The Imprints Of Our Actions
The cornerstone to my personal philosophy is all about the power of behavior. I believe that in order to get a new result in your life, you need to take a new action. I believe that the best way to upgrade our mindset is through consistent behavior. There’s even a framework I’ve created called ‘The Identity Behavior Feedback Loop’ that explains how our identities and belief systems update based on the actions we take.
However, today I want to go a layer deeper into areas of this that I’m just beginning to explore.
I think there’s more to it than just the action. The thing that actually leaves the imprint and drives our transformation forward is the intention of our actions.
Let’s say for example, you send an email at the end of every day recapping your work. And even though this wasn’t requested of you, you have the systems set up to support you in doing it consistently.
What’s the intention of the email? Is it to genuinely keep your boss in the loop in an attempt to maximize your contribution to the company? Or is it to suck up and position yourself for a raise or promotion? The first intention is selfless, the second is selfish, and the action is the same.
James Clear says “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” But the meaning of the action, and therefore the person you’re becoming, is based on the intention.
With the first intention to add value to the company, every time you send that email it strengthens the belief system that you’re a good worker, you care about what you do, and you hold yourself to a high standard.
With the second intention to position yourself for a promotion, every time you send that email it strengthens the belief system that you’re in it for yourself and you’re transactional. It’s the energy behind the action that leaves the psychological imprint.
This might sound harsh, but that’s the way your subconscious mind assimilates the suggestions your behavior makes about who you are.
Now here’s the raw, loaded addition to this thought that I don’t know the answer to, but I want to share with you. I also think, somehow, we can trick ourselves into genuinely shifting our intentions.
If we bring to mind how we want to feel, and what intention we want to have while taking the action, I believe that has the power to control the imprint being left by the behavior. The more times we can do that, the more evidence it provides to our subconscious mind to actually change our belief system so that we naturally express a more desirable intention.