Intention + Effort = Results

It seems a no-brainer, or a BFO in my vernacular (Blinding Flash of the Obvious):

You set an intention, you put effort into it, and results follow.

Change requires Effort

Truth test: when you set your sights on something, and it requires you to change a behavior or practice; or you set a new course of action, how often do you you consciously remind yourself that it takes effort, and then begin to deliberately identify what efforts will be required?

To make a change, the simple formula is: you set an intention to do something, and then you apply effort to make it happen.  Simple and complex at the same time. To achieve results, it requires effort. Results don't happen in a vacuum, they arise out of goals and intentions. Ask any athlete, movie star, painter, writer, parent, business person who's achieved some modicum of success.  My own life stories attest to this truth.  I am a triathlete, a published author, and a cancer survivor.  I share my personal stories in my smartphone app Appreciative Inquiry – An Introduction as living example of the value of positive psychology in leading our best lives and the power of positive intention and conscious effort.

Best Intentions

So many of us set the best intentions in the world, and fall short. Is it because we don't put in the effort, or is it because of our extremely busy and active lives, we set so many intentions and can't put equal effort into all of them.

When your run a small business and/or a family, you wear many hats. In a small business, you could be the marketer, the salesperson, the social media connector, the blogger, the researcher, the producer, the client relationship manager, the accountant, and the purchaser, and you also have a life outside of work, if you ever stop to remember. Fitting everything in and feeling satisfied is likely the overarching intention, yet you can't apply the same attention or effort to each of these roles all the time.

Without setting deliberate intentions around the myriad of activities you feel responsible for, a state of overwhelm can set in. When that happens, you can feel frustrated and panicked because you don't quite know where to start. I see it in my professional colleagues. I see it in myself. Usually, the advice we give others and ourselves is to take one step at a time, or take a break and then take it day by day.

Clear Intentions

At a deeper level, to truly connect with our fullest capacities to feel fulfilled and on target with our deep desires and longings, it starts by clarifying our intentions. With clear intentions, our thoughts and energy create a pathway toward the destination we seek.


Getting Fit

Your goal is to get fit. When you set a clear intention about getting fit, it might be that you intend to feel stronger, improve flexibility,and have more endurance.

What effort will it require for you to achieve your positive intentions?  You know it will require working out 3 – 5 times a week doing cardio, weights and stretching. It will require you to set the intention to eat well and the effort will mean choosing to shop for and cook healthier foods.  It's the combination of a powerful positive intent with practical efforts that leads you to your goal.

Writing a Book

Your dream is to write a book. You may have progressed already with your book.  You have done the necessary research. You have so many ideas and so much data, but every now and then, you find yourself in this state of writer's block or overwhelm. You seem to have lost focus and that all too familiar state of anxiety is circling in the pit of your stomach.  Follow my wise spiritual adviser: clarify an intention and notice that your thoughts and energy will create a pathway towards achieving your dream.

Ask yourself: What effort will it require to progress my positive intention?  Acknowledge that you know it takes the effort of taking practical steps on a daily basis with your powerful intention guiding you.

Daily effort toward a powerful intention produces results – intention + effort = results. First set the powerful clear intention, then determine the effort, and make the move.

What powerful intentions are you efforting into reality?