The 4 I’s

I am a firm believer in ingenuity: the ability of human beings to figure it out. One of my passions is fuelling the fire of ingenuity. That’s right, fuelling, not igniting. Because I believe that the fire of ingenuity is in us, and often we keep ourselves from letting it burn too brightly lest we stand out from the crowd.

But there is a safe, wonderful way to let your ingenuity come out, to nurture it, and to let it build your leadership, help you through change, and ultimately get you to lead your dream life.

It’s what I call the 4 I‘s : Intent, Introspection, Ingenuity and Intuition. I thought a bit and considered drawing a graphic about how these all fit into each other, and maybe one day I will have an ‘a ha’ moment about that graphic. For now, writing will do:

What are the 4 I’s?

Intent: literally means ‘aim’ or ‘purpose’. You need to figure out what you’re most passionate about and what you want to achieve through that passion in order to activate your ability to figure out how to get there.

Introspection: is a process of internal reflection-the journey within yourself-where you’re letting the thoughts, the feelings flow.

Ingenuity: is that ability to figure things out. It’s the part where you action plan, hustle, network, do whatever, to get to where you want to go.

Intuition: is your ability to sense whether something feels good, great, right, or not good, not right. It’s that feeling in your gut and your heart when your head is processing something. We ignore our intuition far too often, and then don’t understand why something perfectly good doesn’t make us happy. We need to start cultivating our intuition again.

How do the 4 I’s fit into each other?

If you’re a linear thinker and like a lot of order, what’s useful is to to through a process of introspection and research to clarify your intent. Once your intent is clear, use your ingenuity to chart the path to your intent and move along that path. As you move along that path, remember to cultivate your intuition and to build in periodic introspection to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction.

For all thinkers, linear and non-linear, the 4 I’s can be used in varying combinations to create a more iterative process of discovery and change. Iterative literally means – you use a pattern of activities that you keep repeating till you figure things out.

Why the 4 I’s? Why not just go forth and do it?

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come across people who have charted a successful path in life and then found that when they got to their destination, they still weren’t happy. Or those who wanted to do something else but didn’t actually go ahead and do it. Or those who meandered aimlessly because they get restless but don’t know why.

I’ve put together the 4 I’s approach as a simple, holistic approach to conceptualizing, planning and realizing the journey to purpose.

I’d love some feedback if you try it out, and also if you try other things that help you out in your journey.

Wishing you contentment always…


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