To be intentional is to act purposefully, with a goal in mind and a plan for accomplishing it
– Ann Epstein.
You know most Christians sometimes hide behind the veil of Grace to promote laziness and procrastination… I am a ‘bad’ example #coversface. Last week, I stumbled on a book where I penned down my goals and plans for the year and realized I didn’t achieve up to 30% of the things scheduled for the first half of the year; had even forgotten about some of them before the book reminded me of them. Guess the first reflex thing I did when I saw my yet to be achieved goals? I quickly prayed for more grace to enable me achieve at least 80% of my plans/goals before year end. Was still at it when the Spirit shushed me with a quick reminder that His Grace is ever available and sufficient; it is we who fail to appropriate it rightly. In His words, He said: “Chinyere, I have given you all the grace you need but you cannot achieve much if you are not intentional. Be intentional as I am intentional”.
Chimuo! How? So I decided to dig in more to find out:
- How God is intentional
- How I can be intentional as God is intentional.
In my quest to know more, the Spirit directed me to study the Story of Creation in Genesis 1&2 (which forms our case study for Being Intentional). After the study, the first realization that hit me is that God is not God by mere wishful thinking – He is intentional and conscious of His role as God Almighty; else, Satan would have dethroned Him a long time ago. Here’s the rest of lessons that hit me from the Creation story:
- God didn’t create the universe by impulse. He had a well thought out blueprint for what the universe should look like and He also had an order and timeline for implementing His blueprint.
- God didn’t stop at having a blueprint or having a schedule and order for implementing His blueprint, He consciously and deliberately followed through with His plan!
So to be Intentional as God is, I have to implement the lessons picked from creation:
- Have a Blueprint (Plan/dream/goal)
- Have a timeline and order for implementing my blueprint. Prioritize and have a timeline for accomplishing each task.
- Consciously and deliberately follow through with my plan.
But what does it mean to be Intentional?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “Intentional” as:
- Done in a way that is planned
- An action performed with awareness; done deliberately, consciously, on purpose.
- Done deliberately or voluntarily: done with intent. (And intent means the purpose of something… the state of someone’s mind at the time of committing an offence (or otherwise).
In other words, to be Intentional means to be DELIBERATELY and CONSCIOUSLY follow your thoughts/intents, plans, dreams or goals through. It is not enough to have a good plan, goal or intent, you must also be Intentional to accomplish your set goal/plan/intent.
It is important to note that having good intentions is not same thing as being intentional. One of the biggest lessons I learnt last year is that “the best intentions don’t prevent the worst outcome.” Nearly everyone has intentions but very few people are intentional about achieving or fulfilling their intents. I and this post are a typical example, lol. had the intention to complete and post it yesterday but my being unintentional about the intent is the reason why I am just posting it #coversfaceagain. So you see, it is not enough to have good intentions.
I particularly love the way Taylor Chapman succinctly put it in his post on “How To Live Today Intentionally”. He wrote:
Here are some of the words that describe a life of good intentions: desire, wish, hopefully, someday. Notice anything familiar about them? Do you see a connection? All of those words are about unfulfilled longing. They’re passive.
Now take a look at some words that describe a life of intentionality: action, purpose, definitely, today. What do they have in common? They are all active, in the now, committed. They are the words of people who get things done, people who live intentionally…
That’s the key to intentional living: daily actions focused on making a difference, large or small, in someone else’s life.
We live in a culture that encourages good intentions, but is less excited about being intentional – and there’s a big difference.
To achieve your good intentions and beautiful plans, you must order/prioritize how you want them implemented, have a timeline for each implementation and deliberately/consciously follow them through. That is what it means to be intentional. If you are not intentional about achieving your goals, those who are, will use you to achieve their own goals. Life has no regard for your intentions or plans, if you don’t follow them through.
“Life will not give you what you want, intend, desire or plan until you demand and intentionally go after having it.” – ChinyereDistinguished
Imagine what would have happened if God was not intentional about creation? I like to imagine that if God did not have a timeline for creation, He’d most likely not get to rest on the 7th day. Also if God had not prioritized the order for implementing creation, He could have impulsively created things in no definite order; maybe animals before plants or man while the earth was still void without form and full of darkness. Even the creation of man before the woman is intentional (that’s a topic for another day). God saw the big picture before He laid out his blueprint and when He was done implementing it, He looked at all He created and said “It is good”. The only thing He saw as not being good was the creation of man without a suitable help-meet. And He quickly adjusted His blueprint by creating the woman (please take some time to study Genesis 1&2).
To be intentional means you consciously/deliberately make things happen for you and others and not wait for them to happen by other people’s intentional or unintentional acts. To be intentional means you are proactive and not reactive. To be intentional means you make deliberate decisions and follow through with deliberate steps not impulsive ones. To be intentional means you plan and act based on the big picture and not just the immediate result or gratification.
If you take nothing away from today’s e-Boost, please take away the words: Intentional, Deliberate, Conscious and Active.
This is just an intro to the Series on Being Intentional, we’ll continue next week. I’ll end today’s post with this quote:
“If you want your name, business or skill to ring bell locally or internationally, you must be intentional about it. If you want your name to make it to the Hall of Fame, you must be intentional about it. If you want to break any record in the Guinness Book of Records, you must be intentional about it… Finally, If you want your Salvation to stand the test of time, you must also be intentional about it. Success, Excellence and life in Eternity do not happen by accident; they only respond to your being intentional!” – ChinyereDistinguished
Till next e-Boost when we will talk about How To Live Life More Intentionally (Don’t miss it!), please don’t stop at planning/intending to share this post, intentionally share it with all your loved ones and contacts, (Don’t be like me, lol. Be like God). Thank you!
Have an intentionally fruitful rest of week.
- If you are interested in receiving the blog anniversary giveaway e-Books, kindly comment on the post here
- The CEO Memoirs Column will resume tomorrow. It’s been MIA for toooo long