The very idea of living an intentional life seems so easy. Truthfully, however, most people all over the world are living in a robotic existence. I remember the days when I was caught up in the 9 to 5 grind.
Often, the days would simply melt into one another. I’d even forget what day it was. All I knew was that I was looking forward to Friday, and dreading when Monday came back around.
The drag on my life wasn’t so much about the mundane, yet overwhelming busy-ness Vortex I was sucked into. I just wasn’t really living at all. Most of the time, I was simply getting by. Friday was the most exciting thing I had to look forward to. Everything else in the week seemed like a blur.
Living an intentional life seemed like micro-managing and even more like a drag.
Always on that journey to a better life, I learned all sorts of things that could help me have a happier life. Some of which were goal-setting, writing lists and simply keeping better track of my time. All of those strategies are great and really helped me gain more clarity on what I wanted and how to live my life. The problem was I fell into a trap of micro-managing everything which made me feel like I became even more robotic.
What a drag my life had become.
I don’t want to discount the strategies because once children came and the businesses took off, I really needed these tools to juggle everything. It’s just, well… I wasn’t enjoying my life and it still felt like something was wrong.
Through time passing and my inevitable maturity and knowledge as well as training, I discovered what the missing piece was. It wasn’t the strategies and tools that I needed to focus on. What I needed was a different line of thinking.
I was about to embark on an unconventional lifestyle.
What I discovered was life became out of control due to my own triggers. My meaning by that is, I may have been well organized and had great goal setting skills. Still, I wasn’t in alignment with what I wanted in life. For example, if your values are that your family is the most important thing to you but work calls you on your daughter’s birthday, it’s a trigger. This is where you begin to have inner struggles with yourself.
In my own life, my highest value is my family. Even still, I catch myself not being intentional about putting them first.
It’s easy to say, “I have to get my work done”. In a roundabout way, the financial aspect benefits your family as well as yourself. It’s really justifying why you want to work. A lot of people really love what they do for work but when you spend more time working than spending time with your family, it goes against your core values.
So being intentional would be knowing what my family wants from me and making my schedule work around their needs, not putting work first. Working 40 hours a week is not a problem on its own. When it gets into 50 or more hours AND you don’t spend quality time with your family, then that would be a problem.
What I would do in this situation is change careers if my family was my number one priority. It may mean living in a smaller place, too. That is a more intentional life because you are making the important thing, well, the important thing.
It means living according to top core values. You can’t walk around and say that your family is #1 when you are working 50 or more hours a week. It’s simply contradictory. You can’t say you want to lose weight and eat donuts and not go to the gym. You get the idea.
For myself, I wanted more. I discovered that in order to get a more abundant life, I needed to get real… I needed to get a little uncomfortable.
It all began with clarity and realizing that I didn’t understand how to create a fulfilling life with passion or happiness. Setting goals and being organized was all that I thought I had to do.
When you think about living an intentional life, you tend to think in a pretty general way. It’s mostly about just staying productive, giving your focus to the things and people your life that surround you. This is only a small part of it.
There’s a few important things you should be crystal clear on in order to truly be intentional. Below, I’ll outline them for you.
- Do you know your values?
- Are you living your life day in and day out according to those values?
- Do the people in your life align with your values?
- Is there anything you do that adds value to the world?
- Do you ever do random acts of kindness to those in your life?
- Do you have a mission statement? What are you about? What is important for you to work on as a journey in your life?
- Do your values align with this mission statement?
- Do the people in your life align or support your mission statement and what you are trying to do in this life?
Don’t believe for a second that you’re living an intentional life until you get really clear on those questions.
Everywhere your feet take you, everything that your hands touch and every word that you speak should be about your values and your mission. If not, then you are not being authentic and you won’t be giving much value in the world with any hope to make your mark and make the world a better place.
What will your legend be?
When your life gets out of control, it’s a sign that you’re not in alignment with your values. Worse, you may not be meeting your own basic human needs. This is not a happy, fulfilling life. You need to get real with your life if this sounds like you.
Living an intentional life is a journey. If you really want to change your life, intentional living is the most effective way to start. It’s really an unconventional life. I work at home and I home school because of my values. I live a very peaceful life and I don’t stress anymore. It’s quite unconventional.