From autopilot to conscious intent
How living intentionally can change your life
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
Do you feel time just flies by, and you’re unable to do all you wanted? You wake up in the morning, life spins too fast, and everything’s a blur. Before you know it, your day is over, and you don’t have a clue what you did or how much you achieve.
If you wish you had things under control and could get more out of life, pause for a moment and reflect on your life. Are you living your life on autopilot?
From autopilot to conscious intent
When you live each day by default, you’re disengaged from your life. You go through the motions, doing things mechanically, without knowing fully what you are doing or why you are doing them.
In the absence of a definite anchor, design or direction, random thoughts and actions rule your life as your mind wanders aimlessly.
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It’s comfortable to run your life on autopilot, sliding down the slope and doing things that come easy. But that’s not how you were meant to live — confined to the seemingly safe cocoon, just getting by, without any challenge or growth.
If you want to make something meaningful out of your life and experience fulfillment, let go of the unintentional life. Unstuck yourself, upgrade and start living on purpose.
What does it means to be intentional
When you live intentionally, you stop waiting for things to come your way and actively work for getting what you want. You make things happen.
Being intentional entails gaining clarity on yourself, what you want to achieve, where you desire to reach and what you aspire to be. It also gives you an insight into things you value and people who matter to you in life.
Living with purpose and intent, therefore, helps you learn about yourself, understand the big picture and fathom why you do, what you do. It enables you to be present in your life and feel more in control.
What happens when you live intentionally
When you are intentional, all your thoughts and actions are directed towards making efforts to get the desired outcome of your efforts and reach the end goal. You make choices and take decisions that help you move forward on your chosen path.
Clarity on what you want allows you to focus on things that are important and must be done. With intent, it becomes easier to ignore what’s not a priority or which distracts you from your goal. The shiny objects thus slowly fade in the background.
When you are intentional, you are also better able to figure out what excites you, and is your driving force, so that you’re able to motivate yourself to pursue your goals.
Here are some reasons why it is important to live intentionally.
1)Living intentionally enables you to stay connected with your deepest desires and big dreams.
2)You have a vision of what you truly want, what your life is all about and how you can get the feeling of living a fulfilled life.
3)Since you have a clear purpose, being intentional lets you focus on and plan your life so that you live proactively, doing meaningful and productive work and find value in what you do.
4)With intent, there’s a meaning and purpose in everything that you do.
5)You live in sync with your principles and there’s no conflict between your actions and core values.
6)Each aspect of your life: work, personal and relationships has clarity and you can identify what’s going well and what needs attention. This helps you balance your life and keep away from stress and ambiguity.
Living intentionally, therefore, helps you build a life you look forward to living each day.
How to be intentional
Being intentional requires you to be mindful of what you want and align your actions to your purpose. Living with intent, thus, helps you control how you spend your time and energy and be more satisfied with life.
Here are five ways you can live each day intentionally and with purpose.
1 Structure your day
Giving structure to your day lets you see a clear picture of what’s lined up for you, how you’re placed in the day, and what’s coming next.
Planning the details and establishing structure enables you to focus on your priorities, fit in errands and chores in your busy schedule and yet carve out time for yourself to do things you love doing.
Hence, following healthy routines and patterns improves your productivity, gives you a sense of control and helps you live a stress-free life.
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2 Keep your goals front and center
To accomplish great things, you must maintain a laser-sharp focus on your goals.
When you’re mindful of your goals and keep them at front and center, you’ll be conscious of everything you do. You are aware of your actions and choices, and there are fewer chances of your going off track.
A regular reminder of your goals and aspirations helps you live with intention and you know the path you are treading and the destination you are headed.
Once you’re guided by clarity of purpose, you can easily chalk out your priorities, set personal boundaries, and let go of what limits you or comes in your way of pursuing your goals.
3 Plan ahead
A crucial part of living with purpose is to plan things you want to do. This creates space for high-priority tasks and prevents over-commitment and over-scheduling.
For many people, a life of spontaneity appears attractive. They want to avoid making plans and prefer taking things as they come. However, this approach may feel exciting for some time but eventually becomes exhausting as there’s no intent or purpose in what you do.
Planning things in advance leaves little space for ambiguity. It prevents backtracking and enables you to shift gears with certainty and confidence. You can then move ahead towards your vision and achieve your big goals.
4 Identify things that matter
Living your life by design, as opposed to by default, entails that you spend time and energy doing things that add value to your life and make you feel fulfilled.
For most people, family, work, passions, health, and mental well-being rank high on the list of non-negotiables. Identifying and prioritizing these areas of your life will help you live intentionally, make better choices and say no to things that suck away your energy and time, leaving you physically and mentally drained.
Life is unpredictable and throws challenges your way. When you live intentionally, you have a vision for your life. Knowing clearly the things you hold close to your heart, you’re better able to navigate around the obstacles and figure out your way forward.
5 Connect with your beliefs
Each person has their convictions and beliefs, that they hold true and which lay the foundation of a fulfilling life. Being aware of your ideals and allowing yourself to be guided by the inner compass helps you live intentionally.
When you’re in tune with your core values, you know where you are going. You can then take purposeful action and make decisions aligned with your authentic self. As you start to live with intent, all your choices will resonate with your life’s purpose and signify what you stand for.
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You have the ability to change your life and create your own path. Living with intent and purpose is a positive choice that will bring balance in your life and improve your mental well-being.
So actively participate in your life. Begin by being conscious of what is happening around you, how you are reacting and what actions you are taking.
Being deliberate and living intentionally can increase your odds of success as you know clearly what actions need to be taken to achieve your goals.
Start small and take intentional daily action. Small tweaks and changes will soon help you build momentum and bring about a sea change in your life. Before you before know, you’ll be living the life you love living.
CONTRIBUTED BY Dr. Roopleen
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