I’m fresh off a lengthy Dave Ramsey conference called EntreLeadership Master Series. It was a weeklong dive into everything leadership including communication, marketing, impact, culture, hiring/firing, delegation, finances, message and most importantly meaning. By the end of the event all 400 of us were glassy eyed. I’ve been asked what my biggest takeaways were and to be honest I wasn’t prepared for the slice into the heart this event turned out to be.
There was no hiding from the mirror; you had to face it which included how much BS we tend to feed ourselves.
Yes I said it! And I’m first in line! We have a lot of ‘reasons’ why we haven’t done things or perhaps been a better person. We excuse it away under a litany of reasons. Getting honest and stripping down to the root of it we see it comes down to what our priorities are and what we’re intentional about.
So what does being intentional mean? I’ll use a story, one we’re all familiar with, MONEY. Every month our income comes in and bills get paid and at the end of the month we wonder why we don’t have money and where it went. For us business owners this is especially true, I call it the black hole!
If we were intentional with our money we would plan and TELL our money where to go. This sounds an awful lot like a budget doesn’t it? I hated budgets. I felt like it took my wings and strapped them to my back in a straitjacket. It wasn’t until I began to learn about being intentional that my perspective changed ending in radical freedom and a lot more financial peace.
What if a budget is really a matter of being intentional about where you tell your dollars to go? Wouldn’t you know at the end of the month exactly where your dollars went? Wouldn’t you make decisions with more clarity vs winging it and saying a prayer it’ll all work out? Wouldn’t you feel really powerful because you are taking control over your finances AND you’re decisions? Yes, yes and yes. By planning, being purposeful, taking control and telling your money what to do you are living an intentional life in the area of your finances.
Living intentional can be done in all areas of our lives.
Where do you want to take your career? Do you want to move and live somewhere else? Do you want a family? Do you want to take a big dream trip? Do you feel called to have faith enter your life? Do you need to improve your health? None of these will happen unless you become intentional about it.
So many things can destroy our intentionality like a lack of focus, determination, motivation, priorities, clarity and emotions.
Notice these are all self-imposed limitations and not external forces. We can say our circumstances don’t allow for it but if you stand in front of that mirror I bet you’ll see you always have the power to change. It might be hard and that’s why you say no. Hard isn’t impossible, it’s hard.
When I walked into those EntreLeadership doors I was tired and frustrated for all those self-imposed reasons listed above. I totally did it to myself but I began to wallow in it and I certainly wasn’t living an intentional life. That’s called drifting, when one day repeats into another under a pile of demands and we go on autopilot. Sound familiar?
I needed a good kick in the pants and someone who wouldn’t let me avoid the mirror of my excuses. The pounds won’t lose themselves, the rockstar help won’t magically appear on our doorstep and the squirrels won’t squirrel away nuts for our rainy days.
We have to do those things by being intentional and taking baby steps towards their achievement. Living intentional was absolutely one of the best takeaways but here’s the biggest –
Don’t forget to give yourself grace while you’re busy shelling it out to everyone else.
Don’t forget to give yourself grace while you walk forward into living an intentional life.