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Separate Action From Intention

Separate Action From Intention

We often encounter situations where we are upset or hurt by something someone has done or not done. We then build a lot of negativity about what the other person has done.

A coach taught me a nice technique to ensure that I don’t get sucked into a vortex of negative emotions whenever I come across some perceived wrongdoing.

Separate Action From Intention

When I look back at any of the big mistakes I have committed, I thought I was doing something good, or at the least, my intention was to do something good in almost all situations.

If it is true in my case, it would be true for someone else who may be in the wrong. So the mistake may happen, but it is not intentional.

Knowing this, look for the intention instead of paying attention to the action. When you take a moment to ask yourself, “What could be the intention behind the person’s action,” you will immediately find it very difficult to feel negative about the other person. You will find it easy to separate the mistake from the mistake-maker.

Take an example.

You make a plan to meet a friend of yours for coffee at 4 pm. Your friend never turns up. You feel anger welling up because you feel your friend stood you up. At that moment, if you ask yourself, “what could be my friend’s intention behind not joining me on time?”

The answer you will give yourself will be, “There is no reason for my friend not to meet me at the scheduled time. If he is not coming, it probably means he must have forgotten, or he is caught up with something important.”

Most mistakes are Intentions that fail in the action. Therefore, focus on the intention, and you will be able to forgive and forget more easily.

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