You think that the only truth that matters is that truth can be measured. Good intentions don't count. What's in your heart doesn't count. Caring doesn't count. But a man's life can be measured by how many tears are shed when he dies. Just because you can't measure them, just because you don't wanna measure them, doesn't mean it's not real.
- No Reason, House MD
This made me go on a searching spree. Here is what I found. Of course, looking at any of these in isolation could be misleading. But, in any case, I am prone to find meaning where I want to. And so I find it here too.
نِيَّةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ خَيْرٌ مِنْ عَمَلِهِ.“The intention of the believer is more valuable than his action.” 
Just like the comparison between body and soul, the soul is better than the body and the humanity of man is related to his soul. In comparing intention and action, intention is better than the act itself because it is the spirit of the action.
Intention is so valuable that even if a person is unable to perform a good deed, God will reward him for he had the intention to do so. 
I want to know what other thinkers and religions have said about this. Help me?