Consciously and unconsciously, we strive to make the best choices we can, given what we know and have to work with at the point of making the decision.
So, whether we are aware of it or not, all our behaviours or actions have positive intentions. These include seemingly bad behaviour.
Indeed, many self sabotaging and anti-social behaviours have unconscious positive intent at their source.
For example, everyone knows that the habit of smoking is linked to all kinds of horrible diseases.
Why then do some people continue to puff away merrily in spite of nasty looks, banishment from shared space, overwhelming medical research, and burning holes in their pockets?
There are positive intentions behind every behaviour.
Smokers start to smoke for a conscious positive intention (to the smoker). Perhaps it makes them feel cool, or more grown up, or helps them fit in, or flaunt their individuality, or establish their identity, or signifies independence from parents, or express defiance against authourity like school.
Over time, new unconscious positive intentions creep in, like giving the smoker an excuse to take a break from work, or a way to give themselves a little reward, or a way to have some control over strong emotions, calm their nerves, or a way to feel a small sense of accomplishment as a cigarette burns itself up.
How do we spring clean our lives of such old unproductive habits of thought and self sabotaging behaviour?
I’ll answer this with a short story.
One day a young boy was on his knees pulling weeds, one by one, out of the lawn at his home.
His neighbour, a kind old lady, was watching him quietly, smiling.
When she finally got the boy’s attention, she gave him this advice: “The best way to keep the weeds out of your lawn is to plant beautiful flowers.”
So, the best way to keep unconscious intentions from creeping in and cluttering up our mind, is to plant conscious intentions.