act with intent


Why do we take action? Why do we:

  • go to work
  • plant a garden
  • play video games
  • drink a beer
  • work out
  • chat with a friend

An underlying reason exists with every action we take, whether subconscious or conscious. The trick is to make yourself aware of each underlying reason, to make each action and reaction a conscious effort. This requires us to be more self-aware than we may be used to. Intentions may not always matter based on the outcome of an action, but they definitely count for something.

I think of this specifically in regard to the martial arts, as an appropriate comparison. When I’m sparring with an opponent, why do I move in on them? When I do line drills, moving up and down the floor performing the same moves over and over, why am I doing this? From a microcosmic perspective, I throw the punch to strike my imaginary target in the chin, solar plexus or other appropriate weak point. From a macrocosmic point-of-view, I throw that punch to train my body to be able to react appropriately in a situation that would require such an action. I throw that punch to better myself as a martial artist and, in turn, as a person.

Just in case you’re not a martial artist, apply this to more everyday situations. Think about your daily actions that you are probably doing for rote and examine how they reflect your intent:

  • go to work – save up for retirement? pay your child support? buy a ring?
  • plant a garden – to feed you and yours? aesthetics?
  • play video games – take your mind off life for a while? relax?
  • drink a beer – see above bullet reasons + socialize?
  • work out – marathon training? feel better about yourself? iron man training?
  • chat with a friend – catch up? the need for conversation/social interaction?

So don’t throw your punches just to throw your punches. Throw that punch at a target and with intent. Intent(ion) in itself is passive, though. So when you have intent, don’t forget to act on it.

Note that I did not label this post “live with intent.”


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One Response to “act with intent”

  1. Jess Says:

    This one really got to me. . . I like it. . . and so I’m left thinking about my daily actions and the reasons why I take them. Time to act with purpose!!

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