Have you ever wondered: for 24 hours of my life, how many hours I am operating on autopilot mode, and how many hours are really spent on intentional living?
Maybe yes, maybe not.
Let’s find out what is really Intentional living and if it’s the right lifestyle for you?
Why I choose Intentional Living over Japanese-style Minimalism?
If you care enough to pay attention in my front page, you would see a tag “ Intentional and Mindful living”
Yes, that is the theme of my blog. That is not something that I preach, but indeed something I breathe and do every day.
Everyone has different themes in their lives. Some strive for perfection, for family, for career goals, for material growth, or for spiritual growth. There is nothing right or wrong about each theme. No theme is more superior or inferior than each other. We are all at different stages of life and thus, our theme varies.
While many people are advocates for Minimalism, I myself once was a part of a herd, and I still practice it though not deliberately follow, I do not consider myself a Minimalist or Maximalist.
Minimalism, in my mind, is not an end to achieve. It is just a tool to help you declutter. While I have to admit there is a huge benefit of decluttering, minimalist people tend to take it to the extreme level: they see materials and assets more as an enemy of their lives than otherwise.
I think, possession or asset, do not have inherent meanings, good or bad. It is how we make it.
I chose to live with intention.
Why I do not pursue Japanese-style Minimalism
I think that minimalism is a good lifestyle, and I’m not against it. The fact is I have been reading quite a lot of books on this topic, listen to podcasts and such. However the way the Japanese treat minimalism like a religion or an idolized lifestyle does not sit well with me.
As you would normally see this is a typical minimalist style.
Some people find living in this almost empty house appealing, they think the end goal of life is to declutter, to get rid of things, regardless of whether the things have emotional value or not, its nice to hear, but not for me.
The key difference between living intentionally and living minimally is that when you live intentionally you are trying to fill your life with things that make you happy or content. You develop an acute awareness of what makes you happy or not. You don’t see the activities of getting rid of old stuff as the goal of your life. Racing to cut back spending, cutting out things are the by-products, not the real philosophy in my opinion
Minimalists mostly want the bare necessities so they don’t have to deal with clutter in their homes. I know many people who prefer this way of life because they would rather spend money on experiences than material possessions and because it forces them to prioritize what’s important in their lives. And I’m all for that.
So what exactly is Intentional Living?
Intentional Living is making the decision each and every day to live the life you desire. It’s in the simple choices, the little steps. It means examining each individual aspect of your life and asking yourself whether it’s serving you well. It’s deciding to live on purpose and making all the necessary adjustments to do so wholeheartedly.
It’s also about intentionally cultivating more of what you value, setting boundaries and intentionally saying no to the things you don’t need or cherish.
It’s a MINDSET, a LIFESTYLE.
For me, Living Intentionally entails several aspects that do overlap with the minimalism movement, but the term is broader than that.
Intentional living is to be fully aware of the present (mindful living), understand and take stock of the current state, mentally, physically, and energetically. It is also about being honest with yourself accept yourself. Also you have to truly ask yourself: what do I truly want from my life?
Different people come up with different answers. Wealth, Health, Peace, Slow living, Fame, and meaningful life are common answers.
I’m currently in the process of building up my new life in Canada and I have to admit that my life has changed a great deal since I am consciously and mindfully creating what I want to be in my life.
Living intentionally is a direction we aim for so we can get better at choosing what we want to think, feel and do.
Intentional living to me are these 3 pillars:
- Live a simple life (with less noise, less clutter, and only focus on what matters) and work towards financial independence (hence, regain control over my time)
- Be in the present, and live consciously and mindfully. Cherish everyday simple joy yet plan for the future.
- Continually grow in my personal and professional life through new experiences, new learning, and growth opportunities
In another post, I will share with you how to live an Intentional Life and create the life that you want.
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