The power of intention | Tsipor Maizlick | TEDxJerusalem
Translator: Débora EscudeiroReviewer: Denise RQI grew up in Jerusalem, not far from here,in a small family of four. I’m a daddy’s girl, I love my father. He’s one of the kindest peopleI’ve ever met. My father worked hard his entire life,and he taught me the same thingthat most of us are being taught:that good, responsible peoplework hard and work a lot. I was living under the assumptionthat if I want to be successfulI should do somethingin every given moment. There was always somethingto clean, a problem to solve,an email to answeror a phone call to make. I had a never-ending list of tasksand gave myself no permission to restuntil it was completed. I believed, like many others,that success is necessarily involvedwith a lot of work. But is working hard and a lotreally the effective wayto create exceptional results?According to the 80-20 Pareto Principle,the answer is “no”. If you look at the distributionof peas within pods,ownership of capital,and incomes in businesses,you will always seethat about 80% of the effectcomes out of 20% of the causesand that 20% of the effectcomes out of 80% of the causes. What does it mean? How does it concern us?In every given moment, everyoneof us is on one side of that ratio. Either you’re doing a lotand getting very littleor you’re doing little and getting a lot. Ever since I’ve heardabout the Pareto PrincipleI’ve been looking for waysto do less and achieve more. And then, about a year ago,I got the opportunity to practiceunder my very special circumstances,which took most of my time and energy. I became paralyzed;I had no physical abilities to invest,only my mind, my will, my intention. I became ill with an autoimmune diseasecalled Guillain-Barré syndrome. Although it sounds likethe name of a French lover,Guillain-Barré isa severe neurological diseasewhich causes sensory and motor paralysis. If it is not diagnosed or treatedon time, it might cause death. The body attacks the myelin,the soft sheath which coversall of the nerves in our bodyand is responsiblefor the neurological ,including physical sensation, movement,and function of the inner organs. At the time I got sick,I was preparing for half a marathonfor the second time in a rowand was excitedin the preparation for the big day. But as John Lennon said,”Life is what happens to youwhile you’re busy making other plans. “It took a while for me and my doctorsto understand this was no flu. For two weeks I experienceda cold sensationin the tips of my fingers,I lost sensation in my arms and my legs,I became stifferand experienced extreme exhaustion. A ten-minute walktook me an hour and a half. Climbing up the stairsto my house, 20 minutes. My pace kept decelerating. And instead of running to the finish line,I found myself crawling to the hospital. A week and a half before Purim holidayI was at the hospital,before receiving treatment and was losingmore and more of my basic capabilities. Purim is a Jewish version of Halloween. It’s a commandment to be happyon Purim holiday. So everyone will celebrateand wear costumes. When my daughter and my dear exvisited me at the hospitalI realized I wouldn’t be able to help herget dressed on Purim morning. I was told to not make any plansfor the next month to come. I remember lying there,at the hospital bed, thinking to myself:”I have no choice but to storeall of my belongings,say goodbye to my former lifeand go live at my mother’s housefor the next few months. “I was being realisticand completely desperate. It was my darkest time. I’m not sure what was therebeyond my desperation,but all of a sudden I thought,”It’s just a statistic. A distribution. It’s a probability,like all probabilities,that has the averagewhich is the majority of people,but also has the extreme,the dots outside the graph. “And I realized that even if the chanceswere slight, they still existed. I knew that most of the resultdepended on me. “Who am I concerning the odds?””What am I going to do to heal myself?”I had a purpose right there:to be healthy as soon as possibleand go back beingmy daughter’s mother again. I decided to put all of my intentionin what I had rather in what I was losing. Back then, the difference betweendoing something with my intentionor doing it without my intentionwas the difference betweentrying and succeeding. I knew that every day without movementwould add significant timeto my rehabilitation,so I didn’t wait a secondbefore I took responsibility in my health. And long beforethe physical therapy began,I combined between keepresting and moving. I got myself healthy food, vitamins,and a variety of physical treatmentfrom friends who wanted to help out. On the second day of my medical treatment,I was half paralyzed, in a wheelchair. When I crossed a stairwaywith 16 steps and a rail,I remember quietly looking at themfor a few momentsand wondering if I could climb them. And there I was, sittingat the bottom of the stairway,taking a deep breath,imagining myself climbing up the stairs. It seemed impossible. Suddenly, I heard musicin the back of my mind. (“Gonna Fly Now” –Theme song from Rocky Balboa) And I started climbing up the stairswith the agility of a sloth. From the outside,I looked like a paralyzed womanhardly pulling herself on a stairway. In my mind, however, I was Rocky Balboaduring his victory match. With every step, I became happier,and as I reached the top of the stairway,a few minutes later, I felt victorious. A minute laterI was back in a wheelchair,exhausted. I needed my mom to push meback to the department. My life looked a lot like thatin the past year:from being victoriousto disabled and back again. When I returned home,bills were piling up,my income stopped, I had a child to raise,and customers waiting for my return. And yet my body was full with painas a result of the neurological revival. I had to do less and achieve so much more. Life didn’t wait for me for a second. In many mornings I was standingin a crossroad of choicesbetween lying on the couch all day longand proceeding with my life. In order to leave the couch,I had to enroll myconsciousness toward my dayand choose, despite the circumstances,to be a contributing, useful person. Every morning I asked myself,what is my purpose?What are my intentions?Who do I want to be today?The statistic shows that the average timefor a Guillain-Barré patientis 38 days in department,and anywhere between three weeksand three months in rehabilitation. I spent only ten days in departmentand five days in rehabilitation. And guess what else happened?On Purim morning I was homeon vacation from the hospitaland helped my girl with her costume. I have learnedthat what happens on my insidehas a huge effect on my outside. From the inside, I was a winner,athlete, dreamer, consciousness coach. And I rememberedthat my intention would determinewhether I would be with mostof the other Guillain-Barré patients,at the average, or would I bea dot away from the graph. From the outside, even though I was activeonly seven months of it,2014 was one of the best years of my life,personally and professionally. We are all living in such a fast pace,we are all connectedin almost every momentto our emails, and our cell phones,and we are expected to reactimmediately and be available. We all have our circumstances to handle. And so many times,we’re taking actions in a hurry. Sometimes, out of our stress,our fear, our pain, or our anger. Then we can find ourselvesdoing a lot and getting very little. Or, at the worst case,we can find ourselves making damagewhich we have to take care of later. I’m still recovering from my diseaseand feel its impact in my daily life. It has forced me to stopand pay attention before I take actions. I have learnedthat it’s not the amount of actionsthat will determine my result. It’s the quality of action that matters. When I’m setting my intention,then I’m present in the moment. In my body,I become clear with my purpose,and I can recognizewhether my action is valuable for meand for the people around me or not. And, if it’s not, then takingno action is sometimes better. More than anything,my disease gave me a year of practiceand a constant reminderthat in every given moment, I can stopand through my will,my choice, and my intentionbe on that side of the Pareto distributionin which I do less and get so much more. Which side would you like to be?Which side would you choose to be?