I haven’t been posting much. Things are fine. Maybe better than fine. Most days I’m finding happiness and really enjoying life. But I haven’t been living with intention, and haven’t felt like posting much despite having any number of draft posts in the hopper. I’ve gone a long stretch here, years, living an intention filled life – that is, I was setting and accomplishing goals and was very purposeful and methodical. Lately, I’ve taken a break from that, and focused on the minutia of the moment and with that comes less thought and worry about the future or past and more joy. I still partake in activities that are good for me. Healthy eating. Working out. Sex. Fun parenting. Engagement and work success. Reading. It’s just that any planning or goal accomplishment during this time was whispy thin and not heavy. Any “work” was simply embracing the activity and wasn’t without some end goal in mind.
This was my experiment with living without intention. As one who has spent the better part of my life planning things and executing those things, it was weird to take a pit stop at the mile marker. But this way of going through the motions and living without intention is how many live every day. They work. They get home. They take care of household duties. They check out in front of a screen of some sort before going to bed and doing it all again. They aren’t working towards some master goal list. They don’t have a vision that guides them. Each day runs together, then they die. If you aren’t married, or don’t have kids, or don’t want to engage with (or have an impact on) the world, perhaps that’s not a bad life. If you are happy, then who is anyone, especially me, to judge. The last month (more?) I can see this way of living is short-term happy, but without intention for something greater, it seems a bit like a paper tiger or a week foundation that won’t see through to the next generation. It impacts the direction of the family ship.
One of the bigger things that sow the seeds of divorce is complacency and boredom. A husband, even a happy one, without intention in his personal life as well as the family direction, will result in a wife that is bored and a family dynamic that is feels off. It is like captaining a ship full of provisions but with no destination. Maybe you’ll find a destination you want, maybe you won’t, but the passengers and crew will feel a deep longing to have some direction and not to float aimlessly along in life. The direction or goals themselves don’t really matter, but it is the intentional living to attempt to reach these goals that drives men. It gives them purpose. And a purpose-filled life has energy and a strong dynamic. That’s the dynamic that wives can look up to and kids can respect. Like I said, unfortunately most of us go through life zombie-like and without intention.
So with daylight savings time, and a new spring upon us, it is my intention to live my life with more intention. To take the lessons of finding joy in the laser focus of the moment, but to make more of those moments working toward a greater vision. Yes, I have greater visions, even if I haven’t been attacking them during this break. With more intention I expect balance will improve. Here are my steps:
- Relax and play with my vision and purpose
- Revisit the goals I have written out (I have a goal journal I’ve written various goals into over the years) and see how many are still applicable
- Use these to find several areas I want to work for and energize my mentality toward those goals
- Rework my vision board to reflect updates, and to breath life into these areas
- Simplify and remove areas of distractions that negatively impact these goals. Have the discipline to stay out of time and energy sinks (social media, the internet)
- Establish small steps along the way and take those steps day after day. Don’t get discouraged by the bigger picture which can seem daunting. (This is how I accomplished my high Ironman Triathlon goals)
- Continue to stay present, embrace spirituality and gratitude in ways that energize me, and live/play in a healthy body and mind.
We have a a rock tumbler, and if you’ve never used one they are pretty cool. You take a jagged rock you want to polish, add some water and abrasive, and let it spin. Over time the jagged edges get warn down and the stone becomes polished and beautiful. I feel like my life is like that rock that is constantly being ground down to something improved. It doesn’t come without effort and challenges, but when you keep changing the grit and abrasives, eventually you come to a point where you barely recognize the original.
That is the journey I am on, and one I share here. Falls and insights. Good and bad. We are all living, and I want to live mine with intention and purpose and hope that is something you will too. Happy spring and enjoy the longer daylight hours doing something you enjoy.