In my last blog I wrote about the foundational principles that govern a fixed and a growth mindset: namely IQ vs. Potential. Alfred Binet, the engineer of the modern IQ test, said himself that although intelligence can be measured, human potential cannot. This...
The Power of Intentionality
In this week’s post I want to share a key that enables you to change your everyday life pretty much right away. I’ve witnessed this in my own life! It’s easy to implement and has great effect on how you feel about yourself and the mundane tasks you are facing each day. The key is living with intentionality.
Many people feel dissatisfied, overwhelmed or swallowed up by external circumstances and the demands of life, and one of the reasons why so many feel driven instead of steering their lives in a certain direction is that the majority of people don’t live intentionally. They live by the day. Les Brown nails it when he says that, “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit. And the majority of people don’t aim at all.”
Living intentionally means that you are aware of your goals and values and that the choices you make each day are in alignment with your goals and values. This gives your life direction and purpose. Most people though feel lost and look to others for direction. They feel like Alice in Wonderland, who just wants to get out of where she is as quickly as possible without knowing where she really wants to go:
“Cheshire Puss,” Alice began, “…Would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where…” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
When you know where you want to get, you won’t just take any path. Vision gives you focus and empowers you to live intentionally. Intentionality steers your life in the right direction. Lance Wallnau says, “Clarity is power. The clearer you are about your vision, the more power you have to manifest it.” Living intentionally means that you set goals and have each day contribute toward fulfilling your vision.
Changing the way you feel
Having the right focus and living intentionally helps you get rid of the daily grind and it brings purpose to your day. Mundane chores turn into meaningful chores when you do not only focus on what you want to achieve, but in who you want to become. Tony Robbins shares this priority from his own life and says: “I don’t just ask myself what I want, but who do I want to become…”
Intentionality is as much an attitude as an action. It is a proactive approach to life and it will change the way you feel about your present situation and about yourself.
This is what you can do to live each day with greater intentionality:
First, get clarity about your overall life-vision. What is the anticipated destination? What do you want to have done or achieved at the end of you life? Who do you want to be known for? Who do you want to be to your family – your spouse and children? Who do you want to be to your friends?
Once you know the bigger picture, the end goals for your relationships, career, finances etc. – you can break them down into short-term goals. Be practical. Make a list of different areas of your life with the long-term goals you have, then break it down into short term goals. For instance, if you long term goal is to be a good friend, what can you contribute this week toward reaching that end goal? Then plan in an action point that is a meaningful contribution toward achieving that goal.
You can make daily goals or do a week planning and each day schedule one action that contributes to a goal in a specific area of your life.
Your present circumstances might not be ideal or still feel far away from what you envision for your life, but breaking it down into simple daily action steps will change the way you feel about your life. By doing this, you increase the circle of influence. Focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t or what has not happened yet.
In my interview with Bill Johnson he shared that the day after his father had died of pancreatic cancer he chose to intentionally get out of the house and pray for someone who had cancer. “I was very intentional in how I faced my day. Of course there is a place of rest and mourning – but when you get idle and passive, disappointment will automatically take over and you get offended at God,” Bill shared. “I looked for opportunities to minister – and I chose to focus on what God was doing instead of what he wasn’t doing.”
Most people wait for something to happen and for circumstances to change. Here is the misconception: life or circumstances won’t change magically one day. The supernatural invades the natural when we take practical steps. For my Dream Chasers book interviews I have approached many great spiritual leaders and I was particularly interested how they ‘do’ life with God. People like Heidi Baker and Bill Johnson are known for signs, wonders and miracles. God shows up and supernaturally intervenes through their ministry. But they don’t just sit there and roll their thumbs until something spectacular happens. They also don’t just pray. What I have observed is that all of them are extremely practical and proactive in their approach to life. Many people want something to happen, but they are not very specific and therefore they are not proactive.
Dr. Sandra Kennedy puts it this way: “Many people think they have a vision, but they don’t understand that vision has hands and feet to it. They have the idea that having a vision means to agree with it in their mind, but they don’t understand that you have to make it happen. You can almost compare it with the difference between hope and faith – between just agreeing with something and actually doing something. That’s a missing element for a lot of people.”
Living with intentionality will give you a sense of direction and accomplishment. It will bring meaning and purpose to each day as you focus on your values and vision and see even the small and mundane tasks as contributing to achieving the greater goal. With the leaders I have interviewed I have observed a very pragmatic approach in their spiritual lives – and then ‘things’ happen and God meets them. Successful people aim high and hit – and even when they “miss” they count it as learning experience on their way toward reaching their goal.
I want to encourage you to plan for each day of this coming week a specific action that contributes to the overall goal you have in different areas of your life. Experience for yourself the change it brings in how you feel about each day. Test it! It’s worth it!
For more details on how to experience a morea abundant life download my E-book “Seven Keys To Abundabnt Living”
And share your experience this week – leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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