Living a life of intention, 6 common characteristics
We didn’t come to our new name Willful lightly – in addition to my own will to make a new career for myself, it has always been important that our wares were made with purpose. So when Willful came up as an option for our new name it really felt right. We knew that we needed to really understand what that word means to us and, furthermore, what it really means to live with intention. How do we bring this concept into our own lives? While I’m constantly seeking to do this, I know I haven’t fully gotten it down yet (!), so I looked to the people around me who I really think embody this characteristic for some inspiration, and I found some common themes:
- Finding beauty in the small things: I know it’s so easy to get lost and overwhelmed by the big picture and all the to-dos that keep piling up (I’m totally guilty of this), but some of the happiest people I know are those who can find the good and the beautiful in their everyday lives (even when the car doesn’t start because it’s freezing outside, even when the dog helps herself to the garbage). But it can all be forgiven when you think about the cloud-covered sky you saw on your drive home or the sound of robins finally starting to sing again after a long winter. It’s also about noticing the small gestures and those everyday acts of kindness and thoughtfulness – bringing a cup of coffee to someone in bed, leaving a love note, calling a friend and just letting her know how wonderful you think she is or picking up some natural treasures from a walk in the woods. These are the moments that are too often taken for granted, but can really lift you up.
- Working hard (and being nice): Self-explanatory, but really, it’s that simple. There’s no other path to success than putting in the work, but that path is only a good place to be if you’re also staying true to yourself and valuing your relationships and the people around you.
- Dreaming big: This is so easy to say, but it’s so much harder in practice! There are so many expectations in these crazy lives of ours and there is often pressure to follow a certain path, but it’s important to stay open to what could be and to think about it is that you really want. Dream big and dream bold – and then don’t be afraid to go after it, even if it means forging a new path.
- Surrounding yourself with beauty: This isn’t limited to your home or work space – if you can think of nothing more beautiful than the clear waters of a lake, the bright smile of a little one or a quiet corner with a book, then give yourself the time to enjoy that. If your definition of beauty is being surrounded by your family and friends, then make time for that, too. Figure out when and where you’re happiest and carve that space out for yourself. You’ll feel more creative and more inspired.
- Nourishing your mind and body: Whether this is through exercise, spirituality, eating foods you love and that make you feel good, giving your child a hug, reading a book, going to a museum, listening to a podcast, or penciling in an hour-long catch up with your best friend, dedicate time to the things that make you a happier and fuller person.
- Staying focused: This applies both to when there are setbacks (because there will be) and to the distractions. Think about your goal and don’t let go of it. Of course, it’s important to be able to change approaches or methods if they’re not working, but don’t let go of your original intent – let it guide you.
What does intention mean to you? How do you fold it into your day-to-day life? Would love to hear in the comments!