“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.” – Richie Norton
Wake up. Go to class. Clock into work. Sit in meetings. Finish homework. Repeat.
Life isn’t meant to be a cycle, it’s meant to be an opportunity for growth, innovation, changing perspectives, and forward thinking. So why have we all fallen victim to the clock? To the standards? To what is expected of us? You aren’t a pawn in society’s game, you are an individual surrounded by endless possibilities, but it is your responsibility to grasp them.
What is the purpose of what you are doing? After completing my first semester of college I realized that my greatest accomplishments came from being strained to discover meaning behind the things I took part in, and being forced to reveal not only what I was doing, but more importantly why I was doing it.
Too often in life we become comfortable with the answers, “Well it’s what I am supposed to,” or “It’s what I am expected to do,” or “It’s what I am comfortable with.” I am guilty myself of succumbing to such a thought process, but these answers do not inspire action, they hinder progress.
About half way through my first semester of college I remember sitting down with my advisor overwhelmed with the crippling responsibilities I was avoiding and I said to her, “I cannot decide on a major to prepare me for law school, I’ll just get a business degree.” She looked at me and said, “But why?”
It was at that moment when I realized that I did not have my purpose at the heart of my decisions. I had lost the driving forces I once had so tightly gripped, and instead settled on what others expected of me.
Then she broke it down for me, “Well why do you want to go to law school?” This was the awakening that I needed, of course that answer was simple, I’ve wanted to to promote a just society where everyone is given an equal and fair opportunity to be heard for as long as I can remember, but I had let the objective slip out of my sight.
Discovering why we want to pursue something isn’t difficult to pinpoint, but keeping it at the forefront of our life is what is challenging. If you can’t discover why you are doing something, then maybe you should be asking yourself if it’s what you should be doing at all.
From there on, we discussed not what I was doing with my major and the classes I was taking, but rather where my decisions and drive stemmed from.
Intentionality. That is the single word I took away from that day in my advisor’s office. Here at college I have the opportunity to do whatever I please, but it will not matter unless I understand the meaning behind it.
Life gained so much meaning when I began to ask myself ‘Why do I do what I do?’ ‘Why do I wake up and go to class each day?’, ‘Why do I go to the library to study for hours on end?’, ‘Why do I hang out with the people that I do?’
Richie Norton once said, “Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.” It is crucial that in life you never settle for the ideas others have for you, do not let your potential be diminished by the limited visions of others.
I challenge you to take a step back and evaluate if what you are doing is for yourself, or if you have fallen under the pressures of society. You should never look at life and say, “Well I have to,” but rather think of each day as opportunity to start again, change the ‘have to,’ to ‘I get to’ and change the routine into a self evolution.
Challenge you thinking. Tilt your perspective. Establish goals. Live Intentionally.