Intention gets far too much credit.
Whether someone has “good” or “bad” intentions, it doesn’t matter because intention doesn’t matter.
Who cares what someone wants to do — what matters is what they actually do.
Society teaches us to place a high value on intention because it creates a safety net for when we mess up.
He meant well…
It’s the thought that counts…
I would argue that it’s the outcome that counts more than the intention behind it.
It’s not that intention doesn’t matter at all — it’s the overvaluation of intention that causes problems. Intention isn’t as valuable as it’s made out to be.
Intentions Give False Satisfaction
The problem with overvaluing intention is that we get a false sense of satisfaction from intention alone.
In other words, when you hope to do something or when you’re thinking about doing something, you get satisfaction as if you’ve taken action towards what you want to do.
I can’t begin to count how many people have told me they’re planning to start a business or do this or that.
They never do.
Their intention fills them with a false satisfaction because they feel like their intention is equal to action, and it’s not.
Focusing too much on your intention allows you to celebrate your feelings rather than your actions.
Others’ Intentions Cloud Our Judgement
The other major problem with the overvaluation of intention is how others can use it to manipulate you.
You know that friend with the questionable moral compass who somehow always ends up in the middle of drama between different people in the group?
Their intentions usually appear valid, but one way or another someone else ends up suffering from their actions.
That person is no friend, indeed.
I see so many people who continue to invest time in friendships where the other person is clearly using them or only acting in their self-interest, yet because the friend in question maintains an air of innocence by expressing their good intentions, they are repeatedly forgiven.
Don’t assess people, including family and friends, by what they say.
Assess their character by what they do.
The person with “bad” intentions who makes your life better is more valuable than the person with “good” intentions that’s constantly bringing you down.
People who constantly emphasize their good intentions should automatically raise a red flag. If they truly had the right intentions, their actions would be self-explanatory.
Final Thoughts: Why Intent Matters
Intention is overrated, but it’s not worthless.
Having the right intentions is simply the first step.
You need intent to have a North Star that guides you through the darkness.
My intent with Health Mind Power is to help other people get more out of life and live life on their terms.
That will forever be the driving force behind my work here.
However, I intended to create a blog like HMP for many years before I did it.
That intention never mattered until I got started.
And that’s the point I’m making.
P.S. If you liked this article, you’ll love my book because habits dictate the outcome of your intention.
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What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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