Living a life with no purpose sounds very dangerous, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this is a problem that most of us are struggling with. Little do we realise the need to introspect, question our actions or identify our values / beliefs until the damage is already done. Intentional living is a philosophy that focuses on changing this situation. The idea is to live life with an intention or a purpose. This purpose is not something that peer pressure gives you but it is something that you believe in.
Why is Intentional Living Important?
Intentional living is a life-changer. But it takes some time to adapt to this philosophy. Most of us drift through life. All thanks to the extremely busy schedules. We are so busy keeping our heads above the water and in the process we prefer to ignore our inner voice.
This inner voice is constantly reminding us to pursue our life intentionally. But rarely do we pay heed. You will come across various theories on intentional living. At the heart, all of it just means the same. You need to ensure that all your actions are driven by an intention that you believe in.
Today, we share beginners guide on how you can adapt the philosophy of intentional living and change your life for the better.
Living with Intention & It’s foundation
Just like you don’t build a multi-storey building without laying a strong foundation, intentional living does not start without getting the basics right. Most importantly, you need to understand that intentional living does not mean that you should be aware of the destination. Knowing the path that you want to pursue, will suffice. Now let me tell you how can you lay the foundation:
1. You need to make the right choices to build a strong foundation
Every day is a new dawn full of new choices. Don’t run away from choosing. It is important to learn to introspect and make the right choices. What happened yesterday, is a thing of the past. Do not let it impact the choices that you make today. Because if you do, it will impact your attitude as well. Another thing to keep in mind while making the choice is to know that there is no need to follow the crowd. Being different is totally normal!
2. Consider the impact on Surroundings while envisaging the foundation!
Man is a social animal who does not operate in silos. So, when you are making choices, it is important to take into consideration the culture surrounding you. No, don’t get me wrong. I am not asking you do things fearing the reaction of the society. Instead, ask yourself if what you intend to do will impact the society positively. The people around you may be interested in the short term benefits. But you need to be able to see beyond the obvious in order to take tough calls, if the results are worth the pursuit.
3. Introspection is important as you plan to lay the foundation
Intentional living does not end at making the right choice. You need to reexamine your choices at regular intervals and evaluate the impact. If the need arises, you should be able to change your choice. The idea is to be completely aware of your talents and abilities. Accordingly, invest your time and energy to pursue goals that matter to you in your life.
Live the Life You Want
When you have identified your true intentions in life, you will find it easier to figure out the best means to live it. Intentional living is not like adhering to a moral compass. There is no right or wrong. It is just pursuing things that you truly believe it. Research also indicates that living a purposeful life is healthy.
For example, you decide to join an art school because you want to be an artist. Joining the school is in line with the philosophy of intentional living. But you need to understand that joining the school does not make you an artist. You need to work hard towards achieving the goal. After all, life is not easy. Simply put, you need to ask yourself every day- what more can I do to go further towards my dreams. Just be honest to yourself and do what your conscience permits!
4 Steps of Intentional Living
So far, we have nudged you towards the philosophy of intentional living. Now, the next step is all about the practical steps that you can practice in your day to day life to adopt this philosophy. So, let’s get started!
1. Tell Yourself that You Are Unique
Do you end up comparing yourself with your peers? A lot of us tend to fall into this trap. We are constantly comparing ourselves against others in our community or at our workplace. But if you want to live with an intention, the comparison needs to stop. You need to understand that each of us is unique. The skills that you have need not be the same as your peers. As soon as you stop comparing, you will be able to channelize your inner energies and focus on strengthening your skills. This will automatically make you the better at the task that you are pursuing.
2. Identify Your Passion
In order to be able to pursue the philosophy of intentional living, it is important to identify a passion. This is something that you wholeheartedly believe in. Write down your passion and remind it to yourself every day. Gradually, this will motivate you to wake up from your slumber and actually slog towards pursuing your dreams. Remember that passion or goals have an inherent nature of providing direction to our life.
Identifying your passion will take some time so be patient while you evaluate.
3. Be Focussed
Identifying a goal or passion today and forgetting about it tomorrow is not how the concept of intentional living works. You need to be focussed. Everyday everything that you do should take you a step closer towards your dreams. Initially, it will be very difficult to break the shackles of the routine life that you have been used to. This is when you will need to push yourself and believe in your goals. Once you start seeing results and taste success, it will be easier to pursue the path.
4. Lifelong Learning
No one can master the art of intentional living. Because it is all about being open to learn and adapt. You will need to reexamine your decisions at every stage. In fact, if the situation demands and the argument validates, you need to be willing to change the decision as well. After all, learning is a lifelong process. Even when you are on the path of intentional living, you need to be open to learning from others and improving yourself.
Intentional Living Quotes
1. Respond to every call that excites your spirit.— Rumi
2. Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go—T. S. Eliot
3. You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.—The Wizard of Oz
4. If you’re not excited about it, it’s not the right path for you.— Abraham Hicks
5. Live your life on purpose.—Crystal Paine
6. Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.—Gloria Steinem
7. Live your everyday extraordinary!— Charles F. Glassman
8. Boldness isn’t second nature to everyone, it is intentionality— Janna Cachola
9. Above all, try something.— Franklin D Roosevelt
10. At the start, I did just one thing, and then another.— Leo Babauta
Intentional Living Books
Here are some suggestion from us to read these books for ‘Intentional Living’ –
#1. Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters
John C. Maxwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author, helps readers take the first steps to living a life that matters in INTENTIONAL LIVING.
#2. Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner
If you’re looking to slow down & simplify your life, then this book can be an inspiration. Read this if you’re looking for a personal story that will challenge your perspective.
#3. Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
It’s a perfect balance of entertainment, inspiration and practical advice. Highly recommended for anyone who needs a motivation boost!
#4. Emotional Agility by Susan David
Dr Susan David, a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School argues that learning to navigate our inner world (things like our thoughts and feelings) is the key to thriving in work and life
#5. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Essentialism is a wonderful guide on how to live an intentional life. The author reminds us that everything is a choice and every choice has trade-offs. So many important lessons on choosing the “essential” over the non-essential.
Life is precious. Do not waste it by being a part of the rat race without knowing your purpose. Instead, figure out what matters to you and live the life you want. Because you will only get one chance to make the most of it! Of course, it will take a lot of your time and effort. But you will end up living the best life ever.
A freelancer by profession, Kavita writes on a variety of topics, mental health being one of her favorites. Fond of traveling, socializing and meeting new people, most of her inspiration for writing comes from real-life scenarios as well as experiences. Her motto in life has always been to look for a reason to smile.