being intentional

Being intentional is not that easy

Being intentional has become a “buzzphrase” of sorts, especially in leadership. However, acting on that phrase is a lot more difficult (at least initially) than it sounds.

At one time, I had the privilege of hosting a church life group in our home. During one of our meetings, we discussed “meditating on God’s word.”

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. — Psalm 1:1-2

Many people consider “meditation” to be a practice where one empties their mind in order to bring clarity. That is not at all what the psalmist is speaking about.

In this type of “meditation,” one intentionally spends time reading and researching God’s Word, examining the context, the true meaning and the universal truths found within it. This is no small or casual task.

Being intentional is a noble thought, but putting it into practice requires much discipline. For instance, if someone is “intentional” about losing weight, they must discipline themselves with regard to diet and exercise.

If someone is “intentional” about becoming a better spouse, parent, leader, etc. they must be disciplined enough to follow through each day. This is not a “once-and-your-done” process.

In fact, it probably doesn’t take very long to identify more than one area. That’s the first step.

Once someone is committed to being intentional, the real work begins. Certainly the first day is the easiest. We are all jazzed up about this new direction and want to get the ball rolling. Not much discipline is required.

It is those subsequent days when our bodies, our circumstance and perhaps our lives bring resistance to the process. Muscles hurt. Bosses interfere. Life comes against us. This is when true discipline is needed.

The key is to keep going — never forgetting the reasons “why” the process was started. It will never be easy, but it does get easier.

Great things in life rarely happen by accident. They are usually a combination of an intentional act carried out through discipline over time. Want to be successful? Be intentional.

Question:
What area of your life has required “intentional” effort? How did you discipline yourself to see it through?


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