Today I’d like to offer you a standout blog post from my recent holiday reading, this piece by Kristin Lisanti. I find it inspiring because of the distinction she makes between goals (as in New Year resolutions) and intentions.
To me, a goal is a specific, time-bound aspiration. It creates expectations of the self which while useful in getting started can actually lead to disappointment if not attained. Ideally, a goal would keep me on track until it’s accomplished – it’s an end that feels beyond or outside myself in some way. Potentially inspiring, yet somehow also limiting as a motivational force.
So opening up to the landscape of intention instead feels exciting and different.
I think of an Intention as a fluid, steady commitment to a value or promise to self. As a ‘quality practised continually’ as Lisanti says. This feels more motivating because it flows through everything as a constantly renewable commitment – to health and vitality for example – which then reinforces the mindset needed to stay present to the emerging possibilities and to notice the inevitable pitfalls.
So my intentions for 2021 are twofold: to develop more vitality and energy, and to embark on further discovery and sharing of the power of the Thinking Environment in our complex world.
What are your intentions for 2021…?
Naturally, the sharing will involve some teaching (though the book I’ve mentioned soften in our groups might just get itself written now!) and you’ll find a list of 2021 offerings here on my website. I’ve added a list of ‘Press Pause’ sessions till June, which I’m so glad to find people are attending as a refresher and reminder of the power of the Thinking Environment, as well as an introduction to it.
NB two places remain for next Friday 15th if you’d like to try it out.
Finally, how are you getting on with Nancy’s new book? Watching the mayhem unfold on Capitol Hill this week I was reminded of all she says in the section on Persuasion, and on Polarisation. If you haven’t seen this yet I’m delighted to attach this excerpt from the book, it could hardly be more relevant or perceptive, or more sadly urgent.
It’s hard this New Year, isn’t it? There’s such a sense of déjà vu, or ‘here we go again’ in regard to the virus, we really need to feel that 2021 holds promise. Which of course it does, not least because of the extraordinary ‘intentionality’ of the scientists bringing us treatments and vaccines. And therefore hope.
To counter the tedium of lockdown and the negative impact of ‘bottoming-out’ I want to stay firmly attached to these intentions and to continue to develop the power of thinking as and for myself. Which includes thinking about the joy of meeting again in person sometime this year.
Please do let me know how you are, and what your intentions might be for this New Year.