Are You Living Your Intended Life?
This morning I awoke with true motivation and happiness. The only identifiable reason was because I had set an intention for this day. I had gotten away from living my intended life, and today of all days, I planned to rectify this. I set a purposeful plan for how I will use this day. The thought of taking control of my day caused me to wake with enthusiasm Life is going to happen either the way we intend, or be a series of unplanned and misguided events. A life of intention means we cause the outcome, the opposite means a life that just happens to us.
Living by core beliefs and interests will bring greater contentment and happiness. Sometimes, we do not even know what they are. Life is so busy humming around us; it takes effort to slow down and contemplate what we believe and what brings us joy. We probably know the beliefs of others, they may even pressure us to hold the same truths. We may even know the way we want to believe.
Living with intention means living in close alignment with the value system that you have within; prioritized in the order of importance you place. Sometimes, people may recognize these beliefs and values within you, other times only you know them. When distracted, busy, pressured, or fearful, we often stop living life with intention and purpose. It doesn’t take long to feel dis-content, in a rut, and perhaps depressed.
Seven years ago I sat across from a professional counselor for the first time. The first questions asked of me was what I intended to get from my counseling sessions, even in that moment, I had not asked myself that question. I had no idea what had brought me there! It was a long awkward pause while I searched my intention for seeking counseling. Finally, looking up I said, “I want to know who I am, what are my beliefs, values, and truths”.
At that time, I felt as if I was a chameleon. When in the company of my various friends, I held similar beliefs, and among friends with opposite points of view, I easily understood and held their beliefs. I was not being fake, in all sincerity I could understand and see the reasonings of all sides, and relate to opposing points of view. When alone however, truly had no sense of self. I did not know my own truths. I came to learn that the chameleon effect is a true psychological term that is very common. It can rob us of knowing our true self. It has been freeing to learn my truths and be able to state them.
If you, like me, have no idea where to begin when it comes to setting intentions, I suggest taking some time alone. Alone time will help drive out the chatter of everyone elses’ intentions for your life. What things do you find joy in? When do you feel the happiest? What are you doing when you are the most excited about life? What activities or people drain you? Do you understand why they drain you? If you can answer some of these questions, you may begin to uncover “you”.
As you identify what drains and energizes you, examine if the time spent in those activities or with those people is balanced? For most of us responsibilities or obligations pull us out of balance. The key is to intentionally bring yourself closer to the things that make you feel energized, happy, and proud. Set your intention by stating it and following through. You will feel a sense of happiness in accomplishing it.
Today, I woke with the intention of exercising, first. I have found that when I regularly participate in exercise I feel very good about doing something that is really good for my body and mind. I am not sure why, but I have come to understand that a core belief is that my body is important and if I am not intentionally feeding or nurturing it correctly, then I am not living by my core values. I am not particularly good at exercising, or eating the way I believe is best for me. When I become distracted and allow these to slip, I pay emotionally for that. So, today, with full intention I got back on my bike and have decided to live with intention. I felt wonderful when I completed the task.
If I can encourage you to do one thing today, it would be identify something that brings you joy, set the intention, and then go do it!