In my experience, the majority of people are navigating their daily lives without much conscience awareness. I don’t say this with judgment or self-righteousness but as a matter of fact after working with thousands of clients.
I have always been extremely curious and a seeker of truth. Perhaps, you can relate. If the mass of individuals are doing something that affects them negatively, rather than make a statement of judgment, I am compelled to identify the underlying reason why.
The Cost of Living Outside of Our Intention
Most of us have the same basic goals: a level of freedom and security, happiness, to feel loved, satisfying relationships, and pursuing something we find fulfilling and enjoyable. Then why do so few individuals achieve these goals?
I believe one of the primary reasons why is we lack sufficient awareness or consciousness of our intention. I have identified two broad categories of individuals in relation to this area: those who lack adequate levels of self-awareness (they don’t even know they don’t know); and those who are consciously aware but still have a great deal of what is influencing their choices and behavior outside of their conscious awareness.
Self-Examination is Key
If you are taking the time to read this article, you are almost certainly in the latter category. You’ve done a great deal of personal development and emotional and spiritual growth. However, the life you aspire too often seems just out of reach.
No matter how committed you may be, there are likely areas of your life you are not living with conscious intention. Even the best of us have places we lack awareness. Perhaps, there are subconscious beliefs or patterns of relating that continue to impede you financially, relationally, and in living with more purpose.
I take time to examine myself on a regular basis and almost always find there are either aspects of my life I am not intentional enough with or my actions are not always aligned with my conscious intentions. Why is this the case? Even if you are driven and pursuing meaningful goals, there can be other areas of life you are acting without intention.
What Does Living With Intention Mean?
What do I mean when I say, “With intention?” Living with intention from my perspective is awareness of what your ultimate objective is and choosing to act in accordance with it. Developing intention is about asking the next WHY. Let’s say you want to be financially free. Why? Keep following this out until there is nowhere left to go; the end of the line destination.
In my own life, I desire financial freedom. But this is not the end game. Why do I desire this? In my case, it is because I desire two chief things: unlimited opportunities to pursue the things I’m most passionate about; and to spend the time I want with the most important people in my life.
Identifying Your Ultimate Intention
Why do I value these areas so much? Because I want to live the life I desire, which includes sharing meaningful moments with others and reaching my full potential. And why is this so important to me? Because I want to live a life well lived. And what makes that so vital to me? I want to make as big an impact on the world while I’m here and contribute to moving the ball forward in the areas of healing, love, and compassion.
What makes this so significant to me? Because I believe in a higher calling and a reality beyond the five-sense world that has equipped me with certain gifts and abilities to serve others. Moreover, my ultimate goal is to become the most loving person I can in this lifetime, which I definitely have not achieved and fall short of constantly.
I hope these last few paragraphs have given you an example of how to track and follow your present goals and aspirations to identify your ultimate intentions. Once you have identified your intention, it now becomes a filter for evaluating your choices and actions. When you attempt to make decisions, you now ask yourself, “Does this align with my intention?” The result of this is you become more conscious of the motivation behind your choices and hopefully make more frequent decisions that support your intention.
Impediments To Living With Intention
Now this is where the problem arises for most people. To become fully conscious equals being fully responsible for your actions; there is no more blame game. There are those who are ignorant due to a lack of intelligence or a failure in their early environment to provide them with guidance and appropriate knowledge.
But for the rest of us, it is more a hesitancy to embrace the power we have been given to create the life we want. This is where internal conflicts show up. One part of us longs to live the life of our dreams, but other parts resist this. Why does this occur? Sometimes, there can be a younger part that lacks confidence in our abilities due to being shamed by parents or experiencing peer rejection.
Dealing with Internal Conflicts
In other instances, there can be a fear of loss if we live an authentic life. Whatever the reason, these can cause internal resistance to becoming more conscious and competent. The solution is bringing these parts of us into our conscious awareness and healing their wounds so we can become more whole and take responsibility for our life today and make the necessary changes to live the life we want.
There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than being hijacked by internal parts that block our goals in an effort to protect us from past wounds. In addition, we all enjoy pleasurable experiences, but choosing pleasure can be contrary to our highest intention at times. This takes the development of self-discipline and increasing our level of motivation towards our intention to cultivate the ability to say no when parts of us are screaming to say yes.
Intention and Relationships
The area I most observe people living without intention would have to be in their closest relationships, such as marriage, a partnership, or raising children. After working with hundreds of couples, I can tell you relationships are the most complex aspects of human experience. The majority of us hope for a good one but are unwilling to put in the work to create the one we desire. The comment I often hear is, “It shouldn’t be this hard,” when it comes to relationships. I am not saying there isn’t a time and place to acknowledge a couple is not aligned in their core values or insecurities and jealousies are causing the relationship to become exhausting.
But there is no way around the fact that every relationship is going to take work. Moreover, there is no way possible to sustain a long-term, fulfilling relationship without two partners who are committed to their own, and supporting each other’s, emotional and spiritual growth.
There are several main points I would most like you to take from this article: you can construct the life you desire by living with intention; living with intention will also require you to take full responsibility for your actions and choices; and achieving this goal will entail a commitment to facing your demons and emotional growth.
If you choose to live a more conscious life, it will be hard and painful at times. But I can assure you it will lead to living the life you aspire to. You are capable of more than you can even imagine at this point. Make the choice to live with intention and watch as your reality begins to change in the direction of your dreams.
Asking The Right Questions
Don’t allow ignorance or wounds from your past to rob you of what is possible. Start with a few powerful questions: what is my ultimate intention; does this action align with my intention; and if not, what is getting in the way of choosing what supports my intention. Commit to asking them on a daily basis. I always advocate starting where you can and gaining momentum.
One last piece of advice: you don’t need to be able to take the desired action to start; your intention to do so is enough. At one point in my life, I chose to avoid because I was not yet fully ready to make the changes I needed to. I now recognize there is so much great work to be done beginning with the desire to change. Working with those suffering from addiction for over a decade taught me this.
Just start where you can and realize there is a whole other reality that awaits you. Myself and others do not possess a special gift you do not. You are as equipped as anyone who has ever existed. Everything you ever wanted is waiting on the other side of your belief and acting with intention.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.