Let’s imagine that upon your first time meeting someone, they proceeded to say, “Hi my name is Lisa, are you really happy?” First, I’d call them rude in my mind for prying so deep so quickly, and then I would probably assume they were a judgmental person searching for some self validation by attempting to confirm that maybe i wasn’t exactly as happy with my life as my Instagram feed showed.
You can be intentional in your job. You can be intentional with your relationships. You can even be intentional with your sleeping habits, but somehow unless these areas of intentionality are balanced, you won’t feel happy. Think about it, do you remember the last time you drove home from work – like really remember it? We are so plagued by phone calls, emails, unanswered texts, missed appointments, to-be-scheduled meetings, and guilt from everything we feel we aren’t accomplishing, that even our drive home from work seems like a far off thing that was somehow accomplished, but we aren’t sure how it happened. All of the stress of like leads us into the reality that if we were to be asked “are you happy?,” and answered honestly, most of probably couldn’t confidently say “yes.”
Being intentional isn’t about focusing energy into something so you can find some new elusive level of “success”; success, mind you, that is determined and measured by society and its values. Intentionality is about learning to step back and be in the moment. Learning to let go of all the “to-be’s” and really focusing in on what God has put in front of you, right in your path.
There will always be the next promotion or next material goal, but if you truly want to live life to the fullest, to be able to answer yes to that ever-lurking question, I fully believe intentionality is the answer. Strive to be intentional with your relationships, with your work, with your passions, with your kids, with your time, with your purchases, all of it. Once you slowly start letting intentionality seep into every carefully-curated box you have designed, you will begin to notice a shift – not only in the quality of those boxes, but also in yourself; these types of mindset endeavors often have that effect. You start to notice all the moments you don’t spend being intentional, and in turn, this seemingly bite-sized journey rapidly grows before you’re eyes.
Intentionality looks different for everyone, but I am convinced that this is a mindset God wants us to step into. We aren’t called to live menial, 9-5, lives, we are called to greatness. He has entrusted us with so much, so let’s handle it well. Let’s be intentional with every word, with every minute, with every relationship.
Be honest, say what you’ve been dying to say. Take a next step toward your dreams and passions. Plan that vacation you’ve been wanting. Text that friend you’ve been too afraid to approach. Call that family member you’ve been missing. Plan a new experience unlike any other you’ve had before. Spend time with yourself, even if just 15 minutes. Learn something new about your significant other. There are endless suggestions for ways to begin living intentionally, but to boil it down – live for experiences, not for end-goals that seem like they emulate success.
What does intentionality look like for you?