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How Embracing Intentionality Can Boost Your Life and Work Happiness

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

Now there are all kinds of things most of us don’t love doing. 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 an hour and a half with several odd pieces leftover — just a few top-of-mind activities! Thankfully those tasks, while a wee nerve-wracking or tedious, aren’t a part of our regular schedule.

I’m talking about how often do you find yourself:

  • Attending meetings you find tense or unproductive?

  • Scrolling through social media out of habit?

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

  • Engaging in tasks that involve one of your biggest skills, but it’s a skill you really don’t enjoy using (hello, spreadsheets)?

  • 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. Instead, I’m listing those activities as possible examples of things we do in life that may be the result of a lack of intention.

Because we experience life at a fast pace, it can seem we need to make quick decisions to stay moving with the current. We tend to look to others for inspiration and rely on the status quo for guidance. We want to fit in. But what can happen is we find ourselves drifting aimlessly down the wrong river.

  • We major in film studies because our adorable guy friend is passionate about movies.

  • We move to Chicago after college because all of our friends are.

  • We get a job in consulting because that’s where our contacts have contacts.

  • We hurry a relationship because being alone and dating forever sound miserable.

While the decisions made in each of these scenarios were deliberate, we can end up places as the result of input that’s the low hanging fruit versus input we more fully consider.

Enter intentionality.