Life By Intention, Not By Default
To live fully and presently, it's noticing all the moments and when we are in default mode. Do you automatically whip out your phone when you see an incredible sunset? How about when you’re at a concert and your favorite song is being performed? I'm guilty of both.
To authentically enjoy it, whatever “it” may be, is to pay attention. To be engaged. To be enthusiastic. To be present.
We can choose careers out of default because our parents wanted us to. We sometimes get married then have kids because it's what society implies we do. We have belief systems that we learn from childhood and don't challenge them because "that's the way I was raised". Default mode is doing what we think we should do without thinking through what we may truly want for ourselves-even if it does not fit the status quo.
We could make a huge impact on our life and other lives if we shifted our default modes and our habits. How often do we use the typical greetings: “Hi, how are you?” and “Have a good day" or "I'm well, and you?". These automatic phrases we say to strangers and even loved ones strips us from having a real connection, and connection is the thing that matters most in life.
Turn off autopilot so we can make life more interesting and genuine. Try tea instead of coffee one morning. Instead of checking your phone right after you wake up, just sit there for a few minutes and listen to the morning. When you do, maybe you’ll notice some really incredible moments unfolding, like the birds chirping out your window singing to you.
We may find that when we are totally present, we notice the colors of the sunset in all of it's vibrance. We can hear our favorite song performed at the concert so much more intense. To ask how someone truly is could impact someone's day. It's not just showing up, it's being present to the special moments life presents.
Sing loudly, laugh fiercely, clap hard, dance, and most importantly, show your compassion and emotion. Open up your heart and allow yourself to be sensitive. There’s nothing wrong with expressing love and gratitude, but our culture is so keen on making sensitivity seem like a negative thing.
To be alive, to really feel intensely, to say things like they matter—that’s the best part about the human experience. If we treated every day as a celebration, how would our lives look? How would the people around us feel? How would we transform and impact our community?
Life is constantly changing whether we like it or not. We grow older, we find ourselves living in a new city, we find new jobs, we learn more about ourselves and evolve, our friends and loved ones evolve, relationships change, the seasons change.
It’s a constant cycle of movement and there’s nothing that can stop it. Take advantage of the fact that we have the power to shape our realities, which is how this change continues.
Get messy, get bold. Weed out those moments of mechanical motions, repeated phrases, and half-assed hugs and kisses. Life is too short to live and love only half way. Zeal is contagious, and the energy and light you reflect out can only be reflected back to you.
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Life and Leadership Coach, Licensed Counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.