If you tried to sail a sailboat without a rudder, you would have a problem. The boat would go where the wind blew, but you wouldn’t have much influence on the where you were going. Our lives can be like that unless we are clear on our intentions. Some people let the winds of life blow them around. They take a passive approach toward the events that affect them. They feel powerless. Feeling powerless they are ineffective and unhappy.

Getting clear on our intentions can have a profound effect on the direction of our lives and our sense of empowerment. Intention is what we choose. It is what we want. It is where we are willing to direct our energy. When we get clear on our intentions, things begin to happen.

We have much more power over our mind/body and the events we invite into our lives than most of us recognize. It is possible to learn to affect the workings of our autonomic nervous system (emotions, breathing, heart rate, digestion) and our immune system through directing our intentions. We can draw opportunities toward us, open our mind to new possibilities and create the kind of life we prefer by steering with the rudder of our mind.
Journal. Use journaling to clarify what is important to you, what you want in your life, and where you are going.

Set goals. Decide what you want to do and be and have. Think long term and short term. Write down your goals and review them from time to time. Activate some emotion around your goals. If you don’t have any positive emotion on them, why do you have them? If there are emotions that block your clear intention, such as fear of success or feeling unworthy, work through those blocks.

Visualize. Create mental images of the conditions you wish for. Build a picture in your mind of what you want. Picture it often. Engage your emotions in the process. When visualizing, be creative and engage as many of your senses in the imagery as you can.

Pray. Direct your thoughts to a higher power. Voice your intention and open yourself to receiving.

Affirm. Use affirmations to support your intention. Repeatedly say or write the thought you want to impress upon your consciousness. State your affirmation as if it were true in the present. State it as a positive statement, not as a negative one. Focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. Again, put some emotion into the affirmation.
Act and form habits. Once you get clear on your intention, you may actually have to do something about it. Expose yourself to opportunities. Build the habits that support your intent. If you want to be a writer, write. If you want many friends, be friendly. If you want good health leave behind habits that impair your health and take up those that will improve it. If you want clarity of mind and peaceful emotions, meditate regularly.

While drawing your future toward you from the field of infinite possibilities, practice being in “The Now” as well. This may seem tricky, but don’t forget that this moment is all we really have. At any moment we have a vast number of events that we could focus upon, and a nearly infinite number of perceptions we could have. The next moment, we have a new set of events and perceptions that come into our consciousness. When we set our intention, we are setting a heading toward which we will steer our mind. Yet in the act of steering toward our destination, we are where we are now. Remain mindful of the present moment as you act with intention.

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© 2007 Tom Barrett