Intention matters. Doing something is great, but the WHY behind it is what will often dictate whether it is a true success or failure. I recently read a great quote by the Jocko Willink that goes, "If you are doing something for the right reasons you are going to win in the end.” Do you believe this? I do. It seems to me that the intention behind the action can find many ways to work when you step back and look at a goal from the big picture. For example, I hope to leave a legacy on this earth, not one depicting how great of an athlete I am or how much money I make in business but who God is to me and how I live out his image in my service and relationship with others. I have pursued the NFL, and I wanted to be a CrossFit Games Individual champion neither of which happened. People would often consider this failure but when we look back at my “why” or my intent we see that both of these were only going to be vehicles behind it, not the end purpose themselves. With that considered by true “why” remains unchanged while I’ve had to find different ways to have reach or create impact in others. I have been able to create a solid social media following which gives me voice, and I’ve even been able to be at the CrossFit Games and be crowned a champion a few times on the team side. Both of these things were never my intention but have been causes of me pursuing things with all my heart which is the way I can most efficiently express my “why.”
I write this to challenge you to find your true “why” or your intention behind your goals. Keep asking yourself “why” you are choosing to do something. Literally keep asking it as many times as you can, have a real conversation with yourself, you’ll learn something. And also the conclusion will be that you’ll see that your task/reward/trophy you are in pursuit of is actually a very small part of the equation in something much greater. When you get to the root answer you’ll also see failure isn’t always what you assume. We often look at choice points in our lives as I’ve failed something and now I must choose something else. I’d argue that if your intention is deep enough, if it is meaningful enough you will continue to find ways and outlets to express your heart, to find your meaning and to impact the world.
All of this is why Jocko’s quote rings so strongly in my mind. If the reason you set out to pursuit something is right, you’ll never stop even if that means finding new avenues to make it happen. Intention matters.