3 Steps to Intentional Living

Max Cherri/Flickr
Caption: woman laughing (Source: Max Cherri/Flickr)

 

How do you lead the kind of life that gets you what you want? All it takes is 3 steps:

1. Evaluating reality clearly, to
2. Make effective decisions, that
3. Achieve our short and long-term goals.

Now, these steps may sound simple in theory, but they are not so simple in practice at all. Our mental patterns of thinking and feeling make it quite challenging to enact these 3 steps in the most effective manner. Let’s unpack these steps to see exactly what each of them means.

What does it mean to evaluate your reality clearly? That means gaining a deep understanding of your external environment – your immediate surroundings, your social circle, your career, and anything else of relevance. That also means your own internal environment – your patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving.

Next, you want to make effective decisions about how to reach your goals. Consider your options, based on your knowledge of your outer and inner environment. Be aware that you can change both your external surroundings, and your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, to help you to get what you want in life. Evaluate the various paths available to you, assess the probability that each path will get you to your goals. Then make a plan for how to proceed, and take the path that seems best suited to go where you want.

Finally, implement the decisions you made and travel along the path. Remember, you will usually encounter some unknown obstacles on your road to what you want. Be excited about getting feedback from your environment and learning about better paths forward. Take the opportunity to change your path if a new one opens up that seems better suited to help you meet your goals. Be open to changing your very goals themselves based on what you learn.

As you can imagine, these things are easy to say, but hard to do. It’s very helpful to get support along the way, through learning about strategies such as through Intentional Insights and other resources oriented toward this purpose. However, above all, it takes your own commitment to the goal of gaining greater agency over your life and living intentionally.

I will leave you with some questions:
• What kind of benefits, if any, do you think you might gain from living intentionally?
• What kind of challenges do you anticipate you might face to living intentionally? How can you overcome these challenges?
• What are specific next steps you will take to live more intentionally?

P.S. For additional resources, check out this workbook with exercises on finding meaning and purpose using science-based strategies; this free science-based web app to evaluate your current sense of meaning and purpose; this free online class on finding meaning and purpose using science; and the wide variety of other resources on meaning and purpose available at Intentional Insights.

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Bio: Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is an author, speaker, consultant, coach, scholar, and social entrepreneur specializing in science-based strategies for effective decision-making, goal achievement, emotional and social intelligence, meaning and purpose, and altruism – for more information or to hire him, see his website, GlebTsipursky.com. He runs a nonprofit that helps people use science-based strategies to make effective decisions and reach their goals, so as to build an altruistic and flourishing world, Intentional Insights. He also serves as a tenure-track professor at Ohio State in the History of Behavioral Science and the Decision Sciences Collaborative, and published over 25 peer-reviewed articles. A best-selling author, he wrote Find Your Purpose Using Science among other books, and regular contributes to prominent venues, such as TimeThe ConversationSalonThe Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He appears regularly on network TV, such as affiliates of ABC and Fox, radio stations such as NPR and Sunny 95, as well as internet-only media such as podcasts and videocasts.

Consider signing up to the Intentional Insights newslettervolunteeringdonating; buying merchandise. Get in touch with him at gleb (at) intentionalinsights (dot) org.

About Gleb Tsipursky

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is passionate about promoting truth-oriented behavior, rational thinking, and wise decision-making in public discourse. He researches these topics as a professor at Ohio State University, and serves as the President of Intentional Insights, a reason-oriented nonprofit devoted to popularizing these topics. Its main current focus is the Pro-Truth Pledge, a project that aims to reverse the tide of lies and promote truth in public discourse through combining behavioral science and crowd-sourcing. He authored a number of books, most notably Find Your Purpose Using Science, and has a new book forthcoming in 2018, The Alternative to Alternative Facts: Fighting Post-Truth Politics with Behavioral Science. Pieces by him regularly come out in prominent venues such as Time, Salon, Psychology Today, The Conversation, The Huffington Post, and Scientific American, and reason-oriented venues such as The Humanist, Skeptical Inquirer, Free Inquiry, American Atheist Magazine, and Patheos>. He appears regularly on network TV, such as affiliates of ABC 6/a> and Fox, radio stations such as NPR and Sunny 95, as well as reason-oriented podcasts, such as Ra-Men, The Scathing Atheist, Serious Inquiries Only, and The Humanist Hour. He is available to speak to reason-oriented groups through the American Humanist Association, Secular Student Alliance, and Center for Inquiry Speakers’ Bureaus. Generous support from people like you on Patreon enables him to focus on this activism. Connect with him via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, and email him to discuss his work or learn about how you can get involved: gleb (at) intentionalinsights (dot) org.