“Am I living the life I choose to live?” “Am I the greatest version of myself?”
These questions are essential. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home mom or the breadwinner, married or not married, employee or employer; everyone has a purpose and everyone can be great. But, if you fail to live intentionally, you may become the person you never meant to be.
Intentions are dangerous. There is power in intention, but intentions lull us into a belief system where we value our heart instead of our actions. They are essential because they are the objects of our purpose or vision, but alone, they are useless. I remember walking in one day and making the giant mistake of telling my wife, “I meant to get you some flowers today.” I really did, I thought about it, planned it out and totally forgot to do it. I thought mentioning it in conversation would just show that I cared. “I cared enough to think about you.” WOW! No ego present there, huh? That sounds totally stupid, but it the way we live isn’t it? The problem is that most of us have great intentions we simply don’t act accordingly! When combined with action, intentions are deadly. Intentions are Dr. David Banner. LIving intentionally is ‘The Hulk’. By living intentionally, we start thinking AND acting on purpose.
I have put together 3 essential components to living intentionally:
1. Creating Your Vision: In order to have a how, there must first be a what or a where. This is the step where you create your intentions. Grab a pen and paper, then ask these questions. What kind of person do I want to be? What type of legacy do I want to leave? What does greatness look like in my life? Write down your answers. Spend time figuring this out. Years in sales has taught me the power and importance of goal setting. You cannot possibly know what path to take if you do not know where you are going. Where do you want to go? Keep the ear of your heart open. Craft a vision for your life as the first step to live intentionally.
2. Create and Enjoy the Process: Your life is a process; a series of small steps that take you down your path. This is where you put your intentions into action. Most of us have gone through the first step before; we’ve at least given thought to it. Many of us have failed to put consistent actions to our plan. If your goal is to be a great parent define what a great parent does. “I spend time teaching my children, reading to them. I create memories with them by having picnics or going to the park. I ask them questions and listen to their answers. I value them. We play in the water hose.” Make sure the steps you are taking lead you in the direction of your goal. A side note, don’t get discouraged, challenges will come. Learn to enjoy.
3. Seek Guidance and Encouragement: At some point in time, as you live intentionally, you will run into road blocks and challenges. It is how you view and face those challenges that will continue to define the person you are. You do not walk your road alone. I have learned that no matter where you are in life, there is someone walking that road with you. As a follower of Christ, I find solid ground in the truth of scripture. Regardless of your belief structure, there is someone who is walking or has walked your path. Seek guidance. If you’re the first person to ever venture down your path, seek encouragement. Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong and Jackie Robinson are true firsts. They had nay-sayers, but they also had encouragement. Seek encouragement. Surround yourself with positive energy to help you live intentionally.
Within each of these steps are many components and I will continue to write about them. The point is; get going! Start living intentionally regardless of where you are. Be the greatest version of yourself. Tap into that person you’ve always wanted to be, but never have. Dig deep, find it, I know it’s there. Now start living, intentionally!
Check out my Favorites Page to some great books and resources to help you along the way!