The 4 Zones of Intention

bullseyeCan a simple diagram help us understand the common inconsistencies between our intentions and actions?

C. S. Lewis in his  Screwtape Letters uses a bulls-eye model of concentric circles to categorize human behavior.  Our model, described below, relates how we tend to lose focus on our inner values and become drawn to the deferred, displaced or unreal.

For purposes of our model, imagine your life in the shape of a dart board made up of four distinct areas:


The center of the board, the bull’s eye, represents our will.  Our will determines our priorities,  which in turn, translate into our thoughts and actions.  The problem we often encounter is the inconsistency between what we know to be best or true,  and what we actually think and do.

THE LIGHT ZONE – PERSONAL GROWTH                                                                

Outside the central area is the light zone.  This is where growth occurs.  It is where we are creative, productive, and form close personal relationships.  In this zone we pursue things of value.  It is where we experience emotional and physical strength, love and sacrifice for others, as well as some discomfort from time to time.

THE GREY ZONE – EVENTS BEYOND OUR CONTROL                                      

The grey zone represents cultural and environmental factors over which we have little or no individual control.  Our response to these factors, however, and the meaning to which we ascribe to them, is within our control, and helps determine whether we move towards or away from the bull’s eye.

THE DARK ZONE – PERSONAL ATROPHY                                                                  

The outer ring, aka the dark zone, is characterized by avoidance behaviors. This is the zone in which we seek to numb or medicate ourselves, where we engage in self-deception, at times even taking action that is contrary to our priorities, telling ourselves “it’s only for a while”.

In this outer zone we embrace distraction, fantasy, and instant gratification.  We tend to waste time and resources, and shirk responsibility.  It is a zone of procrastination and good deeds deferred.  It is a zone in which we have all spent time.


On our dart board diagram, the area which encompasses the will at the center, and the grey zone,  both remain constant.  The light and dark areas vary in size depending upon our intention.  The target area of Simple Life Reboot is the light zone.  We believe creating margin permits us to enlarge the circumference of the light zone and minimize the dark zone.

We hope you will join us on this journey as we explore this subject matter over time.


If this model describing intentions vs. behavior intrigues you,  whether you agree or disagree, please, let us know by leaving a comment.


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