Change Management Training Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Use Intention To Shape Your Future

Uncertianty limits our visibility into what lies ahead.

But we shouldn’t presume that it forces the same limitations on our personal intentions.

Too often our reasoning goes something like this: “Ummm, I can’t tell how this is going to turn out. There are so many unknowns. I’d better pull back, let things sort themselves out, before I set my mind on what I want to happen.” On the surface, this sort of thinking makes sense. But the logic is flawed, because it means forfeiting a power we have within ourselves to shape outcomes. It’s a mindset that invites even more drift into our lives.

This uncertainty—the situation you now face—is not something happening to you. It is happening with you. You have an active role in how this episode spools out over the days to come. You’re not separate from it. The new shape of things will materialize in flowing through you, and one of the best ways to influence how life unfolds for you personally is through your intentions.

So set your intent. Focus on the particular outcome you seek. Be very clear in your mind about what you want or need. But make it effortless—gentle resolve, not intense willing.

Proceeding with deliberate intent for a particular end result changes the dynamics of the situation. You introduce a new force, one that functions on your behalf to bring forth what you want or need.

Exactly how does this work?

First let’s explore the physiological basis for the power of intention. At the base of your brain lies a little bundle of cells called the reticular activating system, or RAS. It sifts, sorts, and evaluates incoming signals— everything you see, hear, touch, smell, or taste—deciding what deserves your attention and what can more or less be ignored. The RAS filters your full range of experiences. Usually only three things are allowed access to your consciousness: things that you value, things that are unique or unusual, and things that threaten you. Intention activates this attention center in your brain, positioning it to serve you as an incredible source of power and creativity. Clear, purposeful intent tells the RAS how to adjust its filters. Then it goes hunting, sifting through your entire range of experiences for things that relate to the fulfillment of your intention.

For a second and more exotic explanation for the power of intention, we can turn to quantum physics. This cutting-edge science suggests that intention connects us to a Universal Source, an infinite energy field, that enables us in our pursuits. Maybe this seems too far-out for you. But today’s most respected physicists point to research that supports this position.

So whether you consider how the brain works, or how our universe functions, you need to treat intention as an active force. It’s a mental agent that can help us create the world we want. And we should use it to aim our way through uncertainty.

“Thought creates the world and then says, ‘I didn’t do it.’”
—David Bohm, physicist (Quoted by Peter Senge in Synchronicity)