The following appears on squareONE’s Heaven and Hell Archetypal Assessment:

1. Your intention to learn something valuable about yourself:

[a focused intention to learn is a combination of: pointed, pressured, pertinent to your everyday situation, evocative of yearning-to-know, and hopes for self-knowledge and insight]

Let’s break this down.

An Intention to learn is a question created by the learner. This intention/question is focused. A focused intention is clear and able to be permeated by the learning process.

It is pointed. The intention is keenly related to a matter of personal importance.

It is pressured. Pressure means the learning intention’s questioning is compelling. This aspiration to learn reflects a situation being in critical tension, and with the learner motivated to learn.

It is pertinent. This means the realization of learning is fit to a particular current situation or current context of the learner.

The intention evokes a personal desire to know. And, in turn, this reflects a motivation to realize self-knowledge and insight.

There is often something audacious expressed in a focused intention-to-learn.

The intention is personal.

Tip: Articulate the question intuitively based in a challenge that is front-and-center in your life.

Over twenty years of experience helping learners shape, (when called for,) their intention informs the above qualities of intention. Among many such reasons, there are two reasons that usually require an intention to be more effectively dialed-in.

First, is the intention that is only mildly personal. This kind of intention may be pointed, pertinent and personal, but it isn’t under any pressure. Almost always, it nevertheless is related to an intention that is better fit, is even more pertinent.

Second, is the intention that is overly concrete but not really pointed at all. One example is: “When will the cut on my finger heal?”

At times I am moved to remind a learner or group that the intention-to-learn is not only the all important initial first step and foundation for the entire experiential process, but it also is the signpost for entering subversive territory. After all, the transformative epiphany is that which upends and subverts the habitual routines which have already been proven incapable.

(My favorite subversive transformative learner of all time: Thelonious Monk.)