Everyone says “set intentions” to achieve your dreams. Here’s why they’re wrong

Setting intentions is the essential first step to achieving your dreams, according to modern day conventional wisdom.

Here’s what Deepak Chopra says:

“Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.”

Collective Evolution, an alternative media publication, tells us there’s even a “secret” behind manifesting through intention.

It makes sense on the face of it, yet when you consider it in greater depth, I think you’ll find that consistently trying to “set intentions” will take you away from living a life of purpose.

The key reason is this:

When you “set intentions”, you tell yourself that you are currently on the wrong path in life. You take yourself away from living instinctively. You disconnect from your deeper life force.

Check out the video below where I came upon this powerful realization. It was recorded in the desert sand dunes of Brazil’s Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. I was on a journey with the shaman Rudá Iandé, who has been coaching me for the last four years. Watch the video to the end (it’s short) — the realization surprised even me!

A new way of connecting with my deeper nature

It may seem counter-intuitive, but my realization is based on a particular method of connecting with my deeper nature. Rudá Iandé taught me how to do this.

It involves seeing myself in a completely different way, surrendering to my instinct and living my life in an active way.

I learnt from Rudá the power that comes from releasing myself from the expectations of others and choosing to live life by my own terms. I learnt what life can be like when you give up trying to be perfect all of the time.

When you start to live life in this way, you’re more able to connect with your deeper nature. Surrendering to your instinct takes on a whole new meaning.

Making Rudá Iandé’s teachings available to a wider audience

Over the last few years many people have asked me about my source of inspiration for all of these changes in my life. I have been telling people about Rudá Iandé’s teachings and they have wanted access to it.

Rudá only takes on 10 clients per year, so his teachings have been inaccessible to most people. Yet Rudá wanted to find a way to share what he knows with more people.

We therefore partnered up to host the Out of the Box online workshop on the Ideapod Academy, our new online learning platform. It’s being launched on October 4th, 2018.

Spaces in Out of the Box are limited to only 30 people and it’s filling up fast. If you would like to join Out of the Box and also be coached by Rudá Iandé, you can enroll by clicking here. Or reach out to me on Twitter via @jusbr.

What do you think about “setting intentions”? Has this been useful in your own life? Have I misunderstand what it means to “set an intention”? Let me know in the comments below — I’d love for us to learn together.


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  1. Bob Copeland

    There is a joke floating around that says “The world is full of (good) intentions”. If you don’t instigate your intention / dream then it is no better than having no intentions or dreams. Our world is built on deterioration over time (entropy) which involves repairs or aging (entropy again). In other words, whatever, whoever is in charge of the universe has set it up so that if you don’t get with the program, you won’t be around too long!!!

  2. Patrick Phelps

    As I posted on the fb page, the irony lies in the idea that we must set an intention to not set intentions. Up to a point I appreciate the concept of being “free” of this burden. But then…how far do we take this concept? When you woke to begin the 20K walk at 5 a.m, did you simply happen to wake up that early, or did you set an intention the night before to arise early? And to what end did you go to that town? Did you have a purpose or did you simply go on a whim? If, and for me this is a big if, IF my intentions are centered on the needs, wants and demands of others, then I have become enslaved to them. To set intentions designed for my “betterment”, then I perceive the freedom that will come from those intentions.

  3. Sandy

    Great topic for discussion, Justin! I am an avid and long-term fan of intention-setting as a tool for planning, aspiration and affirmation. I also hear you that IF we have any intention override our true nature and living authentically, then it may be less than ideal. I would say, though, isn’t that true of EVERYTHING, really? We must honor and love ourselves enough to seek and value our core truth and authentic self OVER any contrived imperatives or other false guides. May each soul find inspiration, love and purpose on life’s journey. Peace to all.

    1. Justin Brown Post author

      Thanks Sandy, glad you enjoy this topic. Yes absolutely, we need to value our core truth and authentic self over everything.

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