I’ve spoken before about the power of setting an intention, a goal or focus if you will; a direction in which you decide on travelling throughout an activity, a project or perhaps a day.
It’s a simple yet powerful tool, based on the principle that our mood and overall happiness is directly effected by where our mind is focused.
As such, I really feel the need to expand on the practical difference setting an intention can make to a person’s day.
Imagine two people, let’s call them Person A and Person B, are going through the same working day. Both people encounter potentially negative events – getting rained on at lunchtime, minus an umbrella, and therefore ending up drenched; arriving at their favourite Deli, only to find it closed.
Person A doesn’t have an intention – he’s just making it through the day. Person B, on the other hand, has set an intention of spotting possibilities everywhere they go.
Which person is happier at the end of the day?
To my mind, it’s obvious. Person A is much more likely to be bothered, upset, frustrated and/or annoyed by these events. They’re much more likely to fall into a negative mindset of, ‘Why me?’ because our brains have that natural negativity bias. They’re much more likely to rant and complain at getting soaking wet; at missing out on their favourite sandwich at lunch. They’re much more likely to focus on what they don’t have, rather than considering what they do.
Person B, however, remembering their intention, is forced to re-think their perspective. This might mean enjoying and laughing at the rain; noticing how this unpleasant experience of getting drenched is at least a moment to remember in an otherwise mediocre day, as well as perhaps chance to share a moment with a colleague, united in their wet misery. And when the deli is closed? “Isn’t that a great opportunity to mix up the routine and try somewhere new?!”
I’m not saying that not having an intention means you’re destined to have a terrible day, but I absolutely believe that having one – whatever that might be – will improve your chances of having a good one.