Live With Intent

There is one key style of living that is opposite of everything this blog stands for. It is extremely common. Everyone has been guilty of it at some point in time. I’m going to recommend that you do NOT do the following…

Do not live without being fully aware of what you’re doing.

Here are some warning signs that might mean you’re not living fully aware…

  1. Finding yourself wanting to waste or kill time.
  2. Wasting or killing time.
  3. Not being able to recall any accomplishments,  progress, or milestones for your life in the past week (though this could simply be a memory issue :-P).
  4. Mindless web browsing like I was just doing several minutes ago that prompted this article.
  5. Having no plans for the recent future. Keep in mind that even “enjoy the holidays” is a plan (a fine one).

Welcome to the Age of Distraction.

Watch TV. Eat a sandwich. Read the newspaper while eating. Your brother calls and you talk for 46 minutes. Text with friends for 24 minutes. Jump into the shower. Read Deep Existence. Recommend Deep Existence to everyone you know. Jump out of the shower.

And as you look at the clock, it’s past your bedtime (6 PM)! You just spent one of your days, and you’re not sure what you did or why. You had no plan. You just jumped from one activity to the next. You acted like a lightning bolt, which is usually cool, but not this time because you just followed the path of least resistance.

Don’t do this.

tomorrow

Instead say, “I’m going to bring it tomorrow!” And make sure you know what “it” is.

Have a plan, even if it is to watch the entire first season of LOST in one day. That is MUCH better than having no plan and bumbling around like a lazy lightning bolt. The goal here isn’t productivity, it is intention.

Live intentionally and you’ll enjoy life more. Live intentionally and the things you do will make more sense. You’ll feel guilty less.

I’m going to intentionally take a shower right now at 2:06 AM, just to enjoy the hot water (sorry, environmental folks). Why? After thinking about it, I decided that I’d like to do it. That’s all.

After the shower, I’m going to drink 4 oz. of water and go to sleep because I have some things planned for the morning. That’s right. I’m going to throw away or give away a great number of my worldly possessions tomorrow. I’m being intentional about it.

Challenge yourself right now. Have you been living with great intent or weak intent? Those with weak intent are taken by the current. It’s ok if you’ve been slacking, because the present moment is neutral.

Imagine that you wake up every day with your mattress on a river flowing South (you get pranked every night). You have two options:

Passive living: Float down the river (South) like a piece of driftwood and hope that you see several salmon along the way.

Intentional living: Swim or paddle ashore and travel North, West, East, or South – with the freedom to switch directions and change your speed at any time.

About the Author

I'm lazy, but you can call me Stephen. When you're as lazy as I am, you need superior strategies to live well. My strategies are so effective that I'm productive every single day. As the world tries to figure out how to always stay motivated, I create strategies that don't require it.

Riley Harrison

When activities bring me real joy or satisfaction I’m OK with them. It the activities that are done by default and leave a residue of restlessness that bother me.
Riley

Stephen Guise

“It the activities that are done by default and leave a residue of restlessness that bother me.”

That is very well-said. I have had the same experience.

Scrollwork: Quirkyisms from a Tropical Transplant

I’ve learned that certain hours of my day are best for productivity and others are better for meditative activity (translation: mindless motion). When I’m too sleepy or tired to design my fabric art, I feel less restless if I’ve planned ahead and left myself a small item already pinned up that just needs stitching. The repetitive motion requires very little engagement, but I am still spending the time intentionally. And while I’m stitching I’m always listening to a book on CD, because it is my intent to finish one book a week, as I’ve done for the last three years. But hey, intending to view an entire season of Lost in one day is just as commendable!

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