Living Intentionally

This is a guest post by David McMillian.  He is a business owner and speaker and one of my best friends.   You can read David’s blog or visit him on Twitter.  

intentional large

“THE CHOICES WE MAKE TODAY DEFINE THE STORY WE TELL TOMORROW.”

 

I’ve thought a great deal about making decisions, legacy, and the future over the last 10 years in my journey in leadership.  Whether it was at home or work, falling in love, or attending @catalystleader, at some point in the last year I’ve come to to the conclusion that being present in the moment requires being intentional about the choices we make every day.

I never really used the word intentional in my vocabulary until about 12 months ago.  At first, it didn’t seem that big of a moment, but looking back it will be one that will define the rest of my life.  We all enter relationships with certain expectations that we take for granted.  I did the same.  Never in the context of being ‘intentional’, but in my heart I wanted this relationship to be a great story, one better than the rest.  This vision and idea of a better story drove me to make choices that were intentional.
Being intentional isn’t easy, but being intentional requires vision in 2 areas:  your heart and your story.
 
 
Heart – Are You Leaning Into Your Purpose And Gifts?
One of my favorite movie characters is Ballium from Kingdom of Heaven.  Ballium believes that a man isn’t a man if he doesn’t make the world better.  All of his actions and heroics are driven by the belief.  He makes choices to protect and save the kingdom because he believes in his heart that this is his purpose.  Each of us has a purpose and certain gifts.  When you make choices from purpose that strong and clear, you will find yourself living intentionally.
 
Story – If Your Life Was A Story, Would You Read It?  
 
Deciding to live a great story is life changing and a powerful motivator.  Every story has a character that overcomes conflict to achieve and resolve something.  When you know the story you want to tell you make decisions that drive the story – that is living with intention.  If you’re every feeling stuck or wondering what choice to make, play the next scene of your story out.  My mentor (@jcrichie) gave me this piece of wisdom and it has been incredibly helpful in being intentional about my own story.å  What steps could you take to live a better story?  
Everyone should be intentional leaders, because we are ALL the leaders of our own lives, and many of us the leaders in our families, social circles and organizations.  Intentional leadership isn’t easy.  And isn’t just a catch phrase.  It’s a tool and compass to start every day with purpose to make better choices.  Choices that allow you and me to be an intentional leader at work and home.
How are you living intentionally?
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