5 Devasting Reasons You’re Not Creating an Intentional Life (And What You Can Do About It)9 min read

Millions of people fall asleep each night and don’t wake up the next day. But you did. Some people were told they have only a few months left to live. And they live with the uncertainty of whether or not this sleep will be their last.

Many people are obsessed with death and forget to live. While others live as if they have an infinite amount of time.

Which one are you?

The truth is––you don’t have time, and you don’t have to be obsessed with death because you’re already dying. Life is an unpredictable son-of-a-bitch because it ebbs and flows like tides that both cover and uncover the sands.

But how present are you in living life, let alone living a life you love?

You’re on cruise control, speed set and coasting on the highway. You are the if and when person — if this happens I’ll be happy or when this happens then I’ll be happy.

What’s stopping you now from already living?

Your Life on Autopilot Is Destroying Your Dreams

My father would work double shifts, which wasn’t uncommon for him. Often coming home at 1 a.m. and then returning to work at 7 a.m. the same day.

One night he came home from another late shift––business as usual.

The following day my younger sister found his dead body — cold, and naked lying on his bed sheets from an apparent shower he took the previous day.

I’m not sure if my father lived a life he loved. But I do know he spent most of his life overworked — with his dreams burning behind his retinas and on repeat on his lips. His plan was etched out, first this, then that, once I do this, etc.

His dreams are now buried in a coffin somewhere in Massachusetts. I ask you, are you living a life you love? You’re on autopilot.

The routine never changes: wake up, rush in the morning without ever looking at yourself in the mirror, just a quick look and then you’re out the door. Then you pile your to-do list on a sheet of paper, eat at your desk or work through lunch, leave late, repeat and rinse.

Your family rarely sees you. Your life is points on a graph that you bounce through without consciousness. The outside world is a blur. You hear, but you don’t listen.

Your thoughts are on autopilot, and your feelings affixed to either anxiety, agitation, or dissatisfaction. Have you ever just taken a moment to pause? To breathe the air in slowly, taking it in through your lungs deeply, then exhaling slowly?

Have you stopped to look at yourself in the mirror and admire the way you look? While walking, do you ever stop and absorb your presence on this Earth?

How present are you?

Autopilot is one day waking up in your old age and wondering what you did with your life and where the time went? Living a disconnected life leads to regrets.

It isn’t your fault. You weren’t taught to be intentional with your life. You weren’t taught to be present. I sure wasn’t. But being present in the moment allows you to step out of autopilot and step into your life.

Which part of your life do you focus on the most?

You Decide: Is Life Ugly or Is Life Beautiful

Life is a rose.

Cliché, yes, however, the rose pricks you with its thorns, and you can’t help but keep it around, and you hold on to it until it’s brittle petals turn to ashes in your palms because it’s too beautiful to let go.

You love it until it dies. Life is the same. You too can love it until you take your last breath. You’re not living a life you love.

You’re living a life you’ve accepted. Like the default settings on a laptop that’s never changed. But you have the power to change your settings at any given moment.

But do you want to?

If you want to, then how do you start?

It starts with a decision.

It’s you deciding you no longer want to live this way. You’re ready to replace an autopilot life with an intentional life. You’re ready to replace negativity with acceptance and realistic optimism.

You’re ready to replace agitation with patience and love, and you’re prepared to replace anxiety with acceptance–– learning to be present while both feet are planted in the now.

Choose Your Thoughts Wisely Or They Will Imprison You

Your thoughts are powerful.

They can keep you present or they can keep you in the past. They can be used to propel you forward, or they can be a barrier towards every potential prosperous opportunity in your life. Furthermore, your attitude is a direct reflection of your thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness allows you to recognize your thoughts, the triggers, and it creates space between you and thoughts. The best way to do this is through meditation, journaling, and talking with someone you trust. It’s about rewiring the way you think.

Expose your thoughts by letting them know that you are aware of its presence. It’s also just as important to replace those thoughts with new ones by absorbing books that reinforce positivity and using empowering language.

If you don’t select your thoughts for the benefit of your life, you will remain in a state of negativity and a state of delusion which will prevent you from forward motion.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ––Arianna Huffington

Playing the Victim Will Keep You From a Life You Love

When you remain a victim, you transfer your power to the other side, and you give it to them to hold. That isn’t helpful to you.

I used to think that life was happening to me. I was never able to connect the things that were happening on the outside with the things that were happening on the inside. It always seemed like a string of “bad luck.”

However, once I reversed engineered everything the common denominator was always me. Once I began taking more responsibility for the things in my life my whole perspective shifted. I had to reconnect.

Own your achievements and your mistakes. It’s about examining what part you played in the outcome.

Conducting a higher level of conscious inventory of your life means you’re no longer going to play the blame game and you’re no longer going to pass the buck. You are now a problem solver. Every problem that occurs in your life has a solution whether it’s likable or not.

You don’t run from your problems because you face them courageously.

Stop Accepting Your Circumstances As the End All Be All

All of us are born into circumstances outside of our control. However, we don’t have to continue living there for the rest of our lives.

I stopped talking to my father for four years. When he failed to live up to the father image I had in my head. That decision didn’t help me to heal, and I’m sure it hurt my father’s feelings.

At some point it’s time to stop blaming your parents, caretakers, your upbringing, etc. and anything else that prevents you from doing the necessary healing to move forward.

Moreover, those that hurt you had tools that they were given — they did the best they could with what they had. It doesn’t mean you need to be in their lives actively, but it’s time to forgive.

Because once you do you can begin to restructure your life. You are not your circumstances. Once you know, you do better. Once you learn the tools, you can change your conditions.

There are countless stories of people who have experienced horrific trauma who find a way to live a life worth living. I believe in your ability to do the same. It first takes you deciding to reject your circumstances and you commit to build a new life on your terms.

Creating An Intentional Life You Love

Becoming intentional about your life first starts with a self-assessment. It’s important to be mindful of your thoughts and where they are leading you. Once you expose your thoughts, they over time lose their power.

Then it’s about taking 100% responsibility for your current state of being. It’s processing all that has happened and making the necessary connections so you can own everything that happens to you.

This is empowering because this is you taking back your power and stepping out of the victim mode mentality. You are not what happened to you. It’s a part of your history, but you have the power to rewrite your history. Your life now can become whatever you want it to be.

But you have to decide. Nothing can change in your life until you first make a decision.

Decide to be intentional.

Decide that you control your thoughts.

Decide to take back your power.

Decide to live your life on your terms.

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