Positive and Negative Intentions are Directions.

Which Direction do you Choose?

The past couple of days I've been covering the topic of love. I stated that love is a choice based on your intentions/thoughts not your feelings. I also pointed out that in order to start attracting more positive, accountable, generous, compassionate, loving and caring people into your life, you needed to start looking at your own intentions/thoughts.

Today's message is gong to focus on your intentions and what you can do to develop more positive intentions which will lead to you attracting more positive people into your life. I am going to use the term intentions in this message rather than thoughts. Your intentions and thoughts are actually one and the same. But, when I use the term intention it implies action where thoughts imply something that is just in your head and may or may not lead to an action.

As many of you know, I am a native New Yorker. One of the things I enjoyed most about living in Manhattan was its Bohemian lifestyle. I'd frequently visit one of its many outdoor cafes for just a drink or even a good meal. Sitting there people watching, sipping on a refreshing beverage, and enjoying a good meal always seem to make my day.

One hot afternoon I stopped by one of Manhattan's many outdoor cafes for a quick bite to eat and a cold refreshing drink. I sat at one of the tables outdoors and waited for the waitress to come and take my order. They tend to be very prompt in attending to your needs so the sweet young lady came to my table to take my order. I told her I would enjoy a great hot pastrami sandwich on Jewish Rye and an ice cold Diet Coke. She politely took my order but told me they didn't have Diet Coke, they only had Diet Pepsi. Much to my chagrin, I said ok as long as it is as cold as you can get it.

So, I sat there enjoying the outdoors and my people watching and in about 15 minutes the waitress returned with my sandwich and an ice cold bottle of Diet Coke in a bucket of ice. I told her I thought you didn't have Diet Coke. She replied they didn't but when she went to the manager and told him about my order he gave her the money to run to the Quicky-Mart next door to get me the Diet Coke I requested.

She didn't know me and might never see me again. Her job was simply to take orders and deliver them to the kitchen not customer service. She was very busy that day taking orders from a number of other customers and looked very tired. But she took the time to register that I had a specific desire for a Diet Coke not a substitute beverage. She cared enough to shift gears and get me a cold Diet Coke. Then she wished me well and told me she hoped I enjoyed my sandwich and cold drink.

I can see her friendly face now as I write this message. It was just a bottle of soda. But I felt warmed by her kindness and buoyed by her good intentions.

Recognizing the positive intentions in others, we feel safer, more supported, and happier. And when others feel that you get their good intentions, they feel seen, appreciated, valued, validated, and more inclined to treat you better.

But it can be hard to recognize the good will in others. We're busy and distracted and stressed. Positive aims are often buried beneath negative behaviors. The brain's innate negativity bias is continually scanning for bad news, bad intentions. The brain also reacts to novelty, so it tends to ignore the many positive intentions that pervade most daily life while spotlighting the numerous negative ones.

So you have to actively look for good intentions. Then you'll find them all around you - a window into the deep goodness in every being, no matter how obscured.

How then do we build and foster good Intentions in Ourselves and In Others?

Take a minute to recognize the many good intentions - aims, purposes, desires - that you have in a typical day. Good intentions don't need to be saintly. Wanting to enjoy a cup of coffee, to eat a decent breakfast, to lock the door behind you, to get to work on time, to be conscientious, to feel safe, to care for a family, to be a decent person, to avoid trouble, to hurt less, to enjoy something sweet, to not quarrel, to live to see the sunrise . . . these are all good intentions.

Most good intentions will be small. But they still matter. Remember what I have said once before: everything matters everything counts. They either lift you up and improve your life or take you down and destroy it. Just imagine the disasters if you replaced your good intentions with bad ones! Sure, some intentions aren't so good, such as desires to dominate, act out addictive cravings, or dump negative feelings on others. But for almost everyone, the great majority of intentions are good ones. Let it become a feeling, a strong sense in your body, that you are someone with good intentions.

Talking with a friend, be aware of his or her positive intentions. How does it feel to see them? Try this routinely with people you care about. I find that doing this helps me understand others better plus opens my heart. As appropriate, tell the other person what you've learned; hearing a recognition of one's good intentions can be a powerful experience.

Try seeing good intentions in strangers walking down the street - or at the mall. You'll see lots of courtesies, efforts to do a good job, desires to understand or be understood, loyalty to friends and causes, fair play, and kindnesses. This practice makes me happy, and gives me a stronger sense of our common humanity. We need to embrace the notion that we are all in this together. There are no life experiences that are truly unique.

There is always someone else out there that has been through what you are now experiencing.

Also try this with people who are difficult for you. This is not to excuse them. But seeing good intentions amidst bad behaviors can, ironically, help you feel less affected - less stressed, irritated, or worried - by other people. You could also ask others to recognize the good intentions in you.

There's an ember of sanctity and good in each one of us, including the one looking back at you in the mirror. Recognizing good intentions blows on that ember, adds fuel to it, and helps it grow into a warm and beautiful flame. If we look for the good intentions in others and build on our own good intentions, we will attract the kind of people in our lives that we need to help us enjoy a more prosperous, positive, and enjoyable life.

No words express this better for me then the song "Soul Provider."

Click on link below and enjoy the song.


Author's Bio: 

Dr. Fetter is a notable Neuropsychologist, Speaker, Author, Certified Professional Coach, Former University Professor, Former Space Shuttle Astronaut Trainer, Actor, Musician, Performer, Pilot, Ordained Minister, Life/Relationship Coach, Disabled Veteran.

His track record includes success in corporate, non-profit, academia, and aerospace; including astronaut and crew training for Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, and other consulting environments. He is an internationally recognized leader in innovative Training and Development, Change Management, and Organizational Development Solutions.

ASTD, ISPI, Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS), International Behavioral Neuroscience Society IBNS), former member of the American Society for Addiction Medicine, Soaring Society of America, China Business Leadership Group, Coach Network, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Organizational Development & Training Forum, Super Performing World Movement, Global Resilience Institute, The Psychology Network, International Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (ICBT), The American Psychological Association (APA), Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology.