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How Intentionality affects Action

"Singapore is my concern till the end of my life. Why should I not want Singapore to succeed?"

- Lee Kuan Yew, Founding Father of Singapore

Our actions are highly aligned with intentionality

Intentionality is the thinking behind our action and the purpose behind why we do what we do. Through the years in managing people, I see one common behaviour – many rush to take action. The minute they think about wanting something, they spring into action with little or no thought given to the intention behind it.

Once I had a marketing manager present to me a long to do list with time-line indication. When asked, she gave me the "we need, we want, we must" answers. I call this the 'busy-doing' syndrome – always busy doing something without intention.

We need to recognize that actions are highly aligned to intentionality. I get people telling me that they want success in life. But when asked if they knew specifically which part of life they wanted success, they provided generic answers such as 'happiness', 'better job', 'financial freedom', 'healthier' and such. Without specifics, it is impossible to see the intentionality behind all the wants to be successful.

This brings me back to how I eventually went back to school in my thirties. When I was still a secretary then, my English boss asked why I did not think about obtaining formal education. That question caught me by surprise! The first thought I had was, "Oh dear, he did not think my experience was sufficient to support him!"

I was totally mistaken. He explained that he saw my potential and was curious why I was happy to remain as a secretary. My boss' intention was good as he genuinely felt that if I went back to school, I could have a better job, hence can better provide for my family. When I told him that I did not have the monetary means to do so, he was quick to get the company to sponsor me.

When I started the certification course, I did that simply because I saw the enthusiasm in my boss and I was sponsored. I had absolutely no intention to pursue anything beyond that. But having completed the certification course, it changed the way I envisioned my future.

Taking the time to think and reflect, I eventually identified my thirst for knowledge, and knew that the intention stemmed from wanting a better life for my family. This has led me to continue learning and growing, which tremendously changed my life. Today, I have led sales and marketing teams across the region and successfully provided for my children as a single mother.

Without intentionality, I would never have completed six difficult years of night school, leading a better life for my family.

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