They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But isn't it good to have good intentions? Well, it's probably better than having bad intentions. But good intentions don't necessarily translate into good impact. And therein lies the menacing gap between the dreamers and the doers. What you need, instead, is to replace good intentions with intentional action. Because that is where the magic happens.
1. Intentional action prompts you to prioritize.
It will force you to ask questions and determine what is important to you. It drives you to think about who can I help, how can I help them, how can I add value to them?
2. Intentional action gives you a sense of urgency.
It motivates us to take immediate action in areas of impact. When you have shifted from good intentions to intentional action, whenever you detect a need that matters to you, you don't think 'something must be done about that.' Instead you think 'I need to do something about that!" You take ownership. Napoleon Hill observed, "you must get involved to have an impact." Intentional action gives us a sense of urgency that squashes procrastination.
3. Intentional action channels your ingenuity.
It challenges us to find creative ways to achieve impact. A clear picture of what you want to accomplish will give you the will to persist, and the creative spirit to overcome obstacles and make up for deficiencies. When you are focused on action, you see possibilities. When you are not, you see obstacles. When we have clarity about what we want, necessity -- disguised as creativity -- will kick in, and the doubt-filled question of "can I?" will transform into the invigorating question, "how can I?"
4. Intentional action energizes you to give your best effort.
to do something of impact. "Most people don't aim too high and miss; they aim to low and hit." Being unintentional is failing to take aim at all. Without aim, you wander through life without focus.
5. Intentional action unleashes the power to impact others.
Successful businessman and a master of motivation Zig Ziglar, is famous for saying "If you will first help others get what they want, they will help you get what you want." As soon as you express genuine interest in people, they reciprocate with more interest in you. By putting others first, you communicate that you believe they matter. Instead of selling your vision and your dreams, ask about their dreams, and ask you can help them accomplish what matters most to them. When others receive the attention and care they need, they are not only willing, but ready and able to help you achieve your vision. It is a law of nature that you cannot reap without sewing. That's why it's so important that you give first before you expect to receive. Our lives should be like a river, not a reservoir. What we have should flow through us to others.
6. Intentional action inspires you to make every day count.
Make every day your masterpiece. John Wooden, legendary coach of the UGLA Druids, explains "as a leader of my team, it was my responsibility to get the most out of my players. As a coach I would ask myself every day, 'how can I make my team better?' My team would improve only if every day each player would improve. And every player would improve only if they made every day their masterpiece." If you give 60% today, you can't give 140% tomorrow. The most you can give is 100%, and that 40% is lost, never to be recovered. The key is in the consistency.
7. Intentional action encourages you to finish well.
Every major birthday is an opportunity to reflect, because we do not want to get to the end of our lives to discover we had lived the length of it, without any depth. In order to finish well, you have to be bigger on the inside than on the outside, because character matters. You should follow the golden rule, because people matter. You should value humility above all virtues, because perspective matters. You should travel the high road, because attitude matters. You should teach only what you believe, because passion matters. You should make every day your masterpiece, because today matters. You should finish well, because faithfulness matters. Nobody finishes well by accident.