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Personal Development & Growth

How To Start Your Excellent Year – Part 2b: Mental & Emotional Well-being


In this video I continue the series, “How To Start Your Excellent Year”, by digging deeper into creating goals for our mental and emotional well-being. I also tell you about two more components for success: Intentness, and Ingenuity.

Intentness, having a clear intention about our desired outcome, or goal, includes two important elements:

  • Focus, and
  • Attention

Focus has to do with our clarity about the goal we want to achieve.

Attention is our ability to concentrate on the goal and the necessary steps for achieving it.

Ingenuity, the fourth component of success, calls upon our ability to figure out things. When we hit the inevitable challenge in making a dream come true, we can call upon our own cleverness, or inventiveness, in order to work out possible solutions to the problems.

Imagination, discernment, and playfulness are the elements of ingenuity that provide us with what we need to find solutions and satisfy the particular desire that is motivating us.

The Four Components of Success, when applied to our goals for well-being in any area of life, can help us create our dreams, reach our goals, and enjoy what we have achieved. Those components are: Desire, Persistence, Intentness, and Ingenuity.


Hi, I’m Doyle and I am a life coach. I work with people who are ready to make deep transformations in their personal and professional lives.

We’re doing a series here on how to start your excellent year. A couple episodes ago, I talked with you about creating goals and paying attention to our physical well-being. Last time we talked about creating goals for our mental and emotional well-being. And I shared the first two of four components for success. We talked about desire and persistence last time.

This week, I’m going to talk with you about intentness and ingenuity as the other two of those four components.

And I’m still presenting this in the context of emotional and mental goals or desires for well-being for ourselves.


“Intentness,” what does that mean? Well, it’s similar to the word, “intention”. When we get clear about what we desire for our lives, and we start working at it, building our persistence, one of the things that we also need is intent. Part of intent, the way I see it and understand it, there are two parts. One is focus and the other is attention.

Focus is, “Is it dialed in? Am I focused correctly, accurately? Do I understand what this thing really is? What does it really mean to me? Do I understand and see the steps I need to take to achieve it?” When things go out of focus, then I’m not getting the accurate feedback I need for how well or even whether or not things are working the way I want them to work. So, I want to pay attention to my focus, and am I staying focused?

Then attention is just that. Am I paying attention? Am I watching carefully what’s happening?

So, is it in focus, and am I watching it carefully so that I know what’s working? And I know fairly quickly, or as soon as possible, what’s not working so that I can make corrections, and changes, and keep myself on track.

One example of intentness I love to share is my older daughter, when she was younger building her career.

At one point, she decided that she wanted to be a professional hair stylist. She lived in the Chicago area and chose a prestigious school that she attended and got her certification. As she was winding that down, she needed to choose a place to do an internship. So she researched, picked one of the top salons in the Chicago area, applied, and was accepted.

They told her that it would take at least two years for her to complete the internship. She completed it 10 months. They said no one had done that before. I don’t know if anyone has done it since, but she did it.

Then she got ready to look for her first job and decided she wanted to work at a top rated salon in New York City; found one, applied, got accepted, went there, worked and became, I think the top performer, if not one of the top performers, stylists in the salon. She was invited to special events to do fashion shows and celebrity events and all kinds of wonderful opportunities opened up for her.

She was absolutely intent on achieving those dreams, or that big dream of becoming a professional stylist and all of the sub-dreams, if you will, that she needed to fulfill to get to the big dream. She worked tirelessly. She was absolutely persistent. She could see clearly what she wanted, who she was going to become as a professional stylist and kept her focus and attention absolutely clear. When anything came along that was a challenge, she knew right away and could figure out how to navigate that, get the support she might need and so on, so that she could keep moving forward.

So, she’s my inspiration when I think about achieving goals in my life and I remember her intentness.


The fourth component of success I want to share with you is ingenuity. Now, when we encounter challenges, we have a choice. We can respond with curiosity. And that goes back to that idea of there is no failure, only feedback. We can take a failure, take a situation where something hasn’t worked and get curious about it. From that curiosity, we can tap into our ingenuity, our creativity to come up with solutions.

Three aspects of ingenuity I think about are, imagination, discernment, and playfulness.

Imagination is just using that wonderful capacity of the mind to create worlds just through thought. One of the amazing things that I learned about Einstein was that when he started working on the theory of relativity, he didn’t sit down with pad and pen or pencil and start working on mathematical formulas.

He used his imagination, his creativity, his powers of visualization to try to get a clear picture of what it was he was thinking and how to explain it. And once he saw it by visualization with his imagination, then he sat down and worked out the mathematical formulas. So, that’s imagination.

Discernment is simply knowing the difference between two or more things. So, when I’m working on an emotional or mental goal and trying to fulfill a desire to become maybe a more a calmer person, then I can watch the things that I do, the things that I think, the things that I say, and discern, okay, is this working at helping me become a calmer person? If it is, then obviously, I want to keep doing that and do more of it. If it’s not, then I want to back off of that, choose a different thing to do, or a different thought pattern, or thought habit, and so on.

Finally, there’s playfulness. I love Marshall Rosenberg’s idea. Marshall wrote the book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. In that book, he poses the idea that everything we do in life can be done, If we choose, from a point of view or an attitude, a mindset, of it being play. Our jobs can be play. Our relationships can be play. And so on.

I know a lot of people like to argue about that but we will put that aside for now. But for me, this idea of bringing an attitude of playfulness works. Again, using the example, if I’m wanting to become a calmer person, then I can play with ways to reinforce the things that work and play with ideas, ways, approaches to navigate around things that don’t work for me. And over time, I can find myself becoming a calmer and calmer person and being able to really enjoy the success of that in my life


So, we’ve talked about desire. We’ve talked about persistence. We’ve talked about intentness and ingenuity.
I hope this has been helpful for you. I’ve certainly enjoyed getting to share this with you. It has re-inspired me to work even harder on some of my goals for my emotional and mental wellbeing. I hope it’ll be a source of inspiration, motivation for you.

If there’s some way that I could support you, feel free to send me an email. You can reach out to me at That’s I’ll get back to you, usually within one or two business days and support you in the best way I can.

Thank you for your kind attention. Thanks for your support. If you enjoyed this and found it helpful, please hit that thumbs-up icon and click the “Subscribe” button, if you’re not already a subscriber. That will be a huge gift you could offer back to me.

I’ll look forward to being with you again next week, and we’ll continue in our series on how to start your excellent year.

I wish you Peace and Joy.

Take care. We’ll see you soon.

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