- Kathleen Phelps
Leading with Intention (or How to Bend Reality to Your Will)
“I keep having vivid dreams of success. Then it’s time to sleep.” —Conor McGregor
Can you feel the energy of this amazing year? We are not yet through January, and everywhere I go, friends and clients alike tell me that 2016 is ‘the year’ for them—the big one. And I confess I feel that way, too. Different types of work that I had envisioned in a very particular way, some time ago, are now showing up with remarkable precision.
A colleague tells me that she had very clear criteria for the type of firm she someday wanted to join several years ago, and without any (conscious) effort on her part, an offer has landed in her lap that ticks all of the boxes—perfectly. Coincidence? Maybe. But I think we are more powerful creators than we give ourselves credit for.
Athletes have been leading with intention for decades. They visualize the course, they imagine the finish line, and they create the feeling of what it is like to be to be performing at the top of their game in advance of their events. The most recent winter Olympic games in Sochi had more sports psychologists in attendance than ever before. Moving on from ‘visualization’, elite athletes now use ‘imagery’ to create a multi-sensory experience of the outcomes they desire before their events.
How might this work for you? What if you could align so closely with your vision, that it couldn’t do anything other than materialize?
There is power in clarity and focus. The paradox however, is to be intentional about what we want to create, without being overly attached to how it shows up. We can connect with a higher vision of what is possible, while staying open to how and when our vision lands in the present. I personally like to believe that the universe conspires in my favor – if I let it.
As you think about the year ahead, you may want to reflect on what you have already created. What intentions have already come to pass? Tom Peters, best known for the book, In Search of Excellence, says to “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” I would add: and let go of anything that no longer fits or resonates with you.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” said Socrates. What will you build in 2016? And how will you act ‘as if’ until ‘it is’?