0 In Advice/ Inspiration

Living with Intention

What a beautiful drive in Reno today. D and I spent the afternoon together and had such a great time. He is my favorite person to talk to because we often have deep, intellectual, and meaningful conversations. We get each other. It reminds me of how we started our relationship, visiting through the night until the sunrise. After twenty-five years together we could still easily do this.

I got thinking about some things, about life, where we want to go, and what we want to achieve. The following thoughts came to my mind. It is something I wanted to share for my readers to consider. I find as I get older I realize the importance of goal setting and living every day with intention. I am far from perfect–quite far–and one of my past regrets is what I term “living by default”.

Are you living by default? When living by default we don’t put the choices of day to day life into context of arriving to our desired destination. Instead we often look outside of ourselves for happiness and take cues from what society says will fulfill us instead of working towards our goals. It is as if we are on a road without a map or a destination. The truth is, that the only things that bring lasting happiness are those that are congruent with who we really are. To find what this is it is important to continually question our motives, identify our values, and who we want to become. If we don’t make a point of deciding these things then life will make those choices for us. As if on autopilot we will find ourselves mindlessly going through life. This is a shame, because by default, we then give up choosing the life that we want. Living by default is the easier road in the beginning, we don’t have to worry about writing down goals and working hard to achieve them. But this is a facade, as it becomes much harder as time passes. I personally believe that this is the very reason that many of us do not achieve living the life of our dreams, and sadly, the same reason that many of us never will.

My father says that “Happiness is not a destination but is a side effect of living a righteous life.”

I agree with this in part.

Living ones dream is not a destination, but rather a continual journey of doing those things that align with core values and our purpose {which is usually where our God given talents lie}.

The only final destination on this earth is death, and I’m sure even then there more journeys in the after-life. At my age I see an abundant difference in making this journey of life by giving in (or giving up) and doing what is expected versus risking it all (the harder road at first) to actually do what one really wants. It’s scary to risk it all. The first scenario generally wins. What got us there (in that job or situation) in the first place was living by default. It seems too late to turn the ship, the tides of life are too strong, so living the dream (or moving forward with intention) is even harder. It is still doable, but would have been much easier in the beginning. Which is sad, because life has a way of making it look like it would have been harder in the beginning.

Of course, living righteously is always good and the right choice, but I ask, is it enough? Is living righteously living ones dream? I say no. It is not enough. For the most part I have lived a righteous life (I try) and still feel unfulfilled. Unless I am continually using my talents, which hopefully catapult me into some sense of fulfillment that I am finally where I am supposed to be. But this feeling may fade after one week if I am not constantly doing. I would say the closest I am to feeling fulfilled is when giving service to my fellow men. This service can come in a variety of ways. For everyone it is different. For me it is usually through inspiring by written words. However I do love a good service project. And even better, a connection with someone after feeling a prompting to reach out.

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