Last year, I was helping Colleen, a new client, explore her company’s expansion into the craft brewery business. She had two location options, both of which were very lucrative. One was a dock from an abandoned grocery store—an ideal location for a local watering hole. This location was in Colleen’s hometown, and she could envision herself going there frequently with her friends. The second location was twenty miles away. It would be cobranded with two local high-profile businesses that were owned by folks she very much respected. It came with built-in distribution rights, giving her the opportunity to distribute directly into other retail locations.

I worked with the MACKEY™ accounting team to develop the income forecasts for both locations. Clearly, the second location had more potential. The likelihood was high that this location would make more money. The association with two other high-profile companies, and the distribution option, made it a winner.

When Colleen and I went through each income forecast, you could hear the difference in the tone of Colleen’s voice. When talking about the local watering hole, Colleen was engaged and excited. When talking about the second, further-away location with distribution rights, her energy diminished, and she kept pointing out that it would be more profitable. It was as if she was trying to convince herself the money would be worth doing something she wasn’t passionate about.

Colleen thrived on being a part of her local community. The neighborhood watering hole, while less financially lucrative, was the clear choice for her.

By paying attention to what delighted her, Colleen found her intention: she wanted to build community as she built her business.

Intention engages your heart and your mind. Your mind is busy chattering all the time. It is easy to know what your mind is saying, as it speaks directly to you in the language you have learned to use every day.

Your heart speaks to you in other ways: as feelings, as positive or negative energy, as desire. It has no access to language. It is quiet. Finding out what is in your heart requires that you listen, observe yourself, and pay attention without expectation. The clues of the heart are all around you, and may include the following:

  • Feeling delighted or captivated
  • Experiencing whole-body smiles
  • Feeling free, young, free, and/or giddy
  • Experiencing eagerness and curiosity
  • Re-visualizing a positive outcome
  • Noticing a sense, saying, or memory repeatedly popping into your head
  • Feeling solid and grounded, like this is where you were always meant to be
  • Returning to an idea, a possibility, that feels like an itch that won’t go away
  • Experiencing a strong sensation of intuition

In the reverse, when you find yourself in a situation in which your energy is lower, there is a sense of obligation or dread, or you find yourself procrastinating, you are receiving clues that you are not aligned with your intention.

If you aren’t clear about your intention, no worries. Treat finding your intention like an adventure, an exciting journey of self-discovery. Think of it as a scavenger hunt. You find clues—bits and pieces—and before long, the whole picture comes into focus. Be patient with yourself and the process. Enjoy the expedition.