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  • George Wang

Living intentionally

Living intentionally is an essential part of who I am and how I live. I put such an emphasis on it because I think it maximizes the chances of getting what you want and minimizes the chances of ending up in situations you don't want to be in. In fact, I often end up thinking, "how did you get yourself in that situation?" Perhaps, this is a level of victim blaming but based on my values and my lifestyle, I will always shake my head at the series of decisions that would need to have been made for people to face some of the problems that they do. I will always be like, "bruh...", when people complain about or feel troubled by a very obvious potential consequence of something they did. However, I am also compassionate and considerate so I am not there judging their life choices. More importantly, I am indifferent, unbothered, and nonchalant, so it is just a thought/opinion that passes through my mind and not a big deal. It doesn't affect my life nor my mood. The point is that living intentionally is important to me and has made my life much better, and I would like to see people do well and avoid ending up dealing with those awful problems and situations that a lot of them seem to do.


Here are the simple but not necessarily easy steps to really live intentionally. Firstly, you gotta know yourself and what you want. Then you would develop the awareness and understanding of the situation you are in. You would recognize the options you have and think through what you get out of each option, what potential consequences exist for each option, and how each option would affect your sense of fulfillment. Finally, you would make a decision intentionally, allowing you to get what you want and avoid the consequences that you don't want, as opposed to feeling regret after acting in the "heat of the moment" or out of impulses.


In fact, as a more extreme example to illustrate the extent I believe in living intentionally, I would rather someone commit a crime or a frowned-upon act with no regrets and no remorse. I would rather see that someone had thought it through, had recognized the potential consequences, and had accepted them. To them, what they got out of it was worth the consequences that come with it. I would like them to think, "this was always a possibility. I accepted it before I even did it. I have no regrets and no remorse. I got exactly what I wanted and I am completely okay with the consequences that I am facing right now and the other consequences I may have to face going forward." I obviously may not like who they are and I am even less likely to support what they have done. However, I respect and support the decision making process, the intentionality, and the adherence to their character and their desires. I don't like seeing people end up in situations they don't want to be in, especially when the situations seem to be obviously preventable, when the people involved knew that they didn't think it through or knew that they didn't know what they want, and when they end up regretting the decisions they've made that led to those situations and consequences.


This example also serves to point out certain aspects that people would benefit from thinking about when they are considering the potential consequences. How would this affect other people in your life? How would this affect other people in general? Do you care? If you do, how would you feel about yourself if your action might affect those other people in various ways? For certain situations, there are a lot of potentially difficult questions to consider when you are thinking through all the possible consequences of each of your options. This is another reason why the first step is to know who you truly are - to have a profound, nuanced, and intimate understanding of yourself and your desires.


Admittedly, accidents do happen. However, if you truly know yourself, think through everything, and make decisions intentionally, there is no reason to feel any regret or remorse. It is literally an accident - a random unpredictable event out of your control. Why would you feel regret or remorse about something completely out of your control? That doesn't make sense nor does it benefit you.


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