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The Power of Execution: Why Intention is Never Enough

The Power of Execution: Why Intention is Never Enough


    Having every intention to do something is a wonderful notion, but it doesn’t get things done. In fact, it barely acts as a catalyst any longer. That’s because the world has opened up more and more over the past few years, and there is so much more that we would like to do that the matter of intention is compromised by the lack of attention we can give any one thing.

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    Essentially, we’re swamped.

    It’s been said that there is a certain power behind having intent. In fact, Dr. wayne Dyer wrote a book called The Power of Intention that speaks to that. Dyer describers intention as follows:

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    “Intention is not something you do, but rather a force that exists in the universe as an invisible field of energy- a power that can carry us. It’s the difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is when you get hold of an idea and don’t let go of it until you make it a reality. Inspiration is the reverse- when an idea gets hold of you and you feel compelled to let that impulse or energy carry you along. You get to a point where you realize that you’re no longer in charge, that there’s a driving force inside you that can’t be stopped. Look at the great athletes, musicians, artists, and writers. They all tap into a source.”

    All of this is true, but because our “source” is impeded by so much information being thrown our way – or sought out by us – that we can’t get to it as readily as we’d like. This causes delay in most cases, doubt in some and abandonment in others. Intention is noble, but it is not heroic.

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    Execution, on the other hand, involves the grand idea of “shipping” your creations. When it is coupled with intention, you not only create really great work – you deliver it. You unleash it for all to see, and that execution serves to feed intention once more, which you then couple with execution again. And the cycle continues.

    But there’s a problem when you execute without intention. Your creations aren’t focussed when delivered. You put them everywhere, hoping for them to catch fire somewhere. You spend more time executing – and monitoring what you’ve executed – than you do working on the next thing that you intend to do. You can’t move on as quickly because you want to make sure your execution worked, and that it worked everywhere. Intention to execute is as empty as executing without intention: the passion just isn’t there. There’s less of a “care factor” put into the process. And because of that, the value of what you’ve executed is diminished.

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    This all comes to back to lifehacking (believe it or not). To lifehack so that you can speed up the mundane and be able to focus on the more fulfilling aspects of your life is wise. To lifehack to speed up everything isn’t. There’s an important distinction to be made here, and it’s a very personal one. There’s no right answer; everyone’s threshold is different. But you must recognize that there is one.

    I’m not suggesting that intention isn’t worthwhile – it definitely is. It is, as Dyer explains, “a power that can carry us” toward what we really want to do and who we really want to be. But without the power of execution, intention can only carry us so far.

    Which isn’t very far at all.

    (Photo credit: Woman on Top of Mountain via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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