In our darker moments, many of us have doubted our paths in life. Am I spending my time on Earth in the best possible way? Why haven’t I achieved more? These are the kinds of questions that can keep us awake at night.
In Dr. Wayne Dyer's book - The Power of Intention. Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way, published in 2004, you’ll discover the answers you’ve been looking for. Packed with spiritual wisdom, as well as practical advice, this is your beginner’s guide to nourishing your troubled soul. You’ll gain a unique and surprising perspective on the universe and your place in it, and learn how to go forward with a renewed sense of purpose.
The three most powerful points I took from the book were;
Intention can be harnessed by human beings and other life forces. To achieve something incredible, you must believe you can achieve it.
Align your thoughts with the positive, life-affirming energy of God. You have just as much purpose as the God who made you.
Self-love is a crucial part of intention and spirituality. Letting go of stress brings you closer to God.
Intention can be harnessed by human beings and other life forces.
How would you define intention? Conventional wisdom tells us that intention is a strong determination, or will, to achieve a particular result. But forget conventional wisdom – because intention is much more than that. And that’s what makes it so powerful. In fact, intention doesn’t emanate from within you, and it is not under your control. Instead, intention is a powerful force within the universe. It’s a potent energy field that surrounds you and is inside you, and that can neither be created nor destroyed.
You need only to look at the story of your own creation to know that intention is a powerful force that dwells within you. Consider the moment of your conception, when a sperm met an egg. Right from that moment, intention inhabited your embryo. Already you were predestined to have certain facial features and a certain body shape; perhaps you were intended to one day grow old and develop wrinkles. That is the unstoppable power of intention.
And, just like you, every other living being on Earth contains the power of intention – from the mighty lion to the humble acorn. If you split open the acorn, you won’t be able to see an oak tree nestling inside it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. That little acorn has every intention of growing into a big, tall tree.
Intention shapes us humans, too, and guides us toward our true potential – but only if we are willing to let it. Because humans have free will, we can choose whether or not to follow the path of intention in a way that the acorn can’t. All too often we choose not to, and we become confused about our true intention.
The problem lies in a uniquely human trait: the ego. Your ego equips you with certain faulty beliefs. It makes you think that you are what you have achieved – that your achievements define you. Your ego convinces you that you are equal only to the sum of your possessions, or that you are only as good as other people think you are. When you listen to your ego, you stop listening to intention. Get rid of your ego, and let intention drive you toward your true purpose.
In this way, you, too, can be like the little acorn and confidently grow into the robust, unshakable being you were always meant to be.
To achieve something incredible, you must believe you can achieve it.
Perhaps the best example of harnessing the power of intention is an iron ship. In centuries past, ships were made of wood – never iron. The reason for this was that wood floated on water, whereas iron sank. But eventually, people realized that iron can float as long as it isn’t heavier than the mass of the water it displaces.
Why did it take people so long to realize that iron could float? The problem was that they had been focusing on what wasn’t possible, rather than what was. Don’t dwell on the difficulty or unlikeliness of achieving something. Consider Alexander Graham Bell. The inventor of the telephone didn’t spend his time thinking about not communicating with people. Similarly, Thomas Edison – the inventor of the lightbulb – didn’t dwell on darkness. Just like these culture-changing innovators, you shouldn’t waste time thinking about failure if you intend to succeed.
You can focus your mind on success by imagining that you have already achieved what you intend to do. Visualize a situation in which the thing you want is already a reality – that it’s something happening to you in the present, rather than in the future. This is a technique that the author used himself. When he wanted to write a book, he imagined that he had already written it.
Your imagination is connected to the energy field of intention. So when you use your imagination to visualize that you already have what you want, you are connecting to the power of intention and helping to bring what you want into reality.
Sadly, most of us don’t value our imaginations. Instead, we mistakenly believe we can achieve our goals by sheer willpower, never realizing that it’s imaginative power that will really get us there.
Not convinced? Then consider the ancient practice of firewalking, in which a person walks over hot coals with bare feet. If you think the coals are going to burn you, then you’ll have to muster up all your willpower to walk across them. And when you do, guess what? You’ll burn your feet. But if you imagine that you can walk across the coals completely unscathed, then, the author claims, you will be able to cross them without getting so much as a blister. That’s the difference between your willpower and your imagination.
Align your thoughts with the positive, life-affirming energy of God.
On your path to intention, you may well come up against some obstacles. A good analogy for overcoming these obstacles is a television game show called The Match Show, in which two teammates each give individual responses to a question. At the end, they are awarded points according to how many of their responses matched each other.
To harness intention, you need to respond to challenges in a way that matches the creative power of God. Once you start doing this, you cannot help but succeed in everything you intend to do. But when you think negatively, you work against God’s creative energy – and achieving your aims becomes more difficult.
One major obstacle to intention is focusing on things you feel are missing from your life. You might, for instance, find yourself focusing on your lack of money. But just by thinking about something, you help introduce it to your reality. So if you think about being poor, then you invite more poverty into your life. This idea is not new. The Old Testament, for example, says, “as he thinketh, so is he.”
With the creative power of God, you can match your thoughts with your intentions by changing your focus. Instead of telling yourself you’re poor, start saying, “I have an abundance in my life.” Another obstacle to intention is dwelling on what has been – and letting that determine what will be. For instance, you might have a particular story that you tell yourself on a regular basis. That story might go something like, “I have struggled all my life to make friends and form meaningful relationships.”
Can you see the problem with focusing on the past like this? As we’ve already learned, the imagination is a powerful thing. By imagining yourself in a particular way – in this case, as a loner who struggles with interpersonal relationships – you are giving your imagination a story that you need to live up to. Since God and the power of intention flow through your imagination, that story will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In contrast, the most successful people know that having these rigid stories about themselves will not help them succeed.
So instead of dwelling on what has always been, try to think about what will be in the future. Try saying, “I will be surrounded by loving friends” – and see how quickly your reality changes.
You have just as much purpose as the God who made you.
For many of us, there’s one question that keeps us awake at night. That question is: What am I doing with my life? We wonder what our purpose is here – what we were put on this Earth to do. Finding an answer may not be easy, but the power of intention can shine a light on your confusion.
While you may struggle with feeling that you have no purpose in life, the wonderful truth is that you have always had a purpose, from before you were born – indeed, before the moment of your conception. Sound bizarre? Not when you consider that everything in the universe is a part of God, even the molecules and particles that were your building blocks before you were conceived.
If God has a purpose, and you are part of Him, that means you have the very same purpose that God has. And what is God’s purpose? It’s to create, to give life, to be a beacon of love, beauty, and peace. So that’s your purpose, too!
But not only are you a part of God – you were made by Him, too. And He made you purposefully. Your life will always have meaning because you were made on purpose. Of course, most of us need something a little more concrete than this. If you yearn to articulate your purpose, then, once again, you can look to God for inspiration.
Consider the fact that God spends all His time giving – whether it’s life, love, or wisdom. You can find a purpose in giving, too. If giving doesn’t sound as good as receiving, then think about the fact that you came into this world with nothing, and you will leave with nothing. You can’t take your time, your possessions, or your knowledge with you – so you might as well give those things away while you can.
One of the best ways to give is to be of service to others. The author found no greater sense of fulfillment than hearing people say that his books had changed their lives. Knowing that he had been of service to his readers was worth more than any check or glowing book review he could have received. So if you are seeking purpose, find it in being truly useful to those around you.
Self-love is a crucial part of intention and spirituality.
How much do you love yourself? To harness the power of intention, you’ll need to regard yourself with total acceptance and appreciation. Remember, your aim is to work in loving harmony with God, not against Him. And the truth is that you can’t love God without loving yourself.
God’s field of intention is powered by love, beauty, and creative energy. To get in touch with this positive energy field, you need to send out positive energy vibrations yourself. But how can you put out positive, loving energy into the world – and receive this sort of energy in return – if you don’t love yourself?
To love God and follow His intention, you must realize that there is no difference between God and you. You are a part of God; you are His love, His wisdom, His creativity, and His success. When you love yourself, you also acknowledge your love for God. But when you turn away from yourself – when you regard yourself as ugly, stupid, or limited – then you are turning away from God’s love, as well as His abilities.
How you feel about yourself is crucial because it determines what kind of energy you send out into the world. People with high self-esteem send out high-frequency energy; they vibrate with the soaring majesty of God and the universe. As a result, these people attract high-frequency energy, too; they receive abundance from God and succeed with their intention. But those with low self-self esteem send out lower-frequency energy, and they attract more of the same – in the form of pain, poor relationships, and failure.
You can raise your self-esteem by employing some simple techniques. First, you can face yourself in the mirror every morning and say, “I love myself!” You might worry that doing this will swell your ego, but there is nothing wrong with confirming your self-love. After all, you are not saying you are more worthy of love than others or superior to anyone else. Instead, by affirming that you love yourself, you are also reaffirming your love of God.
Once you open yourself up to self-love, you also open yourself up to the power of intention. This power will flow into you as you become God’s loving host. Once you are hosting God within you, you will feel His divine influence over everything you do as He guides you toward your true intention.
Letting go of stress brings you closer to God.
A racing heart, butterflies in your stomach, or a powerful sense of dread – most of us have experienced stress and anxiety at some point in our lives. Living a stressful existence doesn’t seem to be something that any of us intends, and yet stress often comes knocking at our door. So how can we say goodbye to stress for good?
Although stress might feel like a natural reaction when bad things happen, there’s nothing natural about these unpleasant sensations. We humans are a part of God, and God is peace and serenity. So how can we intentionally banish stress from our lives and reconnect to tranquility? The first step is realizing that stress is a choice; it’s not a physical event that happens to you. When you suffer a panic attack, you are not literally being attacked. Instead, stress or anxiety are simply reactions – which are in your control.
One simple technique for reducing stress is to catch your stress reaction before it takes hold of you. For instance, imagine you are waiting in line behind someone who is taking up a lot of the cashier’s time with questions you think are stupid. Before long, you get impatient, and you start to feel stressed.
This is the point at which you need to stop and reflect on your thoughts and feelings. Consider that the more stressed you get, the more disconnected you become from your natural state – and from God.
To get closer to God and to feel joyful again, you need to change how you look at the situation. Look at the slow person in front of you again. Is he an annoyance to stress about, or is he actually a gift from God – put there to remind you to relax and bring you closer to your intention?
When the author found himself in this exact situation, he managed to think about the man as an angel who had been sent from God as a reminder to reconnect to the power of intention. This might sound far-fetched, but when you feel stressed, try to see all the things that get you down as signs that you need to rethink how you relate to the world.
The universe will send great people to you – when you’re ready.
Do you always seem to pick the wrong person as a friend or partner? Do you find that those around you don’t love or support you in the way you know you deserve? If any of this sounds familiar, then things need to change. But it’s not the people in your life who need to change. It’s you.
All too often, when people let us down, we pin the blame on them. But if you want the right people to enter your life, then you need to do things differently. If you want to receive loving, supportive people into your life, then you need to become this sort of person yourself. Consider the cold, self-centered person who complains to his friends that the people he becomes romantically involved with are selfish and unfeeling. How can this person expect to be loved if he doesn't love anyone himself?
The truth is that the right people for you are out there – and what’s more, you don’t even have to look hard to find them. In fact, you are already connected to them because all of us are connected together through the universe and God.
All you need to do is have faith that these loving, supportive people are going to walk into your life at the right moment. When you have this absolute faith, you project confidence and trust into the world. You will be working with, rather than against, the field of intention, and God will respond by sending these people to you. That’s not to say that they will show up exactly when you want them to. Instead, they will appear when you are truly ready and willing to receive them – when your heart is open, and when you have already become the person that you wish to meet.
With this in mind, it’s important to have patience. The power of intention will move at its own speed; urging it to move faster is a little like kneeling in the dirt and tugging on a green shoot, hoping that it will blossom into a flower more quickly.
Instead of trying to force relationships and connections to happen sooner, trust that everything will happen when it’s supposed to. In fact, it may only be at the end of your life’s journey that you will be able to understand that everyone showed up at just the right time – that it was all a part of God’s divine intention.
What I took from it.
You don’t need to worry about where your life is headed or how much money you have. To live a tranquil life of abundance and fulfillment, you need only trust that you are a part of God. As long as you have an open heart, you will travel along the right path and fulfill His divine intention for you.
Let go of your ultimate fear. Contemplating your own death can be terrifying, but harnessing the power of intention will release you from your fear. Once you realize that you are not just your physical body, but also a soul that’s part of God and the field of intention, you will see that no one ever really dies. Instead, just like God, you are infinite. Your form may change, but you will still exist after death – just as you existed before you were born. You, like the power of intention, will live on in the universe for eternity.