As millennials, we are often blamed for being self-centered and self-focused - a claim which I whole-heartedly deny. Just look at the sheer number of volunteer hours and interest in the nonprofit sector of our generation! One thing I blame for this misconception is our interest in living our lives with intention. Growing up, we were told by our baby-boomer parents that we could do and be whatever we wanted to be – the world was our oyster. Now that we’re stepping into the “real world,” we want to get out of it everything we can. We want to live less out of habit and more out of intent, but sometimes that can be difficult.
Living life with intention isn’t just working toward your goals or your five-year plan. Intention is the purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct. It’s being in the moment and present – aware of what you’re working toward and why. To me, living life with intention is creating the life you want, one small step at a time.
Lately, I have been working to embrace the concept of living life with intention and have established five steps to get what I want out of life. I am including them here, for you, to make it easier to get what you want out of life.
- Identify your values – What are your passions? What makes you excited to get up in the morning?
- Are you happy with your day-to-day? If not, what can be done to make it better?
- Slow down – Busy isn’t always better.
- Follow through with your plans or promises – It’s not enough to just have positive intentions, you need to act.
- Smile more!
Now, I just have to plug one of my new favorite blogs/podcasts:www.jesslively.com, or search “The Lively Show” on iTunes. While it comes off as a little kumbaya initially, Jess Lively invites fabulous guests to speak about living their lives with intention. One of the most recent podcasts interviews Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, and discusses the purpose of her new book, Big Magic, and getting what you want out of life.
Are you a visual person? (I am.) I found some inspirational quotes you can put up in your office, cubicle, or home:
- “Live your dream. Create your life. Lead with intention.” – Leslie Schwartz
- “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
- “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
- “Our intention creates our reality.” – Wayne Dyer
- “All that counts in life is intention.” – Andrea Bocelli
- “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence notices, just make your absence felt.” – Unknown
- “Authenticity is not needing external approval to feel good about your actions.” – Jess Lively
I hope the above resources will help you on your path to getting what you want out of life. Remember – we’ve got time. We’re still young. We don’t need to accomplish everything right away. I promise.