How do you think of yourself? What kind of person are you? How would you describe who you are? Normally, I think I just ‘know’ who I am. I’ve been this way my whole life, right? I’m nice, friendly, sweet, a little shy, creative and loving. I don’t have to ‘think’ about it. I just am. But… am I these things and how does everyone else know who I am?
Recently, my friend John asked me about who I ‘intend’ to be. What are my ‘intentions’ about showing people who I am? “What are you talking about?”, I thought. People know who I am! I have friends who have known me my whole life! Others not as long, but I think they ‘know’ me. But he really got me thinking. Do I live an ‘intentional’ life? Or, do I routinely go through my days, doing what I always do; going to work, interacting pleasantly with others, coming home to my daughter and making dinner, playing with my dogs, visiting the neighbor or talking to my family. When I thought about it, there’s very little I do ‘intentionally’. I don’t even think about most of the things I just listed above. I just do them, with very little thought at all.
So, I started to think about what I’m doing. What do I want other to know about me? How do I want others to perceive me? Am I showing those that I come into contact with, all of those qualities that I think people should notice in me? Do I show others I care and that I’m loving, understanding and compassionate? If I think about intending to show those qualities throughout my day, something exciting happens! I actually become more of who I think I am by demonstrating those qualities!! The definition of Intentions is: a purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct. If I intend to show my daughter that I love her, I actually think of ways to do it… a hug, a special note in her lunch, taking time to listen to her about her day. Do I show my dogs I love them and care about their comfort? If I’m intentional, I purposely cuddle with them, or take them for a long walk even though I may be tired from the day. My attitude towards putting others before myself becomes more prominent when done with intention. I let others go ahead of me in line, I offer to help someone with their packages when they try to exit the bus with their arms filled, I give someone change for the snack machine when they don’t have enough, I smile at a stranger, I offer to help someone in need.
There’s a difference between doing things with a purpose and just doing things because we just always do them. Set an intention tomorrow. Show others your compassion or practice patience. See if it doesn’t start to transform your life!