#1:  It’s Not What You Choose, It’s How You Choose It

In most criminal justice systems, there’s a vast difference between the crime of murder and the crime of involuntary manslaughter. Murder, of course, is committed with intent, while manslaughter lacks intention. Being convicted of one and not the other is often the difference between spending months in prison and spending life in prison. This example illustrates the importance and the power that our intentions have in our lives. We all make mistakes… even when we’re doing the best we can. But experiencing the unforeseen consequences of our actions and choices is how we learn as human beings. Some lessons are harder than others. However, no matter how many mistakes we make, if our intention is coming from or changes to a loving, giving, and positive place, opportunities will expand in front of us. The eventual arrival of those opportunities is not dependent on choosing best, but rather on simply doing our best to choose best. Your life unfolds around your intentions and who you decide to be. By focusing on your good intentions - in your career, as a parent, or in any personal endeavor - you’ll begin to see that there’s always more than one route to your intended goal. This “30,000-foot view” takes away the stress of choosing X vs. Y because, despite any poor choice or dead-end you encounter, your overall intention will illuminate yet another path forward that you never knew existed. It’s your consistent and persistent good intentions that ultimately shape your life. And yes, even if you’re in prison, having faith in those intentions is what governs how you grow, what you gain from your experiences, as well as the amount of joy you can feel.

#2:  Inclusive Intentions Are the Most Powerful

Positive intentions naturally attract help and support in life. This comes in the form of benevolent people and fortuitous opportunities. But for those who remain stuck in a greedy, what’s-in-it-for-me, self-centered place, that support will eventually falter. If you’re chasing a goal or just trying to get something done, it’s essential to act with the intention to serve what’s best for everyone (including yourself) without focusing solely on your personal stake. When you genuinely care about how your agenda affects others, they will sense your lack of self-centeredness, which is inherently trustworthy. This creates in them a desire to help you with your goals because they see that you’re making room for their goals. In any endeavor, never trade this inclusive dynamic for results.  Ever.  Accomplishing a goal and how that goal is accomplished are intimately entangled. Any achievement will ultimately be undermined if achieved through selfish, dishonest, or heartless means. When you are earnestly in it for everyone, good fortune is hard to avoid.

#3:  There Are Endless Paths of Intention

Intention is a curious aspect of life. It has the capacity to invent, to discover, and to solve. It is the force that literally builds civilizations. There are countless paths of intentional creation that lead to anything we could possibly dream. Intention is the map that shows you those paths and highlights the resources you need along the way. As is often the case, spiritual philosophy theories have sister theories in science. And the philosophy of intention is no exception. Modern-day theories in physics suggest that our human perceptions are only scratching the surface of reality. In light of ongoing breakthroughs in that field, mathematical models of the Universe’s size have to be regularly scrapped for bigger models. As our picture of the physical universe is forced to widen, our picture of what’s possible within that universe also widens. Consider the theory that any possibility you can dream of for your life exists as reality in this moment. And in this very moment, these countless possibilities are woven into the fabric of not just one universe, but rather a “multiverse” - an infinite number of parallel universes. This may sound crazy, but the multiverse model of reality is a mainstream and credible theory in today’s theoretical physics. In that scenario, an endless menu of possible realities preexists for you, but which reality you choose is entirely up to you. And choice, as we’ve explored, is rooted in intention. So, perhaps your destiny isn’t something to be discovered as much as it’s something to be created through your consistent intentions - moment by moment, thought by thought. And despite our narrow perception of what’s possible in this life, perhaps anything is possible. Literally.

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