Intentions vs Actions

Intention vs Action

Intention vs Action

In a world of constant, propaganda, and deceit, what we do matters more than our intentions.

What we actually do tells people about us, not what we keep saying or what we intend to do.


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Intentions vs Actions

Intentions vs Actions


Key Ideas

Intention vs Action

In a world of constant, propaganda, and deceit, what we do matters more than our intentions.

What we actually do tells people about us, not what we keep saying or what we intend to do.

Good Intentions are not sufficient

The physical world is interacting with our actions, not our internal plans and intentions. 

We cannot shape society, or help people just by having noble intentions, without action.

Justifying Wrong Treatment

We treat people in certain ways and then justify the same. You are judged by what you do, and not for the reasons you give.

If our treatment isn't right, no amount of justification will serve any purpose.

Be with the Right People

It matters to be with the right people, instead of an excuse for keeping the company of the wrong people.

Your Beliefs

Your own beliefs matter, not borrowed beliefs of what your parents or society taught you.

You have the option and even a responsibility to change the outdated or wrong beliefs that were thrust upon you.

The Way You Love

Love is based on action, not what you say.

Saying that you love someone is of no use if the corresponding care and treatment is not given to your loved ones.



The central thesis of Sam Harris's book, Lying (2013)

You should not lie. 

Harris implies throughout his essay that truth and honesty should prevail in all instances of human interaction,including those who employ ‘white lies’ to protect pe...

The consequence of lying

To lie is to sacrifice your integrity, and to place the possibility of deep and meaningful bonds with fellow humans at risk.

Two types of lies

  • Lies of commission. The liar is active in his or her attempt to deceive.
    Example: A job applicant falsifying his credentials in an effort to land a desired position.
  • Lies of omission. This is a passive act, involving a person’s failure to do something.
    Example: A job applicant is neglecting to list on his resume the job from which he was fired.

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Personal Values (And Why They Matter)

Personal values are the things that are important to us, the characteristics and behaviours that motivate us and guide our decisions. For example honesty or kindness.

Values matter

Define Your Personal Values

Find out what characteristics or ways of behaving makes you feel good. Answer the following questions:

  • What's important to you in life?
  • If you could have any career, without worrying about money or other practical constraints, what would you do?
  • When you’re reading news stories, what sort of story or behaviour tends to inspire you?
  • What type of story or behaviour makes you angry?
  • What do you want to change about the world or about yourself?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • When were you the happiest?

Prioritise Your Personal Values

Once you’ve come up with a list, it's important to prioritise your values.

It can help you get even closer to defining what’s important to you. Prioritising helps you to ensure that you’re spending them on the most important things that'll have the biggest payoff in your life.

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Put things into a wider perspective

When you are thinking and thinking about something ask yourself: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks?

It allows you to stop thinking about something and to focu...

Set short time-limits for decisions

  • For small decisions like if you should go and do the dishes, respond to an email or work out, give myself 30 seconds or less to make a decision.
  • For somewhat larger decisions that would  take you days or weeks to think through in general, use a deadline for 30 minutes or for the end of the workday.

Stop setting your day up for stress

  • Get a good start, that will set the tone for your day. (read or work-out and then start with the most important task of the day).
  • Single-task and take regular breaks. This will help you to keep a sharp focus during your day and to get what’s most important done while also allowing you to rest.
  • Minimize your daily input, especially from social media consumption. It will clutter your mind as the day progresses.

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