Liz Murray was a homeless teenager from the Bronx in New York City. She was the daughter to AIDS infected and drug addicted parents who lived in abject poverty as a child. Liz was eventually removed from her home and into the state care system after her parents were unable to care for her. After being subjected to abuse in the foster care system, Liz ran away. When her mother passed away due to complications to drug abuse and AIDS, she found herself living on the streets as a teenager with no hope for a better life. Fast forward a few years, however, and Liz was awarded a scholarship to attend Harvard. Liz went from homelessness to Harvard in just a few years!
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of presenting a teaching about the awakening process at an annual conference for educators in Texas. One of the keynote speakers at this conference was Liz Murray. Her story was truly an incredible and inspiring account of the power of intention. It was intention that took Liz from the streets of the Bronx to receiving a scholarship to Harvard.
Liz was born to a family who had tremendous struggle. The best life she could imagine for herself revolved around survival. Almost everyone she knew dropped out of school. At her lowest moment, however, an inspired thought entered into her thinking:
“What if I went back to school and got straight A’s?”
This inspired thought went on to become Liz’s intention. “I will go back to school and I will get straight A’s". This one intention radically altered her trajectory in life and began a domino affect that would eventually open doors that would lead her all the way to Harvard in only a few years.
Here is the paradigm shifting truth: An intention isn’t an elaborate and detailed plan for our lives. An intention is a subtle direction shift toward a future that you intentionally choose, as opposed to other people or circumstances choosing for you.
If setting intentions are the key to changing our lives, why don’t most people utilize them? That’s a great question, and this will be the subject of my next email.
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