Intent 2021

Christmas has past and that arbitrary timeline called the New Year is fast approaching. Like past years, along with millions worldwide, I’m reflecting on the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2020 and anticipating this next year’s potential.

However, rather than setting results-based goals or resolutions, I’ll select my intent word as described by Omar Itani in his article Why One-Word Intentions Work Better Than Goals and New Year Resolutions. In this way, I’ll remain aligned with and continue to develop towards my purpose – Pursue Better for the Highest Good.

I uncovered my purpose in late 2019 after a long time wandering and questioning my career and the meaning of life. On the external scoreboard of life, I had achieved nearly all of the trophies. However, internally I felt empty and unhappy. The turning point was when I stumbled upon the Stoics’ ancient philosophy discovering a practical approach to life, sometimes referred to as “the art of living,” serving as a compass to leading “a happy life” and “one worth living.”

So my intent for 2020 was to pursue better or excellence of character by practicing the four cardinal virtues: practical wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance—all towards applying reason to the betterment of society.

In reflection, I am pleased with my progress in the first three. It is the last one where I need more focused practice to find the sweet spot, especially when speaking truth to power, where I tend to punch people in the nose verbally.

Therefore, my one-word intention for 2021 is temperance.