“Be your best self in every moment; you’re born to be there.” – JSP
I decided to live the rest of my life being a highly intentional person while reading Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “Principle-Centered Leadership” in the early 1990s. I remember thinking “it makes perfect sense,” if I intentionally focus my thoughts and actions on specific objectives I can change my future.
I imagined the potential of applying intentional thinking and living to relationships. The thought of helping someone rethink their future and change their life was almost too much to fathom – I was all in on my future and helping others direct theirs.
What are your goals for next year, what would it mean for you to reach them? Have you thought about the possibilities of applying intentionally focused thinking toward helping others around you? What kind of influencer will you be by achieving your goals and helping others achieve theirs by this time next year?
The Intentionality of Your Thoughts and Actions Will Always Set You Apart
The work ethic of highly intentional people sets them apart from the rest; because of their commitment to excellence, they naturally become influencers.
Before the age of electricity powering the light bulb, the arduous work ethics of highly intentional people were called “preventing the dawn” (working before sunrise) and “burning the midnight oil” (working well into the night).
Sleep is often short and sometimes interrupted due to the constant flow of creative thinking, highly intentional leaders make things happen because they’re architects, change agents, the type of people who pioneer new ventures with creativity and greater than expected outcomes.
Leaders; It Takes One to Know One
“You must know yourself before you can be yourself.” – JSP
Great Leaders are highly intentional people who, early on, surrounded themselves with other leaders, at first, they’re learning, later they’re influencing others. I witnessed firsthand the rise of highly intentional people who became leaders and kept growing until they began developing leaders.
I learned that the difference between leaders who surround themselves with followers and those who surround themselves with leaders is what each desires. The motive behind gathering followers is the need to be needed, while the motive behind helping leaders is the need to be succeeded.
Highly intentional leaders are always looking to multiply themselves to replace themselves, as they do, they grow even more influential because of the high value they add to those around them. Charles F. Glassman says, “When your intentions are pure, so too will be your success.”
Always Be Growing
Never believe your best work or highest achievements are either behind you or are what you’re presently experiencing. If you’re a lifelong learner, you’re always striving to surpass your personal best, which means exploring your potential which opens new possibilities for higher achievements.
Focusing your attention on personal growth causes you to grow bigger on the inside than on the outside. Embracing high values, leading from your heart, developing your mind, and taking care of your soul changes who you are on the inside transforming the influence of your leadership on the outside.
Develop Clear Focused Thinking
Clear, focused thinking allows you to see the big picture and its many components. Clear focused thinking allows you to divide a long-term goal into smaller scheduled measurable segments, which makes it easier to chart your progress.
Clear, focused thinking makes managing your personal and business affairs uncomplicated. Like many intentional thinking leaders, you’ll develop systems to keep you consistent in all you do.
The foundational unchangeable truth about becoming a highly intentional person is self-awareness. You must know yourself to be yourself.
John Maxwell gives six steps to help you become a highly intentional person:
- Get into your story. Decide that you can make a difference and become the hero of your own life.
- Become highly intentional. Be determined to make every day count by being proactive in making a difference.
- Start small but believe big. Take action! Seize a small opportunity that seems right to you and believe in it’s potential.
- Find your why. Listen to your heart, tap into your passion, and find your purpose.
- Put others first. Realize that significance comes from helping others and making their lives better.
- Add value to others in your sweet spot. Begin adding value to others using the things you naturally do well and keep fine-tuning your efforts until it aligns with your sweet spot. (1)
“What Do You Really Want? The key is living with awareness and intention.”
― Helen S. Rosenau
(1) “Intentional Living” by John C. Maxwell