Dear Destiny Friends,
“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.” (Richie Norton)
Please permit me to begin this article with my humble knowledge and understanding of the law. At Law school, we were taught the doctrine of actus rea and mens rea in criminal law. While actus rea consists of the conduct, result or an omission of an alleged crime a defendant is being accused of, mens rea is the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime. In a lay man’s understanding, actus rea simply means the act or conduct, while mens rea looks at the intention of the alleged defendant.
Let me explain a little further: if someone steals food, the act of stealing itself is a crime, but what plays a bigger role in the case, is the reason or the intention of the alleged criminal. That’s why the law takes into consideration the intention to determine the punishment the person will get. If the defense is able to prove the alleged defendant stole because of hunger, the punishment will be reduced, otherwise, he/she will have to face the full wrath of the law.
You may be wondering why I began this article with the law, well, the answer is simple, in whatever you do in life, you must be intentional. To be intentional, you have to live your life on purpose. For you to attain a form of success in life, you must be intentional. Intentionality is everything. Without intention, you will be like a ship without a rudder, a plane without a compass, and a human being who is merely existing as opposed to living.
When you are intentional, you might consider social media and social functions as a form of distraction. When you are intentional, you will be kind because it’s humane to have empathy as opposed to helping someone because of a vested interest.
According to Harold Kushner, “Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are. When you are intentional, you will do things that bring you joy. When you are intentional, you will make out time for self-reflection to examine the life you are living.
When you are intentional, you will be careful with how you spend/invest your money and you will know what you want and what you need. Intentional people cultivate a positive mindset. They are careful with their thoughts, words, and action.
When you are intentional you will be careful on the words you speak, especially if you don’t want to hurt your partner or close friend. Words can be hurtful if not properly chewed before spewed. Words are powerful. They can make us or break us, lift us up, or knock us down.
In our contemporary society, it is hard to remain focused in life because there are so many things battling for our attention, most especially in this age of social media where the internet showcases much information which can make us lose focus on what matters.
If you are desirous of being successful, you have to be intentional, if you are desirous of writing a book, you have to be intentional, if you want to get married, you have to be intentional, if you want to be rich/wealthy, you have to be intentional, if you are desirous of being a professor, you have to be intentional, if you are desirous of being the President of your country, you have to be intentional. I can go on and on, the list is literally endless. But the point here is that you must give time and attention to whatever you desire in life. You must be laser-focused to achieve your goals.
What then does it mean to be intentional? You are intentional when you make decisions and act on what’s important to you. When you are intentional, you set boundaries; you let people know what you stand for, what you can accept, and what you can’t accept. People who truly care and respect you will abide by your principles. Remember, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll die for nothing. Once you are intentional about your life, you will spend your time wisely
One good thing about intentional people is that they are action-oriented and have an unshakeable determination to accomplish what they’ve set out to achieve. Intentional people practice self-awareness.
Below are examples of how you can practice intentionality.
Be deliberate with your daily life
Every day is an opportunity to show the world what you stand for. To make your day fruitful, identify the important activities that will help you achieve the outcome you want and work on them. Commit to ensuring that you achieve the goals you set out for the day. Your daily activities can show the world what you value. It’s often said that if you want to know someone, look at what they do and not what they say.
Be clear on the result you want
Being specific in your thoughts, words, and action is very important. When you are clear on what you want and the importance of what you want, you wouldn’t want any form of distraction in your way. The whole world sets apart for the man who knows where he’s headed. Don’t allow people to assume or second guess what you have in mind. Human beings are not mind readers, they only work on what you show them. When you are clear on what you want, it will save you the stress of explaining yourself.
Be purposeful with your time
Be intentional and deliberate on the kind of relationships and collaborations that will help you achieve the results you want. You can do this by setting boundaries.
.Be focused and conscious
When you are intentional about your goals, you identify the result you want to achieve upfront which gives you more direction and focus. This gives you clarity on how to invest your time and energy in your priorities.
Be mindful of your relationships
You must know who belongs to your inner circle. Your friends can turn to family and your family to core friends depending on how they respect your values and boundaries. Anyone who respects you, won’t take your business and what you value for granted.
Develop healthy habits
What most people don’t know is that the greatest gymnastics is in the kitchen. If you want to shed fat, you must be conscious of what you eat and engage more in exercise in addition to eating healthy.
In conclusion, I will leave you with these words of wisdom to keep you focused.
“It’s not about what can I accomplish? But what I want to accomplish? Paradigm shift” – Brene Brown
The busier you are, the more intentional you must be” – Michael Hyatt.
Intentional days create a life on purpose – Adrienne Enns.
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a mindset coach and public speaker. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org