Getting What You Want With the Power of Intention

Doug Ernst


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Abraham Lincoln

I used to meet big challenges by winging it – using my considerable wit and charm – only to run out of things to say when I forgot what I set out to accomplish in the first place. “If only I had started out with a plan,” I would tell myself after stepping into a pile of crap.

Then I got smart, thanks to a new technology my MDI men’s team taught me called the Power of Intention. Rather than scrape excrement from my shoes, I learned how to get better at planning by figuring out what I wanted, why I wanted it and what I had to do to get it.

This tool for getting what I wanted was introduced to me as “CPR technology,” which required me to know my Context, Purpose and (intended) Results.

It is the single most important gift I’ve received since joining my team six years ago.

I’ve used it to improve my sex life, get promoted at work, develop long-lasting relationships with my daughters and sons in law, calm my nerves during tense situations, explain complex problems, argue politics without getting rattled, write long papers that are organized, and focus on unpleasant tasks that must be handled in masculine ways.

It has saved my marriage, job and sanity.

I’ve taught the CPR technology to my wife, daughters, sons in law, grandchildren, co-workers, relatives and countless friends. It’s easy to learn, and it’s thrilling to teach something that could change the way a person approaches problems.

I lead with questions:

  1. “What results do you want?” I ask.
  2. “How do you plan to get them? By doing what? So that? And with that, what?”
  3. “Who do you have to be do this?”

Example: I returned to my desk at work one day and found my boss had dropped several binders of excellent work that my predecessor had completed years ago. “Please review and let’s chat,” the note said.

Before I knew CPR technology I would have felt threatened, dismissed or criticized. Instead, I asked myself, how can I write a CPR to change my context?

I decided…

  • Purpose: TO respond gracefully to the challenge of doing more work BY offering a solution that helped my boss and myself SO THAT I could choose to do extra work for extra pay, AND WITH THAT, set an example for workers of the world for being fair and reasonable.
  • Results: My boss was happy with the solution, agreed to develop a budget and keep me in good standing with the company.
  • Context: New client!

My CPRs have kept me in good standing with all of my relationships. When I feel uneasy about my approach to people-related problems, I write a CPR. I can do it on a computer, in longhand and, in an emergency, in my head. I can do it in the car during a traffic jam or waiting in line at the DMV or while watching television.

I thank my men for teaching me a tool I use almost every day, whenever I need it to solve sticky problems.

(For more on CPR Technology, you can send e-mail to David Horobin at DHorobin@Earthlink.net.)


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