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TIME (Part 3): Intentionality, with Direction

As we change our mindsets in traveling down the road to success, we constantly seek guidance, indications and assurances about our paths, our choices, and our decisions in the desire to have TIME on our side. Intentionality is the next leg in the table of TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy).

Be sure to read Success: It’s About TIME! and TIME (Part 2): First, It’s About Tenacity

Intentionality is a mindset that requires us to act, to do something deliberate, willful, and purposeful. Being intentional means making choices and taking actions based on our greatest values and purpose (the magnet). It involves taking responsibility and freeing ourselves from self-limiting conditioning; the habits and actions of others. Intentionality is so much more than trying hard and we need to understand why.

Many of us go through our days awake but following patterns we’ve developed over the years. We are going through the motions, doing things at home, online, and at work without much forethought. Contrast this with the idea of being intentional: everything you do is done with purpose, fulfilling one of your core values (for example, respect). Imagine everything you do is done with a purposeful intent. This sounds easy to do, but is having good intentions good enough? Nelson Mandela said, “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

It is this intersection of intention, vision and action that creates the picture of where we want to end up in life and the path we choose to get there. Andy Stanley says in his book The Principal of the Path, “Direction, not intention determines your destination.” We can “intend” to do all sorts of things, but until we point ourselves in the right direction and start taking action, we won’t ever get to our destination or reach our goals. What we can conclude, however, is that having good intentions alone is never good enough and is only part of what it means to be intentional.

There is a simple but effective practice for intentionality. Before you take your next action or make that next decision, take a moment and state your intention aloud. Why are you making this decision or taking this action? Is it for you or others? Is it out of competition, compassion, desperation, want, need? Is it going to motivate others or make someone happier?

After you do this, make the decision, take the action and be mindful of your intention. The process of learning is continuously evolving. Even when we are stuck in old mindsets and habits, life has a way of showing us something new. The great thing is we don’t have to sit still and wait for things to happen to us, we can instead choose with intentionality to broaden our own thinking and experiences with a direction in mind and a plan for accomplishing it. With this step you have one more piece in moving from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side.”

What will you do today to make this happen?

Be sure to check out Dan’s column Performance Thinking with Dan Sheedy for related reads here.