ATTITUDE IN ACTION
How does our attitude affect the outcome?
Is it wrong to cheat, steal, or lie? Society says yes, always. But what about cheating the immigration system to stay with family? Or stealing some discarded fresh food to feed ourselves? Should we lie about our marital status to a suspicious person at the bar?
Morality, the right or wrong of a situation, is rarely ever black or white. There can be a variety of reasons why we choose to do “bad” things that are “wrong”. But it’s the reason -the intention- behind the action that makes it “right” to us. We already know that there’s no universal good or bad, right or wrong. All that really matters is the “why” behind our actions and reactions. So what happens if we don’t know what that is?
There is always a “why” behind what we do. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we all hope for a certain outcome to each of our actions. This hope is what creates our motivation, the underlying intention that guides our actions to achieve the outcome we desire. It’s why we don’t always understand why we do what we do, or why we can react in a self-destructive way. When this happens we are blind to our “why” and our intentions control us.
If we can’t access an intention or understand it, we become stuck in a cycle of unconscious action and reaction. Realizing why we do what we do really means recognizing the underlying intent. Once we understand that, then we can work towards increasing its intensity so that our intention becomes more important than the outcome.
Why do we need a powerful intention? Isn’t knowing what it is enough? Knowing our intentions is enough if we want to better understand ourselves, but it’s only the beginning if we want to enhance ourselves. When we’re fully aware of our intention -the why behind our wants, thus the external action- we become engaged with our inner state. It’s in this state that we’re able to craft our responses to the world around us.
Think of it as the brief moment before we instinctively react to whatever just happened. Most of the time it’s an unconscious reaction because we let our wants -our “why”- take over. But when we connect to our intention we can enter that moment before a response and take control -create a new intention. This process allows us to transcend our current circumstances and emotions in that moment to a place where we choose our attitude and action, thus the outcome.
If we want anything in our lives to improve we must know our “why” to make sure it’s big enough. If it’s not, we can get lost in our unconscious actions which won’t guarantee meaningful choices or change. So the more we can intensify our intentions, the more likely we’ll be to act intentionally and achieve progress towards our intended goals. After enough time these intentions will form automatic reactions that better align with the person we’re trying to become. Genuine change comes when conscious actions positively affect expectations, and immediate reactions are aligned with true intent.
Practices & Motivations