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How to Stay Focused Using the Triangle of Intent

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.At a conference last week one of the speakers drove the message home that the most focused entrepreneur will win the day. I believe that to be true about any role – a leader, a parent, a musician. There are so many things that grab our attention. The challenge is staying focused.

The message came from a health and wellness guy, Dr. Anthony Balduzzi. He showed us ways to take care of our brains and bodies so we could go the distance. This is such an important part of aligning to our truth (integrity) and respecting ourselves (GRIT®).

Dr. Balduzzi had his own “why” that keeps him focused on helping others. He watched his father’s lifestyle deteriorate his health and cause his death. He lost his father at a very young age and this has inspired him to help others live healthy lives.

Being aware of your intent will keep you aligned and willing to do the things it takes to go the distance.

Without awareness, we won’t feel empowered to make a difference in our own lives. With awareness, we’ll know what’s driving our actions, and it will help align us to our truth. Then we can choose where to focus our attention, as the Triangle of Intent illustrates.

Intent can be looked at as your life force or life purpose, and it can also be viewed as what drives you in this single moment (which, of course, is linked to your life purpose). But even when you don’t know your life purpose, you can look at your intent in any moment and align it positively rather than negatively. Just ask yourself,  “Why am I doing this? Is it helpful or harmful?”Keep in mind that intent is internal, and people may not be aware of your intent; they only see your behavior. We judge each other on behavior, not on intent. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” - something I remember hearing growing up - means we have to put it to action or it’s useless.

With awareness, we can take mindful actions that align appropriately with our intent. If a manager’s intent is to help their people, and that manager believes that delegating work to an employee helps that person learn and develop, that manager won’t hold on to too much work. She won’t deny her people the opportunity. She will give the appropriate tasks to the appropriate people and not victimize herself by taking it all on.

When we pay attention to the frustration we are feeling, we can reflect inward to see where our intent is, realizing that if we do hold on to that work, we will not be in alignment with our truth. It’s not helping either one of us. The good news is that it only takes practice in awareness to look objectively, understand where our intent is, and shift it if necessary. Like anything else—learning to walk, swim, play the guitar, be a great leader—we need to focus on it, and do it.

Integrity takes practice. Life is about practice.

It’s powerful to be able to choose where to focus our attention. Where will you focus yours?

There’s more on this topic in Chapter 3 of my book, Leading with GRIT®. You can also join me at my next webinar, How to Build Trust with Integrity in the Workplace  - GRIT® Series Part 2 on Wednesday, May 2 at 2pm.



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