Living with intention can produce positive changes in all aspects of your life.
Is your life a series of mind-numbing routines with a job you do not enjoy, poor budget plans, and constant stress?
You may need to rejuvenate your world and your financial situation with an understanding of what it means to live with purpose, focus, and intention.
When it comes to your finance, intentional living can lead you to financial wellness by guiding you towards saving more, spending carefully, investing wisely, clearing debts, and achieving business goals.
Intentional living starts with knowing your purpose, developing focus towards that purpose, then making sure your actions align with your goals.
Your purpose is a gift to be honored and the reason you were born. It is what awakens you and makes you glow.
Whether you agree with that or write it off as new age mumbo jumbo, the fact remains that you could be existing in this world, yet feel like you are not living.
In the business world, having no sense of purpose, focus and intention will put you at risk of making bad financial decisions, having a job you hate, and feeling out of sorts.
It is essential we figure out our purpose, live with intention and develop focus.
What does it Mean to Live Life with Intention?
We live in a society that moves like a tipsy driver going above the speed limit.
Every day, we get up and set ourselves on autopilot, then come crashing down on our beds at night with the nagging sense that this is not what we want life to be.
Some hate their jobs, marry out of convenience, have friends that do not contribute positively to their growth, and feel exhausted time after time.
This fast-paced living may seem advantageous to our aim of making more money.
However, it can also prove damaging when we are not intentional over what we do with our income.
Have you ever wondered what drains your income, why you are plagued with so much debt, and why it seems you are often a sucker for scams?
That is what happens when you live life without intention, focus, and purpose.
Also, without a purpose, money becomes nothing more than green paper with pictures of dead presidents on them.
Are you Living with Intention?
Here are some questions to consider:
- Why did I choose this job?
- What is my dream career?
- How much do I save daily/weekly/monthly?
- Did I really need to buy this stuff?
- What productive thing do I do each day?
- How do I pay my bills?
- Where does my money go to?
If you have no clear answer to one of these questions or your answers get you uncomfortable, you need to read on.
Intentional living means knowing why you do the things you do and feeling satisfied with this knowledge.
It is having good reasons for your career, love life, finances, beliefs, college education, and schedule.
If your life was to be a word in the dictionary, intention supplies it with detailed meaning.
Living with intention is not predicting the future. It means you understand what you are doing at present and how it impacts your future.
It also helps you avoid habits and people that will hinder your progress.
Consider this example below:
“I’m registering for this seminar because I need a promotion at my workplace.”
The above statement gives a reason for an action. Thus, it has an intent.
Living with intentions does not mean you will not make mistakes. No one is all-knowing.
We all mess up every now and then. However, being intentional enables you to make sense of your failures and mistakes, learn from them and get back on track.
In your finances, living intentionally involves knowing what you do with your money.
It also involves keeping track of how you make your money, what you spend it on, how much you save, the amount you have invested, the business you invest in, what you give to charity, and so on.
Intentional living lets you align your actions to your purpose and put off distractions.
You cannot say you want to live intentionally focus if you do not know your purpose in life and develop your ability to focus.
Why is Intention, Focus, and Purpose so Important?
To understand the importance of intention, focus, and purpose, you need to know what they mean and how they relate.
Your purpose is the overall ‘why’ of all you do. It lets you know how you can effect change in the world around you, however minimal.
A young boy who can make people laugh may see his purpose as aiding people to fight depression through comedy.
With that in mind, he can know what skills to acquire, the family he would like to have, who to marry, what to study in college (or whether to get a college degree), and how much money would be needed, gained, saved, invested and spent.
A 2009 study of over 73,000 Japanese men and women found that living with purpose gives you a better chance at a long life.
According to the study, those with a strong connection to their sense of purpose tended to live longer than those who didn’t.
Researcher Dan Buettner equally identified purpose as a factor that centenarians share.
In 2014, researchers made findings that suggest that “having a purpose in life appears to buffer against mortality risk across the adult years widely.”
If you have not discovered your purpose, get a headstart with these tips below.
How to Discover your Purpose
- Read books on the subject.
- Assist others as much as you can.
- Take note of what people appreciate about you.
- Belong to a community (church, book club, or any other organization).
- Know what bothers you the most in the world.
- Find out what you care about.
- Discover what you are good at.
- Know your personality. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
- The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
- How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield
Intentions are the reasons behind the actions you take and your actions need to tally with your purpose.
The intention is to carry out your purpose at street level, day after day, making sure you live life with a reason.
If the purpose is a city, the intention is your Google map.
You show intentions in your finance when you have reasons for what you spend on and why you spend, how much you save, and what you give out.
Being satisfied that your financial decisions points towards your purpose and values is what having intentions is all about when it comes to money.
is your ability to pay attention to the things that matter and avoid distractions.
For example, when watching your favorite movie, you pay attention to the scenes, characters, actions, and dialogue.
You will also strive to avoid distractions like background noises and wandering thoughts.
In the business world, focus is paying attention to your work, the money you make, and how you use it.
If you are told to write a report at your workplace, focus is ensuring you finish the report in good time and not be distracted.
You can maintain focus by:
- Arranging and prioritizing tasks with a to-do list.
- Keeping a clean environment.
- Taking time-outs from technology.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Keeping your eyes on the prize.
- Having a budget.
To live a satisfying life and enjoy financial prosperity, you need to know your purpose, be intentional about carrying it out, and not lose focus.
Living with intention merges all three concepts.
The 7 Ultimate Steps to Living with Intention
1. Figure Out Who You Are and What You Want
To start living with intention, you need first to figure out the type of person you are.
While you may evolve in the future, you are a unique person now.
Know your personality, beliefs, values, strengths, and weaknesses.
For example, you could be an introvert who is Catholic, values respect, good with numbers but tone-deaf.
Perhaps you are the extrovert who’s liberal, values freedom and kindness, can talk for hours, but zones out in a math class.
Know who you are when it comes to your financial life too.
Are you a saver or a spender?
Do you prefer a 9 to 5, or is entrepreneurship the way for you?
What do you value when it comes to finance? Financial freedom? Is it living a comfortable life or being a philanthropist?
In addition, you also have to know what you want. In your financial life, you need to brainstorm and get something more than “I want to be rich.”
You could consider these questions:
- What is my ideal life?
- What is my ideal career?
- How do I view money?
- Do I like my present job?
- How much would I want to be earning per month?
- How much would I want to have in my account?
- Why do I want to be rich?
- What are my financial goals?
- What financial legacy do I want to live for my kids?
- How would I like to contribute to humanity?
2. Live According to Your Beliefs, Values, and Purpose
Another essential step to keep in mind after self-discovery is living life based on what you believe, your values, and your purpose.
Make it an important decision every morning to not deviate from what you hold to be true and what you have discovered to be your purpose on earth.
If possible, write it down and read it before your day begins.
The above also applies to your finances.
Let us say you value financial freedom, living according to this value could mean paying cash rather than use your credit card.
3. Work on your Financial IQ
If you want to be more intentional in life, growth is necessary.
It is essential that you know how money works and the best strategies to acquire, spend, and manage your finances.
Thus, you need to work on your financial intelligence.
You can do this by improving daily. No matter how busy you are, there is always room for learning.
Attend seminars, read books on financial intelligence, get ideas from the rich, read autobiographies and biographies of successful people, talk to investors, watch Ted talks, listen to podcasts and gain knowledge.
4. Develop Positive Habits
Habits can point us towards a right direction or make us derail.
Look at your present practices related to your finances and figure out which ones you need to change.
Below are some bad financial habits you you should look out for:
- Paying bills late
- Compulsive spending
- Hoarding money
- Not saving
- Not investing
- Betting or gambling
- Accumulating debts
You do not have to overwhelm yourself by trying to develop many habits at the same time.
You could start with a step. Picking a bad habit you have—say, compulsive spending—and replace it.
It may be hard at first. However, after a while, the activity becomes second nature to you.
5. Stay in the Present
As much as you have dreams of a better financial situation, do not put away the happiness of the present because of the future.
You do not need to be a miser to live intentionally.
Do not go to the extreme in cutting down your expenses that affects your basic needs and little comforts of life.
Know what amount you have to save and which you can spend.
Staying in the present also means you should not rush the process. Financial growth takes time.
The lure of instant gratification has made many fall victims to investment scams or indulge in unethical practices.
6. Make Money Your Friend
Your relationship with money is an aspect to consider when you want to be more intentional.
If you do not have the right attitude regarding money, you will not use it right.
Make money your friend, by changing negative mindsets you may have about it.
Rather than saying:
- “Money is evil.”
- “I do not want to be rich.”
- “You can never have enough money.”
Make statements like:
- “Money helps me get my basic needs and does a lot of good in the world.”
- “Being rich is not a bad thing.”
- “I can make money and be contented.”
7. Accept responsibility
To live intentionally, understand that excuses should not be your friend.
Sure, you may have encountered tough times, live in a discouraging environment, or suffered traumatic experiences.
Nevertheless, you owe it to yourself to realize that you can overcome these hurdles, seek healing when needed and be proactive about change.
Complaining and throwing a pity party may feel suitable for some time, but it is useless in the long run.
It is far better to work towards your dream, improve, heal, take up challenges and live.
What does this mean for your finances?
It means you do not let your family’s legacy about money, environment, or life challenges hold you back from your financial dreams.
You may have had a difficult childhood with your parents constantly arguing over money.
That does not mean you will repeat the same with your spouse.
You can accept to be responsible and work on bettering your finances.
Bottom Line: Be Intentional with You Life and Finances
As you embark on this journey, understand that living with intention is not the same as living perfectly.
There are days you will be out of balance, indulge in a bad habit, not do anything productive, make mistakes, and even fall out of track.
Life has its unpredictabilities and tragedies.
At moments like these, you need to be kind to yourself. Take your time to struggle and heal.
Intentional living is not always a straight line. Sometimes it gets crooked.
Bouncing back after these challenging moments is a part of living with intention.
Not only will you gain wisdom from hard times, but you’d also find that there is a reason sunlight at dawn is beautiful.
Intentional living is all about sticking to priorities and making your life simpler and worth living.
It makes you healthier, stress-free and can also help you to take control of your finances.
Start living intentionally today.
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