Have you ever had a goal that you wanted to happen so badly, but it wouldn't happen the way you wanted no matter how hard you tried, and yet things turned out better than you anticipated?
Today, I want to talk to you about the difference between goals and intentions.
There's a great song by Garth Brooks called Unanswered Prayers, where he talks about his desire to marry his high school sweetheart, but it doesn't turn out that way. And later in the song, he gets to meet her at a reunion, and he says, “I thank God for unanswered prayers.” And the concept was that the universe, God, fate, or whatever you want to believe, had better plans for him than what he originally thought.
When it comes to goals and intentions, there's a fine line between them. This is a concept I'm so grateful to have learned a lot about from mentors like Deepak Chopra, Shakti Gawain, and Wayne Dyer. These mentors all have a concept that we can have an overall goal or desire of where we want to go, but let's ease off it a little bit.
They use the word “intention” instead. Intention is saying, “I want to go in this direction, I'm looking to go in this direction, and I'm willing to do the work. I'm not just hoping something happens. I'm willing to work my tail off trying to do something. Things might not turn out exactly the way I was planning, but maybe they’ll turn into something better: something more expansive, more abundant, more loving, more joyful, more sustainable.”
When you set your goals, I'm going to encourage you to start considering the concept of intentions. Of intending to go a certain direction, but at the same time listening to the clues that are around you and listening to things that might be telling you something different.
There are certain areas where we might choose to have set goals. If we want our children to walk, for example, we might say, “I'm going to do everything I can to make sure my kid walks”, and that’s pretty clear-cut.
But then there are other areas where it could be better to be more open to things turning out differently. Shakti Gawain has a book called Creative Visualization, which was written 30 plus years ago and was one of the first books, if not the first bestselling book about visualizing your future. In it, she talks about ending your intention or goal by saying an affirmation that goes something like this: “This or something better is now coming to fruition.” Note that she says “this or something better”.
It all comes back to this concept of opening up to the idea that there might be something better out there. And a lot of people who believe in God believe that things happen for a reason, or maybe they trust in karma or the universe. And yet, when they get in work situations, they throw all that aside, and they say goals, goals, goals, goals, goals.
I'm not looking to question people or saying you’re a bad follower of whatever or whoever you follow. I'm saying that although many of us believe we’re part of something bigger and have faith in that, it can be very easy for us to forget that when it comes to our work.
And so rather than struggling so hard when things are not flowing for you, try taking a look at the obstacle in your path. Is it something that needs to be shifted, or are you simply going in the wrong direction altogether?
I do this when I look at some of my worst business deals. There was a rental property I got into that I really shouldn't have. The market was looking good, and 4 of us were going in to buy this triplex. We had an initial deal on what it was going to be, but then the price went up and one of the 4 of us dropped out.
At that point, I was really thinking I should drop out. I knew it wasn’t working. But then I thought, “No I want this, I'm going to make this happen.” We got into arguments with the seller, and we fought. I believe there's a God or some sort of force, and I could just see the God force up there was laughing, saying, “There's Wade fighting for his losses. He's about to lose his tail. I'm trying to show him a way out but he’s not taking it.”
And $75,000 later, I realized, “Maybe I should've seen the signs, maybe I should've had an intention to be more abundant and create more wealth for my family, but maybe I should've eased off that goal of only that project, and that triplex in that neighborhood.” It would have saved me a lot of heartache!
Consider this: where in your lives does it serve you better to have set goals, and where does it serve you better to have intentions? It can also help to look to the past. Look at those goals that didn't turn out the way you wanted, and note how some of them might have turned out better than you thought. What were the clues? What led you to see that? And on the flip side, what are some of the goals that you just forced? You said, “I'm going to make this happen”, and it kicked your butt. And again, what can you learn from that, and how you can take that forward with you?
As always, I look forward to helping you evolve in your process to create a more abundant situation in your life, and to help you with your life, to make more money in less time doing what you do best, so you can create more wealth and abundance, and a happier life for you, your friends, and your family.
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