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The Law of Diminishing Intent

What do you dream of doing, but have never brought yourself to the point of actually doing it?

Perhaps it might be learning a foreign language.

Or improving yourself professionally.

Or asking a "friend" out to dinner.

Or training for a triathlon.

Or making that trip to Italy or the Holy Land. (These are on my list.)

Or giving yourself totally over to God and His loving care for your life.

Take a moment or two and write out at least three unfulfilled dreams in your life.

(Go do this now. I'll be here when you get back.)


Now that you've done that, answer the following question as honestly as you can about each of the dreams you've identified: What's been holding you back?

(Again, go do this now. I'l be here when you get back.)

Everyone dreams; but few truly follow their dreams. I'd like to be a part of changing that...for me and those I love and care about, which includes everyone who's reading this post right now.

The Law of Diminishing Intent...

Coined originally by Jim Rohn (and expanded later by John Maxwell), the Law of Diminishing Intent states that, with each passing moment, the intent to do something (if not already begun) diminishes rapidly. So much so that an exuberant 100% intent on Wednesday afternoon can (if not acted upon immediately) dwindle to a mere 1 to 2% by as early as Friday morning (less than two days later).

Everyone struggles with diminishing intent. At least to a degree. Given this, what can we do to overcome its gravitational pull? Here are four suggestions (I suggest applying these to the list you generated above):

  1. Do something associated with your initial intention within 24-hrs of your expressed intention. It doesn't have to be a big action item. In fact, the smaller, the better. Doing this warms you up (refreshes [or sustains] your enthusiasm) and begins to grease the apparatus of future accomplishment.

  2. Step out of your mind, and connect with your senses. Light a candle or play a particular piece (or genre) of music to provide a sensory indicator to your monkey-mind that you're launching in RIGHT HERE and RIGHT NOW to accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish. By being "out of your mind," you'll quash the discursive self-talk that's really skilled at taking you away from just about everything except hitting the snooze and going back to bed, eating that third donut, or making that large purchase with the $457.18 you still have available on your $10K MasterCard.

  3. Burn into your psyche whatever it is you want to accomplish. Be obstinately (perhaps even obnoxiously) clear about what you want, write it down (as a goal or object of intent), and recite it to yourself out loud over and over and over again. As you do so, allow yourself to feel what it will feel like to get whatever it is you want. See yourself having already crossed the finish line, and allow yourself to feel the feelings of satisfaction that come with achieving something so worthwhile.

  4. Share your written goal with someone you love, who loves you, and who will support you in your work to achieve it. Be very careful with this one. Discriminate, and hold your cards close to your chest. Your goal or big idea is NOT for everyone to hear. As it's been said many times: "Don't tell the whole world what you want; but once you have it, share it with whomever you wish." Share your goal, but don't share it with someone you know will either envy you or try to talk you out of it. The one who envies you may try to steal your idea or sabotage your efforts (or both); the one who tries to talk you out of it may serve only to reinforce the fearful self talk within your own mind that you really don't need to be listening to anyway.

So...there you go. Work the above, and it will work it for you. Similar to what they say in Al-Anon (about the 12 Steps), "It works if you work it."




IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

Mondays: Meditative Prayer

Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice


The Life You Were Born to Live

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