involves all three energies.
One of the most powerful ingredients in harnessing one’s energies to create change is the energy of intention or intent. If we look at the dictionary definition of intent we see words like purpose, motive, aim, design, and goal; and next to these words we see descriptors like, keen, resolute, sincere, serious, and diligent.
No change, nothing new can happen without a purpose, aim or goal; an artist cannot create art, an athlete cannot compete, a student cannot learn, a business cannot profit, a writer cannot write, a person cannot lose weight, build self confidence, or change anything about themselves and their life— become better than before— without the energy of intent. Intent is the bridge between desire and achievement. It is, then not such a stretch to say that intent is indeed the ultimate and universal, motive force behind all creation as described by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Yet for many people, especially we Westerners, defining intent as the creative force of the universe is a bit too abstract a concept to easily integrate and employ. We desire something more practical and pragmatic. So let’s try this definition: Intent is laser-sharp focused thought and action dedicated to producing a result. The result in this case, of course, is whatever you wish to change, your new you, the you that is better than before.
It is vital to recognize that two energies must be brought to bear here. We need to employ both thought and action. Either one without the other and nothing much happens, or if it does happen it may take a very long time. Many of the latest books and films dealing with quantum reality and the Law of Attraction mention the necessity to focus one’s thoughts on what one desires, but they most often minimize and sometimes completely neglect the need to act on those thoughts as well. If you don’t do something to take you through the process—choose, act, etc—then, well, “You won’t get there from here.”
Two points become very clear with this concept: First, the desire, aim and motive to create your “better than before” absolutely must be your own. If you try to change yourself because someone either wants you to for their sake or thinks that by changing something about yourself you will be the better for it, then bringing the required intent will be difficult if not impossible, particularly for creating a long-term effect. It may work in the short run, but almost never if you want it to be permanent and you want to be happy about it.
Second, the degree of focus—laser-sharp— becomes very important in producing efficacy. Think of light energy. A light bulb does a fine job of and illuminating a room with a fuzzy cloud of light. But if you concentrate and focus light energy enough you can create a beam, brighter, and sharper. And if you continue to focus them more, that very same energy—light—becomes a laser, a device obviously far more versatile and incredibly more powerful than any light bulb.
The same holds true for intent and the process of change; the more we focus and concentrate our thoughts and actions on our desired outcome, the more quickly and efficiently we can and will produce the result. And while this seems simple enough, we in modern Western society tend to have significant challenges with focus; we are distracted by a million different sources of input, technologies and media, we have come to almost worship the act of multi-tasking, (which is patently inefficient for a brain that is designed to focus on only one thing at a time) and so we are easily distracted and thus, the energy of intent can become diffused and eventually powerless, and there goes our result.
Fortunately there are a variety of tools and techniques that can help build the ability to focus and harness our intent; and clearly one of the most powerful is a simple, consistent practice of meditation; a natural state of consciousness that creates incredible mental focus and clarity.
A very easy way to learn the basics of meditation and begin creating that laser sharp focus is to simply sit quietly and comfortably in a place where you will not be distracted or disturbed, close your eyes and take 21 slow, deep, gentle breaths. Count them from 0-21 or 21-0 (whichever you prefer). If you lose count, start over— and you probably will in the beginning, it’s natural since most of us are so distracted. When you get to 21 breaths, just take a few minutes to visualize yourself the way you want to be, having made all the changes you want.
When you being to feel really, really good with the imagining of the new you, you’re done. Do this simple meditation every day for 21 days and watch how you feel and what happens. You will like the results!