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Above the Clouds

IS OVERLOOKING INTENTIONALITY ROBBING YOU OF JOY & SUCCESS?

Last week we explored the extremely effective formula for setting and sticking to New Year’s resolutions or any big goal any time of year. If you missed it or need a refresher, check it out here. That piece is an ideal lead-in to this first article of the brand new series, “Intentionally More in 2024.” In this three-parter, we’ll be exploring the superpower of intentionality — what it is, why we tend to neglect it, why it’s so powerful, how to cultivate more of it to boost our happiness and how to use it to supercharge our life and career in dynamic and meaningful ways.


 


How often do you find yourself doing something you’d rather not be doing?


Now, I’m not talking about the nerve-wracking or tedious things we must attend to at times like going to the dentist; changing batteries in a clamoring smoke alarm; assembling a piece of “DIY” furniture that claims it will take 10 minutes yet requires two hours with several odd pieces leftover.


I mean, how often are you:

woman bored at meeting

  • Attending meetings you find tense or unproductive?

  • Scrolling habitually through social media?

  • Focusing your energies at work on a product or service you lack passion for?

  • Doing tasks that involve one of your sharpest skills, but it’s a skill you really don’t enjoy using (spreadsheets, anyone)?

  • Spending time with people who are pleasant but with whom you don’t feel super connected?


Naturally, we don’t want to be ungrateful for what we have nor fall into the abyss of superficial complaints. But these activities serve as examples of activities we may do because of a lack of intention


WHAT INTENTIONALITY IS & WHY IT CAN BE ELUSIVE

Intentionality is the mindful and purposeful direction of our thoughts and actions. Living with intention involves aligning our daily choices with our personal values and goals, fostering a focused and meaningful approach to our existence. Because it’s empowering, accessible within us and leads to greater fulfillment and happiness, I consider it to be nothing short of a superpower.


superpower sign

So if this is such an optimal approach to life, so why does intentionality often elude us?


Because sometimes, we:

  • Experience life at a fast pace so we make quick decisions to stay moving with the current. Busy schedules and hectic lifestyles can limit the time and energy available for introspection and intentional decision-making.

  • Notice how others live their lives and emulate behaviors we admire but that really may not align with who we are. 

  • Feel distracted and overstimulated because modern life is filled with constant stimuli and distractions.

  • Cave to social pressures.

  • Allow the status quo to guide us because familiar, safe and comfortable nurture us. Intentional living often involves stepping out of comfort zones, embracing change, and taking risks.

  • Lack clarity on our values and priorities so we take what comes at us.

  • Unwittingly rely on social conventions because they’re accessible and expected. 

  • Are short on self-awareness, making it difficult to align our actions with our authentic selves.


Do any (or several) of these jump out as particularly relevant to you? For me, before I fully embraced intentional living, the lure of status quo comfort was tough to avoid. And ironically, it led to loads of frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction.


When social pressure hands you a tambourine (don't let this happen to you!) 🤣


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON'T EMBRACE INTENTIONALITY

A lack of intention can result in a sense of aimlessness, leading to unfulfilled dreams and untapped potential, as actions become reactive rather than purposeful. We also risk drifting away from our personal values, which contributes to stress, discontent and a lack of overall life satisfaction and happiness. 


It’s important to note that while the above is true, it doesn’t means our lives will be total rubbish without intention! In fact, there certainly can be occasions of joy and success found through serendipity and going with the flow. However, living with intention doesn’t negate serendipity or flow going; it actually gives us a formidable foundation that makes these moments that much more notable.


But when we consistently make unintentional decisions, it can look like this. We:

  • Major in accounting because our adorable guy friend is passionate about number yet we have little to no aptitude or interest in it. 

  • Move to Chicago after college because all our friends are even though we had dreams of moving to New York. 

  • Get a job in consulting because that’s where our contacts have contacts versus forging the career path we really wanted. 

  • Hurry a relationship because our friends tell us being alone is scary and dating forever sounds pathetic.

  • Buy a big house because we always wanted one (that sounds intentional so far, right??), yet it’s beyond our budget and will mean an additional 45-minute commute to our job. (nope)

And that’s how we end up places we don’t want to be! 


If you’re not sure where your intentionality prowess stands, take a few moments to reflect on how clear you are on your core values and goals and how your daily decisions align with them. And stay tuned for Part 2 of the Intentionally More in 2024 series, “Four Steps To Embracing The Game-Changing Power of Intentionality,” where we’ll explore exactly how to enhance your intentionality and take it, your life and work to the next level.


 

Mindful Transformation Coach Trie Angeleva

Mindful Reimagineur


As a Certified Coach, Owner of Planet Reimagine and with Manhattan as her backdrop, Trie thrives when collaborating with others to reimagine their life, work, leadership or organization. A 30-year vegetarian, adopted-dog mom and travel-happy meditator and yogi, Trie is a former CIO and COO and founder of Embark and The Love Monday Method. She has two Master's degrees, six coaching certifications and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Connect with Trie at trie@planetreimagine.com.

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