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Day 25: Intend

Level 18

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I've written essays on for this word on less than 4 times. In each case, I started by noting that there's a popular phrase about intentions and its relationship to a particular road.

More than just an easy quip, whenever I hear this word, I immediately begin to ponder the significance of intention vs action. Can one (intention) trump the other (action)? Always? Sometimes? How?

It would be facile to say that when intention leads to action, then intention mattered, but when it doesn't, it didn't. But I think that's intentionally letting the idea go without real introspection.

Let's say I intend to visit my friend in the hospital. Most people believe that if I drive there, park the car, walk the requisite 14 miles from lot to the front desk, figure out that their room changed, walk the requisite 14 miles from the front desk to the room, and... find out that my friend is out getting tests and won't be back for an hour - that my intentions "count" because my actions prove it.

But what if I never left my desk? I intended to do everything above, but got caught up in meetings. Could I have skipped those meetings? Maybe. But I didn't, and never made it to the hospital.

The end result is the same in both cases. Does my intention still "count" for something in the second example? Many of us would tend to say that yes, intention counts in both cases.

But let's take another example: I intend to kill my coworker.

To be clear: he's got it coming. He plays bagpipe music from his computer speakers all day, cooks broccoli and fish in the microwave, consistently mixes up Star Wars and Star Trek in conversation, and insists on using my desk as a staging area for epic battles between his "My Little Pony" figurines (he's a Brony) and his limited edition "Welcome Back Kotter" collectibles.

Despite my very sincere intentions to shove him off this mortal coil, I've never followed through. Should I be arraigned for justifiable homicide? Most people would say that no, my intention doesn't count.

So can we have it both ways?

I look forward to your thoughts, as well as your ideas about intentions - both good and bad - in the comments below.

34 Comments
Level 11

Let your intentions be translated into actions if not, they will lie dormant and just remain intentions. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Level 11

So when I hear intend or intentions I always hear that cliche conversation with the 1950s dad talking to the young man about his daughter.  I then of course see a cartoon from Mad Magazine's book, "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions" in which the father asks, Why do you want to marry my daughter?  The snappy answer to this one is - Because your son wouldn't have me!  Now this funnier now because everyone in my wifes family had read that book believe it or not.  Now when my wife is chatting to her brother on phone, I make sniffling noises and whisper Alex-ssssss and she cracks up.  Its a very nerdy family thing!

Today I intended to set an appointment for myself today for a weekend event in May.  Thanks to the iPhone, I sent it out to everyone on a related webinar, about 30 people.   To top it off it was on the wrong date.

So, I canceled the appointment and sent a humble apology to the group. 

I did not intend for that outcome....oh well.

RT

Intend-verb Intent-noun

Interesting question, if you verbalize that you intend to kill your coworker over Horshack honking all day, then HR and possibly the police would get involved. Yet all you did was speak the words. We often try to interpret the intent behind words spoken. Will they lead to action? If they are hurtful physiologically, and meant to be so, is that an action or just words.

I think intentions do matter. The affect your intentions have depends on the goal. To visit with your friend in the hospital actually requires you to be in a place at the same time. Even if you left a note that said I was here but you were getting tests. It let's them know you care but is not a visit. If your goal is only to let them know you care then the note might be enough. Just depends on what you intended to accomplish.

Level 12

Intend to do your best and be yourself

MVP
MVP

I intend to spend Christmas with my family. I intend to do a lot of stuff in the next year or so.

Level 10

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I speak a lot to my employees and family and friends about perception vs. intent.  Is what you intended to do what you feel was perceived and perceived properly.  We need to look at our actions, and what we say with that grain of salt.  Sometimes saying something funny, may be hurtful, sarcasm has no real place with those you love or care about, as it is often more hurtful that helpful, and being honest all the time has its drawbacks.   It is good to lighten the blow one in a while.   What i intend to do in my life is be a decent person, strive to attain my personal and professional goals, and be a good husband and father.  If i succeed of not that will be based on how i face my trials, but i Intend to give it my very best each day.   Here's goes nothing...

MVP
MVP

adatole​ I love the illustration of the Brony co-worker (please say it's fictional, please say it's fictional, please say it's fictional). I think that illustrates the 2 types of intention - those of the heart and those of the mind. The intentions of the mind never go anywhere and are often not really intentions but more like excuses - "I intend to go to that boring party hosted by that person that I don't like." Nope, I say intend, but really mean I'll say I'm going and find an excuse. The intention of the heart is the one that truly effects and affects our lives. If you truly have hatred in your heart for that fellow worker you may not follow through with actual murder, but it will very much effect your relationship, feelings, office dynamics and such. "As a man thinks in his heart so is he." Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."

So make sure your intentions reflect who you really are and be honest - if you don't truly "intend" then use another word.

Level 12

I intend to continue to mature as a husband, father and friend for as long as I live.

Level 21

I think of Intentions as potential energy, somebody with a lot of good intentions is a gold mine waiting to be realized.

As a parent, the whole intent/intend scenario with my kid's rotten behavior, and my response, is predicated on my mood at the moment. Judging one's intent is very difficult and subjective. The saying, "Actions speaks louder that words" rings true in this case.

  In your example adatole​, you get "partial credit" for drawing up the energy to formulate a solution for your office problem (However, I am currently taking bagpipe lessons!). As for the person visiting the friend in the hospital.... you've gone that far, you may as well see it through. To stop now would be a waste of all intentions.

Level 9

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Level 12

Intend.jpg

Level 11

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That's not what I intended.  Those are famous last words. 

Many a fight or misunderstanding are a result of not what we intended.  The same is true for side affects and collateral damage.

Remember in a conversation

There is what you mean to say...

What you say...

And what is heard.

Practice active talking and active listening, so that what you intended to say gets said and more importantly, heard.

Level 11

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Level 11

This one's difficult for me. It can be easy for me to just go with the flow and only respond or change in a reactionary way.  However, I have noticed that healthy growth comes from being intentional in the work place and being intentional with relationships. Something I am working on!

Level 14

Pay close attention

As the days portend,

For life rarely goes

As we intend.

Level 20

I intend to take on new responsibilities and work on new greater things this new year!

Level 15

Intention.

That's somewhat a dichotomous idea really.

Good intentions are supposed to nullify bad results. But at the same time, if things don't go as intended, someone is usually put to blame...

I think we need to marry our intentions with our actions a bit more and stop using our intentions as a reason for innocence.

Level 13

Do what you intend, and intend to do what you want to accomplish.

Level 9

intentions, or the difference between manslaughter and murder!

Level 12

Intentions and results can sometimes end up being very different. A good example of this is an experiment we did in my 8th grade science class. We were given an egg, and a bunch of various materials to build a contraption that would allow us to throw the egg out the 2nd floor window and intend for it to land safely on the ground safe and sound. The contraptions that were built were quite interesting and varied a great deal in their designs, but every single one had the intention of allowing the egg to land on the ground safely, except for the one group that managed to build a slingshot and launched their egg higher then the roof before coming back to earth. (I suspect the experiment ended exactly the way they intended.) Most did not survive the experiment. Just because you do something, and have an intended outcome in mind for it, does not mean that will actually be the outcome. You may have missed something that changes the intended outcome.

Level 10

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. - Follow through

Good intentions are walking past that red kettle at the super market and smiling to wish them a merry Christmas. It was a nice thought, but it doesn't really help anyone.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. - Follow through

I think that whatever intention you have, it's important to remember that you communicate that to others - whether spoken or not. Your body will broadcast your intent anyway. So I think trying to be positive will net you positively in the long run on the same basis.

Level 9

Intend to complete the goals you set for yourself each year. The only thing holding you back is you! Intend to make accomplishments each year!

Level 17

I thought for certain you meant it was me you wanted to kill, but I don't play the bagpipes.

Level 9

In the next 5 years i intend to be the most sought-after programmer in the IT industry.  

Level 9

i Intend to build my own software in the nearest future!

Level 10

I intend to have more thwack points than what i currently have.

I intend to be better at what i set my heart on.

Level 10

I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises. Neil Armstrong

Level 12

I intend to accomplish so many things this year. I intend to live a life of simplicity and love.

Level 10

I intended to be more productive today, since I have the week off from work.

However... I instead ended up signing up for and have been playing the Star Trek Online game on PS4.

Now I intend on saving Lieutenants Paris and Torres's daughter Miral Paris from a group of Klingons.

Here's hoping I get there in time! Wish me luck!