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7 Essential Steps for Setting Powerful Intentions

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Setting Powerful Intentions through goal setting

If you’re an ambitious and driven person, chances are you’ve heard the word intention thrown about:

Set your intentions…Be mindful of your intentions…Create powerful intentions…

But the term can be vague and convoluted. Is it a belief? A prayer? Is it having faith?

In simple form, your intentions are your thoughts directed toward a desired outcome. To be more complex, it’s the realization that our consciousness has the ability to create our reality.

It’s often ridiculed and passed off as Abracadabra BS, but scientific research on how the mind affects reality is growing.

Most common is the placebo effect, from sugar pills having the same effect as prozac, to non-alcoholic beer causing drunkenness, and fake surgeries improving health—our beliefs defy logic.

Mind over matter feats have been documented by monks draped in cold wet sheets, then used mediation to increase their body heat and dry the sheets.

The extent of our influence on matter and reality is taken further with the famous double slit experiment in quantum mechanics: showing that light/energy behaved differently—as waves or particles with the presence of an observer—as if the photons knew they were being monitored.

Physicists call it the Observer Effect, NASA scientists have commented, “The results of any observation seemed to be determined in part by actual choices made by the observer.”

Mind-blowing stuff. If we’e able to influence reality at a subatomic level, what’s the extent of the Observer Effect? What is the extent of the power of our intentions?

Ancient wisdom has told us:

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”
– Buddha.

“You are what your deep driving desire is;
As your deep driving desire is, so is your will;
As your will is so is your deed;
As your deed is so is your destiny.”
– The Upanishads

“Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
– Jesus.

More recently, Jim Carrey boils down his whole career to the power of intention:

“Our intention is everything. Nothing happens on this planet without it. Not one single thing has ever been accomplished without intention.”

When it comes to setting intentions toward your goals, here are 7 essential steps:

 

1. Let go of limiting beliefs.

We’ve seen how powerful the mind is—don’t put a limit on the extent that it can change reality. Believe big, see the world for it’s abundance rather than limitations. See your personal potential as limitless rather than limited.

When doubt creeps into your mind, remember it’s only as valid as the among of attention you give it.

 

2. Be clear, but flexible.

Seneca said,

“If one does not know to which port they sail, no wind is favorable.”

Be clear and specific with the intentions you set: when do you want it to happen by, where will it take place, who you will you be with? But as you move ahead with it, be flexible with the journey, and how you get there.

A detour may be a hidden blessing steering you in the right direction. The intention will manifest to the person who keeps showing up.

 

3. Bring in all your senses.

Psychologists and therapists highlight the importance of VAK—visuals, audio, and kinesthetic modalities in shaping our mind.

When visualizing your intentions, use these modalities to make it as real in your mind as it’ll be in reality; turn up the volume on the the people you’re with, the color of the suit or dress you’re rockin,’ your bodily sensations and emotions as you celebrate.

You’re not just dreaming and imagining, you’re actually planning and setting the blueprint.

 

4. Take action.

Like a horse and carriage, visualization needs to connect with hard work. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Reverse engineer—start with the end in mind, and break your goal down to pieces.

Then, don’t hesitate or let fear hold you back from doing the most immediate action toward your goal. Do something daily that will bring you closer to your goal.

Every time you take action, fear weakens, and confidence grows.

 

5. Celebrate the synchronicity.

There’ll be times when things are too coincidental to be mere coincidence. Things fall into place and your intention becomes tangible. Celebrate these affirmations that you’re on the right track. Use them as markers to go back to when you’re feeling down, and keep moving forward with an eye open for the next synchronistic event.

Synchronicity is a teacher, telling us to keep moving ahead, or change direction. If it’s been a while between meetings, it may mean you need to try something different.

 

6. Bring in some backup.

With your close inner circle of friends, ask them to also set intentions for you. If one consciousness can alter reality, a community of combined consciousness no doubt will help you move mountains.

Connect with someone who’s achieved what you’re attempting, pick their brain to strengthen your intentions. Continue to grow your knowledge on the power of intentions—seek out articles, read books, watch videos.

Knowledge is power.

 

7. Exercise daily.

Just like a muscle, exercise your intention. Write it out daily—be detailed with your dream and set yourself deadlines; create a vision board.

Make your intentions so ingrained that you’re beyond confident and your actions become autopilot toward manifesting it. Burn your ship and take the island.

Your intention will be the tool that turns your passion into reality.

Science continues to affirm there’s much more beyond our empirical understanding—and indeed, our minds are more powerful than we realize.

Tap into the power of intention, and live your potential.

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sameer

    Dec 22, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Very intentional.:-)
    Amazing post. Just reading it made me continue on my path to keep going on.

  2. Rose Costas

    Nov 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks again Thai for another very intriguing post. I think as humans we totally under estimate the power of the mind. If Jesus can say in his word that whatever we want and believe or have in our intention we shall receive, should give us all the more reason to trust our intentions and hand on to them no matter what is happen. But we are people who want instant results and if we cannot see things immediately tend to abandon our dreams.

    It takes a lot to believe in something that you cannot see but I believe if you put in the work and believe it will come to fruition.
    Thanks again

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Life

If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction

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You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)

But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet

Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?

Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:

1. You Have To Take Action

You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.

Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!

This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.

2. Double Down On What You Love

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.

Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?

3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize

As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.

If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time. 

An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!

Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!

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Meditation for Beginners: How It Works and Where to Start

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Meditation was first developed in India many years ago (around 5000-3500 BCE). It took quite some time to become popular in the western world, but today, it is celebrated as a therapeutic tool to ease stress, anxiety, depression, and addictions. In the past years, it has also become recognized as helping to improve mental performance, and consequently became a multi-billion dollar business. If you’ve never tried it, you may be wondering how something so simple as sitting with your eyes closed could deliver such incredible benefits.

How meditation works

Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective over one’s thoughts. Many think that meditating is about trying to achieve a zen state of mind, but that’s not the point. Observing one’s thoughts, and then letting go of them so that eventually you may start to better understand them, is the real goal of each meditation practice.

There are different techniques to go through this mental process. Some focus on the breath and bodily sensation, others make you visualize an object, and others help you to channel your thoughts towards acts of love and kindness.

A typical meditation session involves you sitting on a chair or cross-legged on the floor with your eyes closed. Once you assume a comfortable position and focus on your breath, you should start noticing your thoughts. At this point, according to what type of technique you’re using, you will try to let those thoughts go away by focusing on something else (this could be your breath or a mental image you created).

With time and practice, you may be able to reach a state of mind where very few thoughts (or none) are present. Despite the simplicity of this process, meditating for more than ten minutes is extremely tough for most. Many people that try meditation get discouraged by the fact that “they can’t stop thinking.” In fact, it has been proven that people spend most of their days being anything but mindful and peaceful.

In a 2010 study, Harvard researchers asked more than 2000 adults about their thoughts and actions at random moments throughout their day via an iPhone app. People’s minds wandered 47% of the time, and mind wandering often triggered unhappiness, the scientists reported.

They also observed that spending time observing our thoughts without getting stuck on them, may help to better understand oneself, and possibly being able to reduce the number of negative thoughts one experiences.

“The mind is definitely something that can be transformed, and meditation is a means to transform it.” – Dalai Lama

What science says about meditation

People have practiced meditation for thousands of years, but scientists have studied its effects for only a dozen. In the past few years, many studies have been published about the neurological benefits of meditation, proving it to improve brain function in many different ways.

Meditation’s benefits range from preserving the aging brain, to improving happiness by reducing the activity of the brain’s “me center” (monkey mind). A more recent study has even proven that meditation is as powerful as antidepressants in treating depression, anxiety, and pain. Many more studies are being conducted every day on meditation, and we can expect to gain a lot more insight in the near future.

Can anyone meditate?

Millions of people are practicing mindfulness meditation every day with great results, but there are also as many people that have tried meditating and didn’t like it or didn’t manage to be consistent with their practice. The most important part of developing a meditation practice is consistency. You don’t have to meditate every single day, but the benefits are tied to regular, consistent practice.

Some studies claim that some benefits of meditation such as improved mood, decreased stress and decreased blood pressure, can be felt after a single session. Some other benefits like increased focus and decreased anxiety may be experienced after a few weeks and others take longer to develop.

Some people claim that as little as five minutes of meditation per day can make miracles, but research shows that a regular practice associated with benefits involves 10-20 minutes of meditation at least three times per week.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa

What’s the best way to begin a meditation practice?

A good place to start for aspiring mediators is Headspace. Andy Puddicombe, a former English student in sport science, dropped his studies to travel to Asia and trained as a Buddhist monk. He created Headspace with the goal of helping millions of people to live a more mindful life. Over 30 million people have downloaded and use headspace. This is due to his simplicity and its beautiful design and animations.

Do you meditate? If so, what’s your favorite aspect of it? Share your thoughts below!

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