The Secret to Stability and Success: How Your Intentions Shape Your Life.

by Karim Saleh

brush strokeThe power of intention is a concept your school never taught you. Understanding this concept is a simple adjustment that will help you tap into your inner operating system and improve your life significantly.

Listen up close: it’s very subtle, but extremely powerful.

From my experience of tapping into my intentions, I have come to realize that many of the different techniques taught in personal growth, confidence training, and other methods of developing oneself center around one fundamental principle. Many different theories teach us to work on our body language, push ourselves, stop procrastinating, and exercise everyday.

… You know the list well of things you should do.

Few of these theories focus on the real power behind our actions: that is, our intentions.

What is intention?

Intentions are performing an action with a particular purpose or objective in mind.

The number of times I have heard just “live in the moment” or “I don’t think about the future because I can’t control it” is shocking. Believing that we can have no impact on our future or even that the future never comes is akin to self-imprisonment. What comes ahead is a consequence of the individual decisions we make, today. That said, without any planning or focus on execution, you will never know if you are headed in the right direction.

History suggests that people who think in a certain way have a much greater chance of being successful than those who think in unhealthy and destructive ways. This is the fuel behind most of the entire self-help/personal growth industry and is also supported by a great deal of research that pins Emotional IQ as a better predictor of success than IQ on its own. Strangely enough, if anyone wants to be successful they literally just have to read a few of the great books available on the topic and take action. The knowledge is there for us, but only if we want it. Many people say they want it, but this idea doesn’t make it down to their core. This is where the power of intention comes in.

How can you BE successful?

If being successful only involved doing then I think it would be so easy to be successful. Doing is not the solution. It is possible to spend a whole lot of time doing something but achieving nothing. What is more important is the question: “what are you feeding?” Are you feeding a stable reliable confident self-image through your actions or are you feeding a destructive externally supported dependent person.

It doesn’t matter as much what you do as how you do it. If you can learn to tie to your emotions and self-value to the process, when you do things the right way you naturally feel good about yourself.

Take a second:

Imagine you turn on your radio and most of what you hear is fuzzy white noise, but occasionally you hear flickers of your favorite radio station. So you are a little clumsy and fumble with the dial but keep missing the clear signal.

You begin to get frustrated. You may even think that your radio sucks or become jealous of all the people who get to listen to it with clearer sound.

You begin to slip into a victim mindset.

But you don’t give up, and over time, you learn to turn the knob ever so slightly, and use your trained ear to recognize when you are getting close. Eventually you can hit the signal you want most times and you develop your fine tuning abilities to achieve the result you wanted.

I would compare our thinking stream to the radio signal that comes into your car. In the case of the radio frequency we know where it is coming from. But in the case of our thoughts, they just arise into our consciousness.

So how do we begin to dial in our thoughts?

yogaOne way I like to use is through meditation.

By meditating frequently we can become familiar with the incoming frequency before the thoughts arise into consciousness. It is possible to sense that there is a place that these thoughts are coming from: I would describe this as a feeling more than anything else. This feeling, i.e. the incoming frequency, only brings white noise to us at first.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t even recognize this quality of our minds and that simply is because we are inexperienced and ‘fumbling around with the dial’. Our mind sends us all kinds of distortion that we believe to be reality, when in essence it is just the result of our underlying beliefs painting what we see. Most of us aren’t aware of this process occurring.

But there’s good news: we can get in touch with it and develop our internal senses. As you tap into recognizing how the internal frequency is getting distorted, you can learn to make the adjustments necessary to hear a clear signal that runs straight from within you and displays to the outside world. Over time, you learn the territory and see what types of thoughts and situations throw you off and learn to navigate with nautical precision.

When we act and develop our ability to act through our internal frequency, we start reaching states of fluidity and flow. Things fall into place, and we are effortlessly in tune with our internal and external world. When I am fully connected to my core I feel connected to ALL beings. To further define acting through your internal frequency is to be in a state where nothing you do is for any reason other than being what is most natural and beautiful within you. You know where you begin and another person ends and you stop doing things to please other people. Your body language is naturally confident, your voice is appropriate, and your confidence is through the roof all because you are doing what you are supposed or made to do.

Fortunately, as you begin to decipher what it is that is most fundamental within you, you will naturally begin to see when others are screwing with you. Others will screw with you both intentionally and unintentionally.

tobaccoOne problem in our society is that intentions are hidden. This may occur because intentions are unknown or because those intentions are truly selfish. The mere existence of Tobacco companies is a prime example of how some people have malicious intentions. Their goal is to get you to smoke, and get you to smoke a lot while playing within the rules. If the people running those organizations cared about your health, the organizations wouldn’t exist. Even though that seems obvious, it can be easy to determine what organizations are out for your best interests by the products that they produce and how they produce them. Do you see what I am getting at? At a fundamental level, there is no possible intention upon which a Tobacco company can be built that is in the best interests of the people who will use their products.

Remember that every dollar you spend is sending a message. Everything you say is sending a message. Everything you do and think is sending a message. If you pay attention, you will recognize that everything you say and do is a form of communication with the world around you and with yourself. Each word and each action is your true form of currency.

If you act out of sync with your internal frequency, it will lead to poor confidence, anger and all kinds of mental and physical chaos.

If you act in line with it, all the good results described as how to act confident and how to become smarter will come to you naturally. You will intuitively know what needs to be done and whether it is in line with what your ultimate goal is. You can lie to other people, you can lie to yourself… but you can’t lie to what is within you.

If you cut corners, you’re cutting down your own success.

Go out there and explore, and have fun doing it!

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
–Friedrich Nietzche

This is all easy to hear, but your true reward lies within your practical application.

… So how do you decipher your internal frequency?

Here are 5 ways that will lead you back down your golden road to natural existence:

  1. Notice where your impulses come from: Follow them back to their source.
  2. Ask yourself these types of questions: What was I hoping to achieve by doing that? Was that because I wanted to do that or because I was expected to? Do I feel connected to what I am doing? Do I feel connected to the people around me? If not, why not? Once you drop the act completely, this gets a lot easier… the sooner you learn, the easier this will be for you. Did your act become reality at some point in your life? Are you being you?

  3. Remember what you need: Food, Water, Shelter.
  4. Everything else in your life is a luxury. Start releasing your attachments to these things. If you had to leave to go to a new city and never be able to turn back, what would you take with you? You only get a backpack. Stop carrying all your heavy baggage around with you… it feels good to put it down. Most of what you need is just in your head, it is not based in reality. Sure you can enjoy these things. But, if you are overindulging you could use some perspective.

  5. Love yourself.
  6. Perhaps the greatest gift you can give yourself is your own friendship. Recognizing that nothing outside yourself is better than what is already within you. There is far too much fear that is spread around, and hardly enough love. Learn to make decisions from a place of love rather than avoiding fear. Avoiding fear is playing to lose.

  7. Spend some time on your own in silence.
  8. Soon you will notice how crazy your mind is. All you need to learn is some objectivity and be the calm in your storm of thoughts. It is from this place your natural frequency can best be deciphered. If you are one of those people who can’t be alone, then you need this the most. “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour.”

  9. Ask for help.
  10. This is a very tricky topic and mastering yourself takes time and dedication. If there are things you don’t understand, please ask. If I do not know the answer, I will find it for you or do my best to point you in the right direction. Reaching out is one of the best ways to be proactive about your life.

Keep your ears out for Part 2 of this article that dives deeper into the concept of Stability. I’ll explore how to remain level-headed despite the traps your mind will set for you (and there will be many.)

About Karim Saleh
Karim Saleh is a multifaceted medical student living in Ireland who is passionate about social ethics and personal change. His main goals in life are meeting extraordinary people and sharing his knowledge and experience for the benefit of others. He lives his life by "Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own." (Bruce Lee) He has big hopes and plans for the future, and big hopes and plans for YOU. Contact Karim at karisaleh@rcsi.ie

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Zia Saleh September 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Phenomenal. Keep ’em coming.

Cam September 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for commenting Zia! 🙂

Karim Saleh September 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Hey Zia!

Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂 I appreciate your support! It means that much more knowing that you are out pursuing your path! Glad you are enjoying the articles and hopefully they are offering you some value. =)

Ryan September 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

You are spitting some fine verbiage Karim. Great F’n post dawg. Couldn’t agree more with the silence part.
I lost my cell phone 6 months back and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Being without a phone for a week forced my brain to get serious and really pay attention to what I was paying attention too.
It was during that week that I realized I was the problem to all my so called “problems” –
None the less I’ve gotten over my internal pity party and have been KILLIN it ever since.
I’ve recommended to some friends to turn their phone of for a week, turning it on a few times a day to check for “important” things to just wait and see what happens to their thoughts. All of them couldn’t even imagine ever trying something like that. I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to try it. Silent mode is now a very common practice when I am working and studying.

Cheers

Cam September 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Thanks for commenting Ryan! I totally agree about the cellphone part too. When I went on a raw food retreat in San Diego in May I didn’t use my cellphone for a whole week. Prior to going I was super attached to my phone, but afterwards I enjoyed the silence a lot. Now I use it a lot less.

Brian Mark September 13, 2012 at 1:25 am

Hey Karim,

Great post. I especially loved the part where you discussed the radio frequency, and how the example cites the thinking patterns of most people; to get frustrated with the radio instead of intending to find the right station.

I think that conscious intention is the single most important skill one can develop. I recently finished a book titled The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart. There are now scientific studies verifying the effect of our thoughts on physical things “separate” from us.

One of the many studies done in the book called on experienced meditators to send an intention to a plant to grow into it’s fullest potential with ease and perfection. The experiment controlled the growing rate of this plant to the control plants, who had no intention sent towards it. Time after time they were able to verify that the plant with intention sent towards it grew faster and was healthier.

The book is incredible, and I recommend it for a great read, but it left me with a question that I want to share. I began to think; if my intentions (otherwise known as my thoughts kept in my awareness) are actually affecting the things around me, what are they CURRENTLY DOING TO MY LIFE? What am I affecting without consciously realizing? How can I fix it? Okay, now that I’m aware that I can affect the things around me, what do I want to affect? How long does it take?

Either way our thoughts are affecting the things around us; consciously (we’re aware of our influence) or subconsciously (happening in parts of the mind out of reach of our consciosu awareness) and that’s why developing the ability to consciously intend, or bring purpose to your activities in your life, is the most important skill that one can develop.

Again, great article. Glad I read it. Keep up the good work Karim.

Karim Saleh September 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

@ Ryan Thanks so much for reading and for the support! When people appreciate the work it makes it that much easier to do it! 🙂

As for your comments about silence…funny how you, Cam and I have similar experiences with our phones. I mean they are great for keeping in touch, but I do catch myself just seeking stimulation sometimes. Losing the phone for a while is handy. I’ve been keeping my phone on silent these days now too…that must be a bit frustrating for people trying to get in touch with me though…haha my bad! But I need my peace!

I recently misplaced my ipod somewhere in my house. By recently I mean end of June…I am a music fiend. I was like oh well, if I find it…I find it. Realistically, nothing is that special. Every time I don’t use my ipod or phone for a while, I feel so much more at peace and more connected to my environment. Scary when you think that we’re headed towards more and more technology every day…I like that we’re doing the work we are doing to educate people with our knowledge and experience. I also like that there are other people taking similar action.

@ Brian! Dude, much love for the comment and for reading. I’m glad you read the article too. You are taking on something special of your own right now and it’s inspiring to see that kind of commitment 🙂

Coincidentally, I have seen Lynne McTaggart on some of the documentaries I have watched on metaphysics and quantum mechanics. I know there is something to the intention and result phenomenon. My only knock on the alternative medicine (mostly Eastern tradition) field is that they don’t have realistic ways of communicating their knowledge to people who are “educated” or those who “think they are educated because they have a degree or published a bunch of papers”. Unfortunately skepticism is inbuilt in the scientific community, but to ignore that and keep telling people the same thing over and over is pointless. The scientific community will point at alternative research and say ‘HAH, hippies!’ and the alternative research will point at the scientific community and be like ‘HOW DO THEY NOT SEE THIS’. There is a lot of unverified stuff out there and it actually can cause people to damage themselves if they are going on crazy diets or doing some weird supplement diets and stuff but it isn’t like that doesn’t exist in the pharmaceutical based medical industry. That said, I know from my own experience that there is so much value in both Eastern tradition AND Western tradition. By why does either have to be right? Can’t they both be right in different ways?

This is one of my main intentions: to bridge the gap between the two conflicting parts of society: in this case for e.g. it would be Western Medicine and Eastern Medicine, it could be Religion and Science, Peace and War, Happiness and Sadness. People just want to feel important and that they have control over their lives…but a lot of it is just delusional and people attaching themselves to different ideas so they can feel secure. Can we prove whether God exists or doesn’t exist? Can we prove if Chris Brown got a tattoo of Rihanna all beat up on his neck? Realistically, who the fuck cares? I don’t mean to be offensive, but I am calling it like it is. We can’t prove either one way or the other so why waste our time on it. Rather, if we focus on our own actions that is literally the ONLY thing we are in control of. Are our lives so boring that we have to reduce ourselves to arguing about things that there is no answer to or spending billions of dollars chasing down an answer that will never explain EVERYTHING. That is a direct sign of a lack of meaning in people’s lives.

As for your question:

So in order to figure out how your intentions are affecting your life, I believe the important thing is tapping into the subtle energies of each action and thought you have. You will notice that certain actions take energy away from you in a destructive way (away from your purpose and vision) and that certain thoughts/actions give you energy (moving you towards your purpose and vision). Here is an example:

So, we can’t entirely control our minds and what it produces. But through being mindful we can learn to notice when a thought is ridiculous and destructive. Whenever I notice those thoughts/actions that I know from experience drain energy and are temporarily self-inflating or soothing (which over time I have become good at) I just let them go without letting them settle in my mind. I tend to see the thought superimposed over my vision field. I move the thought from R->Left in my vision field and out of sight: that has proven to be very helpful. That way, I am in control of what I am feeding my conscious awareness…negative destructive thoughts are not allowed to take residence. That includes thoughts thinking I am special or stuff like that. No room for that – it distorts perception.

You have to ask yourself what do you want to affect? It is my belief that we have to live what we want to affect (‘Be the change you want to see in the world’). This has been my experience in medicine as well. For e.g. It’s like having a smoker overweight unhealthy looking cardiologist coming in and telling you that you need to stop smoking and lose weight…’uhh yeah buddy’

I mean it’s not right necessarily, this person SHOULD quit smoking…but people will be more likely to take you seriously if you are living something yourself. Additionally, I think in order to have the biggest impact and influence on the external world, external structures need to be taken into account. This is one of the reasons I wanted to get involved on the internet. On the internet, I will have access to a great deal of the population in the world. Now that I have the access, what I do with this is up to me. Then it is figuring out how to best get the message to the MOST people in a way that they can UNDERSTAND. It has to be a message that is believable and testable (at least in their own lives). It has to show people that it can be done, why it can be done, and how it can be done. I also have to live in accordance with my values on the internet, or what’s the point? I’m not a different person on here than I am in person. People can sense congruence…even through your words.

I wonder if that clarifies things for you at all…But I’d love to hear if it doesn’t and more specific information about what you want =)

With Gratitude.

Izzy September 14, 2012 at 12:46 am

Yo Karim awesome piece man.

It’s an interesting concept you bring to the table here. I think intentions can get real complex because often we are doing things assuming we have one intention but in reality we want something else.

This is why I found this post interesting. You bring up the power of intention, the struggle with intention, and also some ways to find our intention.

For the past year I have been pretty resistant to meditation because I have a hard time staying still. But over the last month of my life I have gotten more and more serious into martial arts training. This requires heavy focus and at the beginning of each class we do some meditation. So naturally I found myself coming home at night and wanting to meditate. The craziest thing is that I have found myself being way more aware of my feelings, emotions and environment as of late.

I credit this in part to the meditation. At time I am almost feel like a 3rd party observing myself. I’ll ask questions like “Why do you feel excited?” or “Why do you feel anxious?” Crazy thing is that the answers often bring some darn good clarity to my life.

Cam September 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

Hey Izzy, thanks for popping by and commenting. Meditation is something I’ve also struggled with. I can understand the benefits, but like you, sitting still is difficult. Slowly over the past while I’ve gotten significantly better at it, and I believe one of the reasons is because I’ve been following visualization style meditation practices, so I don’t have to only sit there with my thoughts and the silence the whole time, I can just breathe and imagine a different place. Once I get this down I can move on to other styles.

Karim Saleh September 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Hey Izzy!

For some reason I took to meditation quite nicely in its classical sense. That is ‘just sitting there’. Of course, that isn’t all that it is. It is reconnecting with self, being the observer and not getting caught up in our reactions to things:

That said, I think it’s important that movement meditation is also meditation. Yoga for example is just another form of meditation. There are so many different ways we can allow meditation into our lives. As I have become more self-aware, I have learned to be more mindful throughout the day. It is almost as if I am meditating constantly…but not quite 😉 I think it is great that you are using martial arts in the way you are and that you are enjoying it. Much of the history of martial arts is littered with references to mastery of self and uses theories that apply directly to what we are talking about here. There isn’t truly one right way or wrong way to do meditation, the practice itself and taking time out to reconnect is all that matters. Its great that you are becoming more aware: if we are not aware we cannot make change, but if we are aware, then we must make change or suffer the consequences of our inaction. Meditation is all about becoming aware and developing ourselves into more whole human beings. That is what I take from it at least.

I encourage you to keep asking yourself those types of questions, you may be surprised where they will take you. I believe they will take you to a much more fulfilling and nourishing life. Good luck! 🙂

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