What does living with intention mean?
What does living with intention mean?
It’s easy to say that you can live with intention – but what does that really mean?
To be honest, it can vary from person to person. It depends on your values, beliefs and your desired outcomes.
So, I figured I’d write mine out for you (funnily enough, this cames out in a journalling session I did a while back). Here is my share:
Living with intention means (to me):
- Making conscious decisions about my thoughts and my life
- Deliberately choosing to care for myself (emotionally, mentally and physically)
- Any choices I need to make – for example, life, child, business has an intention and outcome in mind
- Consciously noticing what works for me and vice versa. Then course-correcting the pattern if needed
- Being in control, without controlling everything
- Mindfully making decisions in any area of my life, e.g. Even going as far as what type of coffee I order – taking into consideration what time of day it is, what kind of milk and what I am doing afterwards)
- Hanging around with others who also live with intention (or at least working or open to working on this)
- Living my life proactively
- Creating an environment where I can grow as a person
- Making choices in my life that are in line with my values and beliefs – for example, I have been vegan for 18 months now, and I feel great for making that choice in my life
Has it taken me a long time to get this point?
Years and years…in fact. But it’s been worth it, and I love the benefits that come with living with intention.
I’ll list a few below for you:
- I rarely get angry or cranky. I would even go as far as to say that I only get mildly miffed on a bad day. Now, this isn’t to say that I still get the shits when something affects me – especially if it’s people close to me. But today’s science has proven that the rush of stress hormones we get when we get angry (for example) lasts up to 2 mins max. So anything beyond that is a story/elaboration of the truth. So past the 2 min mark – I consciously make a decision that will serve me and who is involved. We can not make decisions correctly when we are highly emotional. Our IQ drops by 50% within 7 minutes – this is the reason why you have felt (in the past) that you couldn’t make a good decision.
- I notice where my energy goes – and consider ‘How could I use that energy more effectively?’ Then channel it in the direction it’s most useful. A great example of this is ‘gossiping’ or talking about others. And yes, of course, I am guilty of this. When I hear someone talk about another person, and they are really going into fascinating detail about them and what they get up to…I think to myself ‘I wonder what they are NOT focusing on, that they find it easier to focus on another person…?’
- I let go of shit much faster than I used to. I no longer hold grudges and forgive myself for my undoings in the past. Because really? What’s the point? It’s in the past, and I have no control over it. I do have control over how I feel today, though.
- I tend to focus on what I CAN do, rather than what I CAN’T do. This took a while to practise, and it’s worth the effort. I would notice the language I was telling myself, and I could hear my internal voice talking ‘I can’t do…I can’t say…I can’t be…I can’t have…’ But, these days I focus on what I CAN do, say, be and have.
- I am super grateful. Several years ago (about ten years now) I started doing a gratitude diary. Every night before I slept, I would make a list of the ten things I was grateful for. It was hard, so days, and yes – I forgot some days. But now? I regularly ‘check-in’ on what I am thankful for. It’s gotten to be part of my daily talk to myself the moment I open my eyes. This is significant! Why? Because I used to play the victim back then. This ‘old me’ was bullshit and quite honestly an excuse to not take action and responsibility for myself and my life. Yet – I forgive myself as I knew no better at the time. To be honest, this gratitude process was the most significant change in my life. Without it, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today.
- I don’t ‘buy’ into stories emotionally as much- which in turn helps me make better decisions. Don’t get me wrong, I still empathise greatly, and you will often find me tearing up at things I see, hear and feel. What I mean by this is that I know that I need to protect myself emotionally first – to help others. It’s the oxygen mask on a plane analogy. What is fascinating about this benefit of living with intention is that I can see/hear people carrying stories around for decades and noticing how this affects them – and also when they are ready to change. This makes me a fantastic coach with my clients.
- I know my pitfalls and own my bullshit. And I consciously work to improve this. I know I am human, and I mess up. Yet, I know I can take action to change the things that don’t fit in, and I am no longer hard on myself.
Gosh, I could list more benefits, and this is an ongoing journey. If I wrote this blog in another 12 months, it would be different. I believe that if we are not learning and growing daily – then we are becoming stagnant.
My friend, if you have read this far – I applaud you. 1000 words in and you haven’t shied away. That’s awesome! It means that maybe you’d be open to living with intention too.
If so, stay in touch.
My free ‘Living with intention’ eBook is available now – head here to get your copy today.
p.s You can always contact me if you need help on this topic.