© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
There is absolutely no getting away from it: who you are is what you do!
I was teaching an eight-week course a while back. As I was walking across the parking lot towards the classroom, a student yelled out to me:
“I really meant to be here last week!” So, I called back:
“No, you didn’t!”
She was completely taken aback. By now, I was quite close to her and I said:
“If you mean to do something, you do it. That demonstrated that you meant to. Not doing it says that it didn’t make the cut when there was more than one choice for what to do at that time.”
“Yeah, but I meant to.”
“No. You may have forgotten, in which case you would honestly say that you simply forgot. You may have made a different choice as to how to spend your time, and you could have owned that. But, if you had meant to, you would have been here.”
She desperately wanted to argue her case for “meaning to.” She was the inspiration for an excellent talk I gave called Meaning to is Meaningless.
Sure, it could be semantics, but I think not. We let ourselves off the hook too easily. Rather than developing the consciousness that makes our lives more responsible and accountable, we collude with one another to let things slide.
Would it make a difference in your life if you made the distinction between “meaning to” and actually doing what you say you intend to do?
I’m watching for your comments.
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
Catalyst for Communication & Collaboration
…helping to you to optimize relationships & results.
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