Vic Black

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“Good Intentions” . . . Really?

Posted By on January 24, 2012

After I completed the Marathon in October, I had good intentions to continue training through the fall. I intended to work a little extra on cross-training to build up my strength in preparation for another year of Marathon Makeover. That did not happen.

Sometimes, while driving down Spillway road, I would see one of my Marathon Makeover buddies running and/or walking down the trail. There are few folks I saw often. They did not have Good Intentions. They had activity.

Today, I was on that same trail. The last few days I have been back at it full force. Went to the gym on Sunday. Ran/walked 40 minutes on Monday and Tuesday. Even took my Pomeranian for a walk on Monday and Tuesday as well. It was on my walk with Cappy, my 3 year old Pom, that I began thinking about the word, INTENTIONS.

Good Intentions. What exactly does that mean. Generally, when I use the phrase “Good Intentions” I am referring to something I intended to do yet failed to accomplish. Calling such inaction “Good Intentions” seems to make it all better and acceptable. But does it? If Edison had “Good Intentions” for creating a light bulb, someone else would have done it. In fact, there were plenty who intended on doing that very thing when he accomplished it. The United States and, in fact, most world powers of the day, had Good Intentions to put a man on the moon. But it was only when President Kennedy said it will happen that it did happen.

My mind wandered over the word Intentions, especially the first syllable, “IN.” I thought, that’s the problem with intentions. They are all focuses on the IN. With that thought, I went further and came up with the following way of looking at the word Intentions. They’re not brilliant or life altering. But, maybe you will find them interesting.


IN – Inward focused, Everything is happening Inside us

TEN – The middle syllable is the minimum number of excuses we can always come up with for not following through

TIONS (pronounced SHUNS) – Shuns taking that final step of effort to accomplish the goal

So, what is the opposite of Intention? Perhaps it should be OUTCAST.


OUT – Outward focused, Actions happen Outside of us

– Notice there is NO middle syllable. The maximum number of excuses we must have if we are to successfully follow through

CAST – There are really several definitions of the word cast that apply. Theaters have casts. A Cast in a theater is a community of people coming together to accomplish a single goal. Fishermen will be familiar with the word Cast as well. A Cast is the activity that commits that fisherman to catch a fish. He can spend all the time he wants to prepare the boat, the bait, and everything else and talk about going fishing. But it is the act of casting the net that precedes bringing in the fish.

And don’t miss the significance of the word as a whole. When you commit to taking action, you are going against the norm of inactivity. You become different. You become an OUTCAST.


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