Goals Are Not Intentions

November 21, 2009

In choosing to live with right intention…you are connecting to your own sense of kindness and innate dignity. Standing on this ground of intention, you are then able to participate as you choose in life’s contests, until you outgrow them. ~Phillip Moffitt

Today, this Yoga Journal article, “The Heart’s Intention”, was exactly what I needed. Moffitt draws the distinction between goals, which are oriented toward a future outcome, and intention, which is “a path or practice that is focused on how you are ‘being’ in the present moment.”

Moffitt says “You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values.” Intention, unlike goals, results in integrity, unity, self-respect and peace of mind.

We clearly need goals to help us be effective and move forward in our endeavors. But Moffitt reminds us that goals are inadequate for measuring our success in life. Staying attuned to our heart’s intention (not that of the rational mind) is what Moffitt calls coming home to ourselves.

Of course, we can never do this perfectly. But Moffitt assures us that “each time you start over by reconnecting to your intention, you are taking one more step toward finding your own authenticity and freedom.”

And so the theme is practice, not perfection, again.

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Success

January 3, 2009

Don’t aim at success–the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue…as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself. ~Viktor Frankl

I was recently nominated for a national professional award. (Thanks, Kathleen & Wally!) I can’t imagine myself among the list of those who have received this award, so I have had a hard time getting my head around the idea. I’ve always been fairly suspicious of award winners, but maybe they’re as surprised as I by their nominations. Several people wrote eloquent letters of support for the nomination, which I admit will be inspiring to look back at on the “rainy” days of my life!

Whether or not I receive this award, I am heartened by the nominators’ efforts, and it makes me want to pay it forward by nominating someone else for something. Meanwhile, I’m trying to remember Einstein’s words, “The only way to escape the personal corruption of praise is to go on working.” (See also an earlier post, Judgment.)

May you all have those in your life who believe you’re worthy of an award! Who would you like to nominate or otherwise honor?

P. S. Now at the risk of looking like I am aiming at success (although I hope you’ll agree that aiming at this kind of success makes sense), I’m posting my CED & Power of Less updates for this week: blogged, named my stuffed puppy (Bodhi or Buddy depending on how wise he seems at the moment!), checked out a book on starting a writer’s group, made an “artist’s date” with a friend, committed publicly to 15-30 min. of yoga one day a week at work, did one 10-min. yoga session plus a yoga class! 🙂