Intentional | Are You?
The greatest experiences in life are (usually) not the result of an accident. The greatest successes, achievements and accomplishments don't happen randomly. While some people do win the lottery, others get struck by lightning.
The greatest success stories are a result of faith and intentionality.
I think it can go without saying that cultural values are pretty backwards. We are required to take a test in order to drive (legally). You can't (legally) carry a gun in public without passing a test to get a concealed carry license. But conversely, you can get married and/or have a child without knowing anything about either/or.
The ugly truth is - most people want things in life that require little effort on their part to acquire. They want the six pack, but they don't want to sweat (or eat unsalted broccoli). They want the big house and expensive car, but not the bill that comes with it. They want the love of their life, but they don't want to become the kind of person to attract and sustain it. It's almost as if we have made it politically correct to be hypocritical without having to admit it. It's a subtle form of entitlement. Even our education system (as well as our government) is guilty. They don't mind plunging a person into student loan debt, with no guarantees that a person will get a job when they graduate.
I would dare to say that much of the misery we experience in life is caused by this very mentality. That somehow we deserve to reap that which we haven't yet sown. That we should receive interest on an investment we haven't even made. The only time this is considered acceptable is when we are kids. And only for a few years at that! Yet, we can be 40 years old with the mentality of a 4 year old - 4 year old expectations in tact and all.
This is something we should have been taught by the education system. It's unfortunate that the governing systems fear the empowerment of those they administer. Even if that empowerment created a world that we all claim to want (one of peace, love, unity and mutual prosperity).
If you want to change your life, you will have to get this one thing right. You will have to take responsibility for the one thing you can always control (yourself). And you will have to start being intentional. You know the old saying "The early bird gets the worm" - why is that? Because he was intentional!
The definition of being intentional is to do something on purpose or deliberate. Whatever you want in life (right now) will - or will not - happen to the degree of your intentional efforts. Life rarely seems to give out freebies or winning lottery tickets. If you live by luck alone, then there is certainly no reason to keep reading this.
A Message For The Miserable
As an empathizer (90% of the time) I understand the difficulty and pain that this life can bring. I understand how hard it is to get up and keep going when everything in you wants to quit. And there are times to sit, ponder, listen and recalibrate. But we always have to get up and start moving again.
If your heart is beating and your lungs hold air - that's a sure sign that you are supposed to be living not surviving.
Not to go all Celine Dion on you but our hearts DO go on! Which means everything else does as well. Pain is a part of life - it is inevitable. Suffering is a choice. All suffering comes through an uninvestigated story - through the view of a past "self".
Whatever we choose to stay focused on is inevitably where our energy and resources go. The difference between those who are defeated today, but become the greatest success tomorrow, is that they didn't focus on their defeat. It doesn't mean that they didn't feel it, experience it, or have to overcome the turmoil that comes with it. They choose (intentionally) to keep their focus on a compelling future not a momentary hurdle.
In order for you to stay miserable, you have to do just that - stay there. You have to camp out in misery. Or you can choose a different outcome. I'm NOT saying it is easy! But I am saying it is necessary to have what you really want.
Getting What You Really Want
What does it take to have what you really want in life? Three words: intentional decision making.
As the old saying goes "If you want to take the island you have to burn your boats". True decision making is the intentional effort to produce the desired outcome. True decision making is resolute. It is rarely (if ever) changed. And if it is changed, in most cases, it's changed because a better decision for a better outcome was made. One of the greatest success secrets known by the wealthiest and most innovative people of our time is: every one of them had the habit of REACHING DECISIONS PROMPTLY, and of changing these decisions SLOWLY, if, and when they were changed.
The Bible says in James 1:8 - "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
The path to fulfillment is on the road of intentional decision making. If you want more wealth, what would you have to be intentional about to get it? If you want more love, what would you have to be intentional about to experience it? If your relationship(s) or marriage sucks, what would you have to be more intentional about to make it passionate and fulfilling? If you hate your life, what would you have to be intentional about to fall in love with it?
The best things in life are not the random result of accidents or luck. Responsibility and faith are found in intentional decision making. God will do what only He can do as long as you do what you can do. To walk on water, we must decide to step out of the boat and never look back.
What intentional decision(s) can you make (starting today) that could lead you to the very things you long for most?