Do your intentions match your actions? It’s a matter of congruency.

My guess is no. I’m not saying that you, in part from everyone else,  have anything wrong with you–it’s just a numbers game. Most people intend to do more–training, living, growing–but fail to act accordingly by what they envision.

It’s like playing a movie in your head. Your brain is the projector, but instead of the real world being your screen the light only makes it to the back of your eyes.

Jonathan Hughes’ story is a powerful example. He started off as a skinny-fat, but talented, fighter–training only in the martial arts and adding no other physical elements. Becoming a great fighter, though, requires more. When Jon intended to become more–a great fighter–his actions changed; and after eight months of training like a mad man, he went from being a skinny-fat talented fighter to a monster. His transformation is so powerful that when his opponent read about it he backed out of the fight. That’s no bullshit. (They’ve since found a new opponent for Jon to mangle.)

When intentions are congruent with actions people get results.

Congruency, though, is the crux of the problem.

People often take meaningless action; but they also often mean well but fail to act. How do we change that?

Build a Vision

Vision is predicated on desire. Before we move on let’s keep something locked in our heads. There is a distinct difference between want and need–we’re all clear on that. But if you don’t want anything out of training, out of your body, out of life, then you are acting in direct insult to those that provided your opportunities. We’ve been given insurmountable opportunities by those that came before us; those that acted and lived based strictly on need instead of want. They’ve built a world for us that allows us to accomplish our desires–disregarding that because it’s easier to be comfortable, or spend your life as a party drone, is spit in their face.

Ok, rant over.

Synchronization of intent and action begins with a vision–if you don’t know what you want there is no way in the back corner of Hades that you can ever develop intent. Actions, then, remain erratic.

The vision must be big. Here’s an example.

Let’s say that right now you squat 300 pounds, but you want to squat 500 pounds. Why?

Is it so that you can tell people? Will it bolster your appearance? Or do you know that after you sit down with a quarter ton and stand back up you’ll have a catharsis–expelling the past, making way for the new.

The first two reasons won’t get the job done–you can’t make a strong emotional attachment to superficial reasons. The last reason, though, that’s where the vision is. A goal that’s a means to accomplishing something deeper attach strongly to our limbic system and emotional attachment is made. This attachment is powerful–it’s necessary.

Without hardwired, frontal cortex emotional embedding intent will falter. But for many there is a firewall that blocks goal attachment–fear.

Remove Fear of Failure

“You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake.”

                                                                           Tyler Durden, Fight Club

This is going to sting. You’ve avoided failure in the past because you think you’re special–that everyone is paying attention to you. You believe failing is a direct reflection on you and your abilities. So you blend in. Rather than take a big goddamn swing to see what happens, you fall in line and follow the status quo–in fitness, in life, in your career.

I’ve been there.























It’s oxymoronic–the very reason that you avoid failure is because you think you’re special, but you’re actions limit the expression of the true uniqueness that you possess. You’re not so special that you get to hide it.

So fail. The only way to find out how bad failure really isn’t is to do it. Fail–do it today. Try to do something hard–something with a seventy-five percent chance of failure–and give it your all. You’re probably going to suck. You’re going to stumble and shit your pants, but then you’ll come to a realization. You’ll look around and see that you’re still alive. The sun will still be shining or the rain will still be falling. Most importantly, you’ll likely be one step closer to accomplishing what you’ve attached to.

Remember, snowflake, you’re not special. No one cares. No one’s paying attention until you do something worth noticing. That won’t happen until you abolish fear.

Acting with Bold Intent

Develop a vision worth having.

Attach to it emotionally.


What’s it going to take to make my vision reality?

This is an every day question. It’s a first thought of the morning type of question.

Look at your vision and chunk it into smaller goals. Break those goals into smaller every day action items. To relate, let’s learn from an overhead press parable.

Your overhead press goal is 200 pounds–this is your vision. It’s coursed through your mind thousands of times–lighting your frontal cortex on fire with a million visions and connections. You’ve seen yourself accomplish the goal–you’ve felt the catharsis; felt the old discharged, leaving a vacuity that welcomes progress.

Intention is now directed into every action. The program you write, or follow, is directed towards your goal. Each time you grab a bar to press it, or pull it, your intent is focused on conquest. Each grip is a mile in the road, each tension set is a step up the ladder and each rep is a violent committment to the journey.

As you press, your mind is blank. You’ve committed to the goal; you’ve set your intent–all that’s left is action.

It’s a Matter of Congruency

Develop a vision worth having.

Attach to it emotionally.


This is a skeleton–a vacuous beginning. It’s a three step process that is filled by congruency of intention and action. This is a requirement for desiring more out of training–a requirement for doing anything worthwhile.


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Todd Bumgardner
M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger
Todd Bumgardner

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Todd Bumgardner
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M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger

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