Sometimes living an intentional life means being unconventional.
An intentional life means opting for a lifestyle that reflects the values you hold most important, and pursuing a life that reflects your unique passions and personality, instead of …
- Just going through the motions—existing without really “living”
- Working your tail off without gaining satisfaction or happiness
- Too busy pleasing others that you’re not sure who the authentic you is anymore
In other words, living intentionally isn’t easy.
But I think it’s worth it. Because I believe bringing our actual life in line with our beliefs and values will always lead to happier, more satisfied life.
Even if that life looks less productive and successful. Or decidedly unconventional.
Living an unconventional life
I guess I have always been a tad unconventional. One of the characteristics of my personality type is: “not impressed by social conventions or tradition, no matter how popular something is.” Which helps me to ignore what others think and embrace my own values and priorities, no matter how unconventional.
And pursuing a more intentional lifestyle is definitely unconventional, because the whole point of living intentionally is to stand up to the currents of convention. Not because being counter-cultural is the goal, but because our society’s conventional lifestyle does not line up with values such as:
- People are more important than stuff
- Personal worth is not based on achievement
- Success is more about the legacy you leave behind than the money and prestige you’ve amassed
- People are spiritual beings, therefore spending more time in quiet, restful activities, such as prayer, leads to a healthier, happier whole person
We might claim those–or similar–values, and yet it’s so easy to get swept up in the modern convenience- and achievement-based lifestyle where we sacrifice time with family to get ahead on the job, or allow ourselves (or our children) to become so busy doing “good” things that we have no white space left in our week for what is most important.
I know, because I’ve been swept along with everyone else. That’s why I write about pursuing an intentional life–to share what I’ve been learning on my journey toward a lifestyle that matches my values and priorities.
One small step, one new revelation at a time.
As I look back at the intentionally unconventional decisions I have made, I have no regrets. Yeah, I sometime feel compelled to explain my choices to people who don’t get it. Yeah, I have missed out on some perfectly good things because I’ve chosen to say No to an overburdened schedule. Yeah, I don’t have a pile of money, awards or certificates to show for all my efforts.
But I know I’ve made a difference in my small corner of the world. And that, in my book, is more important.
What’s truly important in your life? How might choosing to be intentionally unconventional help you achieve more of it?