How intentional are you?

For the past several years I have tried to be much more intentional about doing the things I need to do to be successful. Too many people tend to float through life hoping that something they do will turn out well for them. Being very focused and intentional about what they are doing just isn’t on their radar screen. Then they wonder why they are not having the same success as others. They may point fingers at everything trying to excuse their lack of success, but the truth is they have not pursued success with any sense of intentionality.

I often use an example from the days I owned a bass boat. When I got in trouble while in the boat it was always because I was drifting. I would let the current carry me wherever it wanted while I would fish the banks of the river or lake. Sometimes the current carried me into trouble such as the time my motor became lodged in the fork of a submerged tree or the time my motor became stuck on a large flat rock underneath me. As long as either the big motor or the trolling motor was running I never got into trouble because when one of those motors was running I was going somewhere intentionally. It is when we are drifting that problems occur.

What do you want to accomplish in 2019? The follow-up question is what are you doing intentionally to make that happen? Do you want to improve your finances? What specific steps are you taking that will make that happen? Do you want to improve your marriage or your relations with your family? Again, what are you doing intentionally to make that a reality? Do you want to grow your business? Same follow-up question: what are you doing intentionally that will lead to that growth? Whatever it is you want to accomplish you need to identify the steps you must take to make it happen, or it won’t happen. You’ll continue drifting into trouble and always come up short of your goals and desires.

Two days ago in this space I shared the steps I took to eliminate all our debt except our mortgage. We were very intentional in the things we were doing because we were committed to getting out of debt. When I decided to pursue an education I became very intentional about doing that. I did not begin my college studies until I was 39 years old. People asked how long I thought it would take me to earn my degree. Because I was pastoring a church and working full-time in a factory I said it would take me seven years to complete my studies. I would then be asked how old I would be in seven years. I told people in seven years I would be 46 years old, but in seven years I would be 46 with or without a college degree, and I had decided I wanted to be 46 with a degree. Because I was intentional in planning my coursework I did graduate in seven years. That same intentionality later enabled me to earn my master’s and my doctoral degrees.

There are few things more rewarding that accomplishing your goals, but to achieve them requires we become very intentional about doing so. If you find yourself drifting through life begin today to become more intentional about doing the things necessary to achieve your dreams and goals. You’ll quickly find how much of a difference being intentional makes.

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