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What Is the Power of Intention?

This concept is just the latest reincarnation of the "power of positive thinking" idea. But does it work? Perhaps - as long as the goal is more important to you than the idea.

You see, intention alone won't get you where you want to go. In fact, the new age writers on the power of intention seem to have forgotten the very insightful saying that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Contrary to what they say, the universe may not give a damn what your intentions are.

If the universe doesn't care about you or your thoughts, can "positive thinking" or other ways to focus your thoughts help you get what you want in life? Yes, because there are other reasons why it matters what you think and what you intend to have happen. This is why using the "power of intention" can help you if used right.

Using the Power of Intention

For example, my wife and I were looking for a car. After some searching, we decided that a Chevy Astro Van would work well for our purposes. We wanted a used one at a good price, and only a few years old. With that intention in our minds, we began to see Chevy Astros all over. Of course they were there before, but now we were "tuned in" to them.

You have probably had a similar experience. When you become aware of anything in life, and it is somehow important to you, you start to see more of the same all over. Do something as simple as counting the red bicycles you see this week and there will soon seem to be more red bicycles than you thought were around. This is nothing mystical, but is due to the reticular cortex - a small organ in your brain that directs incoming stimulus to your conscious or unconscious mind. This "gatekeeper" works in any area you direct your attention. It will help you "tune in" to whatever you decide to focus on.

To get the reticular cortex working for you then, you just have to focus on what you want. The more specific you can be in what your intentions are, the better. But just intending to do something, be someone or get something isn't enough. By itself, this is nothing more than wishful thinking.

You see, once we were seeing those Chevy Astros all over, we had to call on them and set up appointments to test-drive them. We had to have the money set aside as well. I had to find a friend who knew about mechanics, so I would know we were getting a good car. We did these things, and bought exactly what we needed, and for 40% less than it was worth. That is the power of intention when it goes beyond wishful thinking to actions that make things happen.

The "power of intention" is a nice idea. But ideas are not ultimate and infallible truths. They are tools. Use them as such and you will get much further. Don't be like a man who discovers the wonders of a hammer while pounding nails, but then tries to use it to cut wood or pound in screws. A wiser person drops a tool and picks up another when needed.

It may not seem like it at the time, but clinging to an idea in all circumstances is just as silly as clinging to that hammer when it's time to cut a board or bolt something together. In other words, use a focus on your intentions as far as that works (to program your reticular cortex), then drop it and put those other tools to work.


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