WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INTENTIONAL?
When I searched the meaning of the word ‘intentional,’ I found the following definition;
‘done on purpose’ or ‘deliberate.’
The word ‘purpose’ means ‘the reason for doing something.’
So overall, the word intentional means there is a specific reason you do what you do. There is a particular outcome you desire, something you want to see or achieve through your actions, thoughts, and words daily.
I’ve been thinking of my intentions lately, why I do what I do every day, even the simple or mundane things. Why do I clean our home, do laundry, binge-watch series, or eat certain things? Then I realised that some of the everyday things I do sometimes don’t have any purpose. Sometimes, I do it because it’s my excuse not to do what I’m supposed to be doing, for example, watching a series when I should be working on my novel. Those things are not intentional; they are easy. I do it because I am programmed to do it through years of doing the same thing every day.
When I write or share something on my blog or podcast, I don’t just do it because I am programmed to do it. I do it to inspire and motivate others or to share a relatable part of my life so that others might feel seen or heard and less alone. That is the purpose, the intention of my writing.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MY INTENTIONS
Then I asked myself how many things I do that are intentional or have a purpose. The answer was few, which made me sad and a little bit angry at myself.
I want to go through life with a purpose and a clear direction for my life. I want my life to mean something. I want my work to mean something. At the end of my life, I want to know that I have fulfilled what God put me here to do. I want to be more intentional about my thoughts, actions, and words, whether written or spoken. I want it to bring life to others.
HOW TO BE MORE INTENTIONAL
The question then came to me: What can I do or what should I do if I want to be more intentional? It’s certainly not easy because being intentional requires doing the work. It takes renewing your mind and changing old habits into new habits. However, it is not impossible.
For one, whenever you experience a negative thought creeping into your mind, you stop before it overtakes you and switch to the more upbeat, life-giving alternative. Give your thoughts purpose. When you want to watch a third consecutive episode of the current series you’re watching, stop and ask yourself, is there a reason for this? Will this help me fulfill my purpose? What can I do instead?
Write, create art, call a friend or family member and check in, go for a walk and clear your mind, pray, or read. Simple things like that can awaken a part of you that you thought had died long ago.
I think of the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible. When Ruth went out to work in the fields, Naomi realised that the land belonged to Boaz. Later in the story, Naomi instructs Ruth to go to the threshing floor so that she may find a husband and a new home. There was purpose in Naomi’s actions, and there was intention. Eventually, that filtered down through the rest of history.
YOU STILL HAVE A PURPOSE
I’d like to believe that when we wake in the morning, God still has a purpose for our lives, which means we have no choice but to be intentional about who we are and what we do. God himself was intentional when He created us. Knowing that should give us enthusiasm for the day ahead and excitement to fulfill that purpose. It should make us curious about what life offers so that when we lay our heads down at night, exhausted but fulfilled, we know we have completed what God has called us to do.
Every single day we have on this earth is a gift. We don’t get the same day twice, and time moves swiftly.
Let’s be intentional about how we use the time we have.