Don’t Waste Your Intentions – The Key Ingredient You’re Missing

by Martijn
Don't Waste Your Intentions - The Key Ingredient You're Missing

What you will find in this article

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As I’m having more and more coaching sessions with people just like you, I’m finding that people don’t live with intention. They don’t live their lives, their lives are living them. And I have to admit, it wasn’t too long ago that I was also caught up in the waves of life. Being thrown from one side to another, sometimes unable to recognize what is up and what is down. And then justifying it because “that’s life”…

But, that’s not life. It’s your mind that tells you to believe that’s the way life is supposed to go. But there is a different way to go about life. I call it intentional living.

By the end of this article, you will have a full understanding of what intentional living is, why most people are struggling to live with intention, what to do to start living with intention, and how it will change the quality of your life forever.

What is Intentional Living

Most people don’t live with intention. Many of you do have goals and objectives in life but that doesn’t mean you’re living intentionally. Today’s world is perfect to do just the opposite. There are thousands of possibilities, all of which give you a quick dopamine fix, and instant satisfaction.

The problem with instant satisfaction is that it almost always eliminates the likelihood of achieving long-term satisfaction. TikTok, Instagram, Youtube shorts, porn, sweets, fast food, drugs, but also intoxicating and addictive thoughts, they all provide you with some fleeting moments of perceived satisfaction.

The problem is that the moment you’re done, or maybe even while you’re still doing whatever it is you’re doing, the satisfaction is gone. And the feeling of guilt and regret, and having wasted your time are creeping up in your mind. Either pushing to continue or feeling terrible about yourself.

Nobody starts their day saying to themselves: “Today is going to be a productive day, I’m going to spend an hour scrolling through these apps.” Doesn’t that tell you enough about the world we live in today? You can have goals and intentions, but for most of you, those intentions are wasted as you go through your day because you’re not paying attention.

Intentional living simply means to be fully present and aware of everything you do, say, or think at all times. Ask yourself this: “What is the reason I am doing this?” And if the answer is something that does not contribute to any goal or intention in your life, stop and start doing something that does add to the achievement of your goals.

Whatever you do, say, or think, do it for a conscious reason. Be mindful of them, and go through your days with purpose. Pay full attention to how you execute your intentions.

Why People Fail to Live With Intention

The reason so many people fail to live a satisfactory and fulfilling life is that they live without intention. They go to school, to work, every day on autopilot. When you are on autopilot you don’t have to pay as much attention, you can think of or even do other things in the meantime. And the problem is that they are only present while being engaged in anything that provides instant satisfaction. The things we spoke about before.

This leads to not being able to feel satisfied with anything at all. You’re not present while doing things that are important and could lead you to a better life and, on top of that, you’re engaging in addictive and destructive behavior that leaves you stuck in a place of enormous dissatisfaction.

There are so many distractions in modern life. And fewer and fewer people have a natural drive and motivation to pursue their dreams. Life is too easy and comfortable for most. And the truth is that, for many, it’s easier to choose to stay in a place they are comfortable but not happy with than to go somewhere uncomfortable but potentially happy.

The fear of taking full responsibility for your thoughts and actions is very real.

How to Live With Intention

But you can overcome all of this by living with intention. It’s very simple. Before you think, say, or do anything, consciously think of the outcome. What will this bring to your life? Are you doing this for a quick dopamine boost? Is it just a habit? Or will it bring you closer to your goals and more solid and long-term happiness and satisfaction?

At first, this will be hard work. Start with the things you do. If it doesn’t add anything of value to your life, stop doing it and move on to something that does. Then continue with the things you say. Does what you are going to say lead to something positive for you or the people you’re talking to? If it doesn’t, remain silent. And then do the same with your thoughts. Is the thought you’re deciding to think positive? If not, change it and replace it with another one that is.

I said it’s simple, not that it’s easy. This is a lot of hard work. I recommend you start with the things you do. Because usually, you do fewer things than you say and think. The same goes for what you say. You say less than you think.

Now, you can try to change your thoughts first. But most are not ready for that. By starting the other way around you become more conscious of your thoughts and the things you say as well. And it prepares you to start changing the way you think.

How Will Intentional Living Change Your Life

When you do this consistently you will inevitably see big changes happening in your life. Even when, for example, your job is not your dream job. If you’re intentional about it, you will get satisfaction out of it. But you need to be very clear about the intention.

What do you want to get out of it? Do you want to help make other people’s lives better? Do you want to save money so you can start your own business, or buy a house, or a car? As soon as your intention is clear, you’ll have the motivation and a clear purpose.

So, what can you expect to see changes in your life by living an intentional life?

Based on my personal experience and what I’ve seen in other people’s lives, these are the most important ones: 

  1. You stop wasting time and money on useless things and thoughts
  2. You feel more in control of your life
  3. You feel more motivated
  4. You stop procrastinating
  5. Your self-esteem grows exponentially
  6. You cultivate long-term satisfaction based on what you do and create, not on what you consume
  7. Your life is in continuous development and improvement
  8. You’re happier and more fulfilled
  9. You inspire and motivate others

And all of this is within your reach. You just have to make the decision to be intentional about everything you do, say, and think throughout your day and then execute those decisions and put them into practice. Because an intention without action will just remain a dream.

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