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Article 2 or 4 of the Readers Choice 2021

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

“Time is your most precious asset; treat it that way. Guard your time wisely- it’s the only thing you can’t get more of, the rule of thumb to live by is if it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a no.”
— Whitney Hansen

If more leaders were intentional with their yes and no, many more organizations would still be around today. Isn’t it true that each one of us is today where our decisions have brought us? Today isn’t a coincidence; it’s the byproduct of yesterday’s decisions.

Ten-time NCAA championship basketball coach John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So, keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make makes you.” The decisions Wooden made wrote UCLA into the history books. Wooden’s choices were intentional. The fact that he never scouted his teams’ opponents speaks to his focus on minding his own business intentionally better than they.

Self-Awareness and the Intentional Mindset

Self-awareness goes hand-in-hand with living an intentional lifestyle. We’ve all made emotional decisions at one time or another, and how do they usually work out? In one respect, those decisions were deliberate; we decided to follow our emotions.

Some emotional decisions may include our “pet projects” or a desire to impress or compete with someone; these “emotionally intentional” decisions usually aren’t aligned with our core values or life purpose. They tend to speak more to a pre-occupation with ourselves than an outcome that benefits those relying on us.

Before you decide anything, think through your why, trace your thought process back to your motives, they’re the origin of your decision. Ask yourself if an intentional alignment guides you with your purpose or an outcome that allows you to bask in the temporary spotlight of the accolades of others.

Self-Awareness reveals if ethical self-discipline or selfish gain drives our motives. The future of our team hangs in the balance.

Mind Your Business Intentionally

“Stopping to think about where it’s all going will save us from having to stop and think about where it all went.”

Quality Think Time. I choose to intentionally spend some quality think time during each day, preferably in the mornings. Focusing on priorities measuring them against my purpose. I’ve learned that this type of intentional thinking is transformational, allowing better opportunities to come into view.

Quality Reflection Time. I close each day with some quality reflection time. How did I spend my time which I can never use again? Being clear that each day is one and done, gone forever, helps me maintain my focus.

I learned that I could redeem my time but never reuse it. Reaching tomorrow’s objectives is decided by how intentionally I mind my own business today. Intentionality and reflection should be the sharpest tools we have in our leadership toolbox. So, when it comes to minding your business, are you being intentionally good, or do you only have good intentions?

John C Maxwell comments on good intentions versus being intentional, and the two are worlds apart. John says, “Here are some of the words that describe a life of good intentions: desire, wish, hopefully, someday. Notice anything familiar about them? Do you see a connection? All of those words are about unfulfilled longing. They’re passive. Now take a look at some words that describe a life of intentionality: action, purpose, definitely, today. What do they have in common? They are all active, in the now, committed. They are the words of people who get things done, people who live intentionally.”

Thoughts to Ponder:

“What are your natural strengths, and how are you growing them?

Who are you serving, and how are you helping them to succeed?

Who are you equipping, and with whom do they have influence?” (1)

“Work on Purpose, Play on Purpose, Rest on Purpose. Do not let yourself or anyone else waste your time.”
— Izey Victoria Odiase

End Notes

(1) 2016: Your Year of Living Intentionally.

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***


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