3 Keys to Being Intentional

Chris Hogan is the wildly popular host of Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast.  I was listening last week and he said something that really resonated with me and I thought would be of great value to this audience.  (I included a link to the EntreLeadership podcast at the end of this post)

Chris said, “A person must choose to be intentional with their actions.”  WOW.  What an extremely power-packed quote.

There are a couple points of this powerful sentence I’d like to dissect in greater detail.

1 – Choice.  We’ve all heard about the power we wake up with every morning.  The power to choose.  We can choose our attitudes, our friends, and our future, if we have the right mindset.  Or conversely, we can let others choose for us.  The world and time can pass us by and we’ll be waiting on the sideline watching.  Every one of us has the power.  The difficulty lies in activation.

2 – Intentional.  I feel the most powerful relationship to this is purpose.  Another great word to insert would be deliberate.  We can be intentional with everything in our lives if we choose.  I think this is one people struggle with a great deal because intention is deeply rooted in having a plan.  I know I can be more strategic in my thinking and it doesn’t have to be about work.  I need to be more intentional with my dear friends and family.  I need to be focused on helping them achieve their goals and aspirations.  I need to be intentional about listening more and continuing to learn.

3. Actions.  I don’t believe for a second Chris’ quote ended in the word “actions” by chance.  After all, Chris works with intention.  The last word of his quote provides the energy needed for most of us to move.  Lets reflect back to the top of the list.  Choice, we all have this power.  It then isn’t a question of if, but when?  Next we focus on intention and having a purpose.  What is your purpose and do you have a game plan?  Without action the first two elements of this post are ideas in a notebook.  They’re a sketch on a bar napkin or that idea stashed away in your email.  Actions separate the average from the elite.  Action will bring your closer to your goals.

“A person must choose to be intentional with their actions.”

ACTION ITEM: Start being more intentional with something small, but take action.  Have a greater purpose or goal in mind and be intentional on your path to achievement.  The velocity of reaching your target will greatly increase.

Lastly, here’s a link to listen to the EntreLeadership Podcast.

Embrace the Suck

This phrase was made popular during the Gulf War and military executions in the Middle East fighting the war on terror.  You can almost feel the meaning by just reading it aloud. ETS

Embrace.  Grab your current situation, circumstance, or place in life.  Own it for now.  It doesn’t have to be forever.  Embrace, but don’t take it to the grave with you.

Suck.  I love the down and dirty feeling you get from this declaration.  Words like: challenge, struggle, and adversity could easily be inserted but they don’t have the chutzpa of suck.

Every day the great nation we live in provides us with a wonderful power.  We have the power to choose.  You must choose to embrace the suck.  This may seem counter productive to the strong-willed contingent who will think to fight it.  “Fight the suck,” they’ll say.  I’ll tell you why this is not the case.

I’ve learned this separates us from the reality of the situation and draws us deeper into the struggle.  The sooner you own and believe in the struggle, the better. It doesn’t mean you will eventually succumb to the challenge, it means you understand where you are and that is a milestone in itself.

Simply understanding when you are in the suck will change your viewpoint on your predicament.  Ben Franklin said, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.”  Ben was a pretty sharp cat, but what he forgot to add was adversity.

To bring a sledge hammer of real talk to this post I’d like to tell you how I recently chose to embrace the suck.  Over four and a half years ago my wife and I decided we wanted to start a family.  As weeks turned to months and months to years we become jaded with the process.  It’s consuming when all of your friends and family members want to know, “why don’t you have kids?”

We are two healthy young adults.  In our lives, my wife and I achieve what we set out to achieve.  However, no matter how hard we tried, we were faced without what we wanted most.  A child.  This is an extremely empty feeling, but one we had to embrace and support each other in the journey to parenthood.

I believe our support in one another and our mental conditioning made us reflect on our challenges and embrace them along with one another.  It certainly wasn’t what we were asking for, but it is where we were.   We chose to embrace the suck.  Hopefully it wasn’t going to be forever.

ACTION ITEM: The next time you face adversity, take a moment and step back from your situation.  Get outside your own thoughts and see your challenge for what it is.  Use this moment to place a cat-like grin on your face and say to yourself, “I choose to embrace the suck.”  You’ll feel better and you’ll attack the adversity instead of giving it unneeded fuel to burn.