How to understand your own intentions

 in·ten·tion [in-ten-shuhn] noun. An act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.

Intention, we must understand, then, occurs in the mind, wherein reside our will, emotions, and intellect. To master our intentions, you must then gain a better understanding of your own intentions.

First, think of something you did (or didn’t do), or something you said (or didn’t say). If you find this first step a bit tricky, try to remember a specific action or decision of yours which included one or more of the following:

  • Being “good,” or “nice”

  • Telling someone “No.”

  • Agreeing to do something that was asked of you.

  • Using force.

  • Telling a joke, or bring funny.

  • Giving someone “feedback” or criticism.

  • Expressing your disapproval or annoyance.

Now, on paper, describe what you said or did, and the intention you had at that time. Then, think of whether you may have had other intentions and write those down. As J.P. Morgan was fond of saying, people usually have two reasons for what they do: the real reason, and one that sounds good.

Were any of your intentions different from the one that “sounds good?” When you realized one of your intentions, did you want to change it or your action? Did you start “justifying” what you said or did? Write down any thoughts that come to mind while you consider this. As one wise man once said, if you have to justify something, you probably shouldn’t have done it. While that’s not a universally applicable maxim, as some situations and actions are justifiable, it’s a good rule of thumb to use when reviewing your intentions and your decision-making process.

Particularly for those of you who are stuck in your vision, or even frustrated with what seems to be an inability to get to that next level, this exercise will help you to get a better understanding of the decisions you’ve made up to this point. I would recommend using this method to review the major decisions you’ve made in the last year at the very least.

-from The Million Dollar Hustle, by Sam Medina

Living the dream

The other day I asked a man how he was doing. He answered, ‘Living the dream,’ though he was obviously not living well. He was, of course, being facetious. He has a job, and earns a living, but he’s going to work hard until he one day retires old and spends a paltry few years living at a lower standard until he finally dies. Maybe that’s good enough for him. I won’t begrudge him that.

However, for those of you who visit this site, that kind of life isn’t enough. It’s not just that you want the money and all that comes with it. The truth is that an ordinary life of sufficiency and struggle simply don’t satisfy those of us who are dreamers and visionaries. Yet, some reading this will still think or say something like, “That might be true, Sam, but you can’t just live your dreams. You have to be realistic.’

Maybe you can’t just stroll into the Lamborghini dealership and pick up that red Aventador right now. That’s okay. However, you can begin to live your dream NOW, on a smaller scale. What you’ll need to do is to evaluate your dream and break it down into its constituent parts. Which parts of your dreams could be accomplished within a few months? Years? Which goals could you get close to achieving if you just went for it now? What are some ways you could move toward the life you want to live?

Can’t afford that brand-new 700 series BMW? Buy a used one. Armani suits too expensive right now? Buy the best you can afford, get it well-tailored, and carry yourself with such confidence that people will assume it’s the ‘good stuff.’ I know one gentleman who actually buys his suits second-hand from a thrift store that’s located near a high-income area. Because of its location, it receives donations from wealthy businessmen. As a result, he wears high quality, designer label suits that some banker wore twice, and no one would ever guess that he paid $30 for them.

I’m not talking about settling for less, or about having more realistic goals, or faking it until you make it. Rather what I’m suggesting is that you start moving toward your dreams, even if only in small steps. In golf, a 1 millimeter adjustment of your swing makes the difference between being the joke of the country club and being the man to beat on the PGA tour. Very often, our reluctance to even begin to pursue our dreams in a small way is what keeps us from achieving them, because we never realize that the great success we’re dreaming of is just a number of small adjustments away.

Likewise, the life you dream of is closer than you think. Walk, crawl, inch toward it if you must, but don’t you dare stay where you are. You have too much to give to the world. Maybe you won’t accomplish it all. However, one thing is certain: if you don’t at least start, you’ll never get there. So get moving!