[From the Ideas With Intention Podcast Archives] While no longer in production, some episodes from the podcast were simply just too good not to share again. So, this is essentially a transcript of episode no. 61 originally released on July, 10, 2018 but with a few updates and edits to make it blog-friendly and to ensure the content remains relevant today. I explore what it means to be wildly intentional in different facets of our lives — from the experiences we curate, to the items we purchase, to the people we interact with, to the values we hold & try to embody. We could all benefit from adding a little more intentionality to our actions.
Complacency vs. Curiosity
When I think about what it means to be wildly intentional, the first thing that comes to mind is this idea of complacency vs. curiosity. Personally, complacency wasn’t really a word I knew or identified with. I never liked sitting on the sidelines and have always strived to follow my curiosity and to be an explorer in every sense of the word.
But despite our best intentions, we can still fall privy to complacency sometimes. We can go through life unconsciously and unaware of how our actions create our realities. Sometimes we need a gentle reminder of this. Because the very real truth is that we get to choose.
We get to choose the work we do everyday.
We get to choose the people we love.
We get to choose the projects we engage in.
We get to choose the place that we call home.
We get to choose the thoughts and topics we think about.
It’s easy to forget that we’re in control; we are the curators of our lives. We have the power to immerse ourselves into each moment and make the most of it. So, if we were more curious about this, rather than complacent, if we were more conscious and aware of this truth, I can’t help but wonder what extra magic would we seek, what boundaries would we push, what risks would we take, and what would we chase with reckless abandon.
“One life. Just one. Why aren’t we running like we’re on fire towards our wildest dreams?” – Unknown
Surely a question worth asking when we feel ourselves slipping into a state of complacency.
When Less is More
Choosing less for the sake of more, I believe, is another way to practice intentionality. This principle can be applied in so many different ways —from the items we purchase (and treasure) to the people we spend time with (and are impacted by). In other words, it’s about choosing to go deeper vs. wider and being present with what’s right in front of us so that we don’t miss the magic by looking for more.
Have you ever done this? I know I have. Classic entrepreneur. If you classify yourself as an ambitious person, you know that as soon as you reach one level of success, you’re already after the next. How often do we stop to celebrate? To really revel in our accomplishments? To feel satisfied? Joy is just as powerful a currency as money or anything else that we deem a success.
I’ve heard it said that the difference between an ordinary life and an extraordinary life is simply a matter of perspective. We do not require a ten digit bank account or a 7-figure income to live our best lives. When it’s all said and done and we’re lying on our deathbeds, we are only the sum of the stories and experiences we can share.
Protecting Your Energy
Who and what we give our energy to is important and is something to consider with intention. It’s OK to have boundaries. In fact, we should be communicating these boundaries so that others can love us better. It’s unfair to become angry, frustrated or upset when someone crosses a boundary of ours if we haven’t communicated it.
Start by making a list of “safe people” —those who you allow to speak wisdom into your life, and those who you can be both authentic and transparent with. The word authenticity has been thrown around a lot, and while I believe you should always be authentic, you can be varying degrees of transparent in different circles. Because that level of discussion, confession, detail, or vulnerable honesty is deserving of only a select few people who are intimately and intricately woven into your life.
Also, do the work to understand what builds up, what takes from, and what alters your energy. Sometimes I think this can occur on a subconscious level that we’re unaware of, like social media for instance. Have you ever caught yourself on a mindless scroll? When you finally snap out of it and put your phone down, you might feel insecure, anxious, or a slew of other emotions. So, tune in and protect that energy of yours!
Honoring and Embodying Your Values
Think about what yours are. You may have previously listed out your core values —words like freedom or creativity. That’s great and all, but pretty surface-level unless you’ve taken the time to dig deeper. What does this value actually mean in the context of your life? Know that a value doesn’t have to be a single word; it can be a concept, a relationship, a product, or perspective even.
Most importantly, how are you embodying your values?
Is it through the messages you share?
The words you speak?
The questions you ask?
The choices you make?
The items you buy?
You can honour and embody your values in different ways. It’s what adds creativity to our actions, and depth to our intentions. Personally, over the past few years, conscious consumerism has become something I deeply value. The ways in which I’ve chosen to honor and embody this value has been by starting conversations —on my social media platforms, in friendship and family circles, and previously in episodes I aired on my former podcast.
What you do matters. And how you do it matters. What will you choose to be wildly intentional about this week, this month, or this year? Even if you don’t see the impact right away, know that the intention you build in behind your actions has the capacity to be a part of lasting change.
“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead