Balancing Positive Intent

Photo by Yogendra Singh

Are you a glass “half empty” or a glass “half full” kind of person?

I hate to admit this, but I have to work hard not to operate out of the glass “half empty” most of the time. I blame my core value of stability for this way of thinking.

Stability is both my best friend and worst enemy. As my best friend, it provides me with thinking things through before I act, it keeps me highly organized, and it holds a perception for me that I’m safe and secure as long as I “control” my circumstances.

As my worst enemy, it reminds me that there really is no such thing as control and it creates unnecessary worry and doubt. When this is out of balance, I get scared, reactive, and not very productive. I have to stop and ask myself if I have all the facts and decide which thoughts will actually serve me. This takes a lot of practice and patience.

“Intention is one with cause and effect. Intention determines outcome. And if you’re stuck and not moving forward, you have to check the thought and the action that created the circumstance.Oprah Winfrey

Stephen M. R. Covey in The Speed of Trust talks about the power of positive intention. He makes a powerful point that we must keep our positive mindset in check because there is cause and effect. Too much positivity can sometimes lead us down a road to idealism and an experience of getting burned. Not enough positive intention can keep us stuck.

Are you struggling to balance positive intent with this COVID crisis?

As we are all doing our best to navigate this pandemic, the roller coaster of emotions and thoughts is very real. On the one hand, I want to watch the news to stay informed and understand what’s really happening in the world. I wonder if the news has informed me with their best intentions.

Then, I choose to not watch the news because it doesn’t seem to change how I’m personally managing this crisis. I’m staying home, washing my hands, not touching my face (the struggle is real), and wearing my face mask. I have to believe there is an opportunity for all humanity during this time. This is where I choose to focus on positive intent.

As a graduate of USM, one of the principles I learned was that all humanity gets lifted when human beings are willing to assume positive intent, practice forgiveness, and send love. When we each take accountability as individuals for healing, the whole world gets the benefit. Every human being has that power.

This pandemic has humbled the world in my opinion as no one is immune. We are all equal in terms of vulnerability. Any of our physical bodies could possibly catch this virus.

What a beautiful reminder that we are all connected.

Whether we agree with our leaders and the decisions they are making or not, I have to believe they are doing their best in each given moment. It’s complicated, scary, and devastating. I have to practice setting down my own judgments, and focus on how my thoughts can either negatively impact humanity or raise the positive impact. We all have that ability. Will you choose it or not? That’s entirely up to you.

“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.”Deepak Chopra

With my best intentions,

Martha Lynn

Fundamental of the Week #24: ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT. Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest. Set aside your own judgments or preconceived notions, and give people the benefit of the doubt. Look for the positive intent in their actions and communications.

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