Opinion: Life is best when lived with intention

Sabre Intentional LivingIn a society where everything – gratification via likes, communication via snaps – is instantaneous, something’s got to give. Intentionality is one of the first things to fade when life is presented in abundance at the speed of light.

An abundance of information is possible because of the smart gadgets we carry with us everywhere, and all over – our wrists, our eyes, our ears, our hands. Balancing out this constant flow of information requires supernatural multi-tasking tools. Unfortunately, humans are not known for their superior ability to multitask. So we make choices. Yes. No. Swipe left. Swipe right. Fake news. No news. Skip. Flex. Thank you, next.

And we forget to interpret those choices, what they mean, and how they fit into the context of our busy, overwhelmed lives. In comes intentional living.

Intentional living can be achieved with “P.O.R.Q.U.E.,” which means “why” in Spanish.

Propose goals for yourself. Living with intention requires direction. Goals allow you to define your purpose by identifying what you want your life to be like. Setting goals will bring light into the otherwise dark, ambiguous trail toward living more intentionally. Before simply making an empty decision, you can begin to consciously decide whether that decision aligns with your goals in life.

Offer your time. Intentional living requires time and energy to examine and evaluate what makes sense in your life. This could mean taking the time to journal every day to get a sense of what is important to you, or going on a walk alone to reflect on your decisions. Thinking deeply about your relationship with yourself and with others will make living intentionally easier and more productive.

Respect your goals. TBH, I just added this one to go with the acronym.

Question your culture. Culture is constantly moving and shifting. You must constantly question whether the tide of your culture is moving in the direction of your intention. Intentional living is hard, because life is not lived in a vacuum and you will be constantly faced with conflicting ideas of truth, beauty, power, happiness, etc. You must make the effort to set aside the temptation to go with the flow, and instead resist the flow if it goes against your values or beliefs.

Understand yourself. Devote a lot of time to introspection, as the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will make it much easier to grow and develop your talents and abilities. By understanding yourself, you will learn to stop comparing yourself to others – one of the most common mistakes humans make. We are all on different paths with different goals, and knowing yourself will give you the confidence and assurance that you are where you need to be.

Empower yourself with choice. Despite factors that may strongly influence your behavior, know that you have free will. Every day is an opportunity for growth and new decisions. Your attitude will also be a strong indicator of your success, as it sets the tone for your choices. If you have a positive attitude, then you will likely be more persistent and determined to follow through with your goals. Empowering yourself with the knowledge that you have a choice, whether it is changing something or changing your outlook on something, will enable you to begin to live more intentionally.

If you think this intentional living thing sounds kind of dumb or silly, I don’t blame you, but trust me, it is worth it. Nowadays, people are so used to simply going through the motions that their life loses a sense of meaning and worth. Because of this, intentional living is counter cultural. Intentional living certainly does not mean you have everything figured out and polished, it just means that you have a purpose behind your actions. Living intentionally is great because it shifts your focus from doing something because you are “supposed” to and more toward what makes sense for you in your life.

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu

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