As actors we are pretty good at figuring out different intentions for the characters we play. When we get clear on our character’s intentions it allows us to effectively tell the story we set out to tell. This structure helps to keep us from getting distracted from the journey our character makes throughout the life of the show.
So what would happen if we applied this to our regular lives?
Our modern day world is filled with endless distractions. Every minute of every day millions of companies compete to buy and hold your attention for as long as they can. Promotional advertisements get sent to your phone. Clickbait news articles designed to conjure fear pop up as notifications. If you live in a populated city like New York, the simple action of navigating your day to day travels exposes you to an endless amount of people, each with their own stories, thoughts, emotions, and problems. With all of these energies pulling at you, vying for your attention, life can feel like a hurricane blowing you every which way. It is so easy to feel completely out of control. However, I have found that setting daily intentions helps me to stay in the eye of the hurricane instead of getting sucked into the chaos.
I have a daily gratitude practice where every morning I write down three things I am grateful for. Recently, I started incorporated a daily intention as well. To do this I take a deep breath, close my eyes and think about the day ahead of me. I take stock of any needs I have for that day. I get clear on how I want to move through the day and how I want to feel as I accomplish the tasks at hand. Once I have a sentence that resonates with me I write it down. I keep this intention in the back of my mind as I go about my day. It becomes my superpower. When I feel my attention getting pulled towards some shiny, distracting thing I go back to my intention. I assess whether or not the thing I’m being distracted by is going to help me move with my intention or away from it and then I have the power to make a conscious choice about whether or not I engage with said distraction. I get to choose what to focus on and leave the rest. What we focus on expands. We know this, science has proven it to be true. But the best part is, we always have the power to choose what to focus on.
Living an intentional life has become a sort of obsession of mine. I love the comfort of knowing that I am empowered to live a life that I have designed for myself, thoughtfully, and intentionally. When I live intentionally I no longer feel like I am just going through the motions, doing things because I think that’s what I’m supposed to do. It puts me in the cockpit and whenever I get knocked out of sorts my habit of living intentionally gives me a lifeline to get back into that drivers seat quicker and easier. It doesn’t take away life’s challenges, nothing can do that, but it does empower me to choose how to cope with them. And that is magical.