There's a sign in my office that reads, "Find something you would die for and live for it." It's a philosophy I take seriously and encourage others to follow. Do you know what that "something" is for you? I believe we should all create significance in our lives by living our true purpose and having a positive impact on others. Because if we're not, if we're all just going through life's motions, what is it all for anyway? But finding your purpose (your "one thing") and transforming your life to commit to it isn't easy. Here are some tips for living with intention.
Be good to yourself
Start by gifting yourself the time and energy to focus on you. Eat well so your brain doesn't need caffeine and sugar to function. Give yourself quiet time each day to meditate or relax to silence mental chatter. Start journaling if that helps you remove distractions and create clarity. The purpose is to start from a place of calm and well being.
Create a space to focus
Have you ever heard the saying that what you own, owns you? What you have in your house could actually be hindering your ability to have a clear focus. Your mind has to process everything that crosses its field of vision. By getting rid of clutter, you can think more effectively and be more present within yourself instead of focusing on the physical stuff around you. Another distraction is technology. Text messages dinging your phone and notifications popping up on your computer all day keeps you distracted and focused on too many things at once. Eliminate the distractions you can and take technology breaks. This will help you be more mindful and present.
Define what's important
Living intentionally requires being clear on your passions and your true priorities. It's about recognizing what you want versus what others want or expect from you. Take the time to write down what really matters to you.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What matters to me the most?
- What stirs my passion?
- What are my core values?
- What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind?
- When do I feel the most like myself?
- What am I not willing to compromise on?
These fundamental truths will form the foundation for your life. Once you recognize them and commit to honoring them, they will be the basis for any decisions you make in your relationships, lifestyle, and career. You can move through life with less doubt and confusion. It'll be easier to say no to things that take you away from your values and goals.
Remove anything that doesn't fit
Once you're clear on what your focus should be, examine what is in your life that doesn't serve it. Are you spending energy on things that distract you from or don't support your values? Remove anything from your life that doesn't create value and direct that energy towards more important resources. Don't let distractions keep you from walking the path of transformation you've set for yourself.
Figure out the next steps
After you know what you want out of life and the impact you want to make, you can create the steps needed to achieve it. What actions do you need to take? Is it time to pivot your career, adjust your work/life balance, go back to school, follow a passion? Are there daily habits you need to start (or stop) that will equate to large changes down the road?
Accept the challenges
On the road to transformation and living with intention, you will hit some obstacles. It's part of the journey. Whether those are internal or external, let these obstacles make you, not break you. Accept the challenges as they come, for those faced in the spirit of living your truth can only become powerful life lessons and opportunities for further growth.
Too many of us spend our whole lives on a treadmill, going towards a goal that is not of our own making and feeling unfulfilled. Committing to creating a life of meaning and lasting impact makes life worth living and the world a happier and better place. Ask yourself what's your "one thing" and live for it - there's no better time than now to start reaching for the life your heart wants.