noun. a thing intended – an aim or plan; the healing process of a wound.
Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought.
Intention and action go hand in hand. Intention without action, is passive. Intention with action, is purposeful. Having an intention is not enough, it is what you do with it that matters.
I get frustrated with the phrase “they had good intentions”. I feel like this is often used as an excuse. I don’t think many people have “bad intentions”. There are just intentions. Having “your heart in the right place” is all well and good, but it does not bring results.
“Intention good or bad, is not enough”.
There are a lot of people who intend to do a lot of things. How many times have you heard people say they will start exercising, they will lose weight, they will stop smoking, they will be tidier, they will get a new job. They may be things they want to do, and in their heads they intend to do them, but without a plan, without preparation, without commitment to action, intent is not enough.
“It’s not intentions that matter. It’s actions.
We are what we say, not what we intend to do”.
For me it is the difference between those who dream and those who do. Those who graft bring their intentions to fruition. They give their intentions life.
Some people spend more time talking about their intentions, than they do, making their intentions happen. Intentions need resource – time, energy and commitment. Intentions need passion and purpose.
“Every morning you have two choices: to continue to sleep with your dreams.
Or wake up and chase them”.
To have intentions is not enough. To be intentional makes our intentions active.
We need to start with our why and be clear what our intentions are. We need to then carefully plan our intentions, we need to know how to realise them. We need to think them through and think them out. We need to know what they will look and feel like when we accomplish them.
Sometimes we will not know the answers, we will need to build the bridge as we walk towards them, but each step we will get closer to making them happen.
There are a lot of intentions in the world right now. We need to be strategic in our intent. Whether it is the recovery curriculum, the talent management crisis, the mental health crisis or the diversity and agenda that you care about, that you have intentions for, you need to have a plan and you need to prepare.
“Great intentions become tragic action when delivered without careful thought”. Michael Dooley
We need to be contextually literate. We need to consider the cause and the effect of the situation. We need to be clear on our desired outcomes. We need to be mindful of the circumstances.
Strategic intent requires a compelling vision, a statement about where an individual or an organisation is going that succinctly conveys a sense of what will be achieved in the long term. Our strategic intent captures our aspirational plans, our overarching purpose and our intended direction of travel needed to reach our vision.