Is there a Difference Between A Goal and An Intention?
By Karen Sherwood
We are all familiar with the importance of setting goals. It difficult to open any achievement-oriented book these days without finding many chapters written on the subject. But what about setting an INTENTION? Is it the same or different than setting a GOAL?
To answer this question I began to look at the images each of these words conjures up in my psyche.
For me, 淕OAL conjures up images of sports. To WIN the game you must score more goals than the other team. Let look at an example:
Growing up I became a big fan of Denver University Pioneer Hockey. I remember the excitement of going to the games with my parents, eating roasted peanuts, and letting the shells drop to the floor. I haven’s been to a live game for awhile, but I still love to watch the games on TV with my husband. I began thinking about 淕oals while watching the DU Pioneers face the Minnesota State Mavericks.
So, let see – there is a small net (or GOAL) on either side of a big ice arena. In order to get a 淕OAL you must get this flat round black thing called a puck into a small net on the opposite side of the ice. Sounds simple enough.
A guy in a black and white striped shirt (the referee) starts things off by placing the puck between two big guys with big sticks. He blows a whistle and the sticks start flying!
Who would have thought it would be so difficult to get this little black puck into the net goal?
You must fight to keep the puck or someone will take it away
Just as you start to get close to the goal, someone rams you into the wall or hits you with his stick – ouch!
You finally get a clear shot and some big ugly monster in a mask and pads (the Goalie) stands in your way and prevents you from your goal.
It a lot of hard work and effort – sometimes involving sweat, blood and tears.
You cannot rest – you must be in constant motion or the other team will win.
Only one team wins – the other loses. (DU won this game by the way, 4-3. Yeah!)
So, in this scenario a 淕OAL is a dangerous proposition with a lot of hard work and struggle to get there.
Now let take a look at an NTENTION. /h2>
I break the word down: In – Tension. You’e thinking, ension doesn’s sound like a lot of fun. I agree, but let look at it a bit further.
Imagine stretching a rubber band away from you between two fingers. (Grab a rubber band and play along with me.) Imagine that the finger closest to you is where you are now. The finger farther away is where you would like to be (your Intention). Hold the rubber band between these two fingers and you will feel the pull, or tension, between where you are and where you want to be. The farther we pull and the longer we pull, the more the tension.
Tension, by its nature, seeks to be resolved.
There are only two ways to resolve this tension:
Give Up – When you give up on your dreams, the tension goes away, but your dreams also disappear.
Let Go – When you release or let go of here you are now, you are suddenly catapulted to where you want to be or beyond. When you let go of the rubber band, it flies!
The tension actually pulls you directly towards your dreams and desires – if you allow it! It sets a specific, direct path to follow when you let go of where you are to ALLOW yourself to move forward into where you want to be. Watch the path of the rubber band and feel its pull as it moves you toward your desires and beyond.
You may or may not agree, but in my mind, given these two very vivid images (a hockey goal and an in-tension rubber band) there is a massive difference between a GOAL and an INTENTION.
With an INTENTION /h2>
There is no competition – everyone can win
You don’s have to defend your intention against others – your path is uniquely yours
There is no fighting or getting thrown into the wall – you follow the path that is right for you
There is no big ugly monster preventing you from your goal – unless you simply give up. If you give up, the only monster present is you
It doesn’s have to be with hard, blood, sweat and tears. Holding on is hard; letting go opens the flow and allows you to fly!
You are not limited by the net. You can achieve something far greater than you could have ever imagined.
淟etting Go shows me the way, shows me the direct path to my intended outcome.
Yes, both a Goal and an Intention require ACTION. But, here is where I see the biggest difference. A Goal originates in the mind, and you need to do a lot of thinking and hard work to reach your specific goal. I see an Intention coming from the heart – the action is therefore inspired guided action, which leads directly to the fulfillment of your intended outcome and beyond.
So what do you think? Is a GOAL different from an INTENTION?
I would love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to comment below and let us know what you think!