What Does it Mean to Live Life Intentionally?
It takes half your life to discover life is a do-it-yourself project. ~Napoleon Hill
I love Hill’s metaphor for the power we have over our own lives and how well it relates to living life with intention.
If you think about it, do-it-yourself projects are really all about choices – choosing to undertake the project in the first place, knowing it will take commitment and resources; choosing whether to follow the directions and examples of those who have gone before you, or create your own unique version; and accepting the fact there may be missing pieces or broken bits, and even a redesign or two necessary along the way to complete the project.
Living Intentionally is about taking control of your life by committing to make conscious choices rather than simply letting life ‘happen’ to you.
- Choosing the life you really want for yourself.
- Making the choices each day that will take you closer to achieving that life.
- Understanding that that while there will always be obstacles and unexpected detours in life, it’s up to you to choose how you respond to them, and above all …
- Being courageous enough to own your choices – no excuses, no regrets.
Choosing to live your life with intention could be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make; but there’s a price of admission to begin this journey to live intentionally and that is to be willing to do the work to become really clear about what’s important to you and the overall outcome you desire for your life.
If I had my life to live over again, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax. I’d be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers and watch more sunsets. I would have more actual troubles and less imaginary ones. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else, just moments, one after another… I would pick more daisies. – Nadine Stair (at age 89)
Some of the most insightful thoughts on living can be found in quotations, so to inspire you on your own do-it-yourself project, I’ve selected a few of my favorite thoughts on living life to the fullest – intentionally.
The choices we make to live life with intention …
- Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. ~William A. Foster
- Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. ~Mary Anne Radmacher
- With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice. ~Oprah
- Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. ~Groucho Marx
- Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise. ~Maya Angelou
- The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams. ~Oprah Winfrey
- When you set an intention, when you commit, the entire universe conspires to make it happen. ~Sandy Forster
- Choose your intentions carefully and then practice holding your consciousness to it, so it becomes the guiding light in your life. ~John Roger
- By all means nurture your dream … but the principal thing is not to remain within the dream, but to act with intention to convert it into reality. ~Author Unknown
- Our intention creates our reality. ~Wayne Dyer
- The moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred… unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- For one minute every hour, stop and focus on your intention. It works miracles. ~Dave Buck
- Intention is the core of all conscious life. It is our intentions that create karma, our intentions that help others, our intentions that lead us away from the delusions of individuality toward the immutable verities of enlightened awareness. Conscious intention colors and moves everything. ~Master Hsing Yun
- Life does not obey our expectations. Life obeys our intentions, in ways we may not expect. ~Lloyd Strom
- It is not good enough for things to be planned – they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation. ~Walt Kelly
- I believe the choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself. ~Oprah
- The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs. ~Joan Didion
- The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. ~Albert Ellis
- When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. ~William James
- I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. ~Henry David Thoreau
If you have a favorite quote that’s inspired your life I hope you’ll share it with us in the comment section below.
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