We Are Defined by Our Actions, Not Our Intentions

15 February, 2017

It has always been much simpler to create expectations than to meet them. Therefore, we tend to be more accustomed to odds that are up to chance rather than certainties. In the end, what happens is that you tend to forget that you are what you do and not what you say you’ll do. You are what your actions say about you, and your intentions are simply decoration.

Through your actions, you leave a kind of trail around you that can lead to others or reverberate in your near future. A reaction or an attitude towards a situation is capable of making all the difference. In other words, the good heart that you have needs to be in tune with your movements and your thoughts. What you say transmits to other people, but what you do makes an impact and can be felt.

The frustration of expectations

We love expectations and, to a certain extent, they seem to inspire us to achieve what we long for. They are created like impulses and fill with our dreams of continuing to grow or of making others happy. This way, expectations become the starting point of authenticity because they emerge from the deepest part within ourselves. But they are also born of fragility and frustration.

“Expectations are like fine china. The stronger you cling to them, the more likely it will be for them to break.” 
– Brandon Sanderson-


Without even realizing it, many of the daily thoughts we have are expectations and illusions that feed off of promises. Not only promises from others, but also from your own personal hope in them. “He promised me that we would go out and celebrate and now we can’t.” “I’ll surely ace that interview. I have prepared a lot.” “She’s expecting that CD that I showed her for her birthday, but I forgot to buy it.” These could be everyday examples of what we’ve been talking about.

In some cases, when promises and expectations aren’t accompanied by the necessary effort to turn them into a reality, they only end up generating disappointment, sadness and irritation. Intentions are not absolute truths. And it is a mistake to believe in them as if they were. In this sense, you can only hold on to a fact without fear of it breaking when it has been fully executed.

You are what you do: your actions define you

Someone pointed out in the movie Batman Begins that “It’s not who you are in the inside, your actions define you”. They seem to have wanted to propose an even deeper reflection about the topic. It’s not that what we have inside doesn’t matter. It’s just that, to the outside world, our actions give us away regardless of what we wanted to do with our words.

That is to say, you are what you do. Because if your heart is good, your relationships will notice it in the little details. And, on the contrary, if your heart is bad, the promises and expectations you generate won’t be able to hide this fact.

At the end of the day, we all have three personalities: what we are, what we think we are and what others think we are. This is a big enough reason to try to make all three of them live in harmony. If we say that we’re going to do something and we don’t do it, what happens is that the three personalities clash. And negative emotions are born.

Where does that leave good intentions?

Good intentions are fundamental. Since, without them, the end results would hardly be good, too. It’s beneficial to constantly have the intention to overcome yourself. For example, in your job, where the goals that you set for yourself are so important.

“Useful and good are actions that serve a purpose and achieve it.”