Intentional living means you play an active role in the life you live. You have values that guide your choices as you move towards achieving your goals. Rather than reacting to whatever comes your way, you take steps to design the life you want.
My Discovery of Intentional Living
Fifteen years ago, I was living a very traditional American life. I was a wife, a mother, and a nurse. I lived in a nice subdivision in a respectable town. My time was spent juggling work around catching high school baseball games, taxi service to summer camps, and the endless flow of dishes and laundry.
My children were growing like weeds and time was moving in light years. There wasn’t time to stop and evaluate if I was living the life I wanted. Marriage, career, home, children: I seemed to be checking off everything on the list for the American dream. I continued moving on auto-pilot.
Occasionally when I did have a quiet moment, I puzzled at my lack of contentment. Why did it always seem something was missing?
Then life shifted and the changes led to a smaller home. I loved it. I loved the smaller space where I could hear and see my children moving about during the day (and the night). Time spent cleaning was cut in half. The simple home required less maintenance. I was more content.
I began to realize my lack of contentment earlier in my life hadn’t stemmed from something missing. It was the result of having too much of what wasn’t important to me. I found I valued simplicity.
Over the last decade, I have gradually embraced a life based on what I value. I’ve turned away from the life society says I should pursue. Without realizing it, I began moving towards a life of intentional living.
The journey to intentional living begins with clarifying your core values. Your values will guide you as you make choices. Living a life based on these core values ensures the spirit of your being is in harmony with the day-to-day life you are living.
Consciously being aware of your core values can require serious soul searching. What are your core values? No one can tell you the answer to that question. Values are unique to each individual.
Here is a list of some core values to help you start considering your own. The list is not complete and you should not limit yourself to the ones here. As you read these, jot down the ones that resonate with you to create your own short list.
“When you get right down to it, intentional living is about living your best story.” John C. Maxwell
The Value of Choices
Once you have clarified your personal values, you have a clear view of the direction you want your life to go. You’ll struggle less with indecision. Now that you know what you value most, you can purposely make choices that have meaning to you. You are able to align your choices and actions with your short and long term goals.
Now is the time to write those goals out and determine the steps to accomplish them. You will move in harmony with your values. You’ll find you are living on your own terms and not the cultural conditioning of society.
You are in charge! You have the power to make your dream into a reality.
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” Paulo Coelho
Intentional living is about choosing the life you’ll live. It’s about taking an honest look at what’s most important to you and being true to yourself. Take time today to find your core values and discover the power of intentional living.