Living with Intention
"Priorities will tell you everything you need to know about a person"
When working with clients I often have them complete a simple exercise. First we talk about what is important in their life. Who and what are sacred? In fact, let's take it one step further and prioritize these areas of your life just to gain clarity. Well that sounds easy enough! Now for the hard part...where do you spend your energy? Now the conversation gets real!
Notice I said "energy" and not time. We all have jobs that require several hours each week. I said energy because we can put more energy into our priorities than time. If my wife and family are a priority, I can use qualitative energy versus time to make the impact my wife and child(ren) expect of me. They become first and foremost as I plan my calendar versus getting what's left.
I do this exercise to release guilt from my clients and gain clarity and "intention". Yes, living a life with intention! When my daughter was a toddler my wife and I had little time and even less funds. Working long hours and planning for a family is just plain HARD. However, as we saw our relationship "de-prioritized", we decided we needed just one "date night" to reconnect. At that stage in life she truly was getting "what's' left" at the end of the week. However, as we decided to reconnect and prioritize each other, we found our relationship becoming stronger. We've carried that philosophy through the various stages of our lives as we live with intention.
I encourage you to match your energy to your priorities and work towards a life with intention. If this seems to hard I often ask my clients to write their own eulogy. Yes, the morbid thought of how you want to be remembered. Think vividly of someone reading aloud at your funeral how everyone will remember you. This sobering task helped me clarify how I "hope" my wife, daughter, family, friends and co-workers will remember me. Did I live with true intention and live to work...or work to live? Having went through this process it helps me to pull back when things get out of kilter and in need of course correction.