What is Your Intention?
Every person has had that moment, where one pauses and asks:
" What do I really want?" "What is my purpose, my goal, my aim?"
I found myself asking this question during my hiatus. I had a unique time to pause and really ask myself, if I was doing what I really wanted or just what was expected? Was I living in my purpose? It motivated me to do some research on setting my intention.
Now most of my life I have lived with intention. The pursuit of my medical degree, my residency, and my fellowship are all testaments to my goal driven life. However, I find myself at a turning point, where it is more about the quality of life than it is about the accolades I may receive.
So, I got a journal and started writing down my thoughts at the end of the day. I started to use cue cards for my daily tasks and each day I had three cards:
• the first card: what I was going to do on that day
• the second card: what I wanted to do the following day
• the third card: where these tasks fi t in the big picture
As I completed each task, I crossed them off. It was quite satisfying. By setting my goals and completing attainable objectives, I remained focused and one step closer to my ultimate goal.
I realize that so many of us get caught up in the mundane. Often we have daily routines that we have grown accustomed to, patterns we depend on, but as many of you well know, life often does not follow our well laid plans. When it is not clear what direction one is headed in, or where they fi t in the bigger picture it becomes extremely difficult to negotiate life's turns and twists. If you want unwavering focus, you need a focal point. Your goal should be clear, attainable, and fulfilling.
Intention is simply a determination to act in a certain way or perform certain actions to bring about the goal or aim set by the individual. To achieve your goals and reach your aspirations you must have clear intent. There must be a plan in place for how you are going to get there, for if "you have failed to plan then you have planned to fail."
How does one commit to a course of action? Simple. Start!
You have to try. It won't happen if you don't attempt it.
Successful people know failure. We all have moments where we don't have it all figured out. Moments when we completely doubt every thought that we had. The common traits with every successful individual are:
1. They tried! they put themselves out there. They had failures. They have fallen.
2. They were committed! They figured out their goal and went for it. Despite the negative commentary and the doubters, they persisted. When they were told no, they did not accept it. They found a way.
3. They were consistent! I once heard Denzel Washington say in a TV interview "While being committed will help you start, being consistent will help you finish." Consistency is what keeps you going through the plateaus and the lows.
Now let me prepare you. You will have moments where you wonder, "how could I ever think I could embark on this impossible journey?' Well, let me assure you, you are not alone. These moments have happened to every entrepreneur, every non-traditional student, every individual trying to create a legacy, every person carving out a space for those who are often overlooked or making room for voices that would normally not be heard. So don't lose your focus. Don't give up. With failure comes learning. Remain committed and consistent and you will see the fruits of your labor.
Remember this is your life, your journey, tune out the noise!
There are going to be several naysayers. Please know that no one else is going to see your horizon the way you do. They are not standing where you are and not looking through your eyes. They lack your experiences, your self-talk, and your dreams. Every individual has a unique perspective. Do not allow the words of others to rob you of your promise. Stay Focused.
So, what if I don't know my purpose? That's ok.
When looking at your current position at a specific time in your life and contemplating "the bigger picture" you may initially not know what your purpose is. So many of us have been raised in households where our parents shaped our dreams, directed our days, and set us on paths they believed would make us functional, even successful members of society. However, is that what you wanted? Is that your purpose? Does it align with your core values? Do you know what your core values are? Now is the time to figure it out. Here is a simple question to help guide you on your path to answers:
If you did not have to worry about money, what would you do?
What would bring you joy? What work or service would make you feel fulfilled? If you don't know the answer to this, it is not too late to find out. It is never too late to learn about you. I strongly recommend spending time with yourself, getting to know what you like, what you want. Spend some real time by yourself. Yes, seriously! It will help you discover what you like, what brings you joy, and what gives you peace. Trust the process, it will allow you to find your passion and develop a real plan on achieving it.
So as the year closes out, I want you to take this opportunity to discover what you really want and to go for it.
What is your Intention for 2023?