I was thinking about intention today, about what a difference it makes in life. Then I thought, “It’s the difference. It’s the root of every thought, every action and every outcome.” I remember the talk in the 60s and 70s about intention in business and being clear about the purpose of any company we might establish. “Will we sell a service or product?” was an important question but deeper yet was, “What matters most to me? Quality? Profit? Employees? Repeat customers?” Today we might add, “How will my business affect the health of my customers and the planet?”
Have you seen the commercials on TV, in which food manufacturers suggest there is nothing wrong with ingesting high fructose corn syrup in moderation? Research has shown that high fructose corn syrup can’t be processed by our digestive systems and the more we eat packaged foods, the harder it is on the other organs of our body, especially the liver. But high fructose corn syrup is cheaper to use than sugar and it became the darling of processed food manufacturers in 1988 which, I believe, is the year obesity levels in the U.S. began to rise. Check the labels on the foods you buy for high fructose corn syrup–it is in everything and it is impossible to ingest it in moderation, unless we drop all packaged foods from our diet or buy only from organic/health-oriented companies–which brings me back to intention.
Have you created a business built around profit or service? Does what you do damage other people and the planet, or does what you do aid and heal? Profit as a sole motive for business throws off the foundation of the company and all else that springs from it. The company and its employees will find themselves constantly playing ‘cover-up,’ like the high fructose corn syrup ads talking of moderation, when they well know what it does to the human body at the levels the average American consumes.
Intention is the root of the problem in the banking and investment industries. It’s the problem with health care, an entire field that should be standardized into non-profit organizations. I’m not saying that people can’t make good salaries—I’m saying take profit-making, shareholders, out of the picture and we will make significant progress in solving the problem of the out-of-control costs of health care in America.
I wish we had a magic wand that would separate organizations and companies by intention. Wouldn’t that be interesting?