Derek Sivers, a thought leader I admire, is often quoted with this advice to “Zip it!”:
“Shut up! Announcing your plans makes you less motivated to accomplish them,”
…which goes contrary to what we hear about transparency, having accountability partners, invoking the Law of Attraction and such.
As Sivers explains it:
“Tests done since 1933 show that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen.
Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you’re less motivated to do the hard work needed.
In 1933, W. Mahler found that if a person announced the solution to a problem, and was acknowledged by others, it was now in the brain as a ‘social reality’ even if the solution hadn’t actually been achieved… Once you’ve told people of your intentions, it gives you a ‘premature sense of completeness.’”
Makes a lot of sense, I suppose. I can personally admit to having that “premature sense of completeness” happen to me… I’m sure I did that already… didn’t I? …only to find I didn’t.
Our Managing with Aloha intentions
As you can gather from reading my book and my web articles, INTENTION is a beloved, and near sacred word for me. I use it a lot. Just did last week: Speak to your Intent.
I believe in clarifying intention and honoring it, and in saying your intention out loud as a way we “Speak with Aloha” — the ALOHA expression of our self’s spirit-spilling, and one of our 5 Aloha Intentions.
As I wrote in my book, “One of the best ways to honor your good word, is to speak it, so you’ll be forced to make it so.” We focus on Language of Intention, our Key 5, and having a ‘good talk’ so we can walk that talk: Language of Intention Feeds the Culture Beast.
Intention reveals desire;
Action reveals commitment.
Hence, we’ve outlined our Aloha Intentions in the actionable way of ‘verbing’ them;
1. Living with Aloha —take action with your intentions in having a great life.
2. Working with Aloha —take action with your intentions in having worthwhile, satisfying work. Integrate your worklife into your ‘IMI OLA life.
3. Speaking with Aloha —take action with your intentions in speaking up, and communicating well with others in every way possible (this includes written and non-verbal communications).
4. Managing with Aloha —take action with your intentions in managing your own behavior (self-management), and value-aligning the expected behaviors of those who are in your charge and circle of influence as an Alaka‘i Manager (Aloha-valued management); be the ‘Best Boss.’
5. Leading with Aloha —take action with your intentions in manifesting future possibilities (vision), and creating fresh energies (mission): Human energy is, and always will be, our greatest resource.
Sivers makes a valid, cautionary point, however, there is no way I’m going to stop talking about intention and what it does for us. Our pros with intention far outweigh Sivers’ con. Let’s run through a few of those pros;
A) To focus on one’s intention, is to work on clarity.
B) Clear intention will lead to optimally directed attention on what really matters; it streamlines priorities.
C) Intention keeps our eyes open. To live out your intention is to lessen the tendency toward habit, not falling back on routine or automatic pilot.
D) Clear intention fosters self-confidence, for we’ve taken the time to self-reflect on answering our own questions; we’ve given good thought to our initial impulses.
E) There is a direct connection between intention and value alignment, because intention has its’ roots in one’s intuition, belief and conviction.
F) Intending to act in some way, is the consequence of taking personal responsibility and being willing to be held accountable for that responsibility.
G) Intention leads to self-motivation, the only kind of motivation there is. The clarity in intention prepares us with the readiness to act.
H) Intention is the proactive receptacle for inspiration. When we are inspired, we are in-spirit— our Aloha Spirit seeks the outlet and best possible outcome of good intention.
I) Thus, intention fires us up with renewed energies. When we get super excited about our intention we also ask for help more easily, not seeing our requests as neediness or weakness—we are eager to share our excitement, and enroll others in our good intentions, feeling they will be good for them too, or light another fire for them in kind.
J) Intention is the good spark of incremental change. As human beings, we resist being changed, however we embrace change that we desire and initiate.
K) Perhaps most important of all, intention is self-generated, and you do not need any specific talent, skill, or knowledge to tap into it. In other words, intention is an innate quality of your Aloha Spirit.
Energy flows where intention has dared to go.
I could probably go on, however you really don’t need to read more about it, do you?
Indulge in having your good intentions, and allow them to lead you where they will.
Trust me, strengthening your powers connected to Aloha-inspired intention will assure you check off all those boxes which matter to you most.
There are undeniably strong connections between INTENTION and ‘IMI OLA, our value alignment focus this month. Go back to ‘Imi ola Freedom, the exercise we did in mid-November and review what you had come up with— any additional thoughts?
Related Reading in our Archive Aloha:
- Aloha Intentions: Ke Ola Series 2
- Jumpstart: The Simplest and Best Managing with Aloha Toolkit there is
- Alaka‘i Managers Make Plans
- To Manage with Aloha is to Hack Behavior
- Speaking with Aloha: Energy, Managing, Leading
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And if you’re wondering about this… What if I’m not a manager?