So said Zen Buddhist teacher Suzuki Roshi. For many of us, we know our priorities: family, health, friends, work, etc. We also know what qualities we most value: honesty, integrity, fairness, etc. But we can so easily forget these things in the busyness of everyday life. When we do, inertia takes over and we move from being purposeful to being on autopilot. Coaching work is where we reverse this trend to truly become the architects of our own lives.

As the stay-at-home orders around the world are being lifted and the external world starts to open up, now is a great time to check in with your intentions. Ask yourself, “what is my why?” You can ask this question with respect to any area of your life: relationships, personal growth work in which you are engaged, professional endeavors, working out, cultivating a healthy relationship with food and eating, to name just a few.

If the question of your intention is hard for you to answer, try this exercise. Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Breathe deeply in and out for a few rounds of breath. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my why?
  • Why is this important to me?
  • What do I want to give to this area of my life?
  • Why?
  • What do I want to receive from this area of my life?
  • Why?

Then simply listen. As one of my teachers Rolf Gates was want to say, “the mind yells, while the heart whispers.” Sometimes, we need to get quiet and still to hear the whisperings of our hearts that are deep within.

When asked a broad, open-ended question like those above, our brains can’t help but look for answers. Maybe not immediately, but soon. Keep asking, and keep listening. Trust yourself to generate your own higher truths.

Then, once you’ve settled on an intention, write it down and review it. Read it several times a day. By doing this, you’ll be creating new neural pathways in your brain. You’ll start to digest your intention so that it becomes part of you. When you do this, it’s far easier to “remember the most important thing.”