What’s your intention?

I just enjoyed a two day trip up to the Enviros Shunda Creek program with the leadership team at Base Camp. The Shunda Creek program is a residential addictions treatment center for young men, with a focus on wilderness and experiential therapy.

What I found most intriguing throughout our visit was the distinction that they make between having goals versus having intentions.

Too often we focus on achieving goals (new job, more money, new house, getting clean from our addiction), and we forget all about our intentions (being happy, giving back to the world, being healthy, living a fulfilling life, etc.). What if everything we did was driven by our intentions? What if goals weren’t an outcome, but a part of our process towards fulfilling our intentions?

As David Irvine recently wrote, normal success is what we usually chase. Winning games, breaking records, getting promotions. He calls this outer success, and it only lasts until the next game, or the record gets broken, or the new job becomes stale.

Success beyond success, what he calls “spiritual” success, is much more sustainable, long lasting, and inspiring.

The purpose of a goal of outer success is to inspire yourself to become the kind of person it takes to achieve it. Then, whether you achieve outer success or not, you can still have inner success, or success beyond success.

I particularly like that idea, as it fits well with the “Shunda Way” of focusing on our intentions, and using them to create goals and drive our actions.

So…what’s your intention? And do your goals line up with that?

One comment

  1. Great contrast between goals and intentions. Here is a quote from an unknown author that could apply to either goals or intentions: “In the absence of goals we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” Getting caught up in trivia can make it tough to focus on goals or intentions. Thanks for the great post! Dad

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