Intention is something that is taken for granted by many of us. Our daily experiences form our beliefs and influence our actions. Ask people why they do certain things and the answers are as varied as the people answering.
The Nice One
Many of us find it difficult to say no to others. Even when we know that we are unable to come through, we still say yes. It’s one thing to help someone in need but it’s something else when we say yes to be liked. Being the nice one isn’t always a nice place to be. Others can steal your energy because they see your weakness and they abuse your kindness. What’s really going on? Intention is everything! Why do we say or do certain things? Why don’t we do or say certain things? Are our intentions valid?
Doing the Right Thing
As I mature, I realize that I can serve myself and others well by being honest about my intentions. It just so happens that I enjoy being there for others. This is a trait inherited from my mother. At this point in my life, the people who love me just do. Those who like me just like me. I have no real reason to “act nice” just because…
I do believe in doing the right thing. However, the right thing is subjective. We grow up with different values and have different life experiences. My idea of caring for my family might not be the same the neighbor’s. My husband and I don’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to doing the right thing when making big family decisions. Are we making a decision because it’s easier for us or is the decision the best for the family?
Of course it isn’t always so simple; good intentions aren’t always the reasoning behind our actions. Sometimes we just need to do what we need to do. We feed our children because it’s just what needs to be done. Maybe your job isn’t your dream job but you get up every single day and go to work.
The Opinions of Others
With that said, I keep in mind that perception can blur the reality of an authentic attempt to do anything,. You decide to go left because it a sensible decision, things don’t turn out so well, you are judged for not going right. The opinions of others can distract from personal growth beyond mistakes. Constructive criticism is useful but be weary of negativity from others that will bring you down.
Doing Something Good for the Wrong Reasons
When your intentions are clear, you expect nothing in return. Inviting an opinionated cousin over for dinner only to ask her to pick up your car the next day is dishonest and deceitful. Your intention wasn’t to invite her over to spend time, you needed a favor.
We are not perfect and we don’t always make the right choices. The beauty in that is we can learn and grow from where we’ve erred. Try to be honest with yourself and acknowledge your true intentions.Why? What is it that I truly want or need? Am I being nice to unfairly gain something?
What I do is ask myself why I want to do something. If there is no clear answer, then I use common sense when making a decision. This isn’t always easy and truthfully speaking, over-analyzing everything defeats the purpose. This is about awareness, not confusing ourselves. This is about accountability and honesty.
The truth of the matter for the most part, is that when you are making a decision from the heart you just delve into the mission ahead. Skepticism before making a decision is simply the inner voice asking us to reflect on our true intentions. Doing something for the wrong reasons is uncomfortable. Doing something for the right reasons is organic and sometimes we miss the opportunity but we can always give it another try.
We are not perfect! The human experience makes us both vulnerable and strengthens us. Paying attention to our true intentions can make it easier to proceed or dismiss our actions and reactions.