What’s Your WORD of Intent?

Written by Anne Zambrano | Marketing Communications

The culture of M&IW is already unique and one to boast about. We are a family and truly act like one. While many of our employees work miles apart virtually we stay very close through our interactions and openness. It is one of the things that truly sets M&IW apart from other orgizations I have worked for. What’s more, our leaders just don’t talk the talk, they walk the walk – every day and out loud.

Hence, when we had the opportunity to all discover our WORD and wear it to share it, we jumped at the chance. What’s more, when we had the chance to extend meaningful interactions and sincerity to our clients we didn’t think twice.

MyIntent is a passion project from founder, Chris Pan. We will have the honor of hearing his whole story at our annual M&IW Summit where they will inspire us and our clients at our Client Connect and motivate and empower our employees at our Employee Exchange.

The project appears to be so simplistic in nature. Choose a word and have in imprinted on a bracelet and wear it every day as a reminder. What’s in a word, anyway? A LOT it turns out. It is about intention, your intention. It is amazing how one word or a simple phrase can have so much impact on you and the interactions you have. With that in mind, we wanted to learn more and share it with our community. I had the opportunity to interview Chris to learn more about his story and the impact of their project. Here’s what he had to say:

Q. What impact do you feel living more intentionally has overall?

A. Living intentionally is about finding your own answers – what important to you and what works for you.  It’s about doing what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. We’re bombarded by advertising and advice on how to be and what we need, leading to anxiety and depression.  It’s so empowering and refreshing to take time to reflect and set our own course.

Q. How it is possible that one word (or phrase) has such an impact on people?

A. Mark Twain famously said “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” The magic of the MyIntent process is that people distill what’s most important down to a single word.  This distillation process transforms their goal into a single WORD reminder. In addition, because “What’s Your WORD?” is open-ended, people get what they need.  Essentially, they are answering something along the lines of BE, HAVE, DO:

– What is a virtue you want more of? (e.g., BE kind)
– What is a challenge you want to overcome? (e.g., HAVE strength)
– What is a passion you want to spend time on? (e.g., DO sing)

Lastly, people’s WORD changes over time depending on what they are going through – it’s always relevant and impactful.  People sometimes set a “word of the year” or may change their word every season or monthly.

Q. What do you hope your project and peoples’ words achieve for them on a daily basis?

A. We often wear a watch on our left wrist to remind of our precious gift of TIME.  A MyIntent bracelet reminds us what to do with that TIME – how we want to grow and serve – which provides us fulfillment.

With so many “notifications” from our apps, the MyIntent bracelet is an “always on and no maintenance (never needs charging)” notification of what’s most important to us.

Q. How does the MyIntent Project help in the business community?

A. Inviting employees or clients to choose a WORD of intent shows that you care about their personal growth and well-being and are concerned with creating deep and meaningful interactions.  For employees, the process deepens interpersonal relationships and transforms the workplace from a sterile factory to an inviting and nurturing place to work.  For clients, it encourages collaboration through empathy and openness. The team building exercise is fun, accessible, affordable, and ultimately drives business results due to deeper connections.

MyIntent serves thousands of companies from yoga studios and youth groups to Fortune 100 as clients.  The group order form enables easy submission of each person’s WORD and they also offer maker kits if you want to make bracelets onsite.

Q. Can you share a story or two about how MyIntent has impacted people, society or organizations?

A. Our bracelet has been there when people are going through trials:

“This bracelet is the only piece of jewelry I begged them to let me wear into surgery. I was worried they would make me cut it off. It says courage and I know it won’t stay on forever. eventually the string will wear down and it will fall off. However, I believe it will fall off as soon as the world thinks I no longer need it. I believe life wanted me to have it for this big surgery and to carry courage into the operating room with me, which I did, like a boss. It was so nice to wake up and look down and see this word staring at me. Cancer requires a certain amount of faith, bravery, hope and courage.”

Our maker program is enabling individuals to bring the project to their local communities – schools, companies, churches, yoga studios, and non-profits!   We’ve also donated hundreds of kits and tens of thousands of bracelets to schools so teachers can share intentionality and mindfulness with students.  Imagine a generation where students are taught to be focused, kind, patient, and of service!

Q. What would you like everyone at M&IW to know about you or MyIntent?

A. MyIntent’s mission is to be a catalyst for meaningful conversation and positive action.  We believe there is purpose inside each of us and want our efforts to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other.  We are not a jewelry company – we are a service project creating intentional wearables as a means to our mission.

Q. How do you feel that people’s words empower them? Do you have any examples?

A. The process of finding your WORD is empowering because you are creating your WORD.  It’s not assigned to you and you are not picking from a few. You decide what is most important to you, what you want to focus on, what you want to remind yourself.  It would be easier for us just to mass produce 10 popular words but it’s nowhere near as empowering as choosing your own.

Because we allow choice, we have had thousands of unique words and continue to get new ones.  Our top 10 popular words represent just a few percent of total!  Our core belief is that our answers lie within.  Some of our empowering words include “I GOT THIS”, “I AM ENOUGH”, “COURAGE” and “STRENGTH”.


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