Something else that’s interesting is that being more intentional in what you do improves your confidence. It’s seen again and again, and if you stop to think about it for a minute, it starts to make sense. When you’re intentional in what you do, you tend to have an end goal in mind. You also plan along the way and are ready to take massive action. That in turn means that you don’t have time to worry and second guess yourself. When you don’t worry constantly, you get more confident.
Then as you start to take action and see that you’re making progress, you get this cycle of reinforced confidence going. You see progress which gives you self-confidence. The confidence in turn motivates you to keep going, which leads to more progress, which enforces your confidence… you see how this works. Your biggest job is to get the ball rolling and you to it by deciding to be more intentional in what you do.
One thing that seems to scare people away from embracing the whole idea of living with purpose and being more intentional in what they do is that they think it is too big of a task to tackle. In their mind, they have to turn into the next Mother Teresa to live a purpose driven life. That’s not true. You don’t have to pick a cause and dedicate your entire life to it to benefit from being intentional.
Your intentions and purposes can be as big or as small as you want them to be. Best of all, they are not set in stone. They can be adjusted and tweaked on the fly. Remember, this is about you and improving your quality of life. If big scares you, start really small.
If one of your goals is to have a stronger relationship with your kids, start small by sitting down with them at breakfast and chatting about the day ahead. If one of your life’s dreams is to live more self-sufficiently, commit to growing a tomato plant this year, or grow some culinary herbs on your window sill. Start small and expand as your confidence grows through the actions you take. Keep going until you’re at a level of living with purpose and intent that you’re happy with.
One of the biggest benefits of being intentional is that it can help you find a lot of meaning in life, even in the small, everyday things you do. That may end up being more important than you think. In this day and age, we’re so often completely disconnected from the end result of what we do. We do our job, live in our little bubble with no idea of how what we do affects other in a positive way. We are social creatures who at our core love to help others and have a positive impact on the world around it. Without that knowledge, and with this disconnect, it’s no surprise that depression is now more of a problem than ever before.
Turn to being intentional and living with purpose to bring meaning back into your life. Not only is it a wonderful way to prevent and combat depressions, it also greatly increases your happiness.
One of the questions I often ask people when they’re not sure how to get started living intentionally is what they are passionate about. What we are passionate about are the things, ideas, and of course people that are most important to us. But we can also turn this around. As we live more intentionally and start to pay attention to what’s important to us, we figure out what our passions are.
As you become more intentional with how you spent your free time for example, you may rediscover an old hobby and find that you’re still quite passionate about it. Without intent, we often let other stuff get in the way and we feel that we simply don’t have time to indulge in our favourite hobby. Once we rediscover or find out what we are passionate about, we can make sure we make time for it, no matter what that passion is. Get back into gardening, dig out the sewing machine, restore the car that’s been sitting in the garage, get back on your bike… do more of what makes you happy.
We live in a fast paced world that’s constantly changing. We no longer live in the same place all of our life. We no longer hold the same job until the day we retire. We often don’t have reliable health insurance, or even a job to count on. There’s a lot of insecurity in our day-to-day lives.
Start restoring balance and feel more secure by taking control and becoming intentional when and where you can. By living more intentional, you can start to feel more secure in your relationships. By becoming more active in your local community, you can start to feel safer where you live. By being intentional about what you do at work, where you work, and what you’re doing to further your education, you can start feeling more secure about work.
Stop being a passive spectator in life. Get out there, be intentional in what you do, take action and take control of your life.
Most of us don’t like to think about it, but our life on this earth is finite. We only have a few decades before we are gone, but if we live our life well and with purpose, we can leave a legacy behind. I’m not talking about some big corporation or charity (though that’s certainly an option). It can be something small yet impactful like raising wonderful kids, a love of cooking and an heirloom recipe collection, or the knowledge and love for a craft.
Being intentional with your life has you examine what you do and the relationship with the people you love most. This in turn will help you craft and leave that legacy without even having to think about it or try.
I hope this short introduction of the many benefits of being more intentional in what you do helps you start to think about what you can do in your own life. Keep coming back to this chapter whenever you need a little extra motivation. Next, we’ll move into some more hands-on advice and tips for living a purpose-driven and more intentional life.