Week 17 : Intentionality
The aim of this week’s post is to prompt introspection. We want to provide a brief window to ponder exactly how deliberate we are in our decisions. It’s also a reminder to pause, to reflect, and to consider the reactionary decisions that are far too common during the daily grind.
The objective here isn’t to feel bad or disappointed about our previous actions. It’s about cultivating greater self-awareness and being more intentional with our future actions.
Let’s begin. These profound words provide a powerful starting place:
“A deviation from the path means that it wasn’t the path”
The message is about understanding what deviation really means in life. We’ve taken their use of deviation to mean anything that departs from the norm or established way of doing things — think of the standard “go to college, get married, buy a house, have a child, etc.” paradigm. To deviate would be to challenge the value those decisions (and overall trajectory) have on your quality of life.The statement above encourages us to sit with the idea that veering from a tried-and-tested path is ok, better yet, it means that the path wasn’t for us.
But that’s just the superficial layer, there’s an even deeper question embedded in this statement. These carefully chosen words also pose a rhetorical question:
When you set out on your path, where are you intending to go?
In answering this question, let’s be sure not to confuse intentions with outcomes. Intent is about the process. Measuring results is about correlations and even assumptions (wait for a future post on that). The emphasis here is on direct choices and how they align with our convictions. The important thing here is to acknowledge that we are all drawn towards certain things; some people call them passions, interests or callings. There’s no sense in fighting this urge — giving into to it has created some of the most talented artists, creators and academics.
The question of intent also asks us to assess if the series of micro-decisions we make on daily basis will eventually lead to our areas of passion. From that understanding, we can embrace deviations, realignments and change as THE path in itself rather than a detour or distraction. We know about this process firsthand. My brother and I have made some life-changing decisions to end our sporting careers as Division 1 athletes to pursue areas that we are more passionate about. On paper it sounds easy — just follow your passion. In reality, it’s about knowing what will be the most rewarding to you in the long run and leveraging your strengths to create opportunities to do more of that.
Our perspective and experiences can be reflected in these closing words:
Be firm in your destination, but be flexible in how you get there.
The path is never set. It reveals itself as you choose the way. Only you truly know where you want to go.
Culture is ours.