3 Paths to Creating Change in Your Life

How to Become Intentional with Your Life

When I was twenty-nine years old, I read Real Magic by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. To put it mildly, it changed my life. I can still remember what I was doing when the overall message of this incredible book hit me. According to Dr. Dyer, real magic occurs when we realize the extreme power of our thoughts to elevate ourselves to a higher consciousness.

Before I gained this new awareness, I was already a student of thinking, free will and the power of choice. I was beginning to understand how our thoughts create our actions and that positive thinking, as well as negative thinking, is a choice. What Real Magic taught me was something even deeper than choice and free will, it was teaching me about the power of my intentions.

Intentions are our purpose or reasons behind our thoughts and actions. While I can choose to say something positive or negative, I can also choose my intention behind those words. I can intend to be loving, indifferent or even hateful. If I know I want to be loving, but instead notice my thoughts are coming from a place of hate, I can use my free will to realign myself with who I intend to be, a loving person. In choosing my intention first, the thoughts and the actions that follow become a natural outflow of my intentions.

Living with intention is the real magic Dr. Dyer is referring to that can take our lives to a whole new level of experience. Instead of reacting to the external world around us and becoming a victim to our programmed ways of thinking, feeling, and acting, we can at any moment harness the incredible power of intention. In doing so, you and I can choose what we want to believe, how we want to feel, and as a result, how we will behave.

As I reflect on my journey to becoming the person I am today, I can look back over the years with retrospect. Every experience I have ever had has been an influential teacher for helping me to develop into the person I am today. Every success, as well as every failure, has been a valuable lesson for the next phase of my life. Some lessons are harder to learn than others and therefore repeated, but none the less each experience I have is important to my personal development and who I am becoming.

For example, in my own life, when I was younger I struggled with what career I should choose for my life work. I worked in sales and fast food management at different points of my life. While neither led me to feel fulfilled, they both provided me with valuable lessons about myself and the world around me. Without this knowledge, I know I would not be the teacher and writer that I am today.

3 Paths to Transforming Your Life

Even though all of us are traveling on unique paths, I believe the road from unintentional living to intentional living always progresses through the same three stages; blame, awareness, and purpose.

  1. Blame.

In this stage, you are a victim. Life happens to you, and from your point of view, it is never your fault. Life is unfair, and you refuse to get over it. Because you believe the misfortunes in your life are out of your control, you are forced to relive them. At this point in your life when things don’t go your way, you ask “Why me?”

I was personally stuck in this stage when it came to my writing for years. I claimed I wanted to be an author, but then only made excuses as to why I hadn’t written anything. I blamed my energy level, my work schedule and anything else that I could find over sitting down to write.

Symptoms of this stage reveal themselves in our lives as addictions, unsatisfying relationships, heavy debt, poor health, feeling empty and procrastination. Feelings of helplessness and self-pity consume us, making it impossible to escape from this black hole we have created for ourselves.

The only way out is to admit to yourself that the problem is not in your excuses, it is your excuses. By blaming we create the illusion within ourselves that we are stuck and there is nothing we can do about it. In hindsight, we can see that the real problem was a lack of awareness. Awareness that we can learn from our experiences and grow. Awareness that if change is going to happen, then it is I who must change.

       2. Awareness.

Once you recognize the pattern that blame plays in your life, you are now able to begin the shift from unintentional to intentional living. In this stage, you stop asking “Why me?” and turn your focus to “What can I learn from this?” and “How can I use what is happening to benefit me and others?” At this point, the pity party is over, and the healing begins.

By learning from your experiences, you become a scientist in your own life. You gain an understanding that there are no accidents in life and start to see the power behind your choices. If you act and fail to get the results you were hoping for, you can make adjustments and then go back out and try again.

People who are in the awareness stage have incredible control over their lives because they no longer see themselves as the victim. They are goal oriented and often high achievers. Aware of their personal power to get what they want, they set higher and higher goals for themselves.

Without purpose, though, they often find themselves striving for goals that leave them feeling empty once obtained. A new pattern becomes established of continuously setting and achieving goals in hopes of finally feeling fulfilled. Here striving becomes the norm. While living at the awareness stage is far better than living in the blame stage, it still lacks the enormous joy and satisfaction that comes from living in the third stage, purpose.

    3. Intention.

An incredible shift in your being begins to take place when you let go of blame, start learning from your experiences and become aware of your purpose in life. Accepting that there are no accidents, you begin to live intentionally. You search out your higher purpose in life and align your choices with it. By acting with purpose and intention, you begin to do less and achieve more.

Purpose gives you a whole new outlook on life. Material goals, while still important, now seem less important. You go through your day doing what makes you happy, not worried about pleasing the rest of the world. Your joy and personal satisfaction come from knowing you are living life on your terms. Everything you do and subsequently accomplish is on purpose and intentional.

Reaching this stage in my life has totally transformed everything I do. To the outside world, I still look and act pretty much like the same guy, but on the inside, I am more relaxed, content and confident than ever before.

I find that sitting down to write is no longer a struggle. Before purpose, I would struggle to get my ideas on paper. I was always judging what I wanted to say, fearing that others would not find them original enough or meaningful. This need for outward acceptance left me with writer’s block, which would quickly turn into blame. I would fall victim to me on criticism.

Aware that this need for approval was holding me back, I began to realize that my real intention for writing was to tell my story in hopes that it would make a positive difference in whoever read it. I concluded that if no one liked what I had to say, that would be okay, but I was going to write anyway. This internal switch from the need for recognition to intention has allowed me to create the words you are reading now. No longer do I struggle to find the phrase to say, instead I now just sit and write, allowing them to come to me and through me. Certainly, I go back and edit, but I am no longer a victim staring at an empty page judging myself and fearing I am not good enough.

I challenge you to take an honest look at your life and determine which stage you are currently in. Be careful, though, because blame can manipulate your thoughts. You may be aware that you are making excuses and living in the blame stage, which can start the process of bringing you into the awareness stage. But then out of nowhere, your thoughts can take a complete turn slamming you back into stage one.

For example, you may have been wanting to start an exercise program for some time now, but procrastinating because you keep believing your excuses that you don’t have the time or energy to go to the gym today. Through the process of introspection, you might gain the awareness that you are blaming your lack of progress on your current energy level.

If you stayed with the awareness that your only true obstacle is your excuse, you could begin to make progress. Many times, this is where we get sucked back into the blame stage because we then tell ourselves that “Yes, I am making an excuse, but the reason is real.” Often blame has a tricky way of looking like awareness, keeping us stuck there even longer.

Question: Think about a goal you have in life that you haven’t been able to motivate yourself to make much progress towards. Which of the three stages are you currently making decisions from; blame, awareness or purpose? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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