Focus Your Mind and Direct Your Attention With Intentional Snippets

Every book has distilled nuggets; snippets of its message that help us determine what is important to us when we read it. They’re not a shortcut to reading the book and thinking about it, both of these things are activities that have a high energetic cost and rewire how our brain processes information. which is why the very act of reading changes us.

Snippets however play a different role. They help capture our attention. They concentrate our inner need. They make it easier for us to focus because they promise the pay-off we need in return for our investment in time, effort and energy.

Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully is the end product of three years’ worth of research, writing and thinking. The snippets below are drawn from its chapters and polished to present specific aspects of its message.

Use them as affirmations to help crystallize for you a specific aspect of life you need to work with. Use them in your social media posts to present part of your inner journey, its message and your own personal development. Hold them up as a representation of your values. A specific approach that reflects how you use your own beliefs and attitude to get through life.

I’d love it if you shared them. You don’t need to necessarily always mention where they come from but if you do it will most probably help others discover how “Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully” can help them, as it has helped you. I will be putting more and more here as Intentional evolves in the perception of its readers so bookmark this page and come back whenever you feel the need for a refreshing mental dip. Thank you for being part of this journey. 

Meaning and Context

Quote from Intentional How to Live, Love Work and Play Meaningfully by David Amerland 

The central structure of an experience is its intentionality.

Everything we experience has a process. The process is predicated upon our physicality *i.e. the way our brain and body are wired) and our mentality (i.e. the way the different parts of our brain network and talk to each other). Everything we experience, regardless of how it came about is made up of these two components. What then makes an experience stand out is the degree to which we guide it or the degree to which we do not. A proposal for marriage, for instance, is a highly intentional act with many life-changing consequences. A thunderbolt striking us from the sky may not be something that is intentionally guided by an entity or an experience we intentionally will seek out but the fact that we experience it will strike us (pun mostly unintended) for the very fact of its lack of intentionality on our part and that of any other entity. Experiences that are the result of highly directed intentionality are perceived as stronger because their cause is better understood.  

Willpower and Motivation

Motivation, action and purpose

Motivation is action. Purpose is meaning. Action without purpose has no meaning.

Everything we do is the result of motivation. Something has made us do it. When our actions align with a greater goal we have a purpose. Purpose always leads to meaning because the intended outcome it aims for adds value to its context. We can be compelled by circumstances to act. But when those actions are simply a reaction to immediate environmental pressures we face then they are devoid of any long term meaning. Survival may be practical and it is certainly necessary but it is never enough as a long-term strategy if that is all it is. Weird, right? But just surviving is meaningless because living takes such a massive amount of effort. We all look for a "why" that goes deeper and gives us more than just being. A sense of purpose does just that. It makes us feel that we strive for more than just our self. It makes us feel that we belong to a total that is made up of more than just our immediate family and friends. Purpose lifts us above our own frailty and weaknesses and elevates us in our mind. Meaning makes us feel that we matter. When we matter we are superhuman. 

Feeling and Thinking

Quote from Intentional How to Live, Love Work and Play Meaningfully by David Amerland  

We are what we feel, not what we think. Alignment of thought and feeling is never easy. 

Every decision we make is emotional. A lot of the times we hide or ignore our emotions, mistrusting the volatility they represent. We want to think we are rational beings. We want to believe that logic guides our decisions, which means that logic guides our actions. Yet, many times our actions do not reflect our values. Our actions fail to adequately represent our beliefs. Aligning emotion with action requires a deep understanding of who we are. That requires a certain degree of acceptance of our self. Without acceptance there can be no forgiveness. Without forgiveness there can be no true understanding or love. If we fail to understand our self and love us for who we are we cannot extend those attributes and behavior to others. Everything we do starts with how we feel. How we feel begins with who we truly are, deep inside.   

Healing and Thriving

Quote from Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully

To succeed we must first tell our self it is "OK" to fail. 

Success scares us. It makes us afraid because we know it will break us out of our comfort zone no matter how much we complain about it and it will make us face unknowns we can't even predict because we haven't yet got a lot of experience with success. This fear is compounded by the fear of failure. When we tell our self that at some undefined moment in the future we shall do something to change our situation we are basically creating hope. Hope is important to keep our dreams alive and create coherence in who we are. However hope is not a strategy unless it is aligned with actions. When it isn't hope is a fantasy. We fool ourselves and keep on fooling ourselves about what we shall do, at some future moment, when the conditions are right, until ... we don't. The reason we don't is that we fear that if we fail we shall have nothing left to hope about. We consider, without really articulating it, that it is much more preferable to dream about a day that will never come than to have no more dreams left because we tried, crashed and burnt. Failure scares us because it too presents unknowns. We don't know how catastrophic it will be. how much it will hurt when we fail. We don't know if we will be able to survive it. Yet, nothing is ever quite as bad as we imagine in our minds. Success comes with the acceptance of forgiveness should we fail. This liberates us from the fear we experience that paralyzes us. When we tell our self that it is "OK" to fail so we can learn we are better positioned to act in ways that most likely generate the success we seek. 

Purpose and Control

Purpose Creates Your Future

If you have a sense of purpose you have a future.

A sense of purpose provides us with a direction in our actions. A direction creates alignment so that our thoughts, decisions and actions harmonize. This reduces the cognitive dissonance we experience when this harmonization is not present. A direction allows us to establish goals that exist outside our self. Goals that exist outside our self change the nature of our decision-making. This, in turn, changes our actions. While we are still striving to survive and thrive the calculus we employ at every point we make a decision is now different. The parameters we use change because the horizon we operate with is much bigger. A sense of purpose provides us with a future that has meaning beyond just our survival. A sense of purpose enables us ti be strategic in our decision-making. This, in turn, creates a natural competitive advantage for individuals and businesses alike.