Living an Intentional Life is something I’ve seen spoken about a lot lately.
“Don’t let yourself or anyone else waste your time.”
Sometime in high school, I realized I wanted my life to matter. Not in the sense of making lots of money (although I wouldn’t complain about that). I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to help people.
I was a kid then, ignorant to the realities of life. But, high school is the time in life where we’re supposed to get our act together. We’re expected to come up with a plan, a plan that might dictate the course of the rest of our life. That’s a lot of pressure!
Nonetheless, I decided I wanted to make a difference and took to the internet to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was bombarded with choices. It was actually quite overwhelming. Anyway, that single decision, determining my purpose, was the catalyst for the biggest life change I would ever make.
Once I realized my purpose in life was to help people, it influenced every big decision I’ve had to make since. Recognizing that purpose, envisioning the life I most want as one where I make a difference in people’s lives, has made some of my most difficult decisions much easier.
Suddenly, decisions can be boiled down to, which option will bring me closer to living the life I want most?
Although I’ve been living my life based on this principle for years, I’ve only recently realized there’s a label for it. Living Intentionally.
What does it mean to live an intentional life?
Living an intentional life means you live your life in a way the is fulfilling and meaningful to you. You realize that life is fueled by choices and take responsibility making (or not making) them. It involves engaging with your life and making purposeful choices.
Living an intentional life necessitates having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Choices and decisions should be based around what reaching your goal of living the life you want most.
Tips for living an intentional life
- Take responsibility for your life. The good, the bad, the ugly. It’s your life right now, own it, change it if you want to. You are the only one with the power to change your own life. Make the choice to live intentionally, to live the life you want most.
- Recognize life is made up of choices. Take responsibility for the choices you make. Choose to live the life you want, and let that ideal guide your choices.
- Reflect on your life and the choices you’ve made so far. Never be afraid to take a good look at your life and see how far you’ve come. Think about what is and isn’t working.
- Don’t be afraid to make changes if you need to. I had to learn helping people didn’t mean saying ‘yes’ every time someone made a request. Saying no those first few times was not easy.
- Be intentional with your words. “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” When you speak, your words should be factual, helpful, and precise. Words said in the midst of anger or strong emotions have a tendency to lead to regret.
- Declutter. Rid your life of the things that aren’t helping you achieve your goals. Sometimes, this includes people too.
- Set goals. Having a goal provides direction. It’s something to look forward to. It will also help focus your life and direct your decisions.
- Stay motivated. Being intentional is a lifestyle, not a week-long fad. It’s not always easy, but by staying motivated we continue towards the life we want most. Taking care of yourself will help with this part.
- Learn from others. No one knows everything, but everyone knows something you don’t. This also a great way to empower others.
Live an Intentional Life
Living an intentional life is a deliberate choice. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it. This way of living will help you reach your goals. You’ll quickly find yourself on the path to becoming your best self, the person you always hoped you would be.
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