“I am” or is it “I intend?”

If you missed me the past few days, I have to admit I’ve been feeling a bit “under the weather.”   I suppose it’s a good phrase to use at this time of year  when the weather in Bangkok is just plain bothersome.   It’s extremely hot in the mornings and then in the afternoons, it’ll rain cats and dogs out of
nowhere.   Anyways, still a bit “under the weather” but determined not to let it stop me from doing what I love today (blogging of course!)  I thought I’d write a bit about “intention versus actions.”

This is something that took me awhile to understand and now that I do, I think it makes great sense. Thank you Alex.  Here’s an example I think many of you can relate to.  It’s something that’s happened to me year in, year out. (Thank goodness I’ve gotten it over with..)   Every year I’d make the same resolution and somehow as the year passed it’d fade away quietly.   It goes like this.

I want to lose weight.

I want to lose 10kgs in six months.   After six months, however, I weigh myself and realize that I had lost only 5 kgs.  That’s only half of what I aimed for.  Some years I don’t lose any.  My weigh scale is broken.

Upon looking back, during those six months it turns out I’ve been eating out with friends, I’ve been going to parties, having ice cream and cake or just enjoying my dinners out.  My “action” was not that of one who was on a diet to lose weight.     Interestingly though, during the entire six months since I made my resolution I say that I am on a “diet.”  I’m dieting.   I’d tell people I’m on a diet.  I’m going to lose that weight I gained earlier.

If you really think about it, during the six months when you say that you are on a “diet”, you are really saying that you are “intending” to be on a diet.  Your actions show that you are not really on a diet.  You still eat cheese (yes I love cheese especially the creamy kind), have ice cream and fried foods.  All the foods you shouldn’t be eating if you were really on a diet.  You “intend” to be on a diet, but your “action” is of one who is not on a diet.

What does this tell us?  That sometimes you have to read between the lines.  A person may be saying that they are “doing” something when in reality it means that they “intend” to do something.   Their actions might not follow through.  Upon understanding this, you’d be able to control your expectations regarding a person’s “intention” versus a person’s “action.”

To the person saying it, if you say ” I ‘intend’  to lose weight” versus “I am taking ‘action’ to lose weight,”  this is also a clear way of communicating to yourself.  You know that although you “intend” to be on a diet, you realize that you aren’t yet taking the actions.  This will hopefully provoke you into taking action.

Using language precisely is important.  It allows us to communicate clearly to ourselves and to the person around us.  What do you think?  Have you noticed how sometimes we mumble jumble the two?

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