Are the intents of people always competing?
The dance metaphor is a good one. Competing intent is when you form an intent of your own, and you try to butt heads with somebody else who has an unyielding intent of their own.
Then, it just depends on who's better at handling intent in general. Who's got the better link to the bigger intent? We deal with competing intents from people, things, nature, etc., all of them dancing in and out, up and down creating a symphony of intent. We dance to that music internally and often externally until we are exhausted and life ends. The shaman changes the tempo and moves differently in the dance, though. Intent is energy, so in a sense, it is aware, but not like human beings are sentient. On a larger scale, intent is moving and seems to react when blocked or pushed, so it is aware of itself in that sense. But intents don't line up in a linear way. It's like looking down into a pot of water at a roiling boil - there is a pattern there, but it is very difficult to discern. Now, that may sound impossible, but it's not. The key is to focus on one intent, and then riding it through its circuitous journey.
Most people never really think about it. It's like playing the lottery - you may intend to win, but so do other people. Like life and death itself, if you intend to heal someone and yet they aren't healed, but get worse and die, you were intending an outcome against nature itself. You won't win those, generally speaking. The problem is that people start out wanting to affect the outcome of things outside themselves - you must start internally. How can you apply intent effectively in a situation of competing intents if you can't even handle your own intent internally? My Grandfather didn't tell me to go down to the local store and pick a fight with some big yahoo and intend to win, he showed me that I needed to form my intent internally and then use it with something that was easy to start with. Intent is formed and you apply energy to it over and over again until it is unyielding, until it is in fact already a part of your reality.