The Power of Intention

Machu Picchu, Cusco Region, Peru

Overlooking Machu Picchu ~ photo by Sara

It’s time to change the way we think and speak about our dreams. Transforming a conversation, just like manifesting a dream, begins by setting an intention. Your intentions will assist you in taking greater control of your life.

A working definition for intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” Lacking intention, we sometimes stray or wander aimlessly, without meaning or direction. But with intention, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible. My intention is to transform the conversation around dreams from fear and doubt, to hope and possibility, followed by action and results.

Some might say this is not the right time to dream. The media and masses say, “It’s time to be realistic.” Consider this. without our dreams all we have is our present reality. Reality is not a bad thing necessarily, but I have to say that the current reality I observe in the bigger picture of the world is scary, and demonstrates a lot of the worst in people. I want to live in a reality that reflects the best we have to offer each other, not the worst.  We have to know where we are so we can design the appropriate strategy for getting to where we want to be. The challenge is our attitude around “reality” and being “realistic” and what being realistic has cost us. Often that’s our passion and joy, our hopes and dreams. I say no more.  I want to share a quick story about the power of intention.

I turned 40 in the spring of 2016 with very little fanfare, even though I am known among my friends & family as being a serious birthday brat.  So much so, even, that as a joke last year, one friend wished me a “Happy Birthday Year” on New Year’s Day… I tend to elongate my birthday as an excuse to spend more time with friends and family and “celebrate” as long as possible, both before and after the actual anniversary of my birth.  What can I say?  I just love to celebrate life!  And when one has experienced as much grief and loss as I have, one understands quite clearly that the next birthday is absolutely not promised.

Cusco Region ~ Ancient Agricultural Testing ~ photo by Sara

But the spring of 2016 was already jam packed with activity, including a week-long trip to Austin, Texas, during my “birthday month” to celebrate a friend’s wedding, and I definitely didn’t want anything to get in the way of the bride & groom’s spotlight.  Therefore, I told everyone way back then that what I REALLY wanted was for all of us to go on a trip together, somewhere magical that we’d never been.  I thought on it for quite a while before I landed on just the right adventure.  Then it struck me:  Peru for 42!  After all, I grew up reading Douglas Adams, so I knew that 42 was the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything.  I wanted to gather as many of my closest friends together and go to Peru to see Machu Picchu, and explore wonders of the world together!  That realization was some time near the end of 2016, and it was just an idea.  At that time, I set the intention that sometime around my birthday in 2018, we were going to Peru.

Meanwhile along the space-time continuum, one of those closest friends was navigating a long-distance relationship with the love of her life, who happens to be Peruvian.  As their relationship grew, so did their desire to be closer geographically, and it became apparent that due to family obligations and international relation nuances, the Peruvian partner could not relocate to the USA.  Eventually, my friend decided that moving to Peru was a real possibility.  Not terribly long after I set that first intention to travel to Peru with my friends, one of them made the decision that she was moving to Lima!  This move had nothing to do with my intent, yet it was perfectly in support of it, and the big group travel idea gained some serious momentum:  now we could go see Sara in Peru!

By the time the summer of 2017 rolled around, during which we did some annual big group travel down to Florida for a week of scalloping, snorkeling, boating, and swimming, more of the group was ALL IN on the Peru for 42 plan.  End of summer, I sent out a mass email with lots of information I’d pulled together about estimated costs for everything from flights to AirBNB’s in gorgeous places to side trip possibilities in Cusco, the mountainous region that is home to some of the most famous ruins on earth, Machu Picchu.  Today, we all have plane tickets to Lima in hand and our friend that moved to Lima is lining up our Machu Picchu tickets.  In May 2018, less than 2 weeks after my birthday, we’re all meeting up in Lima, Peru!  Peru for 42 is now more than intention, it’s a solid plan!

Peru ~ near Ollantaytambo

Peru ~ near Ollantaytambo ~ photo by Sara

So, what do YOU intend for yourself during 2018?
Given the unknowns and sometimes craziness of life, there’s never been a more important time to dream and take some time to set your intent.  Setting your intention is the first step to turning your dreams into current reality. When should you set an intention? You could set an intention every day. Your intention could be to work less and make more money, or to find a new career that you are passionate about. It could be to get healthy and physically fit, or to spend more quality time with loved ones or alone. It can be specific and about something in particular or more like a quality, such as to be more relaxed or involved with life.

Here are a handful of examples to help get your thinking started around ways to be more intentional every day:

  • Before you get out of bed, you can intend to have a relaxed or productive day.
  • Before you leave the house, you can intend to have quality time with your family or friends or perhaps even a roommate that day.
  • Before you start your car, you can intend to have a safe drive to work.
  • Before you enter your workplace, you can intend to learn something new or be helpful or to have a productive day with zero unproductive conflict.
  • Before the meeting begins, you can intend to stay focused and walk away feeling accomplished.

They key to setting intention involves clarity:  you have to know what you want.  After that, it’s just a matter of follow through.  Following are the first steps to using the power of intention in your own life:

1. Get clear about something you want and write it down or speak it aloud.

2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.

3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.

4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would do and then, take the next step.

By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others, just what you plan to do. Set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your dreams!

And I’ve found that a slogan seems to help… Peru for 42!

Need help figuring out what you want?  Contact us to set up a coaching call!  Coaching can help you clarify your values, your thinking, and what’s in the way of your dreams!  (864) 918-2914 or email info@completelifecoaching.com