Thursday, May 18, 2017

What is your intention for your life?

My tai chi teacher has been talking about intention, one of the 10 principles of the art. Intention is described this way:
When you move or desire to move, your mind first issues a mental command to your body and then your body receives the signal and acts as the mind directs.
On a simple level, if I am in one place and my mind is set on being four feet forward of that spot, it will make it happen. I do not need to use physical force, even if someone is in the way.

We can apply this more generally. If we identify where we want to be -- and it doesn't matter what obstacles are in the way -- we can get there. We can be what we want to be. We just simply have to know where we want to be and be so committed to it that our mind catches on and makes it happen.

Benjamin P. Hardy, who is pursing a PhD in organizational psychology, recounts experiments in which people were given new roles to play. In one case, elderly people were put in an environment that mimicked what they knew when they were younger. They were treated as if they were younger. And, guess what: they started acting younger, physically and mentally.

“If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.” ~ William James

Hardy recommends:
1. Determine your goal.
2. Commit to your goal by leaping into situations that require you to live upto your goal.
3. Determine the roles you will need to play in the various situations you create.
4. Act the part until you become the part.
5. Develop relationships with people who can help you achieve your goals.
6. Repeat — but at higher levels, with more strenuous leaps.
Fake it til you make it.

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