Have you ever looked at a line of ants? They are all diligently focused on the task of feeding and building their colony. They have a clear end and beginning in sight and form a thick line for the most direct way to travel back and forth between the two. You could say that their intention has been clearly defined.
Have you ever made a perpendicular swipe through an ant line, disrupting their trail? The result is a huge diversion as ants go every which way. Or if a clear trail has not yet been defined ants will meander this way and that at a much slower pace.
There is an ancient proverb that encourages us to “observe the way of the ant” in relation to our work ethic and the way we are living our life. One of the biggest lessons we can learn from observing the behavior of ants is the power of intention. Establishing our intentions is one of the most important aspects to producing results in our life. We need to have clear goals in site and ask ourselves the question: “Am I really committed to doing this?”
The difference between a great athlete and a mediocre performer usually has to do with intention. Take for instance the hurdles in track and field. An athlete that wins at this race is a person who has clearly set their intention to win. Their focus is on breaking the tape at the finish line. With this end in mind they have committed themselves to hours of training so they can effortlessly jump over the hurdles in the most efficient manner. Imagine a runner upon reaching a hurdle stopping to study it. As they stand there questions flood their mind: “Can I jump over this? What if my foot gets caught and fall flat on my face?”
Ridiculous, I know, but many of us live life just like this. We take off from a start line with gusto only to come to a skidding stop at an obstacle before us. Questions flood our mind, we doubt and second guess ourselves, we get discouraged or slowly walk back to the start line. Is the issue that we are just lame people? NO! We simply have not clearly established our intentions. And if our intentions are not clearly defined we can begin to create patterns of failure in our lives develop a poor self-esteem.
Another example, a little closer to home is breaking boards or blocks. If one does not clearly establish their intention to break the board they may not break it. They will try to break it, but may lack the force to actually do it. Something happens when we envision breaking the board, aim our power at a place past the actual surface of the board and strike in a decisive manner. Our form and power lines up with our intention for a powerful strike shattering the obstacle before us.
At SwiftKick we teach effective martial art techniques; we break boards and learn how to deliver powerful strikes, but more important we are learning how to become more powerful people. We are learning to be intentional in the way we train and the way we live our lives. We are learning how to walk through our fears and self-doubts. We are learning to have a powerful vision for our lives and restrain ourselves in accordance to it. We are learning to walk in the power of intention as we become powerful people.