Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Intentional Living

Note: Since writing this post we actually did buy a TV.  We initially only got it to watch the olympics.  And you know what?  We hardly ever watch it now.  Peter uses it for video games, sometimes we'll watch Netflix... but usually... it's off.  So I think this post still applies.

There's usually a mix of reactions when people hear (or see) that we don't have a TV.  Surprise, disbelief, scorn, and sometimes envy.  We invariably get asked a lot of questions about why we don't have one.  How do we survive??? What do we doooo???  I usually just shrug my shoulders and reply something along the lines of, "Well at least we're saving a lot of money..."

But when I really stop to think about it, there are many reasons why I don't want a TV, and only a few of them have to do with money.  I hate background noise, I hate commercials, I get bored easily, we don't have to pay for cable.  But mostly it has to do with intentional living.  TV is a distraction.  For many people, it's an escape... from reality, from their thoughts, from their lives.  I'm sure a lot of people could benefit from unplugging the TV and just living intentionally.

What does that even mean, living intentionally?  How do you do it?  Why should you do it?

Be intentional with your words

Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Don't be a flake.  Don't be superficial or "fake nice."  Pay attention to how people are receiving your words.  Don't barrel through conversations.  Pay attention to how people respond during conversations and adjust your tone if needed.

Be intentional with your time

TV is a big time waster.  What could you be doing instead?  Exercising?  Reading a book?  Starting a hobby?  Spending time with family or friends?  Make time to be with the people you care about.  And when you are with them, really be with them.  Don't keep checking your phone.  Don't let your mind wander.  Pay attention to them.  Do you know someone who's in the hospital?  Go visit them.  Don't always be daydreaming about the future.  Be present in the moment.

Be intentional with your actions

Pay attention to your body language, your quirks, your habits.  Are you trying to emulate someone?  Are your actions contrived?  Just be yourself.

I think the main thing to remember about intentional living is to pay attention to your surroundings and the people you're interacting with.  Don't waste your time on trivial things.  Live in the moment and don't take things for granted.  And be yourself.  Don't try to look or act like someone else.

What do you think?  Do you try to live intentionally?  

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