Maybe you’re familiar with the idea of setting intentions, which is similar to setting goals, but with an intention, you’re focusing more on the relationship you want to have with some part of life. So it’s not just about the surface outcome. You also want to clarify what kind of experience you want to have along the way.
Do you want to have a chill and relaxed experience? Do you want to feel stimulated and excited? Or playful and adventurous? Warm and cozy? Or something else? What kind of experience are you trying to invite into your life?
Invite the Experience
Imagine that like an octopus, you’re extending multiple tentacles towards your goal. You’re inviting the full richness of the REAL experience – mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, financially, and so on.
Think about the overall relationship you’re trying to create with some part of life. It’s not just about the end result. It’s about how you EXPERIENCE that result with your whole being. What will it do for you? How will it affect you?
The effect may not be part of the goal, but it’s part of the intention. If you invite a goal into your life, be sure to invite the full effects and consequences of the goal too. Otherwise, you’re keeping the goal away.
Imagine wrapping your full being around your desires, as if you’re hugging those desires with 8 tentacles, and you’re pulling it in towards you.
For instance, I got really nice results from holding the intention to create a playful and abundant relationship with money. That made a huge difference – to focus on intending the kind of relationship I wanted to have with money – not just on trying to make a certain amount show up. Does it really matter how much you money you have? I don’t care that much about the number… do you? I think what matters here is how you feel about your money situation. I want to feel like I always have plenty and that I can always make plenty more whenever I want. And whatever I might want to buy, I can just buy and not worry about prices.
I was inspired by Dr. Wayne Dyer who described his relationship with money as being like going to a well that never runs dry. You can always pull up another bucket. And I thought… that’s how I want to feel about money! And knowing how you want to feel about some aspect of life, knowing what kind of relationship you want to have, is WAY more powerful than objectifying your goal and focusing on it like it’s just a thing. It’s not a thing. It’s an experience!
So invite your goals like you’re inviting a rich experience into your life. Invite the kind of relationship you want have.
If you focus on the relationship you want to have with some part of life, you can get the outcome you want too, and it’s easier – because more of your whole being will care about how much you’ll appreciate that wonderful relationship than it will about some superficial outcome.
So focusing on these relationships – like your relationship with money, your relationship with your body, your relationship with your work, your relationship with your creative projects, your relationship with your home – that invites way more flow and motivation and inspiration than just focusing on some external result.
Really the relationship IS the key result that you’re going for. That powerful shift in the way you relate to some part of life is what you really want, isn’t it? So invite THAT!
The next part of the Octopus Intention is to set multiple intentions together.
Many people just set one intention at a time, which is a bit weak.
Don’t just set an intention. Set clusters of intentions together, like 8 of them or even more… as if you’re extending your tentacles of desire in different directions simultaneously. But really it’s one compound intention. You’re inviting the whole enchilada of your desires, not just one bite.
So imagine an octopus wrapping its tentacles around a whole enchilada. I have no idea if an octopus would actually want to do that, but just imagine it.
If you ask for more, you’ll tend to get more.
When you set one intention, it can easily link up with related desires. Like if you want more money or better health, how would those improvements affect your lifestyle or your relationships? If you finish a creative project, what do you think that will do for you? Don’t just invite one intention. Invite the ripples of that intention too.
This requires you to stretch your imagination a bit more. Imagine that what you’re really inviting is a new reality to experience – a new relationship with reality as a whole. If you only set one intention, it’s like your trying to pull that reality out of the realm of possibility and into your life, but you’re only use 1/8 of your strength to pull it in, and that’s weak. You could be pulling with 8 times the strength if you hook into that new reality in 8 different ways.
Invite your desire in fully, not just one little piece at a time. It doesn’t cost you anything to ask life for more, and life just might say yes. And aren’t you still better off if you invite 8 new desires, and only 3 of them come through? You’re still 3x better off than if you only asked for one.
You really can’t ask for too much, at the level of intention. It all has an effect.
Intend Your Day
If you want to set intentions for your day, I recommend doing that the night before. Then your subconscious mind – and perhaps realty itself – can start working on your intentions overnight. You may even wake up in the morning with some extra ideas or motivation that’s aligned with the intentions you set. I often have that experience.
On many nights I like to take a few minutes to grab an index card – I buy them in bulk because I love them so much – and fill out at least 8 intentions for the next day. That basically fills up one side of the card. Then I leave that card on my desk, so I can see it and review it the next morning.
I recommend writing out your intentions by hand. Then after you write them, read them back, so your eyes see them, your voice speaks them aloud, and your ears hear them. This get more regions of your brain involved in your intentions. It seeds your intentions throughout more of your brain because you’re involving your body, your voice, your eyes, and your ears. You’re feeding your intentions back into your brain through your senses, which means your brain is surely going to process those ideas differently.
If you only THINK about your intentions inside your mind, you’re like an octopus only using one tentacle. You’re probably just going to flop around and not get very far.
The Octopus Intention reminds you to get your WHOLE BRAIN involved. Most of an octopus’ brain is in its tentacles and its body, so it thinks with its whole being. And I suggest that get your whole being involved in your intentions too – or at least your whole brain.
You can also draw your intentions. Some people like doing that. But then also speak them aloud if you can. Or sing them, so you’re hearing them too.
Think of this as a way to coach your brain – and your reality – to go where you want them to go.
Extend Your Tentacles of Imagination and Desire
When you set intentions, you stretch yourself to consider what’s possible. You expand your imagination, like an octopus extending its tentacles, and you develop yourself into a more creative and capable person.
Setting intentions can help you feel more in control of your life and more confident. And when you feel this way, you’re likely to get more inspired ideas, to feel more motivated, and to take more action. And that can help you get better results too.
This also helps to steer your mind away from negative and circular thinking. Even if that was the only benefit, that would be reason enough to do it. There’s a lot of value in training your mind to avoid wallowing in the Pit of Despair. It’s so much better to focus on what you want, especially if what you’re currently experiencing is not what you want. Your intentions need to become more powerful than your observations; otherwise you’ll just stay stuck in your current reality… or to be more accurate, in your current relationship with reality.
If you don’t set conscious intentions, you’ll probably spend a lot more time observing and reacting to life and to events. A huge regret that many people have later in life is that they didn’t explore and express their desires fully enough. They didn’t go after their dreams and aspirations, and life sort of just slipped through their fingers. And they wonder where all the time went.
And that connects with another benefit of this practice, which is that setting intentions can help you build courage. Think of setting intentions as being bold and brave with your energy first. You’re stretching your thoughts and feelings forward in the direction of your desires. And that can really help to expand and extend your comfort zone… a little bit more each day. So you may notice that you start feeling bolder and more courageous as you practice this. That’s a pretty nice side effect.
I’ve noticed that when people get into the practice of setting intentions each day, they tend to become bolder and more playful after a while. As their relationship with reality starts to improve and they start getting results, it encourages them to keep asking for more. And that can invite a very positive cascade of benefits and flow.
Intention invites inspiration and motivation. If you want to feel inspired and motivated, think like an octopus. Reach for what you want with your whole being. Stretch your thoughts and feelings in new directions. Keep reaching for your dreams, and invite the new relationship with reality that you want to experience. And don’t give up. Just keep inviting it anew.
Upgrade Your Intentionality
And by the way… intentionality is one of the 8 key skills we’re going to cover in a tremendous weekend of self-motivation training – this very weekend. We’re doing this training in the form of an online workshop, so you can join us from anywhere in the world by Zoom – this Friday through Sunday, October 29-31, 2021. And you’ll get the recordings too!
More than 50 people are already signed up to attend, and I’m sure many more will enroll today. We begin in a little over 24 hours, so I invite you to join us if you possibly can. Instead of just reading about this, you could spend the final 3 days of October actively practicing this – and many more self-motivation skills – with me and dozens of other members of this community. And I will guide you each step of the way.
Start by listening to the Octo Invitation at the top of this page:
Then set your intention for what you want to EXPERIENCE.
And watch out for octopus synchronicities, just in case reality drops you a clue that you need be there.
Octo for the 8 keys.
Octo for October.
And Octo for an abundance of octopus references – just for added fun!
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