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Day 5: Clarify your intentions

“Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view. It’s not activity that disturbs people, but false conceptions of things that drive them mad.”

SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND, 12.5

If you have read the book 7 Habits of Effective People by Stephen Covey, then the second habit is focused on this idea only: begin with an end in the mind. If you have read this book then let this post be a refresher for you and if not then you are going to learn something very important.

Why is it so important

  • It is easy to be super busy in your life. You might be working very hard, but it is not necessary that you are working towards your goal. You are busy climbing a ladder only to realize that your ladder is leaning against the wrong wall all along. Clarifying your intentions helps you to get the clarity that we are going in the right direction.
  • Everything is created twice, once when you imagine it and and second time when you actually work on it. You first prepare a blueprint of the house, have some ideas in your head then only you start the construction. If you start construction before that then there might be a lot of re-work and it might be costlier too.
  • If you don’t take control of setting your intentions then chances are you will be handed down scripts from society, family, inspired by other people’s agenda or pressure from circumstances.

How to clarify your intentions

  • Find your core values and write them down. It is important to write it down because writing is a kind of psycho-neural activity that forms a bridge between our conscious and sub-conscious mind
  • Choose your values/center carefully as it will be the source of your security, guidance, wisdom and power.
  • An ideal center is based on principles because principles are deep, fundamental truths that doesn’t change with time. You will develop better understanding of it over time, but the fundamental truth never change.
  • Use your imagination & visualization to find your core values. Begin with an end in mind, to give yourself a direction. Take your time to build it and keep revisiting it.

Having a strong principle focused center will help you stand apart from your emotions and other factors that affect you and take decisions in your life clearly. And when you are taking every decision in your life based on your principles and intentions, you will feel more at peace because then you know you are headed in the right direction.

Published inPhilosophy & IdeasStoicism

2 Comments

  1. […] to realize that we haven’t taken even one step towards our goal. I have written a previous post on the topic of why we should set our end goals clearly, which you can read too. But the idea is […]

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