The Folly of Intent

There is a special problem that people face on a regular basis: they intend to do something they won’t actually do.

This applies heavily to weight loss/dietary changes, and I would argue that our desire to express intent is why we often fail at things.

At some point, somewhere, most of us learned that merely expressing intent gives us a very similar high to actually achieving something. This leads many to waste their lives expressing a desire to accomplish some goal or another, because doing so feels great.

What is often missed in this mental masturbation is that nothing is actually getting done. This is the Folly of Intent.

Intent comes in many forms:
“I’ll fix my diet tomorrow.”
“I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.”
“I’ll look for a better job tomorrow.”

People will often give you a pat on the back just for wanting to do something. After all, a bunch of people want to do X, but you’re saying you will do it tomorrow! But you won’t. You won’t actually fix your diet or go to the gym tomorrow.

You won’t do these things because action requires commitment and an admission of your failings thus far.
Have you not gone to the gym because you’re just lazy as shit? You have to admit that to yourself.
Have you not changed your diet because you don’t want to stop eating the way you’ve been eating? You have to admit that to yourself.

Action is the natural progression of true intent. If you intend to do something, you will.

Every person you’ve met who is an abject loser will tell you their intentions with little to no hesitation. As long as the conversation is heading in that direction, you will hear the most grandiose plans any person has ever come up with for anything. You’ll see how excited they are; they may even exude what appears to be passion!

They do this with everybody. It is like a drug for them, and they will use you to get high as often as they can. The moment you don’t accept their intent as anything more than bloviation, you become the enemy. Like taking drugs from an addict, you will become a problem for them. They may even despise you for being honest with them.

You can’t afford to NOT be honest with them, though. The Folly of Intent is contagious, and those who practice it unconsciously know this. Like the drug dealer offering free or cheap product to create a market, those who preach their intent want you to get high with them. That passion they exude? That excitement? It’s an advertisement for the drug that is empty intent.

It is easy to get wrapped up in, but the reality is this: intent doesn’t actually mean anything. Like every drug, the high will go away, and you’ll need to constantly search for something else to intend to do.

What you won’t ever learn from any shiftless, intentful loser is this: action has a high of its own. Accomplishment will give you a high that intent can’t match. Once you become somebody who takes action when they intend to, you get to ride the high of intent and the high of action. There will never be anything better that you can achieve without actual drugs.

Moreover, you will attract others who take action. You will attract people who keep you accountable because you keep them accountable. If you’re riding the high of intent, they will shoot you up with a dose of reality and bring you back down.

Nothing is more powerful than being surrounded by people who hold you accountable for your lack of action. You can lie to yourself easily; you cannot lie to friends and family in the same way.

Find people who take action. They won’t tolerate shiftless, intentful losers, and neither should you.

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