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Norton: When intent is more important than technique

Have you ever heard a really bad joke? Or maybe just a very funny joke told really poorly? We can probably all say yes to that one, couldn’t we? We have also probably been told a story that missed its desired mark or that was shared in such a way that we didn’t quite make the connection.

But sometimes we just have to put things in the right context. What if the intent of the joke or story being told, regardless of how poorly it was told, was to lift the spirits of someone who was feeling down or needed encouragement? When we think of it in those terms, maybe we can start to see where intent could be equal to or even more important than technique.

Now you might be thinking, is that kind of like, “It’s the thought that counts?” Yes, I am sure that it is in some way.

However, is it always true? Some may argue that it cannot always be true. Again, let’s put perspective and context ahead of judgment for a moment. Let’s pretend that it is always 100% true, assuming of course that we are all in agreement that we are discussing the intention of a positive nature, not malintent. Then again, we are talking about our readers and community here, so we know that the readership here is always operating with positive intentions.

“Put your heart into it.” “How about we try that again, this time with feeling.” We have heard and know these sayings and others all too well. When used as a weapon or spoken with harsh words and tonality of sarcasm, they are demoralizing and demotivating. But, when used properly and spoken with love and hope, they evoke heartfelt feelings of encouragement and inspired motivation.

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Could we imagine what our world, our lives, and our relationships would be if we focused on our intent as much as we focused on our techniques, processes, and skills? I am not talking about just our personal lives and relationships; I am also including our work environment and relationships. By acting with the very best of intentions, each and every one of our experiences and relationships could be altered for the better. Good intentions foster trust, and trust is better than good at work and at home.

Even when we falter or stumble in our attempts, even when someone may feel initially hurt, angry, or upset because of our best of intentions plans, words, and actions, when the positive intention is ultimately recognized, understanding and appreciation will almost always win the day. 

Here’s the other thing — a positive attitude and intention go hand-in-hand. It would be hard to have a negative attitude and a positive intention at the same time. A positive attitude is very important, and sometimes we can have a positive attitude without taking any action. And we can also have very good intentions but fail to follow through on things. As we harness the power and energy of a positive attitude and good intentions, the change we begin to see in ourselves will make the journey tremendously amazing. 

Let’s add one more word to our formula for today: gratitude. Good intentions fueled by a positive attitude and founded on the basis of gratitude. That’s right, being positively grateful for the opportunity to serve others and being absolutely grateful when others point their very best intentions in our direction. Wouldn’t you agree that it is so much easier to live and work with good intentions when we live with the attitude of gratitude and by placing our good intentions right up there with, and maybe even ahead of our techniques, processes, and skills? 

How about you? Do you believe the intent is sometimes equal to or even more important than technique? I would love to hear your story at mnorton@tramazing.com and when we can apply a positive attitude and grateful heart to our good intentions, it really will be a better than good week.


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