1. a thing intended; an aim or plan.
1. a state of happiness and satisfaction.
Why these two words? Why should you live your life with these two words in mind? Here’s why. It’s because a life that’s full of contentment is one that recognizes that life is worth living. It’s because a life that’s intentional, a life that’s aimed and directed makes the most of the life we’ve been given.
We’re given one life and we have the option to make it whatever we want.
We also have the option to simply coast through this one life and take things as they come. We can subscribe to the trends, do what we’re told, drudge through a nine-to-five job, punch in, punch out, drown in debt, binge on whatever suits us, and float along. Every day. Every Week. Every Year. The same thing.
Sadly, when it comes to living our lives, many of us fall into option number two. I’ve spent my fair share of time in that option, but eventually it caught up to me. It starts out as a perpetual sense of boredom, a quiet dissatisfaction, but ultimately grows into an intense yearning. For what, we’re not quite sure, but something is off. We can feel it.
What’s off is ourselves. What’s off is our approach to life. Somewhere along the road, many of us forgot what it means to truly live.
Webster defines life simply as “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.”
For many of us, life is simply the capacity for growth, but actual growth doesn’t ever seem to happen. We have the ability to create continual change, but we opt for the same ole’ same ole’. This isn’t a criticism. It’s simply the norm. It’s the norm because the world’s made it easy to live that way. It’s so easy to coast, to float along, and to do the same thing we’ve always done.
Living intentionally seeks to upend all that. To live with intention means to really live, to grow, to change, and make the most of life you’ve been given. To live with contentment is to live in a state of gratitude, to embrace every precious moment, and to realize that life is not something to be wasted.
The words are complimentary in the best of ways. By slowing down and being thankful for your life, for the blessings you’ve been given, you start to realize that ever moment is valuable. Once you realize the value in every moment, there is a natural inclination to make the most of every moment. This creates intention. It doesn’t create ambition. Please don’t confuse the two words.
Living an intentional life doesn’t necessarily mean using tips and tricks to climb the corporate ladder, earn millions of dollars, and get on Time’s “100 most influential people in the world” list. Living an intentional life means taking your life in the direction that you choose. If that does, in fact, mean climbing the corporate ladder, then absolutely go for it. But it could also mean writing that book you’ve always dreamed of writing, launching a coffee shop, starting a business, getting outside your comfort zone, talking to that guy or girl, spending more time with your family, or perhaps even starting a family of your own.
Intent/Content is not about telling you how to live. It’s about encouraging you to live the life you really want. It’s about searching deep within yourself, discovering who you are, and acting on it. It’s about crafting life-change. It’s about truly living, in whatever form that is for you.
If you’re on board with that, then I encourage you to join me for the ride. There’s life to be lived. Let’s go live it.
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