When we believe people truly are acting in our best interest, we tend to trust them. When we believe that they are not acting in our best interest, we do not trust them.
Let me give you an example. I had always gone to a suit shop in old Bangkok. I loved going there to warp my wardrobe into what it should have been. After the last couple of times, I felt that one of the guys there was going for a quick money grab. He wasn’t acting in the best interest of me. So, one day I went there to pick up some clothes and he was pressuring the hell out of me to buy an additional suit. No eye contact, no nothing. He even charged me almost double for the suit, which I would’ve gotten for a much cheaper price if the other guy was there.
I remember being on the skytrain, angry, and I messaged the guy who had taken the day off saying, “could you please cancel my last order I put in. That guy hustled me for my money and this is why I don’t come as often as I did.”
That was probably March/April of 2017. I never went back, and yes, I still do have 300$ worth of clothes to be picked up (and I will go back to pick it up and close the deal), but since they didn’t act in my best interest, I’m certainly not going to do the opposite.
How to Improve Intent
Fundamentally, intent is a matter of the heart. It’s something you can’t fake — at least not for long. But it is something you can definitely work on and improve.
Some people genuinely have poor intent. Though they may not be aware of it or even admit it, deep inside they seek their own profit, position, or possessions above people, above principle, above everything else.
Others have good intent — they sincerely want to do what’s right and seek the welfare of others — but their expression and execution of intent is poor. Though we may not realize it, most of us deal with at least some degree of challenge in both of these areas. If we’re really honest, we have to admit that sometimes our motives are not completely pure. Sometimes we approach situations with hidden agendas — even tiny ones — that keep us from being appropriately transparent with others. Sometimes we manifest behaviors that don’t demonstrate caring, openness, and concern. To whatever degree these challenges are part of our lives, we are being taxed, both personally and professionally.
It’s time to get into those accelerators on the next episode.