Intention is important in the sense that it can give a sense of purpose, of meaning, of direction to our actions. At the start of every New Year, or month, or week, or day, or hour, we can set an intention for whatever time-interval we choose in the future. The New Year is perhaps the most popular time to set intentions and goals, make plans, and define how we may want our life to look at the end of the year, or maybe even at different points in the year.
And yet, setting an intention by itself is often not enough in itself. Preparation is also needed, because our intent is going to inevitably run into obstacles. What are we going to at the first significant hurdle, which will most probably be internal — fear, uncertainty, doubt — not external. We can prepare ahead by using the learnings from past hurdles that maybe heavily distracted us from our intentions or even stopped us cold.
Preparation is one key to success in fulfilling our intention, no matter how we may define ‘success’.
Imagine setting an intention to climb Mt Everest without any preparation? Or even intending to go for a simple morning walk, say a few times a week for the next week or month. You wouldn’t need much preparation in fair weather, but what if you woke up to wintry weather with sleet and frost like I did today? If I hadn’t prepared well enough by wearing adequate layers of clothing, with gloves, with a warm hat, proper shoes to navigate the slippery and wet trails, I probably would have gotten to the trailhead, parked my car, looked at all the obstacles including the heavy overcast skies and said — Nah, I’ll skip today and go back home to my tea. Maybe tomorrow!
And yet, I walked because I had learnt from past years how to prepare for such weather. As I set out on the now familiar trail, I sis meet some new obstacles in the form of fallen tree branches, water channels formed by melting snow, and so on. Preparation helped, but if I had guidance from someone who had recently walked the trail, I could have saved time and energy, and even some risk, on my walk. Can you imagine how Tenzing would have fared on Mt Everest without the expert guidance of Sherpa Norgay?
Preparation multiplied with proper guidance can help create an environment where our intentions have even greater chances of success.
What else may be needed to succeed with our newly set (or even ongoing) intentions? We can perhaps use simplicity in the setting of our intentions to create meaningful successes, which then in turn create confidence, build resilience within to set new intentions that stretch us even more than before.
What role may flexibility play in our journey with our intentions? What else can you think of and share with us — practices that have worked for you in setting, fulfilling your intentions?
Is there a specific, singular, over-arching intention that guides all other intentions that you may have set for your spiritual journey?
Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter conversation in #SpiritChat, Sunday January 8nat 9amET / 2pmGMT / 730pm India. We will discuss intentions and more. Namaste ~ @AjmaniK