Goals: Why Intentions Matter More Than Outcomes

From the chapter on “Declare & Proclaim”, this is a very candid look at why I stopped setting personal goals and started creating intentions…

The guy’s voice was dripping with inauthentic banter and I swear I could hear his Vaseline-soaked smile suffocating me with a forged gusto as it droned out of my stereo speakers.

Early dawn is my favorite time of day; quiet and dark with just a hint of radiance as the sky fights to lighten from its nighttime hibernation.

There is something very pleasing about being awake before the rest of your immediate world.

Romantic and nourishing; soulful introspection where one could truly connect with themselves and embrace the verve of life before commotion and the routine of an auto-pilot existence sets in.

My companion on this morning was the latest audio CD from that self-professed ‘life success expert’ guy; you know the one. He’s all about setting personal goals.

He and I had become good pals. We’d sit alone, just the two of us, me with my first of seven morning coffees, paper and pencil ready to notate the glorious wisdoms that would allow me to transform my slumbering life in 21-days (or less).

He would charm himself out of my amps and catalogue his riches of insight.

The ’10 Step’ guidelines to having more money than I could ever count.

The ‘5 Golden Rules’ for creating the life of my dreams.

The ‘Exact Blueprint’ for establishing and achieving goals that would inevitably change everything in my favor.

The kind of personal goals that weren’t actually personal at all; just re-hashed ambitions that virtually every other living soul on the planet was conditioned to believe was what they wanted.

Have you ever experienced the extreme duality of intense motivation and weightlessness of certainty one moment, only to crash in the scourge of agonizing defeat and deflation the very next?

That was me on this morning; every morning, for that matter.

I admit to be enticed by the titles.

Lurid decrees that the contents of this book contained the secrets and solutions for my plagues. That in a matter of days, hours perhaps, I would be awarded with both the knowledge and motivation to entirely re-engineer my life.

And I would glow with giddy delight as his engaging preamble would reaffirm the bravado showiness that lay on the front cover.

Sit in uncontainable jubilee as he switched from sizzling overture to meaty substance by uttering the words “Step 1”; the tutor I’ve always needed that would help me achieve my personal goals.

But then, then there was nothing.

Other than a frozen emptiness of dread and the acceptance that I was doomed to this horrible existence of frustration.

Oh, how I wanted to ascend; wanted my cherished personal goals to become realized.

Become wealthy, create a dreamy oasis for my life and experience the brilliance of being ‘successful’.

But as he recited his precise methods for crafting these virtues, every word he uttered in eager glee would only serve to deepen my lonely and hopeless perspective.

He asked me to imagine where I would be in five years and then write it down as a self-prophesizing, pseudo-contract with myself.

But I couldn’t see past today.

And all I really saw was an overweight, unhappy man who desired great things, but did not believe in his own greatness.

He encouraged me to leave common sense and logic at the doorstep; to imagine with zest and loft all that I would become and have, rather than what I was or had.

But I was vacant of the faith needed to trust such a possibility.

He instructed me to pen my goals out daily and that the action of doing so would ensure the certainty of them coming true.

But my goals felt like aggrandizing, frantic pleas and wishes at best and I lacked the understanding of how going through the rote, unemotional habit of writing them out would somehow guarantee their actualization.

The pencil dropped from my hand in metaphoric tribute to my now drowning spirits and tears began spilling on cue; as if completing the trifecta of harmonized dejection.

This morning ended the same as most others.

To obtain and in every other way possible, achieve my personal goals.

Me, wanting desperately to construct the life of my dreams.

But having absolutely no idea what that was…


 Have you ever experienced the extreme duality of intense motivation and weightlessness of certainty one moment, only to crash in the scourge of agonizing defeat and deflation the very next?  Scroll down and leave your comments below…

Ignore the Rules; Inspire the Extraordinary Within



6 Responses to Goals: Why Intentions Matter More Than Outcomes

  1. Chris July 11, 2012 at 11:29 am #


    Great post. After reading this post it feels that we are brothers from a different mother. This is something that I have always struggled with when I would sit down to write my goals. Now what???

    Thank you

    • Brian Grasso July 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      This may sound so trite, Chris, but what do you think should come next?

      What feels right to you?

  2. Amy July 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    I have been struggling with that for ever. My Dad even taught me growing up how important goals are. Never been truly successful with it, only frustrated by it. Now that I am trying to get my own fitness business off the ground I am getting only more frustrated and disappointed in what I have accomplished so far.

    • Brian Grasso July 13, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      I can relate entirely, Amy. I struggled with ‘Goal Setting’ for years. Some time ago, I realized that my struggle was based on two primary factors:

      1) Goals ask you to manage factors that we can’t control (time, for example)
      2) Goals ask you to create the path of ‘how’

      These are items that just made no sense in my soul… And caused GREAT turmoil.

      Intention Crafting has proven vastly more successful for me in every way….

  3. Marc Stokes July 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    So on point.

    “…but did not believe in his own greatness.” I believe that this is where I, and many, struggle. We desire, yet lack a little faith. We hope, yet don’t feel. We visualize, but we don’t push on the ocean.

    When we start to do each of the latter, things start to happen. Amazing really, isn’t it!? :) Another great post!

    • Brian Grasso July 13, 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Truly amazing. ‘Push on the Ocean’ implies just getting started on something in the absence of knowing for certain where it will lead or if it will work.

      But the law of motion applies so aptly… Once in motion, you will stay in motion.

      When we sit static in consideration, we remain there.


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