I believe in people’s basic goodness.
I believe that your desires are worthy and your birthright.
I believe that the explosion of self-help is an expression of our deep desire to connect and live from love.
That said, I’m a down-to-brass-tacks gal. I genuinely want people to change their lives, and when I see that a whole lotta people are buying into a concept, but that it isn’t actually translating to a better life for someone, I get a bit dubious.
“Dreaming big” and setting intentions falls into that category.
The internet is full of intentions, and the tricky part is how to go from intention to realization. People sign up for e-courses but don’t finish them. They proclaim they’re going to change XYZ, without following through. They ride the high of their intentions for six months to create a website, blog, and business packages…and then stop updating things altogether.
There’s always some seemingly good reason for quitting, but really, the reasons for quitting on something are typically the exact same challenges that people who keep with it are facing: life gets busy. Time or money seem in short supply. Illness happens.
Same challenges; different response. The response makes all the difference.
On their own? Intentions alone aren’t really worth a damn.
Click to tweet that: http://clicktotweet.com/bTD0i
They’re like window-shopping, a lovely pleasure, but without ever doing the gritty but necessary work of procuring the job and working the hours so that you can get the money so that you can afford the thing in the window (or finding some other innovative and creative way to bring to fruition that which you desire).
Since I’m all about facing fear, let me be transparent: I fear that you’ll think I’m hard or that I pooh-pooh on your good intentions, or that I’m looking down on you because I always follow through on what I start (definitely not the case); or that I don’t acknowledge that sometimes, in that wide expanse of time before something can come to fruition, holding your intentions close to your heart is the best a person can do.
I’m hoping that you’ll see that in pointing out the potentially hard-to-swallow truth that intentions alone don’t get the job done, you’ll see the love and the deep desire that I have for all people to end their own self-imposed suffering.
When it’s another year of good intentions, without much actual life change, people suffer. The door is wide open for the inner critic. Life seems more meh.
Dreaming Big + Living Big
Most of the self-help work out there rarely goes beyond the stage of setting intentions. Plenty of people sell “dreaming big.” Dreaming big is fun! You think of all the things you want or desire. There are lists to be made and visualization exercises to complete. You will probably end up setting a lot of…intentions.
Dreaming big is fun. Living big? Much harder. The two need to be paired together.
Living big is working through conflicts with someone because you choose to love them unconditionally, not declaring them an “energy vampire” and putting them on your “stop doing list” because that’s “self-care.”
Dreaming big is all about the high of visualizing six-figure deals after you sell the next Great American Novel–and I’m all about it! Visualizing success is a component of success.
But living big is what Aaron Sorkin did, writing A Few Good Men in spare moments on cocktail napkins while he was bartending to make ends meet, and then coming home to empty his pockets and get it all typed up into an old computer that he and a bunch of his roommates had had to chip in to purchase (and then share).
I’m not saying that one is fun and the other isn’t. While it’s more challenging to practice unconditional love, I know that my heart is more open and better off for it. While it’s not ideal to create a masterpiece on napkins, I’m guessing that Sorkin was deeply in a pleasurable, creative flow.
Intention + Integrity
The missing link that gets you from dreaming big, to living big?
Integrity is when your words and actions match, and they are in alignment with your values, beliefs, commitments, and life vision. –Matthew Marzel
Intentions are the vision. Integrity is the vehicle for the vision.
Pair intentions with integrity, and you start making your words and actions match. That alone can be a hurdle. Then you start making sure that they’re in alignment with your values and belief system: hot tamale, Batman! You’re going to find some values that you aren’t honoring and some belief systems that you are living from that need to be dropped like a hot plate.
Pair intentions with integrity, and it becomes clear that you absolutely must pay attention to where you sabotage yourself from over- or under-commitment. Start making a lot of choices in service to your intentions, and you’ll become clearer that this is all feeding into a larger life vision.
Integrity is sexy. It’s a force. When I see someone with a big dream who’s willing to do what it takes to make it happen, simply being around that energy feels irresistible.
We are in this together
Everyone has fear, doubt, or hesitation come up. Everyone has challenging circumstances. Everyone would love more time or money.
The difference between intention and realization is not about pretending to be “fearless,” nor about not having any life challenges, nor about having an abundance of anything. Plenty of people have peachy-keen life circumstances and still live miserable lives (and of course, we can’t forget that if you’ve got a roof over your heard, security in where your next meal is coming from, and access to the internet, chances are good that you qualify as having some pretty “peachy-keen” circumstances, compared to millions of people around the world).
Use your intentions as they were, well, intended to be used: as a jumping off point for expanding possibilities and daring to dream.
Then take the next step. Risk. Risk hard and risk big. Your life is waiting.