Have you ever been driving somewhere and needed to get there on time, or you’re simply in a hurry, keen to arrive?
Ahead of you on the motorway, vehicles slow. Hazard lights are pulsed to warn you of rapid deceleration. Stretching into the distance is a long line of red dots; blinking illuminations signalling stationary or slowing modes of supposed transport. A queue.
How do you respond? Maybe your mind turns to being late? Maybe to the impact of that? Maybe you feel frustrated? Maybe annoyed? Maybe you sense a loss of control, your destiny in the hands of circumstance? Maybe that creates anger? Maybe your thoughts turn to those you are driving to? Maybe you worry? Maybe you begin switching lanes in an attempt to get some advantage over your fellow car crawlers, telling yourself you are winning and outsmarting those around you? Thereby generating a somewhat false sense of progress and movement. Maybe that makes you feel good?
Once your thoughts lead to a state change. Once the thoughts and feelings are connected in dubious harmony, you have set your intent. You will be anxious. You will be frustrated. You will be angry. Whether you want to or not, it will happen. It won’t get you what you want of course. It won’t move you forward. And not just literally.
If instead you were able to think about enjoying the scenery, or listening to some stirring music, or calling a friend to catch up. If you were able to set a positive, productive, happy intent. Leading to a positive, productive, enjoyable state. How would that queue be different?
Our thinking creates our state. Our state determines our thinking.
Setting your intent, for how you want it to be, can make it so. On the motorway and elsewhere.
Today I co-facilitated a learning session with 50 people. As facilitators, we both set our intent to learn everyone’s name … and we did.
The act of setting intent, directs our attention to where we want it. We have choice, rather than simply being at the beck and call of our thoughts and feelings. We are driving ourselves, rather than being driven. Intentionally.