Acting with intention simply means to act with full consciousness. Have you really wondered why you do a particular activity in a certain way, and not in some other way? Our minds are designed to work from habit and conditioned responses. Hence, it becomes important that we question what we do from time-to-time.
Why is acting with intention important?
Acting with intention serves the purpose of guiding you through your actions so that they are in line with your intrinsic values. By acting with intention, it would not only support personal growth but also positively influence your actions, work and relationships.
How you can implement it?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you may proceed:
1. Before beginning the activity, ask yourself what you wish to embody or cultivate. You can set the intention for any kind of activity. Intentions may also include cultivating qualities like gratitude, self-compassion and humility.
2. When setting an intention, try to elucidate on what is most needed at that moment. During the course of the day, check in periodically and re-align yourself if you stray from the path.
3. At the end of the day, assess yourself and reflect on whether you remembered your intentions. Congratulate yourself if you had been able to stick to your intention, even if for a very brief moment.
A common practice in many cultures, setting an intention for your day or for a certain activity is not new to human beings. In the Buddhist tradition, right intention is the second teaching in the Noble Eightfold Path. It includes committing oneself to personal growth and ethical behaviour, resisting unhealthy desire, and not causing harm to oneself or others.
Never confuse intentions with goals
Intentions are to be embodied in each moment, while goals occur in the future. Acting with intentions takes time and patience. Do not be harsh on yourself. Have patience and take each day as it comes.