These lines from the Upanishads have always held great resonance for me.
As I am turning my thoughts toward teaching a new course "The Power of Intention" a four week exploration of the intention components of iRest® Yoga Nidra, the ancient upanishadic words are repeating in my mind.
They continue (Eknath Eashwaran translation):
"As your desire is, so is your will;
As your will is, so is your deed;
As your deed is, so is your destiny."
So powerful is the way that we shape and frame our intentions, that we are advised and should take care in their framing. How does the mind interact with our intention? Is it undermining us with its constant chatter, its accumulated baggage of beliefs about ourselves. One way I find that iRest is so wonderfully powerful is that we are handed the tools to deal with all of this, and the tools to constantly refine our intention as well until we know it is the quintessential beacon to guide our lives.
Of course, iRest Yoga Nidra is not the only system to have recognised that intention is so powerful.
Lewis Carroll put it this way: "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there." And in another version "If you don't know where you are going you will probably end up somewhere else" (sometimes attributed to Dr Laurence J. Peter of Peter Principle fame, and sometimes to former American pro baseballer 'Yogi' Berra whose full name is Lawrence Peter Berra - I am going with the baseballer).
The point is, that without goals you are aimless, wandering around in circles, and ending up in meaninglessness. But a goal, intention or heartfelt desire, leads you on.
If however you are framing desires or goals or intentions without skill, they may be as useless as not having any. If I frame my intention "I want to be happy" this is nothing more than a feeling state of not being complete. It is fed directly from a self-belief that might be stated out as "I am not good enough" and it will serve as a reinforcing feedback loop to that self-belief.
A more powerful intention would be framed as an affirmation "I am complete and happy just as I am".
Through meditation and paying careful attention to how the Intention arises from our deepest states, the Intention is honed like steel in a fire until it is recognised as resonating deeply. When you find that resonance your "deep driving desire" changes no more. It will shape your will, and your action and your destiny.