Intentions are clear and positive statements of the outcome we want to experience. People set intentions on all kinds of dreams - to buy a house, to get a job, to get married, to have children, to write a book, to lose weight. When you set an intention and act upon it to show your commitment, amazing things happen.
Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist made famous this sentence - "When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you achieve it". It is possible to attract anything that we want in our lives by simply having a strong, positive and energised intention and orienting ourselves to make it happen. When we do this, we declare to self, others and the universe the seriousness about our dreams and goals. For instance, getting to work every day is an intention which happens, as we easily orient ourselves to it. Our intentions direct our choices and energies.
However, there is a difference between Intentions and goals. Goals envision a future outcome. It involves planning, time-management, applying discipline and hard work. The imagined future is always the focus - will I reach the goal? Will I be happy when I do? What's next?
Intention, on the other hand, is the 'Why' of goals. It is not oriented towards a future outcome. Rather, its attention is on the 'now'. Often goals are set without being clear of the 'Why' behind them, leaving us in a foggy place. The thing about intentions is that they must be pure and an act of the heart for the goals to be achieved. Goals are an act of the mind and intentions of the heart. The heart and the mind like to be in sync because that's where mindfulness comes in, and being mindful of our inner workings gives us an opportunity to explore the 'Why' and do things for the right reasons. Intentions are set by understanding what matters most to us and aligning our actions and inner values accordingly. Goals help us make our place in the world and be effective people; intentions provide integrity in our lives.
Intentions also determine whether any action is wholesome or not. For instance, a knife in the hands of a surgeon versus those of an assailant - each might use the knife to cut you, but one has the intention to help you heal, while the other has the intention to harm you. Yet, you could die from the actions of either. Intention is the decisive factor that differentiates between the two. Similarly, when helping another, it is important to look at the intentions for helping people. If helping people boosts your own self image, then that comes from a space of ego. Things have to be done from the heart, and then life begins to have a certain kind of brilliancy.
Very often, people get discouraged when they are unable to achieve their goals, despair and go into depression. It would be a good idea then, to check on the intentions behind wanting to achieve those goals. Intentions are much more powerful when they comes from a space of contentment than from a space of lack or need. If there is love behind any intention, there is no need to focus on the result. The act is important as the act is creating positive energy. Meditation, yoga, prayer or any other practice that aids us in observing our thoughts and behaviour, helps in creating pure intention in every aspect of our lives.
For all those who feel frustrated and disillusioned with their lives - remember, there are no failures, only lessons. Pure intentions, when fulfilled, always have a positive learning, healing or outcome for all involved, leading to a more fulfilling life.
(Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. She's intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list)