In doing some research for a client, I came across a striking phrase in an article published in Medscape, “Nicotine Replacement Therapy Use Among Smokers and Ex-smokers: Associated Attitudes and Beliefs: A Qualitative Study.” The phrase was:
“…intentions do not always trigger a behavioural response.”
I thought it poetic.
They were talking about smokers, of course, but everything they said in their article applies to us – we who wish to accomplish a certain thing, have dreamed of that certain thing, but have never actually done that certain thing. Here’s what they wrote:
“…plans were often vague and set sometime in the distant future. Respondents failed to detail whether sub-goals were set; whether they wanted to
quit [fill in your own action here] abruptly, or cut down [or do so] gradually… This demonstrates that transforming intention into behaviour is quite difficult as intentions do not always trigger a behavioural response.”
They are really talking about being, not intending. Behaving – today, right now – not planning to act when there’s “time.” How does time exist in the future, but not now?
Time is now. It’s not tomorrow. Your time is now to work on that goal or problem or dream that’s haunted you for years. Not because it’s about to be New Year’s, or because you’re making resolutions, or because things are “going to be different.” Your time is now simply because it’s today.
As soon as I hit “publish” for this post, I’m going to close my blog and open my word document for the book that I’ve been talking about, and doing little about, for years. I’m going to gather up my imperfect first chapter, my old research on competition, my first draft of a summary of the what and the why of the book, and I’m going to send it in a mash to my friend and cheerleader and mentor Linda Lowen and ask her if she will work with me to prepare a book proposal.
Once that’s accomplished, I’m going to take that book proposal and send it to the three published authors I’ve met through Women At Woodstock who over the past few years have offered to give me advice or assistance. I’m going to send that proposal and ask them for that advice or assistance that they promised.
I’m no longer planning vaguely on someday when everything is perfect; I’m doing now.
That’s my plan – for now. What’s yours? You do have a plan, and it’s what you do in the next hour, the rest of the day, the week to come. That’s your plan. Is it what you want?
The absurd part of my long struggle in bringing myself to move and do is that the worst that could possibly happen is that the book never gets published – that I don’t achieve this dream that I have. Which is exactly what is guaranteed to happen if I don’t move and I don’t do. What crazy thinking keeps us holding back? Fear of possible failure? Is possible failure worse than insured failure?
Your intention isn’t what you wish for tomorrow; it’s what do today