It is my belief that a life full of vitality, love, experiences, purpose, direction, integrity and intention is the life we all aspire to live out, to seek, to strive for. When passion ignites our lives we find a true sense of purpose, of hope and existence.
I remember being in an undergrad class during my early years of perusing an associates degree. The class was an average size, maybe 12 or 15 or 18 at most in the class. The profesor was an older gentleman, perhaps years away from retiring or even still teaching throughout his retirement. He had salt and pepper hair or maybe it was all white. I can’t recall specifically and the relevance in this context completely irrelevant. His teaching on that particular day has stayed with me all these years. “Will you ever get to the point in life where you can check off on your list that you have accomplished or completed everything you want out of life; where you are completely content, satisfied and accomplished with where you are in and have you have achieved and see no other goals, dreams, aspirations or desires on the horizon?”
I remember thinking instantaneously in that class that the answer would without a doubt always be a firm and decided “no”. Almost a decade later my belief remains that my insight has and will continue to remain with my for the continuation of my life.
You should never stop learning. You should never settle. You should never learn and not do or decidedly not continue to learn. You should never not set new goals and meet new challenges and defy expectations. You should never become content in complacency or remain in years and seasons of stagnancy in your life. A great disservice is done in our lives when we decidedly presume that this is the best life has to offer, that this is it for life. How we respond to life and it’s adversities and it’s challenges and obstacles and paths and journeys ultimately creates the life that we live out.
Are we master creators of our lives? Inevitably things will happen in our lives both good and bad and though we can’t simply create our lives with our thoughts and thinking things into existence, we do play a vital and critical role in speaking things into existence in making decisions that will create our path and in reality the path of others as our beliefs and actions and responses will in one way or another have a ripple effect on those who engage with or exchange with us.
Living a life with intention, having goals and hopes and aspirations gives us a profound sense of purpose of joy and love and allows us to give the best of ourselves to others and to the world around us. Simplicity becomes beautiful because we find purpose in even the most simplest moments and opportunities in life. We dive in to what really matters most to us and what moves our hearts. We dream and work towards a vision greater than ourselves and harp into our God given talents and skills. There is no greater beauty than a soul that is joyful, peaceful and full of love and vibrancy.
However living with intention takes continued effort, prayer, meditation and reflection. As we are ever evolving so too may our goals, our passions and our hopes. Not many of us are living with intention. Many of us are living with the here and now mentality. We get up and prepare ourselves for the day. Get dressed, brush our teeth, grab a quick bite to eat, spend hours in traffic, hours at the office, hours again in traffic, raise families, cook, clean, maybe an hour of leisure time and wake up and repeat the cycle all in the name of being able to pay the bills, put food on the table, clothing on our and the kid’s backs and if we are blessed enough save a little money for a rainy day or a night out or an upcoming vacation. This, ladies and gentlemen is the hampster wheel. The rut we remain on, running, running, running and going nowhere. Working for someone else’s purpose rather than our own. It is the death of creativity, hope and the pursuit of utilizing our God given talents.This is the majority of our lives.
“I can’t do this”, I’ve told myself on many occasions. I can’t sit in my cubicle for the next 30 years and be complacent with my salary, with what I’m doing, with no vision where I’m going. I’m doing a great disservice to myself and my children and those whom I engage with often by not giving this world the best of me. I can’t be truly happy with no vision, with no intention, with no defined purpose. In my heart I know the direction I want to take, the hopes and dreams I want to pursue and the goals I want to meet. It’s an uphill journey. One that will require huge sacrifices, time management, finances and a redirection in my life. It is a goal that ignites my soul with passion while at the very same time pushes me to defy my insecurities of “not having what it takes, not being smart enough or capable enough”. But the goal and the dream is greater than I and perhaps that is what makes it terrifying. That is what makes me stagnant and what is it about is that makes us terrified about a dream greater than ourselves? Isn’t that what living with intention is about?
Ah ha! I am learning. Living with intention will often times break us and remake us and build our lives and character to be in alignment with what we were created for. Besides loving and honoring God, loving ourselves and others and sharing our gifts and talents with others. Of course it’s going to scare us at times. Growth requires facing our fears in the face, calling them out by name and working through them. Of course life changes can be terrifying. After all, they have the potential to take us out of our comfort zone and change the course and trajectory of our selves and our lives.
And so I conclude with the belief that we should never be complacent. We should also have goals or visions, hopes and goals. We should strive daily to work towards those goals, to work towards the person we aim at becoming. We should choose to be intentional everyday whether it scares us or not. Now this doesn’t mean quit your job with the government to pursue your Doctorates degree full-time ( definitely talking to myself here) but it does mean start working towards the first step. Educate yourself on what the first or second step looks like, start praying on it and develop a plan. A road map if you will of your goals and dreams and how to meet them. I guarantee it won’t go as planned but the first step is to move towards the hoped plan and trust in God to light and guide the way. It may not result in what you preconceived in your thoughts but it will bring more intentionality into your life and intentionality is the first step in living your true authentic life that God created you for.
You are meant for greater things.