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.

We Are What We Consume

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and thoughts.

Have you heard of the documentary, “Super Size Me?”  In it, Morgan Spurlock submits his body to eating only McDonalds for one year.  If the thought of this doesn’t make your colon quiver, it will once you lookup the documentary.  Yuck is an understatement!

Most of us wouldn’t dream of eating McDonalds every meal for one year straight, but I’d like to take a look at what we consume from a mental perspective to challenge your thinking.  Many a study are published every year with new “super foods” to add to our diet.  When we look back at making real change in our diets it usually involves: eating more fruits/vegetables, limit red meat, eat more chicken/fish, drink a lot of water, don’t over-consume alcohol, etc.  I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but you get the idea.


Lets turn the tables now to look at what we consume from a mental and thought perspective.  How healthy is your mental diet?  Again, how HEALTHY is your mental diet?  In order to best understand our mental diet I’ve chosen to relate it to the timeless food Pyramid pictured here on the right.

When I think of my mental diet I think of the following elements I choose to consume daily:

1. Podcasts (Fruits) – I’ve got six to seven I subscribe to and listen to almost weekly.  They challenge me to think about my: finances, new strategies, marketing, and of course sports (Dan Patrick Show).   I listen to these in the car and while doing household chores.


2. Audiobooks (Vegetables)- I’ve got about 10-15 audiobooks I listen to frequently because every time I listen, I learn or implement something new into my life.  I grabbed a snapshot of a few of them for you as well to show you I mean what I’m saying.  It’s at the bottom of this post as I’ve run out of room here.  Like my podcasts I consume these in the car, working out, or while doing household chores.

3. TV Shows (Fats/Oils/Sweets) – I do watch TV and I can’t tell you a lot of it is real solid “learning material” but that’s ok.  We can’t all be on 100% of the time.  My wife and I have a few shows we watch together (Parenthood, Modern Family, and Homeland).  It’s a great way for us to connect.

4. Books (Meat/Protein)- I found this link very interesting: The Average CEO Reads 4-5 Books Per Month.   Do the math people.  That’s over 50 books a year.  How many of you have read 50 books in your life?  There are reading lists everywhere.  Start now.

5. Relationships (Bread/Cereal/Rice/Pasta)- This is the last one on my list and most likely the most over looked consumption medium.  I know a guy who was a completely different person based on the people he was around 5-6 years ago until a friend called him out on it.  That guy was ME!  Choose who you look up to and associate with carefully.  Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  Relationships are what we consume the most of on a daily basis and the bottom of our mental consumption pyramid.

Lastly I thought I’d share a list of all the opportunities we have on a daily basis to make ourselves better.  Look at your day and tell me you don’t do one or more of these activities: exercising, eating breakfast, during a commute, in the shower, during lunch, cooking, doing household chores, flying/travel, gardening, and brain-numbing television.  YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE!

ACTION ITEM:  Don’t try to eat the whole elephant.  What I mean is, don’t go off on an over consumption strategy.  We know from diet studies this doesn’t yield positive results.  Studies show goals are reached with the creation of really good habits.  Create a new mental consumption habit and fuel your hungry mind with challenging new practices and techniques.  With every day that passes, you’ll be laying the groundwork for a Keen Mind.


As promised here is a quick look at the audiobooks I mentioned above and a list for you to consume.