Setting your intention before beginning any meditation, learning, or personal development activity helps you to remain focused, and tells your brain to which information, out of the the millions of bits of information you process every second, to pay attention. In other words, your intention directs your attention.
How to Set Your Intention
To set your intention, all you need to do is make a simple statement about the purpose or benefit you want a particular activity to give you.
For example, let’s say you’re doing a meditation. You could set your intention as, “I intend to relax fully.” If you’re reading a book, you could set your intention as, “I intend to understand and apply the principles I learn in this book.”
It is that simple.
Setting your intention is just making a declarative statement about what benefit you want. Once that is done, you’ll be amazed at how much more of a result you get from the personal development activities, or any activities, that you engage in.
Intention and Learning
Just about every personal development coach will tell you you need to set your intention before learning, or any more passive listening experience. I learned this from Paul Scheele’s paraliminal sessions, and also from Centerpointe and John Assaraf.
If you listen to guided meditations you should always set your intention first. If you’re listening to subliminal messages, even though they are below the threshold of your hearing, or perhaps especially because they’re below the threshold of your hearing, you absolutely must set your intention.
Your brain will pick up the right material for you.
Too Much Information
So, here’s how it works: as human beings we have something like 10 million bits of information coming at us every single second. Of those 10 million bits of information, we only consciously process about 40 bits of information.
10 million vs 40.
Do you think that maybe there’s some information coming at you that could help you that you can’t consciously process in the moment? I think so!
Now, what setting your intention does is to make your brain more aware of bits of information that you may not consciously pick up on at the time. However, your subconscious mind records everything, and it will serve the information up to you at the right time. This requires you to set your intention properly, and a bit of practice.
As you become more and more in the habit of setting your intention, you will find that you receive more flashes of inspiration, or bursts of intuition.
I respectfully submit to you that these bursts of intuition and inspiration are likely the result of your subconscious brain stringing together useful information, out all of the information that you detect from the world around you, and serving it up to you in a more useful way.
That’s The power of setting your intention. Okay? Inspiration, intuition, creativity, these are all the love children of intention.
You know more than you think you do. Perhaps that information is not fully accessible to you in every single moment.
Learning and Relaxation
That’s why it’s important to review things after you learn them, so that they become more imprinted on your brain. It’s also important that you engage in regular intervals of relaxation or meditation, so that your mind can slow down and begin to make these connections.
There’s a reason why people get inspiration as they’re falling asleep, or waking up, or in the shower. The reason is quite simple. We learn and innovate better when we’re relaxed.
Therefore, along with setting your intention, prioritize relaxation, whether it’s taking a nap, or meditating. However you decide to do it, it could be a hot shower, just relax and letnyour mind drift. It doesn’t matter what you do, the point is, if you really want to learn something, if you really want to have the information coming at you be accessible in useful ways, honing your relaxation skills must become a priority.
Repetition Increases Learning
For things that you’re learning, if you read something one time, it will go into your brain. However, it will not make as deep an impression in your neural network as something that you learn, and then review regularly. Every time you review information, it goes in a little deeper into your brain.
Okay, so basically: set your intention, particularly when learning.
Your intention directs your attention. Review things that you’re learning. Make relaxation a priority, not only for your own physical health, but also so that your mind can effectively process and synthesize information that you’re learning in useful ways.
Bring your attention to your intention.
Ps, apologies for the typos. Wrote this whole post on a smartphone while at the hospital with momz.