Stop living accidentally in the busyness of life and live with purpose by being intentional.
We live in a time of growing needs, multiplied demands, out of control schedules and a tendency to be driven by the urgent rather than the important. Over time our effectiveness is eroded merely because of our busyness, drive, and overfilled schedules. This leads to a reduction of mental, physical, and emotional stamina that leaves us tired, overwhelmed, and at a loss for a real purpose. Often in these moments, we sense that there must be a better way to live life. But this is the result of living accidentally rather than intentionally.
Here are three interesting observations. First, everyone is busy. Second, not everyone is getting the same results in their busy lives. Third, busyness does not equate to better results. Activity is just an activity. Focused, directed, and intentional action is what yields results.
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Accidental vs. intentional living.
All of us live somewhere on a continuum between accidentality and intentionality.
Accidental living can be identified by:
- Structureless and reacting moment to moment.
- Often emotionally bothered.
- Limited advanced planning.
- Unable to distinguish between urgent and essential.
- Busy but not strategic.
Intentional living can be identified by:
- Living with appropriate levels of structure.
- Seldom emotional bothered.
- Long and short-range advanced planning.
- Distinguishes between urgent and essential.
- Busy and strategic.
Intentional living requires a little forethought.
Here's a simple truth: All of us have the same amount of time, and we all make choices regarding how we will live. Those choices determine whether we accomplish much or little, live centered or chaotic, and conquer life or let it conquer us. Choosing to live intentionally is about building a life around carefully crafted purposes and priorities, which requires a plan that produces a sense of personal fulfillment and influence for the kingdom. But be mindful you only need a little forethought each day. We are not talking about hours of planning. It could start with glimpsing at your schedule at the start of each week and asking yourself "What do I want to accomplish this week?" And then following this by each day setting small goals that drive you toward your weekly goal. This doesn't require days of planning but only a minor level of forethought. (For more, see my blog on Setting Annual Goals).
Intentional living requires a base plan.
There is no intentionality without intention. I know deep right? As I outlined in my blog Setting Annual Goals, this requires us to identify the Key Result Areas (KRAs) in our lives and develop goals within those KRAs for accomplishing results in those areas. It's simple, measurable, and specific. Just as we would never initiate a significant business endeavor without a plan, it would be equally foolish to navigate the life without a plan. So a commitment to intentional living is a commitment to live our lives with a plan and a framework to accomplish that plan. A plan, even a simple one, moves us from intention toward action and to living out what we believe to be most important.
Take a moment to review the characteristics again of accidental living and intentional living and determine which one is more like your life. Then, with the help of my blog Setting Annual Goals, start moving toward greater intentionality.
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.