If you’re anything like me, you’ve just read the title of this post and scoffed a little. Live wi h intention? I mean we aren’t exactly living unintentionally are we. Are we?
After all, you aren’t sitting on a packed, smelly train, commuting to your job for the sake of it. Nor did you unintentionally drop the kids off to school this morning.
But what did you miss whilst you were doing those things? What didn’t you see or learn? What opportunities have you missed out on through lack of control or awareness of how you are living your life? Are you truly living intentionally and with purpose?
I too sneered at the notion of living with intent or intention, until I realised that sometimes I lose whole days to monotony and routine, only to wallow in self-pity, asking myself why opportunities never land in my lap. Moreover, I never really understood this other way of life, it seemed too holistic and hippy for me, until I discovered it’s definition.
What does ‘Living with Intention’ mean?
Mallika Chopra, daughter of famous spirituality guru Deepak Chopra, explained in an article for Time, that living with intent is living a life that is ‘happy and purposeful’ with 3 fundamental questions that will put you on the right track to intention:Â Â
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- How can I serve?
She explains that being surrounded by ‘hyper-successful’ people led her to measure success in terms of how big her goals were. She felt like she wasn’t doing enough, wasn’t ambitious enough and therefore felt she paled in comparison. So one day she decided to ask herself what she really wanted rather than comparing herself to others. She realised that small, humble or simple goals can be just as purposeful as big goals. You can find happiness in the simplest of things, when those things are what you truly want to do.
This really resonated with me, as I recently came to a point in my life where I realised that maybe the dazzling career in the big smoke wasn’t what I wanted, but rather it was what I thought I needed, to be seen as successful by others. My ambition was driven by insecurity rather than by purpose.
Living life with intent can help you find the joy in the little things, it can open doors for you, as you start to open up to the world. Even if you make one small change, the only outcome is positivity and this will contribute to your happiness.
10 Ways to Live with Intention
Once you’ve asked yourself the questions above, start to introduce the following mind sets and habits:
1. Envisage the life you want to live
What is different about it? Can you pinpoint what is bringing you happiness? What does a normal day look like?
2. Start small
Thonk about one small thing you can do, one change you can make to work towards this happy life in your vision, this life of intention. Go make that change!
3. Focus on one thing
Productive multi-tasking is a myth! Each day, try to focus on one thing at a time, whether that’s writing a report, eating a sandwich or making a change. Do one thing, do it well with your best effort and full attention, finish it and then move on to the next thing.
4. Be kind to yourself
Failure is inevitable, learn to accept it and try not to be too hard on yourself. Take the opportunity to learn about your strengths and weaknesses so that you can move forward with more awareness of your capabilities.
5. Assess your social circles
Make sure you surround yourself with people that share your values, that support you, accept you and your decisions.
6. Be positive, be passionate and be energetic
Even on a cold, miserable Monday morning. You can choose to be positive and to start each day with a fervour and hungry energy to make the most of every moment in that day. Soon you’ll notice that you are more positive without trying to be and you’ll be able to tackle issues with clarity and without stress.
7. Trust your gut
As you become more aware, more intent, you’ll notice on your instinct and intuition will be invaluable.
8. Be generous
Giving to others brings joy to all involved and more importantly will help you to appreciate things more, edging you ever closer to a simple happy life.
9. Seek Knowledge
Learn as much as you can about anything and everything. Where is your bread baked? What life has your elderly neighbour lived? Knowledge and understanding will enrich you and help you discover who you really are, through your new interests.
10. Learn to Listen
It is the one of the most valuable and commendable skills a person can have. Too often we are in a hurry to get our point of view across, we ask questions but don’t listen for the answer, instead thinking of what we are going to say next. But if we stop and listen, we might actually learn something……. It could be life changing.
It might be a long road, but enjoy the journey and trust in yourself to make the right choices.
Ps. Help spread the love and positivity by sharing this article with anyone who might be struggling with their happiness.