Our state of mind and the thoughts we dwell on impact our actions and the people around us. I’ve found that implementing a daily practice of setting intentions charges my environment with positivity, helping me spend more time living in the light than in the darkness.

Photo by Mihai Tilinca, freestockimages.com

Photo by Mihai Tilinca, freestockimages.com

Examples of daily intentions you can set

I choose to:

  • live in serenity
  • help others
  • savor the beauty around me
  • honor and respect myself
  • focus on what I’m able to do
  • find time to play
  • be present and enjoy the moments of the day
  • make this a great day

Intent makes it easier for us to act in the way we want our life’s direction to go.

Without making a conscious declaration, we may find ourselves consumed by society’s hectic pace, rushing from one task to another. Also, without the awareness of our personal intent, we may focus on what we believe is missing in our lives, instead of the blessings that are present.

Say you want to be healthier, but you’re consumed with the idea of how horrible you feel. Instead, set your mind on what’s going well or what’s improved, and visualize what it would feel like to have the health to do what you want to do.

Please don’t confuse my views with the popular notion of the Law of Attraction, as I believe this reasoning is flawed. To get the outcomes we yearn for, we must do more than think about the change we want. Our actions must follow our intent.

The same applies to the adage, “God will provide.” Yes, the Most Divine will provide when we have faith, but he’s also given us a brain and body to use to help fulfill our needs. For example, a woman told me she wasn’t worried about retirement and having the funds available to support herself, because she knew God would take care of her. The problem is she has spent herself into debt and doesn’t think she needs to take responsibility for her poor financial situation.

Buddhism also extols the importance of Right Intention. In the Dhammapada, Buddha said our thoughts are the forerunner of our actions:

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts.” And, “If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.” (Max Muller translation)

We are all human—creations that house both light and darkness—and it takes personal determination to walk a path of positivity. Let’s all start with our intent, and move to act in ways that enrich our society and our world.