The definition of intention:
A thing intended; an aim or plan.
Oh boy, did I have some intentions this year. Looking back on this year that has passed, it is rather shocking at the amount of intent I had and how very few intentions came to fruition.
- Read 75 books by the end of 2016. Great plan, I read 56, but not gonna happen.
- Finish my novel. Fantastic idea! Unless I somehow don’t sleep for the next four days and write at the speed of light, it’s not gonna happen.
- Become a book review blogger with thousands of followers. 35 followers is not quite thousands, thus, it is not going to happen.
- Open up my own coffee shop called; “A Story About Coffee.” Clever right? (My cute daughter came up with that one) Great idea, however, not gonna happen.
- Having just turned forty (now nearly 41) I was going to get in the best shape I have ever been in. Great intention? Yep. Put simply? Did not happen.
Intention, resolution, goals, plans, whatever you want to call them, they are all very well intended. Intention is great, but what it feels like is failure. But, what is failure really?
Definition of fail:
Leaving something undone.
If we accomplish every intention every time we do them, what are we ever going to aspire to? If I had accomplished every intended goal or aim, I would be a world famous author/blogger, skinny, ultra caffeinated coffee shop owner, and most intellectually sound individual on the planet. But what then?
I think that might be the real reason we fail. What then? If we set out to do everything perfect and right the first time, we would never aspire or aim for something higher. We would have reached perfection and really, who ever really has the capacity to reach that or wants to?
FAIL and FAIL often. If we don’t fail, we never actually learn anything. I always use to think that failure meant I was just not capable of doing whatever I had set out to do. What I now have learned from being a master at failing is that my capacity for learning something new grows every single time I fail. What have I learned? Well, I am about to share some of my failures because hey, what better way to learn from them than to admit them?
- Finishing my novel. Ouch. This one strikes a nerve every time I think about how long I have been sitting on this thing. I tried the Nanowrimo avenue this year thinking it would happen, and it didn’t. It really sucks because I really want to read it fully completed. So what do I do about it? Get my ass in my damn chair and write! That is what I do about it. Yay, I learned something from it!
- Open my own coffee shop. I want to do this so much. Decadent coffee, succulent pastry and books. What I learned? It takes a whole lot more than simply great ideas to get a coffee shop going. Business plans and financing and a place to actually put the coffee shop. I learned that if I really want this, it is going to take a lot more than I ever realized. First attempt in learning about this? You bet.
- Getting thousands of followers on my blog and other social media outlets. How silly of me to have assumed that what I was writing about would garner any attention at all. As a matter of fact, my whole idea for what I thought would be successful has changed. I thought I could write about book reviews and people would like them. Boom, easy right? Well, what seems to draw the most attention to my blog are the personal views on life and books. Who knew? Now my whole idea of what I thought would bring thousands of followers to my blog has failed but also has made me realize that I like to blog about lots of things both for myself and those that might read what I write. I learned so much more from this than I could have ever imagined. Not what I expected? Nope. It is my first attempt, and I am okay with that.
So now here I am, on the precipice of a new year and a whole list of intentions. Some new, some seemingly insignificant and some that I will make a “second” attempt at accomplishing. So now it will stand for:
Sail. Does that mean that I am sure to succeed? That I will just “sail” on through this learning attempt? Who knows, I certainly don’t. What I do know is that for every time that I fail, I learn a little more about myself and what I am capable of learning and doing. I haven’t yet given up on all these “intentions” as they are what makes me better. They make us all better. Failure does not define what we can’t do, it just defines what we should try to do better the next time. Failure makes it clear that we are still capable of learning more about that intention so that the next time, we might just “sail” through to that dream or aspired goal.
So, 2017, watch out here I come, because I am gonna “fail” the shit out of it. And maybe, just maybe, I will “sail” on through a couple of those intentions.