Season 4 – epiBLOG 8:
Intentions are powerful.
According to Dictionary.com, intention is defined as a “purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct.”
You’re probably wondering what does this have to do with you and your life as an artist. I get it. And I’ll explain momentarily.
Today’s topic is on understanding the difference between intentions and goals, and how to mentally use both ideas to your advantage.
Dictionary.com defines goal as “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.”
Intention focuses on your purpose or attitude toward the effect of your actions, while goals focus on the end result of those actions. Nothing is wrong with either idea, but oftentimes ambitious artists get hung up on their idea of success, as opposed to the reality that is right in front of them.
This frustrating cycle is what keeps you from focusing on your art and the reason why you wanted to create art in the first place.
I’m preaching to myself… as much as I’m hoping that I’m helping you in the process.
The reason that I want to bring up this topic is because I’m a results-oriented type of person. You can imagine how frustrating I’ve been at times as an artist if you also have a tendency to lean towards wanting to see results from your efforts. You often spend a lot of your time being frustrated at what you think life SHOULD be like instead of ACCEPTING the reality that is in front of you. Once you accept what is in front of you, you can realistically deal with tangible variables. This is when you can experience the results that you’re looking for.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for complacency or mediocrity. I’m simply saying how important it is to accept your current circumstances as they are, while you create possibilities and intentions for the life that you would like to live into without being angry and frustrated with your current circumstances.
I have to go through a mental battle with my results a lot of the time. My overall career intentions are to help others with the words that I write, whether they are in this blog, my professional development books, my screenplays, my marketing scripts, or my articles and interviews that I write, while providing a healthy and sustainable income for my family. Those are my intentions.
Let’s say that I have a goal to be contracted to write 10 major screenplay projects and to publish 40 articles this year. However, on December 31st, I only have 30 articles published and have only been contracted for 5 major screenplay projects. This is just an example, but my tendency in a situation like this is to look at those numbers as a failure because I didn’t reach the desired result that I was aiming for. The reality is I published 30 articles and I wrote 5 screenplays in one year. I could spend New Year’s Day being pissed off about 15 more pieces of writing that I could have gotten done, or I could simply evaluate whether or not my goal was realistic or what I could do more effectively next year to reach that desired goal. I also need to acknowledge the accomplishment that I actually did achieve instead of focusing on one that I did not.
Is this making sense?
Of course you want to create plans and set goals for yourself. Plans and goals are “measuring sticks” that humans tend to thrive upon as we take on endeavors. They help. However, you have to remember your intentions in the process of working towards your goals. What do those look like? They do tend to be broader, but they encompass what is important to you in a way that doesn’t stifle your potential nor frustrate you with outcomes that you wish for but aren’t getting. You get to simply accept what you’ve produce. You have the freedom to create your career the way you see fit from a place of being intentional and open.
Today’s LESSON is to accept your reality for what it is and for what it is not, and to work from there to create the career that you’re desiring.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Just last week I started creating daily intentions for myself, which allow me to be more open to focusing on how my writing services can help others. I challenge you to do this for the next week. Each day that you wake up in the morning, create the intention for that particular day. For example, the one that I created for myself just recently is to “be aware of opportunities to help others with my writing services and being present to their needs.” There is no right or wrong answer here. Just the intentions that you would like to create.