" Direction, Not Intention Determines Your Destination" - Andy Stanley
Unaccomplished Goals Are A Result Of More Intention Than Direction
So often we set up incredible goals for ourselves. We prime our energy with ambitions of goals that will cause change for ourselves and others.
But, how often do those goal go unaccomplished? And we sit back and wonder why our goals were never fulfilled. Especially when we dreamed so long for them to happen.
This is where Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path comes into play. Stanley says that direction, not intention, determines your destination…
Your direct actions, not your thoughts, will define you.
How many people go into a marriage with the intention of getting divorced? Absolutely zero. So why do so many marriages often end in divorce?
This happens because people rely on their intention to guide them through life. Instead of finding a defined direction, they intend to move without actually moving.
Intention will get you no where. Intention should only be a catalyst for movement. It should spur on direction and then that direction will create your destination.
Has This Ever Happened To You? (Maybe You’re Going Through It Right Now…)
How often do you dream about your goals and projects you want to achieve. Maybe you want to get married, start a business, finish college, go back to work, etc.
But it seems like life constantly gets in the way. Relationships crumble, career roadblocks arise, illness defeats energy, finances dry up.
Storms come our way and we question why our desires haven’t delivered us into freedom…
Then, frustration sets in. We start to become infuriated with the roadblocks that come up. We blame everything other than ourselves. And movement that seems to block our intention gets smacked down and shunned.
We overlook the fact that our intentions weren’t enough to overcome the obstacles that come our way.
Maybe we didn’t have a direction we were moving in so our environment shifted us like a careless wind blowing on a sail.
And we blame our environment for causing us to move where it wanted us to go.
We battle our intention with our environment’s intention, but lack the direction to have any say in where we end up.
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Carry The Principle Of The Path wherever you go as a reminder to turn your intention into direction.
The Principle Of The Path Completely Shifted How I Thought And Acted
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
Doing significant things is difficult. I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve always intended to finish goals and project and causes.
I’d set an intention and then a year would pass and I’d find that I achieved nothing.
I thought my intention was enough to get my to my destination… turns out, I needed a direction to move in.
This is why The Principle of the Path is so powerful. It helps us quickly reframe where we want to end up and the mindset we need to have to get there.
Direction, not intention, determines your destination.
Only your actions create results… your thoughts just provide fantasy. It’s important to dream, but dreams without action never come to fruition
What You Need To Do Next: Find A Direction To Move In
So, if you feel stuck, let’s get you moving.
Do you feel like you’re in a rut? You keep envisioning what you want to happen but week after week goes by.
Do you feel like you’re trying, but nothing is actually sticking? You’ve put in effort, but for some reason change isn’t happening.
These are usually a result of intention disguising itself as direction. You intend to complete your goals, but you haven’t planned them out enough for them to become directions.
Start to transform your intention into direction by making a quick plan. Then, take action.
You’ll thrust the future into the present when you turn your intention into direction.
Create A Rhythm Calendar
A rhythm calendar is a 7 day spread that acts like a template for your main calendar.
Pull out a sheet of paper… Make 6 lines down the horizontal page and then write in Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…
In the blank boxes on the pages, start writing in rhythms that will help you move in a direction. A rhythm is something that you want to happen on a specific day every week.
Don’t over complicate it… make it so basic that you cannot stray from it.
A Couple Examples
Who: a manager
Intention: empowering employees and developing a relationship with them
Direction With A Rhythm Calendar
rest and relaxation day, plan a simple event with family e.g. go out for ice cream, take a walk, grill some steak
Spend 15 minutes this morning writing down names of a few employees and what I love about their service. Or, if I don’t know that yet, write down questions I have about what they’re goal are and how the company can help them
Read a few chapters of a mentoring/managing book that will equip me to become a better boss
Go out for lunch with a few employees
Develop a mentoring relationship with one employee and then meet with them every Thursday afternoon for coffee to empower them
Take an hour to read more of the book I’m on
Spend time with my family however I choose
Who: a cancer survivor
Intention: walking with power going through cancer and being an encouragement
Direction With A Rhythm Calendar
rest and relaxation day, plan a simple event with family
Send a quick message to two people who I know are going through cancer. Just let them know I’m thinking about them
Wake up 30 minutes early and start writing a blog as a collection of thoughts and encouragement that will bless people for years to come
Visit someone struggling with cancer. Bonus: see if I can get them a small gift that would help them, provide a service (e.g. do their laundry if they can’t), watch a movie with them, make them a meal they might be able to tolerate
Walking with others through cancer is taxing emotionally and mentally, today I’m going to spend an hour pouring into myself by reading a bit of an encouraging book or a video where I learn and glean knowledge and inspiration from someone else
Spend another 30 minutes writing
Spend Saturday however I’d like, but I mainly need to spend time recharging
Why A Rhythm Calendar Works
A rhythm calendar is by no means groundbreaking. It’s simple, and that’s the goal. Keep is so simple and easy that you have no excuse for breaking it.
In those two examples you’ll see how small each of those actions are. Although small, they make an incredible impact over a longer period of time.
All you’re looking to do is to start moving in a constant direction over a long period of time.
You’re going to have to start somewhere, so why not start with small, consistent steps. If you want to build a business, don’t start with trying to build it. Start by adding reading time to your week and then meet with one business leader every Friday.
You'll need to break down large goals into small habits that help you turn intention into direction.
Don’t dream of being a writer… spend 15 minutes each day writing. Don’t dream of being a great boss… buy a new book each week and mentor people.
Don’t dream of your goals… break them down and chase them.
You direction, not your intention, will determine your destination.
Ready For More?
Reading Andy Stanley's The Principle of the Path will help you get a clearer understanding of how to apply this method to your life.
Also, we've created a stellar PDF about leveraging core values to kickstart your dream.