This morning, I shared with you the P in my acronym of E.P.I.C. It was on purpose and now I want to share with you the I, which is intention. I need you to be intentional. If you notice behind me, this is my home office and that print back there says, “Live with Intention.”
Slow Down. Be Intentional
I have in my lifetime tended to lack discipline and focus. I tend to get sidetracked because I want to do a lot, I want to accomplish a lot. I want to achieve a lot and if I am not incredibly deliberate and intentional about how I choose to spend my time, I just get lost. I can go down a rabbit hole but it just doesn’t get what I want out of life. So being extraordinary is the E, being purposeful is the P, and being intentional is the third letter in the E.P.I.C acronym that was the training content I created for my clients this year.
What does it mean to be intentional? What’s the difference in being intentional and having purpose? Purpose is your why. It’s kind of your big picture lofty goal. You know it’s what you want your legacy to be but in order for that legacy to come true, you have to make choices about what you do, what you say, how you react, and how you respond?
You know after all, how you spend your days is how you spend your life. Right? How I spend today is ultimately a whole lot of those days adding up to each other and that’s going to be the outcome of what I did to occupy my time in my life.
So being intentional is really about being deliberate, being disciplined, staying focused, and making choices about how to spend your time.
It’s not just about being so busy, working so much and getting all caught up in the hoopla. Then you wake up, 6 months has passed and you are in exactly the same spot as you were 6 months ago. Have you ever done that?
Over the course of my life, I’ve woken up where years passed and I was still in the same place I was before. But it’s been a long time that I can say, that was me. Every day, I fully intend to be better today than I was yesterday. If I have a bad day today, if I get breath tomorrow, it’s another day to choose how I spend the day and how to make the most of my life.
So, I want to give you a couple tips on how to be intentional. First one is to slow down. I had to write these down because literally I keep this in front of me. I write everything down as I’m getting older and my memories are going out the window.
As much as I would like to say that I live intentionally, I have to remind myself to be intentional.
Again, to not caught up because time is flying so fast. So, first thing is really you got to slow down, hear me on this. Here we go. Get a pen. You have a pen? Write this down.
Doing more does not equal achievement.
For all of us workaholics out there, that message is for you. I don’t even know what else to say about that. Slow down.
Doing more does not equal achievement.
What do you really want?
Number two. Define your values and what you want. If this morning’s talk about purpose hit a nerve in you and you haven’t really clarified what your purpose is yet, let’s start there. What do you have? What do you need? What’s it going to take to get there? Who can help you get there?
All those kinds of questions are what you need to ask and hopefully you’ve got a great coach in your life. And if you need one just ask the question and I’ll help you in that space. You hear me? I love it.
Some people are literally going through life and they don’t even know what they want. It’s really hard to get what you want when you’re not exactly sure what it is. Sometimes it’s easiest to cut out or to recognize what you don’t want and that’s cool. Just close some doors. You may not know which exact one you want to open, but you probably have a good idea of which ones you want to close. Be intentional about that. Don’t waste time in some space, doing something that you really don’t want to be doing.
Map it Out
Third thing is set goals. Obviously. Listen, I’m not trying to bore you with it. Setting goals is important and if you’re just starting this process or you’re doing some self-exploration, try and do a little homework.
Some of you worry so much about other people that you haven’t thought about yourself in a freaking long time. You hear me? I want you to focus on you! Get this stuff nailed down. Write goals, but make them little. Make little goals and bite off little pieces. You know, they say, “how do eat an elephant?”, “one bite at a time”. That sounds kind of gross but you get the point that I’m saying. The best way to tackle the elephant in the room is take small steps, one at a time.
So, if you need to develop a new habit, don’t try to do everything all at once. Just keep it simple. Keep it small and as you accomplish something, celebrate, reward yourself even if it’s little. I know that sounds childish, but it’s not.
It’s harder as adults to develop new productive habits instead of doing what we’ve always done. Trust me. If you want to get something new and have a new result, you’ve got to do something new. And again, it takes a lot of intent to change your course and to have a different day, and a better day. A different life or a better life doesn’t miraculously happen. Lord knows, I have looked for the pixie dust that could be sprinkled on my head to give me that ideal space. That’s just not how it happens.
For me it’s happening because I’m figuring out what am I good at. That’s the extraordinary part. Right? What am I good at? I used to never say, “I’m good at anything”. Trust me. I’m terrible at a lot of things. There are some things that I do well and they excite me. Then I get feedback and information from people that say “Yeah, this is great that you do this. I want more of this.” That’s the E part.
That’s the extraordinary part and then the P, purposeful. What’s my mission in life? I’m not just randomly behaving from one day to the next or talking from one day to the next. I really am wanting to accomplish something. If this is my last day on Earth, I want to go out like this, you know, I don’t want to go out doing this.
The I is so important because in order to accomplish those goals, I have to be intentional and make really good choices about how I spend my time. I want to set goals.
Make time for you
Number 4 is taking action. You can make all the vision boards in the world and you can set all the goals in the world, but if you don’t actually go do them, it just doesn’t pop off. I’ve been guilty of that too.
The 5th is a big one for me. All the workaholics out there, the high achievers out there, you have got to learn to say no. Other people have priorities for you and other people want you to do things for them. Staying focused on what you intend to get done is so critical and there there’s just not an infinite amount of time in every day.
We all get the same number of hours and how we choose to spend them is in fact a choice. I want you to feel that it is a choice and it’s your choice. It’s not how your spouse chooses for you to spend your time or even your children.
You know, I have to make those choices. I’m the adult so we get to make those choices. So, you gotta say no and I love this quote from Jonathan Fields. He wrote this book called “How to live a good life” and it says “Until you cultivate the ability to say no to the things that fill your life, but not your soul. You’ll never have the space to bring into it the things you desperately want to say yes to.” Got that?
The point is, if you say yes to everything everybody else wants you to say yes to, there’s very little time left for you to say yes to actually what you want to do. So, the I is for being intentional. You’re already extraordinary, be purposeful, be intentional and then later I’ll give you what the c means in E.P.I.C for 2020.
Ready to be epic? I know you are. Thank you so much for the private messages, feedback about doing these, man. ‘m just thankful there’s even anybody that wants to hear me talk so I appreciate you all so much.
Enjoy the rest of you day! Talk to you soon. Have a great great day. I know you’re ready!