A thought precedes any action. Without the thought, the action would never manifest. How could it, because without the thought to do something, there would be nothing to cause the action.
Any action that one does always has the thought of the action that precedes it, regardless of what it is. It may or may not be a conscious thought, but nonetheless it is there. So it is the base of the thought that manifest in what one’s action will be. Self serving thoughts produce self serving actions as do thoughts of love produce actions of love. This is the way it is, there’s really no way around this. One’s intentions are something different because the actions are what the world sees and those actions are a result of its preceding thoughts. You can discount this writing, but understand, the thought of discounting it occurs before it is actually discounted.
Not that changing this is easy, but if one truly learns to understand their own mind they can have more control over the attachment to their thoughts, which would result in more control of one’s actions. Whenever someone does something, it is the thought that precedes the action. Using drugs, alcohol, cutting, suicide, abuse, anger, hating, cheating on a spouse, stealing, lying, unloving behavior, and on and on, the thought of it precedes the action of it. If there wasn’t an attached thought, the action wouldn’t occur. I’m not sure where our thoughts arise from, but learn to change them instead of attaching to them and there’s no way the action would occur. One cannot do anything without the thought of doing it. This is very difficult to change because of the attachment to our thoughts, but with practice it can be done. And wouldn’t that be different to have control over one’s actions instead of allowing the preceding thoughts to be in control.