The Power of Intention


“You are what your deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention” – Ancient Vedic Text The Upanishads

What is it that you intend more than anything else in your life right now? And what is the driving force behind that intention? Perhaps you have a difficult time articulating your intention; however, you find that you:

Cannot stop thinking about a particular idea

Have had an “aha” moment that keeps haunting you

Feel inspired by others who have traveled a similar path  

Want something so much that you can almost taste it

Have reached a tipping point where you are driven to act now

Whatever your intention, the driving force behind it may be very important, even life transforming. According to Deepak Chopra the goal of all goals with intention is “fulfillment at the spiritual level that we call happiness or joy or love”.

When our intentions are conceived at the core of the true self or soul, then a path reveals itself in ways that surprise everyone, including us. The universe also seems to conspire with us to make that intention a reality.

Let me use a personal story. Most of you know by now that we have moved our lives to Northern New Mexico. What drove such a move? Quite honestly, we really cannot say for sure. Though the explanations for major life changes typically go far deeper than surface explanations (such as seeking a lower cost of living or enjoying an excellent climate), they may not be immediately apparent.

The gestation period for our move took four years of vacationing in New Mexico and slowly falling in love with the stunning landscape. Having lived here two years now, we are still continuing to uncover how the move has deepened our experience of this period of our life.

For each step in our process, we had to ask ourselves tough questions:

1.  Intend – The persistent idea of moving to NM came in the form of a nagging question: “Why, as we end each vacation in New Mexico, do we drag our feet when it comes time to go home?”

2.  Risk – Although we had been living part-time in Mexico, we eventually moved the remainder of our belongings from CA to Mexico with the intention of living there full-time. Consequently, we asked ourselves: “Is it wise to disrupt our lives and move again so quickly? 

3.  Act – Putting together a plan to move back to the States was straightforward because we had each made international moves before. And we found an ideal property for sale in New Mexico. But what about acting on that plan? We were stalled initially by questioning naysayers: “Houses here in Mexico take 2-4 years to sell. How on earth can you expect to sell your house here before you move back there?” In our case, we moved forward on our expectation while ignoring the statistics. And we did sell the Mexican house before the one in New Mexico closed.

Remember the ancient mariners who out of curiosity and a sense of adventure felt compelled to sail into the unknown (Intend)? They launched out on the journey despite the naysayers, as well as their own fears that the world was flat and they could fall off its edge! (Risk). Their dreams and intentions were so strong that they overcame their fears and moved forward with their vision. As they unfurled their sails (Act) and started the hard work of crossing the oceans, they were eventually rewarded with the discovery of new continents.

What is your soul-driven intention right now?

What would be the cost of not acting on this prompting?

What are your first action steps?

I will leave you with the words of the French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint- Exupery:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Start with your inchoate and powerful yearning. Honor your inner prompting. Be courageous. Find a way to make it happen.


About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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2 Responses to The Power of Intention

  1. Sondi Wright says:

    Hola Cedric….of course you realize that I am at such a juncture in my life. It is so very hard for me as I told Kristine. Very very hard for me to give up teaching yoga in Denver and spend 2 to 3 months in SMA. I know that what you have written is true….it’s taking me a little time. Thanks For writing this. Abrazos! Sondi

    • cedricj says:

      At times our intentions have to percolate for a while but when the timing is right a powerful urge is translated into action no matter the challenges that we encounter. Thanks for sharing your story. We wish you the very best.

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