“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
― Henry David Thoreau,
Times have really changed. We all run on auto pilot. We wake up, do our morning prep and routine before work. Drive to work, pick up the same coffee along the way, put it in the same spot we always do when we get to work, and drink it at almost the same pace every day. We run on auto-pilot. Even those of us that blog about living intentionally, like myself, have trouble actually doing it. I’m no exception. So if you’re struggling, fret not my dear friend, for we are all struggling to live intentionally and to live in the moment.
We’re swimming up streams of colors we’ve never seen and will never see if we continue to keep our eyes closed to who we are. Without knowing who we are, how are we supposed to embody ourselves in an intentional life? If we cannot name our faults, then how can we live in the moment. For example, I should be sleeping right now so I can wake up early and go for a run. I’ve been trying to wake up early to go for runs for years. I’ve done it once, yesterday. Now tonight, instead of sleeping as I write this between two and three am, I’m awake at my kitchen table wrapped in a wool blanket with words pouring from my fingertips. Hopefully these words find a place to call home in your minds and hearts. to make up for the fault. Hopefully my fault, my inability to stick to a solid sleep schedule, or even my inability to sleep itself, will help even just one person.
Helping others is an intention of mine. It’s the very reason for the existence of this blog. It’s why the topics vary to a bit of a degree. I need to be able to write about a cluster of topics that are related instead of one topic, otherwise I will quickly become bored (in the past, about three posts in has been the lifespan of all my blogs). That’s another fault of mine. I think about a lot of things all at once. For that reason I find meditation, though I practice it regularly, for obvious reasons, troublesome. I’m caught constantly between thoughts of what I should be doing, what I am doing, and what shape my ideals are taking in that given moment. Alignment of those thoughts into one focused path is seldom, but I try to make it a point to achieve that singularity of purpose in my mind daily so that I can let it guide me.
So, I might write about living intentionally, mindfulness, simplicity, and minimalism, but I do struggle with all of it. I am constantly reminding myself of my goals and purpose. I had to set a motivational wallpaper on my iPhone that reads Dreams don’t work unless you do. I think that constantly motivating yourself is a key to living intentionally. Pursuing the very specific goals you’ve set for yourself. I’m not going to discuss the specifics of my personal goals but they do range from immediate to those that can only be achieved months or years from now.
Living intentionally is living out your passions, finding the things that really make you happy, and increasing them in your life. Living intentionally is setting goals and actively working towards them, even when it is a struggle to do so, or you don’t want to because of perplexing or, god forbid, boring obstacles. Living intentionally is living in accordance with your values or beliefs. It is all of these things.
I’ve spent a lot of time not living intentionally. This blog serves a secondary purpose as an exercise in living intentionally. I’ve never thought much of my thoughts, though I did share them with others and they received what I can only explain to myself as an admiration. Hours of conversations upon my philosophies in life and happiness have lead me to this – living intentionally. This was born out of an evaluation of my own beliefs through conversation and without that evaluation I’m unsure I would have ever come to the idea of living intentionally and the philosophy that it entails. With that in mind, I think that you should have such conversations as well. Speak of beliefs and values, all of them. Refine them with others. There are two types of stones used for sharping a blade. One is rough and one is fine. You may not know which stone you are that is refining the blade – a fine stone will take a very long time to sharpen the blade and the rough stone will not be able to sharpen it to it’s full potential on it’s own, but together they work much more efficiently.
What is the purpose of a life not based on living intentionally? What is the purpose of a life not focused on your values and beliefs, not chasing down your dreams and accomplishing your goals? You can only find so much fulfillment watching Netflix every night. Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix. It’s been a great pal on lonely nights with just my dog around.
Make a promise to yourself to start living intentionally. Live as intentionally as possible. Be true to yourself and honest with yourself. Identify the faults that prevent you from accomplishing this goal and work to correct them. Make a promise to yourself to live a better life through intentional living. Just make a promise to do right by yourself and those around you.