Recently, I came to a conclusion: “Tanesha, you need to be more intentional with every decision you make”. Ever since that thought popped into my mind I’ve also been giving others the same advice. The question is – what does it actually meant to be intentional?
It’s a simple answer really. Being intentional in your life means acting with purpose. Moving with intention is important because every decision we make has a consequence. According to the chaos theory, one small act can have a large impact somewhere else. This is what is known as “the butterfly effect”. Your choices impact not only your life but also others around you. Hence why we need to be intentional with things such as:
Our words – words hold more power than we think. Words can cause happiness or destruction. Words can be deceiving or full of life. Words can hurt or heal. Words can be full of wisdom or pure foolishness. Think before you speak and remember not everything needs to be said!
Relationships we form – Who we let into our social sphere can impact us and influence us. Without realising we can adopt or form new behaviour patterns. We can become addicted to people who aren’t healthy to be around. On the other hand, we can be uplifted. Our relationships can challenge us to grow and develop. The ball is in our court.
Time – What are we investing our time into? Are those things helping us grow or are they a detriment to our lives? Do they provide for us financially? Do they bring joy? Do they challenge us so that we develop or are we investing our time into things that provide no stability, don’t aid us in future aspirations and keep us in our comfort zones?
Mental and Physical health – When we take care of ourselves we glow from within and without. We are able to help ourselves and those around us. We can do so much more in a healthy state of mind and body.
The main point when discussing intentionality is ‘emotional intelligence’. To be emotionally intelligent, a person must be able to comprehend their own and others’ emotions. They must be able to manage these emotions and use them as a guide to understand a situation and deal with the emotions healthily. This includes not acting on impulse and feelings but coming to terms with; what your emotions are telling you, why you may feel that way and how you should act. Emotional intelligence is where you can find a balance between emotion and knowledge to direct you – this is wisdom.
So maybe you’re asking, “How can I be intentional?”
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you act:
What is the purpose for this step?
What are the benefits and disadvantages?
How does my choice effect those around me?
Am I acting purely on emotion or am I finding a balance between logic and feeling?
Being intentional most certainly takes practice. I know there are still days I allow my emotions to overwhelm me and I don’t even ask myself the above questions. I just proceed without caution. I then have to deal with the consequences and reflect on how certain situations could have really been avoided. Why put yourself through all that pain and hassle when if you made purposeful choices many things could be less complicated? It is important to hold yourself accountable and do what’s best- acknowledging that what is best for you (and others) may not always be the decision that brings you joy but in the long run it will bring peace.
Written by Tanesha