A lot of time here has been spent on the topic of gratitude.  But of almost equal importance, we need to also take a look at intention.

Intent is about the outcome.  Intent is about the perception of a choice.  Intent is the answer to how you want whatever it is you are working on to be.

Knowing our intent is of great importance, because if we do not know our intent, we will not necessarily get the outcome we sought in the first place.

I had the best of intentions.  I didn’t intend for this to happen that way.  My intentions were pure.  I intended to do ‘x’ rather than ‘y’.  All of these without a doubt have been something I have said over the years, and I would bet that you may have encountered such as well.

So how do I separate out my intent from my overall choice, and what does this have to do with Pathwalking?  Choice is not just a simple, singular action.  Choice is much farther reaching.

When you choose a path, there is an intended goal.  Paths are chosen to get us from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ and all points otherwise.  As I have expressed many times before, what we encounter along the path is as important as where we want the path to go.

But sometimes when we set the goal, we do not express to ourselves or even to those around us what our intent is.

Intent is ascribing meaning and significance to a choice or action, to put determination and resolve into that.  It is knowing what the goal at the end of the path is supposed to be.

Yes, it does happen that along the path, the goal may change.  As such, so too might the intent.  But knowing the intent to begin with can make all the difference between a half-baked notion and a fully thought out idea.

Lots of teachers and leaders and spiritual coaches talk about living intentionally.  That, truth be told, is the heart of Pathwalking.  Choosing how you want life to be is living intentionally.  As such, knowing the intent for the end goal is so very important.

This is also where you begin to separate the idea of Pathwalking from the action of Pathwalking.  You can logic and reason this concept and make an effort with little to no effect, or you can not just think it, but intend it, and add the necessary feeling and emotion required for success.

Another thing I have talked about often in these posts has been the fact that Pathwalking is not just choosing a path with your mind, but also with your heart and soul.  You cannot just think and reason your path, you HAVE to feel it.  Emotion and energy must be put into the path, or it will lead you nowhere.

And that is why intent is so important.  Just because I have a goal in mind, if I do not have the intent and the emotions and feelings to go with it, I will find it getting further away, rather than closer.

Personally, this has been one of my biggest problems in walking my own path.  I get sidetracked when I lose focus because of outside influences or lack of sleep or seasonal depression or what-have-you, and my intent falls by the wayside.  I know the idea, I know what I want to achieve, but I lose the feeling, lose the intended result, and one step closer seems to drop me two steps back.

Living life intentionally is the best way to not only make a choice logically, but emotionally.  It takes that blend of head and heart to lead the body and spirit where they most desire to go.  And just like gratitude, intention cannot be just words, it has to have the corresponding emotion behind it to get where we aim it.

Take archery as an example.  I can stand with a target before me, nock an arrow, draw and fire without aiming.  If I fire a dozen arrows in this way, I might manage to hit the target, but that would be blind luck, since there is no intent in my shooting.  If instead I stand with a target before me, nock an arrow, draw, take aim and fire, chances are far greater that I will hit the target.  Because I am aiming, and I intend to hit it.  And with practice, I will hit the target more frequently, and even more exactly where I want to.

Pathwalking without intent is firing the arrow from the bow without aiming.  Intent is the aim, and the result when you aim will be far greater.

I intend to walk my path with a goal in mind.  Living life with intention is a necessity of Pathwalking that cannot be disregarded.

Do you live your life intentionally?

 

This is the ninety-second entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.

The first year of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.