Ideate With Intention

Cory Mazure | 31 Jan, 2023

The Prevalent Problem

You are too distracted. 

Distraction is the only thing that is standing between you and the life you know you could be living. 

The reason you are distracted is because you do not know what you actually want.

Even if you think you know what you want, you struggle with creating a plan to get it. 

If you do not have a plan for your life, society does, and it will be happy for you to conform to it. 

Let's say you are one of the few who have a plan of attack. Good for you. But you know you’ve been way too distracted to execute on it. 

Today, probably right before you clicked on this article, you have been bouncing from stimulus to stimulus, and never taking the time to think critically about why you are doing what you are doing. 

Unfortunately for you, this is exactly what society wants. 

Through the emergence of technology, giant corporations have found out just how easy it is to condition and manipulate people just like you into a future you did not ask for.

Do not be alarmed, it does not have to be this way. 

You can break free of this world of distraction, and it all starts with becoming clear on what you intend to get out of your life. Everything else will begin to fall in place once you take the first step correctly. 

I am going to challenge you through this article. You will often feel the urge to shift your focus onto something else, if it has not happened already. Treat this as a self experiment. Start this article with the intention to stay focused on the words. Try to absorb them. Notice when your mind pulls you into other thoughts, and bring them back to the reading. Do not get mad at yourself or give up when you notice your mind drifting, simply clear the thought by focusing on your breath and return to the text. You will find it extremely difficult to stay focused on this body of text because of how much the world has already conditioned you to be distracted. By the end of this article you should understand exactly what you need to do to break free of this conditioning and start living a less distracted life. 

The core concept I want to share is that living a successful, fulfilling life is extremely accessible to all of us. It is not something that is restricted for a select few who are wealthy or privileged with connections. With the knowledge available on the internet, we can learn anything. The only question you have to concern yourself with, is what is worth your attention? 

By the end of this article, I hope you walk away with an understanding and sense of urgency to establish intentions for everything you do. Essentially, I am going to task you with critically thinking about each activity you perform every day, and have you analyze what you intend to get out of them.

This will not be easy, but it will be rewarding.

Form Your Own Intentions

If you want to reach a fulfilling life, you need to have a strong reason why. Long term fulfilment is not easy to reach. There are many short term pleasures that will try to convince you to indulge in them. If you do not know what you are striving for and why that matters in the long run, you will quickly be pulled into something that is less than what you are capable of. 

Having a strong why provides us the motivation to act in alignment with it. Understanding motivation is a crucial step in our fulfillment journey, so it makes sense for us to start there. 

Firstly, there is a motivation behind every action we make. We might not be consciously aware of the motive when we are acting, but you must accept that this as truth. Your biology always has an intention. Acting without motivation is a waste of energy, so your body simply will not act if it does not perceive a reason to. Your body has good intentions, which are to promote your survival, but it is easily tricked by the environment. 

The reasons you act will always originate from within you, but are heavily influenced by the world around you. You will act on the internal feeling of being hungry, but whether you eat a healthy snack like carrots and hummus, or you drive to McDonalds is heavily dependent upon your conditioning. Everything we have been exposed to up to this point in our lives is data that our biology can use in the decision making process. It draws cause and effect relationships which end up convincing ourselves to act one way or another. If you want to break free of the control that others hold over you, you have to recognize right now if you are acting intentionally, or if you are reacting to some sort of conditioning. Remember, every action is premeditated, but you may just not be aware of how much of this premeditation is performed subconsciously. 

Essentially, you are not acting with conscious intention as much as you think. Most of your actions are executed because of subconscious conditioning from your prior life experience, and you simply get to observe yourself coming to a predetermined conclusion. This might be a hard concept to accept, but quickly you will recognize the truth within it once you try to rationalize some of your prior behaviors. 

Within the last week, there are too many examples in my own life to even keep track. Just today prior to writing this article, I caught myself slipping into unconscious habit loops of checking my phone and looking for a snack instead of doing my work. There is a part of us that seeks comfort and when we sit down to do something difficult, it pulls us towards a comfortable stimulus to distract and sedate us. As I had the intention to write, which is uncomfortable because of the potential of failure and no guarantee at long term pay off, a part of me had the intention to seek comfort in the form of something instantly gratifying. An extremely beneficial exercise is to write out clearly something challenging that you intend to do today, and then recognize when your subconscious is pulling you away from this intention. 

But this all really all starts with becoming clear on what you intend to do. Without a conscious intention, you will be drifting aimlessly, being pulled into whatever your subconscious programming intends for you to do. This is how most of us are operating 90% of the day. We are simply bouncing from stimulus to stimulus, never taking a step back and recognizing why. 

Now that we understand the importance of establishing an intention, we must define what makes a good intention. As mentioned previously, all behaviors are motivated by either a conscious or unconscious intention. The goal is simply to become more conscious of your intention, and validate that it is something which you truly want. 

You need to dig deep to understand if the intention you have selected is truly your own. If you want to live a life full of meaning, your intentions must come from within. Essentially, you do not want to conform to what the world expects of you, but that is easier said than done.  

As social creatures, we often look outward for validation. It is very easy to live your life reacting to the world around you, and holding others opinions about yourself in high regard. What you have to recognize is that what others want for you, is not in your own best interest. No one knows your situation and any advice given is through the lens of their life experience, which differs drastically from yours. The only way to truly know what you intend to do with your life, is to look within. You must begin to exercise critical thought and challenge your core beliefs, as those beliefs have been developed through conditioning from your environment. 

This is not something that will happen overnight, but through action, you will gain clarity. Challenge your behaviors and the intention for them. Become clear on who you want to become, and if the actions you are taking today are in alignment with that person. If all of this seems like too much for you, I promise you it is not. You are just over-stimulated by the world of distraction and have never taken the time to be left alone with your thoughts in solitude. 

Live Out Your Intention

Defining your own intention is a giant milestone. The next hurdle for you to cross is to keep that intention in conscious attention while you act.

Take a moment to consider what you have done today. How much of it was intentional? Did you find yourself caught up in a task or experience, not really sure what led you to that event? Please do not misinterpret what I am saying. It is unreasonable to live your entire life planned out. New experiences will change the way we think and shift our priorities. Throughout the day, we will gain new insights and pivot what we desire to do. All I am saying though, is that before you engage in an activity, you should ask yourself what you intend to get out of it. Who do you intend to be in this interaction? What do you value, and is this action in alignment with the person you intend to become?

When you are entering a new experience, take a moment to place your intention in the forefront of your mind. Focus on just two things. Establish self awareness over what you intend to accomplish, and compare that to what actually occurs. Through the observation of this delta, you can begin to root cause analysis why you are struggling to live as the person you intend to be. 

Through this exercise, I have seen my productivity increase dramatically. I am able to catch myself when I head down the path of an unconscious behavior. At work, I am more aware of what I intend to get out of a discussion, and can steer the dialogue towards the intended outcome. With higher awareness over my intentions, it is far easier to see when there is deviation. This is something that will come with time, and you will not be very good at it in the beginning, but by intending to live this way more often, you will strengthen the skill. 

This concept is crucially important because if we are not careful, we will quickly fall into unintended outcomes. We may have an insight to wash the dishes, but on our way to execute this chore, we get distracted by the TV being on. If you do not have a strong enough focus on your intention, you may succumb to this other stimulus. If you find yourself doing this often, it will slow you down from accomplishing what it is you intend to do with your life.

Strive For A Positive Derivative 

If you somehow find a way to create an intention and live by it, then congratulations, you are basically unstoppable. Almost no one in the modern day, including myself, is acting anywhere close to our potential. We all are far too distracted and conditioned to be pulled away from our intentions. You can strive to act more intentionally each day, and a good area to apply this intention is within the companies you choose to promote. Large corporations exist to make money and gain market share. Most of their intentions for humanity are poor, which is why we see so many people suffering in today's society. Through this section of the article, I want you to analyze how you contribute to these systems. 

For example, you may go to Mcdonalds in a state of hunger with the intention to alleviate that hunger. It is not enough to end your analysis here. You have to also consider what is the intention of the organization you are supporting. Mcdonalds intends to have growth in the market for their business to grow. This only comes through the expansion of their customer base. Mcdonalds wants you to choose them over burger king, so they intend you to have a reason for that. They design their foods to become addictive with components like sugar and fat. Through consistent consumption of these foods, an individual can experience severe health concerns. As a consumer, you suffer from these unintended consequences of Mcdonalds growing their market share. 

Through these following examples, I hope you are able to see how many of the things we do are in service to something outside of ourselves which does not have intentions to make your life better. 

  • Mcondalds does not want to deliver you a quality meal, they want you to become addicted to their brand so that they grow market share
  • News companies do not want to inform you, they want to maintain your awareness on their station so they can make ad revenue
  • Your bank does not want to keep your money safe, they want to hold it so they can use it as investments to make more money passively
  • The government did not want to get revenge for 9/11, they were trying to establish control overseas and take natural resources. 

The unfortunate truth is that we all are stuck serving a larger system that does not have good intentions for us. Recognize the bad intentions of others, and use your free will to break out of serving their system. You do not have to help Mcdonalds grow market share when there are other nutritious brands that are trying to make a positive impact on the progression of our species.

Essentially, you want to ensure the things you are engaging in have a positive intention for humanity. If you become more conscious of the intentions of the companies you support, then we will collectively benefit from a better market place that does not exploit our human potential. 

Parting Thoughts

The biggest struggle that our generation will face is narrowing our focus upon a select few experiences which serve us. 

This starts by knowing what we intend to do. Once we define our intention, we must be aware if we are acting in alignment with it. Not only that, but we must understand if we are supporting bad intentions in others. 

I truly believe that human flourishing is not only possible, but extremely obtainable in our lifetimes. All we have to do is become more conscious of what we intend to do on this earth, and ensure we are supporting others who also have good intentions. 

Without an intention, you are going to be driven by unconscious forces. These unconscious forces within you have been programmed by a world that wants you to fail and slip into consumerism. You are currently trapped under the influence of companies and people with bad intentions. You can escape from this trap, but only if you have a strong enough reason why. 

Hopefully, you were able to follow along through these concepts. I trust that if you did, your perspective has been altered for the better. Take away what you would like from this, but just know that you are headed down a path of suffering if you are not clear on your intentions. Others have put a lot of thought into theirs, and will outcompete you, or downright take advantage of you like these large corporations are currently. Take some time to think about what was shared here today. If you found yourself upset or defensive, recognize that it is because a part of your subconscious feels threatened. Do not succumb to these feelings. Realize you can be in control, and begin acting that way. 

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