Many people go about their lives unconsciously. From an early age we develop our belief system based on our experiences, what we’re told and how we observe others behaving.
We accept this reality of how things are and think, act and behave in alignment with this view of the world. We follow the same routines and habits each day, not just in what we do and how we behave but also how we think and talk and react to what’s going on around us.
Segment intending is a tool that helps you move away from this unconscious programming. It’s a process that helps cultivate presence and focuses awareness and energy on what you want to see and feel and then ‘pre-pave’ these outcomes in advance.
There are many segments in a day with each new one beginning any time there is a change in your environment. This could be starting a new activity, entering a new space or when the people around you change.
Something like the phone ringing also counts as a new segment because someone new is about to enter your experience. Unless you’re clear on your intentions before answering the call, their energy could still dominate and set the tone of the conversation.
Practising this method will help you focus more deliberately and set the tone of how you want to think, feel and behave before someone else does it for you.
It will remind you of the outcomes you want to see, reducing the likelihood of you being swept up into a disagreement or reactive thinking.
Initially, you might find it beneficial to be more general with your intentions. Reach for the thoughts that feel best as specifically or generally as you have to be for that situation. It might not always come easily to focus on specifics but the more you practice activating what it is you do want, the easier the process becomes and the more you invite in the positive situations you want to see.
Naturally, we all already have different intentions for the tasks we do. Reading a book alone requires a different level of focus and intention compared to driving a car or going out with friends or sitting in a meeting.
To start with, I recommend segment intending just once each morning and getting used to this before increasing this throughout the day. It may take some time to get used to it but once you’ve become familiar with this, you can run through these questions in your head quickly before each new activity (although you may still want to take more time to consider this consciously each morning).
Set your intentions by considering these questions:
How do I want to feel?
How do I want to come across to others?
What do I want to achieve?
How do I want people to respond to me? How will I know I have been positively received by them? What words do I want to hear them say to me? How do I want to hear them talk about my work afterwards?