Have you seen this video? It's pretty funny. I don't know if they're acting or not, but it does represent the art of deception. We've all been bamboozled by a magic trick. We know it's not really magic but we can't figure out what's going on. From one point of view, it seems like magic and from another, it's obviously not.
One of the great barriers to accomplishment is the deception of good intentions. You may be wondering, "what's wrong with having good intentions?" Nothing is wrong with good intentions in themselves, but by themselves, good intentions can rob us of actual productivity. In other words, intending to do something good is not the same as actually doing it.
But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” - Matthew 21:28-31
This parable displays a simple but profound truth about obedience - either you do it or you don't, and your original intentions did not matter.
So where is the deception? Having good intentions can include making plans, dreaming out loud, and imagining the difference you'll make. All of these things give us an emotional boost. The feeling of doing good things often comes to us up front when we are first embracing an idea. We get excited about it and enjoy the feeling of it without actually doing anything. Those feelings deceive us into thinking that we have accomplished something.
It looks like this:
1) We get an inspiring idea
2) The exciting feelings of accomplishing it come to us up front
3) We put off the work of actually doing it
4) We let the feelings of good intentions replace the actual accomplishment.
Have you made plans that you never completed? Have you dreamed about helping someone but just haven't found the time? Don't be deceived by the euphoria of the dream up front. You're not finished until the deed is actually done.