Goals versus intentions

For most of my life I’ve been what you would call a high-achiever, or very  goal-oriented. I didn’t often take time to appreciate an accomplishment, I just moved my focus to the next thing that was bigger and better. A lot of the goals I had were based on what society deems as better or what you “should” do. And admittedly, I’m driven by a desire to be better than other people.

That worked out…for awhile. Then, I burnt out of the corporate world and was left asking myself if anything I was doing was having any real impact. That question took me on a four month spiritual yoga journey to Asia where I removed all plans, all to-do lists, all goals. Just be; tune into my body to decide what I wanted to do each day. When you create all that time and space for yourself by removing the should’s and must’s, it’s amazing how clearly you know what you want.

A conscious thought of wanting to be in a gym again would be followed by a chance encounter with someone who happened to invite me along to the only fitness centre on the island. I call those conscious thoughts intentions. They’re different from goals because 1) they come from a place deeper within you than logic and reason, and 2) you don’t concern yourself with how to make it happen, you just know you want it.

I had many of these intentions while I was away, and now that I’m back in Canada, most of them have happened, and it seems without trying very hard. And yes, that contradicts a long-held belief of mine that when you want something, you do everything you can to get it. I can’t ignore the evidence though. I’ve continued to set weekly intentions (and I write them on a whiteboard in my dining room) and it’s amazing how much power that has had in my life. So, give it a try. Tune in to your deeper place and acknowledge what you really want. Then, let go of figuring out how it will happen and trust that it will come to you at the right time, in the right way. 


13 thoughts on “Goals versus intentions

  1. J* – It’s been a long time. Probably too long, but we can’t always control the distance of the paths we walk.

    Would love to re-connect. I appreciate your authenticity, as always. 🙂

  2. We’re so much alike in regards to goal setting and plan making. I really valued my time with you in Bali as we both worked to let those logical ideas go. In my own practice, I discovered that things stopped working out for me if I spent to much time calculating their end result. Instead, I got just what I needed when I tunned in and listened to desires coming directly fr om my heart. Mmm, and the world goes round. Thanks for sharing, Jamie. 🙂

  3. It has been such a pleasure to read your blog. It is very inspiring and makes one want to always reach inside for the happiness we all deserve. You have great wisdom and insight for one so young. I look forward to reading more.

  4. Congrats Jamie on creating a wonderful site. Proud of you and I’m so excited to share your journey of learning the power of mediation.
    Your post is well written and I completely agree with living with intention and somehow the universe conspires in making it all work out.
    One step closer to accomplishing those big dreams!

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