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  How can we be more Intentional in Life - Part 2



By Ms. Nisha Chandran,
Training & Development Lead, AVTAR Group


 
  In a two-part series, we explore the concept of Intentionality deeper and look at how focusing on a few important areas in Life can help us in becoming more Intentional.

In this article, the first in the two-part series, we explore why it is important to be Intentional and look at the importance of focusing on our unique strengths and also how being Methodical in Life can help us overcome Analysis Paralysis.

In the first article, we explored the concept of Intentionality deeper and highlighted the importance of focusing on our Signature Strengths and also how being Methodical in Life can help us overcome Analysis Paralysis.

Let us look at how making small improvements and changes in four other areas of Life will help us in becoming more Intentional.

Intentionally build Resilience

Resilience is our ability to bounce back quickly when faced with challenges and crisis. It is important to intentionally build mental stamina to not just overcome the many challenges that we come across in Life, but also to ensure that we do not let these challenges derail our dreams. Some of us are naturally resilient and have the ability to bounce back from a crisis in quick turnaround time. While everyone might not be naturally resilient, it is possible to develop a resilient mind and attitude by taking a few steps:

Set solid, personal goals. And work towards achieving them. It takes tremendous will power to stick to our goals and keep working at it, rain or shine. Working towards achieving each one of your personal goals itself is an immense learning experience that contributes a great deal towards building your mental stamina

Have a positive image of the future And develop the habit of thinking positively. How we look at adversity strongly affects how we succeed. It is important to not think about oneself as a victim in adversity. Resilient people look at the silver lining in the cloud and focus their time and energy on changing things that can be controlled

Focus is of paramount importance. It takes a lot of effort to focus on the task at hand, despite all distractions, especially when we are surrounded by technology 24x7. You won’t be able to effectively increase your productivity or achieve anything significant without sharp focus. While developing laser like focus is not an easy task, it contributes immensely towards increasing your mental stamina

Take good care of your mind and body. We will able to effectively deal with any challenges in Life if we are healthy. Good health — and a regular routine of healthy habits — will help in managing stress and are foundational to both mental and emotional resilience

Always try to remain calm. We all have bad days and our share of crises. But we also have a choice in how we respond to these. We can either choose to react negatively or in panic, or we can remain calm and logical to find a solution to the problems and challenges. Developing the skill to remain calm in the midst of chaos is a skill that will go a long way in building resilience

Intentionally celebrate your wins & losses

Each one of us deserve to have our accomplishments and unique personality recognized. We need to celebrate ourselves for the many positive attributes that we have and for our boundless potential. When we celebrate intentionally, by taking the time to recognize our achievements and growth, it increases our confidence and sense of self worth. Life is not just a never-ending to-do list. We need to pause and acknowledge our accomplishments and small wins. It helps in realizing just how powerful and productive we really are. And celebration doesn’t mean that we always throw a party. It is about taking time to acknowledge our accomplishments and rewarding ourselves for the hard work. Even small things like gifting yourself the much coveted dress or a book or taking time for the things that relax and refresh you, makes a difference. It gives us an important opportunity to reflect on our journey and recharge our batteries.

Just like we celebrate our accomplishments, we also need to celebrate our past irrespective of whether it has been a great joy ride or a not so great one. We learn so much about ourselves each time we fail, each time things don’t go right. It is an excellent opportunity for introspection and we must maximize it by memorizing the lessons we learn from these experiences. Because every experience, be it good or bad, has contributed towards shaping us to become the individual that we are today. And that is precisely why we should embrace our failures and celebrate them as well.

We have to remember that we deserve the best that life has to offer and we have so much to contribute to the world. Like Oprah Winfrey said, "the more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

Intentionally invest in Learning….and Unlearning

New learning in any area of Life will lead to constant evolution in the way we think, and act. New knowledge, new understanding and new skills will help us constantly reinvent the wheel. Investing time and energy in continuous learning is one of the things that separate achievers from the average. Our willingness and ability to learn new things will translate into not just acquiring new knowledge, but also enhancing our skills which translates into our ability to handle situations and people better. While the easiest thing to do is to embrace our excuses and say we don’t have enough time, setting aside 15 minutes to read 20 pages of a book daily is quite a doable task. Regularly reading new books, joining online courses, signing up for certification programmes/training courses and attending conferences and seminars will all help us in not just becoming a better professional, but also a well rounded, knowledgeable person as well.

As much as we invest our time and energy in learning new things, we also need to unlearn old beliefs, assumptions, and expectations. Learning something new requires us to first unlearn something old. We must create space for the new knowledge and learning to sink in. That is why unlearning is one of the most important forms of growth. All the learning we do, in a sense, involves unlearning. We need to let go off all the thoughts, habits and behaviors that are holding us back from progressing further in Life. The more we can unlearn, the more likely we are to experience the sense of growth and progress we so desire.

Sometimes learning takes us to new places, the kind of places that exist in our dreams. And that is why it is important to Intentionally invest in continuous Learning and Unlearning.

Intentionally nurture Relationships

Developing strong relationships are important not just for our mental and physical well-being, but also to achieve success in all aspects of Life. People who have a strong network of friends and colleagues are more successful and manage stress better. But relationships do not survive on its own. It takes a lot of time, energy and sustained effort. And the most important thing about relationships is that, it is not about give and take. It is not about what the other person can do for you. Whether it is personal or professional relationship, it is important to be genuinely interested in people, be a great listener and unconditionally help others without expecting any favour in return. The more we give, the more we get. That is the key to successfully building and sustaining relationships that last a lifetime.

We need to remember that success in any walk of life doesn’t come easy. Success is not an entitlement or a privilege. We have to be Intentional about achieving and work towards earning it, each day for the rest of our lives.

 

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