Principles of Success #2 – Intent

The principles in this series are loosely based on the Principles of Wealth, written by Erik Hamre, and featured in the novel The Last Alchemist.

If you’re really serious about working to make your life the way you want it, you have to start with more than just a wish. Everyone has wishes and hopes and dreams. To be truly successful, you need to do more than just write down a goal (although writing your intentions does help).


The difference between a goal and an intent is the severity of your ambition. If you set goals for the day and you don’t get to all of them, it’s not such a big deal. You can always do it tomorrow; it’s not urgent. An intent is urgent. While a goal is something that you want to do, an intent is something that you will do.

I can say over and over that I want to lose weight, and I want to be healthier, but it’s not going to happen until I really make it a priority.

The push to intention normally comes after some event that serves as motivation. It could be a bad experience at work that forms into a serious plan to open your own business. Maybe you find out that you or your spouse has a medical condition that encourages you to eat healthier.

That doesn’t mean that there has to be a serious impetus to take this step.

If you’re thinking about working toward your goals, you already have the motivation. You just need to turn it into an intent. Think about everything that frustrates you about where you are right now. Make a list of them, and rank them from most frustrating to least. Now, really look at each of those items. How many of them are actually impossible for you to change? Chances are, very few.

Whether or not you’ve chosen to believe it, you’re in control of your own life. If you’re not where you want to be, it’s because you’ve been too afraid to take the chance and go there.

Have faith.

Turn your goal into an intent.

“But where do I start?”

This is a question for your heart. What do you love to do? The road ahead is going to be tough. If you keep your heart in it, the process will be that much easier.

If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do, that’s okay. Your heart does. 

Personally, I’ve always had a fascination with fibers. In following this passion, I’ve learned how to sew, knit, embroider, upholster, bead, and weave. While I still feel like I haven’t found exactly what I want to do, there’s a definite path that I’m following, just based on my personal interests.

Follow where your heart leads. 

Once you have an idea of what you love, think about how that can lead to your intent.

What do you really want to do with your life? What do you stay up at night wishing you could accomplish? It doesn’t have to be a fully formed idea right now. Your end goal might be as simple as cooking a homemade meal every night for your family, or going to every one of your son’s soccer games. Your goal might be to become a multi-millionaire.

My intent is to be able to stay home with my children. For my situation, I need to find a way to use my passion to be able to supplement my husband’s income enough that we can survive with only one steady paycheck. The path that I take to achieve my intent could be anything from knitting scarves to reupholstering furniture. The fact that I don’t have all of that figured out right now isn’t a big deal.

You will be presented with opportunities that match your passion. Make sure you keep your eyes open so you don’t miss them.


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