A common adage passed down the generations is that ‘were we to do the right thing, then right things would happen to us’ or words to that effect. At a simplistic level it would seem a wonderful path to follow though there is a hidden complexity behind these words that has baffled individuals from the beginning of time, which is the fundamental question: What is the right thing to do and how do we know when we are doing the right thing?
The question was possibly first posed over 5000 years ago on the plains of Kurushektra in Northern India, when two warring clans of cousins met on the battlefield. One side was led by the greatest warrior of that time, Arjuna, who despite believing that he was fighting a just cause was reluctant to take arms against his kinsmen. Deeply conflicted he approaches his mentor, Krishna, to find answers to this dilemma and their conversation is recorded in the ancient, sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita. It also lays the foundation for understanding the concepts of ‘karma,’ which is often described as,
“The meaning of Karma is in the intention. The intention behind action is what matters. Those who are motivated only by desire for the fruits of action are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results of what they do.”
More recently, the noted American philosopher and motivational speaker, Wayne W. Dyer, also spoke about the intention behind our actions. He referred to the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu over 2500 years ago while expanding on Intention by listing its seven faces as, Creativity, Kindness, Love, Beauty, Expansion, Unlimited Abundance, and Receptivity.
In coaching conversations, we encourage our clients on their path to personal growth to ‘find and set clear intentions (IAC Mastery # 7).’ With the application of logic and drawing on past experiences we expect that they will select the right path and do the right things. However, if perception or intuition is the guiding mental force it would happen that the client’s actions do not always follow the prior intention. It is then that we feel the need to transcend intention and introduce the aspect of ‘intentionality’.
Numerous explanations about Intentionality may be found in philosophy, psychology and the study of languages (the word was derived from the German language). In the context of coaching, would it be fair to believe that the application of wisdom to intention would make it intentionality?
As we move ahead, we are hopeful that the IAC community will join our Master Classes to share their wisdom. Meanwhile, I remain grateful to many of you for your kind words of encouragement and continue to be delighted to know your thoughts and ideas.
Please connect with me at email@example.com.
Krishna Kumar is the Founder-Director of the Intrad School of Executive Coaching (ISEC) and a pioneer in the sphere of Leadership and Executive Coaching in India. His firm belief that coaching is the best way to learn has carried him through a varied learning journey over three decades that included donning the hats of a corporate executive, an entrepreneur, a tennis coach, a B-school professor, independent Board member and an Executive Coach. The journey continues…
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