27 Feb Why *Your intent* Matters Most (& Pays You Back In Spades)
In my last two blogs, I told you that the way to experience a quantum leap in your life is to think differently.
I would like to take you to a deeper level. Thinking differently will frequently lead you to act differently and contrarian actions sometimes lead to great material success.
But I am also concerned about the intent behind the actions. This is what truly determines whether you progress spiritually and find true meaning and purpose in what you do.
I explain below.
Your Intent is Key When You Begin to Think Differently!
Don’t be a sophisticated manipulator of people – be an authentic helper.
I would like you to prosper mightily. Certainly in material terms – money, power, fame, health etc. – but also spiritually.
I would like to you be radiantly alive as you move through your day and be filled with deep meaning and purpose. I describe such an ideal life in my manifesto. (Check out The Manifesto here.)
To get there you have to pay attention to what you think and do but also to why you do so.
Let me explain with an example.
One of my students, a top school MBA, worked at a prestigious consulting firm.
There were days when she disliked her job and even more days when she hated her job.
So she quit to start her own freelance consulting practice.
The fear set in right away.
Would she be able to get clients? Could she make a go of it? Would she be able to make enough to meet her expenses and, some day, replace the high income she had?
The first few months were hard. She did odd projects that were ‘beneath’ her but brought in some cash.
And then she came across a serious corporate prospect.
There was much back and forth but they finally agreed on a price and she sent in a proposal ready for signing.
She was nervous and anxious. This was make or break for her – in her mind – and would ensure financial security for at least an year.
She was literally dancing with joy when she met me later that week. “I got it,” she screamed waving the print out of the email she received.
I looked at it.
The prospect said that he would be delighted to work with her and suggested settling for a figure that was ten percent below what she quoted. He also wanted some additional stuff done and said that this was no big deal considering the size of the contract.
He wanted to begin immediately and asked to meet the following Monday.
I looked at her bubbling smile and asked how she felt.
“Fantastic,” she replied. She had been fully prepared to offer the lower figure as a concession if the prospect came back to negotiate. That it was now a done deal seemed incredible after days of worry and uncertainty.
I advised her to turn it down and email the client that she would have loved to work with him but could not accept his terms.
She looked at me as if I had suddenly sprouted horns and we talked about it at length.
And then she did as I suggested.
And the client came back for further talks.
Eventually they settled on the figure quoted in the proposal and he agreed to pay for the additional work he wanted.
“Professor Rao, you are brilliant,” she gushed. “This is a perfect example of using scarcity to create perceived value. I was just too scared to do it. Thanks so much for pushing me.”
There is a ton of research that shows people want what they cannot have. So if you dangle something attractive before someone and then ‘induce scarcity’ the person is much more likely to buy.
Mediocre marketers use lazy calls to action like ‘supplies are limited.’ Smarter ones use specific claims like ‘only two seats left’ or the ubiquitous ‘18 people are looking at this deal right now. 2 seats available.’
These tactics work. That’s why they are in such wide use.
Let’s dig deeper and go into intent.
Focusing on Your Intent Pays You Back In Spades
My student could have done what she did from the space of, “I think he is just negotiating. He cannot find anyone else to do this project in the time frame in which he needs it. So if I hold firm and make him think that he will ‘lose’ me, the scarcity effect will kick in and I will get my price. Let me go for it.”
This is legal and moral and ethical and makes her a smart businessperson. And many would be happy at the outcome and think no more about it.
Or my student could have done it from the space of, “I want to serve this client but I cannot give my best if he dictates the terms. If I agree to the lower price and his conditions, there will be other demands made and I will resent this and it will affect the quality of my work. Let me decline and make this clear to him. If I lose the project, then so be it. I only want to work with clients who understand what I stand for.”
This is also legal and moral and ethical and leaves her in a much better emotional domain.
Life is complex and these two viewpoints are not completely distinct.
And, as my student confessed, she was a mixture of both.
What is important is that you recognize your intent. Be as close to #2 as you can be.
The actions are the same and, most likely, the outcomes will be better.
And you will feel a whole lot better about yourself and get closer to the life I describe in the manifesto for my program.
P.S.: Enrollment in my signature personal transformation experience, Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM) is now open.
Many who have taken CPM say it has changed so many of their mental models that it has made them a new person.
And, of course, this new person naturally thinks differently.
This program is an in-person, highly personalized experience designed to help participants go deeper and receive greater support that is not usually available in an online format. To ensure the quality of this experience, therefore, the program is for a maximum of 25 participants.
If you are interested, please apply today. The real benefit is the change that happens within you that lets you experience life ever so differently and joyously.
And which helps you reach heights you never dreamed possible even as the sense of effort and strain leave you.
I hope to see you in the program.