I frequently write about the wellness lifestyle, which refers to a healthier and more natural way to eat, move, think, and live. As I break down details surrounding diet, exercise, stress reduction, and other aspects of everyday living, it is important to grasp those details to ensure you understand and comprehend how to implement them. How you do things is critical to the success of such a lifestyle.
While this makes great sense to most people, and great attention is often given to the how of wellness, just as important, if not even more important, is the why of wellness. Why you do what you do has a huge impact on the outcomes you are searching for. It boils down to intention. What you do can lead to success or failure based on why you are doing it. The power of intention is seriously underappreciated.
We have all heard that if we give, we will get. What we give comes back to us. I have seen this happen in my life over and over, as I am sure you have as well. There is one catch… you cannot give to get, or it crushes the outcome. The key is your intention. If you give freely, with no expectation of getting something in return, the results are incredible. The moment your intention shifts, and you give with the expectation of receiving in return, you will not get what you expected.
Efforts to improve your health will be affected by your intentions. If you try to eat better and exercise more to lose weight so that you’ll look better, it will be difficult, a constant challenge, and the results you achieve will be short-lived. Change your intention, and you’ll change the outcome. If your intention shifts from simply looking better to being a better role model for your kids, being able to perform better at work, and/or being of greater service to those around you, your outcome will be better.
There was a study done by Harvard psychologist, Ellen Langer, where she split a group of 84 housekeepers into two groups. They explained to one group how many calories were burned by each activity they performed, and how those activities met the definition of an active lifestyle. The other group was told nothing. After just one month, the group that had been educated had a decrease in their blood pressure, weight, and waist-to-hip ratio. Their activity did not change, their thoughts about what they were doing changed. The what did not change, the why did, and the outcomes were dramatic.
Think about your actions at home, at work, at your church, or in your community. You likely do some very noble, charitable, helpful, and caring things. Now think about why you do the things that you do? Do you do them to impress others? For the recognition? Do you do it for personal gain? The power and impact of all that you do would be significantly amplified if you did it with better intention.
If you catch yourself thinking about how much you do or give and how nobody notices or that you get nothing in return, that is a sign that you need to review your intentions. I understand that it can be frustrating when it seems like all you do is give, yet get nothing in return, but that cannot stop you from giving just to give. There is a power tied to intention that will bring back to you what you give, even if not measurable right away. So, if you get frustrated, either continue to be patient and just keep giving and serving, or do a quick review to ensure you are giving and serving with proper intention.
I believe that why you do what you do is at least as powerful as the what you do. Keep in mind that some people may become suspicious of your selfless actions at times, but all that matters is that your intentions are good.
This is great news because your activities do not have to change at all, only the intention does. It takes no more time and no more effort. Simply shifting your intention will have an exponential positive impact on the quality of your life.