As this year draws to a close, many of us are beginning to establish our goals for the upcoming year (what we want to accomplish) and starting to set our intentions for the future (who we want to become). There are many good books available about the goal-setting process, although material about intention-setting is more difficult to find.
For sake of discussion, let’s assume that a person sets their intention for the upcoming year to live their life with a higher level of integrity. There are many definitions of that particular quality, and these are some I pulled out of the literature:
Having sound moral principles
Living life in a state of honesty, including interactions with others
Exhibiting wholeness of character
Correlating our actions with our spoken words
I would imagine that each of us would add our own criteria, and I did this with my personal list. I learned a lot about integrity and the lack thereof, because for years I did not live my life with integrity, although I so professed it to be one of my qualities. I have come to believe that lack of integrity, and especially dishonesty, may be a natural by-product of addiction and abuse. Now, many years later, because of what I learned as I examined my life, I can detect lack of integrity in myself, and oftentimes others, the same way I can detect bull-shit on a farm.
We can write our intentions down in our journal, tell them to a friend or a group of friends, post them as a status update on Facebook, or make them part of our mission statement. These are some excellent first steps.
But none of those actions matter unless we are willing to walk the walk, for words have no power to carry out our intentions unless they are backed up with intentional actions. What we say is worthless – how we act is priceless.
No justifying. No excuses. No enabling.
Here’s to your personal intentions in 2011 and beyond, and to all of getting closer to becoming that total person, inside each of us, that is waiting to blossom. The best of luck to all!